Page:Abraham Lincoln, A Story and a Play.djvu/23

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17
THE STORY

One evening when Abraham had finished reading, he tucked the book away between the logs in the wall beside his bed, as he usually did when he was ready for sleep. Before morning a storm arose, and he woke up to find the book drenched through from the rain which had made its way through the chinks of the wall.

When he took it back, Mr. Crawford said, "I won't accept such a book. You may keep it, but you must pay for it by pulling fodder." Abraham felt quite bitter that a wealthy man like Mr. Crawford should be so hard upon him, a poor boy. But he set to work, and in three days he earned his first book. It was Weem's "Life of Washington."

For weeks afterwards Abraham spent all his spare time in reading and rereading his precious book. Over and over again he followed Washington through the brave adventures of his youth and the battles in which he dared so much.

While Abraham was poring over the life of the "Father of his Country," the boy little dreamed that he himself would become the wise, "Big Brother." Yes, it would be through his love and foresight that America would be saved, and her people kept together in one great family.