Mrs. Jericho Bob, his mother, kept hens for a living, and she expected that they would lay enough eggs in the course of time to help her son to an independent career as a bootblack.
They lived in a tumble-down house in a waste of land near the steam cars, and besides her hens Mrs. Bob owned a goat.
Our story has, however, nothing to do with the goat except to say he was there, and that he was on nibbling terms, not only with Jericho Bob, but with Bob's bosom friend, Julius Cæsar Fish, and it was surprising how many old hat-brims and other tidbits of clothing he could swallow during a day.
As Mrs. Bob truly said, it was no earthly use to get something new for Jericho, even if she could afford it; for the goat browsed all over him, and had been known to carry away even a leg of his trousers.
Jericho Bob was eight years old, and the friend of his bosom, Julius Cæsar Fish, was nine. They were both of a lovely black; a tallow-dip couldn't take