The Cash Boy

Horatio Alger, Jr.


``The Cash Boy,'' by Horatio Alger, Jr., as the name
implies, is a story about a boy and for boys.

Through some conspiracy, the hero of the story
when a baby, was taken from his relatives and
given into the care of a kind woman.

Not knowing his name, she gave him her husband's
name, Frank Fowler. She had one little
daughter, Grace, and showing no partiality in the
treatment of her children, Frank never suspected
that she was not his sister. However, at the death
of Mrs. Fowler, all this was related to Frank.

The children were left alone in the world. It
seemed as though they would have to go to the
poorhouse but Frank could not become reconciled to that.

A kind neighbor agreed to care for Grace, so
Frank decided to start out in the world to make
his way.

He had many disappointments and hardships, but
through his kindness to an old man, his own relatives
and right name were revealed to him.



A group of boys was assembled in an open field to
the west of the public schoolhouse in the town of
Crawford. Most of them held hats in their hands,
while two, stationed sixty feet distant from each
other, were ``having catch.''

Tom Pinkerton, son of Deacon Pinkerton, had just
returned from Brooklyn, and while there had witnessed
a match game between two professional clubs.
On his return he proposed that the boys of Crawford
should establish a club, to be known as the
Excelsior Club of Crawford, to play among themselves,
and on suitable occasions to challenge clubs belonging
to other villages. This proposal was received
with instant approval.

``I move that Tom Pinkerton address the meeting,''
said one boy.

``Second the motion,'' said another.

As there was no chairman, James Briggs was
appointed to that position, and put the motion, which
was unanimously carried.

Tom Pinkerton, in his own estimation a personage
of considerable importance, came forward in a
consequential manner, and commenced as follows:

``Mr. Chairman and boys. You all know what
has brought us together. We want to start a club
for playing baseball, like the big clubs they have in
Brooklyn and New York.''

``How shall we do it?'' asked Henry Scott.

``We must first appoint a captain of the club, who
will have power to assign the members to their different
positions. Of course you will want one that
understands about these matters.''

``He means himself,'' whispered Henry Scott, to
his next neighbor; and here he was right.

``Is that all?'' asked Sam Pomeroy.

``No; as there will be some expenses, there must be
a treasurer to receive and take care of the funds, and
we shall need a secretary to keep the records of the
club, and write and answer challenges.''

``Boys,'' said the chairman, ``you have heard Tom
Pinkerton's remarks. Those who are in favor of
organizing a club on this plan will please signify it
in the usual way.''

All the boys raised their hands, and it was declared
a vote.

``You will bring in your votes for captain,'' said
the chairman.

Tom Pinkerton drew a little apart with a conscious
look, as he supposed, of course, that no one but himself
would be thought of as leader.

Slips of paper were passed around, and the boys
began to prepare their ballots. They were brought
to the chairman in a hat, and he forthwith took them
out and began to count them.

``Boys,'' he announced, amid a universal stillness,
``there is one vote for Sam Pomeroy, one for Eugene
Morton, and the rest are for Frank Fowler, who is

There was a clapping of hands, in which Tom
Pinkerton did not join.

Frank Fowler, who is to be our hero, came
forward a little, and spoke modestly as follows:

``Boys, I thank you for electing me captain of the
club. I am afraid I am not very well qualified for
the place, but I will do as well as I can.''

The speaker was a boy of fourteen. He was of
medium height for his age, strong and sturdy in
build, and with a frank prepossessing countenance,
and an open, cordial manner, which made him a
general favorite. It was not, however, to his
popularity that he owed his election, but to the fact that
both at bat and in the field he excelled all the boys,
and therefore was the best suited to take the lead.

The boys now proceeded to make choice of a treasurer
and secretary. For the first position Tom Pinkerton
received a majority of the votes. Though not
popular, it was felt that some office was due him.

For secretary, Ike Stanton, who excelled in
penmanship, was elected, and thus all the offices were

The boys now crowded around Frank Fowler, with
petitions for such places as they desired.

``I hope you will give me a little time before I
decide about positions, boys,'' Frank said; ``I want to
consider a little.''

``All right! Take till next week,'' said one and
another, ``and let us have a scrub game this afternoon.''

The boys were in the middle of the sixth inning,
when some one called out to Frank Fowler: ``Frank,
your sister is running across the field. I think she
wants you.''

Frank dropped his bat and hastened to meet his

``What's the matter, Gracie?'' he asked in alarm.

``Oh, Frank!'' she exclaimed, bursting into tears.
``Mother's been bleeding at the lungs, and she looks
so white. I'm afraid she's very sick.''

``Boys,'' said Frank, turning to his companions,
``I must go home at once. You can get some one to
take my place, my mother is very sick.''

When Frank reached the little brown cottage
which he called home, he found his mother in an
exhausted state reclining on the bed.

``How do you feel, mother?'' asked our hero, anxiously.

``Quite weak, Frank,'' she answered in a low voice.
``I have had a severe attack.''

``Let me go for the doctor, mother.''

``I don't think it will be necessary, Frank. The
attack is over, and I need no medicines, only time
to bring back my strength.''

But three days passed, and Mrs. Fowler's nervous
prostration continued. She had attacks previously
from which she rallied sooner, and her present weakness
induced serious misgivings as to whether she
would ever recover. Frank thought that her eyes
followed him with more than ordinary anxiety, and
after convincing himself that this was the case, he
drew near his mother's bedside, and inquired:

``Mother, isn't there something you want me to do?''

``Nothing, I believe, Frank.''

``I thought you looked at me as if you wanted to
say something.''
``There is something I must say to you before I

``Before you die, mother!'' echoed Frank, in a
startled voice.

``Yes. Frank, I am beginning to think that this is
my last sickness.''

``But, mother, you have been so before, and got
up again.''

``There must always be a last time, Frank; and
my strength is too far reduced to rally again, I

``I can't bear the thought of losing you, mother,''
said Frank, deeply moved.

``You will miss me, then, Frank?'' said Mrs. Fowler.

``Shall I not? Grace and I will be alone in the

``Alone in the world!'' repeated the sick woman,
sorrowfully, ``with little help to hope for from man,
for I shall leave you nothing. Poor children!''

``That isn't what I think of,'' said Frank, hastily.

``I can support myself.''

``But Grace? She is a delicate girl,'' said the
mother, anxiously. ``She cannot make her way as
you can.''

``She won't need to,'' said Frank, promptly; ``I
shall take care of her.''

``But you are very young even to support yourself.
You are only fourteen.''

``I know it, mother, but I am strong, and I am not
afraid. There are a hundred ways of making a living.''

``But do you realize that you will have to start
with absolutely nothing? Deacon Pinkerton holds a
mortgage on this house for all it will bring in the
market, and I owe him arrears of interest besides.''

``I didn't know that, mother, but it doesn't frighten

``And you will take care of Grace?''

``I promise it, mother.''

``Suppose Grace were not your sister?'' said the
sick woman, anxiously scanning the face of the boy.

``What makes you suppose such a thing as that,
mother? Of course she is my sister.''

``But suppose she were not,'' persisted Mrs.
Fowler, ``you would not recall your promise?''

``No, surely not, for I love her. But why do you
talk so, mother?'' and a suspicion crossed Frank's
mind that his mother's intellect might be wandering.

``It is time to tell you all, Frank. Sit down by the
bedside, and I will gather my strength to tell you
what must be told.''

``Grace is not your sister, Frank!''

``Not my sister, mother?'' he exclaimed. ``You are
not in earnest?''

``I am quite in earnest, Frank.''

``Then whose child is she?''

``She is my child.''

``Then she must be my sister--are you not my

``No, Frank, I am not your mother!''



``Not my mother!'' he exclaimed. ``Who, then, is
my mother?''

``I cannot tell you, Frank. I never knew. You
will forgive me for concealing this from you for so

``No matter who was my real mother since I have
you. You have been a mother to me, and I shall always
think of you as such.''

``You make me happy, Frank, when you say that.
And you will look upon Grace as a sister also, will
you not?''

``Always,'' said the boy, emphatically. ``Mother,
will you tell all you know about me? I don't know
what to think; now that I am not your son I cannot
rest till I learn who I am.''

``I can understand your feelings, Frank, but I must
defer the explanation till to-morrow. I have fatigued
myself with talking. but to-morrow you shall
know all that I can tell you.''

``Forgive me for not thinking of your being tired,
mother,'' and he bent over and pressed his lips upon
the cheek of the sick woman. ``But don't talk any
more. Wait till to-morrow.''

In the afternoon Frank had a call from Sam Pomeroy.

``The club is to play to-morrow afternoon against
a picked nine, Frank,'' he said. ``Will you be there?''

``I can't, Sam,'' he answered. ``My mother is very
sick, and it is my duty to stay at home with her.''

``We shall miss you--that is, all of us but one.
Tom Pinkerton said yesterday that you ought to
resign, as you can't attend to your duties. He
wouldn't object to filling your place, I fancy.''

``He is welcome to the place as soon as the club
feels like electing him,'' said Frank. ``Tell the boys
I am sorry I can't be on hand. They had better get
you to fill my place.''

``I'll mention it, but I don't think they'll see it in
that light. They're all jealous of my superior playing,''
said Sam, humorously. ``Well, good-bye, Frank.
I hope your mother'll be better soon.''

``Thank you, Sam,'' answered Frank, soberly. ``I
hope so, too, but she is very sick.''

The next day Mrs. Fowler again called Frank to
the bedside.

``Grace is gone out on an errand,'' she said, ``and
I can find no better time for telling you what I know
about you and the circumstances which led to my
assuming the charge of you.''

``Are you strong enough, mother?''

``Yes, Frank. Thirteen years ago my husband and
myself occupied a small tenement in that part of
Brooklyn know as Gowanus, not far from Greenwood
Cemetery. My husband was a carpenter, and
though his wages were small he was generally
employed. We had been married three years, but had
no children of our own. Our expenses were small,
and we got on comfortably, and should have continued
to do so, but that Mr. Fowler met with an
accident which partially disabled him. He fell from
a high scaffold and broke his arm. This was set
and he was soon able to work again, but he must
also have met with some internal injury, for his full
strength never returned. Half a day's work tired
him more than a whole day's work formerly had
done. Of course our income was very much diminished,
and we were obliged to economize very closely.
This preyed upon my husband's mind and seeing his
anxiety, I set about considering how I could help
him, and earn my share of the expenses.

``One day in looking over the advertising columns
of a New York paper I saw the following advertisement:

`` `For adoption--A healthy male infant. The parents
are able to pay liberally for the child's maintenance,
but circumstances compel them to delegate
the care to another. Address for interview A. M.'

``I had no sooner read this advertisement than I
felt that it was just what I wanted. A liberal
compensation was promised, and under our present
circumstances would be welcome, as it was urgently
needed. I mentioned the matter to my husband, and
he was finally induced to give his consent.

``Accordingly, I replied to the advertisement.

``Three days passed in which I heard nothing from
it. But as we were sitting at the supper table at
six o'clock one afternoon, there came a knock at our
front door. I opened it, and saw before me a tall
stranger, a man of about thirty-five, of dark
complexion, and dark whiskers. He was well dressed,
and evidently a gentleman in station.

`` `Is this Mrs. Fowler?' he asked.

`` `Yes, sir,' I answered, in some surprise

`` `Then may I beg permission to enter your house
for a few minutes? I have something to say to you.'

``Still wondering, I led the way into the sitting-
room, where your father--where Mr. Fowler----''

``Call him my father--I know no other,'' said

``Where your father was seated.

`` `You have answered an advertisement,' said the

`` `Yes, sir,' I replied.

`` `I am A. M.,' was his next announcement. `Of
course I have received many letters, but on the whole
I was led to consider yours most favorably. I have
made inquiries about you in the neighborhood, and
the answers have been satisfactory. You have no
children of your own?'

`` `No, sir.'

`` `All the better. You would be able to give more
attention to this child.'

`` `Is it yours, sir?' I asked

`` `Ye-es,' he answered, with hesitation.
`Circumstances,' he continued, `circumstances which I need
not state, compel me to separate from it. Five hundred
dollars a year will be paid for its maintenance.'

``Five hundred dollars! I heard this with joy, for
it was considerably more than my husband was able
to earn since his accident. It would make us
comfortable at once, and your father might work when
he pleased, without feeling any anxiety about our
coming to want.

`` `Will that sum be satisfactory?' asked the

`` `It is very liberal,' I answered.

`` `I intended it to be so,' he said. `Since there is
no difficulty on this score, I am inclined to trust you
with the care of the child. But I must make two

`` `What are they, sir?'

`` `In the first place, you must not try to find out
the friends of the child. They do not desire to be
known. Another thing, you must move from Brooklyn.'

`` `Move from Brooklyn?' I repeated.

`` `Yes,' he answered, firmly. `I do not think it
necessary to give you a reason for this condition.
Enough that it is imperative. If you decline, our
negotiations are at an end.'

``I looked at my husband. He seemed as much
surprised as I was.

`` `Perhaps you will wish to consult together,'
suggested our visitor. `If so, I can give you twenty
minutes. I will remain in this room while you go
out and talk it over.'

``We acted on this hint, and went into the kitchen.
We decided that though we should prefer to live in
Brooklyn, it would be worth our while to make the
sacrifice for the sake of the addition to our income.
We came in at the end of ten minutes, and announced
our decision. Our visitor seemed to be very much

`` `Where would you wish us to move?' asked your

`` `I do not care to designate any particular place.
I should prefer some small country town, from fifty
to a hundred miles distant. I suppose you will be
able to move soon?'

`` `Yes, sir; we will make it a point to do so. How
soon will the child be placed in our hands? Shall
we send for it?'

`` `No, no,' he said, hastily. `I cannot tell you
exactly when, but it will be brought here probably in
the course of a day or two. I myself shall bring it,
and if at that time you wish to say anything additional
you can do so.'

``He went away, leaving us surprised and somewhat
excited at the change that was to take place in
our lives. The next evening the sound of wheels was
heard, and a hack stopped at our gate. The same
gentleman descended hurriedly with a child in his
arms--you were the child, Frank--and entered the

`` `This is the child,' he said, placing it in my arms,
`and here is the first quarterly installment of your
pay. Three months hence you will receive the same
sum from my agent in New York. Here is his address,'
and he placed a card in my hands. `Have
you anything to ask?'

`` `Suppose I wish to communicate with you respecting
the child? Suppose he is sick?'

`` `Then write to A. M., care of Giles Warner, No.
---- Nassau Street. By the way, it will be necessary
for you to send him your postoffice address after
your removal in order that he may send you your
quarterly dues.'

``With this he left us, entered the hack, and drove
off. I have never seen him since.''



Frank listened to this revelation with wonder.
For the first time in his life he asked himself, ``Who
am I?''

``How came I by my name, mother?'' he asked.

``I must tell you. After the sudden departure of
the gentleman who brought you, we happened to
think that we had not asked your name. We accordingly
wrote to the address which had been given us,
making the inquiry. In return we received a slip
of paper containing these words: `The name is
immaterial; give him any name you please. A. M.' ''

``You gave me the name of Frank.''

``It was Mr. Fowler's name. We should have given
it to you had you been our own boy; as the choice
was left to us, we selected that.''

``It suits me as well as any other. How soon did
you leave Brooklyn, mother?''

``In a week we had made all arrangements, and
removed to this place. It is a small place, but it
furnished as much work as my husband felt able to
do. With the help of the allowance for your support,
we not only got on comfortably, but saved up a hundred
and fifty dollars annually, which we deposited
in a savings bank. But after five years the money
stopped coming. It was the year 1857, the year of
the great panic, and among others who failed was
Giles Warner's agent, from whom we received our
payments. Mr. Fowler went to New York to inquire
about it, but only learned that Mr. Warner, weighed
down by his troubles, had committed suicide, leaving
no clew to the name of the man who left you with

``How long ago was that, mother?''

``Seven years ago nearly eight.''

``And you continued to keep me, though the
payments stopped.''

``Certainly; you were as dear to us as our own
child--for we now had a child of our own--Grace.
We should as soon have thought of casting off her
as you.''

``But you must have been poor, mother.''

``We were economical, and we got along till your
father died three years ago. Since then it has been
hard work.''

``You have had a hard time, mother.''

``No harder on your account. You have been a
great comfort to me, Frank. I am only anxious for
the future. I fear you and Grace will suffer after I
am gone.''

``Don't fear, mother, I am young and strong; I
am not afraid to face the world with God's help.''

``What are you thinking of, Frank?'' asked Mrs.
Fowler, noticing the boy's fixed look.

``Mother,'' he said, earnestly, ``I mean to seek for
that man you have told me of. I want to find out
who I am. Do you think he was my father?''

``He said he was, but I do not believe it. He
spoke with hesitation, and said this to deceive us,

``I am glad you think so, I would not like to think
him my father. From what you have told me of
him I am sure I would not like him.''

``He must be nearly fifty now--dark complexion,
with dark hair and whiskers. I am afraid that
description will not help you any. There are many
men who look like that. I should know him by his
expression, but I cannot describe that to you.''

Here Mrs. Fowler was seized with a very severe
fit of coughing, and Frank begged her to say no

Two days later, and Mrs. Fowler was no better.
She was rapidly failing, and no hope was entertained
that she would rally. She herself felt that death
was near at hand and told Frank so, but he found
it hard to believe.

On the second of the two days, as he was returning
from the village store with an orange for his
mother, he was overtaken by Sam Pomeroy.

``Is your mother very sick, Frank?'' he asked.

``Yes, Sam, I'm afraid she won't live.''

``Is it so bad as that? I do believe,'' he added, with
a sudden change of tone, ``Tom Pinkerton is the
meanest boy I ever knew. He is trying to get your
place as captain of the baseball club. He says that
if your mother doesn't live, you will have to go to
the poorhouse, for you won't have any money, and
that it will be a disgrace for the club to have a
captain from the poorhouse.''

``Did he say that?'' asked Frank, indignantly.


``When he tells you that, you may say that I shall
never go to the poorhouse.''

``He says his father is going to put you and your
sister there.''

``All the Deacon Pinkertons in the world can never
make me go to the poorhouse!'' said Frank, resolutely.

``Bully for you, Frank! I knew you had spunk.''

Frank hurried home. As he entered the little
house a neighbor's wife, who had been watching
with his mother, came to meet him.

``Frank,'' she said, gravely, ``you must prepare
yourself for sad news. While you were out your
mother had another hemorrhage, and--and--''

``Is she dead?'' asked the boy, his face very pale.

``She is dead!''



``The Widder Fowler is dead,'' remarked Deacon
Pinkerton, at the supper table. ``She died this afternoon.''

``I suppose she won't leave anything,'' said Mrs.

``No. I hold a mortgage on her furniture, and that
is all she has.''

``What will become of the children?''

``As I observed, day before yesterday, they will be
constrained to find a refuge in the poorhouse.''

``What do you think Sam Pomeroy told me,

``I am not able to conjecture what Samuel would
be likely to observe, my son.''

``He observed that Frank Fowler said he wouldn't
go to the poorhouse.''

``Ahem!'' coughed the deacon. ``The boy will not
be consulted.''

``That's what I say, father,'' said Tom, who desired
to obtain his father's co-operation. ``You'll make
him go to the poorhouse, won't you?''

``I shall undoubtedly exercise my authority, if it
should be necessary, my son.''

``He told Sam Pomeroy that all the Deacon Pinkertons
in the world couldn't make him go to the poorhouse.''

``I will constrain him,'' said the deacon.

``I would if I were you, father,'' said Tom, elated
at the effect of his words. ``Just teach him a lesson.''

``Really, deacon, you mustn't be too hard upon the
poor boy,'' said his better-hearted wife. ``He's got
trouble enough on him.''

``I will only constrain him for his good, Jane. In
the poorhouse he will be well provided for.''

Meanwhile another conversation respecting our
hero and his fortunes was held at Sam Pomeroy's
home. It was not as handsome as the deacon's, for
Mr. Pomeroy was a poor man, but it was a happy
one, nevertheless, and Mr. Pomeroy, limited as were
his means, was far more liberal than the deacon.

``I pity Frank Fowler,'' said Sam, who was warm-
hearted and sympathetic, and a strong friend of
Frank. ``I don't know what he will do.''

``I suppose his mother left nothing.''

``I understood,'' said Mr. Pomeroy, ``that Deacon
Pinkerton holds a mortgage on her furniture.''

``The deacon wants to send Frank and his sister
to the poorhouse.''

``That would be a pity.''

``I should think so; but Frank positively says he
won't go.''

``I am afraid there isn't anything else for him.
To be sure, he may get a chance to work in a shop
or on a farm, but Grace can't support herself.''

``Father, I want to ask you a favor.''

``What is it, Sam?''

``Won't you invite Frank and his sister to come
and stay here a week?''

``Just as your mother says.''

``I say yes. The poor children will be quite
welcome. If we were rich enough they might stay with
us all the time.''

``When Frank comes here I will talk over his
affairs with him,'' said Mr. Pomeroy. ``Perhaps we
can think of some plan for him.''

``I wish you could, father.''

``In the meantime, you can invite him and Grace
to come and stay with us a week, or a fortnight.
Shall we say a fortnight, wife?''

``With all my heart.''

``All right, father. Thank you.''

Sam delivered the invitation in a way that showed
how strongly his own feelings were enlisted in favor
of its acceptance. Frank grasped his hand.

``Thank you, Sam, you are a true friend,'' he said.

``I hadn't begun to think of what we were to do,
Grace and I.''

``You'll come, won't you?''

``You are sure that it won't trouble your mother,

``She is anxious to have you come.''

``Then I'll come. I haven't formed any plans yet,
but I must as soon--as soon as mother is buried.
I think I can earn my living somehow. One thing
I am determined about--I won't go to the poorhouse.''

The funeral was over. Frank and Grace walked
back to the little house, now their home no longer.
They were to pack up a little bundle of clothes and
go over to Mr. Pomeroy's in time for supper.

When Frank had made up his bundle, urged by
some impulse, he opened a drawer in his mother's
bureau. His mind was full of the story she had
told him, and he thought it just possible that he
might find something to throw additional light upon
his past history. While exploring the contents of
the drawer he came to a letter directed to him in
his mother's well-known handwriting. He opened
it hastily, and with a feeling of solemnity, read as

``My Dear Frank: In the lower drawer, wrapped
in a piece of brown paper, you will find two gold
eagles, worth twenty dollars. You will need them
when I am gone. Use them for Grace and yourself.
I saved these for my children. Take them, Frank,
for I have nothing else to give you. The furniture
will pay the debt I owe Deacon Pinkerton. There
ought to be something over, but I think he will take
all. I wish I had more to leave you, dear Frank,
but the God of the Fatherless will watch over you--
to Him I commit you and Grace. Your affectionate
mother, RUTH FOWLER.''

Frank, following the instructions of the letter,
found the gold pieces and put them carefully into
his pocketbook. He did not mention the letter to
Grace at present, for he knew not but Deacon Pinkerton
might lay claim to the money to satisfy his debt
if he knew it.

``I am ready, Frank,'' said Grace, entering the
room. ``Shall we go?''

``Yes, Grace. There is no use in stopping here any

As he spoke he heard the outer door open, and a
minute later Deacon Pinkerton entered the room.

None of the deacon's pompousness was abated as
he entered the house and the room.

``Will you take a seat?'' said our hero, with the
air of master of the house.

``I intended to,'' said the deacon, not acknowledging
his claim. ``So your poor mother is gone?''

``Yes, sir,'' said Frank, briefly.

``We must all die,'' said the deacon, feeling that it
was incumbent on him to say something religious.
``Ahem! your mother died poor? She left no property?''

``It was not her fault.''

``Of course not. Did she mention that I had
advanced her money on the furniture?''

``My mother told me all about it, sir.''

``Ahem! You are in a sad condition. But you will
be taken care of. You ought to be thankful that
there is a home provided for those who have no

``What home do you refer to, Deacon Pinkerton?''
asked Frank, looking steadily in the face of his visitor.

``I mean the poorhouse, which the town generously
provides for those who cannot support themselves.''

This was the first intimation Grace had received
of the possibility that they would be sent to such a
home, and it frightened her.

``Oh, Frank!'' she exclaimed, ``must we go to the

``No, Grace; don't be frightened,'' said Frank,
soothingly. ``We will not go.''

``Frank Fowler,'' said the deacon, sternly, ``cease
to mislead your sister.''

``I am not misleading her, sir.''

``Did you not tell her that she would not be obliged
to go to the poorhouse?''

``Yes, sir.''

``Then what do you mean by resisting my authority?''

``You have no authority over us. We are not paupers,''
and Frank lifted his head proudly, and looked
steadily in the face of the deacon.

``You are paupers, whether you admit it or not.''

``We are not,'' said the boy, indignantly.

``Where is your money? Where is your property?''

``Here, sir,'' said our hero, holding out his hands.

``I have two strong hands, and they will help me
make a living for my sister and myself.''

``May I ask whether you expect to live here and
use my furniture?''

``I do not intend to, sir. I shall ask no favors of
you, neither for Grace nor myself. I am going to
leave the house. I only came back to get a few
clothes. Mr. Pomeroy has invited Grace and me to
stay at his house for a few days. I haven't decided
what I shall do afterward.''

``You will have to go to the poorhouse, then. I
have no objection to your making this visit first. It
will be a saving to the town.''

``Then, sir, we will bid you good-day. Grace, let
us go.''



``Have you carried Frank Fowler to the
poorhouse?'' asked Tom Pinkerton, eagerly, on his
father's return.

``No, said the deacon, ``he is going to make a visit
at Mr. Pomeroy's first.''

``I shouldn't think you would have let him make
a visit,'' said Tom, discontentedly. ``I should think
you would have taken him to the poorhouse right

``I feel it my duty to save the town unnecessary
expense,'' said Deacon Pinkerton.

So Tom was compelled to rest satisfied with his
father's assurance that the removal was only deferred.

Meanwhile Frank and Grace received a cordial
welcome at the house of Mr. Pomeroy. Sam and Frank
were intimate friends, and our hero had been in the
habit of calling frequently, and it seemed homelike.

``I wish you could stay with us all the time, Frank
--you and Grace,'' said Sam one evening.

``We should all like it,'' said Mr. Pomeroy, ``but we
cannot always have what we want. If I had it in my
power to offer Frank any employment which it
would be worth his while to follow, it might do. But
he has got his way to make in the world. Have you
formed any plans yet, Frank?''

``That is what I want to consult you about, Mr.

``I will give you the best advice I can, Frank. I
suppose you do not mean to stay in the village.''

``No, sir. There is nothing for me to do here. I
must go somewhere where I can make a living for
Grace and myself.''

``You've got a hard row to hoe, Frank,'' said Mr.
Pomeroy, thoughtfully. ``Have you decided where to

``Yes, sir. I shall go to New York.''

``What! To the city?''

``Yes, sir. I'll get something to do, no matter
what it is.''

``But how are you going to live in the meantime?''

``I've got a little money.''

``That won't last long.''

``I know it, but I shall soon get work, if it is only
to black boots in the streets.''

``With that spirit, Frank, you will stand a fair
chance to succeed. What do you mean to do with

``I will take her with me.''

``I can think of a better plan. Leave her here till
you have found something to do. Then send for her.''

``But if I leave her here Deacon Pinkerton will
want to put her in the poorhouse. I can't bear to
have Grace go there.''

``She need not. She can stay here with me for
three months.''

``Will you let me pay her board?''

``I can afford to give her board for three months.''

``You are very kind, Mr. Pomeroy, but it wouldn't
be right for me to accept your kindness. It is my
duty to take care of Grace.''

``I honor your independence, Frank. It shall be
as you say. When you are able-mind, not till then
--you may pay me at the rate of two dollars a week
for Grace's board.''

``Then,'' said Frank, ``if you are willing to board
Grace for a while, I think I had better go to the city
at once.''

``I will look over your clothes to-morrow, Frank,''
said Mrs. Pomeroy, ``and see if they need mending.''

``Then I will start Thursday morning--the day

About four o'clock the next afternoon he was walking
up the main street, when just in front of Deacon
Pinkerton's house he saw Tom leaning against a

``How are you Tom?'' he said, and was about to
pass on.

``Where are you going?'' Tom asked abruptly.

``To Mr. Pomeroy's.''

``How soon are you going to the poorhouse to

``Who told you I was going?''

``My father.''

``Then your father's mistaken.''

``Ain't you a pauper?'' said Tom, insolently. ``You
haven't got any money.''

``I have got hands to earn money, and I am going
to try.''

``Anyway, I advise you to resign as captain of the
baseball club.''


``Because if you don't you'll be kicked out. Do
you think the fellows will be willing to have a pauper
for their captain?''

``That's the second time you have called me a
pauper. Don't call me so again.''

``You are a pauper and you know it.''

Frank was not a quarrelsome boy, but this
repeated insult was too much for him. He seized Tom
by the collar, and tripping him up left him on the
ground howling with rage. As valor was not his
strong point, he resolved to be revenged upon Frank
vicariously. He was unable to report the case to his
father till the next morning, as the deacon did not
return from a neighboring village, whither he had
gone on business, till late, but the result of his
communication was a call at Mr. Pomeroy's from the
deacon at nine o'clock the next morning. Had he
found Frank, it was his intention, at Tom's request,
to take him at once to the poorhouse. But he was
too late. Our hero was already on his way to New



``So this is New York,'' said Frank to himself, as
he emerged from the railway station and looked
about him with interest and curiosity.

``Black yer boots? Shine?'' asked a bootblack,
seeing our hero standing still.

Frank looked at his shoes. They were dirty,
without doubt, but he would not have felt disposed to be
so extravagant, considering his limited resources,
had he not felt it necessary to obtain some information
about the city.

``Yes,'' he said, ``you may black them.''

The boy was on his knees instantly and at work.

``How much do you make in a day?'' asked Frank.

``When it's a good day I make a dollar.''

``That's pretty good,'' said Frank.

``Can you show me the way to Broadway?''

``Go straight ahead.''

Our hero paid for his shine and started in the
direction indicated.

Frank's plans, so far as he had any, were to get
into a store. He knew that Broadway was the principal
business street in the city, and this was about
all he did know about it.

He reached the great thoroughfare in a few
minutes, and was fortunate enough to find on the window
of the corner store the sign:

``A Boy Wanted.''

He entered at once, and going up to the counter,
addressed a young man, who was putting up goods.

``Do you want a boy?''

``I believe the boss wants one; I don't. Go out to
that desk.''

Frank found the desk, and propounded the same
question to a sandy-whiskered man, who looked up
from his writing.

``You're prompt,'' he said. ``That notice was only
put out two minutes ago.''

``I only saw it one minute ago.''

``So you want the place, do you?''

``I should like it.''

``Do you know your way about the city?''

``No, sir, but I could soon find out.''

``That won't do. I shall have plenty of
applications from boys who live in the city and are familiar
with the streets.''

Frank left the store rather discomfited.

He soon came to another store where there was a
similar notice of ``A Boy Wanted.'' It was a dry
goods store.

``Do you live with your parents?'' was asked.

``My parents are dead,'' said Frank, sadly.

``Very sorry, but we can't take you.''

``Why not, sir?''

``In case you took anything we should make your
parents responsible.''

``I shouldn't take anything,'' said Frank, indignantly.

``You might; I can't take you.''

Our hero left this store a little disheartened by his
second rebuff.

He made several more fruitless applications, but
did not lose courage wholly. He was gaining an appetite,
however. It is not surprising therefore, that
his attention was drawn to the bills of a restaurant
on the opposite side of the street. He crossed over,
and standing outside, began to examine them to see
what was the scale of prices. While in this position
he was suddenly aroused by a slap on the back.

Turning he met the gaze of a young man of about
thirty, who was smiling quite cordially.

``Why, Frank, my boy, how are you?'' he said,
offering his hand.

``Pretty well, thank you,'' said our hero bewildered,
for he had no recollection of the man who had called
him by name.

The other smiled a little more broadly, and

``It was a lucky guess; his name is Frank.''

``I am delighted to hear it,'' he continued. ``When
did you reach the city?''

``This morning,'' said the unsuspecting Frank.

``Well, it's queer I happened to meet you so soon,
isn't it? Going to stay long?''

``I shall, if I can get a place.''

``Perhaps I can help you.''

``I suppose I ought to remember you,'' ventured
our hero, ``but I can't think of your name.''

``Jasper Wheelock. You don't mean to say you
don't remember me? Perhaps it isn't strange, as
we only met once or twice in your country home.
But that doesn't matter. I'm just as ready to help
you. By the way, have you dined?''


``No more have I. Come in and dine with me.''

``What'll you take?'' asked Jasper Wheelock,
passing the bill of fare to Frank.

``I think I should like to have some roast beef,''
said Frank.

``That will suit me. Here, waiter, two plates of
roast beef, and two cups of coffee.''

``How are they all at home?'' asked Jasper.

``My mother has just died.''

``You don't say so,'' said Jasper, sympathetically.

``My sister is well.''

``I forgot your sister's name.''


``Of course--Grace. I find it hard to remember
names. The fact is, I have been trying to recall your
last name, but it's gone from me.''


``To be sure Frank Fowler. How could I be so

The conversation was interrupted by the arrival
of the coffee and roast beet, which both he and his
new friend attacked with vigor.

``What kind of pudding will you have?'' asked
the stranger.

``Apple dumpling,'' said Frank.

``That suits me. Apple dumpling for two.''

In due time the apple dumpling was disposed of,
and two checks were brought, amounting to seventy

``I'll pay for both,'' said Jasper. ``No thanks. We
are old acquaintances, you know.''

He put his hand into his pocket, and quickly
withdrew it with an exclamation of surprise:

``Well, if that isn't a good joke,'' he said. ``I've
left my money at home. I remember now, I left it
in the pocket of my other coat. I shall have to
borrow the money of you. You may as well hand me a

Frank was not disposed to be suspicious, but the
request for money made him uneasy. Still there
seemed no way of refusing, and he reluctantly drew
out the money.

His companion settled the bill and then led the
way into the street.

Jasper Wheelock was not very scrupulous; he was
quite capable of borrowing money, without intending
to return it; but he had his good side.

``Frank,'' said he, as they found themselves in the
street, ``you have done me a favor, and I am going
to help you in return. Have you got very much

``No. I had twenty dollars when I left home, but
I had to pay my fare in the cars and the dinner, I
have seventeen dollars and a half left.''

``Then it is necessary for you to get a place as
soon as possible.''

``Yes; I have a sister to support; Grace, you know.''

``No, I don't know. The fact is, Frank, I have
been imposing upon you. I never saw you before in
the whole course of my life.''

``What made you say you knew me?''

``I wanted to get a dinner out of you. Don't be
troubled, though; I'll pay back the money. I've been
out of a place for three or four weeks, but I enter
upon one the first of next week. For the rest of the
week I've got nothing to do, and I will try to get you
a place.

``The first thing is to get a room somewhere. I'll
tell you what, you may have part of my room.''

``Is it expensive?''

``No; I pay a dollar and a half a week. I think
the old lady won't charge more than fifty cents extra
for you.''

``Then my share would be a dollar.''

``You may pay only fifty cents. I'll keep on paying
what I do now. My room is on Sixth Avenue.''
They had some distance to walk. Finally Jasper
halted before a baker's shop.

``It's over this,'' he said.

He drew out a latch-key and entered.

``This is my den,'' he said. It isn't large you
can't get any better for the money.''

``I shall have to be satisfied,'' said Frank. ``I want
to get along as cheap as I can.''

``I've got to economize myself for a short time.
After this week I shall earn fifteen dollars a week.''

``What business are you in, Mr. Wheelock?''

``I am a journeyman printer. It is a very good
business, and I generally have steady work. I expect
to have after I get started again. Now, shall I
give you some advice?''

``I wish you would.''

``You don't know your way around New York.
I believe I have a map somewhere. I'll just show
you on it the position of the principal streets, and
that will give you a clearer idea of where we go.''

The map was found and Jasper explained to Frank
the leading topographical features of the Island City.

One thing only was wanting now to make him
contented, and this was employment. But it was too
late to make any further inquiries.

``I've been thinking, Frank,'' said Jasper, the next
morning, ``that you might get the position as a cash-boy.''

``What does a cash-boy do?''

``In large retail establishments every salesman
keeps a book in which his sales are entered. He
does not himself make change, for it would not do
to have so many having access to the money-drawer.
The money is carried to the cashier's desk by boys
employed for the purpose, who return with the

``Do you think I can get a situation as cash-boy?''

``I will try at Gilbert & Mack's. I know one of
the principal salesmen. If there is a vacancy he
will get it for you to oblige me.''

They entered a large retail store on Broadway.
It was broad and spacious. Twenty salesmen stood
behind the counter, and boys were running this way
and that with small books in their hands.

``How are you, Duncan?'' said Jasper.

The person addressed was about Jasper Wheelock's
age. He had a keen, energetic look and manner,
and would be readily singled out as one of the
leading clerks.

``All right, Wheelock. How are you?'' he
responded. ``Do you want anything in our line?''

``No goods; I want a place for this youngster. He's
a friend of mine. I'll answer for his good character.''

``That will be satisfactory. But what sort of a
place does he want?''

``He is ready to begin as cash-boy.''

``Then we can oblige you, as one of our boys has
fallen sick, and we have not supplied his place. I'll
speak to Mr. Gilbert.''

He went up to Mr. Gilbert, a portly man in the
back part of the store. Mr. Gilbert seemed to be
asking two or three questions. Frank waited the
result in suspense, dreading another disappointment,
but this time he was fortunate.

``The boy can stay,'' reported Duncan. ``His
wages are three dollars a week.''

It was not much, but Frank was well pleased to
feel that at last he had a place in the city.

He wrote a letter to Grace in the evening,
announcing his success, and expressing the hope that he
would soon be able to send for her.



Four weeks passed. The duties of a cash-boy are
simple enough, and Frank had no difficulty in discharging
them satisfactorily. At first he found it
tiresome, being on his feet all day, for the cash-boys
were not allowed to sit down, but he got used to
this, being young and strong.

All this was very satisfactory, but one thing gave
Frank uneasiness. His income was very inadequate
to his wants.

``What makes you so glum, Frank?'' asked Jasper
Wheelock one evening.

``Do I look glum?'' said Frank. ``I was only
thinking how I could earn more money. You know
how little I get. I can hardly take care of myself,
much less take care of Grace.''

``I can lend you some money, Frank. Thanks to
your good advice, I have got some laid up.''

``Thank you, Jasper, but that wouldn't help
matters. I should owe you the money, and I don't know
how I could pay you.''

``About increasing your income, I really don't
know,'' said Jasper. ``I am afraid Gilbert & Mack
wouldn't raise your wages.''

``I don't expect it. All the rest of the cash-boys
would ask the same thing.''

``True; still I know they are very well pleased
with you. Duncan told me you did more work than
any of the rest of the boys.''

``I try to do all I can.''

``He said you would make a good salesman, he
thought. Of course you are too young for that yet.''

``I suppose I am.''

``Frank, I am earning fifteen dollars a week, you
know, and I can get along on ten, but of the five I
save let me give you two. I shall never feel it, and
by and by when you are promoted it won't be necessary.''

``Jasper, you are a true friend,'' said Frank,
warmly; ``but it wouldn't be right for me to accept
your kind offer, though I shan't forget it. You have
been a good friend to me.''

``And you to me, Frank. I'll look out for you.
Perhaps I may hear of something for you.''

Small as Frank's income was, he had managed to
live within it. It will be remembered that he had
paid but fifty cents a week for a room. By great
economy he had made his meals cost but two dollars
a week, so that out of his three dollars he saved
fifty cents. But this saving would not be sufficient
to pay for his clothes. However, he had had no
occasion to buy any as yet, and his little fund
altogether amounted to twenty dollars. Of this sum he
inclosed{sic} eight dollars to Mr. Pomeroy to pay for four
weeks' board for Grace.

``I hope I shall be able to keep it up,'' he said to
himself, thoughtfully. ``At any rate, I've got enough
to pay for six weeks more. Before that time something
may turn up.''

Several days passed without showing Frank any
way by which he could increase his income. Jasper
again offered to give him two dollars a week out of
his own wages, but this our hero steadily refused.

One Friday evening, just as the store was about
to close, the head salesman called Frank to him.

``Where do you live?'' he asked.

``In Sixth avenue, near Twenty-fifth street.''

``There's a bundle to go to Forty-sixth street. I'll
pay your fare upon the stage if you'll carry it. I
promised to send it to-night, and I don't like to
disappoint the lady.''

``I can carry it just as well as not.''

Frank took the bundle, and got on board a passing
omnibus. There was just one seat vacant beside an
old gentleman of seventy, who appeared to be quite

At Forty-fifth street he pulled the strap and
prepared to descend, leaning heavily on his cane as he
did so. By some mischance the horses started a
little too soon and the old man, losing his footing,
fell in the street. Frank observed the accident and
sprang out instantly to his help.

``I hope you are not much hurt, sir?'' he said, hastily.

``I have hurt my knee,'' said the old gentleman.

``Let me assist you, sir,'' said Frank, helping him

``Thank you, my boy. I live at number forty-five,
close by. If you will lead me to the door and into
the house I shall be much indebted to you.''

``Certainly, sir. It is no trouble to me.''

With slow step, supported by our hero, the old
gentleman walked to his own door.

It was opened by a maid servant, who looked with
some surprise at Frank.

``I fell, Mary,'' explained her master, ``and this
young gentleman has kindly helped me home.''

``Did you hurt yourself much, sir?''

``Not seriously.''

``Can I do anything more for you, sir?'' asked

``Come in a moment.''

Our hero followed his new acquaintance into a
handsomely furnished parlor.

``Now, my young friend tell me if you have been
taken out of your way by your attention to me?''

``Oh, no, sir; I intended to get out at the next

``My dinner is just ready. Won't you stop and
dine with me?''

``Thank you, sir,'' he said, hesitatingly, ``but I
promised to carry this bundle. I believe it is wanted
at once.''

``So you shall. You say the house is in the next
street. You can go and return in five minutes. You
have done me a service, and I may have it in my
power to do something for you in return.''

``Perhaps,'' thought Frank, ``he can help me to
some employment for my evenings.'' Then, aloud:

``Thank you, sir; I will come.''

Five minutes later Frank was ushered into a
handsome dining-room. The dinner was already on
the table, but chairs were only set for three. The
one at the head of the table was of course occupied
by the old gentleman, the one opposite by Mrs. Bradley,
his housekeeper, and one at the side was placed
for Frank.

``Mrs. Bradley,'' said the old gentleman, ``this is
a young gentleman who was kind enough to help me
home after the accident of which I just spoke to you.
I would mention his name, but I must leave that to

``Frank Fowler, sir.''

``And my name is Wharton. Now that we are all
introduced, we can talk more freely.''

``Will you have some soup, Mr. Fowler?'' asked the

She was a tall thin woman, with a reserved
manner that was somewhat repellant. She had only
nodded slightly at the introduction, fixing her eyes
coldly and searchingly on the face of our hero. It
was evident that whatever impression the service
rendered might have made upon the mind of Mr.
Wharton, it was not calculated to warm the
housekeeper to cordiality.

``Thank you,'' he answered, but he could not help
feeling at the same time that Mrs. Bradley was not
a very agreeable woman.

``You ought to have a good appetite,'' said Mr.
Wharton. ``You have to work hard during the day.
Our young friend is a cash-boy at Gilbert & Mack's,
Mrs. Bradley.

``Oh, indeed!'' said Mrs. Bradley, arching her
brows as much as to say: ``You have invited strange
company to dinner.''

``Do your parents live in the city, Frank--I
believe your name is Frank?''

``No, sir; they are dead. My mother died only a
few weeks since.''

``And have you no brothers and sisters?''

``I have one sister--Grace.''

``I suppose she is in the city here with you?''

``No, sir. I left her in the country. I am here

``I will ask you more about yourself after dinner.
If you have no engagement, I should like to have
you stay with me a part of the evening.''

``Thank you, sir.''

Frank accepted the invitation, though he knew
Jasper would wonder what had become of him. He
saw that the old gentleman was kindly disposed
toward him, and in his present circumstances he needed
such a friend.

But in proportion as Mr. Wharton became more
cordial, Mrs. Bradley became more frosty, until at
last the old gentleman noticed her manner.

``Don't you feel well this evening, Mrs Bradley?''
he asked.

``I have a little headache,'' said the housekeeper,

``You had better do something for it.''

``It will pass away of itself, sir.''

They arose from the dinner table, and Mr.
Wharton, followed by Frank, ascended the staircase to
the front room on the second floor, which was
handsomely fitted up as a library,

``What makes him take such notice of a mere cash-
boy?'' said Mrs. Bradley to herself. ``That boy reminds
me of somebody. Who is it?''



``Take a seat, Frank,'' said Mr. Wharton, pointing
to a luxurious armchair on one side of the cheerful
grate fire; ``I will take the other, and you shall tell
me all about yourself.''

``Thank you, sir,'' said our hero.

His confidence was won by Mr. Wharton's kind
tone, and he briefly recounted his story.

At the conclusion, Mr. Wharton said:

``How old are you, Frank ?''

``Fourteen, sir.''

``You are a brave boy, and a good boy, and you
deserve success.''

``Thank you, sir.''

``But I am bound to say that you have a hard task
before you.''

``I know it, sir.''

``Why not let your sister go to the poorhouse for a
few years, till you are older, and better able to
provide for her?''

``I should be ashamed to do it, sir,'' he said. ``I
promised my mother to take care of Grace, and I

``How much do you earn as a cash-boy?''

``Three dollars a week.''

``Only three dollars a week! Why, that won't pay
your own expenses!'' said the old gentleman in surprise.

``Yes, sir, it does. I pay fifty cents a week for my
room, and my meals don't cost me much.''

``But you will want clothes.''

``I have enough for the present, and I am laying
up fifty cents a week to buy more when I need them.''

``You can't buy many for twenty-six dollars a
year. But that doesn't allow anything for your
sister's expenses.''

``That is what puzzles me, sir,'' said Frank, fixing
a troubled glance upon the fire. ``I shall have to
work in the evenings for Grace.''

``What can you do?''

``I could copy, but I suppose there isn't much
chance of getting copying to do.''

``Then you have a good handwriting?''

``Pretty fair, sir.''

``Let me see a specimen. There are pen and ink
on the table, and here is a sheet of paper.''

Frank seated himself at the table, and wrote his
name on the paper.

``Very good,'' said his host, approvingly. ``Your
hand is good enough for a copyist, but you are correct
in supposing that work of that kind is hard
to get. Are you a good reader?''

``Do you mean in reading aloud, sir?''


``I will try, if you wish.''

``Take a book from the table--any book--and let
me hear you read.''

Frank opened the first book that came to hand--
one of Irving's and read in a clear, unembarrassed
voice about half a page.

``Very good indeed!'' said Mr. Wharton. ``You
have been well taught. Where did you attend

``Only in the town school, sir.''

``You have, at any rate, made good use of your

``But will it do me any good, sir?'' asked Frank.

``People are not paid for reading, are they?''

``Not in general, but we will suppose the case of
a person whose eyes are weak, and likely to be badly
affected by evening use. Then suppose such a person
could secure the services of a good, clear, distinct
reader, don't you think he would be willing to
pay something?''

``I suppose so. Do you know of any such person?''
asked Frank.

``I am describing myself, Frank. A year since I
strained my eyes very severely, and have never dared
to use them much since by gaslight. Mrs. Bradley,
my housekeeper, has read to me some, but she has
other duties, and I don't think she enjoys it very
much. Now, why shouldn't I get you to read to me
in the evening when you are not otherwise employed?''

``I wish you would, Mr. Wharton,'' said Frank,
eagerly. ``I would do my best.''

``I have no doubt of that, but there is another
question--perhaps you might ask a higher salary
than I could afford to pay.''

``Would a dollar a week be too much?'' asked

``I don't think I could complain of that,'' said Mr.
Wharton, gravely. ``Very well, I will engage you as
my reader.''

``Thank you, sir.''

``But about the pay; I have made up my mind to
pay you five dollars a week.''

``Five dollars a week!'' Frank repeated. ``It is
much more than my services will be worth sir.''

``Let me judge of that, Frank.''

``I don't know how to thank you, sir,'' said Frank,
gratefully. ``I never expected to be so rich. I shall
have no trouble in paying for Grace's board and
clothes now. When do you want me to begin reading to you?''

``You may as well begin to-night--that is, unless
you have some other engagement.''

``Oh, no, sir, I have nothing else to do.''

``Take the Evening Post, then, and read me the
leading editorial. Afterward, I will tell you what to

Frank had been reading about half an hour, when
a knock was heard at the door.

``Come in,'' said Mr. Wharton.

Mrs. Bradley entered, with a soft, quiet step.

``I thought, sir,'' she began, ``you might like me
to read to you, as usual.''

``Thank you, Mrs. Bradley, but I am going to
relieve you of that portion of your labors. My young
friend here is to come every evening and read to

``Indeed!'' ejaculated the housekeeper in a tone of
chilly displeasure, and a sharp glance at Frank,
which indicated no great amount of cordiality.
``Then, as I am intruding, I will take my leave.''

There was something in her tone that made Frank
feel uncomfortable.



``By no means,'' said Mr. Wharton, as the
housekeeper was about to withdraw; ``don't imagine you
are intruding. Come in and sit down.''

``Thank you, sir,'' said Mrs. Bradley, in a
measured tone. ``You are very considerate, I am sure,
but if you'll excuse me, I won't come in this evening.''

``Mrs. Bradley has been with me a good many
years,'' explained Mr. Wharton, ``and I dare say she
feels a little disturbed at seeing another occupy her
place, even in a duty like this.''

``I am afraid she will be offended with me, sir,''
said Frank.

``Oh, no; I will explain matters to her. Go on
with your reading, Frank.''

At half-past nine, Mr. Wharton took out his watch.

``It is getting late,'' he said. ``I have no doubt you
are tired and need rest.''

``I am not tired, sir.''

``I believe in going to bed early. I shall seldom
keep you later than this. Do you think you can find
your way out?''

``Yes, sir. When shall I come to-morrow evening?''

``A little before eight.''

``I will be punctual.''

Jasper was waiting for him, not wholly without
anxiety, for it was very unusual for Frank to be late.

``Well, Frank!'' he exclaimed; ``this is a pretty
time for you to come home. I began to think you
had got into trouble. I was just going around to the
nearest station house in search of you.''

``I was in quite a different place, Jasper.''

Book of the day: The Cash Boy by Horatio Alger Jr. - Full Text Free Book (Part 1/3)