Hector’s Inheritance (1910)⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ by Horatio Alger Jr.
Hector’s Inheritance was written originally in 1885, but this is a 1910 copy. The front of the book has a picture of a young man rowing a boat, but funnily enough, this has nothing, absolutely nothing at all to do with the story.
Inside the front cover is printed ‘This Book is the Property of’, and in pencil is written: “Marion S. Hodgson
R.F.D. #2 Del
On the front flyleaf, there written in pencil it is written:
“Marion S. Hodgson
From Aunt Emma
My copy is published by The New York Book Company.
Horatio Alger (January 13, 1832-July 18, 1899) was a very popular juvenile fiction writer in his day. He wrote around 100 novels in his lifetime.
Hector’s Inheritance is about a boy of about fifteen who is sent to boarding school after his wealthy father dies and fails to leave a will. Hector Roscoe is left penniless after his uncle tells him that he is not the heir to his father’s vast estate, for he was adopted!
Hector is sent away by his no-longer uncle to boarding school, paid for by the not-uncle, for he had promised Hector’s father on his deathbed to make sure that Hector gets an education. The not-uncle is true to his word. He is sent off to Smith Institute, which is the cheapest school he could find, and, consequently not a very good one.
The institute is attended by a nasty bully named Jim Smith who just happens to be the nephew of Mr. Socrates Smith, the principal. Socrates lets Jim rule the school without consequences to his actions.
Hector was not going to be bullied, or let the other children be bullied for that matter, and stands up to him. Of course, Jim does not like this, and eventually the bully frames him in theft of the principal’s wallet. Unbeknownst to Jim, a boy witnesses him framing Hector, and lets another boy in on his secret, and they stand up for him in front of the class when he is attempted to be exposed.
Socrates is ready to believe Jim’s story, and the whole thing is handled very badly, as Socrates already wrote a letter to Hector’s guardian before he even confronted him about it.
Hector decides to leave the school and answer an invitation to visit a friend in New York, and he takes his favorite teacher, Mr. Crabb with him to be his friend’s tutor.
Hector saves a little girl in the street, and is thanked by her father by giving him a job, and sending him to California, the state where Hector was born, to find and bring back the man’s nephew who is of ill repute. While he is there, Hector also takes the opportunity to investigate the origin of his birth, and finds out, as he suspected, he was not adopted after all. Hector’s inheritance was his once more!
He contacts a lawyer and the uncle is forced to give up the property that he tried to steal.
This is a fantastic book, a real page turner, and very well written. It’s exciting, and you really get to know Hector and love him. I highly recommend this book, especially to young boys. Actually, I’d recommend this to anyone who likes good stories.
Oh, and by the way, I also found a big, most likely 100 year old maple leaf in the book. What a treasure!