Walter was a good teamster even when a young boy and was trusted to drive his father’s nice horses. But on one occasion something broke loose and struck one horse on the heels. They broke loose and ran. Neighbors saw the lad standing in the wagon vainly trying to stop the horses. Then another neighbor saw the overturned wagon and no boy in sight. Word was sent to Roland Haight that Walter was killed. He gets on the back of another horse and goes, not too fast, but looking for his boy. He finds him by the roadside between two logs. He bends over his boy and says, “Walter, Oh Walter, my son,” and Walter opens his expressive brown eyes. His father says, “Thank the Lord, Son. Thee is better than two dead boys yet.”
Well, they got him on blankets some way and carefully carry him home. Doctors come. His hip is broken. His back is broken. He lays for weeks and weeks but gradually mends so he is about. Now they think he never will amount to anything and send him away to a Friends school. He limps painfully and goes nearly double. But he learns rapidly in school.
The master of the school takes a keen interest in the boy. He rubs his back and rubs and pulls both his back and legs. He makes a sort of harness and fastens him up a very little at a time. It causes agony, but he tells the boy that by gut and work and the smiles of God, he believes he can make him come straight. Well, they do succeed and finally Walter is the life and spirit of the school.
The master one day tells him he can have no dinner. That he must sit all noon hour on a certain bench in the school room. The rest of the boys go for dinner, then to play, but the fun doesn’t go well without Walter. Finally they come in and carry him out, bench and all. But time goes faster than they think and someone sees the master coming. They realize they cannot get Walter in the door without the master seeing them, so they lift him, bench and all, and put him through the window. They hastily get the bench in place just as the master walks in the door. But they are a queer looking bunch of boys. They look mischievous and guilty. The master says, “Walter, has thee been off that bench?” Walter says, “No, sir,” which was true. Then he asks others if Walter had left the bench and the truthful answer was no. Well, Walter learned much in the three years he was at the school, even though so full of life and mischief. He gained strength and came home when 15 years old, straight as a soldier and able to run and jump and to work.