Do and Dare
Horatio Alger Jr.
6:01 h
Level 5
Horatio Alger Jr. was an American writer of young adult novels about impoverished boys and their rise from humble backgrounds to lives of middle-class security and comfort through good works. Do and Dare, or A Brave Boy's Fight for Fortune was published in 1884. Alger's writings were characterized by the "rags-to-riches" narrative, which had a formative effect on the United States during the Gilded Age.

Do and Dare
A Brave Boy’s Fight for Fortune

Horatio Alger, Jr.

Chapter I
The Post Office at Wayneboro

“If we could only keep the post office, mother, we should be all right,” said Herbert Carr, as he and his mother sat together in the little sitting room of the plain cottage which the two had occupied ever since he was a boy of five.

“Yes, Herbert, but I am afraid there won’t be much chance of it.”

“Who would want to take it from you, mother?”

“Men are selfish, Herbert, and there is no office, however small, that is not sought after.”

“What was the income last year?” inquired Herbert.

Mrs. Carr referred to a blank book lying on the table in which the post-office accounts were kept, and answered:

“Three hundred and ninety-eight dollars and fifty cents.”

“I shouldn’t think that would be much of an inducement to an able-bodied man, who could work at any business.”

“Your father was glad to have it.”

“Yes, mother, but he had lost an arm in the war, and could not engage in any business that required both hands.”

“That is true, Herbert, but I am afraid there will be more than one who will be willing to relieve me of the duties. Old Mrs. Allen called at the office to-day, and told me she understood that there was a movement on foot to have Ebenezer Graham appointed.”

“Squire Walsingham’s nephew?”

“Yes; it is understood that the squire will throw his influence into the scale, and that will probably decide the matter.”

“Then it’s very mean of Squire Walsingham,” said Herbert, indignantly. “He knows that you depend on the office for a living.”

“Most men are selfish, my dear Herbert.”