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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 262 pages of information about The Path of Duty, and Other Stories.
the night?” “It will be midnight at the least, perhaps later,” replied he.  This news was not very cheering to the weary travellers who filled the coach; and I almost regretted having asked the question.  The roughness of the roads, together with the crowded state of the vehicle, made it impossible for any one to sleep, and it became an important question how we should pass away the tedious hours.  A proposition was at length made, that some one of the passengers should relate a story for the entertainment of the others.  This proposal met with the hearty approval of all, as a means of making our toilsome journey seem shorter; and the question of who should relate the story was very soon agitated.  There was among the passengers one old gentleman of a very pleasant and venerable appearance, and judging from his countenance that he possessed intelligence, as well as experience, we respectfully invited him to relate a story for our entertainment.  “I am not at all skilled in story-telling,” replied the old gentleman, “but, as a means of passing away the tedious hours of the uncomfortable ride, I will relate some circumstances which took place many years since, and which also have connection with my present journey, although the narrative may not possess much interest for uninterested strangers.”  We all placed ourselves in a listening attitude, and the old man began as follows:  “I was born in the town of Littleton in this State, and when a boy, I had one school-mate, whom I could have loved no better had he been a brother.  His name was Arthur Sinclair.  And the affectionate intimacy which existed between us for many years is yet to me a green spot in the waste of memory.  I was about twelve years of age when Arthur’s parents came to reside in Littleton.  That now large and thriving village then contained but a few houses, and when the Sinclairs became our neighbours, we soon formed a very pleasing acquaintance.  I was an only child, and had never been much given to making companions of the neighbouring boys of my own age; but from the first I felt strongly attracted toward Arthur Sinclair.  He was two years younger than myself.  At the time when I first met him he was the most perfect specimen of childish beauty I ever saw, and added to this he possessed a most winning and affectionate disposition, and in a short time we became almost inseparable companions.  My nature was distant and reserved, but if once I made a friend, my affection for him was deep and abiding.  We occupied the same desk in the village school, and often conned our daily lessons from the same book, and out of school hours, shared the same sports; and I remember once hearing our teacher laughingly remark to my parents, that he believed, should he find it necessary to correct one of us, the other would beg to share the punishment.  Notwithstanding the strong friendship between us, our dispositions were very unlike.  From a child I was prone to fits of depression, while Arthur on the other hand possessed
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