Listing ID: 50266 Orphan Boy by R. J. Milne, Jr.


I was shifted for several years among relatives, and, once, at around eight years old, was given to strangers who wanted me for chores. When I neared eleven years of age, one of my uncles put me on a train, alone, going far west---toward another uncle living in Montana.

At twelve, I struck out on my own, working numerous farms and ranches, laboring hard from sunup until sundown. Jobs were scarce during the winters. So I rode the grub line, many times going hungry, cold and always no place to call home. If I was fortunate to find work, I labored in freezing conditions---some days twenty below.

By seventeen, I was a full-fledged ranch and farmhand. I could do any part of the roundups, even castration. I harvested fields encompassing Poplar, Montana, throughout Kansas and into Canada. I burrowed deep down in copper mines at Butte, Montana, while underage; and within a year, advanced to blasting. I rode many rails and kinds of trains when roaming; wherever the locomotive stopped, I hopped off and did chores, in or near town.


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