“You’re no more than a thief, Wes Boone; your father stole all he’s got. Some day I’ll make him give it back, or send him to jail, where he ought to be now.”
Schoolboy though the railer was, Boone staggered against the hedge, the words brought a dreadful flush and then a livid pallor to the miserable parent’s cheek. He dared not trust himself to speak then. Nor was the antipathy the outbreak caused mitigated by the savage thrashing that Wesley, throwing aside his dignity, proceeded to administer to the unbridled accuser. After that, by the father’s sternest command, neither of his children was to return the courteous salutation the Perley ladies had never ceased to bestow in meeting the Boones walking or in company. Now, Dick was the kind of boy that those who know boy nature would call adorable. To the Philistine, without humor or sympathy, I’m afraid he was a very bad boy. He was until late in his teens painfully shy with grown people and strangers; even under the eyes of his aunts and with youths of his own age, diffident to awkwardness. He had the face of a well-fed cherub and the gentle, dreamy, and wistful eye of a girl in love. With his elders he had the halting, confused speech of a new boy in a big school. But in the woods or on the playground he was the merriest, most daring, and winningly obstreperous lad that ever filled three maiden aunts with terror and delight.
A NAPOLEONIC EPIGRAM.