1. 'Don't you hate splitting wood?' asked Charlie, as he sat down on a log to hinder Rob for a while.

2. 'No, I rather like it. When I get hold of a tough old fellow, I say, 'See here, now, you think you're the stronger, and are going to beat me; so I'll split you up into kindling wood.'

3. 'Pshaw!' said Charlie, laughing; 'and it's only a stick of wood.'

4. 'Yes; but you see I pretend it's a lesson, or a tough job of any kind, and it's nice to conquer it.'

5. 'I don't want to conquer such things; I don't care what becomes of them. I wish I were a man, and a rich one.'

6. 'Well, Charlie, if you live long enough you'll be a man, without wishing for it; and as for the rich part, I mean to be that myself.'

7. 'You do. How do you expect to get your money? By sawing wood?'

8. 'May be—some of it; that's as good a way as any, so long as it lasts. I don't care how I get rich, you know, so that it's in an honest and useful way.'

9. 'I'd like to sleep over the next ten years, and wake up to find myself a young man with a splendid education and plenty of money.'

10. 'Humph! I am not sleepy—a night at a time is enough for me. I mean to work the next ten years. You see there are things that you've got to work out—you can't sleep them out.'

11. 'I hate work,' said Charlie, 'that is, such work as sawing and splitting wood, and doing chores. I'd like to do some big work, like being a clerk in a bank or something of that sort.'

12. 'Wood has to be sawed and split before it can be burned,' said Rob. 'I don't know but I'll be a clerk in a bank some time; I'm working towards it. I'm keeping father's accounts for him.'

13. How Charlie laughed! 'I should think that was a long way from being a bank clerk. I suppose your father sells two tables and six chairs, some days, doesn't he?'

14. 'Sometimes more than that, and sometimes not so much,' said Rob, in perfect good humor.

15. 'I didn't say I was a bank clerk now. I said I was working towards it. Am I not nearer it by keeping a little bit of a book than I should be if I didn't keep any book at all?'

16. 'Not a whit—such things happen,' said Charlie, as he started to go.

17. Now, which of these boys, do you think, grew up to be a rich and useful man, and which of them joined a party of tramps before he was thirty years old?


1. Hinder: Interrupt, prevent from working.

4. Conquer: Overcome, master.

9. Splendid: Very fine, complete.

9. Education: Acquired knowledge.

11. Chores: The light work about a house or yard.

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