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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 125 pages of information about The Young Explorer.

“But you said yourself it was a good deal of money for a boy, Uncle Job.”

“So it is, but it’s all you’ve got.  Most boys have fathers to take care of ’em, while you’re alone in the world.”

“Yes I am alone in the world,” said Ben sadly, his cheerful face clouding over.

“But you’ve got an uncle, lad,” continued Job Stanton, laying his hand gently on the boy’s shoulder.  “He’s a poor man, but as much as in him lies, he’ll be your friend and helper.”

“I know it, Uncle Job.  You’ve always been kind to me.”

“And allus will be, Ben.  Now, Ben, I’ve got a plan for you.  I don’t know what you’ll think of it, but it’s the best I’ve been able to think of.”

“What is it, Uncle Job?”

“Ef you’ll stay with me and help me in the shop, I’ll give you a home, such as it is, and fifty dollars a year toward your clothes.  Your Aunt Hannah and your Cousin Jane want you to make your home with us.”

“I’m very much obliged to you, Uncle Job,” said Ben slowly.

“You needn’t be, boy.  It’s a sort of mutooal arrangement.  It’ll be as good for me as for you.  You can put your money in the bank, and let it stay till you’re twenty-one.  Why, it’ll be nigh on to five hunderd dollars by that time.”

“I’m much obliged to you, Uncle Job, as I said before, but there’s one thing in the way.”

“What’s that, Ben?”

“I don’t like shoemaking.”

“Perhaps it isn’t genteel enough for you, Ben,” said his uncle.

“I don’t care for that, Uncle Job, but I don’t like being shut up in a shop.  Besides, it doesn’t give steady work.  Last year you were without work at least a third of the time.”

“So I was, Ben,” said Job.  “I’m willin’ to own that’s a great drawback.”

“And it isn’t likely to be any better hereafter.  Last year was as good as the average.”

“It was better,” Job admitted.  “The year before I was out of work five months.”

“Well, Uncle Job, I want to work at something that’ll give me employment all the year round.”

“So do I, Ben, but I don’t see what you can find, unless you go to work on a farm.  You’re used to that, and I guess you could find a chance before long.  There’s Deacon Pitkin wants a boy, and would be glad of the chance of gettin’ you.”

“I suppose he would,” said Ben, laughing.  “Would you advise me to go there?”

“Well, there might be some objections, but-”

“You know I wouldn’t get enough to eat, Uncle Job,” interrupted Ben.  “Why, Deacon Pitkin’s the meanest man in the village.”

“You mustn’t be hasty in your judgments, nephew.”

“I’m not.  I know what I’m talking about.  I worked for the deacon two days once.  He gave me ten cents a day and board-and such board!  Why, I got up from the table hungry every meal, and yet the deacon reported afterward that I was a great eater.  Mrs. Pitkin cuts a small pie into eight pieces, each about two mouthfuls, and when I asked for a second piece, she asked if I was allowed to have two pieces at home.”

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