The Hermit by Jack Elwell

Here is a narrative Jack Elwell wrote about “the Hermit”, as told to us by James Skoglund.

The Hermit

Mr. Skoglund and Mrs. Gee came into our class to talk to us about the hermit that used to live on the edge of the Marsh.  His name was Arthur Pierson, also known as Art.  He lived in this dugout where all he used for light and heat was kerosene, even throughout the winter.  He would go to local car garages and help himself to the oil.  Even though people knew he took kerosene, the community knew that he was not able to buy his own resources, so they just let him have it.

When he was younger, the Odd Fellows Hall was burned to the ground.  Whether or not Art was responsible for the fire, he took the blame and was sent to prison.  When he got back he just kept living his life, doing the same things that he did before prison.  Kids used to sneak out to his dugout and some of the kids would be destructive and throw his apples that he had gathered.  Some people would give him food and other resources to in order to get by. 

When he got older, around seventy, our town decided that if he lived where he was for much longer, he might die of something like hunger or being too cold to survive, so men were sent to capture him.  They did and brought him to an asylum to live.  I don’t think he sounded completely incompetent, but he wasn’t like most people either.  When he was in the asylum, he helped with some of the more ill people.  From what we know, he died there at the asylum.  That’s one of the many stories about our town, another piece of history around the Marsh.

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