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~~'TH BOAT RACE.
HERBERT CARTER'S LEGACY;
THE INVENTOR'S SON.
HORATIO ALGER, JR.,
AUTHOR OF "TATTERED TOM SERIES," LUCK AND PLUCK SERIES,2
"BRAVE AND BOLD SERIES," ETC., ETC.
THE JOHN C. WINSTON CO.,
FAMOUS ALGER BOOKS.
RAGGED DICK SERIES. By HORATIO ALGER, JR. 6 vols. 12mo. Cloth.
RAGGED DICK. ROUGH AND READY.
FAME AND FORTUNE. BEN THE LUGGAGE BOY.
MARK THE MATCH BOY. RUFUS AND ROSE.
TATTERED TOM SERIES. By HORATIO ALGER, JR. 4 vols. 12mo.
Cloth. FIRST SERIES.
TATTERED TOM. PHIL THE FIDDLER.
PAUL THE PEDDLER. SLOW AND SURE.
TATTERED TOM SERIES. 4 vols. 12mo. Cloth. SECOND SERIES
JULIUS. SAM'S CHANCE.
THE YOUNG OUTLAW. THE TELEGRAPH BOY.
CAMPAIGN SERIES. By HORATIO ALGER, JR. 3 vols.
FRANK'S CAMPAIGN. CHARLIE CODMAN'S CRUISE.
PAUL PRESCOTT'S CHARGE.
LUCK AND PLUCK SERIES. By HORATIO ALGER, JR. 4 vols. 12mo.
Cloth. FIRST SERIES.
LUCK AND PLUCK. STRONG AND STEADY.
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LUCK AND PLUCK'SERIES. 4 vols. 12mo. Cloth. SECOND SERIES.
TRY AND TRUST. RISEN FROM THE RANKS.
BOUND TO RISE. HERBERT CARTER'S LEGACY.
BRAVE AND BOLD SERIES. By HORATIO ALGER, JR. 4 vols. 12mo.
BRAVE AND BOLD. SHIFTING FOR HIMSELF.
JACK'S WARD. WAIT AND HOPE.
PACIFIC SERIES. By HORATIO ALGER, JR. 4 vols. 12mo.
THE YOUNG ADVENTURER. THE YOUNG EXPLORERS.
THE YOUNG MINER. BEN'S NUGGET.
ATLANTIC SERIES. By HORATIO ALGER, JR. 4 vols.
THE YOUNG CIRCUS RIDER. HECTOR'S INHERITANCE.
Do AND DARE. HELPING HIMSELF.
WAY TO SUCCESS SERIES. By HORATIO ALGER, JR. 4vols. 12mo.
BOB BURTON. LUKE WALTON.
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NEW WORLD SERIES. By HORATIO ALGER, JR. 3 vols. 12mo. Cloth.
DIGGING FOR GOLD. FACING THE WORLD. IN A NEW WORLD.
Other Volumes in Preparation.
COPYRIGHT BY A. K. LORING, 1875.
MY YOUNG FRIEND,
ALFRED LINCOLN SELIGMAN,
"HERBERT CARTER'S LEGACY" is the eighth and conclud-
ing volume of thej Luck and Pluck" series. Those who
have read all the stories attentively cannot fail to have
discovered that there is one general idea pervading them
all. The heroes have been differently situated, and have
been led into different paths, but all have met life man-
fully, and overcome by pluck and patience the obstacles
which they found in their way. These stories have been
intended to illustrate the proverb that God helps those
who are willing to help themselves." Those who sit down,
and wait passively for fortune to shower her gifts upon
them, are likely to wait a long time.
During the years which have elapsed since the initial
volume of the series appeared, the author has re-
ceived many letters from boys in different parts of the
country, acknowledging the hope and encouragement which
they have derived from these records of experiences in
many cases resembling their own. Such letters are
always gratifying, and have in all cases been promptly
answered. It is the author's ambition not only to enter-
tain his young readers, but, if possible, to assist them in
the struggle which lies before each and all.
NEW YORK, Oct. 1, 1875.
HERBERT CARTER'S LEGACY;
THE INVENTOR'S SON.
MRS. CARTER RECEIVES A LETTER.
"Is that the latest style?" inquired James Leech,
with a sneer, pointing to a patch on the knee of
Herbert Carter's pants.
Herbert's face flushed. He was not ashamed of
the patch, for he knew that his mother's poverty
made it a necessity. But he felt that it was mean
-and dishonorable in James Leech, whose father was
,one of the rich men of Wrayburn, to taunt him with
what he could not help. Some boys might have
,slunk away abashed, but Herbert had pluck and
stood his ground.
10 HERBERT CARTER'S LEGACY; OR,
"It is my style," he answered firmly, looking
James boldly in the face.
I admire your taste, then," returned James, with
a smooth sneer.
"Then you had better imitate it," retorted Her
Thank you," said James, in the same insulting
tone. "Would you lend me your pants for a pat-
tern? Excuse me, though; perhaps you have no
For shame, James!" exclaimed one or two boys
who had listened to the colloquy, stirred to indigna-
tion by this heartless insult on the part of James
Leech to a boy who was deservedly a favorite with
Herbert's fist involuntary doubled, and James,
though he did not know it, ran a narrow chance of
getting a good whipping. But our young hero con-
trolled himself, not without some difficulty, and said,
" I have one other pair, and these are at your service
whenever you require them."
Then turning to the other boys, he said in a
changed tone, "Who's in for a game of ball?"
THE LTrENTOR'S SON. 1
I," said one promptly.
"And I," said another.
Herbert walked away, accompanied by the othLt
boys, leaving James Leech alone.
James looked after him with a scowl. He was
sharp enough to see that Herbert, in spite of his
patched pants, was a better scholar and a greater
favorite than himself. He had intended to humiliate
him on the present occasion, but he was forced to
acknowledge that he had come off second best from
the encounter. He walked moodily away, and took
what comfort he could, in the thought that he was far
superior to a boy who owned but two pairs of pants,
and one of them patched. He was foolish enough to
feel that a boy or man derived importance from the
extent of his wardrobe; and exulted in the personal
possession of eight pairs of pants.
This scene occurred at recess.
After school was over, Herbert walked home. He
was a little thoughtful. There was no disgrace in a
patch, as he was sensible enough to be aware. Still
he would have a little preferred not to wear one.
That was only natural. In that point, I suppose, my
12 HERBERT CARTE 'S LEGACY; OR,
readers will fully agree with him. But he knew very
well that his mother, who had been left a widow, had
hard work enough to get along as it was, and he had
no idea of troubling her on the subject. Besides, he
had a better suit for Sundays, neat though plain, and
he felt that he ought not to be disturbed by James
So thinking, he neared the small house which he
called home. It was a small cottage, with perhaps
quarter of an acre of land attached, enough upon which
to raise a few vegetables. It belonged to his mother
nominally, but was mortgaged for half its value to
Squire Leech, the father of James. The amount of
the mortgage, precisely, was seven hundred and fifty
dollars. It had cost his father fifteen hundred.
When he built it, obtaining half this sum on mort-
gage, he hoped to pay it up by degrees; but it turned
out that, from sickness and other causes, this proved
impossible. When, five months before, he had died
suddenly, the house, which was all he left, was sub-
ject to this incumbrance. Upon this, interest was
payable semi-annually at the rate of six per cent.
Forty-five dollars a year is not a large sum, but it
THE tNrENTRon'S SON. 13
seemed very large to Mrs. Carter, when added to
their necessary expenses for food, clothing and fuel.
How it was to be paid she did not exactly see. The
same problem had perplexed Herbert, who, like a
good son as he was, shared his mother's cares and
tried to lighten them. But in a small village like
Wrayburn there are not many ways of getting money,
at any rate for a boy. There were no manufactories,
as in some large villages, and money was a scarce
Herbert had, however, one source of income. Half-
a-dozen families, living at some distance from the
post-office, employed him to bring any letters or
papers that might come for them, and for this service
he received a regular tariff of two cents for each
letter, and one cent for each paper. He was not
likely to grow rich on this income, but he felt that,
though small, it was welcome.
According to custom, Herbert called at the post-
office on his way home. He found a letter for Deacon
Crossleigh, one for Mr. Duncan, two for Dr. Waffit,
and papers for each of the two former.
Ten cents 1" he thought with satisfaction.
14 HERBERT CARTER'S LEGACY; OR,
" Well, that is better than nothing, though it won't
buy me a new pair of pants."
He was about to leave the office, when the post-
master called after him, "Wait a minute, Herbert;
I believe there's a letter for your mother."
Herbert returned, and received a letter bearing the
following superscription: -
MRS. ALMIRA CARTER,
"I hope it isn't bad news," said the postmaster.
"I see it's edged with black."
I can't make out where it's from," said Herbert,
scanning the postmark critically.
Nor I," said the postmaster, rubbing mis glasses,
and taking another look. "The postmark is very
There's an n and a p," said Herbert, after a little
examination. I think it must be Randolph."
Randolph? So it is, I declare. Have you got
any friends or relatives living there .
Yes, my mother's uncle Herbert, for whom 1 was
named, lives there."
THE INVENTOR' SOy. 15
Then he must be dead."
"What makes you think so?"
"The envelope is edged with black. You had
better carry it home before you go round with the
"Perhaps I had," said Herbert. I'll run, so as
not to keep the others waiting. Deacon Crossleigh
is always in a hurry for his paper."
Yes, the deacon's always in a fidget to know
what's going on, particularly when the Congress is in
session. He takes a wonderful interest in politics."
Herbert ran up the street with a quick step,
pausing a minute at his humble home.
"L You are out of breath, Herbert. Have you been
running ? "
"1 Yes, I've got a letter for you, and I wanted to
bring it before I went round with the rest."
"A letter! Where from? asked the widow, with
curiosity, for she held very little intercourse with the
world outside of Wrayburn.
"6 It's postmarked Randolph, as well as I can make
out. While you are reading it, I'll run and leave my
letters, and je back to hear the news."
16 HERBERT CARTER'S LEGACY; OR,
In a hurry to do all his errands and get back,
Herbert ran all the way. While his eyes were fixed
on one of the envelopes, he ran full against James
Leech, who was walking up the street with a pompous
In the encounter James's hat came off, and he was
nearly thrown down.
"What made you run into me?" he demanded.
Excuse me, James," said Herbert, recovering
You did it on purpose," said his enemy, glaring
at him angrily.
That isn't very likely," said Herbert. I got
hit as hard as you did."
Your hat didn't get knocked off. Pick it up,"
said James, imperiously, pointing to it as it lay in
I will, because it is by my fault that it fell," said
Herbert, stooping over and picking it up. "You
needn't have ordered me to do it."
The next time take care how you run against a
gentleman," said James, arrogantly.
THE INVENTOR'S SON. 17
Take care the next time to speak like a gentle-
man," said Herbert. Good night! I must be off."
Insolent beggar muttered James. He don't
know his place. How dare he speak to me in that
18 HERBERT CARTER'S LEGACY.T OR,
WHAT THE LETTER CONTAINED.
HALF an hour later, Herbert re-entered the cottage
breathless with running.
"Well, mother, what is it? he asked.
"Uncle Herbert is dead," she answered.
"When did he die?"
"Yesterday morning. They wrote at once. The
funeral is to take place to-morrow afternoon, at three
Uncle Herbert was rich, wasn't he, mother?"
Yes, he must have left nearly a hundred thousand
"What a pile of money!" said Herbert. "I
wonder how a man feels when he is so rich. He
ought to be happy."
Riches don't always bring happiness. Uncle
Herbert was disappointed in early life, and that
seemed to spoil his career. He gave himself up to
THE INVENTOR'S SON. 19
money-making, and succeeded in it; but he lved by
himself and had few sources of happiness."
"Then he had no family ?"
"Do you think he has left us anything, mother?"
asked Herbert, with something of hope in his tone.
"I1 am afraid not. If he had been disposed to do
that, he would have done something for us before.
He knew that we were poor, and that a little assist-
ance would have been very acceptable. But he never
offered it. Even when your father was sick for three
-months, and I wrote to him for a small loan, he re-
fused, saying that we ought to have laid up money to
fall back upon at such a time."
"4 I don't see how a man can be so unfeeling. If he
would only leave us a thousand dollars, how much good
it would do us! We could pay up the mortgage on
the house, and have something left over. It wouldn't
have been much for him to do."
"( Well, we won't think too much about it," said Mrs
Carter. "It will be wisest, as probably we should
be only preparing ourselves for disappointment
20 HERBERT CARTER S LEGACY; OR,
Uncle had a right to do what he pleased with his
"' Shall you go to the funeral, mother?"
I don't see how I can," said Mrs. Carter, slowly.
"4 It is twenty miles off, and I am very busy just now.
Still one of us ought to go, if only to show respect to
so near a relation. People would talk if we didn't.
I think, as you were named for your uncle Herbert, I
will let you go."
"1 If you think best, mother. I will walk, and that
will save expense."
It will be too much for you to take such a walk.
You had better ride."
No, mother, I am young and strong. I can walk
But it must be twenty miles," objected his
The funeral doesn't take place till three o'clock
in the afternoon. I will get up bright and early, say
at five o'clock. By nine I shall be half way there."
"- I am afraid it will be too much for you, Herbert,'
said Mrs. Carter, irresolutely.
THa I NV2ENTOR'S SON. 21
You don't know how strong I am," said Herbert ;
" I sha'n't get tired so easily as you think."
"But twenty miles is a long distance."
"I know that, but I shall take it easy. The stage.
fare is seventy-five cents, and it's a good way to save
it. I wish somebody would offer me seventy-five
cents for every twenty miles I would walk. I'd take
it up as a profession."
I am afraid I could earn little that way. I never
was a good walker."
"You're a woman," said Herbert, patronizingly.
"Women are not expected to be good walkers."
Some are. I remember my aunt Jane would take
walks of five and six miles, and think nothing of it."
I guess I could match her in walking," said Her.
bert, confidently. Is she alive? "
No, she died three years since."
Perhaps I take after her, then."
"You don't take after me, I am sure of that. I
think, Herbert, you had better take seventy-five cents
with you, so that if you get very tired with your walk
over, you can come back by stage."
22 HERBERT CARTER'S LEGACY; OR,
"All right, mother; I'll take the money, but I
shall be sure not to need it."
It is best to be prepared for emergencies, Her-
If I am going to-morrow morning, I must split
up enough wood to last you while I am gone."
I am afraid you will tire yourself. I think I can
get along with what wood there is already split."
Oh, don't be afraid for me. You'll see I'll come
back as fresh as when I set out. I expect to have a
stunning appetite though "
I'll try to cook up enough for you," said his
Herbert went out into the wood-shed, and went to
work with great energy at the wood-pile. In the
course of an hour he had sawed and split several
large baskets full, which he brought in and piled up
behind the kitchen stove.
Mrs. Carter could not be expected to feel very deep
grief for the death of her uncle. It was now more
than six years since they had met. He was a selfish
man, wholly wrapped up in the pursuit of wealth. Had
he possessed benevolent instincts, he would have offered
THE INVENTOR'S SON. 23
to do something out of his abundance for his niece,
who he knew found it very hard to make both ends meet.
But he was a man who was very much averse to part-
ing with his money while he lived. He lived on a
tenth of his income, and saved up the rest, though for
what end he could not well have told. Since the
death of Mr. Carter, whose funeral he had not taken
trouble to attend, though invited, he had not even
written to his niece, and she had abstained from
making any advances, lest it might be thought that
she was seeking assistance. Under these circum-
stances she had little hope of a legacy, though she
could not help admitting the thought of how much a
few hundred dollars would help her, bridging over the
time till Herbert should be old enough to earn fair
wages in some employment. If he could study two or
three years longer, she would have been very glad,
for her son had already shown abilities of no common
order; but that was hardly to be thought of.
There, mother, I guess I've sawed wood enough
to last you, unless you are very extravagant," said
Herbert, re-entering the kitchen, and taking off his
cap. Now is there anything else I can do? You
24 BERBERT CARTER'S LEGACY; OR,
know I shall be gone two days, or a day and a half
at any rate."
"I I think of nothing, Herbert. You had better go
to bed early, and get a good night's rest, for you will
have a hard day before you."
So I will, but eight o'clock will be soon enough.
Just suppose we should get a legacy after all, mother.
Wouldn't it be jolly?"
I wouldn't think too much of it, Herbert. There
isn't much chance of it. Besides, it doesn't seem
right to be speculating about our own personal ad-
vantage when Uncle Herbert lies dead in his house.'
There was justice in this suggestion, but Herbert
could hardly be expected to take a mournful view of
the death of a relative whom he hardly remembered,
and who had appeared scarcely to be aware of his
existence. It was natural that the thought of his
wealth should be uppermost in his young nephew's
mind. The reader will hardly be surprised to hear
that Herbert, knowing only too well the disadvantages
of poverty, should have speculated a little about his
uncle's property after he went to bed. Indeed, it did
not leave him even with his waking consciousness
THE INVENTOR' SON. 25
He dreamed that his uncle left him a big lump of
gold, so big and heavy that he could not lift it. He
was considering anxiously how in the world he was
going to get it home, when all at once he awoke, and
heard the church clock strike five.
"Time I was on my way! he thought, and, jump-
ing out of bed, he dressed himself as quickly as pos-
sible, and went downstairs. But, early as it was, his
mother was down before him. There was a fire in the
kitchen stove, and the cloth was laid for breakfast.
What made you get up so early, mother? asked
I wouldn't have you go away without breakfast,
Herbert, especially for such a long walk."
I meant to take something from the closet. That
would have done well enough."
You will be all the better for a good, warm cup
of tea. Sit right down. It is all ready."
Early as it was, the breakfast tasted good. Her.
bert ate hastily, for he was anxious to be on his way.
Knowing that he could not afford to buy lunch, he
put the remnants of the breakfast, including some
slices of bread and butter and meat, into his satchel,
and started on his long walk.
26 HERBERT CARTER'S LEGACY : OR,
HERBERT MEETS A RELATIVE.
HERBERT had never been to Randolph. In fact, he
had never been so far away from Wrayburn. He was
not afraid of losing his way, however. Here and
there along the road, guide-posts were conveniently
placed, and these removed any difficulty on that
When he had gone about six miles, the coach
rattled by. It had started more than an hour later.
Herbert turned out for the lumbering vehicle, and
waited for it to pass. There was a boy on top, but
such was the cloud of dust that he could not at first
recognize him. It happened, however, that one of
the traces broke, so that the driver was compelled to
make a stop just as he overtook our hero. Then hc
saw that the boy on top was James Leech.
With James curiosity overcame his disinclination
to speak to one so far beneath him.
THE INVENTOR'S so0. 27
Where are you going, Carter?" he inquired.
To Randolph," was the answer.
Going to walk all the way ?"
"I expect to," said Herbert, not relishing the
"I Why don't you ride ?"
James did not ask for information. He knew well
enough already, but as there are purse-proud men, so
there are boys who are actuated by feelings equally
unworthy, and it delighted him to remind Herbert of
his poverty. Herbert divined this, but he was proud
in his way, and answered, Because I choose."
"Well, you must like the dust, that's all," said
James, complacently tapping his well-polished boot
with a light cane which he had bought.
Where are you going ?" asked Herbert, thinking
it about time for him to commence questioning.
"I'm going to Randolph, too," answered James
with unwonted affability. I'm going to stop a few
days with a friend of mine, Tom Spencer. His
father's a rich man -got a nice place there. Didn't
you ever hear of Mr. Spencer, the lawyer? "
I don't think I have."
28 HERBERT CARTER'S LEGACY; OR,
That's his father. He makes a load of money by
his law business. I think I shall study law some
time. Perhaps I'll go into partnership with him.
What are you going to be ?"
I don't know yet," said Herbert.
I suppose you'll be a mechanic of some kind,-
a carpenter, or mason, or bricklayer."
"Perhaps so," said Herbert, quietly.
"What are you going to Randolph for ?" asked
James, with sudden curiosity.
To attend my uncle's funeral."
What's your uncle's name? "
The same as mine."
I suppose he was poor."
No, he was rich."
Was he?" repeated James, in some surprise.
" What do you think he was worth? "
About a hundred thousand dollars."
Sho! you don't siy so. Perhaps," continued
James, with new-born respect, "he has left you
something in his will.
I don't think so."
THE INVENTOR'S SON. 29
He hasn't shown any interest in us for six years,
and I don't think he'll remember us now."
James looked thoughtful. He had never before
heard of this relationship, or he would have treated
Herbert differently. The mere fact of having a
wealthy relative elevated our hero considerably in
his eyes. Then, too, there was a possibility that
Herbert would turn out a legatee.
When is your uncle's funeral?" he inquired, after
"You won't get there in time. You had better get
up and ride."
No, I guess not."
"Well, perhaps I shall meet you at Randolph."
By this time the harness was repaired, the driver
resumed his seat, and whipped up the horses to make
up for lost time.
I'm glad I don't think as much of money as
James Leech," thought Herbert. "I suppose if my
uncle would only leave us a good round sum, he
would forget that I once wore patched pants, and
accept me as his intimate friend."
80 HERBERT CARTER'S LEGACY; OR,
This was exactly what James would have don6.
and Herbert showed that he was not wholly without
knowledge of the world in forming the conjecture.
Pausing occasionally to rest, Herbert at length
accomplished his journey, arriving at Randolph a
little after noon. He stopped just outside the village
and ate his frugal dinner, which by this time he was
prepared to relish. He then took off his jacket and
beat the dust out of it, dusted his shoes, and washed
his face in a little brook by the roadside. Having
thus effaced the marks of travel, he entered the vil-
lage and inquired the way to the residence of his late
uncle. He found out where it was, but did not go
there yet, knowing that there would be preparations
going on for the funeral. Neither did he go to the
tavern, for he knew that he would be expected to
dine there, and this was an expense which he did not
feel able to incur. He threw himself down in the
shade of a tree, and remained there until after he
heard the church clock strike two. He was still
lying there when a young man, smartly dressed,
sporting a showy watch-chain and locket and an im-
mense neck-tie, came up the street and accosted him
THEr INVNTORS SON 31
I say, boy, can you tell me where old man Car-
ter's house is ?"
Yes," said Herbert. "Do you want to go
"1 Of course I do. I'm one of the relatives. I've
come all the way from New York to attend the
"I'm one of the relations, too," said Herbert.
" We'll go along together."
By Jove, that's strange! How are you related
to the old chap ?" drawled the young man.
He was my mother's uncle."
"6Was he ? Well, I'm a second or third cousin, I
don't know which. Never saw him to my knowledge.
In fact, I wouldn't have come on to the funeral, if I
hadn't heard that he was rich. Expect to be remem-
"' I don't think so. He hasn't taken any notice of
mother or myself for years."
Indeed!" said the young man, who was rather
pleased to hear this intelligence. Are there manj
relations, do you know?"
"4 I don't think there are."
82 HEBBERT CARTER'S LEGACY; OR,
That's good. It makes our chance better, you
know. I say, what's your name?"
"c Same as the old man's?"
Did he know you was named for him ?"
"Then he may leave you something for the name,"
suggested the other, not very well pleased.
I don't expect anything. What is your name? "
Cornelius Dixon. I'm related to the old man on
my mother's side."
Are you in business in New York?" asked Her-
bert, who, in spite of the queer manners of his new
relative, felt considerable respect for one who hailed
from so important a city.
"Yes, I'm a salesman in a New York store.
Where do you live ?"
About twenty miles from here."
"Some one-horse country town, I suppose. Are
you in any business? "
THE INVENTOR'S SON. 33
No," said Herbert, "6 but I'd like to be. Do you
think you could get me a place in New York ?"
Well," said Cornelius, flattered by the belief in
his influence which this inquiry implied, perhaps I
might. You can give me your name and address, so
I can write to you if I hear of anything. If the old
man only leaves me a few thousand dollars, I'll go
into business for myself, and then I'd have an open-
ing for you."
"1 I hope he will, then."
"1 So do I. That is where we both agree. But
perhaps it will be you that will get the cash."
"I don't think so."
If you do, put it into my hands, and go into
partnership with me. I've got business experience,
you know; while you're green, countrified, you know.
It would never do for you to start alone."
No, I shouldn't think of it."
"' Then it's agreed, is it? said Cornelius. If I
get a legacy, I'll take you into my store. If you get
it, you will go into partnership with me."
I'm willing," said Herbert, who really believed
that his companion had as valuable business qualifi-
34 HERBERT CARTER'S LEGACY; OR,
cations as he claimed. How was he to know that
the pretentious Cornelius was only a salesman, at
twelve dollars a week, in a dry goods store on Eighth
By this time they had reached the rather dingy-
looking house of their deceased relative. The front
door was open. They passed through the gate, and,
entering, took their places with the mourners.
THE INVENTOR'S SONS.
READING THE WILL.
APPARENTLY the deceased had but few relatives
But six persons were in a small room appropriated to
the mourners when our hero and his new acquaint-
ance entered. One of these, and far the most
imposing in appearance, was a stout lady, who quite
filled up the only arm-chair in the room. In a plain
chair close by was a meek little man, three inches
shorter, and probably not more than half her weight.
A boy and girl, the children of the ill-matched pair,
the former resembling the father, the latter the
mother, were ranged alongside. Permit me to in-
troduce Mr. and Mrs. Josiah Pinkerton, of Castle-
ton, an adjoining town, Master Albert and Miss
Mrs. Pinkerton is a milliner, and her husband is
her clerk and errand-boy. She has considerable
business capacity, and makes enough to support the
86 HERBERT CARTER'S .LEGACY; OR,
family comfortably, besides adding something annu.
ally to the fund in the savings-bank. The relation-
ship to the deceased is on the side of the husband,
who is a cousin. This relationship has given rise to
great expectations on the part of Mrs. Pinkerton,
who fully expects to inherit half the estate of Mr.
"If we get it, Josiah," she has promised magnifi-
cently, I'll buy you a new suit of clothes."
"But, Maria," expostulated the meek husband.
"it will be left to me, not to you."
"Why so?" demanded she, frowning.
"/Because he is my cousin, not yours."
"You indeed!" retorted the wife, angrily; "and
what do you know about the use of money? Who
supports the family, I should like to know?"
I help," answered Josiah, meekly.
And precious little you help," returned his wife,
sarcastically. So far as you are concerned, we
should all be in the poor-house long before this. No,
Josiah, the money must come into my hands. I'll
give you a good allowance, and hire an errand-boy,
THE INVENTOR'S SON. 37
so that you needn't have to carry round bundles.
You ought to be contented with that."
As no legacy had yet been received, Mr. Pinkerton
thought it best not to continue the discussion. In-
deed, he was rather afraid of his imperious wife, who
held the reins of authority, and whom he did not dare
The two other relations were, first, a brown-faced
and brown-handed farmer, Alonzo Granger, and an
old lady, of seventy or thereabouts, -Miss Nancy
Carter, a sister of the deceased. For years she had
lived on a small pension from her brother, increased
somewhat by knitting stockings for the neighbors.
She, indeed, was the only real mourner. The rest
were speculating about how far they were likely to be
benefited by the death of the deceased, of whom
they had seen but little in life. Even Herbert,
though impressed by the presence of death, could
hardly be expected to feel deep grief for a man who
had neglected his mother in his life.
Of the funeral rites it is unnecessary to speaa.
We are interested in what came afterward.
The relations were quietly notified to meet at five
38 BERBERT CARTER'S LEGACY; OR,
o'clock in the office of Mr. Spencer, the lawyer, to
whom had been intrusted the will of the late Mr.
Carter. Those who have even a slight knowledge of
human nature will not need to be told that the
attendance of all was punctual. There was an anx-
ious, expectant look on the faces of all--not even
excepting the old lady. She knew that if her brother
had made no provision for her, she must go to the
almshouse, and against this her honest pride
revolted. She was willing to live on anything, how-
ever little, if she might live independently, as she
had hitherto done. To feel herself dependent on
public charity would indeed have been a hard trial
for the poor old lady. Of all, probably Mrs. Pink-
erton was the most confident. She had come to feel
that her family was entitled to a large share of the
estate, and she had gone so far as to decide just how
she would invest it, and what new arrangements she
would make, for she had no idea of consulting her
husband on the subject.
The lawyer was a gentlemanly-looking man, whose
face inspired confidence in his integrity, a remark
which, unhappily, cannot be made of all in his profes-
THE rIVENTOR'S SON. $9
sion. He took his seat at a table, and produced the
will, which he considerately commenced reading at
once. After the usual introduction, the will pro-
ceeded thus :-
"To my sister Nancy I give the use of my house,
rent free, as long as she shall live. I leave her also
an income of two hundred dollars a-year, which, as
her wants are small, will be sufficient to maintain her
The old lady breathed a sigh of relief. Her fears
were removed. She could continue to live as she had
been accustomed to do, and need not be beholden to
private or public charity. Mrs. Pinkerton was not
so well pleased. She felt almost as if she had been
deprived of what belonged to her by right. She
frowned at Miss Nancy, but the old lady was uncon-
scious of the displeasure excited in the bosom of her
The lawyer proceeded: "To my cousin Alonzo
Granger I leave one hundred dollars; not because
he needs it, for I understand that he is well-to-do,
but as a mark of remembrance."
The farmer scowled slightly, and opened and
40 HERBERT CARTER'S LEGACY; OR,
closed his brown hands in dissatisfaction. He was
well-todo; but when was a man ever satisfied with
that? He had counted upon a few thousands, with
which he proposed to buy an adjoining farm. Mrs.
Pinkerton, however, was pleased. There was so
much the more for her.
"To Cornelius Dixon"--here Herbert's morning
acquaintance began to feel excited- I bequeath
one hundred dollars, to buy a looking-glass and a new
suit of clothes."
The young man's face lengthened very perceptibly
as he heard the small amount of his legacy, and he
glared savagely at Mrs. Pinkerton, who showed a
mirthful face at his discomfiture.
Her turn came next.
"ITo Josiah Pinkerton, his wife and children, I
leave one hundred dollars apiece; also my best black
pantaloons, which he or his wife may appropriate, as
may be arranged between them."
All except the Pinkertons laughed at this sly hit,
and even the lawyer smiled; but the stout lady
flushed with rage and disappointment, and ejaculatea,
" Abominable! The eyes of all were now directed
THE INVENTOR'S SON. 41
to Herbert, who was the only one remaining. Could
it be possible that the balance of the property was
left to him ? The fear of this made him the focus of
unfriendly eyes, and he became restive and anxious.
To my namesake, Herbert Carter, I leave a
black trunk which I keep in my room, with all that it
contains. To his mother I direct that the sum of
one hundred dollars be paid."
This was not much, but it was more than Herbert
had expected. He knew how welcome even one
hundred dollars would be to his mother, and he
looked satisfied, the only one of the party, except
the old lady, who showed any pleasure at the con-
tents of the will.
The relatives looked bewildered. All had been
mentioned in turn, and yet but a small part a
very small part of the estate had been disposed of.
Mrs. Pinkerton bluntly expressed the general curi-
Who's to have the rest, Mr. Spencer?" she
I'm coming to that," answered the lawyer,
42 HERBERT CARTER'S LEGACY. OR,
All the rest and residue of my property, of what-
ever kind, I leave to the town of Randolph, to
establish a high school, directing that not more than
twenty thousand dollars be expended upon the build-
ing, which shall be of brick. I desire that the school
shall be known as the Carter School, to the end that
my name may be remembered in connection with
what I hope will prove a public blessing."
"I' That is all," said the lawyer, and he laid down
the will upon the table.
THE INVENTOR'S SON. 43
WHAT CAME AFTERWARD.
THERE was silence for a minute after the will was
read. Mrs. Pinkerton fanned herself furiously, and
looked angry and excited.
At length she said, "I wish to say that that is a
very unjust will, Mr. Spencer."
"I am not responsible for it, Mrs. Pinkerton,"
answered the lawyer, quietly.
I don't know what the rest of you think," said
the angry lady, with a general glance around the
office, but I think the will ought to be broken."
On what grounds?" asked Mr. Spencer.
"He had no right to put off his own flesh and
blood with a beggarly pittance, and leave all his
money to the town."
"4Pardon me; whatever you may think of Mr.
Carter's will, there is no doubt that he had a perfect
legal right to dispose of it as he did."
44 HERBERT CARTER'S LEGACY; OR,
""Then the laws ought to be altered," said Mrs.
Pinkerton, angrily. "I don't believe he was sane
when he made the will."
"If you can prove that," said the lawyer, you
can set aside the will; but not otherwise."
My brother was in his right mind," here inter-
posed Miss Nancy. 1"He always meant to give the
town money for a school."
No doubt you think he was sane," sneered Mrs.
Pinkerton, turning upon the old lady. You have
fared better than any of us."
"Miss Nancy was most nearly related to the
deceased," said the lawyer, "and she needed help
It's all very well to talk," said the lady, tossing
her head, "but me and mine have been badly used.
I have hard work enough to support the family, and
little help I get from him," she added, pointing to
her unhappy husband.
"I'm working' all the time," remonstrated Josiah,
"' You are unkind, Maria."
I could hire a boy to do all your work for three
dollars a week," she retorted. That's all you help
THE INVENTOR'S SON. 4
me. I've worried along for years, expecting' Mr.
Carter would do something handsome for us; and now
he's put us off with four hundred dollars."
"I get only one hundred," said the farmer.
"And I too. It's a beastly shame," remarked
Really," said the lawyer, "it appears to me un-
seemly to speak so bitterly so soon after the funeral."
I dare say you like it well enough," said Mrs.
Pinkerton, sharply. You've got all our money to
build a school-house."
It will not benefit me any more than the towns-
people generally," said the lawyer. For my part, I
should have been glad if my late friend had left a
larger sum to those connected with him by blood."
Don't you think we could break the will?" asked
Mrs. Pinkerton, persuasively. "Couldn't you help
"You can attempt it, but I assure you in
advance you haven't the ghost of a chance. You
would only lose your money, for the town would
strenuously oppose you."
46 HERBERT CARTER'S LEGACY; OR,
The stout lady's face fell. She felt that the last
hope was gone.
All I can say is, that it's a scandalous thing,"
she concluded bitterly.
I should like to know what's in that trunk he left
you," said Cornelius Dixon, turning to Herbert.
May be it's money, or bonds. If it is, don't for-
get our agreement."
This drew attention to Herbert.
To be sure," said Mrs. Pinkerton, whose
curiosity was aroused, Mr. Dixon may be right.
Suppose we all go over to the house and open it."
Herbert looked irresolutely toward the lawyer.
There is no objection, I suppose," said Mr.
I know what's in the trunk," said Miss Nancy.
Straightway all eyes were turned upon her.
What is it?"
It's clothes. My brother used to keep his clothes
in that trunk."
Cornelius Dixon burst into a rude laugh.
"1 I say, Herbert, I congratulate you," he said, with
a chuckle. The old fellow's left you his wardrobe.
Ts INVENTORn'S soN. 47
You'll look like a peacock when you put 'em on. If
you ever come to New York to see me, leave 'em at
home. I wouldn't like to walk up Broadway with
such a gawk as you'd look."
Young man," said Miss Nancy, her voice
tremulous, it don't look well in you to ridicule my
poor departed brother. He didn't forget you."
He might as well," muttered Cornelius.
I hope you won't laugh at my brother's gift," said
the old lady, turning to Herbert.
No, ma'am," said Herbert, respectfully. "I am
glad to get it. I can't afford to buy new clothes
often, and they can be made over for me."
"tYou wouldn't catch me wearing such .old
fashioned duds," said Cornelius, scornfully.
No one asked you to, young man," said the old
lady, disturbed at the manner in which her brother
was spoken of. The boy's worth a dozen of you."
Thaak you," said Cornelius, bowing with mock
respect. "I should like to ask," he continued, turn-
mg to the lawyer, when I can get my legacy. It
isn't much, but I might as well take it."
"BAs the amount is small, I will send you a cheque
48 HERBERT CARTER'S LEGACY; OR,
next week," said Mr. Spencer, if you will leave me
And can I have my money too ?" demanded Mrs.
Pinkerton. It's a miserable pittance, but I owe it
to my poor children to take it."
I will send your husband a cheque also, next
You needn't send it to him. You may send it to
me," said the lady.
"1 Part of it is mine," expostulated the husband in
I can give you your part," said his wife. Mr.
Spencer, you may make the cheque payable to me."
""But Maria -"
"1 Be silent, Josiah! Don't make a fool of your-
self," said his wife, in an imperious tone.
The poor man was fain to be silent, but the lawyer
was indignant, and said," "Mr. Pinkerton, I will cer-
tainly not pay your legacy, nor your children's, to any
one but yourself. I will send Mrs. Pinkerton a
cheque for her own share, one hundred dollars, -
since she desires it."
I insist upon your sending me the children's
THE INVENTOR'S SON. 44
money also," said the lady angrily. "He aint fit to
take charge of it."
You may insist as much as you like, Mrs. Pink-
erton," said the lawyer, coolly, but it will be useless.
As the head of the family, I shall send, the money
designed for the children to your husband."
"Do you call him the head of the family? "
demanded the angry Maria. I would have you
to know, sir, that I am the head of the family."
The law does not recognize you as such. As to
the pantaloons, which form a part of the legacy, I
will forward them to you, if you wish."
Do you mean to insult me, sir?" gasped Mrs..
Pinkerton, growing very red in the face.
Not at all; but they were left either to you or
your husband, as you might jointly agree."
The lady was about to decline accepting them at
all, but it occurred to her that they might be made
over to suit her husband, and so save the expense of
a new pair, and she directed that they should be sent
Then, gathering her family about her, she strode
50 HERBERT CARTER'S LEGACY; OR,
majestically from the office, shaking off, metaphor.
ically, the dust of her feet against it.
Next Mr. Granger, after a few words with the
lawyer, departed. Mr. Cornelius Dixon also an.
bounced that he must depart.
Come and see me some time in the city," he said
to Herbert, and if you ever get a windfall just put
it into my hands, and I'll go into business with
I'll remember," said Herbert, but I'm afraid it'll
be a good while before that."
"I don't know about that. You can open a
second-hand clothing store. The old man's left you a
good stock in trade. Good joke, isn't it? Good-
Next Miss Nancy rose to go.
"L Tell your ihother to call and see me, my boy,"
she said kindly to Herbert. "I wish my brother'd
"left her more, for I know she needs it."
"Thank you, Miss Nancy, said Herbert, respect.
fully; but we don't complain. We are thankful foi
what we have received."
THE mIrNTOR'S SOx. 51
"You're the best of 'em," said the old lady
earnestly. "You're a good boy, and God will
She went out, and of the eight heirs Herbert alone
62 HERBERT CARIIR'S LEGACY OR1
THE LAWYER'S HOME.
THE lawyer regarded Herbert with a smile.
"IYour uncle's will doesn't seem to have given
general satisfaction," he said.
No," responded Herbert; "but for my part I
have come out as well as I expected."
I suppose you know Mr. Carter was rich?"
So my mother told me."
How much do you think he was worth ?"
Herbert was rather surprised at this question.
Why should the lawyer ask it, when of course he knew
much more about the matter ?
About a hundred thousand dollars, I suppose," he
"1 You are not far wrong. Now doesn't your share,
and your mother's, seem very small compared with
this large amount?"
It is very small compared with that, but we had
THE INVENTOR'S SON. 5e
no claim to anything. The clothes and the money
will be very useful to us."
You are a model heir," said Mr. Spencer, smiling.
" You alone do not find fault, except of course Miss
Nancy, who has fared the best."
I would rather make a fortune for myself than in-
herit one from another," said Herbert, sturdily.
"I respect your independence, my boy," said the
lawyer, who felt favorably disposed toward our hero.
"Still, a legacy isn't to be despised. Now tell me
when you want to take your trunk."
I want to ask your advice about that," said Her-
bert. "I walked over from Wrayburn. How shall I
carry the trunk back ?"
"4 You will have to return by the stage to-morrow
morning, that is, if you are ready to go back so
Do they charge much to stop over night at the
hotel?" asked Herbert, anxiously, for he had but
seventy-five cents with him. It occurred to him how
foolish he had been not to consider that it would be
necessary for him to spend the night in Randolph.
"I don't know exactly how much. I think they
54 HERBERT CARTER'S LEGACY; OR,
charge fifty cents for a bed, and the same for each
Herbert's face lengthened, and he became alarmed.
How was he going to manage, on his limited
The lawyer penetrated his perplexity, and, being a
kind-hearted man, quickly came to his relief.
"I think you would find it lonely at the hotel, my
boy," he said, and I shall therefore invite you to
pass the night at my house instead."
"You are very kind, sir," said Herbert, gratefully,
finding his difficulty happily removed. "I accept
your invitation with pleasure."
The boy has been well brought up, if he is poor,"
thought Mr. Spencer. Well," he said, that is set-
tled. I think our supper must be ready, so we will
go over to the house at once. By the way, there is
a boy from your town visiting my son. You must
Is it James Leech ?" asked Herbert, remember-
ing what James had told him.
Yes. Do you know him? "
"We are school-mates."
THEI INENTOR'S SON. 5
"Then it will be pleasant for you to meet."
Herbert was not quite sure about this, but forboret
to say so.
He accompanied Mr. Spencer to his house, which
was just across the street from the office, and fol-
lowed the lawyer into an apartment handsomely
furnished. James Leech and Tom Spencer were
sitting at a small table, playing checkers.
"Halloo, Carter!" exclaimed James, in surprise,
" how came you here?"
"Mr. Spencer invited me," said Herbert, not
surprised at the mode of address.
"Did your uncle leave you anything?" asked
James, with interest.
-' How much?"
"I e left my mother a hundred dollars."
That isn't much," said James, contemptuously.
"6 Was that all?"
No, he left me a trunk, and what is in it."
"What is in it ?"
Clothes, I believe."
"A lot of old clothes I" commented James, turn.
56 HERBERT CARTER'S LEGACY; OR,
ing up his nose. That's a fine legacy, I must
I shall find them useful," said Herbert, quietly.
Oh, no doubt. You can roll up the pants and
coatcsleeves. It will be fun to see you parading
round in your uncle's tail-coats."
I don't think you'll have that pleasure," said
Herbert, flushing. "If I wear them I shall have
them made over for me."
I congratulate you on your new and extensive
wardrobe," said James, mockingly. Won't you
cut a dash, though, on the streets of Wrayburn "
Herbert did not deign a reply to this rude speech.
Tom Spencer, who was much more of a gentleman
than James, was disgusted with his impertinence.
He rose, and took Herbert by the hand.
You must let me introduce myself," he said.
"6' My name is Thomas Spencer, and I am glad to see
Thank you," said Herbert, his heart opening at
the frank and cordial manner of the other. 1' My
name is Herbert Carter, and I am very glad to make
THE INVENTOR'S Boy. 57
Are you going to finish this game, Tom?"
drawled James, not relishing the idea of Herbert's
receiving any attention from his friend.
"If you don't mind, we'll have it another time,"
said Tom. "There goes the supper-bell, and I for
one am hungry."
At the supper-table James noticed, to his secret
disgust, that Herbert was treated with as much consid-
eration as himself. Mr. and Mrs. Spencer appeared
to consider them social equals, which made James
"Y You boys are about of an age, I suppose," said
"I I really don't know," said James, haughtily.
"You attend the same school? "
"Yes," said James, but I expect to go to some
select academy very soon. At a public school you
have to associate with all classes, you know."
Mr. Spencer arched his brows, and steadily
regarded the young aristocrat.
"I don't see any great distinction of classes in a
country village," said he, dryly. Besides, we are
living in a republic."
58 HERBERT CARTER'S LEGACY' OR,
"You wouldn't like to associate on equal terma
with a day-laborer," said James, pertly.
I am a laborer myself," said the lawyer, smiling.
" I wish I could say I were a day-laborer exclusively,
but sometimes I have to work into the night."
You are a professional man, and a gentleman,"
said James. You don't work with your hands."
"II hope you boys will all grow up gentlemen,"
said Mr. Spencer.
"I shall, of course," said James
"And you, Tom?"
"I hope so."
And you, Herbert?"
I hope so, too," said Herbert; but if it is nec-
essary to be rich to be a gentleman, I am not sure
What is your idea of a gentleman, James?"
asked the lawyer.
He must be of a good family, and wear good
clothes, and live nicely."
"Is that all ?"
He ought to be well educated."
I see you name that last which I should name
THE INVENTOR S SON. 59
fist. So these constitute a gentleman, in your
"I Yes, sir."
Not always. I have known men combining all
the qualifications you have mentioned, who were very
far from being gentlemen, in my opinion."
How is that, sir?" asked James, puzzled.
They were arrogant, puffed up with an idea of
their own importance, deficient in politeness."
"IHow well he has described James!" thought
Herbert, but he was too much of a gentleman to
James looked disconcerted, and dropped the sub-
ject. He thought the lawyer had some queer ideas.
Why need a gentleman be polite to his inferiors? he
thought, but he didn't say so.
After supper the boys went out behind the house,
and feasted on peaches, which were just ripe. Her-
bert found Tom very social, but James took very
little notice of him. Our hero did not make himself
unhappy on this account. In fact, he was in unusual
good spirits, and enjoyed in anticipation the pleasure
60 HEKRBERT CARTER'S LEGACY; OR,
of going back to Wrayburn with the welcome news
of the two legacies.
About half-past seven Mr. Spencer came out into
"As the stage starts early Zu the morning, Her-
bert," he said, we had better go over and get tne
trunk ready, so that you can take it home."
James Leech hoped to receive an invitation to
accompany the two; but no invitation was given, and
he was forced to content himself with staying behind.
THE INVENTOR'S SONf. 61
A WELCOME DISCOVERY.
T' PI'bNCER entered the house so lately vacated
b t ^o d man who had occupied it for forty years.
"The trunk is in your uncle's room," said the law-
yer, or ought to be. I suppose it has not been
The two entered the chamber. It was a small,
poorly-furnished apartment, covered with a carpet
which, cheap in the first place, was so worn with use
that the bare floor showed in spots.
Your uncle was not very luxurious in his taste,"
said Mr. Spencer. There are plenty of day-labor-
ers in town who have as good rooms as this."
I suppose he liked laying up money better than
spending it," said Herbert.
"( You are right there. This must be the trunk."
It was a small, black hair trunk, studded with brass
nails. Mr. Spencer took a bunch of keys from his
62 HERBERT CARTER'S LEGACY; OR,
pocket and unlocked it. Lifting the cover he ex.
posed to view a collection of woollen clothes, coats,
vests and pants.
This is your legacy, Herbert," said the lawyer.
I am afraid you won't find it very valuable. What
is this ?"
He drew out, and held up to view, a blue cloak of
"1 Will you try it on? he said, smiling.
Herbert threw it over his shoulders, and looked at
himself in a small seven-by-nine looking-glass which
was suspended over the wash-stand. It came down
nearly to his feet.
"(I should hardly dare to wear this without alter-
ation," he said; "but there is a good deal of good
cloth in it. Mother can cut a coat and vest out of it
"Here is a blue coat with brass buttons. I ret
member your uncle used to wear it to church twenty
years ago. Of late years he has not attended, and
has had no occasion to wear it. Here is a pair of
pantaloons; but they are pretty well worn."
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THE INVENTOR'S SON. 63
So they went through the list, finding little of
value. The last article was a vest.
It seems heavy," said Herbert.
The lawyer took it from him and examined it.
There seems to be an inside pocket," he said.
"There must be something in it."
The pocket was confined by a button; Mr. Spencer
thrust his fingers inside, and drew out something
loosely enveloped in brown paper.
"What have we here?" he said, in a tone of curi
The secret was speedily solved. When the paper
was opened, it was found to contain five gold eagles,
and two dollars in silver coins.
Herbert's eyes glistened with delight as he viewed
Fifty-two dollars he exclaimed. "And it is
"Undoubtedly. The will expressly says you are to
have the trunk, and all it contains."
I wonder whether Uncle Herbert remembered this
64 HERBERT CARTER'S LEGACY; OR,
"We can't tell as to that, but it doesn't affect your
title to the money. I congratulate you, Herbert."
It will do us a great deal of good. Then there
ar'e the hundred dollars for mother. Why, we shall
Then you are content with your legacy? asked
"Oh, yes; it was more than I expected, or mother,
Yet it is but a mere drop of your uncle's wealth,"
said the lawyer, thoughtfully.
"That may be; but he needn't have left us any-
"I see you look upon it in the best way. You are
quite a model heir very different from most of youi
relatives -Mrs. Pinkerton, for instance."
"I supposed she expected more than I did."
She appeared to expect the bulk of the property.
I am afraid her husband will have a hard time of it
for a week to come," said the lawyer, laughing. He
will have to bear the brunt of her disappointment.
Well, there seems no more for us to do here. We
have found out the value of your legacy, and may
THE INVENTOR'S SON. 65
lock the trunk again. If you will lend a hand, we
will take it across to my house, so that there may be
no delay when the stage calls in the morning."
"All right, sir."
James Leech was looking out of the front window,
awaiting the return of Mr. Spencer and Herbert with
not a little curiosity. At length he spied them.
"Tom!" he exclaimed, "your father and that
Carter boy are coming back."
Why do you call him that Carter boy? Why
don't you call him Herbert ? "
I am not on intimate terms with him," said
That is strange, as you both live in the same
"1 You must remember that there is some difference
in our social positions," said James, haughtily.
That is something I never think of," said Tom,
candidly. I am a genuine republican."
I am not," said James. I should like to live in
England, where they have noblemen."
Not unless you could be a nobleman yourself, I
66 HERBERT CARTER'S LEGACY; OB,
No; of course not."
By this time Mr. Spencer and Herbert were bring-
ing the trunk into the front entry.
I shouldn't think a professional gentleman like
your father would like to be seen carrying a trunk
across the street," said James.
Oh, he don't care for that; nor should I," said
Herbert entered the room.
"Well, Herbert, what luck? asked Tom.
Better than I expected," said Herbert, gayly.
" What do you say to that? and he displayed the
gold and silver.
How much is it? asked James, his vanity melt-
ing under the influence of curiosity.
Capital I" said Tom.
It isn't much," said James, in a tone of deprecia-
I'll bet Herbert is richer than you, James," said
Tom, in a lively manner. Can you show as much
money as that ?"
THE INVENTOR'S 8ON. 67
I shall, be a rich man some day," said James, with
an air of importance.
Your father may fail."
The moon may be made of green cheese," re-
torted James, loftily. How about the clothes? Are
you going to show them?"
I think not," said Herbert.
A parcel of rags, I suppose," said James, with a
Not quite so bad as that," responded Herbert,
good-naturedly. Still I think I shall hardly ven-
ture to wear any of them without alteration."
I wouldn't wear second-hand clothes," remarked
James Leech, in his usual amiable tone.
Perhaps you would if you were poor," said Her-
"1 But I am not poor."
"Fortunately for you."
"Then you won't show the clothes? I suppose
they look as if they were made in the year one."
"6For our forefather Adam?" suggested Tom,
laughing. "I am inclined to think the old gentleman
68 HERBERT CARTER'S LEGACY; OR,
in question hadn't clothes enough to fill a trunk as
large as that."
Probably not," said Herbert; he had no uncle,
you know, to leave any to him."
"What are you going to do with your money, Car-
ter?" asked James, whose curiosity got the better of
his dignity occasionally.
I haven't made up my mind yet. I think I shall
find plenty of uses for it."
"What would you do with it if you had it,
James ? asked Tom.
I can have more if I want to. I have only to ask
Then you're better off than I. Say, father, will
you give me fifty-two dollars ?"
"When you are twenty-one I may do it."
"You see," said Tom. "But you haven't an-
swered my question. What would you do with the
money if you had it ?"
"I think I would buy a new row-boat; there's a
pond near our house."
"When you get it send for me, and I'll help you
THE INVENTOR'S SON. 69
Very well," said James; but he did not answer
very positively. In fact, he was by no means sure
that his father would comply with his request for
money, although it suited him to make this represen-
tation to his companions.
Herbert retired early. It had been a fatiguing day
for him, and it would be necessary to rise in good
season the next day, as the coach left Randolph for
Wrayburn at an early hour.
714 HIERBERT CARTER'S LEGACY; OR,
MRS. CARTER awaited Herbert's return with inter-
est. She felt lonely without him, for he had never
before been away from home to stay over night. But
there was a feeling of anticipation besides. Her
hopes of a legacy were not very strong, but of course
there was a possibility of her uncle's having lemem-
bered them in his will.
Even if it is only five dollars, it will be wel-
come," she thought. Where people are so poor as
we are, every little helps."
She sat at her sewing when the stage stopped be.
fore the door.
I'm glad he rode home," thought the widow;
"the walk both ways would have been too fa-
But why does not Herbert come in at once?"
THE INVENTOR'S SON. 71
He had gone behind the coach, and the driver was
helping him take down a trunk.
Where did he get it?" thought his mother, in
I guess you can get it into the house, yourself,"
she heard the driver say.
Yes, I'll manage it; you needn't wait," said
The driver cracked his whip, and the lumbering
old coach drove on.
Oh, there you are, mother," said Herbert, looking
toward the house for the first time. I'll be with
you in a minute."
And he began to draw the trunk in through tho
"V Where did you get that trunk, Herbert?" asked
Oh, it's my legacy," said Herbert, laughing.
" Here it is;" and he lifted it up, and laid it down in
the front entry.
"I What is inside ? asked his mother, with natural
It au't 2Jul of gold and silver, mother, so don't
72 HERBERT CARTER'S LEGACY; OR,
raise your expectations too high. It contains some
clothes of Uncle Herbert, out of which you can get
some for me."
"I am glad of that, for you need some new
clothes. Well, we were not forgotten, after all."
You don't seem disappointed, mother."
I might have wished for a little money besides,
Herbert; but beggars cannot be choosers."
But sometimes they get what they wish for.
Uncle Herbert left you a legacy of a hundred
A hundred dollars said Mrs. Carter, brightly.
" Why, that will be quite a help for us. Was it left
"4 Yes, to you."
"' It was kind in your uncle. My legacy is more
than yours, Herbert."
I don't know about that, mother; look here !"
And Herbert displayed his gold and silver.
"Here are fifty-two dollars that I found in the
pocket of a vest. It belongs to me, for the will says
expressly that I am to have the trunk and all it con*
THE INVENTOR'S SON. 73
I am really glad," said his mother, joyfully.
" We are more fortunate than I expected. Sit down
and tell me all about it. Who got the bulk of the
"None of the relations. It is bequeathed to the
town of Randolph, to found a high school, to be
,called the Carter School."
"Well, it will do good, at any rate. Didn't the
other relations receive legacies ? "
Small ones; but they didn't seem very well sat-
isfied. Do you know Mr. and Mrs. Josiah Pinker-
Slightly," said Mrs. Carter, smiling. "Were
they there ? "
She was, and he was in attendance upon her.
She didn't give him a chance to say much."
I have always heard she kept him in good subjec-
tion. How did they fare?"
"They and their two children received a hundred
dollars apiece. She was mad and wanted to break
the will. Then there was a Mr. Granger, a farmer,
who got the same; and Cornelius Dixon, also."
74 HERBERT CARTER'S LEGACY; OR,
"I I hope Aunt Nancy fared better. She is the best
of them all."
"I She is allowed to occupy the house, rent free, and
is to have an income of two hundred dollars a year
as long as she lives."
"I am really glad to hear it," said Mrs. Carter,
with emphasis. She deserves all her good fortune.
One of the best things her brother did in life was to
allow her such an income as to keep her independent
of public charity; I feared he would forget to pro-
vide for her."
"She seems a good old lady. She asked me to
invite you to call and see her."
I should like to do so, and if I ever have oc-
casion to go to Randolph I will certainly do so."
"1 Now, mother," said Herbert, when he had
answered his mother's questions, I want you to take
this money, and use it as you need."
But, Herbert, it was left to you."
"And if you use it, I shall receive my share of it.
By the way, your money will be sent you next week;
so Mr. Spencer assured me."
"I Who is Mr. Spencer?"
THE INVENTOR'S SON. 75
"The lawyer who read the will. He was very
kind to me. It was at his house I spent the night.
I got acquainted with his son Tom, a fine fellow. I
met also James Leech, whom I cannot compliment so
highly. He was visiting Tom."
I never thought him an agreeable boy."
Nor any one else, I expect. He appears to think
he can put on airs, and expects everybody to bow
down to him because his father is a rich man."
I hope you didn't quarrel with him," said Mrs.
Oh, no; he sneered at me, as usual, and drew a
ridiculous picture of my appearance with my uncle's
I Do you mind what he says?" asked his mother,
"I A little," said Herbert; but I can stand it if
he doesn't go too far."
"He has an unhappy nature. I think his father
must have been some like him when he was young."
So do I. He feels just as important as James.
I like to see him strut round, as if he owned the
76 HERBERT CARTER'S LEGACY; OR,
"He does own more of it than any one else
Among the rest, he owns our house, in part."
"You mean he has a mortgage on it, mother?"
Seven hundred and fifty dollars, isn't it?"
"How much do you consider the whole worth ?"
asked our hero, thoughtfully.
"It cost your father fifteen hundred dollars. That
is, the land--nearly an acre--cost three hundred
dollars, and the house, to build, twelve hundred."
"Would it sell for that? "
"Not if a sale were forced; but, if anybody wanted
it, fifteen hundred dollars would not be t(o much to
"I wish the mortgage were paid."
So do I, my son; but we are not very likely to
be able to pay it."
How fine it would have been if Uncle Herbert
had left us, say eight hundred dollars, so that we
mlgnt have paid it up, and still ha,'e had a little left
for immediate use."
Yes, Herbert, it would have made us feel quite
THE INVENTOR'S SON. 77
independent, but it isn't best speculating on hat
might have been. It is better to do the best we can
with what we really have."
I suppose you are right, mother; but it is pleas-
ant to dream of good fortune, even if we know it is
out of reach."
The trouble is, our dreaming often interferes
with our working."
It shan't interfere with mine. I've got some-
thing to work for."
Do you refer to anything in particular, Herbert?"
"Yes. I want to pay off this mortgage," an-
swered Herbert, manfully.
"Some day, when you are a man, you may be
able; but the time is too far off to spend much time
upon it at present."
Herbert had moved to the window as the conversa-
tion went on. Suddenly he called to his mother,
" Look, mother, there is Squire Leech riding up.
He is pointing out our hose to the man that is
riding with him. Do you know who it is?"
"Yes, it is Mr. Banks, his new superintendent
He has just come into the village."
78 HERBERT CARTER'S LE;G#CY; OR,
"I wonder why he pointed at our house."
Probably he was telling him that he had a mort-
gage on it."
"I When does the interest come due on the mort-
"l Next week. I had only five dollars laid by to
meet it, but, thanks to my legacy, I shall have no
trouble in the matter."
"If you couldn't pay the interest, could the squire
foreclose ? "
Yes, that's the law, I believe."
"And he would take advantage of it. But he
never shall, if I can prevent it."
THE INVENTOR'S SON. 79
A BUSINESS CONFIDENCE.
SQUmRE LEECH lived in a large, square, white house,
situated on an eminence some way back from the
street. It had bay windows on either side of tLe
front door, a gravel walk, bordered with flowers,
leading to the gate, a small summer-house on the
lawn, and altogether was much the handsomest resi-
dence in the village. Three years before, the house,
or at all events, the principal rooms, had been newly
furnished from the city. No wonder the squire and
all the family held up their heads, and regarded them-
selves as belonging to the aristocracy.
In a back room, used partly as a sitting-room,
partly as an office, the great man and his new super-
intendent, Amos Banks, were sitting, the evening
previous to Herbert's return home. It may be asked
why Squire Leech needed a superintendent. To this
I answer, that his property, beside the home farm,
60 HERBERT CARTER'S LEGACY; OR,
included two outlying farms, which he preferred to
carry on himself rather than let to tenants. Besides,
he had stocks and bonds, to which he himself at-
tended. But the farms required more attention than
he individually was willing to bestow. Accordingly
he employed a competent man, who had the general
supervision of them. His former superintendent
having emigrated to the West, he had engaged Mr.
Banks, who had been recommended to him for the
charge. Banks came from a town thirty miles dis-
tant, and had never lived in Wrayburn before. He
had just entered upon his duties, and was talking
over business matters with the squire.
"6 You will occupy the house on the Ross farm,"
said Squire Leech. I think you will find it com-
fortable. I have always reserved it for my superin-
There is a house on the other farm, I suppose,"
Yes; but that is occupied by a family already.
I don't rent the farm, that is, except about half an
acre of land for a kitchen-garden. That I have prr(
pared to cultivate myself."
THE INVENTOR'S SON. 81
"Precisely," said the superintendent. "I will tell
you why I inquired. You tell me there will be need
of another permanent farm workman. Now I know
an excellent man in fact, he is a cousin of my own
- who would be glad to accept the place."
Very well. I have no objection to your engaging
him, since you vouch for him."
"Oh, yes; he is a faithful and industrious man,
and will be willing to do work for moderate wages.
Indeed, he cares more for a permanent place than
high pay. Where he is now, he is liable to be idle
for some months in the year."
Is he a family man? "
"Yes; he has two young children."
Of course he will move to Wrayburn."
"Yes; if he can get a suitable house. In fact,
that was what I was coming at. I thought of your
other house, but you say that is already occupied."
"Yes; and the family has occupied it for several
years. I should not like to dislodge them."
"Do you know any other small house my cousi.t
could rent ?"
Squire Leech reflected.
82 bERBERT CARTER'S LEGACY ; OR,
The fact is," he said, after a pause, there has
not been much building going on in Wrayburn for
several years, and it is hard to find a vacant house."
"(I am sorry for that. I am afraid it may interfere
with Brown's coming."
"There is one house I think that would just suit
your cousin," said Squire Leech, slowly.
"Where is it?"
It is now occupied by the widow Carter and her
Is she going to move ?"
She wouldn't like to."
"Then how will that help us? Who owns the
house ? "
She does ; that is, nominally. I hold a mortgage
on the place for seven hundred and fifty dollars,
which is more than half the marlzkt value."
Then it may eventually fall into your hands?"
Very probably. Between ourselves, I think it
probable that she will fail to be ready with the semi-
annual interest, which comes due next week. She is
quite poor,- has nothing but this property,-and has
THE INYVETOR'S SON. 8S
to sew for a living, or braid straw, neither of which
"Suppose she is not ready with the interest, do
you propose to foreclose ? "
"I think I shall. I will allow her three or four
hundred dollars for her share of the property, and
that will be the best thing she can do, in my opinion."
Whether or not it would be the best thing for Mrs
Carter, it certainly wouldn't be a bad speculation for
the squire, since the place, as already stated, was
worth fully fifteen hundred dollars. How a rich man
can deliberately plot to defraud a poor woman of a
portion of her small property, you and I, my young
reader, may find it hard to understand. Unfortu-
nately there are too many cases in real life where just
such things happen, so that there really seems to be a
good deal of truth in the old adage that prosperity
hardens the heart.
If Mr. Banks had been a just or kind-hearted man,
he would not have encouraged his employer in the
plan he had just broached; but he was selfish, and
thought he saw in it an easy solution of the difficulty
which he had met with in securing a house for his
84 HERBERT CARTER'S LEGACY; OR,
cousin. He did not know Mrs Carter, and felt no
particular interest in the question what was to be-
come of her if she was ejected from her house. No
doubt she would find a home somewhere. At any
rate, it was not his business.
"It seems to me that will be an excellent plan,"
he said, with satisfaction. "How soon can we find
out about it ?"
Next week Tuesday. It is then that the interest
Suppose she is ready to pay the interest, what
then ? "
"Then I will make her an offer for the place, and
represent to her that it will be the better plan for her
to part with it, and so escape the payment of interest.
She has to pay forty-five dollars a year, and that is
,a great drain upon one who earns no more than she
"I think you said she had a son, does he earn
anything? Or perhaps he isn't old enough."
"Yes, he is thirteen or fourteen; still there isn't
much in a small village like this for a boy to do. He
is attending school, I believe."
THE INVENTOR'9S SON. 85
"Then, in one way or another, you think there is
a good chance of our obtaining the house," said the
superintendent, with satisfaction.
"Yes, I think so."
How would it do to go around and speak to the
widow about it beforehand? I could then write to
As to that, she may be very particular to retain
the house, and even if she is not provided with the
money, succeed in borrowing enough. Now, my idea
is, to say nothing about it till Tuesday. She may
depend upon my waiting a few days. That I shall
not do. If the money is not forthcoming, I will
foreclose at once, without giving her time to arrange
for the money."
The superintendent nodded.
"A very shrewd plan, Squire Leech," he said.
"By the way, where is the house situated? "
Only a furlong up the road. It is on the
opposite side of the way."
"I think I remember it. There is some land con-
nected with it, isn't there ?"
"Ne Nearly an acre. The house is small, but neat. ID
86 HERBERT CARTER'S LEGACY; O.R,
fact, for a small place, I consider it quite desirable.
To-morrow we will ride by it, and you can take
more particular notice."
They did ride by, as we know, and Squire Leech
pointed it out to his superintendent. Herbert noticed
this, but he did not know that the two men had
formed a scheme for turning his mother and himself
out of their comfortable home, and defrauding his
mother of a considerable portion of the small prop-
erty which his father had left. Had he known this,
it would have filled him with indignation, and he
would have felt that even property is no absolute safe-
guard against the selfish schemes of the mercenary
and the rapacious.
THE INVENTOR'S SON. 87
SQUIRE LEECH IS BAFFLED.
TUESDA r arrived, but as yet the check from Mr
Spencer had not been received.
Never mind, mother," said Herbert, you will
get it before the end of the week."
But I shall need it to pay the interest to Squire
Leech. He will call for it to-day."
"I How much is it ?"
Twenty-two dollars and a half."
You forget the gold I handed you last week."
I don't like to use it, Herbert; I want you to use
it for yourself."
I am as much interested in paying the interest as
you, mother. Don't I occupy the house? "
Seeing that Herbert was in earnest, Mrs. Carter
overcame her scruples, and laid aside enough of the
money to make up the amount required.
About five minutes of twelve Squire Leech was seen
68 HRERB T CARTER'S LEGACY; OR,
advancing to the front door with slow, pompous
"There he comes, mother !" said Herbert. "I'll
open the door."
"Is your mother at home, Herbert?" asked the
squire, in a dignified tone.
Yes, sir. Won't you walk in ?"
Ahem, yes! I think I will. I have a little mat-
ter of business with her."
Squire Leech entered the small sitting-room, which
seemed uncomfortably full when he was in it, not
on account of his size, but because he seemed so
swollen with a sense of his own importance as to
convey the idea that he was cramped for space, very
much like an owl in the cage of a canary.
Good-morning, Squire Leech," said the widow.
Good-morning, ma'am. I apprehend you know
"I suppose you come for the interest, Squire
You are quite right. Of course you are prepared
to pay it."
Though the squire said "of course," he by no
THE iNVENTOR'S SON. 89
means expected that it would be ready, nor, for rea-
sons which we know, did he desire it. He was rather
discomfited, therefore, when Mrs. Carter said, "Did
you bring a receipt with you, squire? "
A receipt in full? queried the great man.
Are you prepared to pay the whole to-day? "
This ought to have been gratifying intelligence, but
it was not. The squire looked quite chop-fallen.
No, I didn't bring a receipt," he said, slowly.
"I'll bring writing materials," said Herbert,
He left the room, but appeared almost instantly
with pen, ink, and paper.
The squire sat down to the table with a disap-
pointed air, and slowly wrote the required document.
"' He seems sorry to receive the money," thought
Herbert, who was quick in reading the faces of others.
" I wonder why;" and he gazed at the visitor in some
The squire received the money, and handed the
widow the receipt. Still he did not seem inclined to
90 HERBERT CARTER'S LEGACY; OR,
go. He was thinking how to broach the subject of
selling the house.
Mrs. Carter," he began, forty-five dollars a year
seems a good deal for you to pay."
Yes, it is considerable," said the widow, sur-
prised. Could it be that he intended to reduce the
interest ? That did not seem like him.
For one in your circumstances, I mean, of course.
You've got to earn your own living, and your son's."
Herbert does his share," said the mother. When
h. is older, I shall feel quite easy."
But that time is a good way off. I've been think-
ing of your case, Mrs. Carter, and as a man of busi-
ness I see my way clear to offer you a little advice."
I shall be thankful for any advice, squire," said
the widow, meekly. Of course your judgment in
business matters is much better than mine."
Herbert listened to this conversation with eager
interest. What could the squire mean to advise ?
I've been thinking," said the squire, deliberately,
" tat it would be a good plan for you to sell this
THE INVENTOR'S SON. 91
To sell it!" repeated Mrs. Carter, in surprise.
"6 But where could I live ?"
You might hire a couple of rooms for yourself
I don't see how mother would gain anything," in-
terrupted Herbert. She would have to pay rent."
Very true, but she would get some money down
for the house, over and above the mortgage."
I don't know as anybody would want to buy it,"
said Mrs. Carter.
I would take it off your hands, simply to oblige
you," said the squire, with an air of extraordinary
consideration. I don't know that it would be of any
particular use to me. I might not get a tenant. Still,
I am better able to take the risk than you are to keep
How much would you be willing to pay for it?"
asked Herbert, who somehow suspected that the
squire was more selfish than benevolent in the plan he
".-Why," said Squire Leech, assuming a meditative
look, over and above the mortgage, I would be
willing to pay three hundred dollars cash."
92 HERBERT CARRIER'S LEGACY; OR,
That would make the value of the place only ten,
hundred and fifty dollars," said Herbert.
Well, you don't consider it worth any more bhan
that, do you? "
My husband considered it worth fifteen hundred
dollars," said the widow. It cost him that."
The squire laughed heartily. Really, my deai
madam, that is utterly preposterous. Fifteen hundred
dollars! Why, that is ridiculous."
It cost that," said Herbert, sturdily.
I very much doubt it," said the squire. I don't
believe it cost a cent over twelve hundred dollars."
I have my husband's papers to show that it cost
fifteen hundred," said the widow.
Then all I have to say is, he was outrageously
cheated," said the squire. I believe I know as:
much about real estate as any man in town," he pro-
ceeded pompously. Indeed, I own more than any
other man. I assure you, on my word, I have offered
you a very good price."
I would rather not sell," said the widow, gently,
"I will increase my offer to eleven hundred, in.
THE INVENTOR'S SON. 98
-eluding the mortgage," said the squire, who saw the
prize slipping through his fingers, and felt it necessary
to bid higher. "Eleven hundred dollars. That's
three hundred and fifty dollars cash!"
"I Mother, I am sure you won't think of selling for
any such sum," expostulated Herbert.
No," said his mother, I don't want to sell."
You stand very much in your own light, ma'am,"
said the squire, impatiently, and you, Herbert, are
too young to offer any advice on such a subject."
"I don't see why," said Herbert, independently.
" I ought to feel interested in such a matter."
You are a boy and have no judgment. Boys of
your age should be seen and not heard," said the
I can see what is best for my mother's interest,"
I decline to discuss the matter with you. I con-
sider your interference impertinent," said the squire,
"4 0 Herbert! said his mother, who was a little in
awe of the great man of the village, be respectful to
94 HERBERT CARTER'S LEGACY; OR,
"1 mean to be," said Herbert, but I'm sure he's
wrong in thinking I have nothing to do with this
Reflect again, Mrs. Carter," persisted the squire,
" of the advantages of my proposal. Think how
comfortable you would feel in knowing that you had
three hundred and fifty dollars on interest in the savy
ings-bank. I admit that I may not offer you quite as
much as the place cost, but houses never fetch their
first cost. I've made you a very fair offer, ma'am,
I won't say anything as to that, Squire Leech,
but this house my poor husband built in this house
I have passed many happy years and while we can
keep it, Herbert and I, we will. There is no other
place in town that would seem so much like home."
This is all very sentimental, ma'am, but, permit
me to say, very ridiculous," said the impatient squire,
rising to go. "I'll give you time to think over what
I have said, and I'll call again."
I'll have that place yet," he muttered to himself,
as he left the cottage I won't be balked by an ob
stinate woman and impertinent boy."
V ti INVENTOR S SON. 95
SQUIRE LEEcU was reluctant to give up his intended
purchase. He had an idea that Herbert stood in the
way, and contrived to call upon the widow in the
course of the following week, at a time when he knew
our hero was away from home.
But he failed again.
"1 I'm very sorry to go contrary to your advice,
Squire Leech," said Mrs. Carter, deprecatingly, "but
I can't give up my home. Herbert, too, would be
very much disappointed."
I hope you will not allow yourself to be guided
by the judgment of an inexperienced boy, ma'am,"
said the squire, mortified.
I think I ought to consult my boy's wishes," said
He doesn't know what is best for him."
96 HERBERT CARTER S LEGACY: OR,
Perhaps not; but I feel with him at present
I'm sorry to disappoint you, Squire Leech."
"As to that, ma'am, I have no interest in the
matter. I was only advising you for your good."
"I'm sure I'm much obliged to you."
"In fact, as your means are limited, I will stretch
a point, and offer you fifty dollars more. I shouldn't
be at all sure of getting my money back."
Thank you; but I think we'll keep the house for
the present. If I should find we couldn't afford it, I
will let you know."
I don't agree to keep to my offer after this week.
' Now or never' is my motto. I can draw the papers
The widow shook her head, and reiterated in
gentle tones her refusal. Squire Leech was pro-
voked, and did not hide his feeling. As he only
proposed to take the house to oblige her, as he
represented, Mrs. Carter was surprised at his display
of feeling. She was not a shrewd woman, and it did
not occur to her that he had any selfish object in view
in his advice.
I didn't succeed, Mr. Banks," said the squire to