December 2, 1945


     On Sunday, December 2nd, 1877, Duncan Blood found a young boy sitting by himself on the North Road. While the boy could not remember how he had arrived in Cross, or where his family might be, he did know that his name was Herbert James Dower. He knew he was 10 years old, but not when he was born.

     Duncan brought young Herbert into town. As the police attempted to find the boy’s family, Herbert was placed in the care of Barbara Belford, a widow whose husband had been killed in the war between the states.

     Herbert’s family was never found, and he did not act – nor was he identified – as a runaway. He and the widow got along well, so they were both pleased when she was given permission to continue caring for him.

     As Herbert grew older, he took to walking to North Road and sitting down in the same spot where he had been found. But he only did so when the December 2nd fell on a Sunday.

     Soon, people began to wonder why he would sit there, and others questioned the man’s sanity.

     Herbert answered all their questions with a mild smile, and he told them he expected his family would be coming for him sooner rather than later.

     Some of the more ‘civic’ minded individuals in town sought to have him committed, but others respected the man and his peculiarity, arguing to leave him in peace.

     At dawn on Sunday, December 2nd, 1945, Herbert James Dower was seen leaving the home he had inherited from his foster mother.

     At 9 o’clock that morning, Duncan Blood found a young boy sitting by himself on North Road.

     The boy’s name was Herbert James Dower, and he was 10 years old.

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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