FOUR young men, clerks and students, while on a summer vacation tramp through Northern New England, engaged for a guide to a certain romantic forest waterfall, a boy named Forrest Graves. Forrest was a fine, athletic fellow, who could out walk and out climb any amateur in the mountains; and his moral courage was quite equal to his physical health and strength.

After he had guided the young men to the waterfall, and they had satisfied themselves with sightseeing, they invited him to lunch with them.

"Thank you, I have my own lunch;" and the boy went away by himself. 

Later, when full justice had been done to their repast, and a flask of brandy had furnished each of the young men with a stimulating draught, Graves was called.

"You must drink with us, if you will not eat with us," now said the owner of the flask, and the most reckless of the party.

"No, sir, thank you," was the boy's courteous response.

"But I shall insist upon it."

"You can do as you please, and I shall do as I please."

The young man sprang to his feet, and with a bound stood beside the boy, too much absorbed in his own purpose to heed the quivering lips and flashing eyes of the other.

"Now you are bound to try my brandy; I always rule."

"You can't rule me."

These words were scarcely uttered when the flask was seized and hurled into the stream, where the clinking of glass betrayed its utter destruction. 

Then a clear, defiant tone rang out: 

"I did it in self-defense. You had no right to tempt me. My father was once a rich and honorable man, but he died a miserable drunkard, and my mother came here to live to keep me away from liquor till I should be old enough to take care of myself. I have promised her a hundred times I wouldn't taste it, and I'd die before I'd break my promise."

"Bravely said. Forgive me, and let us shake hands. My mother would be a happy woman if I were as brave as you: I shall never forget you, nor the lesson you have taught me."

The most reckless was the most generous, and seeing his error, apologized frankly.

How many boys need to be kept from strong drink; and, alas, how many men and women! Who dares tempt them? Let it not be you nor I. 

Youth's Companion.