Summary (Masterplots, Fourth Edition)
Aleck Maury’s love for hunting and fishing begins in childhood. At the age of eight, Aleck goes coon hunting with Rafe, a black handyman at the Maury household. Not long after, a mill owner named Jones takes the boy fishing and encourages his lifelong love for that sport. Aleck is always happiest when he is out in the fields. One of five children, he is reared by his oldest sister after his mother dies. Until he is ten years old, he is educated at home by his father, who puts great stress upon the classics and teaches his children nothing else.
At the age of ten, Aleck goes to live at Grassdale with his Uncle James and Aunt Victoria Morris and their son, Julian. There, his education is broadened under the tutelage of Aunt Victoria, a learned woman. Aleck’s life at Grassdale is pleasant, centering chiefly on sport.
When Aleck graduates from the University of Virginia, he has a classical education but no plans for making a living. He tries several jobs. He clears out a dogwood thicket for a set sum of money; he works on a construction project on the Missouri River, in the city engineer’s office in Seattle, and as a day laborer on a ranch in California. While working at the ranch, he contracts typhoid fever and is sent back east, as far as Kansas City, to stay with some relatives there. At last, through the efforts of his family, Aleck becomes a tutor at Merry Point, the home of Mr. Fayerlee, near Gloversville, Tennessee.
(The entire section is 1137 words.)
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