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Paul Prescott's Charge by Horatio Alger

Part 5 out of 6

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"When did you come to New York?" asked Paul.

"Just arrived; that is, I got in this mornin'.
But I say, how you've grown. I shouldn't
hardly have known you."

"Shouldn't you, though?" said Paul, gratified as
most boys are, on being told that he had grown.
"Have you come to the city on business?"

"Well, kinder on business, and kinder not.
I thought I'd like to have a vacation. Besides,
the old lady wanted a silk dress, and she was
sot on havin' it bought in York. So I come to
the city."

"Where are you stopping, Mr. Stubbs?"

"Over to the Astor House. Pretty big hotel, ain't it?"

"Yes, I see you are traveling in style."

"Yes, I suppose they charge considerable,
but I guess I can stand it. I hain't been
drivin' a tin-cart for nothin' the last ten years.

"How have you been enjoying yourself since you arrived?"

"Oh, pretty well. I've been round seeing
the lions, and came pretty near seeing the
elephant at one of them Peter Funk places."

"You did! Tell me about it."

"You see I was walkin' along when a fellow
came out of one of them places, and asked me
if I wouldn't go in. I didn't want to refuse
such a polite invitation, and besides I had a
curiosity to see what there was to be seen, so
I went in. They put up a silver watch, I could
see that it was a good one, and so I bid on it.
It ran up to eight dollars and a quarter. I
thought it was a pity it should go off so cheap,
so I bid eight and a half."

"`Eight and a half and sold,' said the man;
`shall I put it up for you?"

"`No, I thank you,' said I, `I'll take it as it is.'

"`But I'll put it up in a nice box for you,' said he.

"I told him I didn't care for the box. He
seemed very unwilling to let it go, but I took
it out of his hand and he couldn't help himself.
Well, when they made out the bill, what do
you suppose they charged?"

"I don't know."

"Why, eighteen and a half."

"`Look here,' said I, `I guess here's something
of a mistake. You've got ten dollars too much.'

"`I think you must be mistaken,' said he,
smiling a foxy smile.

"`You know I am not,' said I, rather cross.

"We can't let that watch go for any thing shorter,'
said he, coolly.

"Just then a man that was present stepped up and said,
`the man is right; don't attempt to impose upon him.'

"With that he calmed right down. It seems
it was a policeman who was sent to watch
them, that spoke. So I paid the money, but as
I went out I heard the auctioneer say that the
sale was closed for the day. I afterwards
learned that if I had allowed them to put the
watch in a box, they would have exchanged it
for another that was only plated."

"Do you know anybody in the city?" asked Paul.

"I've got some relations, but I don't know
where they live."

"What is the name?" asked Paul, "we can
look into the directory."

"The name is Dawkins," answered the pedler.

"Dawkins!" repeated Paul, in surprise.

"Yes, do you happen to know anybody of the name?"

"Yes, but I believe it is a rich family."

"Well, so are my relations," said Jehoshaphat.
"You didn't think Jehoshaphat Stubbs
had any rich relations, did you? These, as I've
heard tell, hold their heads as high as anybody."

"Perhaps I may be mistaken," said Paul.

"What is the name--the Christian name, I
mean--of your relation?"


"It must be he, then. There is a boy of
about my own age of that name. He works in
the same office."

"You don't say so! Well, that is curious, I
declare. To think that I should have happened
to hit upon you so by accident too."

"How are you related to them?" inquired Paul.

"Why, you see, I'm own cousin to Mr. Dawkins.
His father and my mother were brother and sister."

"What was his father's business?" asked Paul.

"I don't know what his regular business
was, but he was a sexton in some church."

This tallied with the account Paul had
received from Mr. Cameron, and he could no
longer doubt that, strange as it seemed, the
wealthy Mr. Dawkins was own cousin to the pedler.

"Didn't you say the boy was in the same
office with you, Paul?"


"Well, I've a great mind to go and see him,
and find out where his father lives. Perhaps
I may get an invite to his house."

"How shocked Dawkins will be!" thought
Paul, not, it must be confessed, without a feeling
of amusement. He felt no compunction
in being the instrument of mortifying the false
pride of his fellow clerk, and he accordingly
signified to Mr. Stubbs that he was on his way
to the counting-room.

"Are you, though? Well, I guess I'll go
along with you. Is it far off?"

"Only in the next street."

The pedler, it must be acknowledged, had a
thoroughly countrified appearance. He was
a genuine specimen of the Yankee,--a long,
gaunt figure, somewhat stooping, and with a long
aquiline nose. His dress has already been described.

As Dawkins beheld him entering with Paul,
he turned up his nose in disgust at what he
considered Paul's friend.

What was his consternation when the
visitor, approaching him with a benignant
smile, extended his brown hand, and said,
"How d'ye do, George? How are ye all to hum?"

Dawkins drew back haughtily.

"What do you mean?" he said, pale with passion.

"Mr. Dawkins," said Paul, with suppressed merriment,
"allow me to introduce your cousin, Mr. Stubbs."

"Jehoshaphat Stubbs," explained that individual.
"Didn't your father never mention my name to you?"

"Sir," said Dawkins, darting a furious glance at Paul,
"you are entirely mistaken if you suppose that any
relationship exists between me and that--person."

"No, it's you that are mistaken," said Mr.
Stubbs, persevering, "My mother was Roxana
Jane Dawkins. She was own sister to your
grandfather. That makes me and your father
cousins Don't you see?"

"I see that you are intending to insult me,"
said Dawkins, the more furiously, because he
began to fear there might be some truth in the
man's claims. "Mr. Prescott, I leave you to
entertain your company yourself."

And he threw on his hat and dashed out of
the counting-room.

"Well," said the pedler, drawing a long
breath, "that's cool,--denyin' his own flesh
and blood. Rather stuck up, ain't he?"

"He is, somewhat," said Paul; "if I were you,
I shouldn't be disposed to own him as a relation."

"Darned ef I will!" said Jehoshaphat
sturdily; "I have some pride, ef I am a pedler.
Guess I'm as good as he, any day."



Squire Newcome sat in a high-backed chair
before the fire with his heels on the fender.
He was engaged in solemnly perusing the leading
editorial in the evening paper, when all
at once the table at his side gave a sudden
lurch, the lamp slid into his lap, setting the
paper on fire, and, before the Squire realized
his situation, the flames singed his whiskers,
and made his face unpleasantly warm.

"Cre-a-tion!" he exclaimed, jumping
briskly to his feet.

The lamp had gone out, so that the cause
of the accident remained involved in mystery.
The Squire had little trouble in conjecturing,
however, that Ben was at the bottom of it.

Opening the door hastily, he saw, by the
light in the next room, that young gentleman
rising from his knees in the immediate vicinity
of the table.

"Ben-ja-min," said the Squire, sternly,

"What have you been a-doing?"

Ben looked sheepish, but said nothing.

"I repeat, Benjamin, what have you been

"I didn't mean to," said Ben.

"That does not answer my interrogatory.
What have you been a-doing?"

"I was chasing the cat," said Ben, "and
she got under the table. I went after her, and
somehow it upset. Guess my head might have
knocked against the legs."

"How old are you, Benjamin?"


"A boy of fifteen is too old to play with cats.
You may retire to your dormitory."

"It's only seven o'clock, father," said Ben,
in dismay.

"Boys that play with cats are young enough
to retire at seven," remarked the Squire,

There was nothing for Ben but to obey.

Accordingly with reluctant steps he went up
to his chamber and went to bed. His active
mind, together with the early hour, prevented
his sleeping. Instead, his fertile imagination
was employed in devising some new scheme, in
which, of course, fun was to be the object
attained. While he was thinking, one scheme
flashed upon him which he at once pronounced "bully."

"I wish I could do it to-night," he sighed.

"Why can't I?" he thought, after a
moment's reflection.

The more he thought of it, the more feasible
it seemed, and at length he decided to attempt it.

Rising from his bed he quickly dressed
himself, and then carefully took the sheet, and
folding it up in small compass put it under his

Next, opening the window, he stepped out
upon the sloping roof of the ell part, and slid
down to the end where he jumped off, the
height not being more than four feet from the
ground. By some accident, a tub of suds was
standing under the eaves, and Ben, much to
his disgust, jumped into it.

"Whew!" exclaimed he, "I've jumped into
that plaguy tub. What possessed Hannah to
put it in a fellow's way?"

At this moment the back door opened, and
Hannah called out, in a shrill voice, "Who's
there?" Ben hastily hid himself, and thought
it best not to answer.

"I guess 'twas the cat," said Hannah, as
she closed the door.

"A two-legged cat," thought Ben, to
himself; "thunder, what sopping wet feet I've got.
Well, it can't be helped."

With the sheet still under his arm, Ben
climbed a fence and running across the fields
reached the fork of the road. Here he concealed
himself under a hedge, and waited
silently till the opportunity for playing his
practical joke arrived.

I regret to say that Mr. Mudge, with whom
we have already had considerable to do, was
not a member of the temperance society. Latterly,
influenced perhaps by Mrs. Mudge's
tongue, which made his home far from a happy
one, he had got into the habit of spending his
evenings at the tavern in the village, where he
occasionally indulged in potations that were
not good for him. Generally, he kept within
the bounds of moderation, but occasionally he
exceeded these, as he had done on the present

Some fifteen minutes after Ben had taken
his station, he saw, in the moonlight, Mr.
Mudge coming up the road, on his way home.
Judging from his zigzag course, he was not
quite himself.

Ben waited till Mr. Mudge was close at
hand, when all at once he started from his
place of concealment completely enveloped
in the sheet with which he was provided.
He stood motionless before the astounded Mudge.

"Who are you?" exclaimed Mudge, his
knees knocking together in terror, clinging to
an overhanging branch for support.

There was no answer.

"Who are you?" he again asked in affright.

"Sally Baker," returned Ben, in as
sepulchral a voice as he could command.

Sally Baker was an old pauper, who had
recently died. The name occurred to Ben on
the spur of the moment. It was with some
difficulty that he succeeded in getting out the
name, such was his amusement at Mr. Mudge's
evident terror.

"What do you want of me?" inquired Mudge, nervously.

"You half starved me when I was alive," returned Ben,
in a hollow voice, "I must be revenged."

So saying he took one step forward,
spreading out his arms. This was too much for Mr.
Mudge. With a cry he started and ran towards
home at the top of his speed, with Ben in pursuit.

"I believe I shall die of laughing, exclaimed Ben,
pausing out of breath, and sitting down on a stone,
"what a donkey he is, to be sure, to think there are
such things as ghosts. I'd like to be by when he tells
Mrs. Mudge."

After a moment's thought, Ben wrapped up
the sheet, took it under his arm, and once
more ran in pursuit of Mr. Mudge.

Meanwhile Mrs. Mudge was sitting in the
kitchen of the Poorhouse, mending stockings.
She was not in the pleasantest humor, for one
of the paupers had managed to break a plate
at tea-table (if that can be called tea where
no tea is provided), and trifles were sufficient
to ruffle Mrs. Mudge's temper.

"Where's Mudge, I wonder?" she said,
sharply; "over to the tavern, I s'pose, as usual.
There never was such a shiftless, good-for-
nothing man. I'd better have stayed unmarried
all the days of my life than have married
him. If he don't get in by ten, I'll lock the
door, and it shall stay locked. 'Twill serve him
right to stay out doors all night."

Minutes slipped away, and the decisive hour

"I'll go to the door and look out," thought
Mrs. Mudge, "if he ain't anywhere in sight
I'll fasten the door."

She laid down her work and went to the door.

She had not quite reached it when it was
flung open violently, and Mr. Mudge, with a
wild, disordered look, rushed in, nearly over-
turning his wife, who gazed at him with mingled
anger and astonishment.

"What do you mean by this foolery, Mudge?"
she demanded, sternly.

"What do I mean?" repeated her husband, vaguely.

"I needn't ask you," said his wife, contemptuously.
"I see how it is, well enough. You're drunk!"


"Yes, drunk; as drunk as a beast."

"Well, Mrs. Mudge," hiccoughed her husband,
in what he endeavored to make a dignified tone,
"you'd be drunk too if you'd seen what I've seen."

"And what have you seen, I should like to know?"
said Mrs. Mudge.

Mudge rose with some difficulty, steadied
himself on his feet, and approaching his wife,
whispered in a tragic tone, "Mrs. Mudge, I've
seen a sperrit."

"It's plain enough that you've seen spirit,"
retorted his wife. "'Tisn't many nights that
you don't, for that matter. You ought to be
ashamed of yourself, Mudge."

"It isn't that," said her husband, shaking his hand,
"it's a sperrit,--a ghost, that I've seen."

"Indeed!" said Mrs. Mudge, sarcastically,
"perhaps you can tell whose it is."

"It was the sperrit of Sally Baker," said Mudge, solemnly.

"What did she say?" demanded Mrs. Mudge, a little curiously.

"She said that I--that we, half starved her,
and then she started to run after me--and--
oh, Lordy, there she is now!"

Mudge jumped trembling to his feet. Following
the direction of his outstretched finger,
Mrs. Mudge caught a glimpse of a white figure
just before the window. I need hardly say
that it was Ben, who had just arrived upon
the scene.

Mrs. Mudge was at first stupefied by what
she saw, but being a woman of courage she
speedily recovered herself, and seizing the
broom from behind the door, darted out in
search of the "spirit." But Ben, perceiving
that he was discovered, had disappeared, and
there was nothing to be seen.

"Didn't I tell you so?" muttered Mudge,
as his wife re-entered, baffled in her attempt,
"you'll believe it's a sperrit, now."

"Go to bed, you fool!" retorted his wife.

This was all that passed between Mr. and
Mrs. Mudge on the subject. Mr. Mudge firmly
believes, to this day, that the figure which
appeared to him was the spirit of Sally Baker.



Delighted with the complete success of his
practical joke, Ben took his way homeward
with the sheet under his arm. By the time he
reached his father's house it was ten o'clock.
The question for Ben to consider now was,
how to get in. If his father had not fastened
the front door he might steal in, and slip up
stairs on tiptoe without being heard. This
would be the easiest way of overcoming the
difficulty, and Ben, perceiving that the light
was still burning in the sitting-room, had some
hopes that he would be able to adopt it. But
while he was only a couple of rods distant he
saw the lamp taken up by his father, who
appeared to be moving from the room.

"He's going to lock the front door," thought
Ben, in disappointment; "if I had only got
along five minutes sooner."

From his post outside he heard the key turn
in the lock.

The 'Squire little dreamed that the son
whom he imagined fast asleep in his room was
just outside the door he was locking.

"I guess I'll go round to the back part of
the house," thought Ben, "perhaps I can get
in the same way I came out."

Accordingly he went round and managed to
clamber upon the roof, which was only four
feet from the ground. But a brief trial served
to convince our young adventurer that it is a
good deal easier sliding down a roof than it is
climbing up. The shingles being old were
slippery, and though the ascent was not steep,
Ben found the progress he made was very
much like that of a man at the bottom of a
well, who is reported as falling back two feet
for every three that he ascended. What
increased the difficulty of his attempt was that
the soles of his shoes were well worn, and
slippery as well as the shingles.

"I never can get up this way," Ben concluded,
after several fruitless attempts; "I know what I'll do,"
he decided, after a moment's perplexity; "I'll pull
off my shoes and stockings, and then I guess I can
get along better."

Ben accordingly got down from the roof, and
pulled off his shoes and stockings. As he
wanted to carry these with him, he was at first
a little puzzled by this new difficulty. He
finally tied the shoes together by the strings
and hung them round his neck. He disposed
of the stockings by stuffing one in each pocket.

"Now," thought Ben, "I guess I can get
along better. I don't know what to do with
the plaguy sheet, though."

But necessity is the mother of invention,
and Ben found that he could throw the sheet
over his shoulders, as a lady does with her
shawl. Thus accoutered he recommenced the
ascent with considerable confidence.

He found that his bare feet clung to the
roof more tenaciously than the shoes had done,
and success was already within his grasp, when
an unforeseen mishap frustrated his plans. He
had accomplished about three quarters of the
ascent when all at once the string which united
the shoes which he had hung round his neck
gave way, and both fell with a great thump on
the roof. Ben made a clutch for them in which
he lost his own hold, and made a hurried descent
in their company, alighting with his bare
feet on some flinty gravel stones, which he
found by no means agreeable.

"Ow!" ejaculated Ben, limping painfully,
"them plaguy gravel stones hurt like thunder.
I'll move 'em away the first thing to-morrow.
If that confounded shoe-string hadn't broken
I'd have been in bed by this time."

Meanwhile Hannah had been sitting over
the kitchen fire enjoying a social chat with a
"cousin" of hers from Ireland, a young man
whom she had never seen or heard of three
months before. In what way he had succeeded
in convincing her of the relationship I have
never been able to learn, but he had managed
to place himself on familiar visiting terms with
the inmate of 'Squire Newcome's kitchen.

"It's only me cousin, sir," Hannah explained
to the 'Squire, when he had questioned her
on the subject; "he's just from Ireland, sir,
and it seems like home to see him."

On the present occasion Tim Flaherty had
outstayed his usual time, and was still in the
kitchen when Ben reached home. They did
not at first hear him, but when he made his
last abortive attempt, and the shoes came
clattering down, they could not help hearing.

"What's that?" asked Hannah, listening attentively.

She went to the door to look out, her cousin following.

There was nothing to be seen.

"Perhaps you was dramin' Hannah," said
Tim, "more by token, it's time we was both
doin' that same, so I'll bid you good-night."

"Come again soon, Tim," said Hannah,
preparing to close the door.

A new plan of entrance flashed upon Ben.

He quickly put on his shoes and stockings,
unfolded the sheet and prepared to enact the
part of a ghost once more,--this time for the
special benefit of Hannah.

After fully attiring himself he came to the
back door which Hannah had already locked,
and tapped three times.

Hannah was engaged in raking out the
kitchen fire.

"Sure it's Tim come back," thought she,
as she went to the door. "Perhaps he's
forgotten something."

She opened the door unsuspiciously, fully expecting
to see her Irish cousin standing before her.

What was her terror on beholding a white-
robed figure, with extended arms.

"Howly virgin, defend me!" she exclaimed,
in paralyzing terror, which was increased by a
guttural sound which proceeded from the throat
of the ghost, who at the same time waved
his arms aloft, and made a step towards Hannah.

Hannah, with a wild howl dropped the lamp
and fed towards the sitting-room, where
'Squire Newcome was still sitting.

Ben sped upstairs at the top of his speed,
dashed into his own chamber, spread the sheet
on the bed, and undressed so rapidly that he
seemed only to shake his clothes off, and
jumped into bed. He closed his eyes and
appeared to be in a profound slumber.

Hannah's sudden appearance in the sitting-
room in such a state naturally astonished the 'Squire.

"What's the matter?" he demanded of the affrighted servant.

"Oh, sir," she gasped, "I'm almost kilt entirely."

"Are you?" said the 'Squire, "you appear
to be more frightened than hurt."

"Yes, sir, shure I am frightened, which indeed
I couldn't help it, sir, for I never saw
a ghost before in all my life."

"A ghost! What nonsense are you talking, Hannah?"

"Shure it's not nonsense, for it's just now
that the ghost came to the door, sir, and
knocked, and I went to the door thinking it
might be me cousin, who's been passing the
evening with me, when I saw a great white
ghost, ten foot tall, standing forninst me."

"Ten feet tall?"

"Yes, sir, and he spread out his arms and
spoke in a terrible voice, and was going to
carry me off wid him, but I dropped the lamp,
and O sir, I'm kilt entirely."

"This is a strange story," said 'Squire
Newcome, rather suspiciously; "I hope you have
not been drinking."

Hannah protested vehemently that not a drop
of liquor had passed her lips, which was true.

"I'll go out and hunt for the ghost," said the 'Squire.

"Oh, don't sir. He'll carry you off,"
said Hannah, terrified.

"Nonsense!" exclaimed the 'Squire. "Follow me,
or you may stay here if you are frightened."

This Hannah would by no means do, since
the 'Squire had taken the lamp and she would
be left in the dark.

Accordingly she followed him with a
trembling step, as he penetrated through the
kitchen into the back room, ready to run at the
least alarm.

The back-door was wide open, but nothing
was to be seen of the ghost.

"Perhaps the ghost's up-stairs," said Hannah,
"I can't sleep up there this night, shure."

But something had attracted Squire Newcome's
attention. It was quite muddy out of
doors, and Ben had tracked in considerable
mud with him. The footprints were very
perceptible on the painted floor.

"The ghost seems to have had muddy shoes,"
said the 'Squire dryly; "I guess I can find

He followed the tracks which witnessed so
strongly against Ben, to whose chamber they led.

Ben, though still awake, appeared to be in a
profound slumber.

"Ben-ja-min!" said his father, stooping over the bed.

There was no answer.

"Ben-ja-min!" repeated his father, giving
him a shake, "what does all this mean?"

"What?" inquired Ben, opening his eyes,
and looking very innocent.

"Where have you been, to-night?"

"You sent me to bed," said Ben, "and I came."

But the 'Squire was not to be deceived. He
was already in possession of too much information
to be put off. So Ben, who with all his
love of mischief was a boy of truth, finally
owned up everything. His father said very
little, but told him the next morning that he
had made up his mind to send him to a military
boarding-school, where the discipline was
very strict. Ben hardly knew whether to he
glad or sorry, but finally, as boys like change
and variety, came to look upon his new
prospects with considerable cheerfulness.



George Dawkins was standing at his desk
one morning, when a man entered the office,
and stepping up to him, unceremoniously
tapped him on the shoulder.

Dawkins turned. He looked extremely
annoyed on perceiving his visitor, whose outward
appearance was certainly far from prepossessing.
His face exhibited unmistakable
marks of dissipation, nor did the huge breast
pin and other cheap finery which he wore
conceal the fact of his intense vulgarity. His eyes
were black and twinkling, his complexion very
dark, and his air that of a foreigner. He was,
in fact, a Frenchman, though his language
would hardly have betrayed him, unless, as
sometimes, he chose to interlard his discourse
with French phrases.

"How are you this morning, my friend?"
said the newcomer.

"What are you here for?" asked Dawkins, roughly.

"That does not seem to me a very polite way
of receiving your friends."

"Friends!" retorted Dawkins, scornfully,
"who authorized you to call yourself my friend?"

"Creditor, then, if it will suit you better, mon ami."

"Hush," said Dawkins, in an alarmed whisper, "he will hear,"
here he indicated Paul with his finger.

"And why should I care? I have no secrets
from the young man."

"Stop, Duval," exclaimed Dawkins, in an angry whisper,
"Leave the office at once. Your appearing here
will injure me."

"But I am not your friend; why should I care?" sneered Duval.

"Listen to reason. Leave me now, and I will meet you
when and where you will."

"Come, that sounds better."

"Now go. I'm afraid Mr. Danforth will be in."

"If he comes, introduce me."

Dawkins would like to have knocked the fellow over.

"Name your place and time, and be quick about it,"
said he impatiently.

"Eight o'clock this evening, you know where,"
was the answer.

"Very well. Good-morning."

"Mind you bring some money."

"Good-morning," returned Dawkins, angrily.

At length, much to his relief, Duval left the
office. Dawkins stole a side glance at Paul, to
see what impression the interview had made
upon him, but our hero, who had overheard
some portions of the dialogue, perceiving that
Dawkins wished it to be private, took as little
notice of the visitor as possible. He could not
help thinking, however, that Duval was a man
whose acquaintance was likely to be of little
benefit to his fellow clerk.

Throughout the day Dawkins appeared
unusually nervous, and made several blunders
which annoyed Mr. Danforth. Evidently he
had something on his mind. Not to keep the
reader in suspense, George had fallen among
bad companions, where he had learned both
to drink and to gamble. In this way he had
made the acquaintance of Duval, an unscrupulous
sharper, who had contrived to get away all
his ready money, and persuading him to play
longer in the hope of making up his losses had
run him into debt one hundred and fifty dollars.
Dawkins gave him an acknowledgment
of indebtedness to that amount. This of course
placed him in Duval's power, since he knew of
no means of raising such a sum. He therefore
kept out of the Frenchman's way, avoiding
the old haunts where he would have been likely
to meet him. Dawkins supposed Duval
ignorant of the whereabouts of his employer's
counting-room. So he had been, but he made
it his business to ascertain where it was. He
had no idea of losing sight of so valuable a prize.

Dawkins would willingly have broken the
appointment he had made with Duval, but he
did not dare to do so. He knew that the man
was well able to annoy him, and he would not
on any account have had the affair disclosed
to his father or Mr. Danforth.

As Trinity clock struck eight, he entered
a low bar-room in the neighborhood of the docks.

A young man with pale, sandy hair stood
behind the counter with his sleeves rolled up.
He was supplying the wants of a sailor who
already appeared to have taken more drink than
was good for him.

"Good evening, Mr. Dawkins," said he,
"you're a stranger."

"Is Duval in?" inquired Dawkins, coldly.
His pride revolted at the place and company.
He had never been here but once before, having
met Duval elsewhere.

"He's up in his room. John show the young
gentleman up to No. 9. Won't you have a
glass of something this evening?"

"No," said Dawkins, abruptly.

The boy preceded him up a dark and dirty

"That's the room, sir," he said.

"Stop a minute," said Dawkins, "he may
not be in."

He inwardly hoped he might not. But
Duval answered his knock by coming to the door

"Delighted to see you, mon ami. John,
may leave the lamp. That's all, unless Mr.
Dawkins wishes to order something."

"I want nothing," said Dawkins.

"They have some capital brandy."

"I am not in the mood for drinking tonight."

"As you please," said the Frenchman,
disappointed; "be seated."

Dawkins sat down in a wooden rocking-
chair, minus an arm.

"Well," said Duval, "how much money
have you brought me?"


The Frenchman frowned and stroked his
mustache, fiercely.

"What does all this mean? Are you going
to put me off longer?"

"I would pay it if I could," said Dawkins,
"but I haven't got the money."

"You could get it."


"Ask your father."

"My father would rave if he knew that I had
lost money in such a way."

"But you need not tell him."

"If I ask for money, he will be sure to ask
what I want it for."

"Tell him you want clothes, or a watch, or
a hundred things."

Dawkins shook his head; "it won't do," said he.
"He wouldn't give me a hundred and fifty dollars."

"Then ask seventy-five, and I will wait a
month for the rest."

"Look here, Duval, you have no rightful
claim to this money. You've got enough out of
me. Just tear up the paper."

Duval laughed scornfully, "Aha, Mr.
Dawkins," he said, "that would be a very pretty
arrangement FOR YOU. But I don't see how it
is going to benefit me. No, no, I can't afford
to throw away a hundred and fifty dollars so
easily. If I was a rich man like your father
it would make a difference."

"Then you won't remit the debt," said
Dawkins, sullenly.

"You would think me a great ninny, if I did."

"Then you may collect it the best way you can."

"What do you mean by that?" demanded
the Frenchman, his face darkening.

"I mean what I say," said Dawkins, desperately,
"Gambling debts are not recognizable in law."

"Nothing is said about it's being a gambling debt.
I have your note."

"Which is worth nothing, since I am a minor."

Duval's face became black with rage.

"Aha, my friend," said he showing his teeth,
"this is a very nice game to cheat me out of
my money. But it won't do, it won't do."

"Why won't it?"

"I shall say a word in your father's ear,
mon ami, and in the ear of your worthy employer
whom you were so anxious for me not
to see, and perhaps that would be worse for
you than to pay me my money."

Dawkins's brief exultation passed away.
He saw that he was indeed in the power of an
unscrupulous man, who was disposed to push his
advantage to the utmost.

He subsided into a moody silence, which
Duval watched with satisfaction.

"Well, my friend, what will you do about it?"

"I don't know what I can do."

"You will think of something. You will find it best,"
said the Frenchman, in a tone which veiled a threat.

"I will try," said Dawkins, gloomily.

"That is well. I thought you would listen
to reason, mon ami. Now we will have a pleasant
chat. Hold, I will order some brandy myself."

"Not for me," said Dawkins, rising from his
chair, "I must be going."

"Will you not have one little game?" asked
Duval, coaxingly.

"No, no, I have had enough of that. Goodnight."

"Then you won't stop. And when shall I
have the pleasure of seeing you at my little
apartment once more?"

"I don't know."

"If it is any trouble to you to come, I will
call at your office," said Duval, significantly.

"Don't trouble yourself," said Dawkins,
hastily; "I will come here a week from today."

"A week is a long time."

"Long or short, I must have it."

"Very well, mon ami. A week let it be.
Good-night. Mind the stairs as you go down."

Dawkins breathed more freely as he passed
out into the open air. He was beginning to
realize that the way of the transgressor is hard.



Three months before, George Dawkins had
made his first visit to a gambling house.
At first, he had entered only from curiosity.
He watched the play with an interest which
gradually deepened, until he was easily persuaded
to try his own luck. The stakes were small,
but fortune favored him, and he came out some
dollars richer than he entered. It would have
been fortunate for him if he had failed. As it
was, his good fortune encouraged him to another
visit. This time he was less fortunate,
but his gains about balanced his losses, so that
he came out even. On the next occasion he left
off with empty pockets. So it went on until
at length he fell into the hands of Duval, who
had no scruple in fleecing him to as great an
extent as he could be induced to go.

George Dawkins's reflections were not of the
most cheerful character as, leaving Duval, he
slowly pursued his way homeward. He felt
that he had fallen into the power of an unscrupulous
villain, who would have no mercy upon
him. He execrated his own folly, without
which all the machination of Duval would
have been without effect.

The question now, however, was, to raise the
money. He knew of no one to whom he could
apply except his father, nor did he have much
hope from that quarter. Still, he would make
the effort.

Reaching home he found his father seated
in the library. He looked up from the evening
paper as George entered.

"Only half-past nine," he said, with an air
of sarcasm. "You spend your evenings out so
systematically that your early return surprises
me. How is it? Has the theater begun to lose
its charm!"

There was no great sympathy between father
and son, and if either felt affection for the
other, it was never manifested. Mutual
recrimination was the rule between them, and
George would now have made an angry answer
but that he had a favor to ask, and felt
it politic to be conciliatory.

"If I had supposed you cared for my society, sir,
I would have remained at home oftener."

"Umph!" was the only reply elicited from his father.

"However, there was a good reason for my
not going to the theater to-night."


"I had no money."

"Your explanation is quite satisfactory,"
said his father, with a slight sneer.
"I sympathize in your disappointment."

"There is no occasion, sir," said George,
good humoredly, for him. "I had no great
desire to go."

Dawkins took down a book from the library
and tried to read, but without much success.
His thoughts continually recurred to his pecuniary
embarrassments, and the debt which
he owed to Duval seemed to hang like a millstone
around his neck. How should he approach
his father on the subject? In his present
humor he feared he would have little chance.

As his father laid down the newspaper
Dawkins said, "Wouldn't you like a game of
checkers, sir?"

This, as he well knew, was a favorite game
with his father.

"I don't know but I should," said Mr.
Dawkins, more graciously than was his wont.

The checker-board was brought, and the two
commenced playing. Three games were played
all of which his father won. This appeared
to put him in a good humor, for as the two
ceased playing, he drew a ten-dollar-bill from
his pocket-book, and handed to his son, with
the remark, "There, George, I don't want you
to be penniless. You are a little extravagant,
though, I think. Your pay from Mr. Danforth
ought to keep you in spending money."

"Yes, sir, I have been rather extravagant,
but I am going to reform."

"I am very glad to hear it."

"I wish, sir," said George a moment
afterwards," that you would allow me to buy my
own clothes."

"I've no sort of an objection, I am sure.
You select them now, don't you?"

"Yes, sir, but I mean to suggest that you
should make me an allowance for that purpose,
--about as much as it costs now,--and give
me the money to spend where I please."

Mr. Dawkins looked sharply at his son.

"The result would probably be," he said,
"that the money would be expended in other
ways, and I should have to pay for the clothes
twice over."

Dawkins would have indignantly disclaimed
this, if he had not felt that he was not
altogether sincere in the request he had made.

"No," continued his father, "I don't like the
arrangement you propose. When you need
clothing you can go to my tailor and order it,
of course not exceeding reasonable limits."

"But," said Dawkins, desperately, "I don't
like Bradshaw's style of making clothes. I
would prefer trying some other tailor."

"What fault have you to find with Bradshaw?
Is he not one of the most fashionable
tailors in the city?"

"Yes, sir, I suppose so, but----"

"Come, sir, you are growing altogether too
particular. All your garments set well, so far
as I can judge."

"Yes, sir, but one likes a change sometimes,"
persisted George, a little embarrassed for
further objections.

"Well," said Mr. Dawkins, after a pause,
"If you are so strongly bent upon a new tailor,
select one, and order what you need. You can
tell him to send in his bill to me."

"Thank you sir," said his son, by no means
pleased at the manner in which his request had
been granted. He saw that it would in no manner
promote the plan which he had in view,
since it would give him no command of the
ready money. It is hardly necessary to say
that his alleged dissatisfaction with his father's
tailor had all been trumped up for the occasion,
and would never have been thought of
but for the present emergency.

"What shall I do!" thought Dawkins, in
perplexity, as he slowly undressed himself and
retired to bed.

The only true course, undoubtedly, was to
confess all to his father, to incur the storm of
reproaches which would have followed as the
just penalty of his transgression, and then the
haunting fear of discovery would have been
once and forever removed. But Dawkins was
not brave enough for this. He thought only of
escaping from his present difficulty without
his father's knowledge.

He rose the next morning with the burden
of care still weighing upon him. In the
evening the thought occurred to him that he might
retrieve his losses where he had incurred them,
and again he bent his steps to the gambling
house. He risked five dollars, being one-half
of what he had. This was lost. Desperately
he hazarded the remaining five dollars, and
lost again.

With a muttered oath he sprang to his feet,
and left the brilliant room, more gloomy and
discouraged than ever. He was as badly off
as before, and penniless beside. He would
have finished the evening at the theater, but
his recent loss prevented that. He lounged
about the streets till it was time to go to bed,
and then went home in a very unsatisfactory
state of mind.

A day or two after, he met on Broadway the
man whom of all others he would gladly have avoided.

"Aha, my friend, I am glad to meet you,"
said Duval, for it was he.

Dawkins muttered something unintelligible,
and would have hurried on, but Duval detained him.

"Why are you in such a hurry, my friend?" he said.

"Business," returned Dawkins, shortly.

"That reminds me of the little business
affair between us, mon ami. Have you got any
money for me?"

"Not yet."

"Not yet! It is three days since we saw
each other. Could you not do something in
three days?"

"I told you I required a week," said
Dawkins, roughly, "Let go my arm. I tell you I
am in haste."

"Very well, mon ami," said Duval, slowly
relinquishing his hold, "take care that you do
not forget. There are four days more to the week."

Dawkins hurried on feeling very uncomfortable.
He was quite aware that four days hence
he would be as unprepared to encounter the
Frenchman as now. Still, something might happen.

Something, unfortunately, did happen.

The next day Mr. Danforth was counting
a roll of bills which had been just paid in,
when he was unexpectedly called out of the
counting-room. He unguardedly left the bills
upon his own desk. Dawkins saw them lying
there. The thought flashed upon him, "There
lies what will relieve me from all my embarrassment."

Allowing himself scarcely a minute to think,
he took from the roll four fifty dollar notes,
thrust one into the pocket of Paul's overcoat,
which hung up in the office, drew off his right
boot and slipped the other three into the bottom
of it, and put it on again. He then nervously
resumed his place at his desk. A moment
afterwards, Paul, who had been to the
post-office, entered with letters which he
carried into the inner office and deposited on Mr.
Danforth's desk. He observed the roll of bills,
and thought his employer careless in leaving
so much money exposed, but said nothing on
the subject to Dawkins, between whom and
himself there was little communication.



Half an hour later Mr. Danforth returned.

"Has any one been here?" he asked as he
passed through the outer office.

"No, sir," said Dawkins, with outward
composure though his heart was beating rapidly.

While apparently intent upon his writing he
listened attentively to what might be going on
in the next room. One,--two,--three minutes
passed. Mr. Danforth again showed himself.

"Did you say that no one has been here?"
he demanded, abruptly.

"No, sir."

"Have either of you been into my office since
I have been out?"

"I have not, sir," said Dawkins.

"I went in to carry your letters," said Paul.

"Did you see a roll of bills lying on my desk?"

"Yes, sir," said Paul, a little surprised at
the question.

"I have just counted it over, and find but six
hundred dollars instead of eight hundred. Can
you account for the discrepancy?"

Mr. Danforth looked keenly at the two boys.
Dawkins, who had schooled himself to the ordeal,
maintained his outward calmness. Paul,
beginning to perceive that his honesty was
called in question, flushed.

"No, sir," said the boys simultaneously.

"It can hardly be possible, that Mr. Thompson,
who is a very careful man, should have made such
a mistake in paying me," resumed Mr. Danforth.

"As we have been the only persons here,"
said Dawkins, "the only way to vindicate ourselves
from suspicion is, to submit to a search."

"Yes, sir," said Paul promptly.

Both boys turned their pockets inside out,
but the missing money was not found.

"There is my overcoat, sir," said Dawkins,
"will you be kind enough to search it for yourself?"

Next, of course, Paul's overcoat was searched.

What was our hero's dismay when from one
of the pockets Mr. Danforth produced a fifty
dollar bill.

"Is it possible?" he exclaimed in as much
grief as surprise, "Unhappy boy, how came
you by this money in your pocket?"

"I don't know, sir," returned Paul, his cheek
alternately flushing and growing pale.

"I wish I could believe you," said Mr. Danforth;
"where have you put the other bills? Produce them,
and I may overlook this first offense."

"Indeed, sir," said Paul, in great distress,
"I have not the slightest knowledge of how
this bill came into my pocket. I hope you will
believe me, sir."

"How can I? The money evidently did not
go into your pocket without hands."

A sudden thought came to Paul. "Dawkins,"
said he, "did you put that money into my pocket?"

"What do you mean, sir?" returned Dawkins,
haughtily. "Is it your intention to insult me?"

Dawkins could not prevent his face from flushing
as he spoke, but this might easily be referred
to a natural resentment of the imputation cast upon him.

"Paul," said his employer, coldly, "you will
not help your own cause by seeking to involve
another. After what has happened you can
hardly expect me to retain you in my employment.
I will not make public your disgrace,
nor will I inquire farther for the remainder
of the money for which you have been willing
to barter your integrity. I will pay your wages
up to the end of this week, and----"

"Mr. Danforth," said Paul, manfully,
though the tears almost choked his utterance,
"I am sorry that you have no better opinion
of me. I do not want the balance of my wages.
If I have taken so large a sum which did not
belong to me, I have no claim to them.
Good-morning, sir. Sometime I hope you will
think better of me."

Paul put on his coat, and taking his cap
from the nail on which it hung, bowed respectfully
to his employer and left the office.

Mr. Danforth looked after him, and seemed
perplexed. Could Paul be guilty after all?

"I never could have suspected him if I had
not this evidence in my hand," said Mr. Danforth,
to himself, fixing his eyes upon the bill
which he had drawn from Paul's overcoat.

"Dawkins, did you observe whether Paul
remained long in the office?" he asked,

"Longer than sufficient to lay the letters
on the desk?"

"Yes, sir, I think he did."

"Did you notice whether he went to his
overcoat after coming out?"

"Yes, sir, he did," said Dawkins, anxious to
fix in Mr. Danforth's mind the impression of
Paul's guilt.

"Then I am afraid it is true," said his
employer sadly. "And yet, what a fine, manly
boy he is too. But it is a terrible fault."

Mr. Danforth was essentially a kind-hearted
man, and he cared much more for Paul's dereliction
from honesty than for the loss of the
money. Going home early to dinner, he
communicated to his wife the unpleasant
discovery which he had made respecting Paul.

Now, from the first, Paul had been a great
favorite with Mrs. Danforth, and she scouted
at the idea of his dishonesty.

"Depend upon it, Mr. Danforth," she said
decisively, "you have done the boy an injustice.
I have some skill in reading faces, and I
tell you that a boy with Paul Prescott's open,
frank expression is incapable of such a crime."

"So I should have said, my dear, but we
men learn to be less trustful than you ladies,
who stay at home and take rose-colored views
of life. Unfortunately, we see too much of the
dark side of human nature."

"So that you conclude all to be dark."

"Not so bad as that."

"Tell me all the circumstances, and perhaps
a woman's wit may help you."

Mr. Danforth communicated all the details,
with which the reader is already familiar.

"What sort of a boy is this Dawkins?"
she asked, "Do you like him?"

"Not particularly. He does his duties passably well.
I took him into my counting-room to oblige his father."

"Perhaps he is the thief."

"To tell the truth I would sooner have suspected him."

"Has he cleared himself from suspicion?"

"He was the first to suggest a search."

"Precisely the thing he would have done,
if he had placed the bill in Paul's pocket.
Of course he would know that the search must
result favorably for him."

"There is something in that."

"Besides, what could have been more foolish,
if Paul wished to hide the money, than to
multiply his chances of detection by hiding it
in two different places, especially where one
was so obvious as to afford no concealment at all."

"Admitting this to be true, how am I to
arrive at the proof of Paul's innocence?"

"My own opinion is, that George Dawkins
has the greater part of the money stolen.
Probably he has taken it for some particular purpose.
What it is, you may learn, perhaps, by watching him."

"I will be guided by your suggestion.
Nothing would afford me greater pleasure than
to find that I have been mistaken in assuming
Paul's guilt, though on evidence that seemed convincing."

This conversation took place at the dinner-
table. Mr. Danforth understood that no time
was to be lost if he expected to gain any
information from the movements of his clerk.

George Dawkins had ventured upon a bold act,
but he had been apparently favored by fortune,
and had succeeded. That he should have
committed this crime without compunction
could hardly be expected. His uneasiness,
however, sprang chiefly from the fear that
in some way he might yet be detected.
He resolved to get rid of the money which he
had obtained dishonestly, and obtain back from Duval the
acknowledgment of indebtedness which he had given him.

You will perhaps ask whether the wrong which
he had done Paul affected him with uneasiness.
On the contrary, it gratified the dislike which
from the first he had cherished towards our hero.

"I am well rid of him, at all events," he muttered
to himself, "that is worth risking some thing for."

When office hours were over Dawkins gladly
threw down his pen, and left the counting-room.

He bent his steps rapidly towards the locality
where he had before met Duval. He had decided
to wait some time before meeting that worthy.
He had to wait till another day, when as he was
emerging from the tavern he encountered
the Frenchman on the threshold.

"Aha, my good friend," said Duval, offering his hand,
which Dawkins did not appear to see, "I am very glad
to see you. Will you come in?"

"No, I have not time," said Dawkins, shortly.

"Have you brought me my money?"


"Aha, that is well. I was just about what
you call cleaned out."

"Have you my note with you?"

Duval fumbled in his pocket-book, and
finally produced the desired document.

"Give it to me."

"I must have the money first," said the
Frenchman, shrewdly.

"Take it," said Dawkins contemptuously.
"Do you judge me by yourself?"

He tore the note which he received into small pieces,
and left Duval without another word.

Sheltered by the darkness, Mr. Danforth,
who had tracked the steps of Dawkins, had
been an unseen witness of this whole transaction.



George Dawkins resumed his duties the
next morning as usual. Notwithstanding the
crime he had committed to screen himself from
the consequences of a lighter fault, he felt
immeasurably relieved at the thought that he had
shaken himself free from the clutches of Duval.
His satisfaction was heightened by the disgrace
and summary dismissal of Paul, whom he had never liked.
He decided to ask the place for a cousin of his own,
whose society would be more agreeable to him than
that of his late associate.

"Good-morning, sir," he said, as Mr. Danforth entered.

"Good-morning," returned his employer, coldly.

"Have you selected any one in Prescott's place, yet, sir?"

"Why do you ask?"

"Because I have a cousin, Malcolm Harcourt,
who would be glad to take it."

"Indeed!" said Mr. Danforth, whose manner
somewhat puzzled Dawkins.

"I should enjoy having him with me,"
continued Dawkins.

"Did you like Prescott?"

"No, sir," said Dawkins, promptly, "I didn't
want to say so before, but now, since he's
turned out so badly, I don't mind saying
that I never thought much of him."

"On the contrary," said Mr. Danforth, "I
liked him from the first. Perhaps we are
wrong in thinking that he took the money."

"I should think there could be no doubt of it,"
said Dawkins, not liking the sympathy and returning
good feeling for Paul which his employer manifested.

"I don't agree with you," said Mr. Danforth, coldly.
"I have decided to reinstate Paul in his former place."

"Then, if any more money is missing, you will know
where it has gone," said Dawkins, hastily.

"I shall."

"Then there is no chance for my cousin?"

"I am expecting to have a vacancy."

Dawkins looked up in surprise.

"I shall require some one to fill YOUR place,"
said Mr. Danforth, significantly.

"Sir!" exclaimed Dawkins, in astonishment and dismay.

His employer bent a searching glance upon
him as he asked, sternly, "where did you obtain
the money which you paid away last evening?"

"I--don't--understand--you, sir," gasped
Dawkins, who understood only too well.

"You met a man at the door of a low tavern
in--Street, last evening, to whom you paid
one hundred and fifty dollars, precisely the
sum which I lost yesterday."

"Who has been slandering me, sir?" asked
Dawkins, very pale.

"An eye-witness of the meeting, who heard
the conversation between you. If you want
more satisfactory proof, here it is."

Mr. Danforth took from his pocket-book the
torn fragments of the note which Dawkins had
given to Duval.

"Here is an obligation to pay a certain
Duval the sum of one hundred and fifty dollars.
It bears your signature. How you could have
incurred such a debt to him you best know."

Dawkins maintained a sullen silence.

"I suppose you wish me to leave your employment,"
he said at length.

"You are right. Hold," he added, as Dawkins
was about leaving the room, "a word more.
It is only just that you should make a
restitution of the sum which you have taken.
If you belonged to a poor family and there
were extenuating circumstances, I might
forego my claim. But your father is abundantly
able to make good the loss, and I shall
require you to lay the matter before him
without loss of time. In consideration
of your youth, I shall not bring the matter before
the public tribunals, as I have a right to do."

Dawkins turned pale at this allusion, and
muttering some words to the effect that he
would do what he could, left the counting-room.

This threat proved not to be without its effect.
The next day he came to Mr. Danforth and brought
the sum for which he had become responsible.
He had represented to his father that he had
had his pocket picked of this sum belonging
to Mr. Danforth, and in that manner obtained
an equal amount to replace it. It was some time
before Mr. Dawkins learned the truth. Then came
a storm of reproaches in which all the bitterness
of his father's nature was fully exhibited.
There had never been much love between father and son.
Henceforth there was open hatred.

We must return to Paul, whom we left in much trouble.

It was a sad walk which he took homeward
on the morning of his dismissal.

"What brings you home so early?" asked Mrs. Cameron,
looking up from her baking, as Paul entered.

Paul tried to explain, but tears came to his eyes,
and sobs choked his utterance.

"Are you sick, Paul?" exclaimed Mrs. Cameron, in alarm.

"No, Aunt Hester."

"Then what is the matter?" she asked anxiously.

"I have lost my place."

"Poor boy! I am very sorry to hear it.
But it might have been worse."

"No, not very well, Aunt Hester, for Mr. Danforth
thinks I have taken some of his money."

"He is very unjust!" exclaimed Aunt Hester,
indignantly, "he ought to have known better
than to think you would steal."

"Why, no," said Paul, candidly, "I must
confess the evidence was against me, and he
doesn't know me as well as you do, Aunt Hester."

"Tell me all about it, Paul."

Aunt Hester sat down and listened
attentively to our hero's story.

"How do you account for the money being
found in your pocket?" she asked at length.

"I think it must have been put there by
some one else."

"Have you any suspicions?"

"Yes," said Paul, a little reluctantly,
"but I don't know whether I ought to have.
I may be wronging an innocent person."

"At any rate it won't do any harm to tell me."

"You've heard me speak of George Dawkins?"


"I can't help thinking that he put the fifty
dollars into my pocket, and took the rest himself."

"How very wicked he must be!" exclaimed
Mrs. Cameron, indignantly.

"Don't judge him too hastily; Aunt Hester,
he may not be guilty, and I know from my
own experience how hard it is to be accused
when you are innocent."

Soon after the sexton came in, and Paul of
course, told his story over again.

"Never mind, Paul," said Uncle Hugh, cheerily.
"You know your own innocence; that is the main thing.
It's a great thing to have a clear conscience."

"But I liked Mr. Danforth and I think he liked me.
It's hard to feel that he and Mrs. Danforth
will both think me guilty, especially after
the kindness which I have experienced from them."

"We all have our crosses, my boy,--some
light and others heavy. Yours, I admit is a
heavy one for a boy to bear. But when men
are unjust there is One above who will deal
justly with us. You have not forgotten him."

"No, Uncle Hugh," said Paul, reverently.

"Trust in him, Paul, and all will come out
right at last. He can prove your innocence,
and you may be sure he will, in his own good time.
Only be patient, Paul."

"I will try to be, Uncle Hugh."

The simple, hearty trust in God, which the
sexton manifested, was not lost upon Paul.
Sustained by his own consciousness of innocence,
and the confidence reposed in him by
those who knew him best, his mind soon
regained its cheerful tone. He felt an inward
conviction that God would vindicate his innocence.

His vindication came sooner than he anticipated.

The next day as the sexton's family were
seated at their plain dinner, a knock was heard
upon the outer door.

"Sit still, Hester," said Mr. Cameron.
"I will go to the door."

Opening the door he recognized Mr. Danforth,
who attended the same church.

"Mr. Cameron, I believe," said Mr. Danforth, pleasantly.

"Yes, sir."

"May I come in? I am here on a little business."

"Certainly, Mr. Danforth. Excuse my not inviting you before;
but in my surprise at seeing you, I forgot my politeness."

The sexton led the way into the plain sitting-room.

"I believe Paul Prescott is an inmate of your family."

"Yes, sir. I am sorry----"

"I know what you would say, sir; but it is needless.
May I see Paul a moment?"

Paul was surprised at the summons, and still more
surprised at finding who it was that wished to see him.

He entered the room slowly, uncertain how
to accost Mr. Danforth. His employer solved
the doubt in his mind by advancing cordially,
and taking his hand.

"Paul," he said pleasantly, "I have come
here to ask your forgiveness for an injustice,
and to beg you to resume your place in my

"Have you found out who took the money, sir?"
asked Paul, eagerly.


"Who was it, sir?"

"It was Dawkins."

Mr. Danforth explained how he had become
acquainted with the real thief. In conclusion,
he said, "I shall expect you back to-morrow
morning, Paul."

"Thank you, sir."

"Dawkins of course leaves my employ. You
will take his place, and receive his salary,
seven dollars a week instead of five. Have you
any friend whom you would like to have in
your own place?"

Paul reflected a moment and finally named a
schoolmate of his, the son of poor parents,
whom he knew to be anxiously seeking a situation,
but without influential friends to help him.

"I will take him on your recommendation,"
said Mr. Danforth, promptly. "Can you see
him this afternoon?"

"Yes, sir," said Paul.

The next day Paul resumed his place in Mr.
Danforth's counting-room.



Two years passed, unmarked by any
incident of importance. Paul continued in Mr.
Danforth's employment, giving, if possible,
increased satisfaction. He was not only faithful,
but exhibited a rare aptitude for business,
which made his services of great value to
his employer. From time to time Mr. Danforth
increased his salary, so that, though only
nineteen, he was now receiving twelve dollars
per week, with the prospect of a speedy
increase. But with his increasing salary, he did
not increase his expenses. He continued as
economical as ever. He had not forgotten his
father's dying injunction. He remained true
to the charge which he had taken upon himself,
that of redeeming his father's memory from
reproach. This, at times subjected him to the
imputation of meanness, but for this he cared
little. He would not swerve from the line of
duty which he had marked out.

One evening as he was walking down Broadway
with an acquaintance, Edward Hastings,
who was employed in a counting-room near
him, they paused before a transparency in
front of a hall brilliantly lighted.

"The Hutchinsons are going to sing to-night, Paul,"
said Hastings. "Did you ever hear them?"

"No; but I have often wished to."

"Then suppose we go in."

"No, I believe not."

"Why not. Paul? It seems to me you never go anywhere.
You ought to amuse yourself now and then."

"Some other time I will,--not now."

"You are not required to be at home in the evening,
are you?"


"Then why not come in now? It's only twenty-five cents."

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