Part 4 out of 4
"What did you think?"
"I thought," answered Luke, evasively, "that you might be looking
for work in some of the shoe shops here."
"Is there any chance, do you think?"
"No, I don't think there is," said Luke; for he was by no means
anxious to have Harry in the same town.
"Then I shall probably stay with the professor."
"What do you do?"
"Take tickets at the door and help him beforehand with his apparatus."
"You'll let me in free, to-night, won't you?"
"That isn't for me to decide."
"I should think the professor would let your friends go in free."
"I'll make you an offer, Luke," said he.
"What is it?"
"Just pay me the rest of; that money to-night and I'll let you in
free at my own expense."
"I can't do it. I haven't got the money. If 'you'll give it back,
I'll call it a dollar more and pay you the whole at the end of next
"I'm afraid your calling it a dollar more wouldn't do much good,"
said Harry, shrewdly.
"Do you doubt my word?" blustered Luke, who had regained courage
now that he had ascertained the real object of Harry's visit and
that it had no connection with him.
"I won't express any opinion on that subject," answered Harry; "but
there's an old saying that a 'bird in the hand's worth two in the
"I hate old sayings."
"Some of them contain a great deal of truth."
"What a fool I was to pay him that five dollars!" thought Luke,
regretfully. "If I hadn't been such a simpleton, I should have found
out what brought him here, before throwing away nearly all I had."
This was the view Luke took of paying his debts. He regarded it
as money thrown away. Apparently, a good many young men are of a
similar opinion. This was not, however, according to Harry's code,
and was never likely to be. He believed in honesty and integrity.
If he hadn't, I should feel far less confidence in his ultimate
"I think I must leave you," said Harry, rising. "The professor may
"Do you like him? Have you got a good place?"
"Yes, I like him. He is a very pleasant man."
"How does it pay?
"I wouldn't mind trying it myself. Do you handle all the money?"
"I take the money at the door."
"I suppose you might keep back a dollar or so, every night, and
he'd never know the difference."
"I don't know. I never thought about that," said Harry, dryly.
"Oh, I remember, you're one of the pious boys,"
"I'm too pious to take money that doesn't belong to me, if that's
what you mean," said Harry.
This was a very innocent remark; but Luke, remembering how he had
kept Harry's pocketbook, chose to interpret it as a fling to himself.
"Do you mean that for me?" he demanded, angrily.
"Mean what for you?"
"That about keeping other people's money."
"I wasn't talking about you at all. I was talking about myself."
"You'd better not insult me," said Luke, still suspicious.
"I'm not in the habit of insulting anybody."
"I don't believe in people that set themselves up to be so much
better than everybody else"
"Do you mean that for me?" asked Harry, smiling.
"Yes, I do. What are you going to do about it?"
"Nothing, except to deny that I make any such claims. Shall you
come round to the hall, to-night?"
"Then I shall see you. I must be going now."
He went out, leaving Luke vainly deploring the loss of the five
dollars which he had so foolishly squandered in paying his debt.
In the printing office
"Harry," said the professor, after breakfast the next morning, "I
find we must get some more bills printed. You may go round to the
office of the Centreville Gazette, and ask them how soon they can
print me a hundred large bills and a thousand small ones."
"All right, sir. Suppose they can't have them done by the ready to
"They can send them to me by express."
Harry had never been in a printing office; but he had a great
curiosity to see one ever since he had read the "Life of Benjamin
Franklin." If there was anyone in whose steps he thought he should
like to follow, it was Franklin, and Franklin was a printer.
He had no difficulty in finding the office. It was in the second
story of a building, just at the junction of two roads near the center
of the town, the post office being just underneath. He ascended a
staircase, and saw on the door, at the head of the stairs:
He opened the door and entered. He saw a large room, containing
a press at the end, while two young men, with paper caps on their
heads, were standing in their shirt sleeves at upright cases setting
type. On one side there was a very small office partitioned off.
Within, a man was seen seated at a desk, with a pile of exchange
papers on the floor, writing busily. This was Mr. Jotham Anderson
publisher and editor of the Gazette.
"I want to get some printing done," said Harry, looking toward the
"Go to Mr. Anderson," said one, pointing to the office.
Harry went in. The editor looked up as he entered.
"What can I do for you?" he asked.
"I want to get some printing done."
"No; for Professor Henderson."
"I've done jobs for him before. What does he want?"
Our hero explained.
"Very well, we will do it."
"Can you have it done before two o'clock?"
"Impossible. I am just bringing out my paper."
"When can you have the job finished?"
"I suppose that will do. We perform to-morrow at Berlin and they
can be sent over to the hotel there."
"You say 'we,'" answered Harry, amused. "I take tickets, and assist
"How do you like the business?"
"Very well; but I should like your business better."
"What makes you think so?"
"I have been reading the 'Life of Benjamin Franklin.' He was a
"That's true; but I'm sorry to say Franklins are scarce in our
printing offices. I never met one yet."
"I shouldn't expect to turn out a Franklins; but I think one couldn't
help being improved by the business."
"True again, though, of course, it depends on the wish to improve.
How long have you been working for Professor Henderson?"
"Not long. Only two or three weeks."
"What did you do before?"
"I was pegger in a shoe shop."
"Didn't you like it?"
"Well enough, for I needed to earn money and it paid me; but I don't
think I should like to be a shoemaker all my life. It doesn't give
any chance to learn."
"Then you like learning?"
"Yes. 'Live and learn'--that is my motto."
"It is a good one. Do you mean to be a printer?"
"If I get a chance."
"You may come into my office on the first of April, if you like.
One of my men will leave me by the first of May. If you are a
smart boy, and really wish to learn the business, you can break in
so as to be useful in four weeks."
"I should like it," said Harry; but," he added, with hesitation,
"I am poor, and could not afford to work for nothing while I was
"I'll tell you what I'll do, then," said the editor. "I'll give
you your board for the first month, on condition that you'll work
for six months afterwards for two dollars a week and board. That's
a fair offer. I wouldn't make it if I didn't feel assured that you
were smart, and would in time be valuable to me."
"I'll come if my father does not object."
"Quite tight. I should not like to have you act contrary to his
wishes. I suppose, for the present, you will remain with Professor
"Very well. Let me hear from you when you have communicated with
Harry left the office plunged in thought. It came upon him with
surprise, that he had engaged himself to learn a new business,
and that the one which he had longed to follow ever since he had
become acquainted with Franklin's early life. He realized that he
was probably making immediate sacrifice. He could, undoubtedly,
make more money in the shoe shop than in the printing office, for
the present at least. By the first of April the shoe business obtain
employment. But then he was sure he should like printing better,
and if he was ever going to change, why, the sooner he made the
change the better.
When he returned to the hotel, he told the professor what he had
"I am glad you are not going at once," said his employer, "for
I should be sorry to lose you. I generally give up traveling for
the season about the first of April, so that I shall be ready to
release you. I commend your choice of a trade. Many of our best
editors have been practical printers in their youth."
"I should like to be an editor, but I don't know enough."
"Not at present; but you can qualify yourself to become one--that
is, if you devote you spare time to reading and studying."
"I mean to do that."
"Then you will fair chance of becoming what you desire. To a certain
extent, a boy, or young man, holds the future in his own hands."
Harry wrote to father, at once, in regard to the plan which he
had in view. The answer did not reach him for nearly a week; but
we will so far anticipate matters as to insert that part which
related to it.
"If you desire to be a printer, Harry, I shall not object. It is
a good trade, and you can make yourself, through it, useful to the
community. I do not suppose it will ever make you rich. Still, I
should think it might, in time, give you a comfortable living--better,
I hope, than I have been able to earn as a farmer. If you determine
to win success, you probably will. If you should leave your present
place before the first of April, we shall be very glad to have you
come home, if only for a day or two. We all miss you very much--your
mother, particularly. Tom doesn't say much about it; but I know he
will be as glad to see you as the rest of us."
Harry read this letter with great pleasure, partly because
it brought him permission to do as he desired, and partly because
it was gratifying to him to feel that he was missed at home. He
determined, if it was a possible thing, to leave the professor a
week before his new engagement, and spend that time in Granton.
THE YOUNG TREASURER
On the morning after receiving the letter from his father, Harry
came down to breakfast, but looked in vain for the professor.
Supposing he would be down directly, he sat down to the breakfast
table. When he had nearly finished eating, a boy employed about
the hotel came to his side.
"That gentleman you're with is sick. He wants you to come to his
room as soon as you are through breakfast."
Harry did not wait to finish, but got up from the table at once,
and went up to his employer's room.
"Are you sick, sir?" he inquired, anxiously.
The professor's face was flushed, and he was tossing about in bed.
"Yes," he answered. "I am afraid I am threatened with a fever."
"I hope not, sir."
"I am subject to fevers; but I hope I might not have another for
some time to come. I must have caught cold yesterday, and the result
is, that I am sick this morning."
"What can I do for you, sir?"
"I should like to have you go for the doctor. Inquire of the landlord
who is the best in the village."
"I will go at once."
On inquiry, our hero was informed that Dr. Parker was the most
trusted physician in the neighborhood, and he proceeded to his house
at once. The doctor was, fortunately, still at home, and answered
the summons immediately. He felt the sick man's pulse, asked him
a variety of questions, and finally announced his opinion.
"You are about to have a fever," he said, "if, indeed, the fever
has not already set in."
"A serious fever, doctor?" asked the sick man, anxiously.
"I cannot yet determine."
"Do you think I shall be long sick?"
"That, also, is uncertain. I suppose you will be likely to be
detained here a fortnight, at least."
"I wish I could go home."
"It would not be safe for you to travel, under present circumstances."
"If I were at home, I could be under my wife's care."
"Can't she come here?"
"She has three young children. It would be difficult for her to
"Who is the boy that called at my house?"
"Harry Walton. He is my assistant--takes money at the door, and
helps me other ways."
"Is he trustworthy?"
"I have always found him so."
"Why can't he, attend upon you?"
"I mean to retain him with me--that is, if he will stay. It will
be dull work for a boy of his age."
"You can obtain a nurse, besides, if needful."
"You had better engage one for me, as I cannot confine him here
all the time."
"I will do so. I know of one, skillful and experienced, who is just
now at leisure. I will send her round here this morning."
"What is her name?"
"Not a very romantic one--Betsy Chase."
"I suppose that doesn't prevent her being a good nurse," said the
"Not at all."
Here Harry entered the room.
"Harry," said the professor, the doctor tells me I am going to be
"I am very sorry, sir," said our hero, with an air of concern.
"I shall probably be detained here at least a fortnight. Are you
willing to remain with me?"
"Certainly, sir. I should not think of leaving you, sick and alone,
if you desired me to stay. I hope I can make myself useful to
"You can. I shall need you to do errands for me, and to sit with
me a part of the time."
"I shall be very willing to do so, sir."
"You will probably find it dull."
"Not so dull as you will find it, sir. The time must seem very long
to you, lying on that bed."
"I suppose it will; but that can't be helped."
"A nurse will be here this afternoon," said the doctor.
"Until she comes, you will be in attendance here."
"I will direct you what to do, and how often to administer the
medicines. Can remember?"
"Yes, sir, I shall not forget."
Dr. Parker here gave Harry minute instructions, which need not be
repeated, since they were altogether of a professional nature.
After the doctor was gone, Professor Henderson said:
"As soon as the nurse comes, I shall want you to ride over to the
next town, Carmansville, and countermand the notices for an exhibition
to-night. I shall not be able to give entertainments for some time
to come. Indeed, I am not sure but I must wait till next season."
"How shall I go over?" asked Harry.
"You may get a horse and buggy at the stable, and drive over there.
If I remember rightly, it is between little seven and eight miles.
The road is a little winding, but I think you won't lose your way."
"Oh, I'll find it," said Harry, confidently.
It was not till three o'clock that the nurse made her appearance,
and it was past three before Harry started on his way.
"You need not hurry home," said the professor. "In fact, you had
better take supper at the hotel in Carmansville, as you probably
could not very well get back here till eight o'clock."
"Very well, sir," said Harry. "But shan't you need me?"
"No; Miss Chase will attend to me."
"Mrs. Chase, if you please," said the nurse. "I've been a widder
for twenty years."
"I beg your pardon, Mrs. Chase," said the sick man smiling.
"When my husband was alive, I never expected to go out nursin';
but I've had come to it."
"The doctor says you are a very skillful and experienced nurse."
"I'd ought to be. I've nussed people in almost all sorts of diseases,
from measles to smallpox. You needn't be frightened, sir; I haven't
had any smallpox case lately. Isn't it most time to take your
Harry left the room, and was soon on his way to Carmansville. Once
he got off the road, which was rather a perplexing one, but he soon
found it again. However, it was half past five before he reached
the village, and nearly an hour later before he had done the
errand which brought him over. Finally, he came back to the tavern,
and being by this time hungry, went in at once to the tavern, and
being by this time hungry, went in at once to supper. He did full
justice to the meal which was set before him. The day was cold,
and his ride had stimulated his appetite.
When he sat down to the table he was alone; but a minute afterward
a small, dark-complexioned man, with heavy black whiskers, came
in, and sat down beside him. He had a heavy look, and a forbidding
expression; but our hero was too busy to take particular notice of
him till the latter commenced a conversation.
"It's a pretty cold day," he remarked.
"Very cold," said Harry. "I am dreading my ride back to Pentland."
"Are you going to Pentland to-night?" asked the stranger, with
"Do you live over there?"
"No; I am there for a short time only," Harry replied.
"You seem rather young to be in business," said the stranger.
"Oh," said Harry, smiling, "I am in the employ of Professor Henderson,
the ventriloquist. I suppose it is hardly proper to say that I am
"Professor Henderson! Why, he is going to give an entertainment
here to-night, isn't he?"
"He was; but I have come over to countermand the notice."
"What is that for?"
"He is taken sick at Pentland, and won't be able to come."
"Oh, that's it. Well, I'm sorry, for I should like to have gone to
hear him. So you are his assistant, are you?"
"Can you perform tricks, too?"
"I don't assist him in that way. I take money at the door, and help
him with his apparatus."
"Have you been with him long?"
"Only a few weeks."
"So you are his treasurer, are you?" asked the stranger smiling.
"Ye--es," said Harry, slowly, for it brought to his mind that he
had one hundred and fifty dollars of the professor's money in his
pocket, besides the pocketbook containing his own. He intended to
have left it with his employer, but in the hurry of leaving he had
forgotten to do so. Now he was about to take a long ride in the
evening with this large sum of money about him.
"However," he said, reassuring himself, "there is nothing to be
afraid of. Country people are not robbers. Burglars stay in the
cities. I have nothing to fear."
Still he prudently resolved, if compelled to be out late again, to
leave his money at home.
He rose from table, followed by the stranger.
"Well," said the latter, "I must be going. How soon do you start?"
"In a few minutes."
"Well, good night."
"He seems inclined to be social," thought Harry, "but I don't fancy
Harry was soon on his way home. It was already getting dark, and
he felt a little anxious lest he should lose his way. He was rather
sorry that he had not started earlier, though he had lost no time.
He had gone about two miles, when he came to a place where two
roads met. There was no guideboard, and he could not remember by
which road he had come. Luckily, as he thought, he described a man
a little ahead. He stopped the horse, and hailed him.
"Can you tell me which road to take to Pentland?" he asked.
The man addressed turned his head, and, to his surprise, our hero
recognized his table companion at the inn.
"Oh, it's you, my young friend!" he said.
"Yes, sir. Can you tell me the right road to Pentland? I have never
been this way before to-day, and I have forgotten how I came."
"I am thinking of going to Pentland myself," said the other.
"My sister lives there. If you don't mind giving me a lift, I will
jump in with you, and guide you."
Now, though Harry did not fancy the man's appearance, he had no
reason to doubt him, nor any ground for refusing his request.
"Jump in, sir," he said. "There is plenty of room."
The stranger was speedily seated at his side.
"Take the left-hand road," he said.
Harry turned to his left.
"It's rather a blind road," observed the stranger.
"I think I could remember in the daytime," said Harry; "but it is
so dark now, that I am in doubt."
"So I suppose."
The road on which they had entered was very lonely. Scarcely a
house was passed, and the neighborhood seemed quite uninhabited.
"I don't remember this road," said Harry, anxiously.
"Are you sure we are right?"
"Yes, yes, we are right. Don't trouble yourself."
"It's a lonely road."
"So it is. I don't suppose there's anybody lives within half a
"The road didn't seem so lonely when I came over it this afternoon."
"Oh, that's the effect of sunshine. Nothing seems lonely in the
daytime. Turn down that lane."
"What for?" asked Harry, in surprise. "That can't be the road to
"Never mind that. Turn, I tell you."
His companion spoke fiercely, and Harry's mind began to conceive
alarming suspicions as to his character. But he was brave, and not
"The horse and carriage are mine, or, at least, are under my
direction," he said, firmly, "and you have no control over them.
I shall not turn."
"Won't you?" retorted the stranger, with an oath, and drew from
his pocket a pistol. "Won't you?"
"What do you mean? Who are you?" demanded Harry.
"You will find out before I get through with you. Now turn into
"I will not," said Harry, pale, but determined.
"Then I will save you the trouble," and his companion snatched the
reins from him, and turned the horse himself. Resistance was, of
course, useless, and our hero was compelled to submit.
"There, that suits me better. Now to business."
"To business. Produce your pocketbook."
"Would you rob me?" asked Harry, who was in a measure prepared for
"Oh, of course not," said the other. "Gentlemen never do such
things. I want to burrow your money, that is all."
"I don't want to lend."
"I dare say not," sneered the other; "but I shan't be able to
respect your wishes. The sooner you give me the money the better."
Harry had two pocketbooks. The one contained his own money--about
forty dollars--the other the money of his employer. The first was
in the side pocket of his coat, the second in the pocket of his
pants. The latter, as was stated in the preceding chapter, contained
one hundred and fifty dollars. Harry heartily repented not having
left it behind, but it was to late for repentance. He could only
hope that the robber would be satisfied with one pocketbook, and
not suspect the existence of the other. There seemed but little
hope of saving his own money. However, he determined to do it, if
"Hurry up," said the stranger, impatiently. "You needn't pretend you
have no money. I know better than that. I saw you pay the landlord."
"Then he saw the professor's pocketbook," thought Harry, uneasily.
"Mine is of different appearance. I hope he won't detect the
"I hope you will leave me some of the money," said Harry, producing
"It is all I have."
"How much is there?"
"About forty dollars."
"Humph! that isn't much."
"It is all I have in the world."
"Pooh! you are young and can soon earn some more. I must have the
whole of it."
"Can't you leave me five dollars?"
"No, I can't. Forty dollars are little enough to serve my turn."
So saying, he coolly deposited the pocketbook in the pocket of his
"So far so good. It's well, youngster, you didn't make any more fuss,
or I might have had to use my little persuader"; and he displayed
"Will you let me go now, sir?"
"I have not got through my business yet. That's a nice overcoat of
Harry looked at him, in doubt as to his meaning, but he was soon
"I am a small person," proceeded the man with black whiskers,
"scarcely any larger than you. I think it'll be a good fit."
"Must I lose my overcoat, too?" thought Harry, in trouble.
"You've got an overcoat of your own, sir," he said.
"You don't need mine."
"Oh, I wouldn't rob you of yours on any account. A fair exchange
is no robbery. I am going to give you mine in exchange for yours."
The stranger's coat was rough and well worn, and, at its best,
had been inferior to Harry's coat. Our hero felt disturbed at the
prospect of losing it, for he could not tell when he could afford
to get another.
"I should think you might be satisfied with the pocketbook," he
said. "I hope you will leave me my coat."
"Off with the coat, youngster!" was the sole reply.
"First, get out of the buggy. We can make the exchange better
As opposition would be unavailing, Harry obeyed. The robber took
from him the handsome overcoat, the possession of which had afforded
him so much satisfaction, and handed him his own. In great disgust
and dissatisfaction our hero invested himself in it.
"Fits you as if it was made for you," said the stranger, with a
short laugh. "Yours is a trifle slow for me, but I can make it go.
No, don't be in such a hurry."
He seized Harry by the arm as he was about to jump into the carriage.
"I must go," said Harry. "You have already detained me some time."
"I intend to detain you some time longer."
"Have you got any more business with me?"
"Yes, I have. You've hit it exactly. You'll soon know what it is."
He produced a ball of cord from a pocket of his inside coat, and
with a knife severed a portion. "Do you know what this is for?"
he asked, jeeringly.
"Say, 'No, sir.' It's more respectful. Well, I'll gratify your
laudable curiosity. It's to tie your hands and feet."
"I won't submit to it," said Harry, angrily.
"Won't you?" asked the other, coolly. "This is a very pretty pistol,
isn't it? I hope I shan't have to use it."
"What do you want to tie my hands for?" asked Harry.
"For obvious reasons, my young friend."
"I can't drive if my hands are tied."
"Correct, my son. I don't intend you to drive tonight. Give me your
Harry considered whether it would be advisable to resist. The
stranger was not much larger than himself. He was a man, however,
and naturally stronger. Besides, he had a pistol. He seceded that
it was necessary to submit. After all, he had saved his employer's
money, even if he had lost his own, and this was something. He
allowed himself to be bound.
"Now," said the stranger, setting him up against the stone wall,
which bordered the lane, "I will bid you good night. I might take
your horse, but, on the whole, I don't want him. I will fasten him
to this tree, where he will be all ready for you in the morning.
That's considerate in me. Good night. I hope you are comfortable."
He disappeared in the darkness, and Harry was left alone.
The Good Samaritan
Harry's reflections, as he sat on the ground were not the most
cheerful. He was sitting in a constrained posture, his hands and
feet being tied, and, moreover, the cold air chilled him. The cold
was not intense, but as he was unable to move his limbs he, of
course, felt it the more.
"I suppose it will get colder," thought Harry, uncomfortably. "I
wonder if there is any danger of freezing."
The horse evidently began to feel impatient, for he turned round
and looked at our hero? Why don't you keep on?"
"I wish somebody would come this way," thought Harry, and he looked
up and down the lane as well as he could, but could see no one.
"If I could only get at my knife," said Harry, to himself, "I could
cut theses cords. Let me try."
He tried to get his hands into his pockets, but it was of no avail.
The pocket was too deep, and though he worked his body round, he
finally gave it up. It seemed likely that he must stay here all
night. The next day probably some one would come by, as they were
so near a public road, upon whom he could call to release him.
"The night will seem about a week long," poor Harry considered. "I
shan't dare to go to sleep, for fear I may freeze to death."
The horse whinnied again, and again looked inquiringly at his
young driver, but the latter was not master of the situation, and
was obliged to disregard the mute appeal.
"I wonder the robber didn't carry off the horse," thought Harry.
"I suppose he had his reasons. It isn't likely he left him out of
his regard for me."
Two hours passed, and Harry still found himself a prisoner. His
constrained position became still more uncomfortable. He longed
for the power of jumping up and stretching his legs, now numb and
chilled, but the cord was strong, and defied his efforts. No person
had passed, not had he heard any sound as he lay there, except the
occasional whinny of the horse which was tied as well as himself,
and did not appear to enjoy his confinement any better.
It was at this moment that Harry's heart leaped with sudden hope,
as he heard in the distance the sound of a whistle. It might be a
boy, or it might be a man; but, as he listened intently, he perceived
that it was coming nearer.
"I hope I can make him hear," thought Harry, earnestly.
It was a boy of about his own age, who was advancing along the road
from which he had turned into the lane. The boy was not alone, as
it appeared, for a large dog ran before him. The dog first noticed
the horse and buggy, and next our hero, lying on the ground, and,
concluding that something was wrong, began to bark violently,
circling uncomfortably near Harry, against whom he seemed to cherish
"What's the matter, Caesar?" shouted his young master.
"Good dog!" said Harry, soothingly, in momentary fear that the
brute would bite him.
But Caesar was not to be cajoled by flattery. "Bow, wow, wow!" he
answered, opening his large mouth, and displaying a formidable set
"Good dog! I'd like to choke him!" added Harry, in an undertone to
There was another volley of barks, which seemed likely to be followed
by an attack. Just at this moment, however, luckily for our hero,
the dog's master came up.
"Why, Caesar," he called, "what is the matter with you?"
"Please take your dog away," said Harry. "I am afraid he will bite
"Who are you?" inquired the boy, in surprise.
"Come and untie these cords, and I will tell you."
"What! Are you tied?"
"Yes, hand and foot."
"Who did it?" asked the boy, in increasing surprise.
"I don't know his name, but he robbed me of my pocketbook before
"What, a robber around here!" exclaimed the boy, incredulous.
"Yes; I met him first over in Carmansville. Thank you; now my feet
if you please. It seems good to be free again"; and Harry swung his
arms, and jumped up and down to bring back the sense of warmth to
his chilled limbs.
"Is this horse yours?" asked the boy.
"Yes; I took up the man and he promised to show me the road to
"This isn't the road to Pentland."
"I suppose not. He took me wrong on purpose."
"How much money did he take from you?'
"That's a good deal," said the country boy. "Was it yours?"
"I never had so much money in my life."
"It has taken me almost six months to earn it. But I had more money
with me, only he didn't know it."
"A hundred and fifty dollars."
"Was it yours?" asked the boy, surprised.
"No; it belonged to my employer."
"Who is he?"
"Professor Henderson, the ventriloquist."
"Where is he stopping?"
"Over at Pentland. He is sick at the hotel there."
"It's lucky for you I was out to-night. I ain't often out so late
but I went to see a friend of mine, and stayed later than I meant
"Do you live near here?"
"I live about a quarter of a mile up this lane."
"Do you know what time it is?"
"I don't know, but I think it is past ten."
"I wonder whether I can get anybody to go with me to Pentland. I
can't find my way in the dark."
"I will go with you to-morrow morning."
"But what shall I do to-night?"
"I'll tell you. Come home with me. The folks will take you in, and
the horse can be put up in the barn."
"I suppose they will feel anxious about me over at Pentland. They
won't know what has become of me."
"You can start early in the morning--as early as you like."
"Perhaps it will be better," said Harry, after a pause.
"It won't trouble your family too much, will it?"
"Not a bit," answered the boy, heartily. "Very likely they won't
know till morning," he added, laughing. "They go to bed early, and
I told them they needn't wait up for me."
"I am very much obliged to you," said Harry. "I will accept your
kind invitation. As I've got a horse, we may as well ride. I'll
untie him, and you jump into the buggy."
"All right," said the boy, well pleased.
"You may drive, for you know the way better than I."
"Where did this horse come from?"
"From the stable in Pentland."
"Perhaps they will think you have run away with it."
"I hope not."
"What is your name?"
"Harry Walton. What is yours?"
"Jefferson Selden. The boys usually call me Jeff."
"Is that your dog?"
"Yes. He's a fine fellow."
"I didn't think so when he was threatening to bite me," said Harry
"I used to be afraid of dogs," said Jeff; "but I got cured of it
after a while. When I go out at night, I generally take Caesar with
me. If you had had him, you would have been a match for the robber."
"He had a pistol."
"Caesar would have had him down before he could use it."
"I wish he had been with me, then."
They had, by this time, come in sight of Jeff's house. It was a
square farmhouse, with a barn in the rear.
"We'll go right out to the barn," said Jeff, "and put up the horse.
Then we'll come back to the house and go to bed."
There was a little difficulty in unharnessing the horse, on account
of the absence of light; but at last, by a combined effort, it was
done, and the buggy was drawn into the barn and the doors shut.
"There, all will be safe till to-morrow morning," said Jeff. "Now
we'll go into the house."
He entered by the back shed door, and Harry followed him. They went
into the broad, low kitchen, with its ample fireplace, in which a
few embers were glowing. By these Jeff lighted a candle, and asked
Harry if he would have anything to eat.
"No, thank you," said Harry. "I ate a hearty supper at Carmansville."
"Then we'll go upstairs to bed. I sleep in a small room over the
shed. You won't mind sleeping with me?"
"I should like your company," said Harry, who was attracted to his
"Then come up. I guess we'll find the bed wide enough."
He led the way up a narrow staircase, into a room low studded, and
very plainly but comfortably furnished.
"The folks will be surprised to see you here in the morning," said
"I may be gone before they are up."
"I guess not. Father'll be up by five o'clock, and I think that'll
be as early as you'll want to be stirring."
The Reward of Fidelity
"Where am I?" asked Harry, the next morning, as he sat up in bed
and stared around him.
"Don't you remember?" asked Jeff, smiling.
Jeff was standing by the bedside, already dressed.
"Yes; I remember now," said Harry, slowly. "What time is it?"
"Seven o'clock! I meant to be dressed at six."
"That is the time I got up," said Jeff.
"Why didn't you wake me up?"
"You looked so comfortable that I thought it was a pity to wake
you. You must have felt tired."
"I think it was the cold that made me sleepy. I got chilled through
when I lay on the ground there, tied hand and foot. But I must get
up in hurry now."
He jumped out of bed, and hurried on his clothes.
"Now," said Jeff, "come down into the kitchen, and mother'll give
you some breakfast."
"I am giving you a great deal of trouble, I am afraid," said Harry.
"No, you're not. It's no trouble at all. The rest of the family
have eaten breakfast, but I waited for you. I've been up an hour,
and feel as hungry as a wolf. So come down, and we'll see who'll
eat the most."
"I can do my part," said Harry. "I've got a good appetite, though
I've been up a food deal less than an hour."
"Take your overcoat alone," said Jeff; "or will you come up and
get after breakfast?"
"I'll take it down with me. It isn't my coat, you know. Mine was
a much better one. I wish I had it back."
Jeff, meanwhile, had taken up the coat.
"There's something in the pocket," he said. "What is it?"
"I didn't put anything in."
Harry thrust his hand into the side pocket for the first time, and
drew out a shabby leather wallet.
"Perhaps there's money in it," Jeff suggested.
The same thought had occurred to Harry. He hastily opened it, and
his eyes opened wide with astonishment as he drew out a thick roll
"By hokey!" said Jeff, "you're in luck. The robber took your
pocketbook, and left his own. Maybe there's as much as you lost.
This Harry eagerly proceeded to do.
"Three--eight--eleven--thirteen--twenty," he repeated, aloud.
He continued his count, which resulted in showing that the wallet
contained ninety-seven dollars."
"Ninety-seven dollars!" exclaimed Jeff. "How much did you lose?"
"Then you've made just fifty-seven dollars. Bully for you!"
"But I've exchanged a good overcoat for a poor one."
"There can't be more than seventeen dollars difference."
"Not so much."
"Then you're forty dollars better off, at any rate."
"But I don't know as I can claim this money," said Harry, doubtfully.
"It isn't mine."
"He won't be likely to call for it. When he does, and returns you
the money and the coat, it will be time to think about it."
"I will ask Professor Henderson about that. At any rate I've got
my money back, that's one good thing."
This timely discovery made Harry decidedly cheerful, and, if
anything, sharpened his appetite for breakfast.
Now Mr. Selden had gone out to oversee some farm work; but Mrs.
Selden received out hero very kindly, and made him feel that he was
heartily welcome to that she could offer. She had many questions
to ask about the bold robber who had waylaid him, and expressed
the hope that he had left the neighborhood.
"Perhaps he'll come back for his wallet, Harry," said Jeff. "You'd
better look out for him."
"I shall take care how I carry much money about with me, after
this," said Harry. "That was what got me into a scrape yesterday."
"He wouldn't make out much if he tried to rob me," said Jeff. "I
haven't got money enough about me to pay the board of a full-grown
fly for twenty-four hours."
"You don't look as if your poverty troubled you much," said his
"I don't have any board bills to pay," said Jeff, "so I can get
"I should think you would feel nervous about riding to Pentland
alone," said Mrs. Selden, "for fear of meeting the man who robbed
"I do dread it a little," said Harry, "having so much money about
me. Besides this ninety-seven dollars, I've got a hundred and fifty
dollars belonging to my employer."
"Suppose I go with you to protect you," said Jeff.
"I wish you would."
"I don't think Jefferson would make a very efficient protector,"
said his mother.
"You don't know how brave I am, mother," said Jeff, in the tone of
an injured hero.
"No, I don't," said his mother, smiling. "I believethere was a time
when you were not very heroic in the company of dogs."
"That's long ago, mother. I've got over it now."
"If you would like to ride over with your friend, you may do so.
But how will you get back?"
"Major Pinkham will be up there this afternoon. I can wait, and
ride home with him."
"Very well; I have no objection."
The two boys rode off together. Harry was glad to have a companion
who knew the road well, for he did not care to be lost again till
he had delivered up the money which he had in charge. There was
no opportunity to test Jeff's courage, for the highwayman did not
make his appearance. Indeed, it was not till the next morning that
he discovered the serious blunder he had made in leaving his own
wallet behind, and, though he was angry and disgusted, prudential
considerations prevented his going back. He was forced to the
unpleasant conviction that he had overreached himself, and that
his intended victim had come out best in the "exchange" which "was
no robbery." I may as well add here that, though he deserved to
be caught, he was not, and Harry has never, to this day, set eyes
either upon him or upon the coat.
When Harry arrived at Pentland, he found that no little anxiety
had been felt about him.
"Has Harry come yet?" asked the sick man, at ten o'clock the evening
"No, he hasn't," answered the nurse.
"It's strange what keeps him."
"Did he have any money of yours with him?"
"Yes, I believe he had."
"Oh!" ejaculated Mrs. Chase, significantly.
"What do you mean by that?"
"I didn't say anything, did I?"
"I am afraid he may have been attacked and robbed on the road."
Mrs. Chase coughed.
"Don't you think so?"
"I'll tell you what I think, professor," said the nurse, proceeding
to speak plainly, "I don't think you'll ever see anything of that
"It ain't safe to trust boys with money," she answered, sententiously.
"Oh, I'm not afraid of his honesty."
"You don't say! Maybe you haven't seen as much of boys as I have."
"I was once a boy myself," said the professor, smiling.
"Oh, you--that's different."
"Why is it different? I wasn't any better than boys generally."
"I don't know anything about that; but you mark my words--as like
as not he's run away with your money. How much did he have?"
"I can't say exactly. Over a hundred dollars, I believe."
"Then he won't come back," said Mrs. Chase, decidedly.
Here the conference closed, as it was necessary for Mr. Henderson
to take medicine.
"Has the boy returned?" asked the professor, the next morning.
"You don't expect him--do you?"
"Certainly I expect him."
"Well, he ain't come, and I guess he won't come."
"I am sure that boy is honest," said Professor Henderson to himself.
"If he isn't, I'll never trust a boy again."
Mrs. Chase was going downstairs with her patient's breakfast dishes,
when she was nearly run into by our hero, who had just returned,
and was eager to report to his employer.
"Do be keerful," she expostulated, when, to her surprise, she
So he had come back, after all, and falsified her prediction. Such
is human nature, that for an instant she was disappointed.
"Here's pretty work," she said, "stayin' out all night, and worryin'
the professor out of his wits."
"I couldn't help it, Mrs. Chase."
"Why couldn't you help it, I'd like to know?"
"I'll tell you afterwards. I must go up now, and see the professor."
Mrs. Chase was so curious that she returned, with the dishes, to
hear Harry's statement.
"Good morning," said Harry, entering the chamber.
"I'm sorry to have been so long away, but I couldn't help it. I
hope you haven't worried much about my absence."
"I knew you would come back, but Mrs. Chase had her doubts," said
Professor Henderson, pleasantly. "Now tell me what it was that
"A highwayman," said Harry.
"A highwayman!" exclaimed both in concert.
"Yes, I'll tell you all about it. But first, I'll say that he stole
only my money, and didn't suspect that I had a hundred and fifty
dollars of yours with me. That's all safe. Here it is. I think you
had better take care of that yourself, sir, hereafter."
The professor glanced significantly at Mr. Chase, as much as to
say, "You see how unjust your suspicions were. I am right, after
"Tell us all about it, Harry."
Our hero obeyed instructions; but it is not necessary to repeat a
"Massy sakes!" ejaculated Betsy Chase. "Who ever heerd the like?"
"I congratulate you, Harry, on coming off with such flying colors.
I will, at my own expense, provide you with a new overcoat, as a
reward for bringing home my money safe. You shall not lose anything
by your fidelity."
We must now transfer the scene to the Walton homestead.
It looks very much the same as on the day when the reader was first
introduced to it. There is not a single article of new furniture,
nor is any of the family any better dressed. Poverty reigns with
undisputed sway. Mr. Walton is reading a borrowed newspaper by the
light of a candle--for it is evening--while Mrs. Walton is engaged
in her never-ending task of mending old clothes, in the vain endeavor
to make them look as well as new. It is so seldom that anyone of
the family has new clothes, that the occasion is one long remembered
and dated from.
"It seems strange we don't hear from Harry," said Mrs. Walton,
looking up from her work.
"When was the last letter received?" asked Mr. Walton, laying down
"Over a week ago. He wrote that the professor was sick, and he was
stopping at the hotel to take care of him."
"I remember. What was the name of the place?"
"Perhaps his employer is recovered, and he is going about with
"Perhaps so; but I should think he would write. I am afraid he is
sick himself. He may have caught the same fever."
"It is possible; but I think Harry would let us know in some way.
At any rate, it isn't best to worry ourselves about uncertainties."
"I wonder if Harry's grown?" said Tom.
"Of course he's grown," said Mary.
"I wonder if he's grown as much as I have," said Tom, complacently.
"I don't believe you've grown a bit."
"Yes, I have; if you don't believe it, see how short my pants are."
Tom did, indeed, seem to be growing out of his pants, which were
undeniably too short for him.
"You ought to have some new pants," said his mother, sighing; "but
I don't see where the money is to come from.'
"Nor I," said Mr. Walton, soberly. "Somehow I don't seem to get
ahead at all. To-morrow my note for the cow comes due, and I haven't
but two dollars to meet i."
"How large it the note?"
"With six months' interest, it amounts to forty-one dollars and
"The cow isn't worth that. She doesn't give as much milk as the
one we lost."
"That's true. It was a hard bargain, but I could do no better.'
"You say you won't be able to meet the payment. What will be the
"I suppose Squire Green will take back the cow."
"Perhaps you can get another somewhere else, on better terms."
"I am afraid my credit won't be very good. I agreed to forfeit ten
dollars to Squire Green, if I couldn't pay at the end of six months."
"Will he insist on that condition?"
"I am afraid he will. He is a hard man."
"Then," said Mrs. Walton, indignantly, "he won't deserve to prosper."
"Worldly prosperity doesn't always go by merit. Plenty of mean men
Before Mrs. Walton had time to reply, a knock was heard at the
"Go to the door, Tom," said his father.
Tom obeyed, and shortly reappeared, followed by a small man with a
thin figure and wrinkled face, whose deep-set, crafty eyes peered
about him curiously as he entered the room.
"Good evening, Squire Green," said Mr. Walton, politely, guessing
"Good evenin', Mrs. Walton. The air's kinder frosty. I ain't so
young as I was once, and it chills my blood."
"Come up to the fire, Squire Green," said Mrs. Walton, who wanted
the old man to be comfortable, though she neither liked nor respected
The old man sat down and spread his hands before the fire.
"Anything new stirring, Squire?" asked Hiram Walton.
"Nothin' that I know on. I was lookin' over my papers to-night,
neighbor, and I come across that note you give for the cow. Forty
dollars with interest, which makes the whole come to forty-one
dollars and twenty cents. To-morrow's the day for payin'. I suppose
you'll be ready?" and the old man peered at Hiram Walton with his
little keen eyes.
"Now for it," thought Hiram. "I'm sorry to say, Squire Green," he
answered, "that I can't pay the note. Times have been hard, and my
family expenses have taken all I could earn."
The squire was not much disappointed, for now he was entitled to
exact the forfeit of ten dollars.
"The contrack provides that if you can't meet the note you shall
pay ten dollars," he said. "I 'spose you can do that."
"Squire Green, I haven't got but two dollars laid by."
"Two dollars!" repeated the squire, frowning. "That ain't honest.
You knew the note was comin' due, and you'd oughter have provided
ten dollars, at least.'
"I've done as much as I could. I've wanted to meet the note, but
I couldn't make money, and I earned all I could."
"You hain't been equinomical," said the squire, testily. "Folks
can't expect to lay up money ef they spend it fast as it comes in";
and he thumped on the floor with his cane.
"I should like to have you tell us how we can economize any more
than we have," said Mrs. Walton, with spirit. "Just look around you,
and see if you think we have been extravagant in buying clothes.
I am sure I have to darn and mend till I am actually ashamed."
"There's other ways of wastin' money," said the squire. "If you
think we live extravagantly, come in any day to dinner, and we will
convince you to the contrary," said Mrs. Walton, warmly.
"Tain't none of my business, as long as you pay me what you owe
me," said the squire. "All I want is my money, and I'd orter have
"It doesn't seem right that my husband should forfeit ten dollars
and lose the cow."
"That was the contrack, Mrs. Walton. Your husband 'greed to it,
"That doesn't make it just."
"Tain't no more'n a fair price for the use of the cow six months.
Ef you'll pay the ten dollars to-morrow, I'll let you have the cow
six months longer on the same contrack."
"I don't see any possibility of my paying you the money, Squire
Green. I haven't got it."
"Why don't you borrer somewhere?"
"I might as well owe you as another man, Besides, I don't know
anybody that would lend me the money."
"You haven't tried, have you?"
"Then you'd better. I thought I might as well come round and remind
you of the note as you might forget it."
"Not much danger," said Hiram Walton. "I've had it on my mind ever
since I gave it."
"Well, I'll come round to-morrow night, and I hope you'll be ready.
No very cordial good night followed Squire Green as he hobbled out
of the cottage--for he was lame--not--I am sure the reader will
agree with me--did he deserve any. He was a mean, miserly, grasping
man, who had no regard for the feelings or comfort of anyone else;
whose master passion was a selfish love of accumulating money. His
money did him little good, however, for he was as mean with himself
as with others, and grudged himself even the necessaries of life,
because, if purchased, it must be at the expense of his hoards.
The time would come when he and his money must part, but he did
not think of that.
There was a general silence after Squire Green's departure. Hiram
Walton looked gloomy, and the rest of the family also.
"What an awful mean man the squire is!" Tom broke out, indignantly.
"You're right, for once," said Mary.
In general, such remarks were rebuked by the father or mother; but
the truth of Tom's observation was so clear, that for once he was
"Squire Green's money does him very little good," said Hiram Walton.
"He spends very little of it on himself, and it certainly doesn't
obtain him respect in the village. Rich as he is, and poor as I am,
I would rather stand in my shoes than his."
"I should think so," said his wife. "Money isn't everything."
"No; but it is a good deal I have suffered too much from the want
of it, to despise it."
"Well, Hiram," said Mrs. Walton, who felt that it would not do to
look too persistently upon the dark side, "you know that the song
says, 'There's a good time coming.'"
"I've waited for it a long time, wife," said the farmer, soberly.
"Wait a little longer," said Mrs. Walton, quoting the refrain of
He smiled faintly.
"Very well, I'll wait a little longer; but if I have to wait too
long, I shall get discouraged."
"Children, it's time to go to bed," said Mrs. Walton.
"Mayn't I sit up a little longer?" pleaded Mary.
"'Wait a little longer,' mother," said Tom, laughing, as he quoted
his mother's words against her.
"Ten minutes, only, then."
Before the ten minutes were over, there was great and unexpected joy
in the little house. Suddenly the outer door opened, and, without
the slightest warning to anyone, Harry walked in. He was immediately
surrounded by the delighted family, and in less time than I am
taking to describe it he had shaken hands with his father, kissed
his mother and sister, and given Tom a bearlike hug, which nearly
"Where did you come from, Harry?" asked Mary.
"Dropped down from the sky," said Harry, laughing.
"Has the professor been giving exhibitions up there?" asked Tom.
"I've discharge the professor," said Harry, gayly. "I'm my own man
"And you've come home to stay, I hope," said his mother.
"Not long, mother," said Harry. "I can only stay a few days."
"What a bully overcoat you've got on!" said Tom.
"The professor gave it to me."
"Hasn't he got one for me, too?"
Harry took off his overcoat, and Tom was struck with fresh admiration
as he surveyed his brother's inside suit.
"I guess you spent all you money on clothes," he said.
"I hope not," said Mr. Walton, whom experience had made prudent.
"Not quite all," said Harry, cheerfully. "How much money do you
think I have brought home?"
"Ten dollars," said Tom.
"Twenty," said Mary.
"I won't keep you guessing all night. What do you say to fifty
"Oh, what a lot of money!" said Mary.
"You have done well, my son," said Mr. Walton. "You must have been
"I tried to be, father. But I didn't say fifty dollars was all I
"You haven't got more?" said his mother, incredulously.
"I've got a hundred dollars, mother," said Harry.
"Here are fifty dollars for you, father. It'll pay your note to
Squire Green, and a little over. Here are thirty dollars, mother,
of which you must use for ten for yourself, ten for Mary, and ten
for Tom. I want you all to have some new clothes, to remember me
"But Harry, you will have nothing left for yourself."
"Yes, I shall. I have kept twenty dollars, which will be enough
till I can earn some more."
"I don't see how you could save so much money, Harry," said his
"It was partly luck, father, and partly hard work. I'll tell you
all about it."
He sat down before the fire and they listened to his narrative.
"Well, Harry," said Mr. Walton, "I am very glad to find that you
are more fortunate than your father. I have had a hard struggle;
but I will not complain if my children can prosper."
The cloud that Squire Green had brought with him had vanished, and
all was sunshine and happiness.
It was agreed that no hint should be given to Squire Green that
his note was to be paid. He did not even hear of Harry's arrival,
and was quite unconscious of any change in the circumstances of
the family, when he entered the cottage the next evening.
"Well, neighbor," he said, "I've brought along that ere note. I
hope you've raised the money to pay it."
"Where do you think I could raise money, Squire?" asked Hiram
"I thought mebbe some of the neighbors would lent it to you."
"Money isn't very plenty with any of them, Squire, except with
"I calc'late better than they. Hev you got the ten dollars that
you agreed to pay ef you couldn't meet the note?"
"Yes," said Hiram, "I raised the ten dollars."
"All right," said the squire, briskly, "I thought you could. As
long as you pay that, you can keep the cow six months more, one a
"Don't you think, Squire, it's rather hard on a poor man, to make
him forfeit ten dollars because he can't meet his note?"
"A contrack's a contrack," said the squire. "It's the only way to
"I think you are taking advantage of me, Squire."
"No, I ain't. You needn't hev come to me ef you didn't want to. I
didn't ask you to buy the cow. I'll trouble you for that ten dollars,
neighbor, as I'm in a hurry."
"On the whole, Squire, I think I'll settle up the note. That'll be
cheaper than paying the forfeit."
"What! Pay forty-one dollars and twenty cents!" ejaculated the
"Yes; it's more than the cow's worth, but as I agreed to pay it I
suppose I must."
"I thought you didn't hev the money," said the squire, his lower
jaw falling; for he would have preferred the ten dollars' forfeit,
and a renewal of the usurious contract.
"I didn't have it when you were in last night; but I've raised it
"You said you couldn't borrow it."
"I didn't borrow it."
"Then where did it come from?"
"My son Harry has got home, Squire. He has supplied me with the
"You don't say! Where is he? Been a-doin' well, has he?"
Harry entered the room, and nodded rather coldly to the squire,
who was disposed to patronize him, now that he was well dressed,
and appeared to be doing well.
"I'm glad to see ye, Harry. So you've made money, have ye?"
"Hev you come home to stay?"
"No sir; I shall only stay a few days."
"What hev ye been doin'"
"I am going to be a printer."
"You don't say! Is it a good business?"
"I think it will be," said Harry. "I can tell better by and by."
"Well, I'm glad you're doin' so well. Neighbor Walton, when you
want another cow I'll do as well by you as anybody. I'll give you
credit for another on the same terms."
"If I conclude to buy any, Squire, I may come round."
"Well, good night, all. Harry, you must come round and see me before
you go back."
Harry thanked him, but did not propose to accept the invitation.
He felt that the squire was no true friend, either to himself or to
his family, and he should feel no pleasure in his society. It was
not in his nature to be hypocritical, and he expressed no pleasure
at the squire's affability and politeness.
I have thus detailed a few of Harry's early experiences; but I am
quite aware that I have hardly fulfilled the promise of the title.
He has neither lived long nor learned much as yet, nor has he risen
very high in the world. In fact, he is still at the bottom of the
ladder. I propose, therefore, to devote another volume to his later
fortunes, and hope, in the end, to satisfy the reader. The most
that can be said thus far is, that he has made a fair beginning,
and I must refer the reader who is interested to know what success
he met with as a printer, to the next volume, which will be entitled:
RISEN FROM THE RANKS;
Harry Walton's Success.