Frank, the Young Naturalist
105 Pages

Frank, the Young Naturalist


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Published 08 December 2010
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Project Gutenberg's Frank, the Young Naturalist, by Harry Castlemon This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at Title: Frank, the Young Naturalist Author: Harry Castlemon Release Date: May 21, 2004 [EBook #12405] Language: English Character set encoding: ASCII *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK FRANK, THE YOUNG NATURALIST *** Produced by Juliet Sutherland, Asad Razzaki and PG Distributed Proofreaders FRANK AND ARCHIE SERIES FRANK THE YOUNG NATURALIST BY HARRY CASTLEMON, AUTHOR OF "THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN SERIES," "THE GO-AHEAD SERIES," ETC. 1892 THE GUN-BOAT SERIES. FRANK, THE YOUNG NATURALIST, FRANK ON A GUN-BOAT, FRANK IN THE WOODS, FRANK ON THE PRAIRIE, FRANK BEFORE VICKSBURG, FRANK ON THE LOWER MISSISSIPPI. Contents CHAPTER I. THE HOME OF THE YOUNG NATURALIST CHAPTER II. AN UGLY CUSTOMER CHAPTER III. THE MUSEUM CHAPTER IV. A RACE ON THE WATER CHAPTER V. A FISHING EXCURSION CHAPTER VI. THE REGULATORS CHAPTER VII. THE REVENGE CHAPTER VIII. HOW TO SPEND THE "FOURTH" CHAPTER IX. THE COAST-GUARDS OUTWITTED CHAPTER X. A QUEER COUSIN CHAPTER XI. TROUT-FISHING CHAPTER XII. A DUCK-HUNT ON THE WATER CHAPTER XIII. A 'COON-HUNT CHAPTER XIV. BILL LAWSON'S REVENGE CHAPTER XV. WILD GEESE CHAPTER XVI. A CHAPTER OF INCIDENTS CHAPTER XVII. THE GRAYHOUND OUTGENERALED FRANK, THE YOUNG NATURALIST. CHAPTER I. The Home of the Young Naturalist. About one hundred miles north of Augusta, the Capital of Maine, the little village of Lawrence is situated. A range of high hills skirts its western side, and stretches away to the north as far as the eye can reach; while before the village, toward the east, flows the Kennebec River. Near the base of the hills a beautiful stream, known as Glen's Creek, has its source; and, after winding through the adjacent meadows, and reaching almost around the village, finally empties into the Kennebec. Its waters are deep and clear, and flow over a rough, gravelly bed, and under high banks, and through many a little nook where the perch and sunfish love to hide. This creek, about half a mile from its mouth, branches off, forming two streams, the smaller of which flows south, parallel with the river for a short distance, and finally empties into it. This stream is known as Ducks' Creek, and it is very appropriately named; for, although it is but a short distance from the village, every autumn, and until late in the spring, its waters are fairly alive with wild ducks, which find secure retreats among the high bushes and reeds which line its banks. The island formed by these two creeks is called Reynard's Island, from the fact that for several years a sly old fox had held possession of it in spite of the efforts of the village boys to capture him. The island contains, perhaps, twenty-five acres, and is thickly covered with hickory-trees; and there is an annual strife between the village boys and the squirrels, to see which can gather the greater quantity of nuts. Directly opposite the village, near the middle of the river, is another island, called Strawberry Island, from the great quantity of that fruit which it produces. The fishing-grounds about the village are excellent. The river affords great numbers of perch, black bass, pike, and muscalonge; and the numberless little streams that intersect the country fairly swarm with trout, and the woods abound in game. This attracts sportsmen from other places; and the Julia Burton, the little steamer that plies up and down the river, frequently brings large parties of amateur hunters and fishermen, who sometimes spend months enjoying the rare sport. It was on the banks of Glen's Creek, about half a mile from the village, in a neat little cottage that stood back from the road, and which was almost concealed by the thick shrubbery and trees that surrounded it, that FRANK NELSON, the young naturalist, lived. His father had been a wealthy merchant in the city of Boston; and, after his death, Mrs. Nelson had removed into the country with her children, and bought the place of which we are speaking. Frank was a handsome, high-spirited boy, about sixteen years of age. He was kind, open-hearted, and generous; and no one in the village had more friends than he. But his most prominent characteristic was perseverance. He was a slow thinker, and some, perhaps, at first sight, would have pronounced him "dull;" but the unyielding application with which he devoted himself to his studies, or to any thing else he undertook, overcame all obstacles; and he was further advanced, and his knowledge was more thorough than that of any other boy of the same age in the village. He never gave up any thing he undertook because he found it more difficult than he had expected, or hurried over it in a "slipshod" manner, for his motto was, "Whatever is worth doing at all, is worth doing well." At the time of which we write Frank was just entering upon what he called a "long vacation." He had attended the high-school of which the village boasted for nearly eight years, with no intermission but the vacations, and during this time he had devoted himself with untiring energy to his studies. He loved his books, and they were his constant companions. By intense application he succeeded in working his way into the highest class in school, which was composed of young men much older than himself, and who looked upon him, not as a fellow-student, but as a rival, and used every exertion to prevent him from keeping pace with them. But Frank held his own in spite of their efforts, and not unfrequently paid them back in their own coin by committing his lessons more thoroughly than they. Things went on so for a considerable time. Frank, whose highest ambition was to be called the best scholar in his class, kept steadily gaining ground, and one by one the rival students were overtaken and distanced. But Frank had some smart scholars matched against him, and he knew that the desired reputation was not to be obtained without a fierce struggle; and every moment, both in and out of school, was devoted to study. He had formerly been passionately fond of rural sports, hunting and fishing, but now his fine double-barrel gun, which he had always taken especial care to keep in the best possible "shooting order," hung in its accustomed place, all covered with dust. His fishing-rod and basket were in the same condition; and Bravo, his fine hunting-dog, which was very much averse to