As time passed on, I became accustomed to the duties of my position, and performed them much more easily than at the first. The feeling of diffidence with which I entered Mr. Baynard’s family soon wore-away, by the kindness extended toward me by every member of the family. I spent no money needlessly, being anxious to lay by as much as possible. I wrote often to my friends at Elmwood as well as to Charley Gray, and received long letters in return which afforded me much pleasure. My mother’s letters often enclosed one also from my sister, which gave me many choice scraps of news concerning my old school-companions, and many trifling matters which doubtless possessed more interest for me than they would have done for any one else. I presume Charley felt our separation more keenly than I, our natures were so unlike.
Hurrying along Great St. James Street one afternoon with a heavy package of goods under my arm, I struck against a youth, who was walking in the opposite direction, with such seeming rudeness that I paused to apologize, and when I raised my eyes found myself standing with my old friend and companion at Fulton Academy, Robert Dalton. Our meeting was not more unexpected than joyful: he had been in Montreal for the past six months, but had failed to inform me, indeed Robert was not a good correspondent, it was no lack of friendship but for some reason or other, writing letters was always a task to him. Meeting unexpectedly as we did our former intimacy was soon renewed. He was employed in a large druggist’s shop in Notre Dame Street, and boarded with another clerk whose home was in the city, and we were much together when released from the business of the day. Learning from Robert’s employer that he was a young man of good principles, Mr. Baynard did not object to our intimacy, indeed he looked upon him as a kind of safe-guard to me, owing to his being three years my senior and possessing more experience and knowledge of the world; and from what he had learned of the young man, he was aware if he exercised any influence over me it would be for good; and many pleasant evenings we passed together in Mr. Baynard’s family; Robert was fond of music, and was considered a good singer and often his rich voice mingled with the notes of the piano in Mr. Baynard’s parlor. Since then, in looking back to that time, I have often thought if business men, who often have young men in their employ whose homes are far distant, would be at a little pains to afford them social pleasures of an elevating nature, it might have a decided effect for good upon their characters, in after life.