Horatio Alger, Jr., in “Facing the World,” gives us as his hero a boy whose parents have both died and the man appointed as his guardian is unjust and unkind to him. In desperation he runs away and is very fortunate in finding a true friend in a man who aids him and makes him his helper in his work as magician.
They travel over the country and have many interesting experiences, some narrow escapes and thrilling adventures.
“Here’s a letter for you, Harry,” said George Howard. “I was passing the hotel on my way home from school when Abner Potts called out to me from the piazza, and asked me to bring it.”
The speaker was a bright, round-faced boy of ten. The boy whom he addressed was five or six years older. Only a week previous he had lost his father, and as the family consisted only of these two, he was left, so far as near relatives were concerned, alone in the world.
Immediately after the funeral he had been invited home by Mr. Benjamin Howard, a friend of his father, but in no manner connected with him by ties of relationship.
“You can stay here as long as you like, Harry,” said Mr. Howard, kindly. “It will take you some time to form your plans, perhaps, and George will be glad to have your company.”
“Thank you, Mr. Howard,” said Harry, gratefully.
“Shall you look for some employment here?”
“No; my father has a second cousin in Colebrook, named John Fox. Before he died he advised me to write to Mr. Fox, and go to his house if I should receive an invitation.”
“I hope for your sake, he will prove a good man. What is his business?”
“I don’t know, nor did my father. All I know is, that he is considered a prosperous man. This letter is from him.”
It was inclosed in a brown envelope, and ran as follows:
“HARRY VANE: I have received your letter saying that your father wants me to be your guardeen. I don’t know as I have any objections, bein’ a business man it will come easy to me, and I think your father was wise to seleck me. I am reddy to receave you any time. You will come to Bolton on the cars. That is eight miles from here, and there is a stage that meats the trane. It wouldn’t do you any harm to walk, but boys ain’t so active as they were in my young days. The stage fare is fifty cents, which I shall expect you to pay yourself, if you ride.