Cornelius Kogelschitz lives in the slums of New York City. All his young life he has lived and worked in the dirty, smoke-filled part of the city, slaving long hours for meager wages in one of the many factories. His parents die of typhus and Corny moves in with his uncle, aunt, and eleven cousins. One Sunday afternoon, while on the roof capturing birds for the stew pot, he overhears an argument. His aunt complains about the added expense of caring for the boy. Deciding not to take food from his cousins, Corny bundles up his few possessions and leaves the tenement apartment and the only world he knows. Near the train station he jumps onto a moving freight train heading west. Now on his own, fourteen-year old-Cornelius rides the rails and crosses the Mississippi River into an unknown future.
Word Count 14,000