Boy Carpenter

Tom coming Home—Big and Little Brother—Mother and Son—Handful of Gold—James Wonders—His Mother Overcome—The Frame-house—What James can do—Mortising and Planing— Frame-houses Small and Cheap—Sharp Observation—Elbow Grease—The Will and Way—Raising the House—Driving Nails —A Failure and its Lessons—Orator Mum—Pluck and Luck— Secret Purpose carried out—Trying—A Job at Carpenter’s Work —One Hundred Boards Planed—First Money Earned—An Hour of Triumph—All for his Mother

Tom is coming!” was the shout Mrs. Garfield heard as she caught sight of James bounding across the garden. “Tom is coming!” louder yet. One would have thought the boy had suddenly lost his reason, judging by his antics.

Sure enough! Looking from the cabin door she saw Thomas approaching, and James had already reached him in his pleasurable excitement. If James was glad to get hold of Thomas’s hand, Thomas was equally rejoiced to get hold of James’s. The greeting was mutual and hearty. The big brother and little brother made for the house, hand-in-hand, their tongues running glibly all the while.

“Are we goin’ to have a frame-house now?” asked James, almost the first thing.

“Yes, we’ll have a frame-house now, and let the hens keep house in the cabin,” replied Thomas.

“It’s just about good enough for them,” remarked James in response. “It will make a good hen-house.”

“Rather better accommodations than they have had,” Thomas added; “and will compare well with our quarters when the house is done.”

By this time mother and son stood face to face, James shouting:

“Goin’ to have the frame-house now, mother!”

Mrs. Garfield found that she was a good deal like James, and when she saw that her Thomas was certainly coming, she forgot everything else, and hastened to meet him—not as wildly as James, but very much as all fond mothers will do when they have not seen their good sons for seven months. She went across the house-lot at double-quick, and soon had hold of the big boy as firmly as he had hold of her. It was a glad meeting. Mothers and sons who dwell in palaces scarcely know what a luxury it was. Why, it more than paid for the long separation. The meeting paid principal and interest in full. The family were united again—girls, boys, and mother—one girl rather big now, twenty-three years old; and Thomas almost twenty-two, just the age of his father when the latter was married. Happy family!

They were hardly seated in the cabin, when Thomas flung a handful of gold into his mother’s lap, saying:

“Now you can have a frame-house;” and the noble young man seemed to be perfectly satisfied, now that he was able to give his mother a better home. “We’ll go about it at once.”

“My! what a lot!” was James’s exclamation when he saw the shining gold; and he proceeded to examine the treasure in his mother’s lap.

“How much is there, Tom?” he asked.

“Seventy-five dollars, just.”

“And you earned it all?”

“Every cent of it.”

James read aloud the inscriptions on the new, bright coin, while he handled it in amazement that his own brother could make such a “pile.” Things had not been conducted on a gold basis in that cabin, so

  By PanEris using Melati.

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