Still, there were times when he felt the need of a teacher. He would occasionally encounter difficulties which he found himself unable to surmount without assistance. At such times he thought of Mr Rathburn's kind offer. But his old teacher lived nearly a mile distant, and he felt averse to troubling him, knowing that his duties in school were arduous.
Occasionally he met some of his schoolmates. As nearly all of them were friendly and well-disposed to him, this gave him pleasure, and brought back sometimes the wish that he was as free as they. But this wish was almost instantly checked by the thought that he had made a sacrifice for his country's sake.
A few days after the incident narrated in the last chapter, Frank was out in the woods not far from Chloe's cottage, collecting brushwood, to be afterward carried home, when his attention was called to an altercation, one of the parties in which he readily recognized as little Pomp. To explain how it came about, we shall have to go back a little.
Pomp was returning from Mrs. Frost's, swinging a tin kettle containing provisions for his mother and himself, when all at once he met John Haynes, who was coming from the opposite direction.
Now, John was something of a bully, and liked to exercise authority over the boys who were small enough to render the attempt a safe one. On the present occasion he felt in a hectoring mood.
"I'll have some fun out of the little nigger," he said to himself, as he espied Pomp.
Pomp approached, swinging his pail as before, and whistling a plantation melody.
"What have you got there, Pomp?" asked John.
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