There is ever a feeling of sadness connected with the closing of school. Owing to the excellence of the institution, there were pupils attending Fulton Academy from many distant places. But with the coming of the holidays this youthful band, who had daily assembled at the pleasant old Academy would be scattered far and wide. Probably never all to meet again on earth. Many of the youths who had studied a sufficient time to obtain a business education were the coming autumn to go forth to make their own way in the world. The only intimate friend I had made among these was a youth whose home was two hundred miles distant from Fulton; his name was Robert Dalton, and he had studied at Fulton Academy for the past three years, and, having obtained an education which fitted him for the business he intended to follow, he expected to return to Fulton no more. His father was a merchant in one of the cities of the Upper Province, and in the fall Robert was to enter the store, in order to obtain a practical knowledge of business, as his tastes also led him to mercantile pursuits. When I entered the school, a stranger to all, Robert Dalton was the first youth who bestowed kind attentions upon me, and we soon became firm friends; together we studied and mutually assisted each other, and always shared in the same sports and recreations. I could not help sometimes thinking it was well that Charley Gray was attending another institution, for I felt certain (were he there) that the friendship existing between myself and Robert would irritate his fiery and jealous nature beyond measure. Poor Charley, it was a pity that he possessed that unhappy temper; for there was much suffering in store for himself and others arising from this source. Much had he yet to endure before that jealous, exclusive spirit would be brought under subjection. During the summer evenings a ramble to “Beechwood” had been a favourite recreation with Robert and I, and thither we took our way the last evening we expected to spend together at Fulton. We lingered long there that evening, and, seated upon a mossy rock beneath the shade of those old trees, we talked of our coming separation, as well us of our individual plans for the future, till the gathering darkness hastened our departure. The next morning we parted, each to meet the friends who were looking for us with the anxious eyes of love.
I knew not how much I had learned to love my kind relatives till the time drew nigh when I was to bid them adieu for a season. The day before I was to start for home, Aunt Lucinda made a most unexpected announcement, which was no less than she had made up her mind to accompany me to Elmwood. She had never before visited my mother since her marriage, and she thought she might not again have so good an opportunity of visiting the sister whom she had not seen for so many years. My aunt and I were by this time the best of friends, and I was pleased when she declared her intention to accompany me to my home.