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One Boy's Hobby

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"That boy, Tim, wlll nover amount to mithin," said farmer .Williams in au oracular manner, as die swallowei a hugo mouthful of oorn-bread. "He hain't got 110 etability, nohow. Don't seeni to take any interest in farm matters at all;" and a mighty frowii clouded the brow of the honest man. "Well, Kbmi," eald lus vrtfe in lier gentlest way, "I'm sure Tim's a good boy. He'ö allu.s wlllin' and does everything lie's told to, and I'm Kure no one in Hillsborough can s,i he's ever in miscliief." "Yes. yes," responded Eben Williams hastüy, passing' hi.s cup for a second installment of coffee. "I kuow all that, but the boy liain't got any push. Be does what lie's told to well unough, but he don't take feufficiont interest to suit me. Uc'll never anake a real farmer in the wlde Avorld. All he koers about is them miserable stones. He'd walk twentj' mile any day if eome one would only show hiin a new one. I declare, lie's got cnough. specimens now up In the garret to mecadamize the tounty turnpike." "But, Ebe.n," replied his -nit'e ■t.hat'e the boy 'e hobby; and it does aot do liiui or ,any one else the least harin." "Yes, it does, too," was the retort Oí the practical man, "it keeps his nünd from more important mattere. I dcm't mind liobbies myself, if there's anything to be made out of 'em. But a li-obby like his'n 'ill briag him to the poor-house. Mark my words 1" and Avith this dolehil prophecy, Eben Williams, havlng finished his dimicr, pushed his plate from him, and, givlng hl8 chnir a Midden and emphatic twist, lic slid out of it, and then, striding across the room and ont of the open iloor, hc disappeared froan view, tliough the nodse oí the anower a few momeaits later intimated that lic was making bavoc in the adjacent field. Meanwhite the subject oí this sketch had rcturned irom an errand to town, and, after a hurried visit to the garret, aiow made his appearance. Tim was about fourteeai, and would iiot have been considered liandsome by the least critical. But he liad an barneet face- one that is often ealled "good" ior want of a better termand there was an air of intelligence about him eomewhat beyond his years. i "What made you so late, Tim ?" inquired his mother as she helped him to Bomc dinuer. ' "I stopped at the Bolton place a little wliile," auewered Tini. "I {ound a new foesil fish there that I nevar saw before," and the boy 's eye glistened as he spoke. "Tini, I heard your say the otber day that you were gettin' too maiiy stones in the garret, and he'd have to put in extra -timbers to keep 'em froni comin' through the floor 6ome nlght." Tim lookod up ut Jils mother in tsucli a dumbfouuded, halí-incredulous way that the good ivoman liad to turn into the kitchen to hide a quiet laugh. The collectioiii'S of curious stoues was Tim AVilliams' hobby. True he was a greai reader, but ecouring tlie oountry íor "spee'mens,' 'as his íather called thein, ivas lus great pasuioii. His mother claimed that he iirst Khowed aigns oí the disease when lie was eight years oí age, and surely his inifirmity liad growu wlth his grorwfcb.. When lic was twelve years oíd, he had purchased au elementary vork ooa geology, with the hard-earned penóles that representad many a quart ai blackberries. This was soon committed aliuost entire, and, as the mind "growB ou what it feedis on," thi boy was soon at his wits end to secure BOmething oí a more advanced eliaracter. Hawever, ly acting as a guida to the trout strcams in the viclnlty, and doing odd jobs, clüeïly for Mr. Pletchèr, the village minister, he managed during the uext two years to become the proud ownér oí severa! other workB on his favofite cience, all of which lie devoured with the ardor oí youthful eaithusiasm. Upon the sanie oL the day on which our story opeáis, aíter tlie evening ineal was over, ïirn took his hat írom a ieg and, putting a book under his arm, (juietly left tlie house. 'Sing'lar Avliat a likin' Parara Fletcher hae for our ,Tim," observed the liead oí the house as the door clbsed belnnd hls son. "Yes, aiid moi'e'n that," spoke up Ben, Tini's eider brother, wha was eseventeen' and thought himself a man, "he told Judge Salter the other day. Tim was the most pro'mising boy in the county." "One thing is tlear enomgh," said Mrs. Williams, "he thiaka well ol lüm, he would not give hlm ui hour of his time every week, and oíteoier twiee a week, so that he could hear his leseóme; and that, too, when he dou'l espect a thing in return. "If it was any practical use," said his iather doiibtfully, "I'm sure I'd be pleased enough." "Just hold on, pa," eried Bon, with the íreedom oí young America. "There"s a good deal in Tim, and i hem Ktojics of his'ii may be a gold ■mine lor all you know." His iuthor gave au incredulous laugh, and the matter 'was then rlroppcd. It was truc tluit good Mr. FlctchH1 had for a year past been giving almost two hours a week íol1 the caufie oi Tiin's adtancement. Tlie boy luid lang sincs; finished the distriet school and, as he evinced such zeal for improvcnient, the clergyman had di'termined to help him. He and Tim were famooia iriends, and the boy lOTed him witli all the si on oí a young aiul lovin.s nature. That evening aíter the lessom was over and the two were engaged in a frï.ivmlly chat, Mr. Fletcher suddenlj sald: "Tim, you kno-w I have never Beei your entire coilection. I am eoming over to the farm to-morrow and you musí show everything." Tim bluBtted mil eald rather tlmiiü.v. "I am afraid you will aot se very mueli, Mr. Fletehor; ynu have sseii so ma.ny largo onas." Accordiagly, ou tlie following day, Mr. Fletcher called. Tim was in the hayíield at work wlien word was brousht that his frieml was in the house. Tim left his task and went straight to the frenit poroh, where he iound Mr. Fletcher coaiversing with hls mothor. Ait-er ehatting with the ïamily lor aboui: lialf an hour, the clergyman remlnded his 'pupil of his desire to sec his colleoti(Hi. Tim assented, and soon Mr. Fletclier was insiectiiig the treafeures oí Ulo old-iashioned gaaret, He remained a long time, evidently deeply int.ero.sU-d, and on leaving the house he looked very thoughtful. i A little over two weeks alter Mr. Fletchor's cali, Tim was one iirtn engaged in the decidedlj "practical" occnpatian oí splitting wond on the püc back of the house when liis mot her appeared at the Uitdien door and calted to htm. She aeemed more ïlurricd than usual, and said, as her on crossed the threwhold: "Tim, yoa'd better slick up your hair a bit and v.asii your hands. Mr. FLetóher's in the parlor with a strange gentteman, and they want to eee you. I wonder what it can be ?" Tiic boy acted upóai his mothers idvk'.e and a few moments later appcarcl in the parlor. "Tim." said Mr. Fleteher, "this is a oíd college claesmate of mine, aow a professor in Yale himself. ' He has been promising to spend a week or two with me íor a long time, prof. Carean, Tim." Tim was ratlier shy at firsfc, oí tlie tall man with gold spectacles and distinguished air. But the professor soon put hiin comparatively at his ease. and the tlvree were presentv talking on different mattere. Sudd.'niy, Mr. Fletcher said, "I have brought the professor over to sec yonir oollection, Tim. He is interested in such matters." i Before long tliey were in the garot and the collection was being horouRhly over-hauled. The profesor seemed very mucli pleased and isked Tim many quostions. As Tim nswered his interrogations, he uently noddcd anü aiioom nis ueu approvingly. Tlm had almost susected befare, but now lie feit cerain, that hè was addrcssins the emiïnent geologist of whom he had so aften read. Alter a careful inBpccoa of the oUection, the professor a.nd Mr. rietclwr -talked bpgether a few nioïents in a corner of the room, while 'im rearranged sorae of the specinejia that had been disturbed dnriü; the examination. Ou the way down utairs Mr. Fletchr said, "ïim, my boy, I wish you vould hunt up your father. I want to eee him before I leave." Tira conducted his guests to the arlor, whore Mrs. Williams enter.ained thetn while he went alter his tlici1. Mr. AVilliams was soon ounil mul Btarted lor tlie house, and lm. thinking that most likely h -is no langer needed, reeumed his btaek apon the "Wood ipile. The visare rriiiaiiifd a long time, H seeïn1 to Tim, as ilie warked away at his lek. Finally hia mother appeared t the kitchen door 'and called to iin. As Tim entered the room. Bhe aught Mm by the shoulder and kissd him as only .a mother can. Tita ooked np and Baw itears in her eyes. liough she seemed berth proud and leased about something. Tim led the way imtp the parlor, ■here lie found his father and the lettere talking earneatly. Bben "VN'illiams had a peculiar look that apeared very odd to his son, and he ooked at the boy in euch a respectui, wondering marnier, that poor Tim feit strangely uncomfortable. "Tim," spoke up Ir. Fleteher, bi-eaking the silence Which had folowed the boy's enterance, "would you like to go to college and study your liead full of geology and other subjects ?" Tim looked at him In ;i bewildered way and then sald, "Ever bo much Isir, if I only had the chance. But I liever expected to be able." '■"Yell, Tim," ci'ied Mr. Fletcher in a triumphant, kiudly tone, "yoxi are going, eure enough. You can be fúlly ]ripaif(l in a little over a eár tram now. I presume that you woald be wllllng to scll your eollection f ar t lic sake of going to college? Would yon not, Tim ?" 'Yes. air, II I could get an.v thiiii; ïoi' it. lïut I aiever thought it liad niuch mooiey value." "Professor Careon is willing to feive $.".00 ÍOT it," eaid Mr. L'leteher, "svitli a pleaead smile, "and that will ie Bomethliug totvard the payment oí1 your expenses." Five lnmdred dollars ! ' Tim canght lus breath. His p-oor collectioii worth all that money '.' It eeemed incredible. The boy ivas too astonished to peaJk. "It is all gettled, Hm," coiitinued Mr. Pletcíier. "Yon are to be pre►ared in New Haven for the scientiic departrnent of Tale, and you are o go there in September. Your iathgoing to lielp you, and I'rofesor Carson is sure he can set sorne mployment for you during the sumner months." It -vas all so suddcn that the poor loy could not keoii back his tears. "Hooray!" shouted Ben that eveií Ing, when he heard the great naws. "Didu't I teil you ?" There was nathing selfish about Ben, and he was as pleased as Tim himself. ■ Little more remaina to le told. Tim's collcction was purchased and the proct-ods depositod to nis credit. In September he went to New Haven to begin his year of prepara tion. After he had entered collega his course was a complete triuinph and the souroe of the greatest satislaction to his Iriends. Professor Carson waa instrumental in obtaining him employment connected wlth the college, so that iii'. "Williams had comparativly little noney to advancc. After his ation he wae in the far weet for a lime, in the cmploy of the government. He published a number oí eesays relaüng to liis speciality, and shortly aiter his return home he received an oifer írom a prominent irm in New York, dealing in minoráis and precious stones, to enter ino tlieir service. The salary was arg eand there was plenty oí leisure ot independent research. Tim accepted the proposition and moved to iew York. Severa! years liave passed sinee theax. Tim is maxried and is a man oí note. His name is frequently found appemded to articles in the leading ourlulf. His income is ampie, and t is throngh him that the old farm has been greatly improved and enarged to almost twice it-s ïormer Biie. Jvery fcummer Tim and his family peiiil some time at the farm, while uring the winter the Hillslorough people visit the city. Ben is maxried, XK, and never geta tired of reminding is father of "them miserable stones" rul their results. Eben Williams akes the chaifing good naturedly, for he workl goos very easy with him ince his boy, Tim, has become famous.


Old News
Ann Arbor Courier