Author: Harriet S. Caswell
Release Date: May 8, 2005 [eBook #15799]
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***Start of the project gutenberg EBOOK Walter Harland***
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Or, Memories of the Past
H. S. CASWELL
Author of Clara Boscom; Earnest Harwood, etc.
Left entirely alone on a quiet afternoon, the unbroken stillness which surrounded me, as well as the soft haze which floats upon the atmosphere, in that most delightful of all seasons, the glorious “Indian Summer” of Eastern Canada, caused my thoughts to wander far away into the dreamy regions of the past, and many scenes long past, and almost forgotten, passed in review before my mind’s eye on that quiet afternoon. While thus musing the idea occurred to me that there are few individuals, however humble or obscure, whose life-history (if noted down) would prove wholly without interest to others, in the form of a book; and this thought caused me to form the idea of noting down some passages from my own life—as they were on that day recalled to my mind. Like the boy who dreamed a most remarkable dream and, when asked to relate it, “didn’t know where to begin,” so was I puzzled as to how I should make a beginning for my story. But the incidents of one particular day when I was about thirteen years old were so vividly brought back to my mind, that I have decided upon that day as a starting-point; and now to my story.
“Where alive has that lazy, good-for-nothing boy taken, himself off to now, I wonder, and the weeds I left him to pull in the garden not half done yet; but it’s just like him, as soon’s my back’s turned to skulk off in this way. I’ll put a stop to this work one of these days, see if I don’t. Its likely he’s hiding in some out-of-the-way corner with a book in his hand as usual.” These and many other angry words came harshly to my ears, on that June afternoon now so long ago. I was seated in the small room over the kitchen which was appropriated to my use in the dwelling of Farmer Judson, where I was employed as “chore boy,” or, in other words, the boy of all work.
“Walter, Walter Harland, come down here this minute, I say.”