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A Son of the City A Story of Boy Life   By:

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A SON OF THE CITY

A Story of Boy Life

by

HERMAN GASTRELL SEELY

Illustrations by Fred J. Arting

Chicago A. C. McClurg & Co. Copyright 1917 Published October, 1917 W. F. Hall Printing Company, Chicago

To My Father

THE COMPANION OF MANY A YOUTHFUL STROLL THROUGH CITY PARK AND SUBURBAN FIELD

[Illustration: "H'ist away," he ordered finally. "I'll shove under when he gets high enough." ]

CONTENTS

I. In Which Our Hero Goes Fishing

II. In Which He Goes to School

III. He Plays a Trick on the Doctor

IV. In Which a Terrific Battle Is Waged

V. He Composes a Love Missive

VI. In Which We Learn the Secret Code of the "Tigers"

VII. He Goes to a Halloween Party

VIII. Wherein He Resolves to Get Married

IX. He Saves for "Four Rooms Furnished Complete"

X. Concerns Santa Claus Mostly

XI. He Has a Very Happy Christmas

XII. In Which the Path of True Love Does Not Run Smoothly

XIII. He Crushes and Humiliates a Rival

XIV. He Buys Valentines

XV. The Spring Brings Baseball

XVI. More About "The Greatest Game in the World"

XVII. He's "Through With Girls"

A SON OF THE CITY

CHAPTER I

IN WHICH OUR HERO GOES FISHING

Startled from a sound sleep, he fumbled blindly beneath the bed that he might throttle the insistent alarm clock before the clamor awakened the other members of the household. Then he lay back and listened breathlessly for parental voices of inquiry as to what he might be doing at the unearthly hour of half past three on a late September morning.

Far down the railroad embankment which passed the rear of the house, an engine puffed lazily cityward with a load of empty freight cars. Over the elevated tracks a mile to the south, a train rumbled somnolently towards the park terminal, and under the eaves of the house, just above his room, two sparrows squabbled sleepily. Inside, the only audible sounds were the chirpings of a cricket somewhere down the hall, and the furious, muffled pounding of his own little heart.

He glanced from the window near the head of his bed. The air was oppressive with a strange, almost rural quietude. In the east, a faint streak of light brought the tree tops of the park into indistinct relief, and to the north a thin line of smoke floated apathetically from a hotel chimney to show that a light breeze from the west augured favorably for the morning's sport.

Stockings, knickerbockers, and blouse were drawn on with unwonted rapidity. His coat and necktie he left hanging over the back of the chair, disdained as unnecessary impediments on a fishing trip. Then with a final glance from the window at the fast graying sky, he reached behind the bookcase for his carefully concealed pole and tackle, gathered his shoes in one hand, and tiptoed down the pitchy hall with the stealth of a cat.

Down the stairway he went, step at a time, scarcely daring to breathe as he shifted his weight again and again from one foot to the other. On the first landing, a board creaked with alarming distinctness. Came a maternal voice:

"John."

Her son hugged the stairway in a very agony of fear lest his carefully made plans had been spoiled. Why hadn't he walked along the end of the steps as bitter experience had taught? He knew that board was loose. Again the well known tones:

"John, what are you doing?"

A subdued babel of conversation in the big south room followed, in which his father's deep bass took a prominent part.

"Nonsense, Jane, you're imagining things!"

"But you know I forbade fishing during school mornings. And he was looking at the DuPree's weather vane when he watered the lawn last night. Get up and see what he's doing."

John drew a sigh of relief as the deep voice sounded a sleepy protest. Minutes passed. His legs became cramped from inaction, yet he dared not stir... Continue reading book >>




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