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The Young Musician

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or, Fighting His Way


(1906)



"The Young Musician" features the adventures of Phillip Gray, one of Horatio Alger's most admirable young heroes. Though only 16 years old, Phillip possesses the good sense of a man twice his age. He is orphaned by a father who leaves him penniless, yet he has the wisdom to hold onto his one keepsake, a violin, and uses it to make his way in the world. From his first day on the road, Phillip makes very good money by his efforts. At first befriended and then hoodwinked by the fatuous windbag Lorenzo Riccabocca, Phillip strikes out on his own after nearly losing every dime of his first earnings. On his way to New York, he befriends Henry Taylor, the son of a rich New York broker, who has been bewitched by the romance of dime novels such as "Bully Bill" and "The Hero of the Plains" and has run away to kill Indians in the Wild West. Henry gets only as far west as Albany when Phillip wisely turns him around and persuades him to go home. Of course we have our villains: Squire Pope, "neither a bad man or a tyrant," yet a thorough villain, and the comedic skinflint Joe Tucker, manager of the local poorhouse. Phillip's one blessing had been a good education, and at story's end we are pleased to see him able to go even further. Beware of posers with polysyllabic names, Phillip!--Submitted by Robert Cox

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