“My Darling mother:— Please don’t worry about me, I’m bound to come through all right, and if anything happens to me, I promise that I will write to you immediately and let you know. I have the ten dollars which I have saved, and if I don’t get work at once I will write to you for some more. Now, I am not doing this thing for the sake of adventure, but because I am sure it is the best thing for me, and I don’t want you to worry at all. I shall write to you often and let you know just what I’m doing, so don’t worry, but be a brave mother. I’m not going off this way as a sneak, but because I want to avoid a ‘scene.’
And at three o’clock the next morning Archie Dunn got out of bed, shouldered his bundle, and started off for the great city, which seemed to be drawing him like a magnet.
WORKING ON A FARM TO EARN SOME MONEY— CRUEL TREATMENT.
When daylight came, Archie was far out of the town walking quickly along the southern road. He figured that he had walked nearly six miles in the two hours since he had let himself out of the back door at home, and, as he looked ahead, he planned that he would walk at least thirty miles every day. Of course, he had never done much walking before, or he would have known better than to have expected to accomplish so much in twelve hours, but he felt fresh and full of strength this morning, and nothing seemed too hard to accomplish. As yet he had not regretted his departure from home. The excitement of it all, and the adventurous side of his exploit, had kept him interested, and made him feel that he was a real hero. But he was not so foolish as to imagine that there would not be times when he would regret having set out for New York. He was too old and too sensible for his age to allow his ambition to run away with him entirely, and he fully expected to meet with many great discouragements. “But I’m sure of one thing,” he said to himself, as he walked along, “I never will return home until I have something to show for the trip. I won’t have the club boys and the neighbours saying that Archie Dunn had to come home discouraged. If I return without accomplishing anything, I will be held up to the whole town as a boy who made a fool of himself by not taking his friends’ advice, and I never will be made an example of if I can help it.” And Archie walked faster as he thought of the possibility of failure.
When seven o’clock came he was passing through the county-seat, but though there were many interesting things to look at in the town, Archie determined not to stop. He was afraid he might meet some one he knew, who would be sure to ask him where he was going with his bundle, and what he was doing out so early. And anyhow he was very hungry, and decided to get out of the town and to the farmhouses as soon as possible. “I can work for my meal at a farmhouse,” he said to himself, “but in the town they’ll take me for a regular tramp.”