Walter Harland eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 175 pages of information about Walter Harland.
face,” sometimes varied by “old vinegar Judson.”  Like all village boys, they were inclined on holidays and Saturday afternoons to roam away to the neighbouring farms.  Mr. Judson always drove them from his premises the moment they set foot hereon, and in a short time he learned that, as the saying is, there was no love lost between them.  He one day gave one of these boys a smart blow with his horse-whip the boy had ventured into the hayfield among the laborers.  The blow of course caused him to take to his heels, but from that time the whole band were in league against the farmer.  If he left a horse tied in the village, he would sometimes find him shorn of his mane, and often a hopeless rent in his buffalo; and, as far as he could find out, the deed was done by “nobody at all.”  As he was driving leisurely homeward on a very dark night he suddenly came upon a number of boys near the end of the village street, and one of the boys called out loud enough for him to hear, “there goes old vinegar Judson;” another emboldened by his companion, next addressed him with the question; “What’s the market price of vinegar, old man? you ought to know if any one does, for you must drink a lot of it or you wouldn’t be so cross and ugly.”  It was a very dark night, and the farmer was unable to distinguish one from the other, and horse-whip in hand he made a rush among the whole crowd, who dispersed in all directions.  He was not agile enough to overtake a fast retreating army in the dark, and was forced to abandon the pursuit.  As he turned to pursue his journey homeward, a voice from out of the darkness, again addressed him, saying, “don’t you only wish you could catch us, old vinegar man?” Knowing that further pursuit would be useless, he proceeded on his way, uttering threats of future vengeance.  He did spend a portion of the following day in trying to find out the boys who had insulted him; but all his efforts to that end were without success.  A gentleman to whom he complained ventured to remark:  “I fear, Mr. Judson, that in a great measure you have yourself to blame for all this, for you ever treat the boys with unkindness; and, without reason and experience to guide them, can you wonder that they render evil for evil.  If you exercised more of the spirit of kindness in your casual intercourse with the boys, I think it would be better for both you and them.”  This advice was very good, but it is to be feared that the farmer profited but little by it.  Through fear of her stern husband Mrs. Judson finally ceased to mention attending church; but often on a Sunday afternoon, when he was either asleep or walking over his farm, she would seat herself in a quiet corner of the large kitchen and read her Bible, and perhaps sing a hymn to some of the old-fashioned plaintive airs, which formed a large portion of the Church Music in her youthful days.  I remember when I lived at the Farmer’s, I used often to think it no wonder that Mrs. Judson almost always sung her Sunday
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Walter Harland from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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