Of course the fruit looked very tempting as it hung upon the trees in Farmer Bell's orchard. 

There were apples, pears, and peaches in abundance, to say nothing of the grapes, which hung in ripe clusters on the vines. 

Farmer Bell lived about two miles from the village of Wilton, where there was a boys' academy. The boys of this school took long rambles out into the country, and often passed this well-kept farm, where everything told of good management, thrift, and hard work. Finally, these boys held a consultation one day, and ten of them decided that the next evening they would go to the orchard and help themselves to the fruit, and then meet in the barn and make a fair division of it.

So these ten started out about nine o'clock in the evening, stole around through meadows, leaped stonewalls, and at last reached the orchard. Some climbed the pear-trees, and filled their pockets with the luscious fruit; others sought the rare, ripe apples; others gently disengaged the downy peaches from their tender boughs; while others plucked the tempting grapes. All were busily engaged in this pilfering business, when, hark! A low growl, heavy footsteps, and then a fierce-looking dog, barking furiously, chased vigorously boy after boy as they dropped from the trees and started to run away; and following close behind was the farmer with a long club. 

There was a great scampering among the boys, each one looking out for himself.

Unfortunately, Harry Grey did not escape. In attempting to descend from a tree, his foot caught, and he fell to the ground. In a moment the dog was upon him, but the farmer called him off, and taking Harry by the hand, he went to the house. Farmer Bell had a long, serious talk with Harry about the injustice of their act toward him, as well as their sin against God. He then allowed him to go home.

The next week there came an invitation from Farmer Bell to the professors, teachers, and pupils of the academy to come to his house and have a good time generally, play games and have refreshments on the lawn, with' all the pears, apples, peaches, and grapes that they wanted. 

All were invited except the ten who were specified by name, stating that, for certain reasons best known to themselves, their company must be dispensed with.

And when the ten watched the teachers and scholars walking off together that lovely afternoon, pleasantly discussing Farmer Bell's kindness, they felt very crest-fallen and wretched.

But some of them, I think, fully realized that they had not only offended the honest farmer and their teachers, but that they had sinned against God, who, thousands of years before, amid the thunders of Mount Sinai, issued this command to his people: 

"Thou shalt not steal."