The little orange-boy



Hugh was a poor little boy who sold oranges, in the street, for a living. His father was dead, and his mother was very poor. She had to work hard to get food for herself and four small children.

Hugh, who was the oldest, said he could help her, if he only had some pennies to buy some oranges. so his mother gave him some money, and he went and bought a basket of oranges, and sold them for fifteen cents more than he gave for them. Hugh gave back to his mother the money she lent him, and with the fifteen cents profit he bought another basket of oranges. Thus he went on, buying and selling oranges. In this way, he helped his poor mother, besides earning his own living.

One day, a man bought some oranges of Hugh, and, in paying for them, gave him a five-dollar gold piece, by mistake. Hugh put the money into his pocket; but, soon after the man had gone, he began to count it over. When he saw the five-dollar gold piece, he took up his basket of oranges, and ran to find the man who gave it to him. He soon came up with him, and said, "Sir, did you not make a mistake in paying for the oranges?"

"How so?" said the man. "Did I not pay the price?"

"Yes, sir," said Hugh; "but, with the pennies, you gave this five-dollar gold piece."

"A gold piece!" said the man, as he put his hand into his pocket, to know whether it was really so "Ah, yes! You are right, my boy," said the man. "But why did you take so much pains to run after a stranger, to correct his mistake?"

"Because," said Hugh, "I have been taught to be honest; and never to take anything that does not belong to me."

"You are an honest little boy," said the man. "And, now, I should like to know your name, and where you live."

"My name is Hugh," said the boy, "and I live with my mother, in that small house in the alley."

The next day the man sent a large basket of nice sweet oranges to Hugh as a present. When Hugh was fourteen years of age, the man sent for him to come and serve him as a clerk in his store. He went to live with the gentleman; and, a few years after, he became a partner in his business. Hugh was honest in all his dealings, and soon became a very rich man. This shows that it is always best and safest to do right.


From: THRILLING STORIES For Young And Old By Julia A. Shelhamer, God's Bible School and College, Cincinnati, Ohio. No Date