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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 148 pages of information about Walter Harland.
hymn to the air of “Complaint,” and read more frequently in the book of Job and the Lamentations of Jeremiah than any other portion of the Bible.  The poor lonely woman seemed to feel a mother’s tenderness for me, which manifested itself in many little acts of kindness, when unobserved by her husband, who took good care that no undue indulgence should be shown to any one under his roof.  I soon learned to regard the old lady with all the affection of which I was capable; and it was her kindness alone which rendered my position endurable.  I sought in many ways to lighten her labors, for, even in the busiest seasons, no help was allowed her to perform all the household work; and I soon found many ways of making myself useful.

CHAPTER IV.

One rainy afternoon, while busied about the house, Mrs. Judson surprised me by saying suddenly:  “I suppose you don’t know what makes me take so to you, Walter; but I’ll tell you, you remind me of my youngest boy, Reuben.”  I looked at the old lady with wonder, saying, “I did not know you had any children, Mrs. Judson.”  “True” said she, “I forgot you did not know; but no further than your mother lives from here she must remember that I once had two boys who were very dear to me, but perhaps she never told you about it.  It ill becomes me to speak of his faults, but I must say my poor boys had a hard life of it with their father.  He had no patience with them when mere children, and matters grew worse as they became older.  Do what they would, they could never please him, and he often beat them cruelly.  But one way and another they got along till Charley was sixteen and Reuben fourteen years of age.  Their father one day left them ploughing in the field while he went to the village; the ground was rough and stoney, and by some accident the ploughshare was broken.  When their father came home and found what had happened, he seized the horse-whip and gave both the boys a terrible flogging.  Neither of the boys had ever before given their father a word; but, when he stopped beating them, Charley stood up and said:  ’You have beaten us, father, a great many times and for very little cause; but this is the last time.’  That was all he said.  His father told him to shut up his mouth and go about his work.  After dinner he went back to the village, and some business detained him till late in the evening.  I remember as if it were but yesterday how my two boys looked that night when they came home to supper.  After supper they rose from the table, and Charley said:  ’Mother, we are very sorry to leave you, but we must go.  I don’t know what we have done that father should treat us so; he seems almost to hate the sight of us, and it is better that we should go before his harshness provokes us to some act of rebellion.  I am older than Reuben, and will do my best to care for him, and we will never forget you, mother; but I believe it to be for the

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