• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Frontispiece
 Title Page
 Preface
 Table of Contents
 List of Illustrations
 Jack has his picture taken without...
 Jack learns the value of a clean...
 Jack overcomes difficulty the second...
 Old Jenny makes Jack a present,...
 Difficulty number four, a painful...
 Jack accomplishes his plan for...
 Gypsies, baskets, and willow twigs...
 A struggle with conscience, which...
 A meeting with the squire and his...
 Jack pays a visit to the hall
 Jack puts himself to school, and...
 Fresh trouble for Jack in quite...
 Better times seem coming for...
 Jack has to make an important...
 Great changes related which years...
 Gilbert Henshaw
 Bessie's whatsoevers
 Advertising
 Back Cover
 Spine






Group Title: Young people's library
Title: Jack the conqueror, or, Overcoming difficulties
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00078673/00001
 Material Information
Title: Jack the conqueror, or, Overcoming difficulties and other stories
Series Title: Young people's library
Alternate Title: Overcoming difficulties
Physical Description: 159, 1 p. : ill. ; 18 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Pacific Press Publishing Association ( Publisher )
Publisher: Pacific Press Publishing Association
Place of Publication: Mountain View Cal. ;
Kansas City Mo. ;
Calgary Alberta ;
Publication Date: 1890
 Subjects
Subject: Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Perseverance (Ethics) -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Diligence -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Success -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Children's stories -- 1890   ( lcsh )
Publishers' advertisements -- 1890   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1890
Genre: Children's stories
Publishers' advertisements   ( rbgenr )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- California -- Mountain View
United States -- Missouri -- Kansas City
Canada -- Alberta -- Calgary
United States -- Oregon -- Portland
 Notes
General Note: Publisher's advertisements follow text.
Funding: Young people's library (Mountain View)
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00078673
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002222437
notis - ALG2682
oclc - 180989983

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page i
        Page ii
    Frontispiece
        Page iii
    Title Page
        Page iv
        Page v
    Preface
        Page vi
    Table of Contents
        Page vii
        Page viii
    List of Illustrations
        Page ix
        Page x
    Jack has his picture taken without knowing it - A dragon-fly chase - First thoughts about difficulties
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
    Jack learns the value of a clean face and hands - Spends his first money on soap - Overcomes the first difficulty
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
    Jack overcomes difficulty the second - He pays without money for services done for him - Wants a shirt - Jenny Fowler turns tailor - Jack to remain in bed
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
    Old Jenny makes Jack a present, and so overcomes difficulty number three
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
    Difficulty number four, a painful one to the feet, is overcome
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
    Jack accomplishes his plan for learning to read - Begins to wish to go to school - Sees that he must overcome more difficulties
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
    Gypsies, baskets, and willow twigs come to Jack's and in dispersing his new set of difficulties - He takes possession of a mountain cave
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
    A struggle with conscience, which reminds Jack that difficulties must not be got rid of at the expense of honesty
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
    A meeting with the squire and his daughter - Another difficulty removed
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
    Jack pays a visit to the hall
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
    Jack puts himself to school, and becomes his own benefactor
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
    Fresh trouble for Jack in quite a new form
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
    Better times seem coming for Jack
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
    Jack has to make an important choice
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
    Great changes related which years have effected - Jack's subsequent history shows what may be accomplished by an "early resolve" to conquer difficulties
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
    Gilbert Henshaw
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
    Bessie's whatsoevers
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
    Advertising
        Page 160
    Back Cover
        Page 161
        Page 162
    Spine
        Spine
Full Text



















* N- *'


Jack and the Artist


i *








Jack the Conqueror

OR


Overcoming Difficulties

*


And Other Stories









PACIFIC PRESS PUBLISHING ASSOCIATION
'MOUNTAIN VIEW. CAL.


Kansas City. Mo.


Calgary, Alberta


Portland, Ore.

























entered according to Jct of Congress, in the year 1890, by
PACIFIC PRESS PUBLISHING COMPANY,
In the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D. C.
















PREFACE.



"RESOLVE well and persevere," is a motto which, from
its being that of her father's family, used constantly to meet
the eye of the writer of the following little story, from child-
hood to riper years. As a child she often pondered over its
meaning; as .a woman she has observed its influence over
the character and welfare of those who have put its principle
into practice.
The story of "Jack the Conqueror" shows how great
things even a child may effect by earnest resolve, if accom-
panied by energy and perseverance.
Some resolve well, but do not persevere at all in their
efforts to attain an object. Others persevere for a time, but
become discouraged by the many difficulties that meet them
on every side. But those who, like "Jack," are never
daunted by checks and hindrances, will generally find that
success follows perseverance.















CONTENTS.


CHAPTER I.
JACK THE CONQUEROR-
Jack has his picture taken without knowing it-A dragon-
fly chase-First thoughts about difficulties I

CHAPTER II.
Jack learns the value of a clean face and hands-Spends
his first money on soap-Overcomes the first diffi-
culty 22

CHAPTER III.
Jack overcomes difficulty the second-He pays without
money for services done for him--Wants a shirt-
Jenny Fowler turns tailor-Jack to remain in bed 31

CHAPTER IV.
Old Jenny makes Jack a present, and so overcomes diffi-
culty number three- 36
CHAPTER V.
Difficulty number four, a painful one to the feet, is over-
come 44

CHAPTER VI.
Jack accomplishes his plan for learning to read-Begins
to wish to go to school-Sees that he must over-
come more difficulties 51
(vii)







CONTENTS.


CHAPTER VII.
Gypsies, baskets, and willow twigs come to Jack's aid
in dispersing his new set of difficulties-He takes
possession of a mountain cave 60
CHAPTER VIII.
A struggle with conscience, which reminds Jack that
difficulties must not be got rid of at the expense of
honesty -75
CHAPTER IX.
A meeting with the squire and his daughter-Another
difficulty removed So
CHAPTER X.
Jack pays a visit to the hall 88
CHAPTER XI.
Jack puts himself to school, and becomes his own bene-
factor 95
CHAPTER XII.
Fresh trouble for Jack in quite a new form 99
CHAPTER XIII.
Better times seem coming for Jack 105
CHAPTER XIV.
Jack has to make an important choice 10o8
CHAPTER XV.
Great changes related which years have effected-Jack's
subsequent history shows what may be accomplished
by an "early resolve" to conquer difficulties 112



GILBERT HENSHAW 123


BESSIE's WHATSOEVER


- 149




















LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.


Jack and the Artist Frontispiece
Jack Considering his Prospects Page 13
Jack at the Stile 25
Jack in Bed Waiting for his Suit 39
Jack and the Shoemaker's Misfit 47
Jack's Present to Mrs. Naylor 53
Jack as Nurse in the Gypsies' Camp 6r
Jack in Disgrace -- 67
Jack at Work in his Mountain Cave 71
Jack's Speech to the Squire 83
Jack at the Hall 9
Jack as Tutor in a College -" 117
















OR,

DIFFICULTIES OVERCOME.



CHAPTER I.

JACK HAS IIIS PICTURE TAKEN WITHOUT KNOWING
T--A DRAGON-FLY CHASE-FIRST THOUGHTS
ABOUT DIFFICULTIES.

N a daisy-covered grass bank
near the village of Bushgrove,
Slay, one fine summer's day, as
Dirty and, poverty-stricken look-
ing a boy as could well be found
^ iV in any country place.
Poverty-stricken only, however, so
far as his clothes were concerned, for
nature seemed to take care of his limbs,
which were plump and sturdy for his ten years.
Whatever he got to eat, and probably it was little
enough, he seemed to thrive on; and as for his
keen black eyes, they rivaled in luster and beauty







JACK THE CONQUEROR;


those of the spotted thrush that was singing so mer-
rily on the ash tree just above his head; and any-
one who has observed the bird in question will
agree that this is no small praise of Master Jack's
two orbs.
He had apparently no greater object in life-
certainly not at that moment-than to lie on his
back, kick his heels high in the air, and draw some
pieces of long grass backwards and forwards be-
tween his two shining rows of teeth.
He had not the slightest idea that he was being
looked at by anyone, still less did he imagine that
he was actually, for the moment, a little body of
considerable importance in the eyes of a gentleman
not three hundred yards away.
But so it was; for an artist had chosen this spot
for his sketch, and had seated himself behind a low.
broken wall, in such a position that Jack came ex-
actly into the foreground of the drawing.
With the dexterity and swiftness of a well-prac-
ticed hand, he transferred the figure of the uncon-
scious child to his paper. Shoeless feet, ragged
jacket, tumbled hair, all were seized and prized as
those articles had assuredly never been before, and
were destined to figure in no less a sphere than
the Royal Academy in London.
A splendid dragon-fly was all this time flying
round the field, settling first on one flower then on
another, but resting on none. Well was it for the
artist that the boy was sketched before the fly



























































Jack Considering His Prospects


'"~;.~~
,~
7CI







OR, DIFFICULTIES OVERCOME.


came up buzzing, and gave a thundering rap on the
side of Jack's nose. In an instant he was on his
legs, and in pursuit of the glittering insect, which al-
ways escaped by a hair's breadth from the bit of
tattered straw, scarcely to be called a hat, which
was ever and anon flung at him. So long did
the pursuit continue that the artist had closed
his portfolio and put away his brushes before
it was over. No difficulties seemed to daunt Jack's
resolve to gain his prize. Out of one field into the
next, back again over the hedge, through the ditch,
into the center of brambles and prickly bushes,
raced the eager boy.
At last, as if weary of keeping within reach, the
dragon-fly flew high up, and settled himself con-
tentedly on a large outside leaf of the ash tree before
mentioned. Not dreaming of further pursuit, he
began to fold and smooth his wings, which -had
been once or twice discomposed by the touch of
Jack's hat.
"He has got beyond you, my lad," said the gen-
tleman. "It would be no easy matter to catch him
now."
But almost before the words were spoken, Jack's
keen glance had taken note of the branch on which
the insect was perched in fancied security,and he had
commenced climbing the tree with cat-like agility.
Then, creeping along the branch, he seized on the
large gossamer-like wings, and dropped to the
ground with his unhappy prisoner.






ID JACK THE CONQUEROR;

The gentleman stepped forward. "Do not injure
that pretty creature," he said. "I will give you a
sixpence if you will let it fly away again."
Sixpence was of more value to Jack than the
dragon-fly, so he willingly agreed to the bargain.
"What is your name, lad? asked he.
"Jack Harold," was the reply.
Haveyou no one to mend your clothes for you,
and to teach you to be clean and tidy ? Have you
no mother?"
Mother and father are dead; I've got no one
but aunt, and she don't care how I go."
"Then, if I were you, I would care myself. I
was watching you all the time you were running
after the poor dragon-fly, and I thought what a
pity it is that a lad so sharp and active should look
as you do. You are not always idle, I hope? "
I've nothing ever to do," replied Jack, disconso-
lately; "I wish I had. Aunt won't send me to
school."
"And so you cannot read or write? Well, my
lad, I was once as badly off as you; I had no par-
ents, and I was a poor boy; but I was as anxious
to get on as you were to catch the dragon-fly. I
conquered one difficulty after another, just as you
got over the hedges and brambles, and so I got on
in the world; and you will do the same if you are
as resolved to succeed as you were just now. So,
remember, never be conquered by difficulties."
The gentleman walked away. He had to leave







OR, DIFFICULTIES OVERCOME.


the village that evening, but the intelligent face of
little Jack would sometimes come to his mind as he
was giving the final touches to the picture, which
obtained honorable notice at the London exhibition
the following year. He little thought what a com-
motion those few words of his had created in the
boy's mind. Most lads would have heard them
and never have given them a second thought, but
Jack had rather a peculiar little character of his
own. He would lie on that bank often for an hour
or two together, thinking very queer thoughts for
one so young. He wanted to know so many
things that he didn't know, and had no one to tell
him. The blue sky was a perpetual enigma to him,
as to what it was made of. Whence the clouds
came from, and where they went to, occasioned
him many a wonder. He would watch a spider
spinning her web, till, as it grew larger and larger,
he became lost in astonishment as to how so tiny a
body should be able to contain such an exhaustless
supply of material.
Things which other children either did not notice,
or took as a matter of course, because they existed,
were constantly subjects of wonderment to Jack, as
he lay on the bank, of a summer's day. There
seemed to him but one way by which his insatiable
curiosity could ever be satisfied. Books, doubtless,
contained answers to the hundreds of questions he
longed to ask. If he could only read! But how
could he learn without going to school? And to
school he had not the slightest chance of going.







JACK THE CONQUEROR;


He had a very uncomfortable home. His only
relative in the world, that he knew of, was the aunt
who had grudgingly taken him when his mother
died and left him an orphan. She was an idle, slov-
enly woman, always dirty and untidy in appearance,
and her temper, naturally bad, had grown worse
and worse every year. On poor Jack it was unre-
servedly expended. She had no affection for the
boy, whom she had received only because shame
compelled her. Far better would it have been for
him had he been brought up in the parish work-
house; but this, Susan Law did not choose to allow.
She preferred seeing him in rags to having it said
that her nephew was on the parish.
Her cottage was situated by itself near some large
stone quarries, which drew together a number of
workmen, many of whom came from a distance
every morning. She earned a scanty livelihood by
warming their dinners, and taking one or two to
sleep in her house. She intended Jack to go to
work in the quarries as soon as he was old enough.
In the meantime she saw little of him except when
he came in to meals, or of an evening. There was
nothing for him to do at home; sharp words and
often equally sharp cuffs on the ear generally met
him there; so he kept away. But instead of get-
ting into mischief, as would have been the natural
consequence with most boys from such neglect,
Jack's tendency was to spend his hours in the fields,
amusing himself in various ways, or lying still and


I8







OR, DIFFICULTMES OVERCOME.


speculating on the why and wherefore of things
around him.
Now there was a kind of education going on all
this time, notwithstanding the fact of his being so
entirely and utterly uncared for. His life in the
fields was by no means without its lessons to a little
mind thirsting for knowledge. He was, in fact,
more advanced in intelligence than half the children
in the scattered village, who were going regularly
to the day-school, and acquiring the power of read-
ing, which always seemed so mysterious and won-
derful a thing to Jack. The chance words that the
stranger had spoken fell on soil well suited for them
to take root in. They were words of hope and en-
touragement such as no one had ever spoken to
him before. It had always been the fashion to
look down on him as a ragged little urchin, depend-
ent on a cross-grained woman, to whom no one
cared to have much to say. Mothers did not en-
courage their children to associate much with a
child who never looked fit to be seen; and feeling
a half-consciousness that he was far from popular,
Jack did not often obtrude himself on society in
general, but rambled about as we have said, perfect-
ing himself in the arts of climbing trees, seeking
bird's-nests, catching butterflies, imitating the cries
of birds, and puzzling over the whys and where-
fores of things. If his life was rather a lonely one,
it was far from unhappy; and possessing a temper
as sweet as his aunt's was sour, he was much less






JACK THE CONQUEROR;


irritated by her constant rebuffs than might be sup-
posed. But it had never been his lot to receive
notice from anybody.
Bushgrove was a retired place, with very few of
the better class of people living near, although the
beauty of its situation attracted traveling artists to
its vicinity.
Jack lay down on the bank again when the gen-
tleman was gone, to think over what he had just
said about his having been a poor boy once, but
that he had got on because he had been resolved to
do so. He a poor boy once! Why, he looked as
much a gentlemen now as did Mr. Sutton, the pro-
prietor of the stone quarries, who had a large house
near, and rode on horseback constantly. Yet he
did not seem to be making fun of him at all, not
even when he said that even he-Jack-might get
on also, if he were resolved to conquer difficulties,
just as he had got over brambles and hedges in
order to catch the dragon-fly.
Conquer difficulties." These two words under-
went a kind of parsing process in Jack's mind. To
conquer he knew meant to overcoine, to gain the
mastery; so that if two parties were struggling to-
gether for anything, the successful one was the
conqueror. Now in his case he was told that in
order to get on he must "conquer difficulties."
Therefore he had to take care that the said difficul-
ties did not master him. But what were they?
How was he to find them out? He was quite







OR, DIFFICULTIES OVERCOME.


willing to begin the struggle if only he knew ex-
actly how! Oh, if they would but rise up in some
form, and say, "Here we are, conquer us if you
can"!
Books-the secret of getting on must lie in them.
If he could but read, he would soon find out; but
how to learn, that was the question.
Isolated as was Jack, it seemed next to impossi-
bleto accomplish such a difficult matter. His aunt
had given him a good box on the ears the only
time he had ever asked her to let him go to school,
accompanying it with the information that he was
very impudent to even suppose she would let hirr
cost her any more than he now did, which was too
much by half.
"I shall never be able to manage it," sighed the
boy; but though he despaired with his lips, his
mind went on thinking as to how he could succeed





















CHAPTER II.

JACK LEARNS THE VALUE OF A CLEAN FACE AND
HANDS-SPENDS HIS FIRST MONEY ON SOAP-
OVERCOMES THE FIRST DIFFICULTY.


HE sun was getting low in the heavens, the
daises were beginning to shut up their little
round white frills for the night, and the
quarry-men were preparing to go home from work;
some of them were already descending the steep
paths that led to the village below. These signs,
and Jack's own hungry stomach, told him it was
time to go to supper.
As lie was crossing a stile, he met a girl about
his own age, who was carrying a basket in one
hand, and leading her little sister with the other.
Now, if Jack could be said to have a friend in the
world, it was Mary Naylor. Not that he saw much
of her, but she was always kind to him. She lived
(22)







OR, DIFFICULTIES OVERCOME.


with her widowed mother, who was a very different
woman from Susan Law, Jack's aunt. She was
in all respects as tidy and comfortable a body as
Susan was the reverse, and invariably had a civil
or kindly word for her neighbors. Her cottage and
two children were always clean. A greater con-
trast could scarcely be imagined than Jack with
his torn clothes, tumbled hair, and not over-clean
face, to the neat little maiden in her lilac print dress
and brown straw hat, under which the shining
golden hair was so tidily arranged. Jack always
felt pleased to meet Mary or her mother. With all
their clean, nice appearance, they never seemed to
look down on him, or to think him not worth
speaking to. Mrs. Naylor had more than once
given him a good slice of bread and butter, when
she had seen him passing her door, which he relished
all the more because butter was a luxury seldom
granted him, and because a nicely-cut slice of bread
fresh from the loaf rarely fell to his lot. His aunt
was in the habit of giving him any odd stale pieces
that were left from her own or her lodgers' meals.
These, soaked in water or skimmed milk, were his
usual breakfast and supper. No wonder that he
thought Mrs. Naylor's bread and butter a treat.
Mary had her lesson-book in her hand, out of
which she was teaching her little sister some easy
words of spelling, as they walked along together
towards home.
"How do you do, Jack?" said Mary. "Please
will you lift this basket over the stile for me?"







JACK THE CONQUEROR;


"Yes, that I will," said he, delighted to be of
any service to her, however small; then, holding
out his arms to the child, he offered to lift her over
also.
But the little one clung to her sister's frock, and
shrank from him, exclaiming-
No, no; Jack is a dirty boy, and shan't touch
Nellie."
Oh, fie! fie! Nellie," said Mary, coloring up,
and much'afraid lest her spoiled, petted little sister's
plain speech had hurt Jack. She did not mean to
be rude," she said, in an apologetic tone, only she
is so young. Please help me over," she added, hop-
ing, with true native delicacy of feeling, to make up
for what the child had said.
Jack held out his hand, and as it took hold
of Mary's fingers, he thought for the first time in
his life how much nicer it was to have clean hands
than dirty ones.
Mary walked on with her sister; probably she
reproved her for her rude speech to Jack, for he
heard the little one exclaim in reply to something
she had said-
But, Mary, Jack's face was so dirty."
Another wholesome lesson for Jack; but he took
it in good part, and sauntered on, thinking.
The sight of Mary teaching her sister had put a
new idea into his head on the spot, and it was this:
suppose he could get Mary Naylor to teach him to
read! She was well able, for she had studied for































































Jack at the Stile


_ __. _







OR, DIFFICULTIES OVERCOME.


several years, and was often to be seen with her
book; but then how could he ask her such a favor?
How would her mother like it? Kind as she was
to him, she had scarcely ever invited him into her
house. Why, even little Nellie would not suffer
him to touch her because his face was so dirty; and
the strange gentleman had advised him to begin to
care more about his appearance. Jack was not
wanting in shrewdness; no boy in Her Majesty's
dominions possessed a larger share of that com-
modity; and it enabled him to see that learning to
read was not the first difficulty he had to overcome
in finding out the way to get on" in the world.
He must begin by making himself look clean and
respectable, and then perhaps he need not so much
mind asking Mary to teach him to read.
If only I could have a bit of soap," thought he
-"a bit all to myself; for aunt won't let me touch
hers."
And in truth, when, after supper, he went into the
little back kitchen, and began to use the small piece
lying on the sink, she knocked it out of his fingers,
and desired him to leave it alone.
"But I want to make myself clean," said poor
Jack.
"Go along, then, and wash yourself in the river,"
was the reply. You'll find water enough there,
and you must do without soap."
The hint was not lost on Jack, however ungra-
ciously given. He would go to the river, to a snug







JACK THE CONQUEROR;


Little shallow creek he knew of amongst some wil-
low trees. Why should he not use it as a bath
every day? But a bit of soap would be such a
treasure, and it might be kept in some safe place
where no one would see it if by any chance they
went there. A bright idea struck him, and, with a
hop, skip, and jump, sent him running down the
hill-side into the village. He halted at the little
shop, where articles of every description were sold.
Please, I want a piece of soap."
"How much?" asked the woman, pointing to
some squares ready cut for customers requiring
small quantities of the article in question.-
Jack chose one of the least of the pieces, and
held out the sixpence which had been given to him
that afternoon. He trembled lest it should not be
enough; for it had never been his aunt's way to
send him to make any purchases for her, and he
supposed soap must be dear, as he was not allowed
to use it. Greatly was he delighted, therefore,
when he had threepence handed back to him.
"Anything else?" asked the woman. "Doesn't
your aunt want an ounce or two of tea to-day? I've
some fresh just come in."
Jack shook his head, but his eye rested on some
rough-looking pocket-combs hanging up in the
window, and he asked the price.
"Threepence each." Fortunate Jack The next
minute he was in the street, his bit of soap in his
hand, his comb thrust into his jacket pocket.







OR, DIFFICULTIES OVERCOME.


"Now to the river-side," thought he, and thither
he sped. The day had been sultry, and the cool
water looked very inviting. The shallow place un-
der the willow tree proved quite as eligible for a
bath as Jack expected. Never had his face had
such a cleansing; and as for his hands he scarcely
knew them. He had often bathed in the river be-
fore, but he had never known the luxury of soap,
and its value was enhanced by the fact that it was
his own possession.
A towel would have been an accommodation, but
to boys brought up like Jack the absence of such a
convenience is a trifle; a few runs up and down
the bank, and a few rolls on the fresh, sweet grass,
answered all the purposes of a towel, and our hero
only regretted that he. had no better clothes to put
on. They had never looked so ragged and shabby
before. His next care was to hide his precious
piece of soap, which he knew he would have to re-
sign altogether if he took it home. With an old
rusty clasp-knife, one of his few treasures, he
scooped out a hole in the ground, near the root of
a tree, lined it cleverly with some stones, and wrap-
ping up his soap in a large leaf, he deposited it in
this novel soap-dish, covering it up with stones and
leaves to make all secure. It is not too much to
assert that when Jack stepped forth from his re-
treat, he had taken the first important step towards
raising his condition in life, and that he had con-
quered his first difficulty.







30 JACK THE CONQUEROR;
And so the boy hoped himself, as he completed
his toilet by combing his hair, and trying to make
it look like Harry Morland's, whose stand-up tuft
just above his forehead had always excited Jack's
admiration. Whether he succeeded or not he could
not tell, having no glass, and the water was scarcely
clear enough to serve for one; but he was very
sure on this point, viz., that he never again would
be repulsed as he had been by little Nellie, because
his face was so dirty.

























CHAPTER III.


JACK OVERCOMES DIFFICULTY THE SECOND-HE PAYS
WITHOUT MONEY FOR SERVICES DONE FOR HIM-
WANTS A SHIRT-JENNY FOWLER TURNS TAILOR
-JACK. TO REMAIN IN BED.


i IHEN Jack undressed that evening, he took
a very minute survey, by the light of the
full moon, of his trousers, jacket, and waist-
coat. The examination was far from satisfactory.
They had once been his father's Sunday suit, and
had been cut down into a small size for him by an
old woman who went from house to house doing
such jobs of work as she could pick up, satisfied
with her board and a mere trifle by way of remun-
eration. Very proud had he been of them when he
first put them on, for they had been his passport
(31)







JACK THE CONQUEROR;


from infancy to boyhood-in other words, he had
forsaken petticoats for trousers. But this was
three years and a half ago; for two years they had
been not only his every-day suit but his only one,
and their condition may be imagined, considering
his fondness for climbing trees, and getting through
furze bushes or brambles.
Still, though very bad, he thought they might be
mended and made better than they were, so he
ventured the next day to call his aunt's attention to
their dilapidated condition.
She spoke less impatiently in reply than he had
expected, but said she should have no time to at-
tend to them yet awhile.
May I get them mended if I can? asked Jack;
"and will you give me some bits of cloth ? "
His aunt took down an old pasteboard box,
which was filled with shreds and pieces of the very
clothes on his back, and pushed it towards him.
There's plenty there, if you're going to turn
tailor yourself," she said; "and I don't suppose
you'll find anyone else to mend for you unless you
wait till I have time."
Jack thanked her, and walked off with his shreds.
He scarcely knew what he was going to do with
them; he only felt that he should not like to ask
Mary Naylor to teach him to read until he was in
a more respectable condition; so here was difficulty
number two to be overcome. He did not despair,
for, having mastered the affair of the soap and the







OR, DIFFICULTIES OVERCOME.


washing, why should he not contrive to get some
patches put on his clothes? If all other means
failed, perhaps he could do it himself, as his aunt
had suggested. But his plan was to go to Jenny
Fowler, who had made the suit, and ask her to help
him. She was a good-natured old. creature, and
not one to be afraid of. He found her at home in
a single room, which she rented, busily engaged in
repairing a black dress.
With some hesitation Jack showed her his pieces
of cloth, and asked whether she would mind mend-
ing his clothes for him, as his aunt was too busy.
"Bless the lad," she exclaimed, "he hasn't come
afore they needed looking to I I'll do them right
away when I've finished this here dress; and I'm
just a-putting the last stitches to it. You won't
have to wait long."
But Jack felt bound in honor to tell her that he
should have no money to give her as payment.
He had not a penny in the world, nor would his
aunt give him any, he was sure of that.
Then I'll do it for love instead of money, dearie,"
said the unselfish old woman. It's not much old
Jenny can do for others, but she may manage to
scrape an hour to work for a lad who wants to be
tidy."
"Do you like water-cresses, Jenny?" asked Jack.
"Like water-cresses! Yes, to be sure I do; they
give a bit of flavor to the bread. But, bless the
lad, what have water-cresses to do with patching
jackets?" 3







JACK THE CONQUEROR;


"I thought, if you liked them, I would bring
some nice fresh ones to you every day, as long as
they last," said Jack. "I know where to find plenty;
and I will gather you a bundle of sticks every day
for your fire for a month; it will save you looking
about and stooping to pick them up."
"Why, that will be quite grand payment," said
Jenny, "though I'd have done your job without, as
soon as not. However, it won't hurt you to gather
me a few cresses now and then; and as for the sticks
-'twill make me feel almost like a lady to have
them brought to my hand every day, and my poor
old back will be thankful enough for a holiday.
Bring the clothes to me this afternoon; here's
plenty of cloth to make a good job. I see they are
the very same bits I cut off when I made them.
But what's the matter, child? Why do you look
so miserable like all of a sudden?" For Jack's face
had suddenly changed from its bright, sunny look
to one clouded with dismay. What should he do
whilst his clothes were being mended? He had
no others to supply their place. Another difficulty!
He told Jenny his trouble, but the cheerful body
bade him take courage; they would manage. "I'll
stitch away all the quicker," said she; "you shall
just come and sit with me in your shirt while I do
the trousers; it will not be the first time I've had a
little boy to care for;" and Jenny heaved a sigh to
the memory of the blue-eyed lad about Jack's age
whom she had buried beside his father more than
thirty years ago.







OR, DIFFICULTIES OVERCOME. 35

But Jack did not notice the sigh; he was think-
ing that matters grew worse and worse. He was
obliged to confess to Jenny that that plan would
not do, for the simple reason that he had no shirt
to sit in.
"No shirt! And does your aunt let you go
about with naught under these rags?" exclaimed
she, indignantly. "Poor as she is, she might do
better for you than that. However, I won't be go
ing on to make you discontented with her, anc
we'll contrive; you shall just pop yourself into my
bed whilst I work; 'twill cheer me on to see your
merry face peeping out."
"Difficulty the second conquered," thought Jack,
as he ran home to dinner; "but I do wish -I had a
shirt like other boys."



























CHAPTER IV.


OLD JENNY MAKES JACK A PRESENT, AND SO OVER-
COMES DIFFICULTY NUMBER THREE.


UNCTUAL to the time, Jack made his ap-
pearance in Jenny's room, and found her
ready to begin her work. He had had time
to run down to the pool and gather some fine water-
cresses, which he brought her in a little basket he
had twisted together with some green rushes.
"Payment beforehand with you, I see," said the
old woman, smiling. "Now, then, off with the
trousers, child, and into the bed; there's not a min-
ute to lose if I'm to have them finished to-day."
(36)







OR, DIFFICULTIES OVERCOME.


Jack did not find lying in bed quite so agreeable
a way of spending an afternoon as lolling on his
back in the sunshine, or climbing trees to peep into
squirrels' and birds' nests. However, it was some
amusement to watch Jenny cutting the pieces of
cloth and fitting them to the holes in the trousers.
She was dexterous and quick with her needle, and
he was amazed to see how respectable an appear-
ance they were beginning to assume in her hands.
But five o'clock came, which was her time for tea,
and they were not finished.
"You shall have supper with me this evening,"
said she; "your aunt won't care, I'm thinking."
"Care! no, indeed," thought Jack; "she will only
be too glad to be rid of me;" and he gave Jenny
to understand that he was quite his own master as
to where he went or what he did at present, though
he was to go to work at the quarries when old
enough.
"More's the pity," said Jenny, "that you are
your own master; better far you should be going
to school like other children."
She had unconsciously touched on a tender sub-
ject. Jack could not resist telling her how great
was his desire to learn to read, but that his aunt
would not hear of his going to school; and then,
as Jenny listened to him with great interest and
sympathy, his heart warmed towards, her more and
more, till he told her his plan of getting Mary Nay-
lor to teach him to read, and at last actually confided







JACK THE CONQUEROR;


to her his grand secret (not yet twenty-four hours
old) of his bit of soap hidden under the willow tree,
which he bought with the money the gentleman
had given him. The pocket-comb also was pro-
duced out of the jacket pocket, and duly admired,
though Jenny asserted it was a penny too dear, as
there were plenty in Stedwell. market every Satur-
day just as good for twopence.
"You laid out your sixpence well, dearie, though,"
she said; "and if what the gentleman said makes
you want to be a clean, industrious boy, he will
have given you more than money's worth."
"He said he was a poor boy once," said Jack,
"but that he got on because he was resolved to,
and that I might get on too if I learnt to conquer
difficulties. I wonder if I could ever come to be
such a gentleman as he looked."
Don't be wondering whether you can ever be a
gentleman," replied Jenny, "but make up your
mind to become a useful, honest man, doing your
duty and work in the way God gives it you, and
then you'll be as happy as any gentleman in the
land."
Jack thought it seemed very queer to be lying in
bed taking his supper when he was as well as he
ever had been in his life, but, on the whole, he thor-
oughly enjoyed himself It was something so new
and delightful to have anyone talking to him so
kindly, and interesting herself in his concerns, as
Jenny Fowler was doing. When, an hour or two

















1*


Jack in Bed Waiting for His Suit


I i 'II i j II1I







OR, DIFFICULTIES OVERCOME.


laeer, she pronounced his trousers finished, he felt
almost sorry to go home, though she reminded him
he must come again in the morning to have his
jacket done. He did not forget to go into the
fields to hunt for sticks. By nine o'clock he ran to
Jenny with a nice-sized bundle of them under his
arm
Jenny went to bed later than usual that night.
She sat thinking for some time after she had spelled
out her verse or two in the Bible, and then she
busied herself over the contents of a square deal
box. She was generally asleep by eleven o'clock,
but that hour found her still at her needle, and it
was nearly twelve when she laid aside her work,
and sought the pillow on which little Jack's head
had been lying all the afternoon.
By twelve o'clock the next day the boy's suit
was mended as well and thoroughly as possible.
Patches abounded, of course, but there were no
holes, and a little brushing and sponging had done
wonders towards a better appearance. Jack ca-
pered about with delight, and thanked Jenny again
and again.
"After a time," said he, I shall perhaps find out
some way of getting shirts and shoes. When I
have them, I will ask Mary to begin and teach me
to read. Two difficulties I have got over already."
Jenny went to her box and took something out
which was folded up in a checked pocket-handker-
chief. Undoing it, she showed him two coarse but
good blue and white shirts about his own size.







JACK THE CONQUEROR;


"Look here," she said; "these belonged to my
own boy once. I've treasured them up for thirty-
three years, for it is that long since God took him
from me. Many a time I've thought wouldd be
wiser to do something useful with them than to let
them lie idle in the box, just for me to look at
sometimes. But now I think wouldd be a sin and
shame in me not to give them to you, and you
wanting them badly; so last night I let them out
in the neck and round the wrist, for you are a bit
stouter than my boy was. Take them home, lad;
they're yours now."
She would not listen to his thanks, but gently
pushed him to the door, telling him it was time to
go home to dinner. Then she turned and sat down
to her own, but she did not eat much that day.
She had done more than merely give Jack two
shirts that she could never want herself, though ap-
parently this was all that her gift to him comprised.
She had made a sacrifice of her feelings. A lonely
life had been her portion for many years. Her boy,
her only child, had been taken from her by a ter-
rible accident. The quarries, which were then just
beginning to be worked, had been cut off. The
child had not attended to the signal given for leav-
ing the place. He was amusing himself under a
large, overhanging stone; it fell upon him, and he
was found lifeless. His mother bore her grief with
a calmness proportioned to its great depth. Her
neighbors believed her stunned, and then, seeing the







OR, DIFFICULTIES OVERCOME.


calmness continue, they thought how well she had
got over her trouble. But they did not know that
in some minds grief can never find utterance, and
such was the case with Jenny's. She nursed her
sorrow silently, but far too tenderly for her own
happiness. Even when many years had fled, when
old age had advanced, and when the memory of
her dead boy might be supposed to be weak and
faded, he was still remembered with undiminished
love, and his little possessions were treasured in the
deal box from a force of habit which had almost
grown into an affection. Those two checked shirts
he had worn up to the day of his death; so now it
can be better understood why we call it a "sacrifice
of feeling" when she made up her mind to give
them to Jack.






















CHAPTER V.


DIFFICULTY NUMBER FOUR, A PAINFUL ONE TO THE
FEET, IS OVERCOME.


ERE'S another difficulty got over very eas-
ily," quoth Master Jack to. himself, as he
walked home with his two shirts under his
arm. "Now that I've got two shirts, and am mended
up from head to foot, besides having a lump of soap
and a comb of my own, why, I ought to have some
shoes to my feet!
Mary and Nellie always wear such nice black
shoes and white socks," he continued (Jack had got
a habit of talking out loud to himself, perhaps from
being so much alone). "I needn't care about hav-
ing socks yet, for my trousers come down to my
heels, so socks wouldn't be much seen, but I'm al-
most the only boy who goes about with bare feet;







OR, DIFFICULTIES OVERCOME


yet my shoes at home hurt me so bad, and aunt
says I must wear those or none."
Here was a serious difficulty indeed to his efforts
to present a respectable appearance. Shoes and.
boots were expensive things. He had outgrown
his only pair before they were worn out, and his
aunt declared she would buy him no more till they
were. He could get his feet into them she saw, and
this was enough for her; she had no sympathy
with the pinches and pain .they inflicted. "A boy
ought not to mind such things," she said: and this
was all the comfort Jack got when he complained
they hurt him. The consequence was that he grad-
ually gave up putting them on, caring much less
for the occasional pain inflicted by stones and thorns
than for the continued misery of tight shoes.
He examined them carefully when he got home.
They were in very tolerable condition, but smaller
than ever now for his feet, which had expanded in
width since they had rejoiced in liberty.
Difficulty fourth is a puzzler," said Jack, but I
must master him somehow. Suppose I take the
shoes to Timothy Crawley, and ask him to stretch
them, if he can."
Timothy Crawley was the village shoemaker, a
man who was said to have more children than wits.
He worked hard to maintain them, never spent his
money at .the public-house, and yet was greatly un-
dervalued by his sharp, bustling, long-tongued
wife. Had he been the husband of another woman,







JACK THE CONQUEROR;


Timothy would probably not have had his sense
disparagingly spoken of; but he was a man who
loved peace and quiet, and had carried this liking
to such an extent that he had become regularly
henpecked. To him, then, Jack carried the strong,
leather-laced boots, made by Timothy himself more
than half a year ago.
He found him seated, as usual, in his workshop,
with his eldest boy beside him, learning his father's
trade. He was surrounded with boots of every
size, all waiting their turn to be mended, to say
nothing of new ones in various stages of progress;
for Timothy was a maker of some popularity with
the quarrymen.
Jack's heart sank within him, for he feared that
with so much to do, Timothy would never con-
descend to attend to his small affair. But he was
mistaken. The worthy shoemaker had a kindly
heart beating under that leather apron, and per-
haps he was touched by Jack's shoeless condition.
He examined the shoes, made him put them on,
and at .once pronounced them far too small to be
stretched sufficiently for comfort. All he could do
was to advise him to get his aunt to let him have
a new pair.
"She says I must wear these out first," said Jack,
sorrowfully-"that she can't afford to waste such
good ones."
"They are good ones, sure enough," said Tim-
othy, who did not forget that he had been the





























is.


Jack and the Shoemaker's Misfit


-"
rAi~
r
r~ u~-
r

I i i
''




\


.v o







OR, DIFFICULTIES OVERCOME.


maker of them; "but your aunt must not expect
them to grow as your feet do; if she likes you to
have another pair, tell her I'll wait her own time for
payment, so that it comes in by Christmas."
There was no more to be said. Jack took up
his boots, but his melancholy countenance touched
Timothy, who had a father's feeling for his own
boys, and Jack was just the age of one of them.
"Stop a moment," said he-" give me your shoe
again." And he measured it with a pair standing
near, little worn. "Try on these; they are what I
made for my Tom, but they've turned out a misfit
-being a deal too large, his mother says. Now, if
they fit you, I've halfa mind to let you have them,
and I'll do up yours for Tom; they are much the
same kind of shoe."
They were a capital fit, which decided the affair
in Jack's favor. The boy fortunately never knew
how dearly Timothy paid for his good-nature in
the.shape of a scolding from his wife, who learned
from her eldest son what he had done; for, as we
have said, he was in the workshop during the trans-
action. Her husband, as usual, took refuge in si-
lence, and the storm passed over.
How can Jack's happiness be described as he
went away, having achieved this last conquest ?
He found it very disagreeable, it is true, to walk in
shoes, as he had been so long without them. More
than once he stopped with the intention of taking
them off, and enjoying a good comfortable run in






JACK THE CONQUEROR;


the old way. But he persevered, remembering his
shoes would do him no good if he could not ac-
custom himself to wearing them. 'Tis another
difficulty to master," thought he; and he trudged
on, shoes and all.
His aunt was surprised to see what a reformation
old Jenny had made in his clothes, and by no means
displeased that she had been saved all trouble, for
she was a poor hand at her needle. The shirts she
seemed to consider an unnecessary article of cloth-
ing, but made no objection to the prospect of wash-
ing one every week; and as for the shoes, she
positively praised Jack for being so sharp as to
have got out of Timothy a new pair for the old
ones. In short, she was well satisfied that the boy
should get respectably clothed, provided it cost her
neither trouble nor money. He might go in rags
if she had to be called upon to expend either the
one or the other in his behalf; but she did actually
stitch together the broken straws of his hat, and
promised to get him another before long.




















CHAPTER VI.


JACK ACCOMPLISHES HIS PLAN FOR LEARNING TO READ
--BEGINS TO WISH TO GO TO SCHOOL-SEES THAT
HE MUST OVERCOME MORE DIFFICULTIES.


T was only two days later, when Mrs. Nay-
Slor was seated at work with her children,
There came a tap at the cottage door, which
was answered by a summons to enter.
She little expected to see Jack, who walked in
somewhat timidly, as though he feared he were
taking a liberty, yet with a droll mixture of self-
confidence, conscious of looking very superior to
the Jack they had always seen. His face and hands
were clean and bright as soap and water could
make them. His hair was parted and combed off
his forehead. A blue and white shirt-collar ap-
peared above his well-mended clothes, and Mary's
own shoes were not blacker than those he himself
wore. In his hand he carried a very pretty, well-
(5sI)






JACK THE CONQUEROR;


arranged nosegay of fern leaves, woodbine, and dog-
roses.
Mary looked delighted to see him, and her
mother welcomed him cordially by saying-
Come in, Jack, and sit down; why, you look so
nice this afternoon, I scarcely knew you at first."
No words could have pleased him better. He
wanted to be as unlike his old self in appearance as
possible.
He did not, however, sit down as invited, but
stood looking at his nosegay, and thinking how to
ask the favor he came for. At last, finding there
was no other way he could think of, he dashed
into his petition at once.
"Please, I want to learn to read, and I came to
see if Miss Mary would teach me, now as I've got
to be clean and tidy. I've no money to pay with,
but I can bring plenty of flowers every day; and
when the whortleberries are ripe, I will gather you
as many as you like."
0 mother, do let me teach him," here broke
in Mary; "I'm sure he would soon learn. I know
how to, for I sometimes teach the beginners at
school."
Mrs. Naylor did not require much persuasion. A
few questions to Jack showed how he was longing
for the advantages enjoyed by other children of his
age, but from which he was shut out. She soon
also drew from him the history of his personal
transformation, which showed how resolved he had




























I;~ ;r


-


Jack' P e o;i-

.-~.-~- -.-~~__

Jack's Present to Mrs. Naylor







OR, DIFFICULTIES OVERCOME.


been to remove all hindrances in the way of his be-
ing taught. She had always pitied the child, but
she and his aunt had not a feeling in common, so
there had been no intercourse between them; slov-
enly, untidy ways were as distasteful to Mrs. Nay-
lor as they were natural to Susan Law. Jack could
not have taken a surer method of winning her
heart than by showing a desire to reform in these
respects.
"Mary shall teach you, Jack," she said; "but you
must promise always to come as clean as you are
to-day, and that you will do your best to learn."
Jack's white teeth grinned forth his delight, and
he faithfully promised that no soiled face or fingers
should ever be brought to the reading lesson.
"And when shall we begin, mother?" asked
Mary, who had run to the shelf and taken down an
old spelling-book, on which Jack's eyes fastened
themselves with an eager look; I could finish my
work afterwards."
"Which means you think the present time is the
best," said Mrs. Naylor, smiling. "Come, Jack,
put down your cap; give me those pretty flowers
to put in water, and sit down here with Mary."
And so, then and there, Jack Harold received
his first lesson in the art of reading, and it was easy
to see that he was a pupil likely to do Mary credit.
It was settled before he left that he should come
every day at that hour, and see whether she were
at liberty to attend to him, which was most likely






JACK THE CONQUEROR;


to be the case; for Mary was as anxious to teach"
as he to learn, so no unnecessary obstacles were
likely to be put in the way.
Nor did their perseverance relax as the first nov-
elty wore offt Every evening found them equally
interested in their work, and the consequence was
that Jack's progress was rapid, and he could read
words of one syllable in as short a time as most
boys would have been in learning their letters. He
never appeared without an offering for Mary, either
in the shape of flowers, or a rush basket full of
whortleberries, or water-cresses fresh from the
stream. And he won Nellie's favor forever by
bringing her a young kitten. The child had long
ceased to shrink from him. Perhaps the greatest
reward he ever had for keeping his face so clean
was when she first climbed on his knee and kissed
his cheek.
He continued to spend his mornings and after-
noons chiefly in wandering about the fields and
woods, but now always with his spelling-book in
his hand. The birds and squirrels got much less of
his attention than usual, though still he would lie
and constantly puzzle his brain over the reasons of
things, and wonder whether he should find out in
books all he wanted to know. Above all, he longed
to learn more about other countries. There was a
colored map of the world hanging up in Mrs. Nay-
lor's cottage. It was a large one, on wooden rollers,
and though it occupied an inconvenient amount of







OR, DIFFICULTIES OVERCOME.


room, she would not take it down, because it had
been given her by the young ladies of the family
in which she had been a faithful, valued servant.
Jack was never tired of standing on a stool and ex-
amining it. Mrs. 'Naylor had explained it to him
as far as she was able, and Mary knew all the differ-
.ent countries, and could even tell him anecdotes
about the various nations, and how some were one
color and some another. Her reading-book had
enlightened her on many of these points, though
she did not care much about them. Stories were
more in her way; but for Jack's sake she sought
out all the chapters she could find on geography
and the history of the world, and read them to him.
Dull as she thought them at first, they acquired an
interest when she saw what a charm they had for
her listener, and what a pleasure it was to him to
go afterwards to the map, and with her help hunt
out the countries about which she had been read-
ing.
One of Jack's subjects of thought used to be how
extremely he should dislike to go to work in the
quarries when he got a little older. He would so
much rather be a school-master than a quarryman,
and have to do with books rather than to hew
away at blocks of stone.
He would sometimes indulge in a little castle-
building on this subject, though of course his cas-
tles fell to the ground as soon as reared, for he
knew well that to the quarries he must go. His







JACK THE CONQUEROR;


aunt was always talking about the time when he
would be old enough.
Another and a more manageable desire was to
learn to write. He had not liked to say anything
to Mary about it, because, though he was sure she
would teach him, he did not know how to get pens
and copy-book, and he was not a boy who liked to
be troublesome. Then there was arithmetic, and
geography, and other things that the boys and
girls learned at school. If he could only go and be
taught like them!-but threepence a week was the
sum to be paid, and even if it were but a penny, he
knew his aunt would not give it.
He had surmounted several difficulties; but this
one of going to school was of a magnitude that
would have discouraged most boys situated as Jack
was.
It seemed, though, as if his disposition were one
that could not be daunted, and past successes em-
boldened him to hope on. He had by his own
exertions gained a great deal; why should he not
in some way or other earn money enough to go to
school, at least for the winter?
But how? To a boy in a town this would have
been a less difficult question, but in a country vil-
lage it is not an easy matter for the most willing
child of Jack's age to earn threepence a week.
Scheme after scheme he planned and rejected,
and day after day passed on, and still he schemed
and planned and found he could do nothing. He







OR, DIFFICULTIES OVERCOME.


consulted old Jenny, to whom he never failed to
carry a bundle of sticks every evening-no longer
by way of payment for her work, but because he
had begun to love the good old woman, and was
glad to save her the trouble of stooping to pick
them up for herself. But Jenny could not help him
in this matter. She sympathized with him, and
encouraged his wish to learn, because she said she
believed learning was a good thing; she always,
however, ended with the same words,-
"God will help you, boy, if you help yourself
where you can. Trust him to do all that is best
for you. Keep on learning to read, and leave the
rest till you see your way before you."
And so Jack, who was learning many a lesson of
wisdom from old Jenny's lips, tried to be patient,
and to be willing not to go to school if no way
seemed to be opened for him to do so. Perhaps he
found, as many others had done before him, that it
is a harder and more irksome duty to have to prac-
tice patience than to be endeavoring to overcome
obstacles by energy and activity.
It is generally easier to work than to wait; but
we must ever remember that, be our age and our
lot in life what they may, we cannot form our own
plans. It is God who leads us on, step by step, in
the path that he knows to be best for us. What
Jenny said to Jack applies equally to us all: "Trust
Him to do all that is best for you."


















CHAPTER VII.


GYPSIES, BASKETS, AND WILLOW TWIGS COME TO
JACK'S AID IN DISPERSING HIS NEW SET OF DIF-
FICULTIES-HE TAKES POSSESSION OF A MOUNT-
AIN CAVE.


EAR the end of the summer an encampment
of gypsies came and located in one of the
< lanes not far from the river. Their trade
was basket and cage-making. They brought osiers
with them for the purpose, but helped themselves
also pretty liberally from a plantation of young wil-
low trees which grew near the water-side.
They were for the most part a quiet, harmless set
of people, and were little noticed by the villagers.
Jack was almost their only acquaintance, but to
him they were very attractive. Their way of life
was something like his own. He felt a sympathy
with the little barefooted urchins who could scram-
ble up trees like himself; for though Jack was now
never seen without shoes in the vicinity of the vil-






































Jack as Nurse in the Gypsies' Camp






OR, DIFFICULTIES OVERCOME.


lage, he economized by taking them off in the woods.
Above all, he liked to sit near the basket-makers,
and watch their nimble fingers twine the pliant
osiers in and out, round and round, till, as if by
magic, they grew into baskets of every size and
shape. He became a favorite with them also, for
he was always obliging, and ready to help them in
any way in his power. If he were near, the women
knew how to get their tea-kettle filled without
trouble to themselves. He would run on errands
to the shop, amuse the baby if its mother were
engaged, help to soak the young osiers-nothing,
in short, came amiss to him. In return, they
taught him how to make a wicker cage for Nellie's
thrush, and a very pretty, useful sort of basket,
which he destined as a present for Jenny to hold her
work. He was so skillful over this that he soon
attempted a finer kind, made of very delicate twigs,
just suited, he thought, to carry Mary the flowers
he daily presented as his fee for her lesson.
But a sudden commotion was produced in the
little community by the owner of the willow plan-
tation having ordered his bailiff to watch for depre-
dators, and secure them in the act of taking the
osiers. He came down upon two of them one day,
but consented to let them off on condition that they
left the neighborhood at once.
So the next day they departed, much to Jack's
regret. He helped them to pack up, held the baby
for the last time, and watched the cavalcade down






JACK THE CONQUEROR;


the lane. As he turned to go away, he saw a bun-
dle of white twigs prepared for making the finer
sorts of baskets lying in a dry ditch by the road-
side. It had been overlooked.
To snatch it up and run after them was the
work of a moment. But instead of taking it from
him, the basket-maker said:-
Keep them yourself, my lad; you have such a
good notion of making baskets that you may turn
a penny by them some day. These are the best
Devonshire twigs, such as you can't get here.
Keep them, and welcome, for old company's sake."
Jack thanked him heartily, and they went on
their way.
"You may turn a penny by them some day."
The basket-maker's words sounded again and again
in the boy's ears. Turning a penny meant making
money. Making money, in Jack's mind meant going
to school! He had given Nellie her wicker cage,
and Jenny her basket. Even Mrs. Naylor had praised
them, and said they were almost as good as if bought
at a shop, and Jenny was equally pleased. With
practice he would soon be able to make them still
better; but then who would buy them ? No one in
the village would lay out money on them; and
except Mr. Sutton's family and the clergyman's
(and both lived some way off), there were none
likely to care for such things. He went to his
friend Jenny, taking his bundle of twigs under his
arm. She encouraged him most warmly.







OR, DIFFICULTIES OVERCOME.


"Who knows," said she, "but what this is the
very opening we were waiting for ? The Lord has
his own ways, and they are not our ways. It may
be that he put it into the mind of the basket-maker
to teach you to make the baskets, and then to give
you the twigs, and if so he will bring his own pur-
poses to pass. At all events, it will be an employ-
ment for you, and that is better than idleness.
Make some baskets, and the next thing will be to
try to sell them. The want of money is your diffi-
culty now; may be you are going to overcome it
like the rest."
So Jack hoped, and with his usual zeal set to
work: but again a difficulty. His aunt took a sud-
den fit of tidiness when she saw him seated on a"
stool with the twigs on the floor at his feet, and
with one sweep of her broom sent a heap of them,
which he had carefully selected from the rest, under
the fire grate.
Poor Jack sprang forward and seized them. In
doing so he unfortunately upset a pitcher full of tea,
which had been put by the fire to keep warm for
one of the men from the quarry.
Susan's temper was never proof against an acci-
dent of this sort, and if Jack were the aggressor, she
made no attempt to keep it within bounds. She
seized the unfortunate twigs from his hand, thrust
them into the embers, and would have doomed the
whole bundle to the same fate, had not Jack
snatched them up and run out of the house.







JACK THE CONQUEROR;


There was no safety for them in that vicinity,
that was clear. He could not bury them as he had
done the soap, nor could he sit out in the fields on
a rainy day to work at his baskets, even if he found
a place for his twigs. "Difficulties again! always
difficulties!" said the boy; but they mustn't be
master of me. I wish I had a tent like the gypsies;
but wishing is of no use." Jenny Fowler would, he
was sure, let him keep his things in her room, and
even let him work there sometimes, but she was
often from home for the day, working at people's
houses, and then she always locked her door; so
that plan would not do. But Jack's wits were too
much his friends to fail him in such an emergency.
'They sharpened themselves up in their brightest
manner, and brought to his recollection a certain
cave in the mountain, high up like the quarries,
but in a much more inaccessible situation, so much
so that no feet but those of sheep or daring boys ever
ventured to explore it. To Jack the narrow sheep-
track that led to it was familiar and easy. The
cave had often been visited by him, and he thought
it would answer well for a workshop, especially as
it was snugly situated behind a sudden turn in the
mountain, so as to hide it from general view; and
he could not be seen going in and out, which might
arouse curiosity too much for the safety of his
work.
Thither he turned his steps. There was a large
stone inside of a sufficient height to be safe from















































Jack in Disgrace
_.. --



Jack in Disgrace







OR, DIFFICULTIES OVERCOME.


sheep, which would do famously for a shelf, and a
smaller one near the entrance sufficed for a seat.
What more could he desire? Once again he had
conquered a difficulty. His retreat answered in
every respect. He worked away at his baskets
generally for two or three hours daily. No one
ever disturbed him. Sometimes a sheep would
peep in, and look surprised at seeing one of his own
haunts preoccupied, but would trot off again, quite
willing to yield the possession. With his hands
busily at work, and his spelling-book open on his
knee, Jack sat in his cave as happy as a prince.
At length he completed two very pretty baskets,
and found he had still material left for another.
He took those he had finished to Mrs. Naylor, and
consulted her about the disposal of them.
She thought for a moment, and then said: "I'm
going to Stedwell market on Saturday to sell some
eggs and chickens; I will take the baskets with me
and show them to any ladies who may happen to
come near me. But what do you expect to get for
them?" Jack had no idea what, but modestly
asked if she thought threepence would be too
much-having fixed on that sum solely because
threepence a week would pay for his schooling,
and he could manage to make one a week, he
thought.
"They are worth more than that," said Mrs. Nay-
lor, decidedly. "Anyone who takes a fancy to the
baskets would be willing to give more than double







JACK THE CONQUEROR;


that sum; but I will take them and do my best for
you."
On Saturday, just as the reading lesson was fin-
ished, Mrs. Naylor returned. Jack glanced anx-
iously at the arm on which his baskets were hanging
when she left home in the morning. They were
gone, and a pleasant smile told him all was right.
Mary fairly jumped, and clapped her hands with
delight,
Yes, Jack, they are sold," said Mrs. Naylor.
"I had not been in the market an hour before a
lady came up to me for some eggs. She has
bought of me before, and says she means always to
come to me first, because she finds mine are fresh,
and she wants them for her invalid daughter, who
must have everything of the best. Well, she was
just taking.them one by one from me, and putting
them carefully in a reticule bag, when I ventured
to say, 'You wouldn't like to buy one of these bas-
kets, would you, ma'am? The eggs would lie
nicely in it, and they are not dear.' She took one
in her hand, and liked it, I saw; for she showed it
to her little girl, who was with her, and asked if
she did not think her sister would be pleased with
it, and perhaps fancy the eggs better if they came
out of it. And the child said, 'Yes, for Katie is al-
ways so pleased with new baskets.' The lady
asked the price, and I said ninepence, for that was
the sum I had fixed on in my mind going along.
She gave it to me directly, and we put the eggs in,












Ir'


Jack at Work in His Mountain Cave







OR, DIFFICULTIES OVERCOME.


And off they went, and I saw them looking at it and
admiring it as they walked down the market."
"And the other, mother? said Mary, who, like
Jack, was listening with breathless attention-"who
bought the other ? "
"Well, who of all people but Farmer Renton!
He passed me as I was coming out of the market,
after I'd sold my chickens and eggs, and as usual
had a kind word to say to me. I couldn't help just
showing him the basket, and asking if he would
like to take it home to little miss, for I knew
she always looked for something on market-day.
The farmer laughed, and asked me if I were taking
to basket-making, and I said, 'No, that I wasn't,
but that a poor boy was, who would be glad to
have it bought.' And then he took it, and gave
me ninepence directly. So here is eighteenpence
for you, all your own, Jack."
He could hardly find words to thank her enough.
She wrapped the money in paper, and charged him
not to lose it.
"It will pay for just six weeks' schooling," said
she; "and you can make more money, you know."
But much as Jack longed to go to school, there
was something else on his mind which must be
done first. Old Jenny was very poor, and now
that he had the means of paying her for mending
his clothes, he wished to do so.
Straight to her abode he hastened, and, breath-
less with running and excitement, he laid the money







JACK THE CONQUEROR;


in her lap. It is yours, Jenny," he exclaimed,
as soon as he could speak. My two baskets have
been bought, so now I can pay you for working
for me."
"No, no!" said the old woman, "not a penny of
your money will I take, dearie. Haven't you paid
me over and over by bringing me sticks ? And do
you think I'll take what you've worked so hard for
that you may go to school? So say not another
word," she added, as she saw the boy going to
press it on her; "but, mayhap, it will be the best
for me to keep it for you in my box till you want
it." She had an intuitive feeling that the money
would not be so safe in his aunt's house.
Then, please, Jenny, give me threepence of it,"
said Jack, for my bit of soap is all gone; and now
I can buy another square."
The threepence was given, and the fifteenpence
was safely deposited in the deal box. Another
piece of soap was purchased and duly hidden
where its predecessor had lain.



.. s -- --
2 -~












Jil i






CHAPTER VIII.

A STRUGGLE WITH CONSCIENCE, WHICH REMINDS JACK
THAT DIFFICULTIES MUST NOT BE GOT RID OF
AT TIHE EXPENSE OF HONESTY.


SACK'S success with these two baskets en-
Scouraged him to lose no time in commenc-
ing another; but when that was done, his
twigs would be all used up; for, alas! the flames
had devoured as many as would have made a
fourth. He remembered the willow plantation by
the river-side. A few of those would serve his pur-
pose, for he had learned how to soak and peel them.
But had he any right to get them, when for that
very reason the gypsies had been made to leave the
place? was a question which intruded itself. Cer-
tainly very few would suffice for his purpose; he
would have thought nothing of taking them before
the gypsies came, neither would any other boy,
he felt sure. Still he hesitated. He had heard how
(75)







JACK THE CONQUEROR;


angry the bailiff had been with the basket-makers.
True, they had made serious devastation in the
plantation, because of the numbers they carried off
day after day; but it appeared to honest Jack that
if they stole because they took them without leave,
he would be doing the same thing if he supplied
himself from the same source. His third basket
was nearly finished and twigs must be had, or there
would be an end to his work. This new difficulty
was a dangerous one to our hero, for it might so
easily be overcome in a wrong way.
He took a walk in the direction of the plantation.
It was close to where the encampment had been.
The young shoots looked very tempting. There
were hundreds of places where the gypsies had
broken them off the trees. He could see the marks
of their feet in the wet, soft ground. If he gathered
as many as he would be likely to want for months,
no one could possibly miss them. Should the bail-
iff come to look, he would only suppose that the
gypsies had taken all that were gone.
Jack had had few religious advantages. He had
seldom been to church, and never to any Sabbath-
school. But still he knew very well that it was
wrong to steal; he knew that there was a God in
heaven who could see everything, and that his eye
would be on him if he took the willow shoots, al-
though the bailiff might be miles away.
Jenny had talked to him sometimes about these
things, or, rather, she had often made little quaint







OR, DIFFICULTIES OVERCOME.


remarks which had kept them before the boy's
mind. For Jenny loved her Bible and loved her
God. Ever since he had taken her boy, she had
made him her friend, and she had, almost without
knowing it, spoken of God in such a way to Jack
that the boy had begun to think of him as a friend
also. He knew Jenny would not, knowingly, dis-
please him, and neither ought he. Yet if, as she
had said, God had perhaps put it into the basket-
maker's mind to teach him, and give him the twigs,
and so opened a way for him to earn some money,
would he be doing wrong in just taking a few of
these willows growing before him in such abun-
dance? The boy's mind grew puzzled. One mo-
ment he felt sure it would be stealing to take them;
the next he tried to persuade himself it would be
wrong not to use the means in his power of going
on with his work. Once he even sprang over the
fence into the plantation; but something seemed to
tell him not to yield to this inviting temptation, but
to go back; and go back he did, and walked reso-
lutely away.
He did not loiter, not even on the spot where
the gypsies had been. There was the place where
they had lighted their fire; some of the white ashes
were still to be seen, and at a little distance lay a
quantity of chips and pieces of broken saplings.
Jack would not trust himself to stay a minute
longer in the neighborhood of the plantation, so
he passed quickly by.







7" JACK THE CONQUEROR;

He did not know that he had just achieved a
greater conquest than any of his others. He
sought his friend Jenny, aind told her how he wanted
more willows, but that he thought he ought not to
take them. Her views were as clear as noonday on
the subject.
Never take what isn't yours, dearie. God has
given those willows to Mr. Sdtton, not to you.
You've no business with them anyway, no more
than the gypsies had. If you made baskets of them,
you'd just be selling what wasn't yours to sell, and
wouldd be the devil's plan for keeping you back,
not God's for getting you on."
I'm sorry to have to give up making baskets,
though," said Jack, sorrowfully.
Perhaps you needn't. Suppose you go and
ask Mr. Sutton if he will let you get some twigs
when you want them; they say he is a thorough
kind-hearted man. I wouldn't ask the bailiff; he's
a sharp one, and rather hard on the poor."
Jack's face brightened. I think I will," said he.
"I see him on horseback sometimes, going up to
the quarries. Dare I stop him, though ?"
There's nothing to be afraid of if you're not
begging. He can't abide beggars. He fancies
them all an idle lot. Perhaps it is because he has
offered them work in the quarries when they
seemed hale, hearty folks, and they've so often
refused it. One man, they say, once told him to
his face that he found begging pleasanter nor work-







OR, DIFFICULTIES OVERCOME.


ing, and a better trade too. So since then the
Squire's set his face agen begging; but he'll always
lend a helping hand to those who like to work. If
I were you, I'd tell him how I wanted to go to
school, and that you can make baskets and sell
them to earn the money for it, only you don't know
what to do for twigs, and you thought perhaps he
would let you have a few sometimes, and thus
enable you to put yourself to school."
"All right! exclaimed Jack, with a caper that
shook Jenny's reel of cotton off the table, and sent
it under the chest of drawers, causing him to dive
for it; I will watch for him. Perhaps I shall be
able to finish my other basket before he comes, and
then I will show it to him, that he may see I really
can make them."
He worked so hard that he completed it by the
following evening. Next day he espied the Squire
slowly going up the mountain-side on horseback,
with his daughter on a pony by his side.
It was not a difficult matter for Jack to overtake
him at the pace he was going, even though he had
to haste to a' tree to fetch his basket, which he had
hung in a bough out of sight.
























CHAPTER IX.


A MEETING WITI THE SQUIRE AND HIS DAUGHTER-
ANOTHER DIFFICULTY REMOVED.


APA," Miss Sutton said, I think this little
boy wants to speak to you; he keeps com-
Sing up at every wide place in the path, and
bowing."
Mr. Sutton drew in his horse. They had just
reached a sort of platform, where two horses could
stand abreast, and there was room also for Jack.
Please, sir," said he, pulling away at the tuft of
hair which stood luxuriantly aloft now, thanks to
daily training-"please, sir."
Well," asked Mr. Sutton, what am I to please ?
Why don't you speak on, lad?"
(8o)







OR, DIFFICULTIES OVERCOME.


His tone of voice was somewhat impatient, but
that was because he thought the boy was going to
beg.
It was a terrible moment for Jack, who had never
before even seen the great man closely. He ap-
peared to him almost an awful personage, this mon-
arch of the mountain on which they stood, as well
as of so much of the surrounding lands. He was
in the middle of his most disagreeable difficulty
now, but he must pluck up all the courage he could
muster and get through it.
Please, sir, may I get some willows from the
plantation to make baskets?"
Ho! ho! youngster," said the Squire, "so you
and your people are still in the place, and you think
to get round me by fair words? Why, I thought
you had all been gone long ago."
Jack stared; he could make nothing of this
most unaccountable speech.
"Aren't you one of the young vagabonds who,
I was told, broke into my plantation of willows,
and broke them down so?"
Jack saw now how it was. The Squire mistook
him for one of the gypsy party who had been or-
dered out of the neighborhood. He quickly ex-
plained that he did not belong to them.
Mr. Sutton's face relaxed, and he asked more
gently how many willows he required.
This was a question puzzling to answer. At
length the boy replied that he wanted to keep mak-






JACK THE CONQUEROR;


ing baskets all the winter, that he might try and
sell them and put himself to school with the money
they fetched.
He had quite forgotten to show the one he held
in his hand, but the young lady espied it, and, tak-
ing it in her hand, she examined it more closely.
" It is very pretty," said she; look, papa, shall we
not buy this one and take it home to mamma ? How
much is it, little boy ? "
I got ninepence each for the two others I made,"
said Jack. Mrs. Naylor put the price for me."
"So Mrs. Naylor knows all about you, then?"
said the Squire. "That says well. And you want
to put yourself to school? I like a boy who can
help himself. But suppose I were to give you leave
to have some of my willows, how do I know that
you would not take in a tribe of boys who would
break them all down? Besides," said he, sharply,
a sudden thought striking him, where did you get
the willow for this basket ? I suspect it's as much
mine as yours, after all."
Jack explained that he had had it given him, and
how the basket-maker had taught him his trade.
The young lady listened with great interest, and
the Squire began to think the lad deserved encour-
agement.
"If I give you permission to have what twigs
you want," said he, you must promise me never
to take anyone else when you get them, for my
leave would be given only to you. But I must see



























































































Jack's Speech to the Squire


i

'

I
r.-; ;~r_







OR, DIFFICULTIES OVERCOME.


Mrs. Naylor before I can decide. I will ride round
by her house, and you can go to her and ask what
message I have left for you."
He rode on. The young lady reined back her
pony, and put a shilling into Jack's hand. That
is for your basket," said she. "Do not be afraid.
Papa will be sure to let you have the twigs, and
perhaps we shall be able to find you some custom-
ers."
She trotted on to join her father, leaving Jack to
look after her, and to think that he never in his
life saw anyone so beautiful or so kind as that gen-
tle young lady, whose voice and words were more
to him than even the shilling she had dropped
into his hand.
He felt very impatient to know what would be
the result of the visit to Mrs. Naylor, and watched
the Squire's movements from a projecting crag of
the mountain. He thought he was much longer
than usual amongst the quarries, and was surprised
when at last he and his daughter remounted their
horses, which had been sent down to meet them at
the foot of the hill, to find that the church clock
was then only striking twelve. He traced their
course through the village till they came to Mrs.
Naylor's cottage, and then he saw the Squire tap
at her door with his riding-whip, and Mrs. Naylor
come out and stand talking to him for some time;
and the young lady rode up close, and seemed to
be talking too. It could not surely all be about






JACK THE CONQUEROR;


him. If so, he feared Mr. Sutton must be unwilling
to grant his request, and that Mrs. Naylor was try-
ing to soften him, for he knew she was a great
favorite at the Hall.
From his post on the crag he could see every-
thing distinctly, and not for one instant did he re-
move his eyes from the group at the cottage. At
last he observed Mrs. Naylor take something down
from the wall of the house and show it to the young
lady, and this was-yes, he was quite sure it was-
the wicker cage he had made for Nellie's thrush!
His heart beat high. They must, then, be talk-
ing about him, and no doubt Mrs. Naylor was
showing them the kind of willows wanted for cages;
or possibly the Squire had asked to see whether he
could identify those that the cage was made of
with his own. And Jack was by no means sure
they were not his. He had never thought about
the matter when he made it, but had just accepted
whatever the basket-maker had given him to learn
upon. At length they rode away at a brisk canter.
Mrs. Naylor hung up the cage again, laid some
branches on the top to soften the sun's rays to the
bird's head, and then went in and shut the cottage
door.
Jack's impulse was to run down instantly to ask
what the Squire had said, and he was just starting
for that purpose, when the sound of a bell, which
rang for the workmen at the quarries, reminded
him that it was his own dinner-time. He would







OR, DIFFICULTIES OVERCOME.


rather have gone without dinner than remain in ig-
norance as to his fate about the willow twigs, on
which his future prospects seemed just now to de-
pend so much; but he remembered that his aunt
had said she wanted him to go to a farm-house to
cany a message to one of the workingmen there,
and that she had desired him to come home punct-
ually in the middle of the day, that he might lose
no time. So there was no help for it; he must re-
strain his impatience as best he could. It would not
be possible for him to go to Mrs. Naylor's before
his usual hour.
But good news awaited him then. Mr. Sutton
had been' quite satisfied with what he had heard
about Jack, and had given leave for him to gather
as many willow shoots as he required for his own
use. Miss Sutton had looked at the cage, and left
an order for one to be made exactly like it in form,
but a size larger, for her brother's jackdaw; and
she had repeated to Mrs. Naylor the hope ex-
pressed to Jack, that they might be able to dispose
of some of his baskets.


_II
























CHAPTER X.

JACK PAYS A VISIT TO THE IALL.


HODA SUTTON, as she entered the draw-
ing-room on her return fiom her ride, cried
out, Mamma, look at this basket;" and
held it aloft for the inspection of her mother and
two younger sisters.
It excited a good deal of admiration, especially
when Rhoda informed them it was manufactured
by a poor boy who had made only two or three
before this one; and she told of Jack's overtaking
them on the mountain, and asking if he might have
some willows.
"And, 0 mamma," she continued, "if you had
only heard all Mrs. Naylor told us about him.
(88)


-- ;-------







OR, DIFFICULTIES OVERCOME.


Papa went to her to find out if what he said was
true, and she seemed as if she could not praise the
child enough. She said he is an orphan, brought
up by a cross, ill-natured aunt, who will not look
after him, or clothe him properly, or let him go to
school. So the boy has resolved to do something
for himself, and he hopes to raise money enough
by making baskets to pay for his schooling.
"What age is he? asked Mrs. Sutton.
"About ten years; he is such a bright, intelli--
gent-looking little fellow; and, mamma, I have not
told you the best part of Mrs. Naylor's story yet.
She says that this aunt would not let him make his
baskets in her cottage, but burnt some of his twigs
because she found them lying about; so the child
took them off to a cave on the mountain, and there
he sits and works, and learns his spelling, for Mary
Naylor is teaching him to read."
This account of Jack created the greatest interest
at the Hall. The girls were anxious to put him to
school themselves.
But the Squire negatived the idea.
Do not take away from the lad the motive for
exertion," said he. From what Mrs. Naylor said,
it appears that he has within him that which will
enable him to work his own way in a most unusual
manner. Remove'from him all difficulties, and you
will probably turn him into an ordinary boy, who
will just do what he is told to do, and nothing
more. Sell h's baskets for him if you like, but do
not remove the necessity for making them."


---b_.~3~1-~.L----CI






JACK THE CONQUEROR;


The wisdom of this was too obvious to be
doubted, so they agreed to help him by keeping
him supplied with work; and as Rhoda had or-
dered a cage, he had employment for the present.
About a week later Miss Sutton was told that
there was a little boy in the hall who had brought
a wicker cage, made, he said, by her orders.
It proved to be a strong, thoroughly well-
constructed cage, none the worse habitation for a
bird that it was not quite as perfect in shape as a
more experienced hand would have produced.
Bring the child in, Rhoda," said her mother;
"I should like to see one who is so industrious."
She was sitting in the library-a large room lined
with books from the ceiling to the floor. Jack
seemed to himself to have got into another world,
as he was led into a room so unlike anything he
had ever formed an idea of. Luxurious couches,
chairs, tables, carpet, etc., were to him such novel-
ties that he stared around in bewilderment, and
could scarcely recover his self-possession so as to
answer Mrs. Sutton's questions properly.
But what at length so fixed his gaze that he
could look at nothing else, was the vast assemblage
of books. There were more than he had thought
the world contained. Mrs. Sutton observed his
delighted surprise, and encouraged him to talk to
her about his desire for knowledge. There was a
mixture of simplicity and observation about the
boy that struck her very much; but, though deter-












1,' 'I








I


Jack at the Hall







OR, DIFFICULTIES OVERCOME.


mined not to lose sight of him, she quite agreed
with her husband that it would be a pity not to let
him continue to feel that he was dependent on his
own exertions. They asked him what price the
cage was to be, but Jack had not given a thought
to the subject, and he said so.
"I will give you five shillings and sixpence,"
said she. "You shall have good pay for this one
to encourage you to go on."
Jack's eyes sparkled. Mrs. Sutton knew why,
though he did not tell her what he intended to do
with the money, which had so far exceeded his ex-
pectations.
His well-patched clothes were not lost on her.
She desired her maid to search for a suit out-
grown by her own boy, and this she gave him to
take home. She also gave him an order for some
more baskets, telling him he might be as long as he
liked making them; for she was aware his time
would be much more fully employed than hitherto,
when he began to go to school.
Jack left the Hall a very happy boy. He was
wholly unconscious of the favorable impression he
had made on his new friends, and of the value they
might be to him hereafter. But he was charmed
with his new suit, which would enable him to
appear as well dressed as any boy in the village,
and would prevent the necessity of his lying in bed
again whilst some fresh repairs, meditated by Jenny,
were effected on his old ones. There was now no






JACK THE CONQUEROR;


hindrance to his going to school at once. The
money Mrs. Sutton had given for the cage would
pay for some time; he could not rest contented
without knowing for how long. But this was a
work of some difficulty to a boy who had never
learned his multiplication table. Still, even here he
would not be overcome for want of trying. He
collected together a heap of stones by the road-side,
and then divided and subdivided them into imagi-
nary shillings and pence. He knew that twelve pen-
nies make one shilling, and this piece of knowledge
enabled him to form an ingenious calculation by
the help of his stones, which showed that he had
sufficient money to pay his -schooling for six months,
by the end of which time he would have made
plenty more, probably.
Before he went home, he paid a visit to old Jenny,
and gave her his five shillings and sixpence to add
to the fifteenpence she already had. The good
woman had greatly rejoiced over the success of his
interview with the Squire.
"Honesty is always the best policy," said she.
"Had you taken them willows you would never
have dared ask the lady to buy your baskets, lest
you should be found out; and now you've got not
only willows, but orders as well. Thank God, Jack,
that he has helped you to be an honest lad."









-JM, ~1-


CHAPTER XI.


JACK PUTS HIMSELF TO SCHOOL, AND BECOMES HIS
OWN BENEFACTOR.

USHGROVE was but a hamlet attached to
the larger village of Repton, about half a
mile distant. Here there was an excellent
national school, with a superior master-one who
had the well-doing of the children greatly at heart,
but to whom it was a constant disappointment that,
as soon as' the boys were beginning to feel an inter-
est in their own advancement, they were taken from
him to work in the quarries. It was seldom he
could keep them beyond the age of twelve years,
and a strong, well-grown boy would be taken away
sooner.
Two days after Jack's visit to the Hall, as Mr.
Hartley, the school-master, was looking over some
copy-books in the empty school-room, after the dis-
missal of the children, he heard a tap at the door,






JACK THE CONQUEROR;


and in walked our friend Jack, dressed in his new
suit, and with a sniile on his face. Jenny had
made a few alterations in it, so that it fitted him
well, and his general appearance was that of great
respectability. His aunt had not kept her promise
of buying him a new hat; but Mrs. Naylor had a
great harvest of apples this year, and had sold them
so well last market-day that she resolved Jack
should reap some of the benefit. So she went to a
shop and bought him a nice black cloth cap. Mary
had made him some white collars in anticipation of
his going to school, and also a neat little neck-tie.
She was beginning to feel proud of her pupil,
whose progress in reading did both her and himself
credit. She was very anxious that his appearance
should be equal to that of the other boys.
Dressed as he was to-day, it was not only equal,
but superior; for Jack's habits of thought, and his
natural intelligence of mind, had given an expres-
sion almost of refinement to his features.
Mr. Hartley looked at him with no small inter-
est, as the boy explained that he wished to begin
to come to school; and, taking six shillings from
his pocket, he laid it on the table, and said that was
payment for six months in advance. This was al-
together a most unusual mode of proceeding. It
was customary for parents, not children, to come
to him to transact this part of the business on a
child's first entering the school; and, although it
was the rule that they should pay a week before-







OR, DIFFICULTIES OVERCOME.


hand, longer than this was never thought of. But
here was a novel state of affairs, and one that he had
never before had to deal with-a boy coming to
*ask to be taken to school who stood in the position
of both parent and purse-keeper to himself!
Jenny had wisely advised Jack to request Mr.
Hartley to accept the six months' pay in advance.
She knew Susan Law well enough to fear that she
would find the money very convenient if she could
manage to beg or borrow it from Jack. Hr. Hart-
ley, being a shrewd man, began to suspect the
state of the case after he had put a few questions
to the lad.
"And so you have earned this money yourself,"
said he, "and you are anxious to learn what I can
teach you ?"
"Yes, sir; I would rather learn than do anything
else."
"Then I am not afraid but that you will get on
quickly, since you have thought so much of the
advantage of coming to school that you have made
an effort to pay for yourself rather than remain
untaught. There is a motto which says, 'Resolve
well and persevere.' Now, you have proved that
you have at all events resolved well; perseverance
is the next thing, and that I hope will follow. If it
does, I have no doubt that the results will be
such as will well reward me for the trouble of teach-
ing, and you for the trouble of learning. You had
better come and begin to-morrow morning." And
7






JACK T1fE CONQUEROR;


then Mr. Hartley opened a large book and wrote
down Jack's name and age, and the date of the
month when he was to begin his attendance, which
little ceremony had the greatest effect on the boy's
feelings of consequence. He watched every letter
as it was rapidly written. Each stroke of the pen
seemed to him to be something more done toward
raising him from his present condition. True, they
were mere meaningless strokes to him, inasmuch as
he could not read writing; but he knew that they
were enrolling his name amongst those of other
school-boys, to him a great distinction in itself!
He had entered that large school-room merely as
Jack Harold, who was nobody at all. He quitted
it as "Jack Harold, school-boy"-indorsed, paid
for, and acknowledged as such! So far had he got
on in life, and so far had he conquered the diffi-
culties in his path.





v V























CHAPTER XII.

FRESH TROUBLES FOR JACK IN QUITE A NEW FORM.

OOD Jenny had shown herself to be a sa-
gacious woman when she made Jack take
his money to Mr. Hartley, instead of keep-
ing it in her hands. Susan Law was beginning to
be aware that her nephew. was making money by
some means or other; otherwise how could he pro-
pose putting himself to school? For he had told
her he hoped to be able to go without his doing so
costing her anything. She listened without interest
at first, thinking that, perhaps, somebody was going
to pay for him, and to this she would not have ob-
jected, seeing that she would be no worse thereby.
But the case altered when she found that he had
(99)


Moncz~5






JACK THE CONQUEROR;


actually provided the means for his schooling for
six months. She suddenly took a great interest in
the way Jack had been spending his time lately;
she insisted on his fetching the basket he had made
for Jenny's work for her to see, inquired minutely
how much he had had for those that Mrs. Naylbr
took to market, and for the one Miss Sutton pur-
chased. She even took a walk by Mrs. Naylor's
cottage to try to get a peep at the cage which a
neighbor had told her Jack had made for Nellie's
thrush. Her covetousness was aroused. Jack was
not yet strong enough to work at the quarries, but
if he were so expert with his fingers, and could thus
turn them to account, she did not see why she
should not reap the benefit.
She was not pleased, then, when she found he
had seen Mr. Hartley, had his name entered in the
school list, and was actually going the next day.
She would greatly have preferred his spending
his hours at his baskets, which she thought might
be sold at Stedwell market constantly; and the
more she thought of it, the more she persuaded
herself into the belief that whatever he could earn
was due to her, and that it was a waste of time for
him to go to school.
"Of what use would reading, and writing, and
figures ever be to him, quarry-man as he would be
all his life?" she argued; and with this notion she
tried to inspire Jack-we need scarcely say-with-
out success.




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