(Here followed some directions with regard to the spring planting, which we omit, as not likely to interest our readers.) The letter ended thus:
"It is nearly time for me to mail this letter, and it is already much longer than I intended to write. May God keep you all in health and happiness is the fervent wish of "Your affectionate father, "HENRY FROST."
The intelligence that their father had been a prisoner made quite a sensation among the children. Charlie declared that Mrs. Roberts was a wicked woman, and he was glad she was put in prison--an expression of joy in which the rest fully participated.
CHAPTER XXVII. POMP'S LIGHT INFANTRY TACTICS
Little Pomp continued to pursue his studies under Frank as a teacher. By degrees his restlessness diminished, and, finding Frank firm in exacting a certain amount of study before he would dismiss him, he concluded that it was best to study in earnest, and so obtain the courted freedom as speedily as possible. Frank had provided for his use a small chair, which he had himself used when at Pomp's age, but for this the little contraband showed no great liking. He preferred to throw himself on a rug before the open fire-place, and, curling up, not unlike a cat, began to pore over his primer.
Frank often looked up from his own studies and looked down with an amused glance at little Pomp's coal-back face and glistening eyes riveted upon the book before him. There was no lack of brightness or intelligence in the earnest face of his young pupil. He seemed to be studying with all his might. In a wonderfully short time he would uncoil himself, and, coming to his teacher, would say, "I guess I can say it, Mass' Frank."
Finding how readily Pomp learned his lessons, Frank judiciously lengthened them, so that, in two or three months, Pomp could read words of one syllable with considerable ease, and promised very soon to read as well as most boys of his age.
Frank also took considerable pains to cure Pomp of his mischievous propensities, but this he found a more difficult task than teaching him to read. Pomp had an innate love of fun which seemed almost irrepressible, and his convictions of duty sat too lightly upon him to interfere very seriously with its gratification. One adventure into which he was led came near having serious consequences.
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