I was glad to find myself again at home; much as I might love another place, Elmwood was my home. My favorite tree in the garden looked doubly beautiful, clothed as it was with deep green, while the foliage had long since been stripped from those surrounding it by the frosts and winds of November.
About two weeks after my return home, Dr. Gray called one evening, and informed my mother that he had that day received a letter from an old friend of his, who was a merchant doing an extensive business in the city of Montreal, requesting him, if possible, to find him a good trusty boy, whom he wished to give a situation in his store. “Mr. Baynard prefers a boy from the country,” said the Doctor, “as he has had some rather unpleasant experiences with city boys; and it occurred to me that you might be willing your son should give the place a trial. I wish not to influence you too much: but I know Mr. Baynard well; and if I wished a situation for my own son I know of no place which would please me better.” “Did my circumstances allow of it,” said my mother, “I would gladly keep my boy at home, but, as it is necessary for him to seek employment, perhaps no better situation will offer, and as you, in whose opinion I have much confidence, speak so highly of Mr. Baynard, if Walter is willing we will at once accept of the offer, and you may write to your friend, accepting the situation for my son.” Of course I had no objection to offer, and the Doctor wrote, informing Mr. Baynard that I would be there in two weeks time.
The time passed quickly away, and I again left home. The Doctor had written to my employer informing him on what day he might expect my arrival. The train reached the city about two o’clock in the afternoon, and, stepping from the car I became one among the crowd upon the platform. During the journey I had many times wondered to myself whether Mr. Baynard would meet me himself or send some one else. I supposed he would send one of his clerks. Dr. Gray had arranged that I was to board in Mr. Baynard’s family, as my mother objected to my going to a public boarding-house, and in this, as in all cases the good Doctor was our friend; old as I am now I cannot recall Dr. Gray’s many acts of kindness to me when a boy without a feeling of the deepest gratitude.