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Examples of Nilss
For what little money he earned was needed at once for food and clothes for the family; and there were times when they were obliged to mix ground birch-bark with their flour in order to make it last longer.
It was small consolation for Nils to know that there was no watch but only a key attached to it; for a silver watch-chain, even without a watch, was a sufficiently splendid possession to justify a boy in fording it over his less fortunate comrades.
There was good stuff in the lad, he thought, and when he had out-grown his fantastic nonsense, he might, very likely, make a good fiddler.
For he was moved to confide in the schoolmaster, who was a kindly old man, and fond of clever boys; and he became interested in Nils.
He received much praise from the pastor, and no one envied him the kind words that were addressed to him; for every one felt that they were deserved.
Gentle as he was and soft-spoken, there was a manly spirit in him, and that always commands respect among boys.