It was when the child was eighteen or nineteen months old that he acquired the name Bonnyboy. A woman of the neighborhood, who had called at the shop with some article of furniture which she wanted to have mended, discovered the infant in the act of investigating a pot of blue paint, with a part of which he had accidentally decorated his face.
"Good gracious! what is that ugly thing you have got under your turning bench?" she cried, staring at the child in amazement.
"No, he is not an ugly thing," replied the father, with resentment; "he is a bonny boy, that's what he is."
The woman, in order to mollify Grim, turned to the boy, and asked, with her sweetest manner, "What is your name, child?"
"Bonny boy," murmured the child, with a vaguely offended air--"bonny boy."
And from that day the name Bonnyboy clung to him.
To teach Bonnyboy the trade of a carpenter was a task which would have exhausted the patience of all the saints in the calendar. If there was any possible way of doing a thing wrong, Bonnyboy would be sure to hit upon that way. When he was eleven years old he chopped off the third joint of the ring-finger on his right hand with a cutting tool while working the turning-lathe; and by the time he was fourteen it seemed a marvel to his father that he had any fingers left at all. But Bonnyboy persevered in spite of all difficulties, was always cheerful and of good courage, and when his father, in despair, exclaimed: "Well, you will never amount to anything, Bonnyboy," he would look up with his slow, winning smile and say:
"Don't worry, father. Better luck next time."