Joe the Hotel Boy

Juvenile Nonfiction/
#General #Juvenile Nonfiction
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Book's description:

Excerpt OUT IN A STORM. "What do you think of this storm, Joe?" "I think it is going to be a heavy one, Ned. I wish we were back home," replied Joe Bodley, as he looked at the heavy clouds which overhung Lake Tandy. "Do you think we'll catch much rain before we get back?" And Ned, who was the son of a rich man and well dressed, looked at the new suit of clothes that he wore. "I'm afraid we shall, Ned. Those black clouds back of Mount Sam mean something." "If this new suit gets soaked it will be ruined," grumbled Ned, and gave a sigh. "I am sorry for the suit, Ned; but I didn't think it was going to rain when we started." "Oh, I am not blaming you, Joe. It looked clear enough this morning. Can't we get to some sort of shelter before the rain reaches us?" "We can try." "Which is the nearest shelter?" Joe Bodley mused for a moment. "The nearest that I know of is over at yonder point, Ned. It's an old hunting lodge that used to belong to the Cameron family. It has been deserted for several years." "Then let us row for that place, and be quick about it," said Ned Talmadge. "I am not going to get wet if I can help it." As he spoke he took up a pair of oars lying in the big rowboat he and Joe Bodley occupied. Joe was already rowing and the rich boy joined in, and the craft was headed for the spot Joe had pointed out. The lake was one located in the central part of the State of Pennsylvania. It was perhaps a mile wide and more than that long, and surrounded by mountains and long ranges of hills. At the lower end of the lake was a small settlement of scant importance and at the upper end, where there was a stream of no mean size, was the town of Riverside. At Riverside were situated several summer hotels and boarding houses, and also the elegant mansion in which Ned Talmadge resided, with his parents and his four sisters. Joe Bodley was as poor as Ned Talmadge was rich, yet the two lads were quite friendly. Joe knew a good deal about hunting and fishing, and also knew all about handling boats. They frequently went out together, and Ned insisted upon paying the poorer boy for all extra services. Joe's home was located on the side of the mountain which was just now wrapped in such dark and ominous looking clouds. He lived with Hiram Bodley, an old man who was a hermit. The home consisted of a cabin of two rooms, scantily furnished. Hiram Bodley had been a hunter and guide, but of late years rheumatism had kept him from doing work and Joe was largely the support of the pair,—taking out pleasure parties for pay whenever he could, and fishing and hunting in the between times, and using or selling what was gained thereby. There was a good deal of a mystery surrounding Joe's parentage. It was claimed that he was a nephew of Hiram Bodley, and that, after the death of his mother and sisters, his father had drifted out to California and then to Australia. What the real truth concerning him was we shall learn later. Joe was a boy of twelve, but constant life in the open air had made him tall and strong and he looked to be several years older....
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