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True to Himself : or Roger Strong's Struggle for Place   By: (1862-1930)

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TRUE TO HIMSELF

ROGER STRONG'S STRUGGLE FOR PLACE

BY

EDWARD STRATEMEYER

PREFACE

"True to himself," while a complete story in itself, forms the third volume of the "Ship and Shore Series," tales of adventure on land and sea, written for both boys and girls.

In this story we are introduced to Roger Strong, a typical American country lad, and his sister Kate, who, by an unhappy combination of events, are thrown upon their own resources and compelled to make their own way in the world.

To make one's way in the world is, ordinarily, difficult enough; but when one is handicapped by a cloud on the family name, the difficulty becomes far greater. With his father thrown into prison on a serious charge, Roger finds that few people will have anything to do with either himself or his sister, and the jeers flung at him are at times almost more than he can bear. But he is "true to himself" in the best meaning of that saying, rising above those who would pull him down, and, in the end, not only succeeds in making a place for himself in the world, but also scores a worthy triumph over those who had caused his parents' downfall.

When this story was first printed as a serial, the author has every reason to believe it was well received by the boys and girls for whom it was written. In its present revised form he hopes it will meet with equal commendation.

Edward Stratemeyer.

Newark, N.J., April 15, 1900.

CHAPTER I

THE TROUBLE IN THE ORCHARD

"Hi, there, Duncan Woodward!" I called out. "What are you doing in Widow Canby's orchard?"

"None of your business, Roger Strong," replied the only son of the wealthiest merchant in Darbyville.

"You are stealing her pears," I went on. "Your pockets are full of them."

"See here, Roger Strong, just you mind your own business and leave me alone."

"I am minding my business," I rejoined warmly.

"Indeed!" And Duncan put as much of a sneer as was possible in the word.

"Yes, indeed. Widow Canby pays me for taking care of her orchard, and that includes keeping an eye on these pear trees," and I approached the tree upon the lowest branch of which Duncan was standing.

"Humph! You think you're mighty big!" he blustered, as he jumped to the ground. "What right has a fellow like you to talk to me in this manner? You are getting too big for your boots."

"I don't think so. I'm guarding this property, and I want you to hand over what you've taken and leave the premises," I retorted, for I did not fancy the style in which I was being addressed.

"Pooh! Do you expect me to pay any attention to that?"

"You had better, Duncan. If you don't you may get into trouble."

"I suppose you intend to tell the widow what I've done."

"I certainly shall; unless you do as I've told you to."

Duncan bit his lip. "How do you know but what the widow said I could have the pears?" he ventured.

"If she did, it's all right," I returned, astonished, not so much over the fact that Widow Canby had granted the permission, as that such a high toned young gentleman as Duncan Woodward should desire that privilege.

"You've no business to jump at conclusions," he added sharply.

"If I judged you wrongly, I beg your pardon, Duncan. I'll speak to the widow about it."

I began to move off toward the house. Duncan hurried after me and caught me by the arm.

"You fool you, what do you mean?" he demanded.

"I'm going to find out if you are telling the truth."

"Isn't my word enough?"

"It will do no harm to ask," I replied evasively, not caring to pick a quarrel, and yet morally sure that he was prevaricating.

"So you think I'm telling you a falsehood? I've a good mind to give you a sound drubbing," he cried angrily... Continue reading book >>




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