Edward Dunscomb's Boyhood
My grandfather, during that long summer visit with us, told me of one of his boyhood experiences which was so different from anything I had ever known that every detail remains clear in my memory.
Edward Dunscomb was living with the family in Newfoundland. On his twelfth birthday his father had given him an English shotgun and had taught him how to care for it and use it. Apparently he learned quickly and was on his way to become a good marksman, a hunter.
Some ten miles from his home was a swamp, uninhabited, where the duck shooting was good. The boy was looking forward to a holiday when he would go duck hunting alone.
The great day came, bright and clear. The lad was up early, eager for adventure. After breakfast he went to the kitchen and put up a lunch; got his equipment for the hunt and dashed out, fairly running those ten miles to the swamp. He sought for the ducks and as just entering into the excitement of his first holiday of the kind when the family butler appeared calling him:
"Mr. Edward, Mr. Edward, your mother requires you at home."
"Why, what's the matter? Why does my mother want me now? I am just beginning to shoot ducks after this long tramp to the swamp."
"I only know that your mother requires you at home. I do not know why. But she says you are to return at once."
Obediently the boy retraced the way that doubtless seemed to him vastly longer than on his outward joyous tramp. Perhaps he loitered to eat the lunch he had brought. He found his mother in the drawing-room.
"Why did you send for me?"
"Edward, shut that door which in your haste you left open. As a penalty for your carelessness you will put that gun away for six months."
Grandfather never told us that he loved his mother.