“I attended school but little. My mother wished me to have a good education, but my father said if I could ‘figure’ well it was enough. I was taken from school and put in a store,—a place which I abhorred. I was put there to sell tape, and pins, and thread, and yarn; and I was kept behind the counter from early morn until late at night.
“I had one brother, but his mind was nothing like mine. He partook of my father’s nature. We seldom agreed upon any matter, and I always chose to be alone rather than with him. I do not think I was wrong in this, for our minds were of different casts. Neither of us made our minds or our dispositions. There was, therefore, no blame upon any one, if, on account of the difference in our mental organizations, our affinities led us apart. It was a perfectly natural result of a natural cause.
“I will not weary you with more detail of my life to-night; but to-morrow, if you have any interest in what I have begun to tell you, I will tell you more.”
I had noticed that he began to be exhausted with his effort, and was about to propose that a future time be allotted to what more he chose to relate.
I assured him of an increased interest in him, and suggested removing him to a good boarding-house. He at first declined, but upon further urging he accepted, and, having seen that all his wants were for that night attended to, we left; with the understanding that a carriage should convey him to more commodious quarters on the morrow, if the weather permitted.
I had no fears of my companion as we rode up the wharf and drove through the streets, the storm beating down furiously around us. I reached my home, and Mr. Jenks thanked me for my kindness in blindly following him, and I in return thanked him for the pleasant adventure to which he had introduced me.
The next morning the weather was clear and the air invigorating, as is often the case after a severe storm. With my neighbor Jenks I procured a good home for the wanderer, and in a short time he was located in it.
I was soon seated by his side, and he continued his narrative.
“I told you last evening of my parents, and of my entrance upon business life. About that time a great sorrow visited me. My mother was taken sick, rapidly declined, and in a fortnight left this state of existence. Beyond this world it seemed all dark to me then; but now it is brighter there than here, and there is no uncertainty in my mind respecting that coming state.
“I have not told you she died. She did not die. There is no such word as death in my vocabulary. She did not sleep even. She passed from a crumbling, falling building into an enduring and beautiful temple, not made with hands. But to me, then, as I have told you, it was all dark; and it was not a wonder that I was sad, and that it was indeed a heavy sorrow that rested on my spirit.