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The Ancestors Of Peter Atherly, And Other Tales Bret Harte

The Ancestors Of Peter Atherly, And Other Tales

Bret Harte

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ISBN : 9780836942354
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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free.This is an OCR edition with typos.Excerpt from book:AN ESMEEALDA OF ROCKY CANON It is to be feared that the hero of thisMorePurchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free.This is an OCR edition with typos.Excerpt from book:AN ESMEEALDA OF ROCKY CANON It is to be feared that the hero of this chronicle began life as an impostor. He was offered to the credulous and sympathetic family of a San Francisco citizen as a lamb who, unless bought as a playmate for the children, would inevitably pass into the butchers hands. A combination of refined sensibility and urban ignorance of nature prevented them from discerning certain glaring facts that betrayed his caprid origin. So a ribbon was duly tied round his neck, and in pleasing emulation of the legendary Mary, he was taken to school by the confiding children. Here, alas! the fraud was discovered, and history was reversed by his being turned out by the teacher, because he was not a lamb at school. Nevertheless, the kind- hearted mother of the family persisted in retaining him, on the plea that he might yet become useful. To her husbands feeble suggestion of gloves, she returned a scornful negative, and spoke of the weakly infant of a neighbor, who might later receive nourishment from this providential animal. But even this hope was destroyed by the eventual discovery of his sex. Nothing remained now but to accept him as an ordinary kid, and to find amusement in his accomplishments, — eating, climbing, and butting. It must be confessed that these were of a superior quality - a capacity to eat everything from a cambric handkerchief to an election poster, an agility which brought him even to the roofs of houses, and a power of overturning by a single push the chubbiest child who opposed him, made him a fearful joy to the nursery. This last quality was incautiously developed in him by a negro boy-servant, who, later,was hurriedly propelled down a flight of stairs by his too proficient scholar. Having once tasted victory, Billy needed no furt...