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My Uncle's Will

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" Xo need of you leurning a trade," said ïny father. "Stick to yonr books lila; a Briton, and who knows but that you ni'iy yet do without any trade at all ? A life at the bcnch is a poor affair at tli bist; nothing but work day in and day out, and what do you get for it in the end 't1 A crust of bread, a Law ïftge on your back, and a uarrow box to wind up with." ïLy father's words disconcerted me. M';istliis trun of u life at the bench ? Was tliis all of a working man's life 't Did neithi r independence nor the glory of excelling offer any rc:w:trd to tho poor huuinn machine? Although I was nearly eighteon, I am afraid that the toars stood in my eyes, as I replied with an cffort at buing resp iotful : " The trade will do rae no hurm, father, even nhould Uncle John see lit to lcave ine ariyfchrag vh he i " Leave you anything" cricd my motaer, indignantly. " Didu't he teil me years ago, that his will was made, and that he had left you all he pos-essed." M.noh more in the same strain said my father and mother, but I w:is not convinced. I burncd to learn a trado. A pepp into a foundry seemed to me likci a glanceinto fairyland, and tho notes of a young musiciau's first composition were never sweater to him than was the din of a boiler shop to me. Looking bací nowin my oíd age, I can see the re:ison for my great wannth, although I failed to seo it then. As usual there was a girl in the case. Katio Hall - dear littlo Katie, my school-inatc, with tho cherry lips, and sweet, modest eyes - had a father who owned a boiler shop and a large foundty, which daily seemed to sond fortli a roar of conteiupt against overy j'oung man who did not learn a trade. The foundry, in all probability, accomplished other work, butto my fevercd imagination this was its chiofoccupation. My parents were English, who had craigrated to "the land of the free and the brave " when 1 was but three years old ; consequently my educition had beon thoroughly American, and though my rich uncle had promiscd to mako me his hcir, I did uot care to waste my youth in waiting for dead mon's shoes," whioh in nine oases out of ten aro never worth the wearing. Fortunately for my purpope I was an only child, and I determined never to givR ray parents a moment's rest till I had aceomplished mjr purposo. Thcv ara dead and gone now, and I say it with bitter regret that I was not as ñlial as I might have been. " Oh, go to tho foundry if you must ! " criod my father in a rage, " and may you tri t siek oflt bofore three raonths are over. I'll' put you under that tartar, old Hall, and if you don't come whimpering hack to us in a week, my name isn't Joe Bartlett. I could lmrdly oontain my joy. To bo put under her fatTier without an effort ! Why, it was the vory thing I liad been running my head against í'or tho last year. Foarful oí' dolay, I causod my fathcr to wait upon Mr. Hall at once. The prelitninarios were arranged ■without troublo, aud I entered that gentleman' shop as an apprentice to boiler making bofore the week was out. My father was only a cabinet maker, remumber, vet my mother's pride was so deeply wounded at the baro thought of her son coming home witli i blaok face and soiled olothes that she wept bitterly. But spite of all discouragoinent I did not' go whimpering back to thom in ft your, muchloss a week, so a suspieion roso in my mind 1hat my fathor's name could not possibly bo Joe Bartlott, although every ono called him so. All was not sunsliiiu! with me, although 1 stuok to my. trade as I had never don to my books, but the trials I th-n met and overéame served to make of mo what it was tho hoightof my ambition to be - a brue man, A peep int o the foundry was still fairyland to me, but tho machine-shop was a little noisy at timos, and the talk of a few rough fellows rathor grating : but I tried hard to koep uiy integrity tree l'rom the grime about me, whieh is a harder thing to do, covered with dirt from morning ti) night, than your nice, clean geutlefolk may tliink. Mr. Hall began to notioe me - it is use less to say I did not s.' it, lor I did - anc ono day he proposed t!:it. 1 flhould t-ik off my dirty clothes and go into the oöic :is :i piTinantncy. Now this was a great teruptation, fo whenevor Kntie carne to tho works, sh of course, came only to lur fatbor's offict nul if I was there she might seo that lier old sohoolmate was a - in short a vory amiable young man. I hesitatml, and Mr. Hallsaid : ."It will be a more socmly oooupution for you, as I nnderstand tlmt you will one ' day f all lieir to a largo English property. 'f hat allusion dpoided me. " I carne hero to learn a trado, sir," I said respectfully, " and not to bo a clerk. As regards my fortune, this is all I look to !" holding out my grimy bands. To my astonishmcnt, Mr. Hall slapped me on the back so hoartily that lie nearly knoeked the brcath out of me, as he ropliod : "That's the talk, young fellow ! I startod in lifo with thu saine resolutLon mysclf. and I'll not forget you." I knew he would keep his word, for n, master cannot forget his best man, and this I strovo to be. Vhatevor I undertook I oxertod all my powors upon, and it' my follow workmen wore at tunes a little jealous thoy could not help at least respecting my opon conduot. I was barely out of my time whon I was niado foreman over the wholo works, and had occasion to be frequently at Mr. Hall's house. Itwas then that I bogan to experie&Ce the reward of my indet'atigable labor, for thero I constantly met my little Kíitio with the sweet and modest eyes. Wo unclorstood ono another beforo long, though I nm uure I don't know how ; wo suldoni spoko inoro than the most cornmoiiplnce words, but thon Katie had wonderf'ul oyes. It was just, in the midst of this pleasant time that my f.ither receivod a mourning letter from Kngland, aiinounciiip; the sud den death of my unole, and stating that he had left mo twenty pounds ; the romainder of his property falliug to his widow and inf-vnt hoir, he having socretly married his housokeeper some eighteen months proviously. ZIy fatlior swore - uiy mothur wept, and I, trying to look deeply concornod, gloriod in my trade. A lawyer's letter was dospatohed to the wretched widow, and dark hints thrown out, but it was no use ; the woman had boon lawfully married to my unole, and her infant son was his heir. My fathor spcnt the twenty pounds on lawyers. When ray darkencd prospects became known to Mr. Hali, ho suddenly out oif my opportunities for going to his house. Ah, the boiler shop was very, very noisy just thon. But I contrived a meeting with Katie one day when old Mr. and Mrs. Hall had gone in the country ; when I told her my love, and vowed to accomplish unheard of feate in tho way of obtaining richos, that I might gnin her from her hard father, while tliu dear child proruised to wait formo forovor. Herparents, justliko contrary people, camo home long before they were wanted nd found us talking together. Mr.-.. Hall took away lier daughter, and h. Hall took me to task, accusing me f loving little Katie, just as though an}' oung man in his senses could help dong thut. ITnlike most crimináis when clmrgnd, jiliüid guilty, and gently reminded trim bat ho had startod in lit'u as poor as I was. The rcsult of this interview was that vatio and I were forbidden, under dire niiits, to hold any communication with ach othcr. I went to my work, and what betwern ïy cfïorts to do itlv uhok duty sorenoly lid in y sore heart, the days dragged ïeavily enough. Although ï did not know it then, nor .ill long afterwirds, my little Katio rooped liko a nioek ilowor, and was at ast Uid on a bid of sioknesa ;'but her larents still held out, and only sent for te when they thought her dying. Thank God I was enabled to carry some f tho same energy that caused mo to excl in my trade to that sick bed ! Katie got botter, and we were married, rith soinothing of a grudging consent 'rum the old folks, who, like so many othrs, have outlived tho Bwoet experionces f tlieir youth. I did not get rich by magie, but by :eady adherenoe to my business, and now hat Í urn old, I can wcll aiïord to let some no else be my unclo's heir. E. Wenbohx.


Old News
Michigan Argus