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The Telegraph Messenger Boy The Straight Road to Success   By: (1840-1916)

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First Page:

[Illustration: BEN SWUNG HIS HAT AND SHOUTED, AND AT LAST CAUGHT THE NOTICE OF THE PEOPLE ON THE BANK. P. 51.]

THE TELEGRAPH MESSENGER BOY Or The Straight Road to Success

By EDWARD S. ELLIS

Author of "Down the Mississippi," "Life of Kit Carson," "Lost in the Wilds," "Red Plume," Etc.

CHATTERTON PECK COMPANY NEW YORK, N. Y.

Copyright, 1889, by N. L. MUNRO

Copyright, 1904, by THE MERSHON COMPANY

CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE I. On a Log 1 II. The Collision 8 III. The Office Boy 16 IV. A Message in the Night 22 V. In Storm and Darkness 29 VI. "Tell Mother I Am All Right" 36 VII. A Thrilling Voyage 43 VIII. The Cipher Telegram 50 IX. The Translation 57 X. Farmer Jones 64 XI. The Value of Courtesy 71 XII. A Call 78 XIII. At the Grandin Mansion 85 XIV. The Conspiracy 93 XV. An Affray at Night 99 XVI. The Third Telegram 106 XVII. Decidedly Mixed 113 XVIII. Between Two Fires 120 XIX. Baffled! 127 XX. Watching and Waiting 134 XXI. "Lay Low!" 141 XXII. The Battle of Life 148 XXIII. Face to Face 155 XXIV. Startling Discoveries 160 XXV. In the Nick of Time 169 XXVI. Conclusion 176

THE TELEGRAPH MESSENGER BOY

CHAPTER I

ON A LOG

I made the acquaintance of Ben Mayberry under peculiar circumstances. I had charge of the Western Union's telegraph office in Damietta, where my duties were of the most exacting nature. I was kept hard at work through the winter months, and more of it crowded on me during the spring than I could manage with comfort.

I strolled to the river bank one summer afternoon, and was sauntering lazily along when I noticed a young urchin, who was floating down stream on a log, which had probably drifted thither from the lumber regions above. The boy was standing upright, with a grin of delight on his face, and he probably found more real enjoyment in floating down stream in this style than any excursionist could obtain in a long voyage on a palace steamer.

He had on an old straw hat, through the crown of which his brown hair protruded in several directions; his pantaloons were held up by a single suspender, skewered through them in front by a tenpenny nail an arrangement which caused the garments to hang in a lopsided fashion to his shoulders. He was barefooted, and his trousers were rolled up to his knees. He wore no coat nor vest, and his shirt was of the coarsest muslin, but it was quite clean.

This boy was Ben Mayberry, then ten years old, and he was a remarkable fellow in more than one respect. His round face was not only the picture of absolutely perfect health, but it showed unusual intelligence and brightness. His figure was beautiful in its boyish symmetry, and no one could look upon the lad without admiring his grace, of which he was entirely unconscious.

In addition to this, Ben Mayberry was known to possess two accomplishments, as they may be called, to an extraordinary degree he was very swift of foot and could throw with astonishing accuracy. Both of these attainments are held in high esteem by all boys.

I had met Ben at intervals during the year past, but could hardly claim to be acquainted with him... Continue reading book >>




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