By Irene McCullough
Mr. Burt had just driven in with his Ford truck. He stopped it nearer the house than usual, remembering it was Hallowe’en.
Mrs. Burt was waiting supper, the children were tired and hungry and she was anxious to get them to bed.
“Well, I have had a dandy day, and the Boss says he can keep me busy from early until late tomorrow. Don’t need to worry, mother, we will soon be on top again. Just one more payment on the Ford and that’s cleared up.”
“We must have coal right away, Tom. It’s getting cold, and you know baby is not very strong yet.”
“Yes, I have thought of that, too. Mr. Davis said I could have a ton tomorrow and pay a little later. Good thing I got my truck. It means steady work for me all winter, now.”
After supper was all cleared away and the children put to bed, Mr. Burt went out and brought in some kindling wood, saw that the truck was all right, and decided to retire.
“We might as well go to bed. I am sure no boys will come around playing tricks this late. I have to be down to the yards early in the morning.”
Dick and Joe had been having a good time, and as it was nearly ten, decided to go home. As they came to Mr. Burt’s house, they spied his truck.
“Let’s pull the brake off and run,” said Joe.
Putting the words into action, the boys let the brake off, then ran, never waiting to see what would happen. The truck, being on a slight hill, moved forward until it struck a tree.
You can imagine Mr. Burt’s grief the next morning when he found his truck had banged into the tree. It meant losing a big day’s work besides a repair bill of about ten dollars.
“Well, Mother, we will have to make the best of it. I will go down and see the boss and maybe I can arrange to get a load of coal to-day, anyway. it’s hard luck, sure. If I could just lay my hands on those rascals, I would teach them a lesson.”
The boss listened to Mr. Burt’s story and let him have the coal, but told him he would have to settle for it within a week.
That night as Mr. Davis, the father of Dick and Joe, and also the boss of the coal yards, sat reading, he heard Mr. Burt’s name mentioned. he stopped and listened to what the boys had to say.
“My, I bet old Burt was mad this morning,” said Joe.
“We should worry,” replied Dick. “We sure had fun last night.”
Immediately Mr. Davis put down his paper and went and sat down by his boys.
“I have a story to tell you,” he said. Then he went on to relate how hard Mr. Burt had worked to buy a truck so he could keep in steady work this winter. The last winter had been a hard one for him and his little family. Many a time they had had scarcely enough to eat and could barely keep warm. This winter they were just getting their heads above water and expected to enjoy a few comforts when some boys let the brake off on his truck and it had run into a tree.
When Mr. Davis had finished, both the boys had tears in their eyes. “Isn’t there something we can do, Dad, to pay him for his loss of work and damage to his car?” said Dick.
“Yes, there is,” said their father. “Every day after school you can come down to the yards and do odd jobs until you earn enough to pay for the damage.”
“Let’s go over and tell Mr. Burt how sorry we are and that we intend to make it right,” said Joe.
Away they went, two of the happiest boys in the world.
“Well,” said Joe, “it’s all right to have fun, but not when it makes others suffer.”