Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

Hector's Inheritance, Or, the Boys of Smith Institute   By: (1832-1899)

Book cover

First Page:




By Horatio Alger, Jr.

Author of "Eric Train Boy" "Young Acrobat," "Only an Irish Boy," "Bound to Rise," "The Young Outlaw," "Driven from Home" etc.




Mr. Roscoe rang the bell, and, in answer, a servant entered the library, where he sat before a large and commodious desk.

"Has the mail yet arrived?" he asked.

"Yes, sir; John has just come back from the village."

"Go at once and bring me the letters and papers, if there are any."

John bowed and withdrew.

Mr. Roscoe walked to the window, and looked thoughtfully out upon a smooth, luxuriant lawn and an avenue of magnificent trees, through which carriages were driven to what was popularly known as Castle Roscoe. Everything, even to the luxuriously appointed room in which he sat, indicated wealth and the ease which comes from affluence.

Mr. Roscoe looked around him with exultation.

"And all this may be mine," he said to himself, "if I am only bold. What is it old Pindar says? 'Boldness is the beginning of victory.' I have forgotten nearly all I learned in school, but I remember that. There is some risk, perhaps, but not much, and I owe something to my son "

He was interrupted by the entrance of the servant with a small leather bag, which was used to hold mail matter, going from or coming to the house.

The servant unlocked the bag, and emptied the contents on the desk. There were three or four papers and two letters. It was the last which attracted Mr. Roscoe's attention.

We will take the liberty of looking over Mr. Roscoe's shoulder as he reads the first. It ran as follows:

"DEAR SIR: I am in receipt of your favor, asking my terms for boarding pupils. For pupils of fifteen or over, I charge five hundred dollars per year, which is not a large sum considering the exceptional advantages presented by Inglewood School. My pupils are from the best families, and enjoy a liberal table. Moreover, I employ competent teachers, and guarantee rapid progress, when the student is of good, natural capacity, and willing to work.

"I think you will agree with me that it is unwise to economize when the proper training of a youth is in question, and that a cheap school is little better than no school at all.

"I have only to add that I shall be most happy to receive your young nephew, if you decide to send him to me, and will take personal pains to promote his advancement. I remain, dear sir, your obedient servant,


Mr. Roscoe threw the letter down upon the desk with an impatient gesture.

"Five hundred dollars a year!" he exclaimed. "What can the man be thinking of? Why, when I went to school, twenty five years since, less than half this sum was charged. The man is evidently rapacious. Let me see what this other letter says."

The second letter was contained in a yellow envelope, of cheap texture, and was much more plebeian in appearance than the first.

Again we will look over Mr. Roscoe's shoulder, and read what it contains. It was postmarked Smithville, and the envelope was disfigured by a blot. It commenced:

"DEAR SIR: It gives me pleasure to answer your inquiries respecting my school. I have about fifty pupils, part of whom, say one third, are boarders. Though I say it myself, it will be hard to find any school where more thorough instruction is given. I look upon my pupils as my children, and treat them as such. My system of government is, therefore, kind and parental, and my pupils are often homesick in vacation, longing for the time to come when they can return to their studies at Smith Institute. It is the dearest wish of Mrs. Smith and myself to make our young charges happy, and to advance them, by pleasant roads over flowery meads, to the inner courts of knowledge.

"Humbug!" muttered Mr. Roscoe. "I understand what all that means." He continued:

"I hope you will not consider three hundred dollars per annum too much for such parental care... Continue reading book >>

eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book

Popular Genres
More Genres
Paid Books