Though Charles Ross had been unlucky in birth and upbringing, though at the opening of the story, he was looked upon as a vagabond, he had drifted through life clean-minded and happy. About our first meeting with him is in a small farm town, where he arrives via the box-car route. And about the first thing he does is to rescue a consumptive stranger from some drunken toughs. Though he spends several days caring for him, the stranger dies. He leaves a note to the new-found friend, to the effect that he is the son of a Los Angeles man who will give the vagabond a good position. The stranger, as a youth, seemed to possess everything to make him happy and a success in life; position, money and good parents were his. Yet he drifted into bad society, like a ship without an anchorage. Drink and drugs added their downward pull. At last, in a fit of half-drunken rage, the boy left home. His mother fell ill through sorrow; she became blind, but never gave up hope that her boy would return some ...
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