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Eben Holden, a tale of the north country by Irving Bacheller
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Eben Holden a Tale of the North Country

by Irving Bacheller


Early in the last century the hardy wood-choppers began to come
west, out of Vermont. They founded their homes in the
Adirondack wildernesses and cleared their rough acres with the
axe and the charcoal pit. After years of toil in a rigorous climate
they left their sons little besides a stumpy farm and a coon-skin
overcoat. Far from the centres of life their amusements, their
humours, their religion, their folk lore, their views of things had in
them the flavour of the timber lands, the simplicity of childhood.
Every son was nurtured in the love of honour and of industry, and
the hope of sometime being president. It is to be feared this latter
thing and the love of right living, for its own sake, were more in
their thoughts than the immortal crown that had been the
inspiration of their fathers. Leaving the farm for the more
promising life of the big city they were as men born anew, and
their second infancy was like that of Hercules. They had the
strength of manhood, the tireless energy of children and some hope
of the highest things. The pageant of the big town - its novelty, its
promise, its art, its activity - quickened their highest powers, put
them to their best effort. And in all great enterprises they became
the pathfinders, like their fathers in the primeval forest.