“Very likely not,” replied his mother; “and you would not have had this if you had not done the first one so well. Nothing like doing things well, always remember that.”

“It’s almost equal to trying, isn’t it?” added James, roguishly.

“Perhaps it is more than equal to it. They who do their work well are the ones who get work. People don’t want botchers about.”

“What are botchers? Blunderers?”

“Those who don’t do their work well—they are botchers. Your father used to say, ‘What’s worth doing at all, is worth doing well,’ and he was about right. Another thing he used to say was, ‘If you know a thing, know it certainly.’ ”

“I don’t see how a person can really know anything without knowing it certainly,” remarked James. “If I know anything, I know it.”

“Sometimes you know a lesson better than you do at other times, do you not?” answered his mother.

“That may be; but if I don’t know a lesson certainly, I don’t know much about it,” replied James. “I should be ashamed not to know a lesson certainly.”

“I hope you always will be,” remarked his mother; “and, what is more, I hope you will always be ashamed not to do your work thoroughly.”

“I mean to learn how to frame a barn,” said James.

“I should think you might learn that easy enough,” responded Mrs. Garfield. “It’s true I don’t know much about it, but it doesn’t appear to me to be very difficult to learn to frame a barn.”

“I know that I can learn how,” added James.

“Mr. Treat will give you a good chance to learn how, I think, if you tell him what you want.”

“I shall do that.” And James did do it. As soon as he commenced work the next day, he made known his wishes.

“Mr. Treat, I want to learn how to frame a barn,” he said. “Can’t I learn?”

“Most too much of a youngster for that business,” answered Mr. Treat; “but you can have the chance. Just keep your eyes open to see how the work is laid out, and it is easy enough.”

“Well, I can do that; my eyes are usually open in the daytime,” said James, naively.

“And you must see with your brain as well as with your eyes, if you would learn,” added Mr. Treat. “You see how that is, don’t you?”

“I see.”

“You must have a little idea of the plan to begin with, though;” and Mr. Treat proceeded to exhibit his plan to the boy, explaining it to him as well as he could. James took in the principal idea in the outset, and proceeded to assist in framing the building with increased intelligence. An examination of the plan showed him that it was more necessary for his “brains to see” the why and wherefore than he had supposed. But Mr. Treat was deeply interested in teaching the boy, and so kept him at work directly under his eye. He directed his attention both to the plan and the frame, that he might learn the real use of the former to the carpenter.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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