Tom Pratt firmly believed he was the most unfortunate boy in Maine when, on a certain June morning, his father sent him to the beach for a load of seaweed.
Tom had never been in love with a farmer's life.
He fancied that in any other sphere of action he could succeed, if not better, certainly more easily, than by weeding turnips or hoeing corn on the not very productive farm.
But either planting or digging was preferable to loading a huge cart with the provokingly slippery weeds which his father insisted on gathering for compost each summer.
Therefore, when the patient oxen, after much goading and an unusual amount of noise from their impatient driver, stood knee-deep in the surf contentedly chewing their cuds and enjoying the cool footbath, Tom,[Pg 2] instead of beginning his work, sat at the forward part of the cart gazing seaward, thinking, perhaps, how pleasant must be a sailor's life while the ocean was calm and smiling as on this particular day.