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Phil, the Fiddler by Horatio Alger, Jr.

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and costing a shilling a yard. No gloves were worn, as they are
now dispensed with in the best society. At a late hour the
guests dispersed. Mrs. Hoffman's party will long be remembered
as the most brilliant of the season."

"I did not know you had so much talent for reporting, Paul," said
his mother. "You forgot one thing, however."

"What is that?"

"You said nothing of yourself."

"I was too modest, mother. However, if you insist upon it, I
will do so. Anything at all to please you."

Paul resumed his writing and in a short time had the following:

"Among those present we observed the handsome and accomplished
Paul Hoffman, Esq., the oldest son of the hostess. He was
elegantly dressed in a pepper-and-salt coat and vest, blue
necktie, and brown breeches, and wore a six-cent diamond
breastpin in the bosom of his shirt. His fifteen-cent
handkerchief was perfumed with cologne which he imported himself
at a cost of ten cents per bottle. He attracted general
admiration."

"You seem to have got over your modesty, Paul," said his mother.

"I am sleepy," said Jimmy, drowsily rubbing his eyes.

As this expressed the general feeling, they retired to bed at
once, and in half an hour were wandering in the land of dreams.

CHAPTER XVII

THE PADRONE IS ANXIOUS

The next morning Paul and Phil rose later that usual. They slept
longer, in order to make up for the late hour at which they
retired. As they sat down to breakfast, at half-past eight, Paul
said: "I wonder whether the padrone misses you, Phil?"

"Yes," said Phil; "he will be very angry because I did not come
back last night."

"Will he think you have run away?"

"I do not know. Some of the boys stay away sometimes, because
they are too far off to come home."

"Then he may expect you to-night. I suppose he will have a
beating ready for you."

"Yes, he would beat me very hard," said Phil, "if he thought I
did not mean to come back."

"I should like to go and tell him that he need not expect you. I
should like to see how he looks."

"He might beat you, too, Paolo."

"I should like to see him try it," said Paul, straightening up
with a consciousness of strength. "He might find that rather
hard."

Phil looked admiringly at the boy who was not afraid of the
padrone. Like his comrades, he had been accustomed to think of
the padrone as possessed of unlimited power, and never dreamed of
anybody defying him, or resisting his threats. Though he had
determined to run away, his soul was not free from the tyranny of
his late taskmaster, and he thought with uneasiness and dread of
the possibility of his being conveyed back to him.

"Well, mother," said Paul, glancing at the clock as he rose from
the breakfast table, "it is almost nine o'clock--rather a late
hour for a business man like me."

"You are not often so late, Paul."

"It is lucky that I am my own employer, or I might run the risk
of being discharged. I am afraid the excuse that I was at Mrs.
Hoffman's fashionable party would not be thought sufficient. I
guess I won't have time to stop to shave this morning."

"You haven't got anything to shave," said Jimmy.

"Don't be envious, Jimmy. I counted several hairs this morning.
Well, Phil, are you ready to go with me? Don't forget your
fiddle."

"When shall we see you again, Philip?" said Mrs. Hoffman.

"I do not know," said the little minstrel.

"Shall you not come to the city sometimes?"

"I am afraid the padrone would catch me," said Phil.

"Whenever you do come, Phil," said Paul, "come right to me. I
will take care of you. I don't think the padrone will carry us
both off, and he would have to take me if he took you."

"Good-by, Philip," said Mrs, Hoffman, offering her hand. "I hope
you will prosper."

"So do I, Phil," said Jimmy.

Phil thus took with him the farewells and good wishes of two
friends who had been drawn to him by his attractive face and good
qualities. He could not help wishing that he might stay with
them permanently, but he knew that this could not be. To remain
in the same city with the padrone was out of the question.

Meanwhile we return to the house which Phil had forsaken, and
inquire what effect was produced by his non-appearance.

It was the rule of the establishment that all the boys should be
back by midnight. Phil had generally returned an hour before
that time. When, therefore, it was near midnight, the padrone
looked uneasily at the clock.

"Have you seen Filippo?" he asked, addressing his nephew.

"No, signore," answered Pietro. "Filippo has not come in."

"Do you think he has run away?" asked the padrone, suspiciously.

"I don't know," said Pietro.

"Have you any reason to think he intended to run away?"

"No," said Pietro.

"I should not like to lose him. He brings me more money than
most of the boys."

"He may come in yet."

"When he does," said the padrone, frowning, "I will beat him for
being so late. Is there any boy that he would be likely to tell,
if he meant to run away?"

"Yes," said Pietro, with a sudden thought, "there is Giacomo."

"The sick boy?"

"Yes. Filippo went in this morning to speak to him. He might
have told him then."

"That is true. I will go and ask him."

Giacomo still lay upon his hard pallet, receiving very little
attention. His fever had increased, and he was quite sick. He
rolled from one side to the other in his restlessness. He needed
medical attention, but the padrone was indifferent, and none of
the boys would have dared to call a doctor without his
permission. As he lay upon his bed, the padrone entered the room
with a hurried step.

"Where is Giacomo?" he demanded, harshly.

"Here I am, signore padrone," answered the little boy, trembling,
as he always did when addressed by the tyrant.

"Did Filippo come and speak with you this morning, before he went
out?"

"Si, signore."

"What did he say?"

"He asked me how I felt."

"What did you tell him?"

"I told him I felt sick."

"Nothing more?"

"I told him I thought I should die.'

"Nonsense!" said the padrone, harshly; "you are a coward. You
have a little cold, that is all. Did he say anything about
running away?"

"No, signore."

"Don't tell me a lie!" said the tyrant, frowning.

"I tell you the truth, signore padrone. Has not Filippo come
home?"

"No."

"I do not think he has run away," said the little boy.

"Why not?"

"I think he would tell me."

"So you two are friends, are you?"

"Si, signore; I love Filippo," answered Giacomo, speaking the
last words tenderly, and rather to himself than to the padrone.
He looked up to Phil, though little older than himself, with a
mixture of respect and devotion, leaning upon him as the weak are
prone to lean upon the strong.

"Then you will be glad to hear," said the padrone, with a
refinement of cruelty, "that I shall beat him worse than last
night for staying out so late."

"Don't beat him, padrone," pleaded Giacomo, bursting into tears.
"Perhaps he cannot come home."

"Did he ever speak to you of running away?" asked the padrone,
with a sudden thought.

Giacomo hesitated. He could not truthfully deny that Filippo had
done so, but he did not want to get his friend into trouble. He
remained silent, looking up at the tyrant with troubled eyes.

"Why do you not speak? Did you hear my question?" asked the
padrone, with a threatening gesture.

Had the question been asked of some of the other boys present,
they would not have scrupled to answer falsely; but Giacomo had a
religious nature, and, neglected as he had been, he could not
make up his mind to tell a falsehood. So, after a pause, he
faltered out a confession that Phil had spoken of flight.

"Do you hear that, Pietro?" said the padrone, turning to his
nephew. "The little wretch has doubtless run away."

"Shall I look for him to-morrow?" asked Pietro, with alacrity,
for to him it would be a congenial task to drag Phil home, and
witness the punishment.

"Yes, Pietro. I will tell you where to go in the morning. We
must have him back, and I will beat him so that he will not dare
to run away again."

The padrone would have been still more incensed could he have
looked into Mrs. Hoffman's room and seen the little fiddler the
center of a merry group, his brown face radiant with smiles as he
swept the chords of his violin. It was well for Phil that he
could not see him.

CHAPTER XVIII

PHIL ELUDES HIS PURSUER

Phil had already made up his mind where to go. Just across the
river was New Jersey, with its flourishing towns and cities,
settled to a large extent by men doing business in New York. The
largest of these cities was Newark, only ten miles distant.
There Phil decided to make his first stop. If he found himself
in danger of capture he could easily go farther. This plan Paul
approved, and it was to be carried into execution immediately.

"I will go down to the Cortlandt Street Ferry with you, Phil,"
said Paul.

"I should like to have you, if it will not take you from your
business, Paolo."

"My business can wait," said Paul. "I mean to see you safe out
of the city. The padrone may be in search of you already."

"I think he will send Pietro to find me," said Phil.

"Who is Pietro?"

Phil explained that Pietro was the padrone's nephew and assisted
in oppressing the boys.

"I hope he will send him," said Paul.

Phil looked up in surprise.

"I should like to see this Pietro. What would he do if he should
find you?"

"He would take me back."

"If you did not want to go?"

"I couldn't help it," said Phil, shrugging his shoulders. "He is
much bigger than I."

"Is he bigger than I am?"

"I think he is as big."

"He isn't big enough to take you away if I am with you."

Paul did not say this boastfully, but with a quiet confidence in
his own powers in which he was justified. Though by no means
quarrelsome, he had on several occasions been forced in
self-defense into a contest with boys of his own size, and in
some instances larger, and in every case he had acquitted himself
manfully, and come off victorious.

"I should not be afraid if you were with me, Paolo," said Phil.

"You are right, Phil," said Paul, approvingly. "But here we are
at the ferry."

Cortlandt Street is a short distance below the Astor House, and
leads to the ferry, connecting on the other side with trains
bound for Philadelphia and intermediate places.

Paul paid the regular toll, and passed through the portal with
Phil.

"Are you going with me?" asked the little fiddler, in surprise.

"Only to Jersey City, Phil. There might be some of your friends
on board the boat. I want to see you safe on the cars. Then I
must leave you."

"You are very kind, Paolo."

"You are a good little chap, Phil, and I mean to help you. But
the boat is about ready to start. Let us go on board."

They walked down the pier, and got on the boat a minute before it
started. They did not pass through to the other end, but,
leaning against the side, kept their eyes fixed on the city they
were about to leave. They had not long to wait. The signal was
heard, and the boat started leisurely from the pier. It was but
ten feet distant, when the attention of Paul and Phil was drawn
to a person running down the drop in great haste. He evidently
wanted to catch the boat, but was too late.

Phil clutched at Paul's arm, and pointed to him in evident
excitement.

"It is Pietro," he said.

At that moment Pietro, standing on the brink, caught sight of the
boy he was pursuing, looking back at him from the deck of the
ferry-boat. A look of exultation and disappointment swept over
his face as he saw Phil, but realized that he was out of his
reach. He had a hand-organ with him, and this had doubtless
encumbered him, and prevented his running as fast as he might
otherwise.

"So that is Pietro, is it?" said Paul, regarding him attentively
in order to fix his face in his memory.

"Yes, Paolo," said Phil, his eyes fixed nervously upon his
pursuer, who maintained his place, and was watching him with
equal attention.

"You are not frightened, Phil, are you?"

Phil admitted that he was.

"He will come over in the next boat," he said.

"But he will not know where you are."

"He will seek me."

"Will he? Then I think he will be disappointed. The cars will
start on the other side before the next boat arrives. I found
out about that before we started."

Phil felt relieved by this intelligence, but still he was
nervous. Knowing well Pietro's malice, he dreaded the chances of
his capturing him.

"He stays there. He does not go away," said Phil.

"It will do him no good, Phil. He is like a cat watching a
canary bird beyond his reach. I don't think he will catch you
to-day."

"He may go in the cars, too," suggested Phil.

"That is true. On the whole, Phil, when you get to Newark, I
advise you to walk into the country. Don't stay in the city. He
might find you there."

"I will do what you say, Paolo. It will be better."

They soon reached the Jersey shore. The railroad station was
close by. They went thither at once, and Phil bought a ticket
for Newark.

"How soon will the cars start?" inquired Paul of a railway
official.

"In five minutes," was the answer.

"Then, Phil, I advise you to get into the cars at once. Take a
seat on the opposite side, though there is no chance of your
being seen by Pietro, who will get here too late. Still, it is
best to be on the safe side. I will stay near the ferry and
watch Pietro when he lands. Perhaps I will have a little
conversation with him."

"I will go, Paolo."

"Well, good-by, Phil, and good luck," said Paul, cheerfully. "If
you ever come to New York, come to see me."

"Yes, Paolo, I will be sure to come."

"And, Phil, though I don't think you will ever fall into the
power of that old brute again (I am sure you won't if you take
good care of yourself), still, if he does get you back again,
come to me the first chance you get, and I will see what I can do
for you."

"Thank you, Paolo. I will remember your kindness always," said
the little fiddler, gratefully

"That is all right, Phil. Good-by!"

"Good-by!" said Phil, and, shaking the hand of his new friend,
he ascended the steps, and took a seat on the opposite side, as
Paul had recommended.

"I am sorry to part with Phil," said Paul to himself. "He's a
fine little chap, and I like him. If ever that old brute gets
hold of him again, he shan't keep him long. Now, Signor Pietro,
I'll go back and see you on your arrival."

Phil was right in supposing that Pietro would take passage on the
next boat. He waited impatiently on the drop till it touched,
and sprang on board. He cursed the interval of delay, fearing
that it would give Phil a chance to get away. However, there was
no help for this. Time and tide wait for no man, but it often
happens that we are compelled to wait for them. But at length
the boat touched the Jersey shore, and Pietro sprang out and
hurried to the gates, looking eagerly on all sides for a possible
glimpse of the boy he sought. He did not see him, for the cars
were already on their way, but his eyes lighted up with
satisfaction as they lighted on Paul, whom he recognized as the
companion of Phil. He had seen him talking to the little
fiddler. Probably he would know where he had gone. He walked up
to Paul, who was standing near, and, touching his cap, said:
"Excuse me, signore, but have you seen my little brother?"

"Your little brother?" repeated Paul, deliberately.

"Si, signore, a little boy with a fiddle. He was so high;" and
Pietro indicated the height of Phil correctly by his hand.

"There was a boy came over in the boat with me," said Paul.

"Yes, yes; he is the one, signore," said Pietro, eagerly.

"And he is your brother?"

"Si, signore."

"That's a lie," thought Paul, "I should know it even if Phil had
not told me. Phil is a handsome little chap. He wouldn't have
such a villainous-looking brother as you."

"Can you tell me where he has gone?" asked Pietro, eagerly.

"Didn't he tell you where he was going?" asked Paul, in turn.

"I think he means to run away," said Pietro. "Did you see where
he went?"

"Why should he want to run away?" asked Paul. who enjoyed
tantalizing Pietro, who he saw was chafing with impatience. "Did
you not treat him well?"

"He is a little rascal," said Pietro. "He is treated well, but
he is a thief."

"And you are his brother," repeated Paul, significantly.

"Did you see where he went?" asked Pietro, getting angry. "I
want to take him back to his father."

"How should I know?" returned Paul, coolly. "Do you think I
have nothing to do but to look after your brother?"

"Why didn't you tell me that before?" said Pietro, incensed.

"Don't get mad," said Paul, indifferently; "it won't do you any
good. Perhaps, if you look round, you will see your brother.
I'll tell him you want him if I see him."

Pietro looked at Paul suspiciously. It struck him that the
latter might be making a fool of him, but Paul looked so utterly
indifferent that he could judge nothing from his appearance. He
concluded that Phil was wandering about somewhere in Jersey City.

It did not occur to him that he might have taken the cars for
some more distant place. At any rate, there seemed no chance of
getting any information out of Paul. So he adjusted his
hand-organ and walked up the street leading from the ferry,
looking sharply on either side, hoping to catch a glimpse of the
runaway; but, of course, in vain.

"I don't think you'll find Phil to-day, Signor Pietro," said Paul
to himself, as he watched his receding form. "Now, as there is
nothing more to be done here, I will go back to business."

CHAPTER XIX

PIETRO'S PURSUIT

The distance from New York to Newark is but ten miles. Phil had
been there once before with an older boy. He was at no loss,
therefore, as to the proper place to get out. He stepped from
the cars and found himself in a large depot. He went out of a
side door, and began to wander about the streets of Newark. Now,
for the first time, he felt that he was working for himself, and
the feeling was an agreeable one. True, he did not yet feel
wholly secure. Pietro might possibly follow in the next train.
He inquired at the station when the next train would arrive.

"In an hour," was the reply.

It would be an hour, therefore, before Pietro could reach Newark.

He decided to walk on without stopping till he reached the
outskirts of the city, and not venture back till nightfall, when
there would be little or no danger.

Accordingly he plodded on for an hour and a half, till he came
where the houses were few and scattered at intervals. In a
business point of view this was not good policy, but safety was
to be consulted first of all. He halted at length before a
grocery store, in front of which he saw a small group of men
standing. His music was listened to with attention, but when he
came to pass his cap round afterward the result was small. In
fact, to be precise, the collection amounted to but eight cents.

"How's business, boy?" asked a young man who stood at the door
in his shirt-sleeves, and was evidently employed in the grocery.

"That is all I have taken," said Phil, showing the eight cents.

"Did you come from New York this morning?"

"Yes."

"Then you haven't got enough to pay for your ticket yet?"

Phil shrugged his shoulders.

"I don't believe you'll make your fortune out here."

Phil was of precisely the same opinion, but kept silent.

"You would have done better to stay in New York."

To this also Phil mentally assented, but there were imperative
reasons, as we know, for leaving the great city.

It was already half-past twelve, and Phil began, after his walk,
to feel the cravings of appetite. He accordingly went into the
grocery and bought some crackers and cheese, which he sat down by
the stove and ate.

"Are you going farther?" asked the same young man who had
questioned him before.

"I shall go back to Newark to-night," said Phil.

"Let me try your violin."

"Can you play?" asked Phil, doubtfully, for he feared that an
unpracticed player might injure the instrument.

"Yes, I can play. I've got a fiddle at home myself."

Our hero surrendered his fiddle to the young man, who played
passably.

"You've got a pretty good fiddle," he said. "I think it's better
than mine. Can you play any dancing tunes?"

Phil knew one or two, and played them.

"If you were not going back to Newark, I should like to have you
play with me this evening. I don't have anybody to practice
with."

"I would not know where to sleep," said Phil, hesitatingly.

"Oh, we've got beds enough in our house. Will you stay?"

Phil reflected that he had no place to sleep in Newark except
such as he might hire, and decided to accept the offer of his new
friend.

"This is my night off from the store," he said. "I haven't got
to come back after supper. Just stay around here till six
o'clock. Then I'll take you home and give you some supper, and
then we'll play this evening."

Phil had no objection to this arrangement. In fact, it promised
to be an agreeable one for him. As he was sure of a supper, a
bed and breakfast, there was no particular necessity for him to
earn anything more that day. However, he went out for an hour or
two, and succeeded in collecting twenty-five cents. He realized,
however, that it was not so easy to pick up pennies in the
country as in the city--partly because population is sparser and
partly because, though there is less privation in the country,
there is also less money.

A little before six Phil's new friend, whose name he ascertained
was Edwin Grover, washed his hands, and, putting on his coat,
said "Come along, Phil."

Phil, who had been sitting near the stove, prepared to accompany
him.

"We haven't got far to go," said Edwin, who was eighteen. "I am
glad of that, for the sooner I get to the supper table the
better."

After five minutes' walk they stopped at a comfortable two-story
house near the roadside.

"That's where I put up," said Edwin.

He opened the door and entered, followed by Phil, who felt a
little bashful, knowing that he was not expected.

"Have you got an extra plate, mother?" asked Edwin. "This is a
professor of the violin, who is going to help me make some music
this evening."

"He is welcome," said Mrs. Grover, cheerfully, "We can make room
for him. He is an Italian, I suppose. What is your name?"

"Filippo."

"I will call you Philip. I suppose that is the English name.
Will you lay down your violin and draw up to the fire?"

"I am not cold," said Phil.

"He is not cold, he is hungry, as Ollendorf says," said Edwin,
who had written a few French exercises according to Ollendorf's
system. "Is supper almost ready?"

"It will be ready at once. There is your father coming in at the
front gate, and Henry with him."

Mr. Grover entered, and Phil made the acquaintance of the rest of
the family. He soon came to feel that he was a welcome guest,
and shared in the family supper, which was well cooked and
palatable. Then Edwin brought out his fiddle, and the two played
various tunes. Phil caught one or two new dancing tunes from his
new friend, and in return taught him an Italian air. Three or
four people from a neighboring family came in, and a little
impromptu dance was got up. So the evening passed pleasantly,
and at half-past ten they went to bed, Phil sleeping in a little
room adjoining that in which the brothers Edwin and Harry slept.

After breakfast the next morning Phil left the house, with a
cordial invitation to call again when he happened to be passing.

Before proceeding with his adventures, we must go back to Pietro.

He, as we know, failed to elicit any information from Paul likely
to guide him in his pursuit of Phil. He was disappointed.
Still, he reflected that Phil had but a quarter of an hour's
start of him--scarcely that, indeed-- and if he stopped to play
anywhere, he would doubtless easily find him. There was danger,
of course, that he would turn off somewhere, and Pietro judged it
best to inquire whether such a boy had passed.

Seeing two boys playing in the street, he inquired: "Have you
seen anything of my little brother?"

"What does he look like?" inquired one.

"He is not quite so large as you. He had a fiddle with him."

"No, I haven't seen him. Have you, Dick?"

"Yes," said the other, "there was a boy went along with a
fiddle."

This was true, but, as we know, it was not Phil.

"Did you see where he went?" demanded Pietro, eagerly.

"Straight ahead," was the reply.

Lured by the delusive hope these words awakened, Pietro went on.
He did not stop to play on his organ. He was too intent on
finding Phil. At length, at a little distance before him, he saw
a figure about the size of Phil, playing on the violin. He
hurried forward elated, but when within a few yards he discovered
to his disappointment that it was not Phil, but a little fiddler
of about his size. He was in the employ of a different padrone.
He was doubtless the one the boy had seen.

Disappointed, Pietro now turned back, and bent his steps to the
ferry. But he saw nothing of Phil on the way.

"I would like to beat him, the little wretch!" he said to
himself, angrily. "If I had not been too late for the boat, I
would have easily caught him."

It never occurred to Pietro that Phil might have taken the cars
for a more distant point, as he actually did. The only thing he
could think of, for he was not willing to give up the pursuit,
was to go back. He remained in Jersey City all day, wandering
about the streets, peering here and there; but he did not find
Phil, for a very good reason.

The padrone awaited his report at night with some impatience.
Phil was one of the smartest boys he had, and he had no mind to
lose him.

"Did you find him, Pietro?" he asked as soon as his nephew
entered his presence.

"I saw him," said Pietro.

"Then why did you not bring him back?"

Pietro explained the reason. His uncle listened attentively.

"Pietro, you are a fool," he said, at length.

"Why am I a fool?" asked Pietro, sullenly.

"Because you sought Filippo where he is not."

"Where is he?"

"He did not stop in Jersey City. He went farther. He knew that
you were on his track. Did you ask at the station if such a boy
bought a ticket?"

"I did not think of it."

"Then you were a fool."

"What do you want me to do?"

"To-morrow you must go to Newark. That is the first large town.
I must have Filippo back."

"I will go," said Pietro, briefly.

He was mortified at the name applied to him by his uncle, as well
as by the fact of Phil's having thus far outwitted him. He
secretly determined that when he did get him into his power he
would revenge himself for all the trouble to which he had been
put, and there was little doubt that he would keep his word.

CHAPTER XX

PIETRO'S DISAPPOINTMENT

Though Phil had not taken in much money during the first day of
independence, he had more than paid his expenses. He started on
the second day with a good breakfast, and good spirits. He
determined to walk back to Newark, where he might expect to
collect more money than in the suburbs. If he should meet Pietro
he determined not to yield without a struggle. But he felt
better now than at first, and less afraid of the padrone.

Nine o'clock found him again in Newark. He soon came to a halt,
and began to play. A few paused to listen, but their interest in
music did not extend so far as to affect their pockets. Phil
passed around his hat in vain. He found himself likely to go
unrewarded for his labors. But just then he noticed a carriage
with open door, waiting in front of a fashionable dry-goods
store. Two ladies had just come out and taken their seats
preparatory to driving off, when Phil stepped up bareheaded and
held his cap. He was an unusually attractive boy, and as he
smiled one of the ladies, who was particularly fond of children,
noticed him.

"What a handsome boy!" she said to her companion.

"Some pennies for music," said Phil.

"How old are you?" asked the lady.

"Twelve years."

"Just the age of my Johnny. If I give you some money what will
you do with it?"

"I will buy dinner," said Phil.

"I never give to vagrants," said the second lady, a spinster of
uncertain age, who did not share her niece's partiality for
children.

"It isn't his fault if he is a vagrant, Aunt Maria," said the
younger lady.

"I have no doubt he is a thief," continued Aunt Maria, with
acerbity.

"I am not a thief," said Phil, indignantly, for he understood
very well the imputation, and he replaced his cap on his head.

"I don't believe you are," said the first lady; "here, take
this," and she put in his hand twenty-five cents.

"Thank you, signora," said Phil, with a grateful smile.

"That money is thrown away," said the elderly lady; "you are very
indiscriminate in your charity, Eleanor."

"It is better to give too much than too little, Aunt Maria, isn't
it?"

"You shouldn't give to unworthy objects."

"How do you know this boy is an unworthy object?"

"He is a young vagrant."

"Can he help it? It is the way he makes his living."

The discussion continued, but Phil did not stop to hear it. He
had received more than he expected, and now felt ready to
continue his business. One thing was fortunate, and relieved him
from the anxiety which he had formerly labored under. He was not
obliged to obtain a certain sum in order to escape a beating at
night. He had no master to account to. He was his own employer,
as long as he kept out of the clutches of the padrone.

Phil continued to roam about the streets very much after the old
fashion, playing here and there as he thought it expedient. By
noon he had picked up seventy-five cents, and felt very well
satisfied with his success. But if, as we are told, the hour
that is darkest is just before day, it also happens sometimes
that danger lies in wait for prosperity, and danger menaced our
young hero, though he did not know it. To explain this, we must
go back a little.

When Pietro prepared to leave the lodging-house in the morning,
the padrone called loudly to him.

"Pietro," said he, "you must find Filippo today."

"Where shall I go?" asked Pietro.

"Go to Newark. Filippo went there, no doubt, while you, stupid
that you are, went looking for him in Jersey City. You have been
in Newark before?"

"Yes, signore padrone."

"Very good; then you need no directions."

"If I do not find him in Newark, where shall I go?"

"He is in Newark," said the padrone, confidently. "He will not
leave it."

He judged that Phil would consider himself safe there, and would
prefer to remain in a city rather than go into the country.

"I will do my best," said Pietro.

"I expect you to bring him back to-night."

"I should like to do so," said Pietro, and he spoke the truth.
Apart from his natural tendency to play the tyrant over smaller
boys, he felt a personal grudge against Phil for eluding him the
day before, and so subjecting him to the trouble of another day's
pursuit, besides the mortification of incurring a reprimand from
his uncle. Never did agent accept a commission more readily than
Pietro accepted that of catching and bringing Filippo to the
padrone.

Leaving the lodging-house he walked down to the ferry at the foot
of Cortlandt Street, and took the first train for Newark. It was
ten o'clock before he reached the city. He had nothing in
particular to guide him, but made up his mind to wander about all
day, inquiring from time to time if anyone had seen his little
brother, describing Phil. After a while his inquiries were
answered in the affirmative, and he gradually got on the track of
our hero.

At twelve o'clock Phil went into a restaurant, and invested
thirty cents in a dinner. As the prices were low, he obtained
for this sum all he desired. Ten minutes afterward, as he was
walking leisurely along with that feeling of tranquil enjoyment
which a full stomach is apt to give, Pietro turned the corner
behind him. No sooner did the organ-grinder catch sight of his
prey, than a fierce joy lighted up his eyes, and he quickened his
pace.

"Ah, scelerato, I have you now," he exclaimed to himself.
"To-night you shall feel the stick."

But opportunely for himself Phil looked behind him. When he saw
Pietro at but a few rods' distance his heart stood still with
sudden fright, and for an instant his feet were rooted to the
ground. Then the thought of escape came to him, and he began to
run, not too soon.

"Stop!" called out Pietro. "Stop, or I will kill you!"

But Phil did not comprehend the advantage of surrendering himself
to Pietro. He understood too well how he would be treated, if he
returned a prisoner. Instead of obeying the call, he only sped
on the faster. Now between the pursuer and the pursued there was
a difference of six years, Pietro being eighteen, while Phil was
but twelve. This, of course, was in Pietro's favor. On the
other hand, the pursuer was encumbered by a hand-organ, which
retarded his progress, while Phil had only a violin, which did
not delay him at all. This made their speed about equal, and
gave Phil a chance to escape, unless he should meet with some
interruption

"Stop!" called Pietro, furiously, beginning to realize that the
victory was not yet won.

Phil looked over his shoulder, and, seeing that Pietro was no
nearer, took fresh courage. He darted round a corner, with his
pursuer half a dozen rods behind him. They were not in the most
frequented parts of the city, but in a quarter occupied by
two-story wooden houses. Seeing a front door open, Phil, with a
sudden impulse, ran hastily in, closing the door behind him.

A woman with her sleeves rolled up, who appeared to have taken
her arms from the tub, hearing his step, came out from the back
room.

"What do ye want?" she demanded, suspiciously.

"Save me!" cried Phil, out of breath. "Someone is chasing me.
He is bad. He will beat me."

The woman's sympathies were quickly enlisted. She had a warm
heart, and was always ready to give aid to the oppressed.

"Whist, darlint, run upstairs, and hide under the bed. I'll send
him off wid a flea in his ear, whoever he is."

Phil was quick to take the hint. He ran upstairs, and concealed
himself as directed. While he was doing it, the lower door,
which he had shut, was opened by Pietro. He was about to rush
into the house, but the muscular form of Phil's friend stood in
his way.

"Out wid ye!" said she, flourishing a broom, which she had
snatched up. "Is that the way you inter a dacint woman's house,
ye spalpeen!"

"I want my brother," said Pietro, drawing back a little before
the amazon who disputed his passage.

"Go and find him, thin!" said Bridget McGuire, "and kape out of
my house."

"But he is here," said Pietro, angrily; "I saw him come in."

"Then, one of the family is enough," said Bridget. "I don't want
another. Lave here wid you!"

"Give me my brother, then!" said Pietro, provoked.

"I don't know anything of your brother. If he looks like you,
he's a beauty, sure," returned Mrs. McGuire.

"Will you let me look for him?"

"Faith and I won't. You may call him if you plase."

Pietro knew that this would do very little good, but there seemed
nothing else to do.

"Filippo!" he called; "come here. The padrone has sent for
you."

"What was ye sayin'?" demanded Bridget not comprehending the
Italian.

"I told my brother to come."

"Then you can go out and wait for him," said she. "I don't want
you in the house."

Pietro was very angry. He suspected that Phil was in the rear
room, and was anxious to search for him. But Bridget McGuire was
in the way--no light, delicate woman, but at least forty pounds
heavier than Pietro. Moreover, she was armed with a broom, and
seemed quite ready to use it. Phil was fortunate in obtaining so
able a protector. Pietro looked at her, and had a vague thought
of running by her, and dragging Phil out if he found him. But
Bridget was planted so squarely in his path that this course did
not seem very practicable.

"Will you give me my brother?" demanded Pietro, forced to use
words where he would willingly have used blows.

"I haven't got your brother."

"He is in this house."

"Thin he may stay here, but you shan't," said Bridget, and she
made a sudden demonstration with the broom, of so threatening a
character that Pietro hastily backed out of the house, and the
door was instantly bolted in his face.

CHAPTER XXI

THE SIEGE

When the enemy had fairly been driven out of the house Mrs.
McGuire went upstairs in search of Phil. Our hero had come out
from his place of concealment, and stood at the window.

"Where is Pietro?" he asked, as his hostess appeared in the
chamber.

"I druv him out of the house," said Bridget, triumphantly.

"Then he won't come up here?" interrogated Phil.

"It's I that would like to see him thry it," said Mrs. McGuire,
shaking her head in a very positive manner, "I'd break my broom
over his back first."

Phil breathed freer. He saw that he was rescued from immediate
danger.

"Where is he now?"

"He's outside watching for you. He'll have to wait till you come
out."

"May I stay here till he goes?"

"Sure, and you may," said the warm-hearted Irishwoman. "You're
as welcome as flowers in May. Are you hungry?"

"No, thank you," said Phil. "I have eaten my dinner."

"Won't you try a bit of bread and cold mate now?" she asked,
hospitably.

"You are very kind," said Phil, gratefully, "but I am not hungry.
I only want to get away from Pietro."

"Is that the haythen's name? Sure I niver heard it before."

"It is Peter in English."

"And has he got the name of the blessed St. Peter, thin? Sure,
St. Peter would be mightily ashamed of him. And is he your
brother, do you say?"

"No," said Phil.

"He said he was; but I thought it was a wicked lie when he said
it. He's too bad, sure, to be a brother of yours. But I must go
down to my work. My clothes are in the tub, and the water will
get cold."

"Will you be kind enough to tell me when he goes away?" asked
Phil.

"Sure I will. Rest aisy, darlint. He shan't get hold of you."

Pietro's disappointment may be imagined when he found that the
victim whom he had already considered in his grasp was snatched
from him in the very moment of his triumph. He felt nearly as
much incensed at Mrs. McGuire as at Phil, but against the former
he had no remedy. Over the stalwart Irishwoman neither he nor
the padrone had any jurisdiction, and he was compelled to own
himself ignominiously repulsed and baffled. Still all was not
lost. Phil must come out of the house some time, and when he did
he would capture him. When that happy moment arrived he resolved
to inflict a little punishment on our hero on his own account, in
anticipation of that which awaited him from his uncle, the
padrone. He therefore took his position in front of the house,
and maintained a careful watch, that Phil might not escape
unobserved.

So half an hour passed. He could hear no noise inside the house,
nor did Phil show himself at any of the windows. Pietro was
disturbed by a sudden suspicion. What if, while he was watching,
Phil had escaped by the back door, and was already at a distance!

This would be quite possible, for as he stood he could only watch
the front of the house. The rear was hidden from his view. Made
uneasy by this thought, he shifted his ground, and crept
stealthily round on the side, in the hope of catching a view of
Phil, or perhaps hearing some conversation between him and his
Amazonian protector by which he might set at rest his suddenly
formed suspicions.

He was wrong, however. Phil was still upstairs. He was disposed
to be cautious, and did not mean to leave his present place of
security until he should be apprised by his hostess that Pietro
had gone.

Bridget McGuire kept on with her washing. She had been once to
the front room, and, looking through the blinds, had ascertained
that Pietro was still there.

"He'll have to wait long enough," she said to herself, "the
haythen! It's hard he'll find it to get the better of Bridget
McGuire."

She was still at her tub when through the opposite window on the
side of the house she caught sight of Pietro creeping stealthily
along, as we have described.

"I'll be even wid him," said Bridget to herself exultingly.
"I'll tache him to prowl around my house."

She took from her sink near by a large, long-handled tin dipper,
and filled it full of warm suds from the tub. Then stealing to
the window, she opened it suddenly, and as Pietro looked up,
suddenly launched the contents in his face, calling forth a
volley of imprecations, which I would rather not transfer to my
page. Being in Italian, Bridget did not exactly understand their
meaning, but guessed it.

"Is it there ye are?" she said, in affected surprise.

"Why did you do that?" demanded Pietro, finding enough English
to express his indignation.

"Why did I do it?" repeated Bridget. "How would I know that you
were crapin' under my windy? It serves ye right, anyhow. I
don't want you here."

"Send out my brother, then," said Pietro.

"There's no brother of yours inside," said Mrs. McGuire.

"It's a lie!" said Pietro, angrily stamping his foot.

"Do you want it ag'in?" asked Bridget, filling her dipper once
more from the tub, causing Pietro to withdraw hastily to a
greater distance. "Don't you tell Bridget McGuire that she
lies."

"My brother is in the house," reiterated Pietro, doggedly.

"He is no brother of yours--he says so."

"He lies," said Pietro.

"Shure and it's somebody else lies, I'm thinkin'," said Bridget.

"Is he in the house?" demanded Pietro, finding it difficult to
argue with Phil's protector.

"I don't see him," said Bridget, shrewdly, turning and glancing
round the room.

"I'll call the police," said Pietro, trying to intimidate his
adversary.

"I wish you would," she answered, promptly. "It would save me
the trouble. I'll make a charge against you for thryin' to break
into my house; maybe you want to stale something."

Pietro was getting disgusted. Mrs. McGuire proved more
unmanageable than he anticipated. It was tantalizing to think
that Phil was so near him, and yet out of his reach. He
anathematized Phil's protector in his heart, and I am afraid it
would have gone hard with her if he could have had his wishes
fulfilled. He was not troubled to think what next to say, for
Bridget suddenly terminated the interview by shutting down the
window with the remark: "Go away from here! I don't want you
lookin' in at my windy."

Pietro did not, however, go away immediately. He moved a little
further to the rear, having a suspicion that Phil might escape
from the door at the back. While he was watching here, he
suddenly heard the front door open, and shut with a loud sound.
He ran to the front, thinking that Phil might be taking flight
from the street door, but it was only a ruse of Mrs. McGuire, who
rather enjoyed tantalizing Pietro. He looked carefully up and
down the street, but, seeing nothing of Phil, he concluded he
must still be inside. He therefore resumed his watch, but in
some perplexity as to where he ought to stand, in order to watch
both front and rear. Phil occasionally looked guardedly from the
window in the second story, and saw his enemy, but knew that as
long as he remained indoors he was safe. It was not very
agreeable remaining in the chamber alone, but it was a great deal
better than falling into the clutches of Pietro, and he felt
fortunate to have found so secure a place of refuge.

Pietro finally posted himself at the side of the house, where he
could command a view of both front and rear, and there maintained
his stand nearly underneath the window at which his intended
prisoner was standing.

As Phil was watching him, suddenly he heard steps, and Bridget
McGuire entered the chamber. She bore in her hand the same tin
dipper before noticed, filled with steaming hot water. Phil
regarded her with some surprise.

"Would you like to see some fun now?" she asked, her face
covered by a broad smile.

"Yes," said Phil.

"Open the windy, aisy, so he won't hear."

Phil obeyed directions, and managed not to attract the attention
of his besieger below, who chanced at the moment to be looking
toward the door in the rear.

"Now," said Bridget, "take this dipper and give him the binifit
of it."

"Don't let him see you do it," cautioned his protector.

Phil took the idea and the dipper at once.

Phil, holding the dipper carefully, discharged the contents with
such good aim that they drenched the watching Pietro. The water
being pretty hot, a howl of pain and rage rose from below, and
Pietro danced about frantically. Looking up, he saw no one, for
Phil had followed directions and drawn his head in immediately.
But Mrs. McGuire, less cautious, looked out directly afterward.

"Will ye go now, or will ye stand jist where I throw the hot
water?"

In reply, Pietro indulged in some rather emphatic language, but
being in the Italian language, in which he was more fluent, it
fell unregarded upon the ears of Mrs. McGuire.

"I told you to go," she said. "I've got some more wather
inside."

Pietro stepped back in alarm. He had no disposition to take
another warm shower bath, and he had found out to his cost that
Bridget McGuire was not a timid woman, or easily frightened.

But he had not yet abandoned the siege. He shifted his ground to
the front of the house, and took a position commanding a view of
the front door.

CHAPTER XXII

THE SIEGE IS RAISED

Though Phil was the besieged party, his position was decidedly
preferable to that of Pietro. The afternoon was passing, and he
was earning nothing. He finally uncovered his organ and began to
play. A few gathered around him, but they were of that class
with whom money is not plenty. So after a while, finding no
pennies forthcoming, he stopped suddenly, but did not move on, as
his auditors expected him to. He still kept his eyes fixed on
Mrs. McGuire's dwelling. He did this so long as to attract
observation.

"You'll know the house next time, mister," said a sharp boy.

Pietro was about to answer angrily, when a thought struck him.

"Will you do something for me?" he asked.

"How much?" inquired the boy, suggestively.

"Five cents," answered Pietro, understanding his meaning.

"It isn't much," said the boy, reflectively. "Tell me what you
want."

Though Pietro was not much of a master of English, he contrived
to make the boy understand that he was to go round to the back
door and tell Mrs. McGuire that he, Pietro, was gone. He
intended to hide close by, and when Phil came out, as he hoped,
on the strength of his disappearance, he would descend upon him
and bear him off triumphantly.

Armed with these instructions, the boy went round to the back
door and knocked.

Thinking it might be Phil's enemy, Mrs. McGuire went to the door,
holding in one hand a dipper of hot suds, ready to use in case of
emergency.

"Well, what do you want?" she asked, abruptly, seeing that it
was a boy.

"He's gone," said the boy.

"Who's gone?"

"The man with the hand-organ, ma'am."

"And what for do I care?" demanded Bridget, suspiciously.

This was a question the boy could not answer. In fact, he
wondered himself why such a message should have been sent. He
could only look at her in silence.

"Who told you to tell the man was gone?" asked Bridget, with a
shrewdness worthy of a practitioner at the bar.

"The Italian told me,"

"Did he?" repeated Bridget, who saw into the trick at once.
"He's very kind."

"He didn't want you to know he told me," said the boy,
remembering his instructions when it was too late.

Mrs. McGuire nodded her head intelligently.

"True for you," said she. "What did he pay you for tellin' me?"

"Five cents."

"Thin it's five cints lost. Do you want to earn another five
cints?"

"Yes," said the boy, promptly.

"Thin do what I tell you."

"What is it?"

"Come in and I'll tell you."

The boy having entered, Mrs. McGuire led him to the front door.

"Now," said she, "when I open the door, run as fast as you can.
The man that sint you will think it is another boy, and will run
after you. Do ye mind?"

The young messenger began to see the joke, and was quite willing
to help carry it out. But even the prospective fun did not make
him forgetful of his promised recompense.

"Where's the five cents?" he asked.

"Here," said Bridget, and diving into the depths of a capacious
pocket, she drew out five pennies.

"That's all right," said the boy. "Now, open the door."

Bridget took care to make a noise in opening the door, and, as it
opened, she said in a loud and exultant voice, "You're all safe
now; the man's gone."

"Now run," she said, in a lower voice.

The boy dashed out of the doorway, but Mrs. McGuire remained
standing there. She was not much surprised to see Pietro run out
from the other side of the house, and prepare to chase the
runaway. But quickly perceiving that he was mistaken, he checked
his steps, and turning, saw Mrs. McGuire with a triumphant smile
on her face.

"Why don't you run?" she said. "You can catch him."

"It isn't my brother," he answered, sullenly.

"I thought you was gone," she said.

"I am waiting for my brother."

"Thin you'll have to wait. You wanted to chate me, you haythen!
But Bridget McGuire ain't to be took in by such as you. You'd
better lave before my man comes home from his work, or he'll give
you lave of absence wid a kick."

Without waiting for an answer, Bridget shut the door, and bolted
it--leaving her enemy routed at all points.

In fact Pietro began to lose courage. He saw that he had a
determined foe to contend with. He had been foiled thus far in
every effort to obtain possession of Phil. But the more
difficult the enterprise seemed, the more anxious he became to
carry it out successfully. He knew that the padrone would not
give him a very cordial reception if he returned without Phil,
especially as he would be compelled to admit that he had seen
him, and had nevertheless failed to secure him. His uncle would
not be able to appreciate the obstacles he had encountered, but
would consider him in fault. For this reason he did not like to
give up the siege, though he saw little hopes of accomplishing
his object. At length, however, he was obliged to raise the
siege, but from a cause with which neither Phil nor his defender
had anything to do.

The sky, which had till this time been clear, suddenly darkened.
In ten minutes rain began to fall in large drops. A sudden
shower, unusual at this time of the year, came up, and
pedestrians everywhere, caught without umbrellas, fled
panic-stricken to the nearest shelter. Twice before, as we know,
Pietro had suffered from a shower of warm water. This, though
colder, was even more formidable. Vanquished by the forces of
nature, Pietro shouldered his instrument and fled incontinently.
Phil might come out now, if he chose. His enemy had deserted his
post, and the coast was clear.

"That'll make the haythen lave," thought Mrs. McGuire, who,
though sorry to see the rain on account of her washing, exulted
in the fact that Pietro was caught out in it.

She went to the front door and looked out. Looking up the
street, she just caught a glimpse of the organ in rapid retreat.
She now unbolted the door, the danger being at an end, and went
up to acquaint Phil with the good news.

"You may come down now," she said.

"Is he gone?" inquired Phil.

"Shure he's runnin' up the street as fast as his legs can carry
him."

"Thank you for saving me from him," said, Phil, with a great
sense of relief at the flight of his enemy.

"Whisht now; I don't nade any thanks. Come down by the fire
now."

So Phil went down, and Bridget, on hospitable thoughts intent,
drew her only rocking-chair near the stove, and forced Phil to
sit down in it. Then she told him, with evident enjoyment, of
the trick which Pietro had tried to play on her, and how he had
failed.

"He couldn't chate me, the haythen!" she concluded. "I was too
smart for the likes of him, anyhow. Where do you live when you
are at home?"

"I have no home now," said Phil, with tears in his eyes.

"And have you no father and mother?"

"Yes," said Phil. "They live in Italy."

"And why did they let you go so far away?"

"They were poor, and the padrone offered them money," answered
Phil, forced to answer, though the subject was an unpleasant one.

"And did they know he was a bad man and would bate you?"

"I don't think they knew," said Phil, with hesitation. "My
mother did not know."

"I've got three childer myself," said Bridget; "they'll get wet
comin' home from school, the darlints--but I wouldn't let them go
with any man to a far country, if he'd give me all the gowld in
the world. And where does that man live that trates you so bad?"

"In New York."

"And does Peter--or whatever the haythen's name is--live there
too?"

"Yes, Pietro lives there. The padrone is his uncle, and treats
him better than the rest of us. He sent him after me to bring me
back."

"And what is your name? Is it Peter, like his?"

"No; my name is Filippo."

"It's a quare name."

"American boys call me Phil."

"That's better. It's a Christian name, and the other isn't.
Before I married my man I lived five years at Mrs. Robertson's,
and she had a boy they called Phil. His whole name was Philip."

"That's my name in English."

"Then why don't you call it so, instead of Philip-O? What good
is the O, anyhow? In my country they put the O before the name,
instead of to the tail-end of it. My mother was an O'Connor.
But it's likely ivery country has its own ways."

Phil knew very little of Ireland, and did not fully understand
Mrs. McGuire's philosophical remarks. Otherwise they might have
amused him, as they may possibly amuse my readers.

I cannot undertake to chronicle the conversation that took place
between Phil and his hostess. She made numerous inquiries, to
some of which he was able to give satisfactory replies, to others
not. But in half an hour there was an interruption, and a noisy
one. Three stout, freckled-faced children ran in at the back
door, dripping as if they had just emerged from a shower-bath.
Phil moved aside to let them approach the stove.

Forthwith Mrs. McGuire was engaged in motherly care, removing a
part of the wet clothing, and lamenting for the state in which
her sturdy offspring had returned. But presently order was
restored, and the bustle was succeeded by quiet.

"Play us a tune," said Pat, the oldest.

Phil complied with the request, and played tune after tune, to
the great delight of the children, as well as of Mrs. McGuire
herself. The result was that when, shortly after, on the storm
subsiding, Phil proposed to go, the children clamored to have him
stay, and he received such a cordial invitation to stop till the
next morning that he accepted, nothing loath. So till the next
morning our young hero is provided for.

CHAPTER XXIII

A PITCHED BATTLE

Has my youthful reader ever seen a dog slinking home with
downcast look and tall between his legs? It was with very much
the same air that Pietro in the evening entered the presence of
the padrone. He had received a mortifying defeat, and now he had
before him the difficult task of acknowledging it.

"Well, Pietro," said the padrone, harshly, "where is Filippo?"

"He is not with me" answered Pietro, in an embarrassed manner.

"Didn't you see him then?" demanded his uncle, hastily.

For an instant Pietro was inclined to reply in the negative,
knowing that the censure he would incur would be less. But Phil
might yet be taken--he probably would be, sooner or later,
Pietro thought--and then his falsehood would be found out, and he
would in consequence lose the confidence of the padrone. So,
difficult though it was, he thought it politic to tell the truth.

"Si, signore, I saw him," said he.

"Then why didn't you drag him home?" demanded his uncle, with
contracted brow. "Didn't I tell you to bring him home?"

"Si, signore, but I could not."

"Are you not so strong as he, then?" asked the padrone, with a
sneer. "Is a boy of twelve more than a match for you, who are
six years older?"

"I could kill him with my little finger," said Pietro, stung by
this taunt, and for the moment he looked as if he would like to
do it.

"Then you didn't want to bring him? Come, you are not too old
for the stick yet."

Pietro glowed beneath his dark skin with anger and shame when
these words were addressed to him. He would not have cared so
much had they been alone, but some of the younger boys were
present, and it shamed him to be threatened in their presence.

"I will tell you how it happened," he said, suppressing his anger
as well as he could, "and you will see that I was not in fault."

"Speak on, then," said his uncle; but his tone was cold and
incredulous.

Pietro told the story, as we know it. It will not be necessary
to repeat it. When he had finished, his uncle said, with a
sneer, "So you were afraid of a woman. I am ashamed of you."

"What could I do?" pleaded Pietro.

"What could you do?" repeated the padrone, furiously; "you could
push her aside, run into the house, and secure the boy. You are
a coward --afraid of a woman!"

"It was her house," said Pietro. "She would call the police."

"So could you. You could say it was your brother you sought.
There was no difficulty. Do you think Filippo is there yet?"

"I do not know."

"To-morrow I will go with you myself," said the padrone. "I see
I cannot trust you alone. You shall show me the house, and I
will take the boy."

Pietro was glad to hear this. It shifted the responsibility from
his shoulders, and he was privately convinced that Mrs. McGuire
would prove a more formidable antagonist than the padrone
imagined. Whichever way it turned out, he would experience a
feeling of satisfaction. If the padrone got worsted, it would
show that he, Pietro, need not be ashamed of his defeat. If Mrs.
McGuire had to surrender at discretion, he would rejoice in her
discomfiture. So, in spite of his reprimand, he went to bed with
better spirits than he came home.

The next morning Pietro and the padrone proceeded to Newark, as
proposed. Arrived there, the former led his uncle at once to the
house of the redoubtable Mrs. McGuire. It will be necessary for
us to precede them.

Patrick McGuire was a laborer, and for some months past had had
steady work. But, as luck would have it, work ceased for him on
the day in which his wife had proved so powerful a protector to
Phil. When he came home at night he announced this.

"Niver mind, Pat," said Mrs. McGuire, who was sanguine and
hopeful, "we'll live somehow. I've got a bit of money upstairs,
and I'll earn something by washing. We won't starve."

"I'll get work ag'in soon, maybe," said Pat, encouraged.

"Shure you will."

"And if I don't, I'll help you wash," said her husband,
humorously.

"Shure you'd spoil the clothes," said Bridget, laughing.

In the evening Phil played, and they had a merry time. Mr.
McGuire quite forgot that he was out of work, and, seizing his
wife by the waist, danced around the kitchen, to the great
delight of the children.

The next morning Phil thanked Mrs. McGuire for her kindness, and
prepared to go away.

"Why will you go?" asked Bridget, hospitably. "Shure we have
room for you. You can pay us a little for your atin', and sleep
with the childer."

"I should like it," said Phil, "but----"

"But what?"

"Pietro will come for me."

"And if he does, my Pat will kick him out of doors."

Mr. McGuire was six feet in height, and powerfully made. There
was no doubt he could do it if he had the opportunity. But Phil
knew that he must go out into the streets and then Pietro might
waylay him when he had no protector at hand. He explained his
difficulty to Mrs. McGuire, and she proposed that he should
remain close at hand all the forenoon; near enough to fly to the
house as a refuge, if needful. If Pietro did not appear in that
time, he probably would not at all.

Phil agreed to this plan, and accordingly began to play and sing
in the neighborhood, keeping a watchful lookout for the enemy.
His earnings were small, for the neighborhood was poor. Still,
he picked up a few pennies, and his store was increased by a
twenty-five cent gift from a passing gentleman. He had just
commenced a new tune, being at that time ten rods from the house,
when his watchful eyes detected the approach of Pietro, and, more
formidable still, the padrone.

He did not stop to finish his tune, but took to his heels. At
that moment the padrone saw him. With a cry of exultation, he
started in pursuit, and Pietro with him. He thought Phil already
in his grasp.

Phil dashed breathless into the kitchen, where Mrs. McGuire was
ironing.

"What's the matter?" she asked.

"The padrone--Pietro and the padrone!" exclaimed Phil, pale with
affright.

Mrs. McGuire took in the situation at once.

"Run upstairs," she said. "Pat's up there on the bed. He will
see they won't take you."

Phil sprang upstairs two steps at a time, and dashed into the
chamber. Mr. McGuire was lying on the outside of the bed,
peacefully smoking a clay pipe.

"What's the matther?" he asked, repeating his wife's question.

"They have come for me," said Phil.

"Have they?" said Pat. "Then they'll go back, I'm thinkin'.
Where are they?"

But there was no need of a reply, as their voices were already
audible from below, talking with Mrs. McGuire. The distance was
so trifling that they had seen Phil enter the house, and the
padrone, having a contempt for the physical powers of woman,
followed boldly.

They met Mrs. McGuire at the door.

"What do you want?" she demanded.

"The boy," said the padrone. "I saw him come in here."

"Did ye? Your eyes is sharp thin."

She stood directly in the passage, so that neither could enter
without brushing her aside.

"Send him out," said the padrone.

"Faith, and I won't," said Bridget. "He shall stay here as long
as he likes."

"I will come in and take him," said the padrone, furiously.

"I wouldn't advise ye to thry it," said Mrs. McGuire, coolly.

"Move aside, woman, or I will make you," said the Italian,
angrily.

"I'll stay where I am. Shure, it's my own house, and I have a
right to do it."

"Pietro," said the padrone, with sudden thought, "he may escape
from the front door. Go round and watch it."

By his sign Bridget guessed what he said, though it was spoken in
Italian.

"He won't run away," she said. "I'll tell you where he is, if
you want to know."

"Where?" asked the padrone, eagerly.

"He's upstairs, thin."

The padrone would not be restrained any longer. He made a rush
forward, and, pushing Mrs. McGuire aside, sprang up the stairs.
He would have found greater difficulty in doing this, but
Bridget, knowing her husband was upstairs, made little
resistance, and contented herself, after the padrone had passed,
with intercepting Pietro, and clutching him vigorously by the
hair, to his great discomfort, screaming "Murther!" at the top of
her lungs.

The padrone heard the cry, but in his impetuosity he did not heed
it. He expected to gain an easy victory over Phil, whom he
supposed to be alone in the chamber. He sprang toward him, but
had barely seized him by the arm, when the gigantic form of the
Irishman appeared, and the padrone found himself in his powerful
grasp.

"What business have ye here, you bloody villain?" demanded Pat;
"breakin' into an honest man's house, without lave or license.
I'll teach you manners, you baste!"

"Give me the boy!" gasped the padrone.

"You can't have him, thin!" said Pat "You want to bate him, you
murderin' ould villain!"

"I'll have you arrested," said the padrone, furiously, writhing
vainly to get himself free. He was almost beside himself that
Phil should be the witness of his humiliation.

"Will you, thin?" demanded Pat. "Thin the sooner you do it the
betther. Open the window, Phil!"

Phil obeyed, not knowing why the request was made. He was soon
enlightened. The Irishman seized the padrone, and, lifting him
from the floor, carried him to the window, despite his struggles,
and, thrusting him out, let him drop. It was only the second
story, and there was no danger of serious injury. The padrone
picked himself up, only to meet with another disaster. A passing
policeman had heard Mrs. McGuire's cries, and on hearing her
account had arrested Pietro, and was just in time to arrest the
padrone also, on the charge of forcibly entering the house. As
the guardian of the peace marched off with Pietro on one side and
the padrone on the other, Mrs. McGuire sat down on a chair and
laughed till she cried.

"Shure, they won't come for you again in a hurry, Phil, darlint!"
she said. "They've got all they want, I'm thinkin'."

I may add that the pair were confined in the station-house over
night, and the next day were brought before a justice,
reprimanded and fined.

CHAPTER XXIV

THE DEATH OF GIACOMO

Great was the astonishment at the Italian lodging-house that
night when neither the padrone nor Pietro made his appearance.
Great was the joy, too, for the nightly punishments were also
necessarily omitted, and the boys had no one to pay their money
to. There was another circumstance not so agreeable. All the
provisions were locked up, and there was no supper for the hungry
children. Finally, at half-past eleven, three boys, bolder than
the rest, went out, and at last succeeded in obtaining some bread
and crackers at an oyster saloon, in sufficient quantities to
supply all their comrades. After eating heartily they went to
bed, and for one night the establishment ran itself much more
satisfactorily to the boys than if the padrone had been present.

The next morning the boys went out as usual, having again bought
their breakfast and dispersed themselves about the city and
vicinity, heartily hoping that this state of things might
continue. But it was too good to last. When they returned at
evening they found their old enemy in command. He looked more
ill-tempered and sour than ever, but gave no explanation of his
and Pietro's absence, except to say that he had been out of the
city on business. He called for the boys' earnings of the day
previous, but to their surprise made no inquiries about how they
had supplied themselves with supper or breakfast. He felt that
his influence over the boys, and the terror which he delighted to
inspire in them, would be lessened if they should learn that he
had been arrested and punished. The boys were accustomed to look
upon him as possessed of absolute power over them, and almost
regarded him as above law.

Pietro, too, was silent, partly for the same reasons which
influenced the padrone, partly because he was afraid of offending
his uncle.

Meanwhile poor Giacomo remained sick. If he had been as robust
and strong as Phil, he would have recovered, but he was naturally
delicate, and exposure and insufficient food had done their work
only too well.

Four days afterward (to advance the story a little) one of the
boys came to the padrone in the morning, saying: "Signore
padrone, Giacomo is much worse. I think he is going to die."

"Nonsense!" said the padrone, angrily. "He is only pretending
to be sick, so that he need not work. I have lost enough by him
already."

Nevertheless he went to the little boy's bedside.

Giacomo was breathing faintly. His face was painfully thin, his
eyes preternaturally bright. He spoke faintly, but his mind
seemed to be wandering.

"Where is Filippo?" he said. "I want to see Filippo."

In this wish the padrone heartily concurred. He, too, would have
been glad to see Filippo, but the pleasure would not have been
mutual.

"Why do you want to see Filippo?" he demanded, in his customary
harsh tone.

Giacomo heard and answered, though unconscious who spoke to him.

"I want to kiss him before I die," he said.

"What makes you think you are going to die?" said the tyrant,
struck by the boy's appearance.

"I am so weak," murmured Giacomo. "Stoop down, Filippo. I want
to tell you something in your ear."

Moved by curiosity rather than humanity, the padrone stooped
over, and Giacomo whispered:

"When you go back to Italy, dear Filippo, go and tell my mother
how I died. Tell her not to let my father sell my little brother
to a padrone, or he may die far away, as I am dying. Promise me,
Filippo."

There was no answer. The padrone did indeed feel a slight
emotion of pity, but it was, unhappily, transient. Giacomo did
not observe that the question was not answered.

"Kiss me, Filippo," said the dying boy.

One of the boys who stood nearby, with tears in his eyes, bent
over and kissed him.

Giacomo smiled. He thought it was Filippo. With that smile on
his face, he gave one quick gasp and died--a victim of the
padrone's tyranny and his father's cupidity.[1]

[1] It is the testimony of an eminent Neapolitan physician
(I quote from Signor Casali, editor of L'Eco d'Italia) that
of one hundred Italian children who are sold by their parents
into this white slavery, but twenty ever return home; thirty grow
up and adopt various occupations abroad, and fifty succumb to
maladies produced by privation and exposure.

Death came to Giacomo as a friend. No longer could he be forced
out into the streets to suffer cold and fatigue, and at night
inhuman treatment and abuse. His slavery was at an end.

We go back now to Phil. Though he and his friends had again
gained a victory over Pietro and the padrone, he thought it would
not be prudent to remain in Newark any longer. He knew the
revengeful spirit of his tyrants, and dreaded the chance of again
falling into their hands. He must, of course, be exposed to the
risk of capture while plying his vocation in the public streets.
Therefore he resisted the invitation of his warm-hearted
protectors to make his home with them, and decided to wander
farther away from New York.

The next day, therefore, he went to the railway station and
bought a ticket for a place ten miles further on. This he
decided would be far enough to be safe.

Getting out of the train, he found himself in a village of
moderate size. Phil looked around him with interest. He had the
fondness, natural to his age, for seeing new places. He soon
came to a schoolhouse. It was only a quarter of nine, and some
of the boys were playing outside. Phil leaned against a tree and
looked on.

Though he was at an age when boys enjoy play better than work or
study, he had no opportunity to join in their games.

One of the boys, observing him, came up and said frankly, "Do you
want to play with us?"

"Yes," said Phil, brightening up, "I should like to."

"Come on, then."

Phil looked at his fiddle and hesitated.

"Oh, I'll take care of your fiddle for you. Here, this tree is
hollow; just put it inside, and nobody will touch it."

Phil needed no second invitation. Sure of the safety of his
fiddle, which was all-important to him since it procured for him
his livelihood, he joined in the game with zest. It was so
simple that he easily understood it. His laugh was as loud and
merry as any of the rest, and his face glowed with enjoyment.

It does not take long for boys to become acquainted. In the
brief time before the teacher's arrival, Phil became on good
terms with the schoolboys, and the one who had first invited him
to join them said: "Come into school with us. You shall sit in
my seat."

"Will he let me?" asked Phil, pointing to the teacher.

"To be sure he will. Come along."

Phil took his fiddle from its hiding-place in the interior of the
tree, and walked beside his companion into the schoolroom.

It was the first time he had ever been in a schoolroom before,
and he looked about him with curiosity at the desks, and the maps
hanging on the walls. The blackboards, too, he regarded with
surprise, not understanding their use.

After the opening exercises were concluded, the teacher, whose
attention had been directed to the newcomer, walked up to the
desk where he was seated. Phil was a little alarmed, for,
associating him with his recollections of the padrone, he did not
know but that he would be punished for his temerity in entering
without the teacher's invitation.

But he was soon reassured by the pleasant tone in which he was
addressed.

"What is your name, my young friend?"

"Filippo."

"You are an Italian, I suppose."

"Si, signore."

"Does that mean 'Yes, sir'?"

"Yes, sir," answered Phil, remembering to speak English.

"Is that your violin?"

"Yes, sir."

"Where do you live?"

Phil hesitated.

"I am traveling," he said at last.

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