Gobaly had never been even inside
Squire Thorndike's gate before, and he
went up to one of the back doors with
fear and trembling; the servants at Squire
Thorndike's were said to be "stuck-up,"
and they might not be very civil to "town's
poor." But at the sight of the dog they
raised a great cry, and at once ushered
Gobaly into the presence of Squire Thorndike and Dr. Carruthers, that he might
tell them all he knew about the accident.
Dr. Carruthers was a big, jolly-looking
man, with white hair and a long white
beard, just like pictures of Santa Claus.
Gobaly was sure that Methuselah would
think he was Santa Claus if he could see
him. He evidently felt very sorry about
the dog's accident, and pitied him and
petted him as if he were a baby; Gobaly,
who had never had so much petting in
his whole life, thought the dog ought to
forget all about his leg.
And then he suddenly turned to Gobaly
and asked him who set the leg. Gobaly
answered, modestly, that he "fixed it as
well as he could because there was n't anybody else around."
"How did you know how?" asked the
doctor. And Gobaly related his experiences
with the rooster and the kitten and the
puppy. Dr. Carruthers looked at him steadily out of a pair of eyes that were very sharp,
although very kind. Then he turned to
Squire Thorndike and said "an uncommon
boy." Squire Thorndike answered, and
they talked together in a low tone, casting
an occasional glance at Gobaly.
How Gobaly's ears did burn! He wondered what Squire Thorndike knew about
him, and he thought of every prank he
ever had played in his life. Gobaly was an
unusually good boy, but he had played a
few pranks; being a boy,--and he
thought they were a great deal worse than they really were, because Mrs. Pynchum
And he imagined that Dr. Carruthers was hearing all about them, and
would presently turn round and say that
such a bad boy had no right to touch his
dog, and that such conduct was just what
he should expect of "town's poor." But
instead of that, after several minutes' conversation with Squire Thorndike, he
turned to Gobaly, and said:
"I want an office-boy, and I think you are just the boy to suit
me. Would you like to come and live with me, and
perhaps, one of these days, be a doctor
Gobaly caught his breath.
To go away from Mrs. Pynchum; not to
be "town's poor" any more; to learn to
be a doctor! He had said once in Mrs.
Pynchum's hearing that he wanted to be
a doctor when he grew up, and she had
said, sneeringly, that "town's poor were n't
very likely to get a chance to learn to be
And now the chance had come to him!
Gobaly thought it seemed too much like
heaven to be anything that could happen
to a mortal boy!
"Well, would you like to go?" asked
the doctor again, as Gobaly could find no
words to answer.
"Would I, sir? Would n't I!" said Gobaly, with a radiant face.
"Well, then, l will make an arrangement
with the selectmen--which I have no
doubt it will be easy to do--and will take
you home with me to-morrow night," said
the good doctor.
But the brightness had suddenly faded
from Gobaly's face. He stood with his
hands thrust into his trousers pockets, gazing irresolutely at the carpet.
But it was not the carpet that Gobaly
saw; it might as well have been the yellow
paint of the poor-house floors for all that
he noticed of its luxurious pile and beautiful colors. It was 'Thusely's pale, pinched
little face that he saw! It had risen before