An autobiographical fragment of the author's early life -- in England, and in Canada, which embodies in a minor way his particular brand of humor and gentle wit but is more nerously flavored with nostalgic sentiment for the invincibility of the boy he was. Portchester of mid-Victorian times, Ontario farming before scientific information and under an incompetent father, the awkwardness of acquiring a schooling, leading to the introduction of a tutor...and the results. The boys' attempts to conquer poverty and achieve their own ambitions, Stephen's to finish his education without available funds. His teaching in order to earn money for the rest of his schooling -- and the happy ending of being offered a chance to combine work with further instruction. This fills in earlier mention of his youth and combines a wryly touching backward look with perceptive comment on pedagogy, values and family relations. For the Leacock audience.