Part 3 out of 3
So saying, he abruptly closed the slide, and
descended the stairs, leaving Frank to his reflections,
which it may be supposed, were not of the pleasantest
Frank did not allow his unpleasant situation to
take away his appetite, and though he was fully
determined to make the earliest possible attempt to
escape, he was sensible enough first to eat the food
which his jailer had brought him.
His lunch dispatched, he began at once to revolve
plans of escape.
There were three windows in the room, two on
the front of the house, the other at the side.
He tried one after another, but the result was
the same. All were so fastened that it was quite
impossible to raise them.
Feeling that he could probably escape through one
of the windows when he pleased, though at the cost
of considerable trouble, Frank did not trouble himself
much, or allow himself to feel unhappy. He decided
to continue his explorations.
In the corner of the room was a door, probably
admitting to a closet.
``I suppose it is locked,'' thought Frank, but on
trying it, he found that such was not the case. He
looked curiously about him, but found little to repay
him. His attention was drawn, however to several
dark-colored masks lying upon a shelf.
He also discovered a small hole in the wall of the
size of a marble. Actuated by curiosity, he applied
his eye to the opening, and peeped into what was
probably the adjoining room. It was furnished in
very much the same way as the one in which he was
confined, but at present it was untenanted. Having
seen what little there was to be seen, Frank
withdrew from his post of observation and returned to
It was several hours later when he again heard
steps ascending the stairs, and the slide in the door
He looked toward it, but the face that he saw was
not that of Nathan Graves.
It was the face of a woman.
``OVER THE HILL TO THE POORHOUSE''
We are compelled for a time to leave our hero in
the hands of his enemies, and return to the town of
Crawford, where an event has occurred which influences
seriously the happiness and position of his
Ever since Frank left the town, Grace had been a
welcome member of Mr. Pomeroy's family, receiving
the kindest treatment from all, so that she had come
to feel very much at home.
So they lived happily together, till one disastrous
night a fire broke out, which consumed the house,
and they were forced to snatch their clothes and escape,
saving nothing else.
Mr. Pomeroy's house was insured for two-thirds
of its value, and he proposed to rebuild immediately,
but it would be three months at least before the new
house would be completed. In the interim, he succeeded
in hiring a couple of rooms for his family,
but their narrow accommodations would oblige them
to dispense with their boarder. Sorry as Mr. and
Mrs. Pomeroy were to part with her, it was obvious
that Grace must find another home.
``We must let Frank know,'' said Mr. Pomeroy,
and having occasion to go up to the city at once to
see about insurance, he went to the store of Gilbert
& Mack, and inquired for Prank.
``Fowler? What was he?'' was asked.
``Oh, he is no longer here. Mr. Gilbert discharged
``Do you know why he was discharged?'' asked
Mr. Pomeroy, pained and startled.
``No; but there stands Mr. Gilbert. He can tell
Mr. Pomeroy introduced himself to the head of
the firm and repeated his inquiry.
``If you are a friend of the lad,'' said Mr. Gilbert,
``you will be sorry to learn that he was charged with
dishonesty. It was a very respectable lady who
made the charge. It is only fair to say that the boy
denied it, and that, personally, we found him faithful
and trusty. But as the dullness of trade compelled
us to discharge some of our cash-boys, we
naturally discharged him among the number, without,
however, judging his case.''
``Then, sir, you have treated the boy very unfairly.
On the strength of a charge not proved, you have
dismissed him, though personally you had noticed
nothing out of the way in him, and rendered it
impossible for him to obtain another place.''
``There is something in what you say, I admit.
Perhaps I was too hasty. If you will send the boy
to me, I will take him back on probation.''
``Thank you, sir,'' said Mr. Pomeroy, gratefully
``I will send him here.''
But this Mr. Pomeroy was unable to do. He did
not know of Frank's new address, and though he
was still in the city, he failed to find him.
He returned to Crawford and communicated the
unsatisfactory intelligence. He tried to obtain a new
boarding place for Grace, but no one was willing to
take her at two dollars a week, especially when Mr.
Pomeroy was compelled to admit that Frank was
now out of employment, and it was doubtful if he
would be able to keep up the payment.
Tom Pinkerton managed to learn that Grace was
now without a home, and mentioned it to his father.
``Won't she have to go to the poorhouse now,
father?'' he asked eagerly.
``Yes,'' said Deacon Pinkerton. ``There is no other
place for her that I can see.''
``Ah, I'm glad,'' said Tom, maliciously. ``Won't
that upstart's pride be taken down? He was too
proud to go to the poorhouse, where he belonged,
but he can't help his sister's going there. If he isn't
a pauper himself, he'll be the brother of a pauper,
and that's the next thing to it.''
``That is true,'' said the deacon. ``He was very
impudent in return for my kindness. Still, I am
sorry for him.''
I am afraid the deacon's sorrow was not very
deep, for he certainly looked unusually cheerful when
he harnessed up his horse and drove around to the
temporary home of the Pomeroys.
``Good-morning, Mr. Pomeroy,'' he said, seeing the
latter in the yard. ``You've met with a severe loss.''
``Yes, deacon; it is a severe loss to a poor man
``To be sure. Well, I've called around to relieve
you of a part of your cares. I am going to take
Grace Fowler to the poorhouse.''
``Couldn't you get her a place with a private
family to help about the house in return for her board,
while she goes to school?''
``There's nobody wants a young girl like her,'' said
``Her brother would pay part of her board--that
is, when he has a place.''
``Hasn't he got a place?'' asked the deacon,
pricking up his ears. ``I heard he was in a store in New
``He lost his place,'' said Mr. Pomeroy, reluctantly,
``partly because of the dullness of general trade.''
``Then he can't maintain his sister. She will have
to go to the poorhouse. Will you ask her to get
ready, and I'll take her right over to the poorhouse.''
There was no alternative. Mr. Pomeroy went into
the house, and broke the sad news to his wife and
``Never mind,'' she said, with attempted cheerfulness,
though her lips quivered, ``I shan't have to stay
there long. Frank will be sure to send for me very
``It's too bad, Grace,'' said Sam, looking red about
the eyes; ``it's too bad that you should have to go to
``Come and see me, Sam,'' said Grace.
``Yes, I will, Grace. I'll come often, too. You
shan't stay there long.''
``Good-by,'' said Grace, faltering. ``You have all
been very kind to me.''
``Good-by, my dear child,'' said Mrs. Pomeroy.
``Who knows but you can return to us when the new
house is done?''
So poor Grace went out from her pleasant home to
find the deacon, grim-faced and stern, waiting for
``Jump in, little girl,'' he said. ``You've kept me
waiting for you a long time, and my time is valuable.''
The distance to the poorhouse was about a mile
and a half. For the first half mile Deacon Pinkerton
kept silence. Then he began to speak, in a tone of
cold condescension, as if it were a favor for such a
superior being to address an insignificant child,
about to become a pauper.
``Little girl, have you heard from your brother
``Not very lately, sir.''
``What is he doing?''
``He is in a store.''
``I apprehend you are mistaken. He has lost his
place. He has been turned away,'' said the deacon,
``Frank turned away! Oh, sir, you must be mistaken.''
``Mr. Pomeroy told me. He found out yesterday
when he went to the city.''
Poor Grace! she could not longer doubt now, and
her brother's misfortune saddened her even more
than her own.
``Probably you will soon see your brother.''
``Oh, do you think so, sir?'' asked Grace, joyfully.
``Yes,'' answered the deacon, grimly. ``He will find
himself in danger of starvation in the city, and he'll
creep back, only too glad to obtain a nice, comfortable
home in the poorhouse.''
But Grace knew her brother better than that. She
knew his courage, his self-reliance and his independent
spirit, and she was sure the deacon was mistaken.
The home for which Grace was expected to be so
grateful was now in sight. It was a dark, neglected
looking house, situated in the midst of barren fields,
and had a lonely and desolate aspect. It was
superintended by Mr. and Mrs. Chase, distant relations
of Deacon Pinkerton.
Mr. Chase was an inoffensive man, but Mrs.
Chase had a violent temper. She was at work in
the kitchen when Deacon Pinkerton drove up. Hearing
the sound of wheels, she came to the door.
``Mrs. Chase,'' said the deacon, ``I've brought you
a little girl, to be placed under your care.''
``What's her name?'' inquired the lady.
``Grace, humph! Why didn't she have a decent
``You can call her anything you like,'' said the deacon.
``Little girl, you must behave well,'' said Deacon
Pinkerton, by way of parting admonition. ``The
town expects it. I expect it. You must never cease
to be grateful for the good home which it provides
you free of expense.''
Grace did not reply. Looking in the face of her
future task-mistress was scarcely calculated to
awaken a very deep feeling of gratitude.
``Now,'' said Mrs. Chase, addressing her new
boarder, ``just take off your things, Betsy, and make
``My name isn't Betsy, ma'am.''
``It isn't, isn't it?''
``No; it is Grace.''
``You don't say so! I'll tell you one thing, I shan't
allow anybody to contradict me here, and your name's
got to be Betsy while you're in this house. Now
take off your things and hang them up on that peg.
I'm going to set you right to work.''
``Yes, ma'am,'' said Grace, alarmed.
``There's some dishes I want washed, Betsy, and I
won't have you loitering over your work, neither.''
``Very well, ma'am.''
Such was the new home for which poor Grace was
expected to be grateful.
WHAT FRANK HEARD THROUGH THE CREVICE
Frank looked with some surprise at the woman
who was looking through the slide of his door. He
had expected to see Nathan Graves. She also regarded
him with interest.
``I have brought you some supper,'' she said.
Frank reached out and drew in a small waiter,
containing a cup of tea and a plate of toast.
``Thank you,'' he said. ``Where is the man who
brought me here?''
``He has gone out.''
``Do you know why he keeps me here in confinement?''
``No,'' said the woman, hastily. ``I know nothing.
I see much, but I know nothing.''
``Are many prisoners brought here as I have
been?'' asked our hero, in spite of the woman's refusal
``I can't understand what object they can have in
detaining me. If I were rich, I might guess, but I
am poor. I am compelled to work for my daily
bread, and have been out of a place for two weeks.''
``I don't understand,'' she said, in a low voice,
rather to herself than to him. ``But I cannot wait.
I must not stand here. I will come up in fifteen
minutes, and if you wish another cup of tea, or some
toast, I will bring them.''
His confinement did not affect his appetite, for
he enjoyed his tea and toast; and when, as she had
promised, the woman came up, he told her he would
like another cup of tea, and some more toast.
``Will you answer one question?'' asked our hero.
``I don't know,'' answered the woman in a flurried
``You look like a good woman. Why do you stay
in such a house as this?''
``I will tell you, though I should do better to be
silent. But you won't betray me?''
``On no account.''
``I was poor, starving, when I had an application
to come here. The man who engaged me told me
that it was to be a housekeeper, and I had no suspicion
of the character of the house--that it was a
She stopped short, but Frank understood what
she would have said.
``When I discovered the character of the house, I
would have left but for two reasons. First, I had
no other home; next, I had become acquainted with
the secrets of the house, and they would have feared
that I would reveal them. I should incur great risk.
So I stayed.''
Here there was a sound below. The woman
``Some one has come,'' she said. ``I must go down
I will come up as soon as I can with the rest of your
``Thank you. You need not hurry.''
Our hero was left to ponder over what he had
heard. There was evidently a mystery connected with
this lonely house a mystery which he very much
desired to solve. But there was one chance. Through
the aperture in the closet he might both see and
hear something, provided any should meet there that
The remainder of his supper was brought him by
the same woman, but she was in haste, and he obtained
no opportunity of exchanging another word
Frank did not learn who it was that had arrived.
Listening intently, he thought he heard some sounds
in the next room. Opening the closet door, and
applying his eye to the aperture, he saw two men
seated in the room, one of whom was the man who
had brought him there.
He applied his ear to the opening, and heard the
``I hear you've brought a boy here, Nathan,'' said
the other, who was a stout, low-browed man, with
an evil look.
``Yes,'' said Graves, with a smile; ``I am going to
board him here a while.''
``What's it all about? What are you going to gain
``I'll tell you all I know. I've known something of
the family for a long time. John Wade employed
me long ago. The old millionaire had a son who
went abroad and died there. His cousin, John Wade,
brought home his son--a mere baby--the old man's
grandson, of course, and sole heir, or likely to be,
to the old man's wealth, if he had lived. In that
case, John Wade would have been left out in the cold,
or put off with a small bequest.''
``Yes. Did the boy live?''
``No; he died, very conveniently for John Wade,
and thus removed the only obstacle from his path.''
``Very convenient. Do you think there was any
``There may have been.''
``But I should think the old man would have suspected.''
``He was away at the time. When he returned to
the city, he heard from his nephew that the boy was
dead. It was a great blow to him, of course. Now,
I'll tell you what,'' said Graves, sinking his voice so
that Frank found it difficult to hear, ``I'll tell you
what I've thought at times.''
``I think the grandson may have been spirited off
somewhere. Nothing more easy, you know. Murder
is a risky operation, and John Wade is respectable,
and wouldn't want to run the risk of a halter.''
``You may be right. You don't connect this story
of yours with the boy you've brought here, do you?''
``I do,'' answered Graves, emphatically. ``I
shouldn't be surprised if this was the very boy!''
``What makes you think so?''
``First, because there's some resemblance between
the boy and the old man's son, as I remember him.
Next, it would explain John Wade's anxiety to get
rid of him. It's my belief that John Wade has recognized
in this boy the baby he got rid of fourteen
years ago, and is afraid his uncle will make the
Frank left the crevice through which he had
received so much information in a whirl of new and
``Was it possible,'' he asked himself, ``that he
could be the grandson of Mr. Wharton, his kind
It was eight o'clock the next morning before
Frank's breakfast was brought to him.
``I am sorry you have had to wait,'' the housekeeper
said, as she appeared at the door with a cup
of coffee and a plate of beefsteak and toast, ``I
couldn't come up before.''
``Have the men gone away?'' said Frank.
``Then I have something to tell you. I learned
something about myself last night. I was in the
closet, and heard the man who brought me here talking
to another person. May I tell you the story?''
``If you think it will do any good,'' said the
housekeeper, but I can't help you if that is what you want.''
He told the whole story. As he proceeded, the
housekeeper betrayed increased, almost eager interest,
and from time to time asked him questions in
particular as to the personal appearance of John
Wade. When Frank had described him as well as
he could, she said, in an excited manner:
``Yes, it is--it must be the same man.''
``The same man!'' repeated our hero, in surprise.
``Do you know anything about him?''
``I know that he is a wicked man. I am afraid
that I have helped him carry out his wicked plan,
but I did not know it at the time, or I never would
have given my consent.''
``I don't understand you,'' said our hero, puzzled.
``Will you tell me what you mean?''
``Fourteen years ago I was very poor--poor and
sick besides. My husband had died, leaving me nothing
but the care of a young infant, whom it was
necessary for me to support besides myself.
Enfeebled by sickness, I was able to earn but little,
but we lived in a wretched room in a crowded
tenement house. My infant boy was taken sick and died.
As I sat sorrowfully beside the bed on which he lay
dead, I heard a knock at the door. I opened it, and
admitted a man whom I afterward learned to be
John Wade. He very soon explained his errand. He
agreed to take my poor boy, and pay all the expenses
of his burial in Greenwood Cemetery, provided I
would not object to any of his arrangements. He
was willing besides to pay me two hundred dollars
for the relief of my necessities. Though I was
almost beside myself with grief for my child's loss,
and though this was a very favorable proposal, I
hesitated. I could not understand why a stranger
should make me such an offer. I asked him the reason.''
`` `You ask too much,' he answered, appearing
annoyed. `I have made you a fair offer. Will you accept
it, or will you leave your child to have a pauper's
``That consideration decided me. For my child's
sake I agreed to his proposal, and forebore to question
him further. He provided a handsome rosewood
casket for my dear child, but upon the silver
plate was inscribed a name that was strange to me
--the name of Francis Wharton.''
``Francis Wharton!'' exclaimed Frank.
``I was too weak and sorrowful to make
opposition, and my baby was buried as Francis Wharton.
Not only this, but a monument is erected over him
at Greenwood, which bears this name.''
She proceeded after a pause:
``I did not then understand his object. Your story
makes it clear. I think that you are that Francis
Wharton, under whose name my boy was buried.''
``How strange!'' said Frank, thoughtfully. ``I
cannot realize it. But how did you know the name of
the man who called upon you?''
``A card slipped from his pocket, which I secured
without his knowledge.''
``How fortunate that I met you,'' said Frank. ``I
mean to let Mr. Wharton know all that I have
learned, and then he shall decide whether he will
recognize me or not as his grandson.''
``I have been the means of helping to deprive you
of your just rights, though unconsciously. Now that
I know the wicked conspiracy in which I assisted, I
will help undo the work.''
``Thank you,'' said Frank. ``The first thing is to
get out of this place.''
``I cannot open the door of your room. They do
not trust me with the key.''
``The windows are not very high from the ground.
I can get down from the outside.''
``I will bring you a clothesline and a hatchet.''
Frank received them with exultation.
``Before I attempt to escape,'' he said, ``tell me
where I can meet you in New York. I want you to
go with me to Mr. Wharton's. I shall need you to
confirm my story.''
``I will meet you to-morrow at No. 15 B--Street.''
``Then we shall meet to-morrow. What shall I
call your name?''
``Thank you. I will get away as quickly as
possible, and when we are in the city we will talk over
our future plans.''
With the help of the hatchet, Frank soon demolished
the lower part of the window. Fastening the
rope to the bedstead, he got out of the window and
safely descended to the ground.
A long and fatiguing walk lay before him. But
at last he reached the cars, and half an hour later
the ferry at Jersey City.
Frank thought himself out of danger for the time
being, but he was mistaken.
Standing on the deck of the ferryboat, and looking
back to the pier from which he had just started, he
met the glance of a man who had intended to take
the same boat, but had reached the pier just too
late. His heart beat quicker when he recognized in
the belated passenger his late jailer, Nathan Graves.
Carried away by his rage and disappointment,
Nathan Graves clenched his fist and shook it at his
Our hero walked into the cabin. He wanted a
chance to deliberate. He knew that Nathan Graves
would follow him by the next boat, and it was
important that he should not find him. Where was he
Fifteen minutes after Frank set foot on the pier,
his enemy also landed. But now the difficult part
of the pursuit began. He had absolutely no clew as
to the direction which Frank had taken.
For an hour and a half he walked the streets in
the immediate neighborhood of the square, but his
labor was without reward. Not a glimpse could he
catch of his late prisoner.
``I suppose I must go to see Mr. Wade,'' he at last
reluctantly decided. ``He may be angry, but he can't
blame me. I did my best. I couldn't stand guard
over the young rascal all day.''
The address which the housekeeper had given
Frank was that of a policeman's family in which
she was at one time a boarder. On giving his reference,
he was hospitably received, and succeeded in
making arrangements for a temporary residence.
About seven o'clock Mrs. Parker made her
appearance. She wag fatigued by her journey and glad to
``I was afraid you might be prevented from
coming,'' said Frank.
``I feared it also. I was about to start at twelve
o'clock, when, to my dismay, one of the men came
home. He said he had the headache. I was obliged
to make him some tea and toast. He remained about
till four o'clock, when, to my relief, he went upstairs
to lie down. I was afraid some inquiry might be
made about you, and your absence discovered, especially
as the rope was still hanging out of the window,
and I was unable to do anything more than cut
off the lower end of it. When the sick man retired to
his bed I instantly left the house, fearing that the
return of some other of the band might prevent my
``Suppose you had met one of them, Mrs. Parker?''
``I did. It was about half a mile from the house.''
``Did he recognize you?''
``Yes. He asked in some surprise where I was
going. I was obliged to make up a story about our
being out of sugar. He accepted it without suspicion,
and I kept on. I hope I shall be forgiven
for the lie. I was forced to it.''
``You met no further trouble?''
``I must tell you of my adventure,'' said Frank.
``I came across the very man whom I most dreaded--
the man who made me a prisoner.''
``Since he knows that you have escaped, he is
probably on your track,'' said Mrs. Parker. ``It will
be hardly safe for you to go to Mr. Wharton's.''
``He will probably think you likely to go there, and
be lying in wait somewhere about.''
``But I must go to Mr. Wharton,'' said Frank. ``I
must tell him this story.''
``It will be safer to write.''
``The housekeeper, Mrs. Bradley, or John Wade,
will get hold of the letter and suppress it. I don't
want to put them on their guard.''
``You are right. It is necessary to be cautious.''
``You see I am obliged to call on my grandfather,
that is, on Mr. Wharton.''
``I can think of a better plan.''
``What is it?''
``Go to a respectable lawyer. Tell him your story,
and place your case in his hands. He will write to
your grandfather, inviting him to call at his office
on business of importance, without letting him know
what is the nature of it. You and I can be there to
meet him, and tell our story. In this way John Wade
will know nothing, and learn nothing, of your movements.''
``That is good advice, Mrs. Parker, but there is
one thing you have not thought of,'' said our hero.
``What is that?''
``Lawyers charge a great deal for their services,
and I have no money.''
``You have what is as good a recommendation--a
good case. The lawyer will see at once that if not at
present rich, you stand a good chance of obtaining
a position which will make you so. Besides, your
grandfather will be willing, if he admits your claim,
to recompense the lawyer handsomely.''
``I did not think of that. I will do as you advise
JOHN WADE'S DISAPPOINTMENT
Mr. Wharton sat at dinner with his nephew and
the housekeeper. He had been at home for some
time, and of course on his arrival had been greeted
with the news of our hero's perfidy. But, to the
indignation of Mrs. Bradley and John, he was obstinately
``There is some mistake, I am sure,'' he said. ``Such
a boy as Frank is incapable of stealing. You may
be mistaken after all, John. Why did you not let
him stay till I got back? I should like to have
examined him myself.''
``I was so angry with him for repaying your
kindness in such a way that I instantly ordered him out
of the house.''
``I blame you, John, for your haste,'' said his uncle.
``It was not just to the boy.''
``I acted for the best, sir,'' he forced himself to
say in a subdued tone.
``Young people are apt to be impetuous, and I
excuse you; but you should have waited for my return.
I will call at Gilbert & Mack's, and inquire of Frank
himself what explanation he has to give.''
``Of course, sir, you will do what you think proper,''
said his nephew.
This ended the conversation, and Mr. Wharton,
according to his declared intention, went to Gilbert
& Mack's. He returned disappointed with the
information that our hero was no longer in the store.
I now return to Mr. Wharton at dinner.
``Here is a letter for you, sir,'' said the
housekeeper. ``It was brought by the postman this afternoon.''
Mr. Wharton adjusted his spectacles and read as
``No.-- Wall Street.
``Dear Sir: Will you have the kindness to call at
my office to-morrow morning at eleven o'clock, if it
suits your convenience? I have an important
communication to make to you, which will, I think be
of an agreeable character. Should the time named
not suit you, will you have the kindness to name your
``Read that, John,'' said his uncle, passing him
``Morris Hall is a lawyer, I believe, sir,'' said John.
``Have you any idea of the nature of the communication
he desires to make?''
``No idea at all.''
``If it would relieve you, sir, I will go in your
place,'' said John, whose curiosity was aroused.
``Thank you, John, but this is evidently a personal
matter. I shall go down there to-morrow at the
John was far from suspecting that the communication
related to Frank, though he had heard the day
previous from Nathan Graves of the boy's escape.
He had been very much annoyed, and had given his
agent a severe scolding, with imperative orders to
recapture the boy, if possible.
It was not without a feeling of curiosity that Mr.
Wharton entered the law office of Mr. Hall. He
announced himself and was cordially welcomed.
``You have a communication to make to me,'' said
``Tell me all without delay.''
``I will, sir. This is the communication I desire to
The story of John Wade's treachery was told, and
the means by which he had imposed upon his uncle,
but the lawyer carefully abstained from identifying
the lost grandson with Frank Fowler.
When the story was concluded, Mr. Wharton said:
``Where is my grandson--my poor George's boy?
Find him for me, and name your own reward.''
``I will show him to you at once, sir. Frank!''
At the word, Frank, who was in an inner office.
entered. Mr. Wharton started in amazement.
``Frank!'' he exclaimed. ``My dear boy, is it you
who are my grandson?''
Mr. Wharton held out his arms, and our hero,
already attached to him for his kindness, was folded
in close embrace.
``Then you believe I am your grandson?'' said
``I believe it without further proof.''
``Still, Mr. Wharton,'' said the lawyer, ``I want to
submit my whole proof. Mrs. Parker!''
Mrs. Parker entered and detailed her part in the
plot, which for fourteen years had separated Frank
from his family.
``Enough!'' said Mr. Wharton. ``I am convinced--
I did not believe my nephew capable of such baseness.
Mrs. Parker, you shall not regret your confession.
I will give you a pension which will relieve
you from all fear of want. Call next week on Mr.
Hall, and you shall learn what provision I have made
for you. You, Frank, will return with me.''
``What will Mr. John say?'' asked Frank.
``He shall no longer sleep under my roof,'' said Mr.
Frank was taken to a tailor and fitted out with a
handsome new suit, ready-made for immediate use,
while three more were ordered.
When Mr. Wharton reached home, he entered the
library and rang the bell.
To the servant who answered he said:
``Is Mr. John at home?''
``Yes, sir; he came in ten minutes ago.''
``Tell him I wish to see him at once in the library.
Summon the housekeeper, also.''
Surprised at the summons, John Wade answered
it directly. He and Mrs. Bradley met at the door
and entered together. Their surprise and dismay
may be conjectured when they saw our hero seated
beside Mr. Wharton, dressed like a young gentleman.
``John Wade,'' said his uncle, sternly, ``the boy
whom you malign, the boy you have so deeply
wronged, has found a permanent home in this house.''
``What, sir! you take him back?''
``I do. There is no more fitting place for him
than the house of his grandfather.''
``His grandfather!'' exclaimed his nephew and the
housekeeper, in chorus.
``I have abundant proof of the relationship. This
morning I have listened to the story of your treachery.
I have seen the woman whose son, represented
to me as my grandson, lies in Greenwood Cemetery.
I have learned your wicked plans to defraud him of
his inheritance, and I tell you that you have failed.''
``I shall make my will to-morrow, bequeathing all
my property to my grandson, excepting only an annual
income of two thousand dollars to yourself. And
now I must trouble you to find a boarding place.
After what has passed I do not desire to have you in
``I do not believe he is your grandson,'' said John
Wade, too angry to heed prudential considerations.
``Your opinion is of little consequence.''
``Then, sir, I have only to wish you good-morning.
I will send for my trunks during the day.''
``Good-morning,'' said Mr. Wharton, gravely, and
John Wade left the room, baffled and humiliated.
``I hope, sir,'' said the housekeeper, alarmed for
her position; ``I hope you don't think I knew Mr.
Frank was your grandson. I never was so astonished
and flustrated in my life. I hope you won't
discharge me, sir--me that have served you so faithfully
for many years.''
``You shall remain on probation. But if Frank
ever has any fault to find with you, you must go.''
``I hope you will forgive me, Mr. Frank.''
``I forgive you freely,'' said our hero, who was at
a generous disposition.
Meanwhile poor Grace had fared badly at the
poorhouse in Crawford. It was a sad contrast to the
gentle and kindly circle at Mr. Pomeroy's. What
made it worse for Grace was, that she could hear
nothing of Frank. She feared he was sick, or had
met with some great misfortune, which prevented
One day a handsome carriage drove up to the door.
From it descended our hero, elegantly attired. He
knocked at the door.
Mrs. Chase, who was impressed by wealth, came
to the door in a flutter of respect, induced by the
``What do you wish, sir?'' she asked, not recognizing
``Miss Grace Fowler!'' repeated Mrs. Chase,
almost paralyzed at Grace being called for by such
``Yes, my sister Grace.''
``What! are you Frank Fowler?''
``Yes. I have come to take Grace away.''
``I don't know as I have the right to let her go,''
said Mrs. Chase, cautiously, regretting that Grace
was likely to escape her clutches.
``Here is an order from Deacon Pinkerton, chairman
of the overseers of the poor.''
``That is sufficient. She can go. You look as if
you had prospered in the city,'' she added, with curiosity.
``Yes. I have found my grandfather, who is very
``You don't say!'' ejaculated Mrs. Chase. ``I'll tell
Grace at once.''
Grace at work in the kitchen had not heard of the
arrival. What was her surprise when Mrs. Chase,
entering the room, said, graciously:
``Go up at once, Grace, and change your clothes.
Your brother has come for you. He is going to take
Grace almost gasped for breath.
``Is it true?''
``It is indeed. Your brother looks remarkably
well. He is rich. He has found a rich grandfather,
and has come for you in a carriage.''
In amazed bewilderment Grace went upstairs and
put on her best dress, poor enough in comparison
with her brother's clothes, and was soon happy in
``I am glad to see you, my dear child,'' said Mr.
Wharton, who had accompanied Frank. ``Will you
come to the city and live with me and your brother?''
``Oh, sir, I shall be glad to be wherever Frank is.''
``Good-bye, my dear child,'' sand Mrs. Chase, whose
feelings were very much changed, now that Grace
was a rich young lady. ``Come and see me some
``Thank you, Mrs. Chase. Good-bye!''
The carriage rolled on.
* * * * * * *
A few words only remain. Our hero was placed
at a classical school, and in due time entered college,
where he acquitted himself with distinction. He is
now making a tour of Europe. Grace was also
placed at an excellent school, and has developed into
a handsome and accomplished young lady. It is
thought she will marry Sam Pomeroy, who obtained
a place in a counting-room through Mr. Wharton's
influence, and is now head clerk, with a prospect of
partnership. His father received a gift of five
thousand dollars from Mr. Wharton as an acknowledgment
of his kindness to Frank. Tom Pinkerton holds
a subordinate clerkship in the same house, and is
obliged to look up to Sam as his superior. It chafes
his pride, but his father has become a poor man, and
Tom is too prudent to run the risk of losing his
situation. John Wade draws his income regularly, but
he is never seen at his uncle's house.
Mr. Wharton is very happy in his grandson, and
made happier by the intelligence just received from
Europe of Frank's engagement to a brilliant young
New York lady whom he met in his travels. He
bids fair, though advanced in age, to live some years
yet, to witness the happiness of his dear grandson,
once a humble cash-boy.