It was a raw, cold, day in the month of March. Since early morning the clouds had been gathering, and they now hung dark and heavy over both land and sea. The wind, too, which had for hours been steadily increasing in violence, now blew little short of a gale. It evidently was going to be a terrible night, and that night was near at hand.
No one realized this more than the young lad, who, with a small bundle in one hand and a stout staff in the other, was walking rapidly along the highway that runs near the west shore of Narragansett Bay. He was a lad that would have attracted attention anywhere. Tall for his age, which could not have been far from sixteen years, he was also of good proportions, and walked with an ease and stride which suggested reserved strength and muscular development.
But it was the lad's face that was the most noticeable. Frank, open, of singular beauty in feature and outline, there were also upon it unmistakable evidences of intelligence, resoluteness, and honesty of purpose. A close observer might also have detected traces of suffering or of sorrow on it--possibly of some great burden hard to bear.