A Brave Lad of Wedderburn School

by Unknown

It was Saturday afternoon when the boys of Wedderburn School went off as usual to swim their boats on a beautiful lake, only a quarter of a mile away. Fred Langton had a new boat, a regular beauty, which his grandfather had sent to him as a birthday present, and it must be admitted that many admiring eyes were directed to this boat, for it was a larger and better-constructed one than any of the others, and each boy was of course, anxious that his own boat should win the race. But although all the boys admired Fred's boat, and wished that they could have had one as good, still they felt no grudge towards Fred himself, for he was a general favourite in the school, being kind-hearted, unselfish, always willing to lend anything that he had to his companions, and never known to tell tales, or to do a mean action of any kind.

'I tell you,' said Bill Cowan to his own particular chum, Joe Morris, 'that boat of Fred's will beat ours all hollow! I wish I had one as good!'

'Well, suppose it does win,' replied Joe Morris, 'I shall not grudge it to him, for Fred is no sneak; he is out-and-out the jolliest fellow in Wedderburn School.'

'So he is,' said Bill Cowan, 'and no mistake about it. Well, here we are at the lake, and now for some fun.'

On this particular Saturday, however, Fred was destined to distinguish himself in quite another way, and to win the applause not only of his companions, but of the people who were walking up and down the border of the lake, enjoying the sunshine and the refreshing breeze. The little boats were all in full sail, and the schoolboys were shouting with glee at the fun, when quite suddenly a fine fox-terrier took it into his head to pursue the boats and show that he could swim as well as they could. Poor dog! It was quite true that he could swim; but unfortunately he got entangled among weeds, and after floundering about for a little and barking piteously for help, he gradually sank till his body was quite out of sight, only his head and neck being visible to the schoolboys, who looked on in horror, not knowing how they could save the poor animal.

'Oh, I say, I can't stand this!' cried Fred Langton; 'he will be drowned. I must go in and fetch him out!'

'No, no!' cried Bill Cowan; 'the lake is quite deep just at that place.'

'Yes, I know it's deep,' added Joe Morris, 'and, besides, you can't swim, Fred; don't be silly. Who cares for a dog being drowned?'

'I do, for one,' cried Fred, and dashing into the water he waded out to where the poor dog was half-standing, half-lying, among the choking weeds. Yes, the water was deep; but stretching out his arms he contrived to catch hold of the poor animal, and he quickly waded back to shore amid ringing cheers from all the people who had now gathered on the bank to watch the plucky lad. And whose was the dog? Nobody knew; it seemed, indeed, to have no owner and no home. But Fred and his companions carried it back with them to the school, and, after having told their tale, they begged the head master to keep it for himself; and as Dr. Williams could not discover anything about the dog's ownership, he did keep it. So Fred's brave deed not only saved the animal's life, but procured a good home for it as well.