This is one of the last stories penned by that prince of all juvenile writers, Horation Alger, Jr., and is one of his best. It describes the adventures of a youth brought up in the country by an old hermit. When the hermit dies the boy obtains work at a nearby hotel and later on drifts to the city and obtains a position in another hotel. There is a mystery concerning the lad's identity and likewise the disappearance of a certain blue box, but in the end all terminates satisfactorily.
"But you'll get wet."
"Never mind; run, I tell you!"
Thus admonished, Ned ran for the old hunting lodge, which was situated about two hundred feet away. Joe remained behind long enough to secure the rowboat and the oars and then he followed his friend.
Just as one porch of the old lodge was reached there came a flash of lightning, followed by a clap of thunder that made Ned jump. Then followed more thunder and lightning, and the rain came down steadily.
"Ugh! I must say I don't like this at all," remarked Ned, as he crouched in a corner of the shelter. "I hope the lightning doesn't strike this place."
"We can be thankful that we were not caught out in the middle of the lake, Ned."
"I agree on that, Joe,--but it doesn't help matters much. Oh, dear me!" And Ned shrank down, as another blinding flash of lightning lit up the scene.
It was not a comfortable situation and Joe did not like it any more than did his friend. But the hermit's boy was accustome