Golden Days for Boys and Girls Volume XIII, No. 51: November 12, 1892

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Excerpt CHAPTER I.MATT HIRES OUT. It was a raw, cold day in early April. Since morning, the clouds had been gathering, and they now hung, dark and heavy, over both land and sea. The wind, too, which had been steadily increasing for hours in violence, now blew little short of a gale. It evidently was going to be a terrible night, and that night was nearly at hand. No one realized this more than the boy who, with a small bundle in one hand and a stout staff in the other, was walking rapidly along the road that runs, for the greater part of the way, in sight of Long Island Sound, from New Haven to New London. He was a youth that would have attracted attention anywhere. Tall for his age, which could not have been far from eighteen years, he was also of good proportions, and walked with an ease and stride which suggested reserved strength and muscular development; but it was the boy’s face that was most noticeable. Frank, open, of singular beauty in feature and outline, there was also upon it unmistakable evidences of intelligence, resoluteness and honesty of purpose. A close observer might also have detected traces of suffering or of sorrow—possibly of some great burden hard to bear. The boy was none too warmly clad for the chilly air and piercing wind, and now and then drew his light overcoat about him, as though even his rapid walking did not make him entirely comfortable. He, moreover, looked eagerly ahead, like one who was watching for some signs of his destination. Reaching at length the foot of a long hill, he drew a sigh of relief, and said, aloud: “I must be near the place now. They said it was at the top of the first long hill I came to, and this must be it.” As he spoke, he quickened his pace to a run and soon reached the summit, quite out of breath, but with a genial warmth in his body that he had not experienced for some hours. Pausing now a moment to catch his breath, he looked about him. Dim as was the light of the fast-falling evening, he could not help giving an exclamation of delight at the view he beheld. To the west of him he saw the twinkling lights of several villages, through which he had already passed. To the north, there was a vast stretch of land, shrouded in darkness. To the south was the Sound, its tossing waves capped with white, its islands like so many gems on the bosom of the angry waters. “It must be a beautiful place to live in, and I hope to find a home here,” he remarked, as he resumed his journey. A few rods farther he reached a farmhouse and turned up to its nearest door. As he was about to knock, a man came from the barn-yard, a little distance away, and accosted him. “Good-evening!” “Good-evening!” responded the boy. Then he asked, “Is this Mr. Noman?” “No, I’m Mr. Goodenough,” answered the man, pleasantly. “Noman lives on the adjoining farm. You will have to turn into the next gateway and go down the lane, as his house stands some distance from the road.” “I was told,” explained the boy, “that he wished to hire help, and I hoped to get work there....
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