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DORIAN

By

Nephi Anderson

Author of "Added Upon," "Romance of A Missionary," etc.

"The Keys of the Holy Priesthood unlock the Door of Knowledge and let you look into the Palace of Truth."

BRIGHAM YOUNG.

Salt Lake City, Utah

1921

Other books by Nephi Anderson.

"ADDED UPON"--A story of the past, the present, and the future stages of existence.

"THE CASTLE BUILDER"--The scenes and incidents are from the "Land of the Midnight Sun."

"PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE"--A love story of a Mormon country girl. Illustrated.

"STORY OF CHESTER LAWRENCE"--Being the completed account of one who played an important part in "Piney Ridge Cottage."

"A DAUGHTER OF THE NORTH"--A story of a Norwegian girl's trials and triumphs. Illustrated.

"JOHN ST. JOHN"--The story of a young man who went through the soul-trying scenes of Missouri and Illinois.

"ROMANCE OF A MISSIONARY"--A story of English life and missionary experiences. Illustrated.

"MARCUS KING MORMON"--A story of early days in Utah.

"THE BOYS OF SPRINGTOWN"--A story about boys for boys and all interested in boys. Illustrated.


CHAPTER ONE.

Dorian Trent was going to town to buy himself a pair of shoes. He had some other errands to perform for himself and his mother, but the reason for his going to town was the imperative need of shoes. It was Friday afternoon. The coming Sunday he must appear decently shod, so his mother had told him, at the same time hinting at some other than the Sunday reason. He now had the money, three big, jingling silver dollars in his pocket.

Dorian whistled cheerfully as he trudged along the road. It was a scant three miles to town, and he would rather walk that short distance than to be bothered with a horse. When he took Old Nig, he had to keep to the main-traveled road straight into town, then tie him to a post--and worry about him all the time; but afoot and alone, he could move along as easily as he pleased, linger on the canal bank or cut cross-lots through the fields to the river, cross it on the footbridge, then go on to town by the lower meadows.

The road was dusty that afternoon, and the sun was hot. It would be cooler under the willows by the river. At Cottonwood Corners, Dorian left the road and took the cut-off path. The river sparkled cool and clear under the overhanging willows. He saw a good-sized trout playing in the pool, but as he had no fishing tackle with him, the boy could only watch the fish in its graceful gliding in and out of sunshine and shadow. A robin overhead was making a noisy demonstration as if in alarm about a nest. Dorian sat on the bank to look and listen for a few moments, then he got up again.

Crossing the river, he took the cool foot-path under the willows. He cut down one of the smoothest, sappiest branches with which to make whistles. Dorian was a great maker of whistles, which he freely gave away to the smaller boys and girls whom he met. Just as it is more fun to catch fish than to eat them, so Dorian found more pleasure in giving away his whistles than to stuff them in his own pockets. However, that afternoon, he had to hurry on to town, so he caught no fish, and made only one whistle which he found no opportunity to give away. In the city, he attended to his mother's errands first. He purchased the few notions which the store in his home town of Greenstreet did not have, checking each item off on a slip of paper with a stub of a pencil. Then, there were his shoes.

Should he get lace or button, black or tan? Were there any bargains in shoes that afternoon? He would look about to see. He found nothing in the way of footwear on Main street which appealed to him. He lingered at the window of the book store, looking with envious eyes at the display of new books. He was well known by the bookseller, for he was a frequent visitor, and, once in a while, he made a purchase; however, to day he must not spend too much time "browsing" among books. He would, however, just slip around to Twenty-fifth street and take a look at the secondhand store there. Not to buy shoes, of course, but sometimes there were other interesting things there, especially books.

Ah, look here! Spread out on a table on the sidewalk in front of this second-hand store was a lot of books, a hundred or more--books of all kind--school books, history, fiction, all of them in good condition, some only a little shopworn, others just like new. Dorian Trent eagerly looked them over. Here were books he had read about, but had not read--and the prices! Dickens' "David Copperfield", "Tale of Two Cities", "Dombey and Son", large well-printed books, only a little shopworn, for thirty-five cents; Thackeray's "Vanity Fair", twenty-five cents; books by Mrs. Humphrey Ward and Margaret Deland; "Robinson Crusoe", a big book with fine pictures. Dorian had, of course, read "Robinson Crusoe" but he had always wanted to own a copy. Ah, what's this? Prescott's "Conquest of Peru", two volumes, new, fifty cents each! Dorian turned the leaves. A man stepped up and also began handling the books. Yes, here were bargains, surely. He stacked a number together as if he desired to secure them. Dorian becoming fearful, slipped the other volume of the Conquest under his arm and made as if to gather a number of other books under his protection. He must have some of these before they were all taken by others. The salesman now came up to him and asked:

"Find something you want?"

"O, yes, a lot of things I like" replied Dorian.

"They're bargains."

Dorian needed not to be told that.

"They're going fast, too."

"Yes, I suppose so."

His heart fell as he said it, for he realized that he had no money to buy books. He had come to town to buy shoes, which he badly needed. He glanced down at his old shoes. They were nearly falling to pieces, but they might last a little longer. If he bought the "Conquest of Peru" he would still have two dollars left. Could he buy a pair of shoes for that amount? Very likely but not the kind his mother had told him to get, the kind that were not too heavy or "stogy" looking, but would be "nice" for Sundays. He held tightly on to the two books, while Dickens and Thackeray were still protectingly within his reach. What could he do?

Down there in Peru there had been a wonderful people whom Pizarro, the bad, bold Spaniard had conquered and abused. Dorian knew about it all vaguely as a dim fairy tale; and here was the whole story, beautifully and minutely told. He must have these books. This bargain might never come again to him. But what would his mother say? She herself had added the last half dollar to his amount to make sure that he could get the nicer kind.

"Well, sir, how many of these will you have?" asked the salesman.

"I'll--I'll take these two, anyway"--meaning Prescott's Conquest--"and let me see", he looked hungrily over the titles--"And this one 'David Copperfield'." It was hard to select from so many tempting ones. Here was one he had missed: "Ben Hur"--, a fine new copy in blue and gold. He had read the Chariot Race, and if the whole story was as interesting as that, he must have it. He handed the volume to the salesman. Then his hand touched lovingly a number of other books, but he resisted the temptation, and said: "That's all--this time."

The clerk wrapped the purchase in a newspaper and handed the package to Dorian who paid for them with his two silver dollars, receiving some small silver in change. Then, with his package under his arm, the boy walked on down the street.

Well, what now? He was a little afraid of what he had done. How could he face his mother? How could he go home without shoes? Books might be useful for the head, but they would not clothe the feet. He jingled the coins in his pocket as he walked on down to the end of the business section of the city. He could not buy any kind of shoes to fit his big

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