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One of the Boys.

By Edward E. Hale, Author of ‘ A Man Without a Country.’ The school recess was hardly finished, and the boys were yet panting from their last runs, when a knock summoned the teacher to the door. In a moment he called W ill Mallory to him as he stood there. “Mallory, your father has been hurt at the mill. Fou are to go home at once, but you are to stop for the doctor as you go. This man is from the jpill.” As Will Mallory followed the man down the stairs, fair ly leaping as h® W’spt, and as they ran down Wndep street together, the man explained that In stepping backwards at the sawmill Mr Mallory hftd tripped ; he had thrown out his hand involuntarily to catch his balance, and had cut his am badly on one of the circular saws. “One of them little ones that trims the laths at tho ends, you know.” But Will was not very curious as to which am had been guilty. Once at the end of Buwten street he ran through his uncle’s garden, swung himself by his arms to the top of y. ten-foot board fence which bounded that garden, and then dropped on the other side, fhfsf. fre crossed the Amos pasture at a £.20 pace, the picket behind Dr Morton’s garden with a flying leap, and so came to the Doctor’s office door. Celina, the black woman, saw him as he passed the kitchen window, and the door opened almost as soon as he could have wished. “ Doctor in ?” he is jest gone —gone to itlder Perkins, and then to the cross roads ; you is jest too late.” But before these words were well spoken the boy was gone, Erom the Doctor’s gate ho took up, on the side-walk, the steady pace which had been well trained in “ hare and hounds,” At the first corner he saw the chaise not two hundred yards_ before him. Then with a spurt, to which the Doctor’s calico horse was by no means equal, he overhauled the team iu a very few second#, and still had wind enough to tell his story wjfion he had stopped the Doctor, The Doctor’ Me him spring into the carriage, which he ,<Ud with a certain doubt, being quite certain that ,he should make the time bettor alone. But, to .do the old calico justice, he also rose to the emergency, and in a very few minutes they were »t t,!\o door of Will Mallory’s house.' His mother was standing there, pale, but able to speak .cheerfully to him. In a moment more, ‘with' .his hfipd roughly bound, but bleeding so that his olpth.es were covered with blood, Mr Mallory appeared in the carriage which 1 had been found for hi a. at the mill, He was holding his arm up, and lasting ,£y on the perpendicular stay of the waggon'top.' jgut Will see that with every stroke of;h(s heart a fresh gowt ,9? blood was forced out’ ffpp jihe rough,bondage,

Everybody was in time. “If the thing must happen,” said Dr Horton to his wife at dinner, “it happened as well as it could. , That sensible Jane Mallory had her head on her shoulders. In five minutes’ notice she bad her basins and her bandages, and her j water and ice all ready. Jove ! I did not | a,sk for a thing that was not there. Will, ' he was as cool as if he had been in the army, I md had seen a thousand men bleeding to J death. He held his father’s arm while 1 j was stitching and twining, never said a ! word, and yet he saw the whole, and he could do that thing to-morrow as well aa I can. Mallory was quiet—made no fuss — well you would know Mallory would not; he’s got to be laid up for a month before he ( can do much with that hand.” | “ Peas—yest, but no beets.” # ' Then after a pause. “ But Martha, if I had been there ten minutes later there would have been no Mallory now.” CHAPTER 11. I have told this incident in the earlier life of Will Mallory because a good deal depended on it. He stayed at home that day almost of course. The next day his mother told him that it would be better for him not to go to school, but to be ready for errands to the mill and elsewhere, and to be on hand when Dr Morton came. The next day Mr Mallory was so far free from pain and fever that he began to think of his business, and their Will, who had prepared himself for this moment, said : “ Father, if you send down to the office for Mr Goosequill you will only disturb things there. See if I cannot write the letters you want to write. I do not write fast, but you know I spell well, and can make a decent-looking letter.” The plan was a good plan, and Mr Mallory knew it was a good plan. He liked to have Will about; he said it was like having two bodies, as he had once heard a minister say we might have in Heaven. And then Mr Mallory would look on Will with a certain loving approval and say : “ Only one of the bodies can take a flying high leap a good deal more quickly than the other, which is a convenience sometimes.”

When Will went to school to bring home his books, a business which has a certain sacred aspect in a large school, the boys received the announcement that he was to stay at home for the rest of the term with general disapproval. But Will explained that as long as they chose he would be captain of the football team, and play with the nine; and though liis half holidays aud whole holidays would not be as regular as theirs, he hoped to cooperate still in most of the enterprises they all had on hand for the public good, and their own entertainment, and this promise he well maintained. So there began for the boy six happy and eventful months. He was his father's companion and friend. The arm got well, and wa3 only a little stiff. But even after it was well enough for Mr Mallory to write Will did not go back to school. His father had learned too well what was the pleasure of having such a companion at his sido. He took Will with him on his rides up the valley to see the lumber men. He took him with him when he went to caucuses and to the town meeting. As they rode trgether he explained to Will his plans about the business—he told him why he did this and that, why he bought the Stubbs's logs and refused to buy Nathan Wilmarth's. And the boy had like confidence in his father. He asked his advice whether their school had better play against the Academy boys, when the Academy boys had behaved so badly in October, and made his father come round and give his opinions on some new bats which Chenowith had at his shop from a factory unknown. The father and son were companions, and God meant they should be,

As for book-learning, the boy's father made him take an hour in the morning and an hour before tea for regular reading. Then there was something to read at hand always when he was sitting in the office, and he was not permitted to loaf or to waste time. His father gave him the Chautauqua Latin course, in which you read in English what boys read in Latin who are fitting for college, end what they read of Latin after they enter college. It is not generally known that all tho Latin books whioh the average college graduate hus read do not amount to as much as two of the longer novels of Dickens. While Will's schoolmates were hammering on the Latin of Virgil's /Eneid, ho was reading selected parts of it in English verse.

In hia English training he had his own types and his work as a printer. He seemed to have more leisure for these than he had had before. It was not really so, but he made his type-setting “ pay in,” as he said, with his other work. His father let him print the billheads and note paper for the firm, and finally their shorter circulars and “ flyers.” Will tried to persuade him to advance to him 15dol that he might buy “ Hoe and Rake," grand double action, reversed movement, circular delivery Parland's printing press. But Mr Mallory said “ No. Whatever else you learn from me, you shall not learn debt. We will pay for jobs on the nail, and you may .charge us what is fair. But you must have the money before you spend it.” And Will did. He had as much to do as he could. The printing was good, the circulars were neat and not showy. Redelivered his “fobs” when he said he would. And so, before Christ* mas he had 17dol. He was able to buy the new “Hoe and Rake,” with a discount for cash, from a job printer in the village, who was always behind hand. It was in setting his own type, in reading his own proof, and in printing accurate circulars, that Will learned the correct use of his own language, CHAPTER 111, “If that Will Mallory was my boy he would not be going so much to them steeplechases and football matches and ball clubs,” This was the remark of old Mr Williston, a well-preserved army contractor, who lived in a large house with six lonic pillars, a little beyond the Mallory’s as you drive out of town on the Plainfield road.

Similar suggestions were made to Mrs Mallory at the sewing society, and by one and another visitor. The " mild police "of the neighborhood was, indeed, taken with a good deal of surprise at Will's long absence from school. It cut across the general habit of society, and society, therefore, condemned it in its mild way. That to this rebellion against its unwritten law, Will should add, with bis father's consent, regular attendance at the practice gamea and match games, surprise ihe ''mftd police," aDd it expressed itself accordingly. It did not do much about it. It is not aiways the habit of a police, mild or otherwise, to do much 5 but it kept up a great deal of thinking and talking. But one October night Will and his brothers had an opportunity to put the boot on the other leg; and for the rest of the autumn the " mild police " had nothing to say unfavorable to athletic exercises. Little Jacob Mallory was sent to bed, unwillingly enough, about half-past eight o'clock. Kis mother was reading ' The Black Arrow ; aloud to the older boys. It was a moonlight night, and before Jacob want to bed he stood looking out of the south window of his room. In a movement with a certain impetuosity whioh belonged to the family he dashed through the passage and downstairs to the sitting room, and broke up «The Black Arrow' with tho ory; "There are two men on the piazza of old Williston's house ! I can see them from my window!" . "It is the black burglars!" cried Will, and at the instant he and John and his two older brothers dashed out at the front door. These brothers had, fortunately, come over from Elmerville, where they were at work, to spend Saturday afternoon and Sunday at home. " You two take the turnpike," said Will " and David and I will run on this sido. You'can head them if they try the back way." So he led across his father's garden, cleared the hedge with that running jump which we have seen before, and advanced boldly towards old Williston's piazza. But Williston's lawn was a wide one, and before he had crossed a greater part of it he had the mortification of seeing that the two men had caugfifc the alarm. They slid down the posts of the piazza, and, without regard to Mrs Williston's roses, took the shortest cut for the country road. " Will screamed-to his two brothers, whom he had sent to the rear of the house, and who might not see the manoeuvre of the flying enemy. By changing- hiß own track across the lawn he gained on the two men,

who were, however, a good hundred yards in the advance. His older brother followed him, not so well trained as he, and, indeed, not so well dressed for running; but he made a good second. The two men who were escaping fumbled a little at Mr Williston’s garden wall; but fear gave them speed, and they stumbled over it somehow. They lost a part of their distance from Will as he cut off a corner of the lawn. He cleared the wall easier than they, and then had them for a square stern chase on the country road. Harry behind him made good speed, and now he could hear the shouts of his other brothers as they regained the distance they had lost, and crossed the lawn last of all. The country road is perfectly level, and, as it happened, the moon lay so as to shine on noth sides, unshadowed by the hedges or trees in the gardens. Will saw in a minute that he was gaining. He knew that he could run at that rate for half an hour, and lie did not think from their appearance that the two fugitives could. The man in the rear paused a moment i and dropped his coat. But Will did not i atop for that, and bade Harry pass it. At the moment he passed it himself, the man stopped, turned, and aimed a pistol, crying |“I will fire.” Will wasted no words, the man fired and turned again. He now put I his revolver on his shoulder, and fired withI out aim. It was the worst thing he could have done. He emptied his barrels uselessly, and roused the neighborhood; for everyone was awake so early on that lovely October evening. So was it that when he and his partner turned for shelter into the Maundus place, where in the close shrubbery they could have dodged almost any pursuit, they met Hannibal, the stout coachman, who with a view of cheap glory had seized Mr Maunders’s revolver from the gun room when he heard the shots, and gone out under the porticochere. The leading fugitive turned dismayed, and the man with the empty revolver stood still. Will paused not an instant, Kesolute and silent he came on the poor follow like a hundred pound cannon shot, flung him from his feet, and fell with him on the ground. At the instant Hannibal stepped boldly down. “ Here’s de pistol, Master Will. Keerful now ! He’s loaded.” With the pistol Will was master of the situation. The cries of his brothers and their fast falling steps oame nearer and nearer. “Lie where you are,” cried the resolute boy, “and stretch out both hands,” and to the other, “Hold up both your hands, and stand still or I'll fire.” They were both novices at their business. Both were wholly “blown” with running. A legion of Maunder’s women were on the piazza sounding watchmen’s rattles and ringing police alarms. In a minute more the C her Mallory boys joined Harry, who was air <dv on the ground. There \, .* no tying the hands of the prisoners, though clothes lines were produced by Hannibal for that purpose. The triumphant boys bade them still hold up their hands, and in this manner they marched them, Hannibal and Mr Lewis Jones joining the procession, to the basement of the signal tower of the railroad. Here they were locked in till two policemen could be brought from a station a mile away. The next day they were tried and sentenced to three years’ each in the House of Correction, So it was that the neighbors ceased to find fault with the boys’ athletic exercise, CHAPTER IV. Will was not in the Sunday school. He liked to practice with the choir, for his voice had not yet changed, and Mr Rudolph flattered him a little, and told him that he liked to have him sing in the alto part. Now the choir mot for practice in the half hour before service, when the Sunday school was still in the vestry. So Will had begged off from the Sunday school, and sang with the choir. As he went into church one day, a little early, he found three small boys hanging round on the steps. “ What’s up ?” said Will. one of them looked cross, one looked sheepish, and the third only said: “ Teacher’s mad, and turned us out. Zif I wanted to stay in,” and he pre? tended to laugh at such an absurdity. Will took no notice, but went up into the choir gallery and did fiis best in

Rise, crowned with light, imperial Silem, rise

But before the rehearsal was over he excused himself, went downstairs, and after a little found the three banished boys in the graveyard spelling out the letters on an old Campernoon's tomb. "Silas," said Will, "did you not say you wanted to learn how to print?" "Ye*," said Silas, eagerly. " Will you show me ?" " That's what I've come for," said Will. " I have got a large job for this week, and if you will come round at tea time, eat some crackers on the way, so we need not stop for tea, you shall help me." And then turning easily to the other two boys he said: "And you can come, too, if you like." Now each of these three boys had a sort of currish idea that ho really wanted their imbecile help in his printing. In fact, all the time, Will had been saying "Rise crowned with light," and " A charge to keep I have," he had been thinking that these three boys were going to the dogs as fasti as they could go, and he was wondering what he could do to save them. To the three little outlaws, it was a great compliment to be invited anywhere by the captain of the boys' football team, and they were gladly on hand on Monday evening, They made a hard evening of it for Will, but he had not expected an easy one. His work with his types advanced very little, but he got a hold on the three boys he never lost. Wednesday afternoon he took them trout fishing with him. Friday he spent tho evening with them skinning a mink which John Brottens had trapped, and had given to one of them. And when he proposed to them to come round and practice singing at his father's the next Sunday morning, they assented, precisely aa they would have done had he proposed to them to go into water with him on Saturday afternoon. " Yes," he said to his mother; "I do not like to give up the choir practice. But if I do not sacrifice in meeting there is no good. Some time I will have them in the choir."

Sure enough, before long, the three outcasts from the Sunday school were the three best-behaved boys in Mr Rudolph's choir, and, for the pieces they had bad a obanoe to learn, three of his best soprano singers. And when in the spring there was a re. organisation of the Sunday schools, and the sessions were put at the end of the service, when Will was appointed assistant librarian, he made Nathan Clarke (one of the black trio) his first runner; and Miss Donnegan was glad to take the other two into her class, without asking why they had been expelled from MiBS Davis's. All this has to be told, because it accounts for a certain devotion which Silas Turgot had for Will ever afterwards, resembling indeed the devotion which Man Friday had for Robineon Crusoe,

To say the truth, the graveyard where Will had found Silas was a sort of desert island for the boy; and, had he known it, certain savages were pursuing him there who meant no good for him, when Will, in the part of Robinson Crusoe, came to the rescue. CHAPTER V. It had always been dimly understood that Will Mallory was to go to school again when the spring term came. “Ten weeks in spring," his father said; “that is what I had, and I do not want you to get out of touch with the other boys. You are no better than they are, if you are no worse," he said fondly and proudly—fondly, for he and Will were like two brothers now. So Will appeared at school one day with those books which had been carried away after bis father’s accident. The teacher hardly knew what to do. He had to take Will, the Constitution of the United States provided for that. But where to put him ? He was an inch or two taller than the boys he had been classed with before—yet he had never " analysed ” a line of Milton and had no idea where Cape Bryan-Martin was. Still it would be ridiculous to put such a big fellow in with the little boys who were yet to learn about Cape Bryan-Martin. Why, he was too big for their desks and chairs. So Will was put with the Bryan-Martin boys, was charged to study extra and make up certain implied “ conditions ”; and their leaders, on the other hand, were charged in private not to make tun ot his ignorance, because it was not his fault that he was behind, Much did

the teacher know about the business ! There was no danger that any boy in that would make fun of Will Mallory, And to Will the whole thing came with a new zest, which he had forgotten. He found that he listened to the teacher’s explanations, which used to seem such a bore, He brought to the matter a certain businesslike interest, which surprised the other boys. But he very soon made them fall in with him, as a popular boy, a leader to Will. He was not afraid of the teacher, who came to be very fond of this ignorant but intelligent fellow, who had never heard of Cape Bryan-Martin, but asked such intelligent questions. Ten weeks of stiff work of this sort told with all the boys, and when the term was over the master presented the class to the Committee as the largest class, and that moat interested in its work, which he had had for years. Will’s father went to the Legislature that winter, and this meant for Will no daily companion. But he had many irons in the fire, and he did not mean to let them cool. His mother was persuadable, and she agreed that, while he kept “ out of mischief” he need not go to school. This was his joke. For the boy had quite too much that was of use on his hands to have any time for mere sky-larking or tomfoolery. What Will did was to go to see the publisher of the ‘ Argus.’ He made a bargain with him to come at six every evening and set type till ten, when, except on ordinary occasions, the ‘ Argus ’ went to press. And Will would not make the bargain till the foreman agreed that Silas Turgot might come at six and stay till eight—that Will should correct his proof for him, and that the boy should be paid for what he did. This was the Kingdom of Heaven for the boy, and Will kept him to his other duties by threatening to take him away if he failed. Paw men in the office could set type faster than Will. He promised his mother that while this engagement lasted he would sleep an hour every afternoon. And so it proved that, when Will’s father came homo “ for good ” in June, Will bad 150 dollars in bank as the upshot of his winter’s type sticking, CHAPTER VI. And so the little story may be brought to an end. For a story should end and should begin, like the frieze of a Greek temple, where at one end you see the head of a horse and at the other end see the tail of another; but where you know nothing of the bodies of these two horses. This little Silas could and would do anything which Will Mallory bade him do, And it ended, oddly enough, after two years, in Will’s taking him with him when he went to college at Cambridge. For the little boy delighted in his singing, He still had that clear soprano voice, and he had a tender, ness and sympathy which compelled him to sing with the spirit. Will had laid up 800 dollars by his printing, and was to enter as a special student at Harvard, Little Silas “ took on so,” as his mother said, at the idea of parting, that she recollected that she had a cousin in Cambridge, and with Will’s full approval sent the little fellow down to spend the winter with her, that he need not be a mile away from his best friend. And his mother knew, and Will knew, that he could have better training in music at Cambridge than he could have in New Iberia.

Will did not shrink from the companionship. There was no reason why he should. Twice a day the little fellow ran in to see hiin, and twice a day Will cheered him up, and coached him and advised him. He was able to put the boy among the sopranos in the college ohoir, which means in a capital school for his voice, so he saw and heard him every morning in chapel; and, as Silas went to school, Will would walk along with him and they would be boys together again. This lasted for a year; and when the little fellow's soprano gave out, as such voices will, he found still that he had the friends whom he had earned on Sundays and on week-days, and those friends were Will's as well as his.

For Will, he had always meant to fight his own way through college. He made an agreement very soon, in a printing office, to come and set type of Latin copy, from three o'clock to seven every afternoon. A part of this time he had Silas with him, as he used to do in old days at the 'Argus' office. Silas had to carry the proofs to Ur Bentley, who was the editor of this new edition of ' Terence.' When Will went round one day to make sure that he understood the notes on a difficult passage, and it proved that he had understood the arrangement of type in a German critic better than the Doctor had, Mrs Bentley and George Bentley took to Will, and he went there often. The society of an academy or college town is always simple—that is to say, the best people find each other out, and come together. Will Mallory was popular with the "fellows," because he was good-natured, obliging, and simple, partly because he web not afraid in football, and, though he did not pretend to be much of a base : ball man, could take his place as a substitute. With the older people in the college he was a favorite for the same reasons. He " confessed ignorance" when he was ignorant; he listened well; he bore a hand when he was asked to. He would sing if Mrs Bentley asked him to sing; he would play tennis if anybody failed to appear; he did not insist on always having his own way. His two years, and Silas's as well, passed only too quickly. Then, by what we call an accident, they camp to an end before he had really finished the course he bad planned. Silss was reading one of Mr Stevenson's stories one evening when Commodore Stetson called. Commodore Stetson had invented a new arrangement for an electric signal on board ship, and he had come to consult Mr Marrer, Silas's uncle, about the details. For Mr Marrer was an electrician. As always, Silas paid much more attention to what other people were saying than to his own business. So he heard the Commodore say that he wanted the new " call" finished, if possible, within a month, for that he had been ordered to the East Indian Station, and that they should all sail before the 10th of July. Silas could not help thinking how nice it would be to go with him, to have a chance at breat-fruit and onagras, and lobsters, guava, and other luxuries of "Swiss Family Robinson." But he said nothing. Will had made him understand that he must hold his tongue—" that the dumb man's orders still inorease," Even when the Commodore went on to say; "I am going to see Mr Bolles, the secretary, to see who he oan give me for an amanuensis, or private olerk," Silas bit his tongue and said nothing. " You see," said this nice hearty sailor, "I want a young fellow with his eyes open, who has a smack at language, who can write a better hand than I, and make a better sketch than I; and a gentleman he must be, too, who can keep secrets and keep out of quarrels with the midshipmen and the ship's officers." Even then Silas, in agony with biting his tongue, said nothing, But as soon as the Commodore had gone, when Mr Marrer came back from the door, Silas cried, with all his pent-upf agerness, "Why cannot Will Mallory go with him?" and his uncle said! "He is just the right person ! Why did I never think of him ? But it is not too late, Silas." And he sat down and wrote a note to Commodore Stetson, and even put on a special delivery stamp to please Silas, And Silas took it to the post office. And Will Mallory had the appointment as Secretary to the Admiralty, for the next week the Commodore was promoted. And before they sailed he had persuaded the Admiral that it would be convenient to have a band press on board, and a little type with which to triplicate manuscripts and to issue general orders. And he persuaded the Admiral to rate Silas as a "landsman" on board, giving him the duty of printer to the squadron. And they all sailed together. The last I heard of them they were lowering a boat at the opening of Faloon Bay, on Mr Swiss Family's island. The longitude is 185deg W., and the latitude 7deg N. When they come home I will tell you more.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18891102.2.33.9

Bibliographic details

One of the Boys., Issue 8054, 2 November 1889, Supplement

Word Count
5,174

One of the Boys. Issue 8054, 2 November 1889, Supplement

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