Only a few of the kindly reviewers of the earlier editions of Crowded
Out o' Crofield have suggested that it has at all exaggerated the
possible career of its boy and girl actors. If any others have
silently agreed with them, it may be worth while to say that the
pictures of places and the doings of older and younger people are
pretty accurately historical. The story and the writing of it were
suggested in a conversation with an energetic American boy who was
crowded out of his own village into a career which led to something
much more surprising than a profitable junior partnership.
W. O. S.
NEW YORK, 1893.
I.--THE BLACKSMITH'S BOY
II.--THE FISH WERE THERE
III.--I AM ONLY A GIRL
V.--JACK OGDEN'S RIDE
VI.--OUT INTO THE WORLD
VII.--MARY AND THE _EAGLE_
VIII.--CAUGHT FOR A BURGLAR
IX.--NEARER THE CITY
X.--THE STATE-HOUSE AND THE STEAMBOAT
XI.--DOWN THE HUDSON
XII.--IN A NEW WORLD
XIII.--A WONDERFUL SUNDAY
XIV.--FRIENDS AND ENEMIES
XV.--NO BOY WANTED
XVIII.--THE DRUMMER BOY
THE BLACKSMITH'S BOY.
"I'm going to the city!"
He stood in the wide door of the blacksmith-shop, with his hands in his
pockets, looking down the street, toward the rickety old bridge over
the Cocahutchie. He was a sandy-haired, freckled-faced boy, and if he
was really only about fifteen, he was tall for his age. Across the top
of the door, over his head, stretched a cracked and faded sign, with a
horseshoe painted on one end and a hammer on the other, and the name
"John Ogden," almost faded out, between them.
The blacksmith-shop was a great, rusty, grimy clutter of work-benches,
vises, tools, iron in bars and rods, and all sorts of old iron scraps
and things that looked as if they needed making over.
The forge was in the middle, on one side, and near it was hitched a
horse, pawing the ground with a hoof that bore a new shoe. On the
anvil was a brilliant, yellow-red loop of iron, that was not quite yet
a new shoe, and it was sending out bright sparks as a hammer fell upon
it--"thud, thud, thud," and a clatter. Over the anvil leaned a tall,
muscular, dark-haired, grimy man. His face wore a disturbed and
anxious look, and it was covered with charcoal dust. There was
altogether too much charcoal along the high bridge of his Roman nose
and over his jutting eyebrows.
The boy in the door also had some charcoal on his cheeks and forehead,
but none upon his nose. His nose was not precisely like the
blacksmith's. It was high and Roman half-way down, but just there was
a little dent, and the rest of the nose was straight. His complexion,
excepting the freckles and charcoal, was chiefly sunburn, down to the
neckband of his blue checked shirt. He was a tough, wiry-looking boy,
and there was a kind of smiling, self-confident expression in his
blue-gray eyes and around his firm mouth.