ON THE ERIE ROAD.
"Papers, magazines, all the popular novels! Can't I sell you something this morning?"
Joshua Bascom turned as the train boy addressed him, and revealed an honest, sunburned face, lighted up with pleasurable excitement, for he was a farmer's son and was making his first visit to the city of New York.
"I ain't much on story readin'," he said, "I tried to read a story book once, but I couldn't seem to get interested in it."
"What was the name of it?" asked Fred, the train boy, smiling.
"It was the 'Pilgrim's Progress,' or some such name. It had pictures into it. Aunt Nancy give it to dad for a birthday present once."
"I have heard of it."
"It was a mighty queer book. I couldn't make head nor tail on't."
"All books are not like that."
"I don't feel like readin'. It's a nuff sight more interestin' lookin' out of the winder at the sights.
"I'm going to York to spend a week," added Joshua, with an air of importance.
"That's where I live," said the train boy.
"Do you? Then you might tell me where to put up. I've got ten dollars.
I reckon that ought to keep me a week."
"That is more than enough to keep me," he said, "but it costs a stranger considerable to go around. But I shall have to go my rounds."
It was a train on the Erie road, and the car had just passed Middletown. Joshua was sitting by the window, and the seat beside him was vacant. The train boy had scarcely left the car when a stylishly dressed young man, who had been sitting behind, came forward and accosted Joshua.
"Is this seat engaged?" he asked.
"Not as I know of," answered the young farmer.
"Then with your permission I will take it," said the stranger.
"Why of course; I hain't no objection. He's dreadful polite!" thought
"You are from the country, I presume?" said the newcomer as he sank into the seat.
"Yes, I be. I live up Elmira way-town of Barton. Was you ever in
"I have passed through it. I suppose you are engaged in agricultural pursuits?"
"You are a farmer, I take it."
"Yes; I work on dad's farm. He owns a hundred and seventy-five acres, and me and a hired man help him to carry it on. I tell you we have to work."
"Just so! And now you are taking a vacation?"
"Yes. I've come to see the sights of York."
"I think you will enjoy your visit. Ahem! the mayor of New York is my uncle."
"You don't say?" ejaculated Joshua, awestruck.
"Yes! My name is Ferdinand Morris."