After the above conversation, I more then ever regarded the old lady with pity, and sought by every means to lighten her cheerless lot. But the kindness which his wife evinced toward me only served to render Mr. Judson more harsh and unfeeling in his treatment. I remember one day hearing him say to his wife in a tone of much displeasure, “You spoiled your own boys, and set them agin me, and now you are beginning to fuss over this lazy chap in the same way; but I’ll let you know who’s master here.” Hard as was my lot at this time, my anxiety to lighten the cares of my mother caused me to bear it with a degree of patience which I have often since wondered at. I was fearful if I left this place I could not readily obtain another, and I toiled on, never informing my mother of the trials to which I was daily subjected. For a whole year I endured the caprice and severity of Farmer Judson. I had long felt that I could not much longer endure a life, which (to me) had become almost intolerable; and on the day of the incident noticed in the opening chapter of my story, my naturally high temper rose above control, and I left Farmer Judson’s and returned to my home.
When I thus returned unexpectedly to my home my mother was at once aware, from my downcast appearance, that something was wrong, and when she questioned me I related the difficulty with Mr. Judson exactly as it took place. My mother listened attentively till I had finished, and then only said, “you are too much excited to talk of the matter at present; after a night’s rest you will be better able to talk with more calmness, so we will defer any further conversation upon the subject until to-morrow morning.”