Home
  By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon


We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

´╗┐Title: Rufus and Rose - Or, The Fortunes of Rough and Ready
Author: Alger, Horatio, 1832-1899
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Rufus and Rose - Or, The Fortunes of Rough and Ready" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



file was produced from scans of public domain material


                                  RUFUS AND ROSE;


                               BY HORATIO ALGER, JR.

AUTHOR OF "RAGGED DICK," "FAME AND FORTUNE," "MARK, THE MATCH BOY,"
"ROUGH AND READY," "BEN, THE LUGGAGE BOY," "CAMPAIGN SERIES," "LUCK AND
PLUCK SERIES," ETC.


PHILADELPHIA:
PORTER & COATES.


    To
    MY YOUNG FRIENDS,
    HENRY AND EUGENE,
    THIS VOLUME
    IS AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED



PREFACE.


In presenting to the public the last volume of the "RAGGED DICK SERIES,"
the author desires to return his thanks for the generous reception
accorded, both by the press and the public, to these stories of street
life. Several of the characters are drawn from life, and _nearly all_ of
the incidents are of actual occurrence. Indeed, the materials have been
found so abundant that invention has played but a subordinate part.

The principal object proposed, in the preparation of these volumes, has
been to show that the large class of street boys--numbering thousands in
New York alone--furnishes material out of which good citizens may be
made, if the right influences are brought to bear upon them. In every
case, therefore, the author has led his hero, step by step, from
vagabondage to a position of respectability; and, in so doing, has
incurred the charge, in some quarters, of exaggeration. It can easily be
shown, however, that he has fallen short of the truth, rather than
exceeded it. In proof, the following extract from an article in a New
York daily paper is submitted:--

"As a class, the newsboys of New York are worthy of more than common
attention. The requirements of the trade naturally tend to develop
activity both of mind and body, and, in looking over some historical
facts, we find that _many of our most conspicuous public men_ have
commenced their careers as newsboys. Many of the principal offices of
our city government and our chief police courts testify to the truth of
this assertion. From the West we learn that many of the most
enterprising journalists spring from the same stock."

Not long since, while on a western journey, the Superintendent of the
Lodging House in Park Place found one of his boys filling the position
of District Attorney in a western State, another settled as a clergyman,
and still others prosperous and even wealthy business men. These facts
are full of encouragement for those who are laboring to redeem and
elevate the street boy, and train him up to fill a respectable position
in society.

Though the six volumes already issued complete his original purpose, the
author finds that he has by no means exhausted his subject, and is
induced to announce a second series, devoted to still other phases of
street life. This will shortly be commenced, under the general name of
the

    "TATTERED TOM SERIES."
                                     New York, November 1, 1870.



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS


"DON'T YOU TRY TO FOOL ME."

"I'LL TEACH YOU TO DO IT AGAIN."



RUFUS AND ROSE;

OR, THE FORTUNES OF ROUGH AND READY.



CHAPTER I.

NEW PLANS.


"So this is to be your first day in Wall Street, Rufus," said Miss
Manning.

"Yes," said Rufus, "I've retired from the newspaper business on a large
fortune, and now I'm going into business in Wall Street just to occupy
my time."

The last speaker was a stout, well-grown boy of fifteen, with a pleasant
face, calculated to inspire confidence. He looked manly and
self-reliant, and firm of purpose. For years he had been a newsboy,
plying his trade in the streets of New York, and by his shrewdness, and
a certain ready wit, joined with attention to business, he had met with
better success than most of his class. He had been a leader among them,
and had received the name of "Rough and Ready," suggested in part, no
doubt, by his name, Rufus; but the appellation described not inaptly his
prominent traits. He understood thoroughly how to take care of himself,
and thought it no hardship, that, at an age when most boys are tenderly
cared for, he was sent out into the streets to shift for himself.

His mother had been dead for some time. His step-father, James Martin,
was a drunkard, and he had been compelled to take away his little sister
Rose from the miserable home in which he had kept her, and had
undertaken to support her, as well as himself. He had been fortunate
enough to obtain a home for her with Miss Manning, a poor seamstress,
whom he paid for her services in taking care of Rose. His step-father,
in order to thwart and torment him, had stolen the little girl away, and
kept her in Brooklyn for a while, until Rufus got a clue to her
whereabouts, and succeeded in getting her back. At the time when the
story opens, he had just recovered her, and having been fortunate
enough to render an important service to Mr. Turner, a Wall Street
broker, was on this Monday morning to enter his office, at a salary of
eight dollars a week.

This sketch of the newsboy's earlier history is given for the benefit of
those who have not read the book called "Rough and Ready," in which it
is related at length. It is necessary to add that Rufus was in some
sense a capitalist, having five hundred dollars deposited in a
savings-bank to his credit. Of this sum, he had found three hundred one
day, which, as no claimant ever appeared for it, he had been justified
in appropriating to his own use. The remainder had been given him by Mr.
Turner, in partial acknowledgment of the service before referred to.

"Your new life will seem strange to you at first, Rufus," said Miss
Manning.

"Yes, it does already. When I woke up this morning, I was going to jump
out of bed in a hurry, thinking I must go round to Nassau Street to get
my papers. Then all at once I thought that I'd given up being a newsboy.
But it seemed queer."

"I didn't know but you'd gone back to your old business," said the
seamstress, pointing to a paper in his hand.

"It's this morning's 'Herald,'" explained Rufus; "you and Rose will have
to be looking for another room where Martin can't find you. You'll find
two columns of advertisements of 'Boarders and Lodgers Wanted,' so you
can take your choice."

"I'll go out this morning," said the seamstress.

"All right. Take Rose along with you, or you may find her missing when
you get back."

There was considerable reason to fear that the step-father, James
Martin, would make a fresh attempt to get possession of Rose, and Rufus
felt that it was prudent to guard against this.

"Have you had breakfast, Rufus?"

"Yes; I got breakfast at the Lodging House."

Here it may be remarked that Rufus had enjoyed advantages superior to
most of his class, and spoke more correctly in general, but occasionally
fell into modes of pronunciation such as he was accustomed to hear from
his street associates. He had lately devoted a part of his evenings to
study, under the superintendence of Miss Manning, who, coming originally
from a country home, had had a good common-school education.

"It's time I was going down to the office," said Rufus. "Good-morning,
Miss Manning. Good-morning, Rosy," as he stooped to kiss his little
sister, a pretty little girl of eight.

"Good-morning, Rufie. Don't let Mr. Martin carry you off."

"I think he'd have a harder job to carry me off than you, Rosy," said
Rufus, laughing. "Don't engage lodgings on Fifth Avenue, Miss Manning.
I'm afraid it would take more than I can earn in Wall Street to pay my
share of the expense."

"I shall be content with an humbler home," said the seamstress, smiling.

Rufus left the little room, which, by the way, looked out on Franklin
Street near the Hudson River, and the seamstress, taking the "Herald,"
turned to the column of "Boarders and Lodgers Wanted."

There was a long list, but the greater part of the rooms advertised
were quite beyond her slender means. Remembering that it would be
prudent to get out of their present neighborhood, in order to put the
drunken step-father off the track, she looked for places farther up
town. The objection to this, however, was, that prices advance as you go
up town. Still the streets near the river are not considered so
eligible, and she thought that they might find something there. She
therefore marked one place on Spring Street, another on Leroy Street,
and still another, though with some hesitation, on Christopher Street.
She feared that Rufus would object to this as too far up town.

"Now put on your things, Rose, and we'll take a walk."

"That will be nice," said Rose, and the little girl ran to get her shawl
and bonnet. When she was dressed for the street, Rose would hardly have
been taken for the sister of a newsboy. She had a pretty face, full of
vivacity and intelligence, and her brother's pride in her had led him to
dress her better than might have been expected from his small means.
Many children of families in good circumstances were less neatly and
tastefully dressed than Rose.

Taking the little girl by the hand, Miss Manning led the way down the
narrow staircase. It was far from a handsome house in which they had
thus far made their home. The wall-paper was torn from the walls in
places, revealing patches of bare plastering; there was a faded and worn
oil-cloth upon the stairs, while outside the rooms at intervals, along
the entry, were buckets of dirty water and rubbish, which had been
temporarily placed there by the occupants. As it was Monday, washing was
going on in several of the rooms, and the vapor arising from hot suds
found its way into the entry from one or two half-open doors. On the
whole, it was not a nice or savory home, and the seamstress felt no
regret in leaving it. But the question was, would she be likely to find
a better.

The seamstress made her way first to Spring Street. She was led to
infer, from the advertisement, that she might find cheap accommodations.
But when she found herself in front of the house designated, she found
it so dirty and neglected in appearance that she did not feel like
entering. She was sure it would not suit her.

Next she went to Leroy Street. Here she found a neat-looking three-story
brick house.

She rang the bell.

"You advertise a room to let," she said to the servant; "can I look at
it?"

"I'll speak to the missis," said the girl.

Soon a portly lady made her appearance.

"You have a room to let?" said Miss Manning, interrogatively.

"Yes."

"Can I look at it?"

"It's for a gentleman," said the landlady. "I don't take ladies.
Besides, it's rather expensive;" and she glanced superciliously at the
plain attire of the seamstress.

Of course there was no more to be said. So Miss Manning and Rose found
their way into the street once more.

The last on the list was Christopher Street.

"Come, Rose. Are you tired of walking?"

"Oh, no," said the child; "I can walk ever so far without getting
tired."

Christopher Street is only three blocks from Leroy. In less than ten
minutes they found themselves before the house advertised. It was a
fair-looking house, but the seamstress found, on inquiry, that the room
was a large one on the second floor, and that the rent would be beyond
her means. She was now at the end of her list.

"I think, Rose," she said, "we will go to Washington Square, and sit
down on one of the seats. I shall have to look over the paper again."

This square is a park of considerable size, comprising very nearly ten
acres. Up to 1832, it had been for years used as a Potter's Field, or
public cemetery, and it is estimated that more than one hundred thousand
bodies were buried there. But in 1832 it became a park. There is a basin
and a fountain in the centre, and it is covered with trees of
considerable size. At frequent intervals there are benches for the
accommodation of those who desire to pass an hour or two in the shade of
the trees. In the afternoon, particularly, may be seen a large number
of children playing in the walks, and nurse-maids drawing their young
charges in carriages, or sitting with them on the seats.

Rose was soon busied in watching the sports of some children of her own
age, while Miss Manning carefully scanned the advertisements. But she
found nothing to reward her search. At length her attention was drawn to
the following advertisement:--

"No. --, Waverley Place. Two small rooms. Terms reasonable."

"That must be close by," thought the seamstress.

She was right, for Waverley Place, commencing at Broadway, runs along
the northern side of Washington Square. Before the up-town movement
commenced, it was a fashionable quarter, and even now, as may be
inferred from the character of the houses, is a very nice and
respectable street, particularly that part which fronts the square.

Miss Manning could see the number mentioned from where she was seated,
and saw at a glance that it was a nice house. Of course it was beyond
her means,--she said that to herself; still, prompted by an impulse
which she did not attempt to resist, she determined to call and make
inquiries about the rooms advertised.



CHAPTER II.

THE HOUSE IN WAVERLEY PLACE.


Leaving the Park, Miss Manning crossed the street, went up the front
steps of a handsome house, and rang the bell.

"What a nice house!" said Rose, admiringly; "are we going to live
here?"

"No, I don't think we can afford it; but I will ask to see the rooms."

Soon the door was opened, and a servant-girl looked at them inquiringly.

"Can I see the rooms you have to let?" asked the seamstress.

"Step in a moment, and I'll call Mrs. Clayton."

They stepped into a hall, and remained waiting till a woman of middle
age, with a pleasant countenance, came up from below, where she had been
superintending the servants.

"I saw your advertisement of rooms to let," commenced Miss Manning, a
little timidly, for she knew that the house was a finer one than with
her limited means she could expect to enter, and felt a little like a
humbug.

"Yes, I have two small rooms vacant."

"Are they--expensive?" asked the seamstress, with hesitation.

"I ought to say that only one is at my disposal," said the landlady;
"and that is a hall bedroom on the third floor back. The other is a
square room, nicely furnished, on the upper floor, large enough for two.
But last evening, after I had sent in the advertisement, Mrs. Colman,
who occupies my second floor front, told me she intended to get a young
lady to look after her two little girls during the day, and teach them,
and would wish her to occupy the larger room. I thought when I first saw
you that you were going to apply for the situation."

A sudden thought came to Miss Manning. Why could she not undertake this
office? It would pay her much better than sewing, and the children would
be companions for Rose.

"How old are the little girls?" she said.

"One is five, the other seven, years old. Mrs. Colman is an invalid, and
does not feel able to have the children with her all the time."

"Is Mrs. Colman at home?"

"Yes. Would you like to see her?"

"I should. I am fond of children, and I might be willing to undertake
the charge of hers, if she thought fit to intrust them to me."

"I think it quite likely you can come to an agreement. She was wondering
this morning where she could hear of a suitable person. Wait here a
moment, and I will go and speak to her."

Mrs. Clayton went upstairs, and returned shortly.

"Mrs. Colman would like to see you," she said. "I will lead the way."

Miss Manning followed the landlady upstairs, and was ushered into a
large, handsomely furnished room on the second floor. There was a
cheerful fire in the grate, and beside it, in an easy-chair, sat a lady,
looking nervous and in delicate health. Two little girls, who seemed
full of the health and vitality which their mother lacked, were romping
noisily on the floor.

"Mrs. Colman," said the landlady, "this is the young lady I spoke of."

"Take a seat, please," said Mrs. Colman, politely. "I am an invalid as
you see, Mrs. ----?" here she looked up inquiringly.

"Miss Manning," said the seamstress.

"Then the little girl is not yours?"

"Not mine; but I have the care of her, as her mother is dead."

"How old is she?"

"Eight."

"A little older than my Jennie. Are you fond of children, Miss Manning?"

"Very much so."

"I am looking for some one who will look after my little girls during
the day, and teach them. At present they know absolutely nothing, and I
have not been willing to send them out of the house to school. What I
have been thinking is, of securing some one who would live in the house,
and take the care of the children off my hands. I am an invalid, as you
see, and sometimes their noise absolutely distracts me."

Miss Manning was struck with pity, as she noticed the pale, nervous face
of the invalid.

"Then the children need to go out and take a walk every day; but I have
no one to send with them. You wouldn't object to that, would you?"

"No, I should like it."

"Could you come soon?"

"I could come to-morrow, if you desire it," said Miss Manning, promptly.

"I wish you would. I have a nervous headache which will last me some
days, I suppose, and the children can't keep still. I suppose it is
their nature to be noisy."

"I can take them out for an hour now, if you like it, Mrs. Colman. It
would give me a chance to get acquainted."

"Would you? It would be quite a relief to me, and to them too. Oh, there
is one thing we must speak of. What compensation will satisfy you?"

"I don't know how much I ought to ask. I am willing to leave that matter
to you."

"You would want your little girl to live with you, I suppose."

"Yes, she needs me to look after her."

"Very well. Then I will pay Mrs. Clayton for the board of both of you,
and if two dollars a week would satisfy you--"

Would satisfy her? Miss Manning's breath was quite taken away at the
magnificent prospect that opened before her. She could hardly conceive
it possible that her services were worth a home in so nice a house and
two dollars a week besides. Why, toiling early and late at her needle,
she had barely earned hitherto, thirty-seven cents a day, and out of
that all her expenses had to be paid. Now she would still be able to sew
while the children were learning their lessons. She would no longer be
the occupant of a miserable tenement house, but would live in a nice
quarter of the city. She felt devoutly thankful for the change: but, on
the whole, considered that perhaps it was not best to let Mrs. Colman
see just how glad she was. So she simply expressed herself as entirely
satisfied with the terms that were offered. Mrs. Colman seemed glad that
this matter had been so easily arranged.

"Mrs. Clayton will show you the room you are to occupy," she said. "I
have not been into it, but I understand that it is very comfortable. If
there is any addition in the way of furniture which you may require, I
will make it at my own expense."

"Thank you. You are very kind."

Here Mrs. Clayton reappeared, and, at the request of Mrs. Colman,
offered to show them the room which they were to occupy.

"It is on the upper floor," she said, apologetically; "but it is of good
size and pleasant, when you get to it."

She led the way into the room. It was, as she had said, a pleasant one,
well lighted, and of good size. A thick woollen carpet covered the
floor; there were a bureau, a clothes-press, a table, and other articles
needful to make it comfortable. After the poor room they had occupied,
it looked very attractive.

"I think I shall like it," said Miss Manning, with satisfaction.

"Are we to live here?" asked Rose, who had not quite understood the
nature of the arrangement.

"Yes, Rosy; do you think you shall like it?"

"Oh, yes, ever so much. When are we coming?"

"To-morrow morning. You will have two little girls to play with."

"The little girls I saw in that lady's room downstairs?"

"Yes. Do you think you shall like it?"

"I think it will be very nice," said Rose, with satisfaction.

"Well, how do you like the room, Miss Manning?" said Mrs. Colman, when
they had returned from upstairs.

"It looks very pleasant. I have no doubt I shall like it."

"I think you will need a rocking-chair and a sofa. I will ask Mr. Colman
to step into some upholsterer's as he goes down town to-morrow, and send
them up. If it wouldn't be too much trouble, Miss Manning, I will ask
you to help Carrie and Jennie on with their hats and cloaks. They quite
enjoy the thought of a run out of doors with you and your little girl.
By the way, what is her name?"

"Rose."

"A very pretty name. I have no doubt the three children will soon
become excellent friends. She seems a nice little girl."

"Rose is a nice little girl," said the seamstress, affectionately.

In a short time they were on their way downstairs. In the hall below
they met the landlady once more.

"What is the price of your hall bedroom, Mrs. Clayton?" asked Miss
Manning.

"Five dollars and a half a week," was the answer.

It needs to be mentioned that this was in the day of low prices, and
that such an apartment now, with board, would cost at least twelve
dollars a week.

"What made you ask, Miss Manning?" said Rose.

"I was thinking that perhaps Rufus might like to take it."

"Oh, I wish he would," said Rose; "then we would all be together."

"We are speaking of her brother," said Miss Manning, turning to Mrs.
Clayton.

"How old is he?"

"Fifteen."

"Is he at school, or in a place?"

"He is in a broker's office in Wall Street."

"Then, as he is the little girl's brother, I will say only five dollars
a week for the room."

"Thank you, Mrs. Clayton. I will let you know what he decides upon
to-morrow."

They went out to walk, going as far as Union Square, where Miss Manning
sat down on a bench, and let the children sport at will. It is needless
to say that they very soon got well acquainted, and after an hour and a
half, which their bright eyes testified to their having enjoyed, Miss
Manning carried the little Colmans back to Waverley Place, and, with
Rose, took the horse-cars back to their old home.

"Won't Rufie be surprised when he hears about it?" said Rose.

"Yes, Rosy, I think he will," said Miss Manning.



CHAPTER III.

JAMES MARTIN'S VICISSITUDES.


While Miss Manning is seeking a new boarding-place for herself and Rose,
events are taking place in Brooklyn which claim our attention. It is
here that James Martin, the shiftless and drunken step-father of Rufus
and Rose, has made a temporary residence. He had engaged board at the
house of a widow, Mrs. Waters, and for two or three weeks paid his board
regularly, being employed at his trade of a carpenter on some houses
going up near by. But it was not in James Martin's nature to work
steadily at anything. His love of drink had spoiled a once good and
industrious workman, and there seemed to be little chance of any
permanent improvement in his character or habits. For a time Rufus used
to pay him over daily the most of his earnings as a newsboy, and with
this he managed to live miserably enough without doing much himself. But
after a while Rufus became tired of this arrangement, and withdrew
himself and his sister to another part of the town, thus throwing Martin
on his own resources. Out of spite Martin contrived to kidnap Rose, but,
as we have seen, her brother had now succeeded in recovering her.

After losing Rose, Martin took the way back to his boarding-house,
feeling rather doubtful of his reception from Mrs. Waters, to whom he
was owing a week's board, which he was quite unable to pay. He had told
her that he would pay the bill as soon as he could exchange a
fifty-dollar note, which it is needless to say was only an attempt at
deception, since he did not even possess fifty cents.

On entering the house, he went at once to his room, and lay down on the
bed till the supper-bell rang. Then he came down, and took his place at
the table with the rest of the boarders.

"Where's your little girl, Mr. Martin?" inquired Mrs. Waters, missing
Rose.

"She's gone on a visit to some of her relations in New York," answered
Martin, with some degree of truth.

"How long is she to stay?"

"'Till she can have some new clothes made up; maybe two or three weeks."

"That's rather sudden, isn't it? You didn't think of her going this
morning?"

"No," answered Martin, with his mouth full of toast; "but she teased so
hard to go, I let her. She's a troublesome child. I shall be glad to
have the care of her off my mind for a time."

This might be true; but Mrs. Waters was beginning to lose confidence in
Mr. Martin's statements. She felt that it was the part of prudence to
make sure of the money he was already owing her, and then on some
pretext get rid of him.

When supper was over, Martin rose, and was about to go out, but Mrs.
Waters was too quick for him.

"Mr. Martin," she said, "may I speak to you a moment?"

"Yes, ma'am," answered Martin, turning reluctantly.

"I suppose you are ready to pay my bill; I need the money particularly."

"I'll pay it to-morrow, Mrs. Waters."

"You promised to pay me as soon as you changed a bill, and this morning
you said you should have a chance to change it, as you were going to buy
your little girl some new clothes."

"I know I did," said Martin, feeling cornered.

"I suppose, therefore, you can pay me the money to-night," said Mrs.
Waters, sharply.

"Why, the fact is, Mrs. Waters," said Martin, awkwardly, "I was very
unfortunate. As I was sitting in the horse-car coming home, I had my
pocket picked of all the money I got in change. There was some over
forty dollars."

"I'm sorry," said Mrs. Waters, coldly, for she did not believe a word of
this; "but I need my money."

"If it hadn't been for that, I'd have paid you to-night."

"There's only one word I have to say, Mr. Martin," said the landlady,
provoked; "if you can't pay me, you must find another boarding-place."

"I'll attend to it in a day or two. I guess I can get the money
to-morrow."

"If you can't pay me to-night, you'll oblige me by giving up your room
to-morrow morning. I'm a poor widder, Mr. Martin, and I must look out
for number one. I can't afford to keep boarders that don't pay their
bills."

There was one portion of this speech that set Mr. Martin to thinking.
Mrs. Waters was a widow--he was a widower. By marrying her he would
secure a home, and the money received from the boarders would be paid to
him. He might not be accepted. Still it would do no harm to try.

"Mrs. Waters," he said, abruptly, wreathing his features into what he
considered an attractive smile, "since I lost my wife I've been feeling
very lonely. I need a wife to look after me and my little gal. If you
will marry me, we'll live happy, and--"

"Thank you, Mr. Martin," said Mrs. Waters, considerably astonished at
the sudden turn affairs had taken; "but I've got too much to do to think
about marrying. Leastways, I don't care about marrying a man that can't
pay his board-bill."

"Just as you say," answered Martin, philosophically; "I've give you a
good chance. Perhaps you won't get another very soon."

"Well, if there isn't impudence for you!" ejaculated Mrs. Waters, as her
boarder left the room. "I must be hard up for a husband, to marry such a
shiftless fellow as he is."

The next morning, Mr. Martin made his appearance, as usual, at the
breakfast-table. Notwithstanding his proposal of marriage had been so
decidedly rejected the day before, his appetite was not only as good as
usual, but considerably better. In fact, as he was not quite clear where
his dinner was to come from, or whether, indeed, he should have any at
all, he thought it best to lay in sufficient to last him for several
hours. Mrs. Waters contemplated with dismay the rapid manner in which he
disposed of the beef-steak and hash which constituted the principal
dishes of her morning meal, and decided that the sooner she got rid of
such a boarder the better.

Mr. Martin observed the eyes of the landlady fixed upon him, and
misinterpreted it. He thought it possible she might have changed her
mind as to the refusal of the day before, and resolved to renew his
proposal. Accordingly he lingered till the rest of the boarders had left
the table.

"Mrs. Waters," he said, "maybe you've changed your mind since
yesterday."

"About what?" demanded the landlady, sharply.

"About marrying me."

"No, I haven't," answered the widow; "you needn't mention the matter
again. When I want to marry you, I'll send and let you know."

"All right!" said Martin; "there's several after me, but I'll wait a
week for you."

"Oh, don't trouble yourself," said the landlady, sarcastically; "I don't
want to disappoint anybody else. Can you pay me this morning?"

"I'll have the money in a day or two."

"You needn't come back to dinner unless you bring the money to pay your
bill. I can't afford to give you your board."

Mr. Martin rose and left the house, understanding pretty clearly that he
couldn't return. On reaching the street, he opened his pocket-book, and
ascertained that twelve cents were all it contained. This small amount
was not likely to last very long. He decided to go to New York, having
no further inducements to keep him in Brooklyn. Something might turn
up, he reasoned, in the shiftless manner characteristic of him.

Jumping upon a passing car, he rode down to Fulton Ferry, and crossed in
the boat to the New York side, thus expending for travelling expenses
eight cents.

Supposing that Rufus still sold papers in front of the "Tribune" office,
he proceeded to Printing House Square, and looked around for him; but he
was nowhere to be seen.

"Who you lookin' for, gov'nor?" inquired a boot-black, rather short of
stature, but with an old-looking face.

"Aint you the boy that went home with me Wednesday?" asked Martin, to
whom Ben Gibson's face looked familiar.

"S'posin' I am?"

"Have you seen a newsboy they call Rough and Ready, this morning?"

"Yes, I seed him."

"Where is he? Has he sold all his papers?"

"He's giv' up sellin' papers, and gone into business on Wall Street."

"Don't you try to fool me, or I'll give you a lickin'," said Martin,
sternly.

[Illustration: "DON'T YOU TRY TO FOOL ME."]

"Thank you for your kind offer," said Ben, "but lickings don't agree
with my constitution."

"Why don't you tell me the truth then?"

"I did."

"You said Rufus had gone into business in Wall Street."

"So he has. A rich cove's taken a fancy to him, and adopted him as a
office-boy."

"How much does he pay him?" asked Martin, considering whether there
would be any chance of getting some money out of his step-son.

"Not knowin' can't say," replied Ben; "but he's just bought two
pocket-books to hold his wages in."

"You're a humbug!" said Martin, indignantly. "What's the man's name he
works for?"

"It's painted in big letters on the sign. You can't miss it."

James Martin considered, for an instant, whether it would be best to
give Ben a thrashing, but the approach of a policeman led him to decide
in the negative.

"Shine yer boots, gov'nor?" asked Ben, professionally.

"Yes," said Martin, rather unexpectedly.

"Payment in advance!" said Ben, who didn't think it prudent to trust in
this particular instance.

"I'll tell yer what," said Martin, to whom necessity had taught a
certain degree of cunning, "if you'll lend me fifty cents for a week,
I'll let you shine my boots every day, and pay you the money besides."

"That's a very kind proposal," said Ben; "but I've just invested all my
money on a country-seat up the river, which makes me rather short."

"Then you can't lend me the fifty?"

"No, but I'll tell you where you can get it."

"Where?"

"Up in Chatham Street. There's plenty'll lend it on the security of that
hat of yours."

The hat in question was in the last stages of dilapidation, looking as
if it had been run over daily by an omnibus, and then used to fill the
place of a broken pane, being crushed out of all shape and comeliness.

Martin aimed a blow at Ben, but the boot-black dexterously evaded it,
and, slinging his box over his back, darted down Nassau Street.

Later in the day he met Rough and Ready.

"I see the gov'nor this mornin'," said Ben.

"What, Mr. Martin?"

"Yes."

"What did he say?"

"He inquired after you in the most affectionate manner, and wanted to
know where you was at work."

"I hope you didn't tell him."

"Not if I know myself. I told him he'd see the name on the sign. Then he
wanted to borrow fifty cents for a week."

Rufus laughed.

"It's a good investment, Ben. I've invested considerable money that way.
I suppose you gave him the money?"

"Maybe I did. He offered me the chance of blacking his boots every day
for a week, if I'd lend him the money; but I had to resign the glorious
privilege, not havin' been to the bank this mornin' to withdraw my
deposits."

"You talk like a banker, Ben."

"I'm goin' to bankin' some day, when boot-blacking gets dull."

Ben Gibson had been for years a boot-black, having commenced the
business when only eight years old. His life had been one of hardship
and privation, as street life always is, but he had become toughened to
it, and bore it with a certain stoicism, never complaining, but often
joking in a rude way at what would have depressed and discouraged a more
sensitive temperament. He was by no means a model boy, though not as bad
as many of his class. He had learned to smoke and to swear, and did both
freely. But there was a certain rude honesty about him which led Rufus,
though in every way his superior, to regard him with friendly interest,
and he had, on more than one occasion, been of considerable service to
our hero in his newsboy days. Rufus had tried to induce him to give up
smoking, but thus far without success.

"It keeps a feller warm," he said; "besides it won't hurt me. I'm
tough."



CHAPTER IV.

HOW JAMES MARTIN CAME TO GRIEF.


After parting with Ben Gibson, James Martin crossed the street to the
City Hall Park, and sat down on one of the wooden benches placed there
for the public accommodation. Neither his present circumstances nor his
future prospects were very brilliant. He was trying to solve the great
problem which has troubled so many lazy people, of how best to live
without work. There are plenty of men, not only in our cities, but in
country villages, who are at work upon this same problem, but few solve
it to their satisfaction. Martin was a good carpenter, and might have
earned a respectable and comfortable livelihood, instead of wandering
about the streets in ragged attire, without a roof to shelter him, or
money to pay for a decent meal.

As he sat on the bench, a cigar-boy passed him, with a box of cigars
under his arm.

"Cigars," he cried, "four for ten cents!"

"Come here, boy," said Martin. The boy approached.

"I want a cigar."

"I don't sell one. Four for ten cents."

Martin would willingly have bought four, but as his available funds
amounted only to four cents, this was impossible.

"I don't want but one; I've only got four cents in change, unless you
can change a ten-dollar bill."

"I can't do that."

"Here, take three cents, and give me a prime cigar."

"I'll sell you one for four cents."

"Hand over, then."

So Martin found himself penniless, but the possessor of a cigar, which
he proceeded to smoke with as much apparent enjoyment as if he had a
large balance to his credit at the bank.

He remained in the Park till his cigar was entirely smoked, and then
sauntered out with no definite object in view. It occurred to him,
however, that he might as well call on the keeper of a liquor saloon on
Baxter Street, which he had frequently patronized.

"How are you, Martin?" asked "Jim," that being the name by which the
proprietor was generally known.

"Dry as a fish," was the suggestive reply.

"Then you've come to the right shop. What'll you have?"

Martin expressed his desire for a glass of whiskey, which was poured
out, and hastily gulped down.

"I'm out of stamps," said Martin, coolly. "I s'pose you'll trust me till
to-morrow."

"Why didn't you say you hadn't any money?" demanded Jim, angrily.

"Come," said Martin, "don't be hard on an old friend. I'll pay you
to-morrow."

"Where'll the money come from?" demanded Jim, suspiciously.

This was a question which Martin was quite unable to answer
satisfactorily to himself.

"I'll get it some way," he answered.

"You'd better, or else you needn't come into this shop again."

Martin left the saloon rather disappointed. He had had a little idea of
asking a small loan from his friend "Jim;" but he judged that such an
application would hardly be successful under present circumstances.
"Jim's" friendship evidently was not strong enough to justify such a
draft upon it.

Martin began to think that it might have been as well, on the whole, to
seek employment at his trade in Brooklyn, for a time at least, until he
could have accumulated a few dollars. It was rather uncomfortable being
entirely without money, and that was precisely his present condition.
Even if he had wanted to go back to Brooklyn, he had not even the two
cents needed to pay the boat fare. Matters had come to a crisis with
Martin financially, and a suspension of specie payments was forced upon
him.

He continued to walk about the streets in that aimless way which results
from absence of occupation, and found it, on the whole, rather cheerless
work. Besides, he was beginning to get hungry. He had eaten a hearty
breakfast at his boarding-house in Brooklyn, but it was now one o'clock,
and the stomach began to assert its claims once more. He had no money.
Still there were places where food, at least, could be had for nothing.
He descended into a subterranean apartment, over the door of which was a
sign bearing the words FREE LUNCH.

As many of my readers know, these establishments are to be found in most
of our cities. A supply of sandwiches, or similar food, is provided free
for the use of those who enter, but visitors are expected to call and
pay for one or more glasses of liquor, which are sold at such prices
that the proprietor may, on the whole, realize a profit.

It was into one of those places that James Martin entered. He went up to
the counter, and was about to help himself to the food supplied. After
partaking of this, he intended to slip out without the drink, having no
money to pay for it. But, unfortunately for the success of his plans,
the keeper at the saloon had been taken in two or three times already
that day by similar impostors. Still, had James Martin been
well-dressed, he could have helped himself unquestioned to the
provisions he desired. But his appearance was suspicious. His ragged and
dirty attire betokened extreme poverty, and the man in charge saw, at a
glance, that his patronage was not likely to be desirable.

"Look here, my friend," he said, abruptly, as Martin was about to help
himself, "what'll you take to drink?"

"A glass of ale," said Martin, hesitatingly.

"All right! Pass over the money."

"The fact is," said Martin, "I left my pocket-book at home this morning,
and that's why I'm obliged to come in here."

"Very good! Then you needn't trouble yourself to take anything. We don't
care about visitors that leave their pocket-books at home."

"I'll pay you double to-morrow," said Martin, who had no hesitation in
making promises he hadn't the least intention of fulfilling.

"That won't go down," said the other. "I don't care about seeing such
fellows as you at any time. There's the door."

"Do you want to fight?" demanded Martin, angrily.

"No, I don't; but I may kick you out if you don't go peaceably. We
don't want customers of your sort."

"I'll smash your head!" said Martin, becoming pugnacious.

"Here, Mike, run up and see if you can't find a policeman."

This hint was not lost upon Martin. He had no great love for the
Metropolitan police, and kept out of their way as much as possible. He
felt that it would be prudent to evacuate the premises, and did so,
muttering threats meanwhile, and not without a lingering glance at the
lunch which was not free to him.

This last failure rather disgusted Martin. According to his theory, the
world owed him a living; but it seemed as if the world were disposed to
repudiate the debt. Fasting is apt to lead to serious reflection, and by
this time he was decidedly hungry. How to provide himself with a dinner
was a subject that required immediate attention.

He walked about for an hour or two without finding himself at the end of
that time any nearer the solution of the question than before. To work
all day may be hard; but to do nothing all day on an empty stomach is
still harder.

About four o'clock, Martin found himself at the junction of Wall Street
and Nassau. I hardly know what drew this penniless man to the street
through which flows daily a mighty tide of wealth, but I suspect that he
was hoping to meet Rufus, who, as he had learned from Ben Gibson, was
employed somewhere on the street. Rufus might, in spite of the manner in
which he had treated him, prove a truer friend in need than the
worthless companions of his hours of dissipation.

All at once a sharp cry of pain was heard.

A passing vehicle had run over the leg of a boy who had imprudently
tried to cross the street just in front of it. The wheels passed over
the poor boy's legs, both of which appeared to be broken. Of course, as
is always the case under such circumstances, there was a rush to the
spot where the casualty took place, and a throng of men and boys
gathered about the persons who were lifting the boy from the ground.

"The boy seems to be poor," said a humane by-stander; "let us raise a
little fund for his benefit."

A humane suggestion like this is pretty sure to be acted upon by those
whose hearts are made tender by the sight of suffering. So most of those
present drew out their pocket-books, and quite a little sum was placed
in the hands of the original proposer of the contribution.

Among those who had wedged themselves into the crowd was James Martin.
Having nothing to do, he had been eager to have his share in the
excitement. He saw the collection taken up with an envious wish that it
was for his own benefit. Beside him was a banker, who, from a plethoric
pocket-book, had drawn a five-dollar bill, which he had contributed to
the fund. Closing the pocket-book, he carelessly placed it in an outside
pocket. James Martin stood in such a position that the contents of the
pocket-book were revealed to him, and the demon of cupidity entered his
heart. How much good this money would do him! There were probably
several hundred dollars in all, perhaps more. He saw the banker put the
money in his pocket,--the one nearest to him. He might easily take it
without observation,--so he thought.

In an evil moment he obeyed the impulse which had come to him. He
plunged his hand into the pocket; but at this moment the banker turned,
and detected him.

"I've caught you, you rascal!" he exclaimed, seizing Martin with a
vigorous grip. "Police!"

Martin made a desperate effort to get free, but another man seized him
on the other side, and he was held, despite his resistance, till a
policeman, who by a singular chance happened to be near when wanted,
came up.

Martin's ragged coat was rent asunder from the violence of his efforts,
his hat fell off, and he might well have been taken for a desperate
character, as in this condition he was marched off by the guardian of
the city's peace.

There was another humiliation in store for him. He had gone but a few
steps when he met Rufus, who gazed in astonishment at his step-father's
plight. Martin naturally supposed that Rufus would exult in his
humiliation; but he did him injustice.

"I'm sorry for him," thought our hero, compassionately; "he's done me
harm enough, but I'm sorry."

He learned from one of the crowd for what Martin had been arrested, and
started for Franklin Street to carry the news to Miss Manning and Rose.



CHAPTER V.

THE LAST EVENING IN FRANKLIN STREET.


Though Rufus felt sorry for Mr. Martin's misfortune, there was at least
one satisfaction connected with it. He would doubtless be sent to
Blackwell's Island for three months, and of course when there he would
be unable to annoy Rose, or contrive any plots for carrying her off.
This would be a great relief to Rufus, who felt more than ever how much
the presence of his little sister contributed to his happiness. If he
was better than the average of the boys employed like himself, it was in
a considerable measure due to the fact that he had never been adrift in
the streets, but even in the miserable home afforded by his step-father
had been unconsciously influenced towards good by the presence of his
mother, and latterly by his little sister Rose. He, in his turn, had
gained a salutary influence among the street boys, who looked up to him
as a leader, though that leadership was gained in the first place by
his physical superiority and manly bearing.

It occurred to him, that perhaps, after all, it might not be necessary
for Rose and Miss Manning to move from Franklin Street at present, on
account of Mr. Martin's arrest. He was rather surprised, when, on
entering the little room, after hurrying upstairs two or three steps at
a time, he saw Miss Manning's trunk open and half packed, with various
articles belonging to herself and Rose spread out beside it.

"Hallo!" he exclaimed, stopping short on the threshold, "what are you
doing?"

"Getting ready to move, Rufus," answered the seamstress.

"So you've found a place?"

"Oh, such a nice place, Rufie!" chimed in little Rose; "there's a nice
carpet, and there's going to be a sofa, and oh, it's beautiful!"

"So you're going to live in style, are you?" said Rufus. "But how about
the cost, Miss Manning?"

"That's the pleasantest part of it," was the reply; "it isn't going to
cost me anything, and I am to be paid two dollars a week besides."

Rufus looked bewildered.

"Can't I get a chance there too?" he asked. "I'd be willin' to give 'em
the pleasure of my society for half a price, say a dollar a week,
besides a room."

"We are to be boarded also," said Miss Manning, in a tone of
satisfaction.

"If it's a conundrum I'll give it up," said Rufus; "just tell a feller
all about it, for I begin to think you're crazy, or else have come
across some benevolent chap that's rather loose in the upper story."

Hereupon Miss Manning, unwilling to keep Rufus longer in suspense, gave
him a full account of her morning's adventures, including her engagement
with Mrs. Colman.

"You're in luck," said Rufus, "and I'm glad of it; but there's one thing
we'll have to settle about."

"What's that?"

"About Rose's board."

"Oh, that is all settled already. Mrs. Colman is to pay for her board as
well as mine."

"Yes, I know that; but it is your teachin' that is to pay for it."

"Yes, I suppose so."

"Then I must pay you for her board. That will make it all right."

"Oh, no, Rufus, I couldn't accept anything. You see it doesn't cost me
anything."

"Yes, it does," persisted the newsboy; "if it wasn't for that, you would
be paid more money."

"If it wasn't for her, I should not have applied for board in that
place; so you see that it is to Rose, after all, that I am indebted for
the situation."

"I see that you are very kind to Rose, Miss Manning, but I can't have
you pay for her board. I am her brother, and am well and strong. I can
afford to pay for Rose, and I will. Now how much will it be?"

Miss Manning persisted that she was not willing to receive anything; but
upon this point the newsboy's pride was aroused, and finally this
arrangement was made: Miss Manning was to receive three dollars a week,
and for this sum she also agreed to provide Rose with proper clothing,
so that Rufus would have no responsibility or care about her. He wanted
the seamstress to accept four dollars; but upon this point she was quite
determined. She declared that three dollars was too high, but finally
agreed to accept it.

"I don't want to make money out of Rose," she said.

"It'll take some time to get ahead of A. T. Stewart on three dollars a
week."

"I shall have five dollars a week."

"But you will have to buy clothes for Rose and yourself."

"I shall make them myself, so that they won't cost me more than half of
the money."

"Then you can save up the rest."

"But you will only have five dollars left to pay your expenses, Rufus."

"Oh, I can get along. Don't mind me."

"But I wanted you to come and board with us. Mrs. Clayton has a hall
bedroom which she would let to you with board for five dollars a week.
But that would leave you nothing for clothes."

"I could earn enough some other way to pay for my clothes," said Rufus;
"but I don't know about going to board with you. I expect it's a
fashionable place, and I shouldn't know how to behave."

"You will know how to behave as well as I do. I didn't think you were
bashful, Rufus."

"No more I am in the street," said the newsboy; "but you know how I've
lived, Miss Manning. Mr. Martin didn't live in fashionable style, and
his friends were not very select. When I took breakfast at Mr. Turner's,
I felt like a cat in a strange garret."

"Then it's time you got used to better society," said Miss Manning. "You
want to rise in the world, don't you?"

"Of course I do."

"Then take my advice, and come with us. You'll soon get used to it."

"Maybe I will. I'll come round to-morrow, and see how I like it."

"Remember you are in business in Wall Street, and ought to live
accordingly. Don't you think Mr. Turner would prefer to have you board
in a good place rather than sleep at the Lodging House, without any home
of your own?"

"Yes, I suppose he would," said Rufus.

The idea was a new one to him, but it was by no means disagreeable. He
had always been ambitious to rise, but thus far circumstances had
prevented his gratifying this ambition. His step-father's drunken
habits, and the consequent necessity he was under of contributing to his
support as well as that of Rose, and his mother when living, had
discouraged him in all his efforts, and led him to feel that all his
efforts were unavailing. But now his fortunes had materially changed.
Now, for the first time, there seemed to be a chance for him. He felt
that it was best to break off, as far as possible, his old life, and
turn over a new leaf. So the advice of his friend, Miss Manning,
commended itself to his judgment, and he about made up his mind to
become a boarder at Mrs. Clayton's. He would have the satisfaction of
being in the same house with his little sister Rose, and thus of seeing
much more of her than if he boarded down town at the Lodging House. It
would cost him more to be sure, leaving him, as Miss Manning suggested,
nothing for his clothes; but, as his duties in Wall Street did not
commence until nine o'clock, and terminated at five, he felt sure that
in his leisure time he would be able to earn enough to meet this
expense. Besides, there would be the interest on his five hundred
dollars, which would amount to not less than thirty dollars, and
probably more, for, with the advice of Mr. Turner, he was about to
purchase with it some bank shares. Then, if it should be absolutely
necessary, he could break in upon his principal, although he would be
sorry to do this, for, though he did not expect to add to it for a year
to come, he hoped to keep it at its present amount.

These thoughts passed rapidly through his mind, and, when little Rose,
taking his hand, said, pleadingly, "Do come and live with us, Rufie!" he
answered, "Yes, Rosy, I will, if Mrs. Clayton will make room for me."

"Oh, that will be so nice, won't it, Miss Manning?" said Rose, clapping
her hands.

"Perhaps Mr. Martin will come and board with us," said Rufus, jestingly;
"wouldn't you like that, Rose?"

"No," said Rose, looking frightened; "do you think he will find out
where we are?"

"Not for some time at least," said her brother. "By the way, I saw him
to-day, Miss Manning."

"Did you speak with him, Rufus?"

"Did he try to carry you off, Rufie?" asked Rose, anxiously.

"You forget, Rose, that I am rather too big to carry off," said Rufus.
"No, he did not say anything to me. The fact is, he has got into a
scrape, and has enough to do to think of himself."

"Tell us about it, Rufus."

"I saw him, just as I was coming home, in the hands of the police. I
heard that he had tried to rob a gentleman of his pocket-book."

"What will they do to him?"

"I suppose he will be sent to the Island."

"I am sorry for him, though he has not treated you and Rose right."

"Yes, I am sorry too; but at any rate we need not feel anxious about his
getting hold of Rose."

They had a very pleasant supper together. It was the last supper in the
old room, and they determined that it should be a good one. Rufus went
out and got some sirloin steak, and brought in a pie from the baker's.
This, with what they had already had, made a very nice supper.

"You won't have any more cooking to do for some time, Miss Manning,"
said Rufus; "you'll be a lady, with servants to wait on you. I hope the
two little girls won't give you much trouble. If they do, that might be
harder work than sewing."

"They seem to be quite pleasant little girls, and they will be a good
deal of company for Rose."

"How did you like them, Rosie?" asked her brother.

"Ever so much. Jennie,--that's the oldest, you know, she's almost as big
as me,--said she would give me one of her dolls. She's got four."

"That's quite a large family for a young lady to have. Don't you think
she would give me one of them?"

"Boys don't have dolls," said Rose, decidedly. "It aint proper."

Rufus laughed.

"Then I suppose I must do without one; but it would be a great deal of
company for me when I go down town to business. I could put it in my
pocket, you know."

"You're only making fun, Rufie."

"I suppose you think of going up to Mrs. Clayton's the first thing in
the morning," said Rufus, turning to Miss Manning.

"Yes," she answered; "I can send up my trunk by a city express, and Rose
and I can go up by the horse-cars, or, if it is pleasant, we will walk."

"I will go up with you, and look at the room you spoke of, if you will
go early enough for me to be down at the office at nine o'clock."

Miss Manning assented to this arrangement, and Rufus left Franklin
Street at nine, and repaired to the Newsboy's Lodging House, to sleep
there for the last time.



CHAPTER VI.

A NEW HOME.


At an early hour the next morning Miss Manning, accompanied by Rufus and
Rose, ascended Mrs. Clayton's steps, and rang the bell.

The summons was answered directly by a servant.

"Is Mrs. Clayton at home?" inquired Miss Manning.

"Yes; you're Mrs. Colman's new governess, aint you?"

"I am; but I would like to see Mrs. Clayton first."

"Come in, and I'll call her."

The three remained standing in the hall, awaiting the appearance of the
landlady.

Rufus surveyed the interior of the house, so far as he could see it,
with evident approval. Not that the house compared with the homes of
many of my young readers who are favored by fortune. It was not
magnificent, but it was neat, and well furnished, and looked bright and
cheerful. To Rufus it appeared even elegant. He had a glimpse of the
parlor through the half-opened door, and it certainly was so, compared
with the humble boarding-house in Franklin Street, not to mention the
miserable old tenement house on Leonard Street, which the readers of
"Rough and Ready" will easily remember.

"I say, Miss Manning, this is jolly," said Rufus, in a tone of
satisfaction.

"Isn't it a nice house, Rufie?" said little Rose.

"Yes, it is, Rosie;" and Rough and Ready, to call him for once by his
old name, felt happy in the thought that his little sister, whose life,
thus far, had been passed in a miserable quarter of the city, would now
be so much more favorably situated.

At this moment Mrs. Clayton made her appearance.

"Good-morning, Miss Manning," she said, cordially; "I am sorry the
servant left you standing in the hall. Good-morning, my dear,"
addressing Rose; "is this young man your brother?"

"He is my brother," said Rose; "but he isn't a young man. He's a boy."

Rufus smiled.

"Maybe I'll be a young man in twenty or thirty years," he said. "Miss
Manning tells me," he continued, "that you have a small room which you
will let for five dollars a week with board."

"Yes," said the landlady; "my price has always been five and a half, but
as your sister would like to have you here, I will say five to you."

"Can I look at it?"

"Yes, I will go up and show it to you at once."

They followed Mrs. Clayton up two flights of stairs. The door of the
vacant room was already open. It was a hall bedroom of ordinary size.
The head of the bed was on the same side as the door, the room being
just wide enough for it. Between the foot of the bed and the window, but
on the opposite side, was a bureau with a mirror. There were a washstand
and a couple of chairs beside it. A neat carpet covered the floor, and
the window was screened by a shade.

"You see it is pretty good size for a hall bedroom," said the landlady.
"There is no closet, but you can hang your clothes on that row of pegs.
If there are not enough, I will have some more put in."

"I think there will be enough," said Rufus, thinking, as he spoke, of
his limited wardrobe. He was not much better off than the man who
carried all his clothes on his back, and so proclaimed himself
independent of trunk-makers.

"Well, Rufus, what do you think of the room?" asked Miss Manning.

"I'll take it," said our hero, promptly. He had been on the point of
calling it _bully_, when it occurred to him that perhaps such a word
might not be the most appropriate under the circumstances.

"When will you come, Mr. ----?" here the landlady hesitated, not having
been made acquainted with the last name of our new boarder. Here it
occurs to me that as yet our hero has not been introduced by his full
name, although this is the second volume of his adventures. It is quite
time that this neglect was remedied.

"Rushton," said Rufus.

"When will you take possession of the room, Mr. Rushton?"

"I'll be here to-night to dinner," said Rufus, "Maybe I won't send my
trunk round till to-morrow."

"I didn't know you had a trunk, Rufie," said Rose, innocently.

"I don't carry my trunk round all the time like an elephant, Rosy," said
her brother, a little embarrassed by his sister's revelation, for he
wanted to keep up appearances in his new character as a boarder at an
up-town boarding-house.

"Rufus, wouldn't you like to go up and see my room?" interposed Miss
Manning; "it's on the next floor, but, though rather high up, I think
you will like it."

This opportune interruption prevented Rose from making any further
reference to the trunk.

So they proceeded upstairs.

Though Mr. Colman had not yet sent in the additional furniture promised
by his wife, the room was looking bright and pleasant. The carpet had a
rich, warm tint, and everything looked, as the saying is, as neat as a
pin.

"This is to be my room," said Miss Manning, with satisfaction,--"my room
and Rosy's. I hope you will often come up to visit us. How do you like
it?"

"Bully," said Rufus, admiringly, unconsciously pronouncing the forbidden
word.

"I think we shall be very comfortable here," said Miss Manning.

Here a child's step was heard upon the stairs, and Jennie Colman
entered.

"Mamma would like to see you downstairs, Miss Manning," she said.

"Good-morning, my dear," said her new governess. "Rufus, this is one of
my pupils."

"Is that your husband, Miss Manning?" asked Jennie, surveying Rufus with
attention.

Rufus laughed, and Miss Manning also.

"He would be rather a young husband for me, Jennie," she said. "He is
more suitable for you."

"I am not old enough to be married yet," she answered, gravely; "but
perhaps I will marry him some time. I like his looks."

Rufus blushed a little, not being in the habit of receiving compliments
from young ladies.

"Have you got that doll for me, Jennie?" asked Rose, introducing the
subject which had the greatest interest for her.

"Yes, I've got it downstairs, in mamma's room."

They went down, and at the door of Mrs. Colman's room Miss Manning said,
"Won't you come in, Rufus? I will introduce you to Mrs. Colman."

"Yes, come in," said Jennie, taking his hand.

But Rufus declined, feeling bashful about being introduced.

"It's time for me to go to the office," he said; "some other time will
do."

"You'll be here in time for dinner, Rufus?"

"Yes," said our hero, and putting on his hat he made his escape, feeling
considerably relieved when he was fairly in the open air.

"I s'pose I'll get used to it after a while," he said to himself.

"I am glad you have come, Miss Manning," said Mrs. Colman, extending her
hand. "You will be able to relieve me of a great deal of my care. The
children are good, but full of spirits, and when I have one of my
nervous headaches, the noise goes through my head like a knife. I hope
you won't find them a great deal of trouble."

"I don't anticipate that," said the new governess, cheerfully; "I am
fond of children."

"Do you ever have the headache?"

"Very seldom."

"Then you are lucky. Children are a great trial at such a time."

"Have you the headache this morning, Mrs. Colman?" asked Miss Manning,
in a tone of sympathy.

"Not badly, but I am seldom wholly free from it. Now suppose we talk a
little of our plans. It is time the children were beginning to learn to
read. Can your little girl read?"

"A little; not very much."

"I suppose it will be better not to require them to study more than an
hour or two a day, just at first. The rest of the time you can look
after them. I am afraid you will find it quite an undertaking."

"I am not afraid of that," said Miss Manning, cheerfully.

"The children have no books to study from. Perhaps you had better take
them out for a walk now, and stop on your way at some Broadway
bookseller's, and get such books as you think they will need."

"Very well."

"Are we going out to walk?" said Jennie. "I shall like that."

"And I too," said Carrie.

"I hope you won't give Miss Manning any trouble," said their mother.
"Here is some money to pay for the books;" and she handed the new
governess a five-dollar bill.

The children were soon ready, and their new governess went on with them.
She congratulated herself on the change in her mode of life. When solely
dependent on her labors as a seamstress, she had been compelled to sit
hour after hour, from early morning until evening, sewing steadily, and
then only earned enough to keep soul and body together. What wonder if
she became thin, and her cheek grew pale, losing the rosy tint which it
wore, when as a girl she lived among the hills of New England! Better
times had come to her at length. She would probably be expected to
spend considerable time daily out of doors, as her pupils were too young
to study much or long at a time. It was a blessed freedom, so she felt,
and she was sure that she should enjoy the society of the two little
girls, having a natural love for children. She did not expect to like
them as well as Rose, for Rose seemed partly her own child, but she
didn't doubt that she should ere long become attached to them.

Then, again, she would not only enjoy an agreeable home, but for the
first time would receive such compensation for her services as to be
quite at ease in her pecuniary circumstances. Five dollars a week might
not be a large sum to a lady with expensive tastes; but Miss Manning had
the art of appearing well dressed for a small sum, and, as she made her
own clothes, she estimated that three dollars a week would clothe both,
and enable her to save two dollars weekly, or a hundred dollars a year.
This was indeed a bright prospect to one who had been engaged in a
hand-to-hand struggle with poverty for the last five years.

She went into a Broadway bookstore, and purchased primers for her new
pupils, and a more advanced reading-book for Rose. At the end of an hour
they returned home. They found an express wagon at the door. Two men
were lifting out a sofa and a rocking-chair.

"They are for your room, Miss Manning," said Jennie. "I heard ma tell pa
this morning, to stop at a furniture place and buy them."

Mr. Colman had certainly been prompt, for, though it was still early,
here they were.

When they were carried upstairs, and placed in her room, Miss Manning
looked about her with pardonable pride and satisfaction. Though the room
was on the fourth floor, it looked quite like a parlor. She felt that
she should take great comfort in so neat and pleasant a room. It was a
great contrast to her dull, solitary, laborious life in the shabby room,
for which, poor as it was, she oftentimes found it difficult to provide
the weekly rent.

There were no lessons that morning, for Miss Manning had her trunk to
unpack, and Rose's clothes and her own to lay away in the
bureau-drawers. She had about completed this work when the bell rang
for lunch. Taking Rose by the hand, she led her downstairs to the
basement, where, as is common in New York boarding-houses, the
dining-room was situated.

There were five ladies and children at the table, the gentlemen being
obliged, on account of the distance, to take their lunch down town,
somewhere near their places of business.

"You may take this seat, Miss Manning," said the landlady, indicating
one near herself. "Your little girl can sit between us, and Jennie and
Carrie on the other side. I will trouble you to take care of them. Their
mother seldom comes down to lunch."

The repast was plain but plentiful, the principal meal, dinner, being at
six, an hour more convenient for men of business. I state this for the
benefit of those of my readers who live in the country, and are
accustomed to take dinner in the middle of the day.

Miss Manning was introduced to Mrs. Pratt, a stout, elderly lady, with a
pleasant face, who sat opposite her; to Mrs. Florence, a young lady
recently married, who sat at her left; and to Mrs. Clifton, formerly
Miss Peyton, who, as well as her husband, will be remembered by the
readers of the second and third volumes of this series. Mr. Clifton kept
a dry goods store on Eighth Avenue.

In the afternoon, Miss Manning gave her first lesson, and succeeded in
interesting her young pupils, who proved quite docile, and seemed to
have taken a fancy to their new governess.

Meanwhile Rufus had succeeded in making an arrangement which promised to
add to his weekly income. Of this an account will be given in the next
chapter.



CHAPTER VII.

A NEW ENTERPRISE.


Rufus felt some doubts as to whether he had done wisely in agreeing to
board at Mrs. Clayton's. His own board, together with what he paid for
his sister's board and clothes, would just take up the whole of his
salary. However, he would have the interest on his five hundred dollars,
now deposited in a savings-bank, and yielding six per cent. interest
annually. Still this would amount only to thirty dollars, and this would
not be sufficient to pay for his clothes alone, not to mention
miscellaneous expenses, such as car-fares and other incidental expenses.
He felt that he should like now and then to go on an excursion with his
sister and Miss Manning, or perhaps to a place of amusement. For all
this, one hundred dollars a year would be needed, at a moderate
calculation. How should he make up this amount?

Two ways suggested themselves to Rufus. One was, draw upon his
principal. Probably he would not be obliged to do this very long, as, at
the end of six months, it was probable that his salary would be raised
if he gave satisfaction, and this he meant to do. Still, Rufus did not
like this plan, for five hundred dollars seemed a good round sum, and he
wanted to keep it all. The other way was to make up the necessary sum by
extra work outside of the office. This idea he liked best. But it
suggested another question, which was not altogether easy to answer.
"What should he do, or what kind of work should he choose?"

He might go back to his old employment. As he was not required to be at
the office before nine o'clock, why should he not spend an hour or two
in the early morning in selling newspapers? He felt confident that he
could in this way clear two dollars a week. But there were two
objections which occurred to him. The first was, that as Mrs. Clayton's
breakfast was at half-past seven in the winter, and not earlier than
seven in the summer, he would be obliged to give it up, and take
breakfast at some restaurant down town. His breakfasts, probably, would
come to very nearly the sum he would make by selling papers, and as Mrs.
Clayton took him under her usual price, it was hardly to be expected
that she would make any allowance for his absence from the morning meal.
Besides, Rufus had left his old life behind him, and he did not want to
go back to it. He doubted, also, whether his employer would like to have
him spend his time before office hours in selling papers. Then, again,
he was about to board at a house of very good rank, and he felt that he
did not wish to pass among his new acquaintances as a newsboy, if he
could get something better to do. Of course it was respectable, as all
honest labor is; but our hero felt that by this time he was suited to
something better.

The more Rufus balanced these considerations in his mind, the more
perplexed he became. Meanwhile he was walking down Broadway on his way
to the office.

Just as he was crossing Canal Street, some one tapped him on the
shoulder. Turning round, he recognized a young man whom he remembered as
clerk in a stationery store in Nassau Street. His name was George
Black.

"Rough and Ready!" he exclaimed, in surprise. "Is this you? Why are you
not selling papers? You got up late this morning, didn't you?"

"I've given up selling papers," said Rufus.

"How long since?"

"Only a few days."

"What are you up to now?"

"I'm in an office in Wall Street."

"What sort of an office?"

"A banker's,--Mr. Turner's."

"Yes, I know the firm. What do you get?"

"Eight dollars a week."

"That's pretty good,--better than selling papers."

"Yes, I like it better, though I don't make any more money than I did
before. But it seems more like business."

"Well, you've found a place, and I've lost one."

"How is that?"

"My employer failed, and the business has gone up," said Black.

"I suppose you are looking for a new place."

"Yes; but I wouldn't if I only had a little capital."

"What would you do then?"

"I was walking up Sixth Avenue yesterday, when I saw a neat little
periodical and fancy goods store for sale, on account of the owner's
illness. It's a very good location, and being small does not require
much capital to carry it on. The rent is cheap,--only twenty dollars a
month. By adding a few articles, I could make a thousand dollars a year
out of it."

"Why don't you take it?"

"Because I haven't got but a hundred dollars in the world, and I expect
that will be gone before I get a new place."

"What does the owner want for his stock?"

"He says it cost him seven hundred dollars; but he's sick, and wants to
dispose of it as soon as possible. He'll sell out for five hundred
dollars cash."

"Are you sure the stock is worth that much?" asked Rufus.

"Yes, I am sure it is worth more. I've been in the business, and I can
judge."

"Why don't you borrow the money?"

"It is easy enough to say that, but where shall I find anybody to lend
it?"

"You might take a partner with money."

"So I might, if I could find one."

"Look here, Mr. Black," said Rufus, in a businesslike tone, "what offer
will you make to any one who will furnish you the money to buy out this
shop?"

"Do you know of anybody who has got the money?" asked the young man.

"Perhaps I do, and perhaps I don't; but maybe I might find somebody."

"I'll tell you what I'll do. If any one will set me up there, I will
give him a third of the profits after paying expenses."

"And you think that you can make a thousand dollars a year?"

"Yes, I feel sure of it."

"That's a good offer," said Rufus, meditatively.

"I'm willing to make it. At that rate I shall make fourteen dollars a
week, and I have never been paid but twelve for clerking it. Besides, I
should be my own master."

"You might not make so much."

"If I make less I can live on less. There's a small room in back, where
I can put in a bed, that will save me room-rent. My meals I can buy at
the restaurants. I don't believe it will cost me over three hundred and
fifty dollars to live."

"So that you could save up money."

"Yes, I should be sure to. After a while I could buy out the whole
business."

Rufus was silent for a moment. He had five hundred dollars. Why should
he not set up George Black in business on the terms proposed? Then,
instead of getting a paltry thirty dollars' interest for his money, he
would get two or three hundred dollars, and this would abundantly make
up what he needed to live in good style at Mrs. Clayton's, and afford
Rose and himself occasional recreation. Of course a good deal depended
on the honesty of George Black. But of this young man Rufus had a very
good opinion, having known him for two or three years. Besides, as
partner he would be entitled to inquire into the state of the business
at any time, and if anything was wrong he would take care that it was
righted.

"What are you thinking about?" inquired the young man, observing his
silence.

"How would you like me for a partner?" asked Rufus, looking up suddenly.

"I'd just as lief have you as anybody, if you had the money," said
George Black.

"I have got the money," said our hero.

"You don't mean to say you've got five hundred dollars?" asked Black, in
surprise.

"Yes, I do."

"How did you get it? You didn't make it selling papers in the street."

"You may bet on that. No; I found part of it and the rest I had given
me."

"Tell me about it."

Rufus did so.

"Where is the money?"

"I keep it in a savings-bank."

"I'll tell you what, Rufus," said George, "if you'll buy out the shop
for me, and come in as my partner, I'll do what I said, and that'll be
a good deal better than the savings-bank can do for you."

"That's true; but there'll be more risk."

"I don't think there will. I shall manage the business economically, and
you can come in any time and see how it's going on. But I never thought
you had so much money."

"If you had, maybe you'd have thought more of me," said Rufus.

"Maybe I should. 'Money makes the mare go' in this world. But when will
you let me know about it? I've only got two days to decide in."

"I should like to see the shop myself," said Rufus, with commendable
prudence.

"Of course; that's what I'd like to have you do. When will you come
round with me and see it?"

"I can't come now," said our hero, "for it would make me late at the
office. Is it open in the evening?"

"Yes."

"Then I'll tell you what. I'll meet you there this evening at eight
o'clock. Just give me the number, and I'll be sure to be there."

"All right. Have you got a pencil?"

"Yes; and here's one of our cards. You can put it down here."

The address was put down, and the two parted.

George Black went round to the shop at once to say that he would
probably be able to make an arrangement. In the evening, at the
appointed hour, the two met at the periodical store.

Rufus was favorably impressed on first entering. The room was small, but
it was very neat. It had a good window opening to the street, and it
appeared well filled with stock. A hasty survey satisfied our hero that
the stock was really worth more than the amount asked for it.

The proprietor seemed a sickly-looking man, and the plea of ill-health,
judging from his appearance, might readily be credited.

"This is the capitalist I spoke of this morning," said George Black,
introducing Rufus.

"He seems young,", said the proprietor, a little surprised.

"I'm not very aged yet," said Rufus, smiling.

"The main thing is, that he's got the money," said Black. "He's in
business in Wall Street, and is looking about for an investment of his
spare funds."

Rufus was rather pleased with this way of stating his position. He saw
that it heightened his importance considerably in the mind of the owner
of the shop.

"He'll do well to invest here," said the latter. "It's a good stand. I
wouldn't sell out if my health would let me hold on. But confinement
doesn't suit me. The doctor says I shan't live a year, if I stay here,
and life is better than money."

"That's so."

"How long has this shop been established?" asked Rufus.

"Five years."

"It ought to be pretty well known."

"Yes; it's got a good run of custom. If the right man takes hold of it,
he'll make money. He can't help it."

"What do you think of it, Rufus?" asked George Black, turning to our
hero. "Isn't it as I represented?"

"Yes," said Rufus. "I should think a good business might be done here."

"If I get hold of it, a good business shall be done here," said Black,
emphatically. "But it all depends on you. Say the word, and we'll close
the bargain now."

"All right!" said Rufus, promptly. "I'll say the word. We'll take the
shop."



CHAPTER VIII.

THE NEW BOARDING-HOUSE.


It might be considered hazardous for Rufus to invest all his money in a
venture which depended to so great an extent upon the honesty of
another. But there is no profit without risk, and our hero felt
considerable confidence in the integrity of his proposed partner. It
occurred to him, however, that he might need some money before he should
receive any from the business. Accordingly, as the young man had told
him that he had a hundred dollars, he proposed that he should contribute
one half of that sum towards the purchase of the shop, while he made up
the balance,--four hundred and fifty dollars. This would leave him fifty
dollars for contingent expenses, while George Black would have the same.

Our hero's street-life had made him sharp, and he determined to secure
himself as far as possible. He accordingly proposed to George Black that
they should go to a lawyer, and have articles of agreement drawn up.
For this, however, he did not have time till the next morning.

One article proposed by Rufus was, that he should draw fifty dollars a
quarter towards the third share of the profits, which it was agreed that
he should receive, and at the end of the year any balance that might
remain due. No objection was made by George Black, who considered this
provision a fair one. The style of the firm,--for as most of the capital
was furnished by Rufus, it was thought that his name should be
represented,--was "RUSHTON & BLACK."

A new sign was ordered, bearing their names, and it was arranged that
the new proprietors should take possession of the store at the
commencement of the next week, when it would probably be ready.

Rufus hesitated about announcing his new venture to Miss Manning and
Rose, but finally concluded not to do so just at present. It would be
time, he thought, when they had got fairly started.

Meanwhile he had transferred himself to the room at Mrs. Clayton's
boarding-house. He felt rather bashful at first about appearing at the
table. Half an hour before the time, he reached the house, and went up
at once to Miss Manning's room.

"O Rufie!" said Rose, jumping up from the sofa and running to meet him,
"have you come to stay?"

"Yes, Rosie," he answered, sitting down on the sofa, and taking her in
his lap.

"I am _so_ glad. You are going down to dinner, aint you?"

"Yes, I suppose so."

"We have such nice dinners,--don't we, Miss Manning?"

"Very nice, Rose."

"A great deal better than I ever had before. I wonder where you will
sit, Rufie."

"He will sit next to you, Rose; I spoke to Mrs. Clayton about it. Rufus
will take care of you, and I am to look after Jennie and Carrie."

"That will be very nice."

"How do you like the little girls, Rose?" asked her brother.

"Very much. They have given me some of their dolls."

"And which knows the most,--you or they?"

"Oh, I know ever so much more," said Rose, positively.

"Is that true, Miss Manning, or is Rose boasting?" asked Rufus.

"Rose is farther advanced than either Jennie or Carrie," answered Miss
Manning. "They have studied comparatively little yet, but I find them
docile, and I think they will soon improve."

By the time Rufus had combed his hair, and put on a clean collar, the
dinner-bell rang. He followed Miss Manning down into the dining-room.

"Good-evening, Mr. Rushton," said Mrs. Clayton. "I am glad to see you."

"His name isn't Mr. Rushton," said Rose. "His name is Rufie."

"It is the first time Rose ever heard me called so," said Rufus,
smiling. "She will soon get used to it."

He was rather pleased than otherwise to be called Mr. Rushton. It made
him feel more like a man.

"You may take that seat, Mr. Rushton," said the landlady. "Your little
sister will sit beside you."

Rufus took the chair indicated.

Next to him was seated a lady of thirty or more, whose hair fell in
juvenile ringlets. This was Mrs. Clifton, formerly Miss Peyton, who will
be remembered by the readers of "Fame and Fortune." Rufus was introduced
to her.

"I am very glad to make your acquaintance, Mr. Rushton," said Mrs.
Clifton, graciously. "You have a very sweet little sister."

"Yes; she is a very good little girl," said Rufus, better pleased with a
compliment to Rose than he would have been with one to himself.

"I understand you are in business in Wall Street, Mr. Rushton."

"Yes," said Rufus. "I am in the office of Mr. Turner."

"I sometimes tell Mr. Clifton I wish he would go into business in Wall
Street. He keeps a dry-goods store on Eighth Avenue."

"Can't remember ever hearing you mention the idea, Mrs. C----," remarked
her husband, who sat on the other side, in a pause between two
mouthfuls. "There aint much money in dry goods just now, by jove! I'll
open in Wall Street, if you say the word."

Mrs. Clifton slightly frowned, and did not see fit to answer the remark
made to her. Her husband was not very brilliant, either in business,
wit, or in any other way, and she had married him, not from love, but
because she saw no other way of escaping from being an old maid.

"Do you know, Mr. Rushton," said Mrs. Clifton, "you remind me so much of
a very intimate friend of mine, Mr. Hunter?"

"Do I?" added Rufus. "I hope he is good-looking."

"He's very handsome," said Mrs. Clifton, "and _so_ witty."

"Then I'm glad I'm like him," said Rufus.

For some reason he did not feel so bashful as he anticipated,
particularly with Mrs. Clifton.

"He's soon going to be married to a very rich young lady,--Miss Greyson;
perhaps you know her."

"That's where he has the advantage of me," said Rufus.

"Mr. Clifton," said his wife, "don't you think Mr. Rushton looks very
much like Mr. Hunter?"

"Yes," said her husband; "as much as I look like the Emperor Napoleon."

"Don't make a goose of yourself, Mr. Clifton," said his wife, sharply.

"Thank you, I don't intend to. A goose is a female, and I don't care to
make such a change."

"I suppose you think that is witty," said Mrs. Clifton, a little
disdainfully.

It is unnecessary to pursue the conversation. Those who remember Mrs.
Clifton when she was Miss Peyton will easily understand what was its
character. It had the effect, however, of putting Rufus at his ease. On
the whole, considering that he was only used to cheap restaurants, he
acquitted himself very well for the first time, and no one suspected
that he had not always been accustomed to live as well. The dinner he
found excellent. Mrs. Clayton herself superintended the preparation of
dinner, and she was not inclined to undue economy, as is the case with
many landladies.

"I'm glad I came here," thought Rufus. "It's worth the difference in
price."

As they rose from the table, Mrs. Colman asked Miss Manning, "Is that
the brother of your little girl?"

"Yes," answered Miss Manning.

"He has a very good appearance; I should like to have you bring him into
our room a while."

Miss Manning communicated this invitation to Rufus. He would have
excused himself gladly, but he felt that this would have been hardly
polite; therefore he accepted it.

"I am glad to make your acquaintance, Mr. Rushton," said Mrs. Colman.

"Thank you," said Rufus.

"I hear that you have come to board with us."

"Yes," he answered, wishing that he might think of something more to
say, but not succeeding.

"It is a pleasant boarding-place; I hope you will like it."

"I think I shall."

"You have a very nice little sister; my little girls like her very much.
She will be a great deal of company for them."

"I think she is a very good little girl," said Rufus; "but then I am
her brother, so I suppose it is natural for me to think so."

"You are in an office in Wall Street, I am told," said Mr. Colman.

"Yes, sir," said Rufus.

"Whose, may I ask?"

"Mr. Turner's."

"He is an able business-man, and stands high. You could not learn
business under better auspices."

"I like him very much," said Rufus; "but then I have not been long in
his office."

"I find Miss Manning relieves me of a great deal of care and trouble,"
said Mrs. Colman (her new governess being just then out of the room). "I
feel that I was fortunate in securing her services."

"I think you will like her," said Rufus. "She is very kind to Rose. I
don't know what I should do with little sister, if I did not have her to
look after her."

"Then your mother is not living, Mr. Rushton."

"No," said Rufus; "she has been dead for two years."

"And you are the sole guardian of your little sister?"

"Yes, ma'am."

After half an hour's call, which Rufus found less embarrassing and more
agreeable than he anticipated, he excused himself, and went upstairs.

On Tuesday of the nest week, he decided to reveal his new plans to Miss
Manning. Accordingly, he managed to reach home about half-past four in
the afternoon, and invited her and Rose to take a walk with him.

"Where shall we walk?" she asked.

"Over to Sixth Avenue," said Rufus. "I want to show you a store there."

Miss Manning soon got ready, and the three set out.

It was not far,--scarcely ten minutes' walk. When they arrived opposite
the store, Rufus pointed over to it.

"Do you see that periodical store?" he asked.

"Yes," said Miss Manning.

"How do you like it?"

"Why do you ask?" she inquired, puzzled.

"Look at the sign," he answered.

"RUSHTON & BLACK," read Miss Manning. "Why, that is your name!"

"And I am at the head of the firm," said Rufus complacently.

"What does it all mean?" asked Miss Manning. "How can it be?"

"I'll tell you," said Rufus.

A few words made her understand.

"Now," said Rufus, "let us go over to _my_ store, and look in."

"What, is it your store, Rufie?" asked Rose.

"Yes, little sister, it's part mine."

When they entered, they found George Black behind the counter, waiting
on a customer, who directly went out.

"Well, George, how's business?" asked Rufus.

"It opens well," said his partner, cheerfully. "It's a good stand, and
there's a good run of custom."

"This is my friend, Miss Manning," said Rufus, "and my little sister
Rose."

"I am glad to see you, Miss Manning," said the young man. "I hope," he
added, smiling, "you will give us a share of your patronage."

"We'll buy all our slate-pencils at Rufie's store, won't we, Miss
Manning?" said Rose.

"Yes, I think so," answered Miss Manning, with a smile.

"Then," said Rufus, "we shall be certain to succeed, if there's a large
profit on slate-pencils, George."

"Yes, if you charge high enough."

After a little more conversation they left the store.

"What do you think of my store, Miss Manning?" asked Rufus.

"It's a very neat one. I had no idea you had become so extensive a
business-man, Rufus."

"Is Rufie an extensive man?" asked Rose.

"I hope to be some day," said Rufus, smiling.



CHAPTER IX.

AT THE END OF THREE MONTHS.


Rufus soon became accustomed to his new boarding-house, and came to like
it. It gratified his pride to perceive that he was regarded as an equal
by his fellow-boarders, and that his little sister Rose was a general
favorite. It seemed almost a dream, and a very disagreeable one, the
life they had formerly lived in the miserable tenement-house in Leonard
Street; but still the remembrance of that time heightened his enjoyment
of his present comforts and even luxuries. He usually spent the evening
in Miss Manning's room, and, feeling the deficiencies in his education,
commenced a course of study and reading. He subscribed to the Mercantile
Library, and thus obtained all the books he wanted at a very moderate
rate.

By way of showing how they lived at this time, I will introduce the
reader to Miss Manning's room one evening, about three months after
Rufus had begun to board in the house.

Miss Manning was seated at the table sewing. Her young pupils were gone
to bed, and she had the evening to herself. Rufus was reading Abbott's
"Life of Napoleon," which he found very interesting. Little Rose had
fallen asleep on the sofa.

"What are you sewing upon, Miss Manning?" asked Rufus, looking up from
his book.

"I am making a dress for Rose."

"When you get tired, just let me know, and I will sew a little for you."

"Thank you, Rufus," said Miss Manning, smiling, "but I suppose it won't
hurt your feelings much, if I doubt your abilities as a seamstress."

"I am afraid I shouldn't make a very good living at that, Miss Manning.
Times have changed a little since you used to sew from morning till
night."

"Yes, they have. I used to see some hard times, Rufus. But everything
has changed since I got acquainted with you and little Rose. I sometimes
am tempted to regard you as my good angel."

"Thank you, I don't know much about angels, but I'm afraid I don't look
much like one. They never have red cheeks, and do business in Wall
Street, do they?"

"From what I have heard, I don't believe Wall Street is a favorite
resort with them. But, seriously, everything seems to have prospered
since I met you. Really, I am beginning to be a capitalist. How much
money do you think I have saved up out of the three dollars a week which
you pay me?"

"You've bought some things for yourself and Rose, haven't you?"

"Yes, we have each had a dress, and some little things."

"Then I don't see how you could save up much."

"I made the dresses myself, and that was a great saving. Let me see,
you've paid me forty-two dollars, in all, for fourteen weeks. I will see
how much I have left."

She went to the bureau, and took out her pocket-book.

"I have twenty-five dollars," she said, counting the contents. "Am I not
growing rich?"

"Perhaps you'd like to speculate with it in Wall Street?" suggested
Rufus.

"I think I'd better keep the money, or put it in a savings-bank."

"When you have money enough, I can buy you a fifty-dollar government
bond."

"I shall have to wait a while first."

"Well, as for me," said Rufus, "I can't tell exactly how I do stand. I
took fifty dollars out of that five hundred I had in the savings-bank. I
think I've got about half of it left. The rest of it went for a trunk,
car fare, and other expenses. So, you see, I've been going down hill,
while you've been climbing up."

"Have you drawn anything from your store yet, Rufus? You were to draw
fifty dollars a quarter, I believe."

"Yes; and that reminds me that George Black promised to call this
evening, and pay the money. It's about time to expect him."

Rufus had hardly spoken, when a servant knocked at the door.

Rufus opened it.

"There's a young man downstairs, that would like to see you, Mr.
Rushton," she said.

"Where is he, Nancy?"

"In the parlor."

"I'll go right down. I think it must be Black," he said, turning to Miss
Manning.

"If it is, of course you will bring him up."

"Yes, I should like to. We can't talk very well in such a public place."

Rufus went down, and shortly reappeared with George Black.

"Good-evening, Mr. Black," said Miss Manning; "take a seat. I hope you
are well."

"I'm thriving," said Black. "How pleasant and cheerful you look!"

"Yes, the room is rather high up; but it is pleasant when you get to
it."

"We were just speaking of you, when the girl came to let us know that
you were here."

"I hope you said nothing very bad about me."

"Not very."

"I think I shall be welcome, as I have brought you some money."

"Money is always welcome here," said Rufus. "I'll take care of all you
can bring."

"I have brought fifty dollars, according to our agreement."

"Can you spare that amount without affecting the business?"

"Oh, yes."

"I suppose you can't tell me what the profits have been for the last
three months."

"Not exactly; but I have made a rough calculation. As it was the first
quarter, I knew you would like to know."

"Well, what is your estimate?"

"As well as I can judge we have cleared about two hundred and fifty
dollars."

"That is at the rate of a thousand dollars a year."

"Yes; isn't that doing well?"

"Capitally. Do you think the business will hold out at that rate?"

"I feel sure of it. I hope to improve upon it."

"Even if you don't, that will give you nearly seven hundred dollars a
year, and me over three hundred."

"That's better than clerking,--for me, I mean."

"Perhaps you might get more as a clerk."

"Perhaps I might; but now I am my own master, and then I shouldn't be.
Besides, I have plans in view which I think will increase our custom,
and of course our profits also."

"Success to the firm of Rushton & Black!" said Miss Manning, smiling.

"Thank you," said Rufus; "I like that sentiment, and I'd drink to it if
I saw anything to drink. Have you got any champagne in the closet, Miss
Manning?"

"All that I ever had there, Rufus. If a glass of water will do as well,
I can give you that."

At this moment a knock was heard at the door. Miss Manning rose and
opened it. The visitor proved to be Mrs. Clifton, of whom mention has
already been made.

"Good-evening, Mrs. Clifton," said the governess; "come in."

"Thank you, but I didn't know you had company."

"Don't stand on ceremony, Mrs. Clifton," said Rufus; "my friend, Mr.
Black, is perfectly harmless, I assure you. He is neither a bull nor a
bear."

"What spirits you have, Mr. Rushton!"

"No spirits at all, Mrs. Clifton. Miss Manning has just been offering us
some water as a substitute."

"You are _so_ lively, Mr. Rushton. You remind me so much of my friend,
Mr. Hunter."

"I suppose he was one of your admirers before you became Mrs. Clifton."

"Really, Mr. Rushton, you mustn't say such things. Mr. Hunter and I were
very intimate friends, but nothing more, I assure you."

"Is Mr. Clifton well?" asked Miss Manning.

"He hasn't got home from the store. You know the dry goods stores always
keep open late. Really, I might as well have no husband at all, it is so
late when Mr. Clifton gets home, and then he is so sleepy that he can't
keep his eyes open."

It was generally believed that Mr. and Mrs. Clifton did not live
together as happily as they might have done,--a fact that will not at
all surprise those who are familiar with their history before their
marriage, which was quite a business arrangement. Mrs. Clifton married
because she did not want to be an old maid, and Mr. Clifton because he
knew his prospective wife had money, by means of which he could
establish himself in business.

"Are you in business in Wall Street, Mr. Black?" inquired Mrs. Clifton.

"No; I keep a store on Sixth Avenue."

"Indeed! my husband keeps a dry goods store on Eighth Avenue."

"Mine is a periodical and fancy goods store. Mr. Rushton here is my
partner."

"Indeed, Mr. Rushton, I am surprised to hear that. You have not left
Wall Street, have you?"

"No; I have only invested a portion of my extensive capital. My friend
Black carries on the business."

Thus far, Rufus had said nothing in the house about his connection with
the Sixth Avenue store; but now that it was no longer an experiment he
felt that there was no objection to doing so. Mrs. Clifton, who liked to
retail news, took care to make it known in the house, and the impression
became general that Rufus was a young man of property. Mr. Pratt, who
was an elderly man, rather given to prosy dissertations upon public
affairs, got into the habit of asking our hero's opinion upon the
financial policy of the government, to which, when expressed, he used to
listen with his head a little on one side, as though the words were
those of an oracle. This embarrassed Rufus a little at first; but as
during the day he was in a situation to hear considerable in reference
to this subject, he was generally able to answer in a way that was
regarded as satisfactory.

"That young man," remarked Mr. Pratt to his wife in private, "has got a
head upon his shoulders. He knows what's what. Depend upon it, if he
lives long enough, he will become a prominent man."

"I can't judge of that," said good-natured Mrs. Pratt; "but he's a very
agreeable young man, I am sure, and his sister is a little darling."



CHAPTER X.

MR. MARTIN AGAIN APPEARS ON THE SCENE.


The success of the periodical store put Rufus into good spirits. He saw
that it would yield him, if only the present degree of prosperity
continued, at least three hundred dollars a year, which would make quite
a handsome addition to his income. He felt justified in going to a
little extra expense, and determined to celebrate his good luck by
taking Martha and Rose to a place of amusement. It happened that at this
time a company of Japanese jugglers were performing at the Academy of
Music, which, as my New York readers know, is situated on Fourteenth
Street.

Meaning it to be a surprise, he said nothing to Rose or Martha, but
before going down town the next day, went to the box-office, and secured
three reserved seats in an excellent situation. They were expensive;
but Rufus was resolved that he would not spare expense, for this
occasion at least.

When he reached home at half-past five in the afternoon, he went up at
once to Martha's room.

"Miss Manning," he said, "have you any engagement this evening?"

"It is hardly necessary to ask, Rufus," she replied; "my company is not
in very great demand."

"You have heard of the Japanese jugglers at the Academy of Music?"

"Yes; Mrs. Florence was speaking of them this morning. She and her
husband went last evening."

"And we are going this evening. Wouldn't you like to go, Rosy?"

"Ever so much, Rufie. Will you take me?"

"Yes, I have got tickets: see here;" and Rufus drew out the three
tickets which he had purchased in the morning.

"Thank you, Rufus," said Miss Manning; "I shall like very much to go. It
is long since I went to any place of amusement. How much did the tickets
cost?"

"A dollar and a half apiece."

"Isn't that rather extravagant?"

"It would be if we went every week; but now and then we can afford it."

"You must let me pay for my ticket, Rufus."

"Not if I know it," said Rufus. "It's a pity if a Wall Street banker
can't carry a lady to a place of amusement, without charging her for the
ticket."

"If you put it that way, I suppose I must yield," said Miss Manning,
smiling.

Rose was highly excited at the idea of going to see the Japanese, whose
feats, as described by Mrs. Florence at the breakfast-table, had
interested her exceedingly. The prospect of sitting up till eleven in
the evening also had its charm, and she was quite too excited to eat
much dinner.

"Really," said Mrs. Clifton, "I quite envy you, Miss Manning. I tried to
get Mr. Clifton to buy tickets, but he hasn't done it."

"First time I heard of it," said her husband.

"You pay very little attention to what I ask,--I am aware of that," said
Mrs. Clifton, in an aggrieved tone.

"We'll go now, if you say so."

"We couldn't get any decent seats. When did you buy yours, Mr. Rushton?"

"This morning."

Mrs. Clifton, who was thoroughly selfish, hinted that probably Rose
wouldn't care about going, and that she should be glad to buy the
ticket, and accompany Rufus and Miss Manning; but this hint failed to be
taken, and she was forced unwillingly to stay at home.

To tell the truth, Miss Manning was scarcely less pleased than Rose at
the idea of going. Until recently she had been a poor seamstress,
earning scarcely enough to subsist upon, much less to pay for
amusements. Sometimes in the early evening she had passed the portals of
places of amusement, and wished that she were able to break the tedious
monotony of her daily life by entering; but it was quite out of the
question, and with a sigh she would pass on. Now she was very
differently situated, and her life was much pleasanter.

"Can I wear my new dress, Martha?" asked Rose.

"Yes, Rosy. It was fortunate that I got it finished to-day."

"And will you wear yours, too, Martha?"

"Yes, I think so," she said. "Rufus has bought us nice seats, and we
must look as well as we can."

When both were dressed, they surveyed themselves with satisfaction. Miss
Manning was not above the weakness, if it is a weakness, of liking to
appear well dressed, though she was not as demonstrative as Rose, who
danced about the room in high enjoyment.

When they were quite ready, Rufus came into the room. He had a pair of
kid gloves in his hand, which he twirled about in rather an embarrassed
way.

"I can't get the confounded things on, Miss Manning," he said. "I've
been trying for some time, but it's no go. The fact is, I never owned a
pair of kid gloves before. I'd enough sight rather go without any, but I
suppose, if I am going to sit in a fashionable seat, I must try to look
fashionable."

Miss Manning soon explained to Rufus how the gloves should go on. This
time the success was better, and he was soon neatly gloved.

"They are pretty gloves, Rufus," she said.

"I don't like the feeling of them," said Rufus; "they feel strange."

"That is because you are not used to them. You'll like them better
soon."

"I wonder what some of my old street friends would say to see me now,"
said Rufus, smiling. "They'd think I was a tip-top swell."

Though the gloves did not feel comfortable, Rufus looked at his hands
with satisfaction. Step by step he was getting into the ways of
civilized life, and he was very anxious to leave as far behind him as
possible his street experiences.

Soon after dinner they left the house, and, proceeding to Broadway,
walked up as far as Union Square. Then they turned down Fourteenth
Street, and a few minutes brought them to the Academy of Music.

The entrance and vestibule were brilliantly lighted. On the steps and in
front were a number of speculators, who were eagerly offering their
tickets to those who appeared unprovided.

Rufus pushed his way through, with Martha and Rose at his side. His
tickets were taken at the gate, but the portion indicating the number
of their reserved seats was torn off, and given back to them. On showing
them to the usher, they were conducted to their seats, which were in the
sixth row from the stage, and fronting it.

"We'll have a good view here, Miss Manning," he said.

Soon the curtain rose, and the performance commenced. To those who have
not seen the Japanese in their peculiar performance, it is enough to say
that they show marvellous skill and agility in their feats, some of
which are so difficult as to seem almost impossible.

All three enjoyed the performance. Miss Manning, though so much older,
was almost as much unaccustomed as little Rose herself to such scenes,
and took a fresh interest in it, which those who go often cannot feel.
Every now and then, little Rose, unable to restrain her enthusiasm,
exhibited her delight openly.

I should like, for the benefit of my younger readers, to give a detailed
account of some portions of the performance which seemed most wonderful;
but my memory is at fault, and I can only speak in general terms.

It was a little after ten when the curtain finally fell.

"Is that all?" asked Rose, half in disappointment.

"That's all, Rosy. Are you sleepy?"

"Not a bit," said Rose, vivaciously; "I should like to stay here an hour
longer. Wasn't it perfectly beautiful, Rufie?"

"Yes; it was very good," said Rufus; "I don't know but I like it almost
as well as the Old Bowery."

Though he had risen in the social scale, he had not quite lost his
relish for the style of plays for which the Old Bowery, the favorite
theatre with the street boys, is celebrated. But that he had a suspicion
that it was not exactly a fashionable place of amusement, he would like
to have taken Rose and Miss Manning there this evening. He would hardly
have liked to mention it at the table afterwards, however.

The audience rose from their seats, and Rufus with them. Slowly they
moved towards the door, and at last made their way to the entrance. Had
Rufus known who was waiting there, he might have felt a little nervous.
But he did not know, and it devolves upon us to explain.

Three days before, Mr. Martin, who had been sentenced to the
penitentiary for three months, on account of his attempt at picking
pockets, which we have already chronicled, was released. To say the
least, he left the prison no better than he had entered it. Better in
one sense he was, for he had been forced for three months to abstain
from drink, and this he felt to be a great hardship. But it had a
favorable influence upon his health, and his skin was clearer, and his
nose not quite so ruddy as when he was arrested. But so far as good
intentions went, he had not formed any during his exile from society,
and now that he was released he was just as averse to living by honest
industry as before.

However, his resources were still limited. Money had never been very
plentiful with him, and just at present he was not encumbered with any.
It did not occur to him that the shortest way to obtain some was to go
to work; or, if it did, the suggestion did not strike him favorably. It
did occur to him, however, that there were charitable persons in the
metropolis who might be induced to help him, and he resolved to act upon
this suggestion. Accordingly, he haunted the neighborhood of the Academy
of Music, until the stream of people began to pour out from it, and then
he felt that the time had come for him to carry out his plans.

He went up to a gentleman who was coming out with a young lady leaning
on his arm.

"Will you listen to me a minute, sir?" he said, in a whining tone. "I
haven't eaten anything since yesterday, and I have no money to pay for a
night's lodging."

"Why don't you go to work?" said the gentleman.

"I can't get anything to do, sir. I've been trying for something all
day."

The fact was that Mr. Martin had been lounging about a low bar-room all
day.

"Here, take this, and clear the way."

The gentleman, more to get rid of him than anything else, dropped five
cents into his hand, and passed on.

"He might have given a quarter," grumbled Martin; "it wouldn't have hurt
him."

He looked up, intending to make a similar application to the next
person, when he uttered an exclamation of surprise and exultation. Close
before him he saw Rufus and his little sister, accompanied by Miss
Manning.



CHAPTER XI.

MR. MARTIN'S WILD-GOOSE CHASE.


Probably nothing could have given Martin greater pleasure than this
unexpected meeting with his step-children. He did not reflect that the
pleasure might not be mutual, but determined to make himself known
without delay. Hurrying forward, he placed one hand on the shoulder of
Rufus, saying, "Glad to see you, Rufus; what have you been up to lately?
Here's Rose too, I expect she's glad to see me."

At the first sound of his voice poor Rose began to tremble. Clinging
closer to her brother, she said, "Don't let him take me, Rufie."

"He shan't touch you, Rose," said Rufus, manfully.

"You don't seem very glad to see me," said Martin, smiling maliciously.

"That's where you're right," said Rufus, bluntly. "We are not glad to
see you. I suppose that don't surprise you much. Come along, Rose."

He tried to leave Martin, but Martin did not choose to be left. He
shuffled along by the side of our hero, considerably to the disgust of
the latter, who was afraid he might fall in with some acquaintance whose
attention would be drawn to the not very respectable-looking object who
had accosted him, and learn the relationship that existed between them.

"You seem to be in a hurry," sneered Martin.

"I am in a hurry," said Rufus. "It's late for Rose to be out."

"That's what I was thinking," said Martin. "Considerin' that I'm her
natural protector, it's my duty to interfere."

"A pretty sort of protector you are!" retorted Rufus, scornfully.

"You're an undootiful boy," said Martin, "to speak so to your father."

"Who do you mean?"

"Aint I your father?"

"No, you are not. If you were, I'd be ashamed of you. Mr. Martin, we
haven't anything to do with each other. You can go your way, and I'll
go mine. I shan't interfere with you, and I shan't allow you to
interfere with me."

"Ho, ho!" said Martin, "when was you twenty-one, I'd like to know?"

"It doesn't make any difference when. Good-night."

"You don't get rid of me so easy," said Martin. "I'll follow you home."

By this time they had reached the corner of Broadway and Union Square.
Rufus was placed in an awkward position. He had no authority to order
Martin away. He might follow them home, and ascertain where they lived,
and probably would do so. Rufus felt that this would never do. Were
their home known to Mr. Martin, he would have it in his power to lie in
wait for Rose, and kidnap her as he had done once before. He would never
feel easy about his little sister under these circumstances. Yet what
could he do? If he should quicken his pace, Martin would do the same.

"What do you want to follow us for?" he asked. "What good is it going to
do you?"

"Don't you trouble yourself about that," said Martin, exulting in our
hero's evident perplexity. "Considerin' that you two are my children, I
may want to come and see you some time."

Here Rose began to cry. She had always been very much afraid of Martin,
and feared now that she might fall into his hands.

"Don't cry, Rose," said Rufus, soothingly. "He shan't do you any harm."

"Maybe he won't if you treat him well," said Martin. "Look here, Rufus.
I'm hard up--dead broke. Haven't you a dollar to spare?"

"Are you going to follow us?"

"Maybe I won't if you'll give me the dollar."

"I can't trust you," said Rufus, suspiciously. "I'll tell you what," he
added, after a little thought; "go up to Madison Park, and sit down on
one of the seats, and I'll come up in half an hour, or three quarters at
most, and give you the dollar."

"Do you think I'm so green?" sneered Martin. "I might stop there all
night without seein' you. All you want is a chance to get away without
my knowin' where."

"No," said Rufus; "I'll do what I promise. But you must go up there now,
and not follow us."

"That don't go down," said Martin. "You don't ketch a weasel asleep."

"Well," said Rufus, coolly, "you can do just as you please. If you
accept my offer, you shall have a dollar inside of an hour. If you
don't, you won't get a penny."

Still Martin was not persuaded. He felt sure that Rufus meant to mislead
him, and, being unreliable himself, he put no confidence in the promise
made by our hero. He prepared to follow him home, as the knowledge of
where Rose lived would probably enable him to extort more than a dollar
from the fear and anxiety of Rufus. So he repeated:--

"That don't go down! You aint quite smart enough to take me in. I'm
goin' to follow you, and find out where you live."

"Better give him the dollar now, Rufus," suggested Miss Manning, who
felt nearly as anxious as Rose.

"No," said Rufus, decidedly; "I shan't gain anything by it. As soon as
he got the money, he'd follow us all the same."

"What will you do?" asked Miss Manning, anxiously.

"You'll see," said Rufus, composedly.

He had been busily thinking, and a plan had suggested itself to his
mind, which he thought offered probably the best way out of the
difficulty. He reflected that probably Mr. Martin, judging from his
appearance, was penniless, or nearly so. He therefore decided to jump on
board a horse-car, and thus elude him.

When they reached the corner of University Place, a car was seen
approaching.

Rufus hailed it.

"Are we going to ride?" asked Rose.

"Yes, Rose; and now, whatever I do, I want you to keep perfectly still
and say nothing. Will you promise?"

"Yes, Rufie."

Rufus exacted this promise, as Rose might unconsciously, by some
unguarded exclamation, betray the very knowledge which he was anxious to
conceal.

Martin fathomed the purpose of our hero, and determined not be balked.
He had five cents which had just been given him out of charity at the
door of the Academy, and, though the fare on the horse-cars was one cent
more, he thought he might make it do. Accordingly he got into the car
after Rufus.

"I couldn't bear to leave such agreeable company," he said, with a leer.
"Horse-cars are free, I believe."

"I believe they are," said Rufus.

"I wonder how much money he's got," thought our hero. "I guess I can
drain him after a while."

The conductor came along, and Rufus paid for Miss Manning and Rose, as
well as himself. Martin was hanging on a strap near by.

"Your fare," said the conductor.

Martin plunged his hand into his pocket, and drew out five cents. He
plunged his hand in again, and appeared to be hunting about for the
extra penny.

"I declare," said he, "I believe I've lost the other cent. Won't five
cents do?"

"Couldn't let you ride under six cents," said the conductor. "It's
against the rules."

"I can't see where it is," said Martin, hunting again.

"I'll pay the other penny," said a gentleman sitting near.

"Thank you, sir," said Martin. "Very much obliged to you. I'm a poor
man; but it's on account of some undutiful children that I've spent all
my money on, and now they begrudge their poor father a few pennies."

He looked at Rufus; but our hero did not see fit to apply the remark to
himself, nor, considering that he used to help support Martin, did he
feel any particular remorse.

If Martin had been a more respectable-looking object, if his nose had
been a trifle less red, and his whole appearance less suggestive of
intemperate habits, the remark he had let fall might have stirred some
of his listeners to compassion. But no one, to look at him, would wonder
much at a want of filial affection towards such a father. So, though he
looked round to notice the effect, hoping that he might elicit some
sympathy which should take a pecuniary form, he perceived that his
appeal had fallen upon stony ground. Nobody seemed particularly
impressed, and the hope of a contribution from some compassionate
listener faded out.

Rufus was a witness of this scene, and of course it enabled him to
fathom Martin's resources. He congratulated himself that they were so
speedily exhausted. He did not get out when the car reached Waverley
Place, for obvious reasons, but kept on till they came to Bleecker
Street. Rose was about to express surprise, but a look from Rufus
checked her.

At Bleecker Street he signalled to the conductor to stop. The latter
obeyed the signal, and our hero got out, followed not only by Rose and
Miss Manning, but, as might have been expected, also by Martin.

"You don't get rid of me so easy," said the latter, triumphantly.

"Don't I?" asked Rufus, coolly. "Are you going to follow me still?"

Martin answered in the affirmative, with an oath.

"Then," said Rufus, coolly, "I'll give you all the following you want to
do."

A car bound in the opposite direction was approaching. Rufus hailed it,
and it came to a stop.

Martin, who had not been anticipating this move, stopped a moment,
staring, crestfallen, at Rufus; but, recovering himself quickly, jumped
on the platform, resolved to try his luck.

Rufus paid his fare. Martin didn't volunteer to pay his, but looked
steadily before him, hoping that he might escape the conductor's
observation. But the latter was too sharp for that.

"Fare?" he said.

"All right," said Martin, plunging his hand into his pocket. Of course
he drew out nothing, as he anticipated.

"I declare," he said; "I believe I haven't any money with me."

"Then get off."

"Couldn't you let me off this time?" asked Martin, insinuatingly; "I'm a
poor man."

"So am I," said the conductor, bluntly. "You must get off."

"Isn't there any gentleman that'll lend a poor man six cents?" asked
Martin, looking round.

But nobody seemed disposed to volunteer assistance, and Martin was
compelled reluctantly to jump off.

But he didn't give up yet. The car didn't go so fast but that he could
keep up with it by running. It chafed him that Rufus should get the
better of him, and he ran along on the sidewalk, keeping the car
continually in sight.

"He's running," said Miss Manning, looking out. "What a determined man
he is! I'm afraid he'll find us out."

"I'm not afraid," said Rufus. "He'll get tired of running by the time we
get to Central Park."

"Shall you ride as far as that?"

"If necessary."

For about a mile Martin held out, but by this time he became exhausted,
and dropped behind. The distance between him and the car gradually
increased, but still Rufus rode on for half a mile further. By this time
Martin was no longer in sight.

"We'll cross over to Sixth Avenue," he said, "so that Martin may not see
us on our return."

This suggestion was adopted, luckily, for Martin had posted himself at a
favorable place, and was scanning attentively every returning car. But
he waited and watched in vain till long after the objects of his pursuit
were safe at home and in bed.



CHAPTER XII.

MARTIN'S LUCK TURNS.


Martin continued to watch for an hour or two, sitting in a door-way. At
length he was forced to conclude that Rufus had given him the slip, and
this tended by no means to sweeten his temper. In fact, his position was
not altogether a pleasant one. It was now past midnight, and, having no
money, he saw no other way than to spend the night in the street.
Besides he was hungry, and that was a complaint which was likely to get
worse instead of better. As for Rufus, Martin had never before seen him
so well dressed, and it seemed clear that he was prospering.

"He's an ungrateful young rascal," muttered Martin,--"livin' in ease and
comfort, while I am left to starve in the street!"

It would have been rather hard to tell what Rufus had to be grateful
for, unless for the privilege which he had enjoyed for some time of
helping support his step-father; but Martin persuaded himself that he
was ungrateful and undutiful, and grew indignant over his fancied
wrongs, as he lay back in discomfort on the stone step which he had
selected as his resting-place.

The night passed slowly away, and when the morning light came Martin got
up very stiff and sore, and more hungry than ever, and began to wonder
where he was likely to get any breakfast. Begging seemed to him, on the
whole, the easiest way of getting along; but it was too early for that.
After a while, however, the street began to be peopled, and he walked up
to a gentleman who was approaching, and, assuming a look which he
thought indicative of wretchedness, whined out, "Would you be willing to
help a poor man, sir?"

The gentleman stopped.

"So you are poor?" he said.

"Yes," said Martin, "I have been very unfortunate."

"Why don't you work?"

"I can't find any work to do," answered Martin.

"Haven't you got any friends to help you?"

"They've all turned against me," said Martin. "Even my own children have
turned me out of the house to shift for myself."

"How old are your children?" asked the other.

Martin hesitated, for this question was a little embarrassing.

"One of them is sixteen," he said.

"A son?"

"Yes."

"Did you support him, or did he support you?" was the natural inquiry.

"I supported him," said Martin; "but he's an undootiful, ungrateful
scamp, and--"

"Then it appears that he has relieved you from taking care of him, and
you have only yourself to provide for. It appears to me that you ought
to get along better than before."

"If I could get any work."

"What sort of work do you want to do?"

"If I had a few dollars I could set up in some light business."

"You will have to apply elsewhere for the money, my friend," said the
gentleman. "To be frank with you, your appearance doesn't speak in your
favor;" and he walked on.

"That's the way the rich and prosperous treat the poor," soliloquized
Martin, feeling that the whole world was in a conspiracy against him.
Those who undertake to live without work are very apt to arrive at such
conclusions.

Martin concluded, on the whole, that he wouldn't refer to being turned
out of his house next time, as it might lead to embarrassing questions.

He approached another gentleman, and began with the same appeal for
assistance.

"What's the matter? Can't you work?" was the reply.

"I've had a severe fit of sickness," said Martin, forcing a cough; "and
I'm very feeble. I haint had anything to eat for twenty-four hours, and
I've got a wife and five little children dependent on me."

"If that don't bring something," thought Martin, "nothing will."

"Where do you live?"

"No. 578 Twenty-Fourth Street," answered Martin, glibly.

Now the individual addressed was a gentleman of leisure, of a
philanthropic turn of mind, and one who frequently visited the poor at
their homes. Martin's story seemed pitiful, and he concluded to inquire
into it.

"I'm sorry for you," he said. "I'll go round with you and see your
family, and see what can be done for them."

This was just what Martin did not want. As the family he spoke of was
entirely imaginary, it would only result in exposure and disappointment.
Yet he knew not how to refuse.

"I'm much obliged to you, sir," he said. "I'm afraid it would be too
much trouble."

"No, I've nothing pressing for an hour. I always like to relieve the
unfortunate."

"What shall I do?" thought Martin, as he walked by the side of the
benevolent stranger. At length an idea struck him.

"It isn't everybody that would be willing to risk going with me," he
said.

"Why not?"

"They'd be afraid to come."

"Why? What danger is there?"

"My third child is 'most dead with the small-pox," answered Martin, with
a very dejected look.

"Good heavens! and I might have carried the infection home to my
children," exclaimed the stranger, in excitement.

"Then you won't go with me?" asked Martin.

"Here," said the gentleman, producing fifty cents, "here's a little
money. Take it, and I hope it'll do you good."

"I reckon it will," thought Martin, as he took the money. "It'll buy me
some breakfast and a couple of cigars. That's a pretty good idea, havin'
a child sick with the small-pox. I'll know what to do next time anybody
wants to go home with me."

As soon as Martin found himself in funds he took measures to satisfy his
appetite. He really had not eaten anything since the middle of the day
previous, and felt that he could do justice to a substantial breakfast.
He walked along until he came to a restaurant where the prices seemed to
be reasonable, and went in. Seating himself at one of the tables, he
gave his order, and presently a plate of meat and cup of coffee were
placed before him. To these he devoted himself with such vigor that they
were soon despatched. Still Martin's appetite was not satisfied. Much as
he wanted a cigar, the claims of hunger were imperative, and he ordered
breakfast to the extent of his resources.

Opposite him at the table sat a man of middle age, with bushy whiskers,
and a scar on his left cheek. He wore a loose sack coat, and a velvet
vest. His thick, bunchy fingers displayed two large, showy rings, set
with stones, probably imitation. He finished his breakfast before
Martin, but still retained his seat, and watched him rather attentively.
Martin was too busily engaged to notice the scrutiny to which he was
subjected. After sitting a while the stranger drew out a cigar, and,
lighting it, began to smoke.

This drew Martin's attention. As the flavor of the cigar, which was a
very good one, reached his nostrils, he began to feel a regret that he
had not reserved a part of his funds for the purchase of a cigar. His
opposite neighbor observed his look, and, for a reason which will
appear, saw fit to gratify Martin's desire.

"I don't like to smoke alone," he said, drawing another cigar from his
pocket. "Won't you have a cigar?"

"Thank you," said Martin, eagerly accepting it. "You're very kind."

"Don't mention it. So you like to smoke. Light it by mine."

"Yes," said Martin; "I like smoking; but I'm a poor man, and I can't
afford to smoke as often as I want to."

"Been unfortunate?" said the stranger, suggestively.

"Yes," said Martin, "luck's been ag'inst me. I couldn't get work to do,
and my family turned ag'inst me because I was poor. I've got two
children living on the fat of the land, but one of 'em refused me a
dollar last night, and left me to sleep in the streets."

"That's bad," said the other.

"He's an undootiful son," said Martin.

"Better luck by and by," said the stranger. "Luck'll turn, it's likely."

"I wish it would turn pretty quick," said Martin. "I've spent my last
cent for breakfast, and I don't know where I'm to get my dinner."

"The world owes every man a living," remarked the stranger,
sententiously.

"So it does," said Martin. "I don't see what's the use of bein' born at
all, if you're goin' to starve afterwards."

"Very true. Now I'll tell you what my principle is."

"What is it?" asked Martin, who was becoming interested in his
companion.

"If the world owes me a living, and isn't disposed to pay up promptly, I
think it's perfectly right for me to collect the debt any way I can."

"So do I," said Martin, though he didn't exactly see the other's drift.

"For instance, if I was starving, and my next neighbor was a baker, and
had plenty of bread, the law of self-preservation justifies me in taking
a loaf."

"Without payin' for it?"

"Yes; if I haven't got any money to pay. I'm entitled to my share of
food, and if others keep it from me, I have a right to help myself,
haven't I?"

"That's so," said Martin; "only it's dangerous."

"Of course there is a risk about it; but then there's a risk in
starvin', isn't there?"

"I should think there was," said Martin.

"I thought we should agree pretty well. Now tell me what you propose to
do. Perhaps I can assist you."

"I don't know what to do," said Martin. "I can't get work. What do you
do?"

"I'm in business," said the stranger, evasively.

"Couldn't you give me a chance,--that is, if it aint hard work? I aint
so strong as I was once, and I aint fit for hard work."

"Well, perhaps I may be able to do something for you," said the
stranger. "If you'll walk with me a little way, we'll smoke another
cigar, and talk it over. What do you say?"

Of course Martin accepted the proposal with alacrity. He did not want to
go back to his work as a carpenter, having lost all relish for honest
industry. He would rather beg, or do anything else for a living. He had
a very indefinite idea of the nature of the proposal which was coming,
but, whatever it might be, he was not likely to be shocked at it.

"Here, give me your check," said the stranger.

He paid, therefore, for Martin's breakfast as well as his own, leaving
that gentleman's fifty cents intact. Martin was not used to such
attention, and appreciated it. For the first time he began to think that
his luck had really turned.

The two went out into the street together, and were soon engaged in
earnest conversation.



CHAPTER XIII.

MARTIN MAKES A BUSINESS ENGAGEMENT.


Martin was agreeably surprised at the attention paid him by his new
friend. There are some who have no difficulty in making friends at first
sight, but this had not often happened to him. In fact, there was very
little that was attractive or prepossessing about him, and though he
could not be expected to be fully aware of that, he had given up
expecting much on the score of friendship. Yet here was a stranger, who,
to Martin's undiscriminating eyes, appeared quite the gentleman, who had
given him a cigar, paid his dinner-bill, and treated him with a degree
of attention to which he was unaccustomed. Martin felt that he was in
luck, and if there was anything to be made out of his new friend he was
determined to make it.

They turned down a side street, perhaps because the stranger's course
led that way, perhaps because he was not proud of his new acquaintance.

"So you've had poor luck," he remarked, by way of starting the
conversation.

"Yes," grumbled Martin, "you may say that. Things have all been ag'inst
me. It's a pretty hard rub for a poor man to get a livin' here."

"Just so," said the other. "What's your business?"

"I'm a carpenter."

"And you can't find work?"

"No," said Martin. "Besides," he added, after a pause, "my health aint
very good. Hard work don't agree with me."

He might have said that hard drinking did not agree with him, and this
would have been rather nearer the truth. But he was afraid his new
friend would offer to find him employment as a carpenter, and for this
he was not very anxious. There had been a time when he was content to
work early and late, for good wages, but he had of late years led such a
shiftless and vagabond life, that honest industry had no more attraction
for him, and he preferred to get his living by hook or crook, in fact
in any way he could, rather than take the most direct path to a good
living by working hard for it.

"What is your name?"

"James Martin. What's yours?"

"Mine," said the stranger, pausing, and fixing his eyes thoughtfully
upon Martin; "well, you may call me Smith."

"That aint a very uncommon name," said Martin, thinking he had
perpetrated a good joke.

"Just so," said the stranger, composedly. "I've been told so often."

"Well, Mr. Smith, do you think you could help me to some light business
that wouldn't be too hard on my health?"

"Perhaps I might," said the other. "What do you think you would like?"

"Why," said Martin, "if I only had a little capital, I could set up a
small cigar store, or maybe a drinkin' saloon."

"That would be light and genteel, no doubt," said Smith, "but confining.
You'd have to be in the store early and late."

"I might have a boy to stay there when I wanted to go out," suggested
Martin.

"So you might," said the other. "There doesn't seem any objection, if
you can only raise the capital."

This was rather a powerful objection, however, especially as Mr. Smith
offered no encouragement about supplying the capital himself. Martin saw
this, and he added, "I only mentioned this. I aint any objection to
anything else that's light and easy. Do you think of anything I could
do?"

"I may be able to throw something in your way," said Mr. Smith. "But,
first, I must ask you a question. Can you keep a secret?"

"Yes," said Martin, "just as many as you like."

"Because the business which I have to propose is of rather a
confidential character, and a great deal depends on its being kept
secret."

"All right; I'm your man then."

"When I saw you in the restaurant," said Smith, "it struck me that you
might answer our purpose. You look as if you could be trusted."

"So I can be," said Martin, pleased with the compliment. "I'll never say
a word about the matter. What is it?"

"You shall learn presently,--that is, if my partner thinks we had better
engage you."

"Where is your place of business?"

"We will go there. Let us jump into this horse-car."

They had reached Eighth Avenue, and entered a car bound downwards. When
the conductor came along, Smith said, "I pay for two," indicating
Martin. This was fortunate; for Martin's purse was at a low ebb, his
entire stock of money being limited to fifty cents.

They rode some fifteen minutes, at the end of which Smith signalled to
the conductor to stop.

"We get out here," he said to Martin.

Martin jumped out after him, and they turned westward down one of the
streets leading to the North River.

"Is it much farther?" asked Martin.

"Not much."

"It's rather an out-of-the-way place for business, isn't it?" remarked
Martin, observing that the street was lined with dwelling-houses on
either side.

"For most kinds of business it is," said his new acquaintance; "but it
suits us. We like a quiet, out-of-the-way place."

"Are you in the wholesale business?" asked Martin, whose curiosity began
to be considerably excited.

"Something of that sort," answered the stranger. "Ah, here we are!"

The house before which he stopped was a brick dwelling-house, of three
stories. The blinds were closed, and it might have been readily supposed
that no one lived there. Certainly nothing could have looked less like a
place of business, so far as outward appearance went, and Martin, whose
perceptions were not very acute, saw this, and was puzzled. Still his
companion spoke so quietly and composedly, and seemed to understand
himself so well, that he did not make any remark.

Instead of pulling the bell, Mr. Smith drew a latch-key from his pocket,
and admitted himself.

"Come in, Mr. Martin," he said.

Martin stepped into the entry, and the door was closed.

Before him was a narrow staircase, with a faded stair-carpet upon it. A
door was partly open into a room on the right, but still there was
nothing visible that looked like business.

"Follow me," said Smith, leading the way up stairs.

Martin followed, his curiosity, if anything, greater than before.

They went into a front room on the second floor.

"Excuse me a moment," said Smith.

Martin was left alone, but in two minutes Smith returned with a tall,
powerful-looking man, whose height was such that he narrowly escaped
being a giant.

"Mr. Martin," said Smith, "this is my partner, Mr. Hayes."

"Proud to make your acquaintance, I am sure, Mr. Hayes," said Martin,
affably. "I met your partner this mornin' in an eatin'-house, and he
said you might have a job for me. My health aint very good, but I could
do light work well enough."

"Did you tell Mr. Martin," said the giant, in a hoarse voice that
sounded as if he had a cold of several years' standing, "that our
business is of a confidential nature?"

"Yes," said Martin, "I understand that. I can keep a secret."

"It is absolutely necessary that you should," said Hayes. "You say you
can, but how can I be sure of it?"

"I'll give you my word," said Martin.

The giant looked down upon Martin, and ejaculated, "Humph!" in a manner
which might be interpreted to convey some doubt as to the value of
Martin's word. However, even if Martin had been aware of this, he was
not sensitive, and would not have taken offence.

"Are you willing to take your oath that you will never reveal, under any
circumstances, anything connected with our business?"

"Yes," said Martin, eagerly, his curiosity being greater than ever.

There was a Bible on the table. Hayes cast his eyes in that direction,
but first said something in a low voice to Smith. The latter drew a
small brass key from his pocket, and opened a cupboard, or small closet
in the wall, from which, considerably to Martin's alarm, he drew out a
revolver and a knife. These he laid on the table beside the book.

"What's that for?" asked Martin, with an uneasy glance at the weapons.

"I'll tell you what it's for, my friend," said the giant. "It's to show
you what your fate will be if you ever reveal any of our secrets.
Perhaps you don't want to take the risk of knowing what they are. If you
don't, you can say so, and go."

But Martin did not want to go, and he did want to learn the secrets more
than ever.

"I'm ready," he said. "I'll take the oath."

"Very well, you understand now what it means. Put your hand on the book,
and repeat after me: 'I solemnly swear, on the penalty of death by
pistol or knife, never to reveal any secret I may have imparted to me in
this room.'"

Martin repeated this formula, not without a certain shrinking, not to
say creeping, of the flesh.

"Now that you have taken the oath," said Smith, "we will tell you our
secret."

"Yes," said Martin, eagerly.

"The fact is," said Smith, in a low voice, "we are counterfeiters."

"You don't say so!" ejaculated Martin.

"Yes, there's a light, genteel business for you. There are all ways of
making a living, and that isn't the worst."

"Does it pay pretty well?" asked Martin, getting interested.

"Yes, it's a money-making business," said Smith, with a laugh; "but
there's a little prejudice against it, and so we have a very quiet place
of business."

"Yes, I see," said Martin.

"You see the world owes us a living," continued Smith, "as you remarked
this morning, and if it doesn't come in one way, it must in another."

"Isn't it dangerous?" asked Martin.

"Not if it's carefully managed."

"What do you want me to do?"

"Supply money to our agents chiefly. It won't do to have too many come
to the house, for it might excite suspicion. You will come every
morning, receive money and directions from one of us, and then do as you
are bid."

"How much will you give me?"

"What do you say to a hundred dollars a month?"

"In good money," said Martin, his eyes sparkling with pleasure.

"No, of course not. In money of our manufacture."

Martin's countenance fell.

"First thing I know I'll be nabbed," he said.

"Not if you are careful. We'll give you instructions. Do you accept our
terms?"

"Yes," said Martin, unhesitatingly.

"Of course you take a risk. No gain without risk, you know. But if you
are unlucky, remember your oath, and don't betray us. If you do, you're
a dead man within twenty-four hours from the time you leave the prison.
There are twenty men bound by a solemn oath to revenge treachery by
death. If you betray our secret, nothing can save you. Do you
understand?"

"Yes," said Martin, whose mind was suitably impressed with the absolute
necessity of silence. The representations of his new friends might or
might not be true, but, at all events, he believed them to be in
earnest, and their point was gained.

"When do you want me to begin?" he asked.

"To-day; but first it will be necessary for you to be more decently
dressed."

"These are all the clothes I have," returned Martin. "I've been
unfortunate, and I haven't had any money to buy good clothes with."

"Have we any clothes in the house that will fit this man?" asked Smith
of his confederate.

"I will go and see."

The giant soon returned with a suit of clothing, not very fine or very
fashionable, but elegant compared with that which Martin now wore.

"I guess these will fit you," he said. "Try them on."

Martin made the change with alacrity, and when it had been effected,
surveyed himself in a mirror with considerable complacency. His
temporary abstinence from liquor while at the Island had improved his
appearance, and the new suit gave him quite a respectable appearance. He
had no objection to appearing respectable, provided it were at other
people's expense. On the whole, he was in excellent spirits, and felt
that at length his luck had turned, and he was on the high road to
prosperity.



CHAPTER XIV.

HOW RUFUS SUCCEEDED IN BUSINESS.


Very little has been said of Rufus in his business relations. When he
entered Mr. Turner's office, he resolved to spare no pains to make
himself useful, and his services satisfactory to his employer. He knew
very well that he owed his situation entirely to the service which he
had accidentally been able to do Mr. Turner, and that, otherwise, the
latter would never have thought of selecting an office-boy from the
class to which he belonged. But Rufus was resolved that, whatever might
have been his original motive, he should never regret the selection he
had made. Therefore he exerted himself, more than under ordinary
circumstances he would have done, to do his duty faithfully. He tried to
learn all he could of the business, and therefore listened attentively
to all that was going on, and in his leisure moments studied up the
stock quotations, so that he was able generally to give the latest
quotations of prices of the prominent stocks in the market.

Mr. Turner, who was an observant man, watched him quietly, and was
pleased with his evident pains to master the details of the business.

"If Rufus keeps on, Mr. Marston," he said to his chief clerk, one day,
"he will make an excellent business-man in time."

"He will, indeed," said the clerk. "He is always prompt, and doesn't
need to be told the same thing twice. Besides, he has picked up a good
deal of outside information. He corrected me yesterday on a stock
quotation."

"He did me a great service at one time, and I mean to push him as fast
as he will bear it. I have a great mind to increase his pay to ten
dollars a week at once. He has a little sister to take care of, and ten
dollars a week won't go far in these times."

"Plenty of boys can be got for less, of course; but he is one in a
hundred. It is better to pay him ten dollars than most boys five."

In accordance with this resolution, when Rufus, who had gone to the
bank, returned, Mr. Turner called him. Rufus supposed it was to receive
some new order, and was surprised when, instead, his employer
inquired:--

"How is your little sister, Rufus?"

"Very well, thank you, sir."

"Have you a comfortable boarding-place?"

"Yes, sir."

"How much board do you pay?"

"Eight dollars a week for both of us, sir."

"That takes up the whole of your salary,--doesn't it?"

"Yes, sir; but I have invested the money I had in a stationery store on
Sixth Avenue, and get a third of the profits. With that I buy clothes
for myself and sister, and pay any other expenses we may have."

"I see you are a great financier, Rufus. I was not aware that you had a
business outside of mine. How long have you been with me?"

"About four months, sir."

"Your services have been quite satisfactory. I took you into the office
for other reasons; but I feel satisfied, by what I have noticed of you,
that it will be well worth my while to retain your services."

"Thank you, sir," said Rufus.

He was exceedingly gratified at this testimony, as he had reason to be,
for he had already learned that Mr. Turner was an excellent
business-man, and bore a high reputation in business circles for probity
and capacity.

"I intended, at the end of six months," pursued Mr. Turner, "to raise
your pay to ten dollars a week if you suited me; but I may as well
anticipate two months. Mr. Marston, you will hereafter pay Rufus ten
dollars a week."

"Very well, sir."

"I am very much obliged to you, Mr. Turner," said Rufus, gratefully. "I
didn't expect to have my pay raised for a good while, for I knew that I
received more already than most office-boys. I have tried to do my duty,
and shall continue to do so."

"That is the right way, Rufus," said his employer, kindly. "It will be
sure to win success. You are working not only for me, but most of all
for yourself. You are laying now the foundation of future prosperity.
When an opportunity occurs, I shall promote you from the post of
errand-boy to a clerkship, as I judge from what I have seen that you
will be quite competent to fill such a position."

This intelligence was of course very gratifying to Rufus. He knew that
as yet he was on the lowest round of the ladder, and he had a
commendable desire to push his way up. He saw that Mr. Turner was well
disposed to help him, and he resolved that he would deserve promotion.

When he returned home to supper, he carried to Miss Manning and Rose the
tidings of his increase of pay, and the encouraging words which had been
spoken by Mr. Turner.

"I am not surprised to hear it, Rufus," said Miss Manning. "I felt sure
you would try to do your duty, and I knew you had the ability to
succeed."

"Thank you for your good opinion of me," said Rufus.

"I can tell you of some one else who has a good opinion of you," said
Miss Manning.

"Who is it?"

"Mrs. Clifton. She said this forenoon, that she considered you one of
the most agreeable and wittiest young men she was acquainted with."

"I suppose I ought to blush," said Rufus; "but blushing isn't in my
line. I hope Mr. Clifton won't hear of it. He might be jealous."

"He doesn't seem much inclined that way," said Miss Manning.

At this moment Mrs. Clifton herself entered.

"Good-evening, Mr. Rushton," she said. "Where do you think I called this
afternoon?"

"I couldn't guess."

"At your store in Sixth Avenue."

"I hope you bought something. I expect my friends to patronize me."

"Yes. I bought a package of envelopes. I told Mr. Black I was a friend
of yours, so he let me have it at the wholesale price."

"Then I'm afraid I didn't make anything on that sale. When I want some
dry goods may I tell your husband that I am a friend of yours, and ask
him to let me have it at the wholesale price?"

"Certainly."

"Then I shall take an early opportunity to buy a spool of cotton."

"Can you sew?"

"I never took in any fine work to do, but if you've got any
handkerchiefs to hem, I'll do it on reasonable terms."

"How witty you are, Mr. Rushton!"

"I am glad you think so, Mrs. Clifton. I never found anybody else who
could appreciate me."

Several days had passed since the accidental encounter with Martin
outside of the Academy of Music. Rufus began to hope that he had gone
out of the city, though he hardly expected it. Such men as Martin prefer
to live from hand to mouth in a great city, rather than go to the
country, where they would have less difficulty in earning an honest
living. At any rate he had successfully baffled Martin's attempts to
learn where Rose and he were boarding. But he knew his step-father too
well to believe that he had got rid of him permanently. He had no doubt
he would turn up sooner or later, and probably give him additional
trouble.

He turned up sooner than Rufus expected.

The next morning, when on the way from the bank with a tin box
containing money and securities, he suddenly came upon Martin standing
in front of the general post office, with a cigar in his mouth. The
respectable appearance which Martin presented in his new clothes filled
Rufus with wonder, and he could not avoid staring at his step-father
with surprise.

"Hillo!" said Martin, his eye lighting up with malicious pleasure. "So
you didn't know me, eh?"

"No," said Rufus.

"I'm in business now."

"I'm glad to hear it," said Rufus.

"I get a hundred dollars a month."

"I'm glad you are prosperous, Mr. Martin."

"Maybe you'll be more willing to own the relationship now."

"I'm glad for your sake only," said Rufus. "I can take care of Rose well
enough alone. But I must be going."

"All right! I'll go along with you."

"I am in a hurry," said Rufus, uneasily.

"I can walk as fast as you," said Martin, maliciously. "Seein' you're my
step-son, I'd like to know what sort of a place you've got."

The street being free to all, Rufus could not shake off his unwelcome
companion, nor could he evade him, as it was necessary for him to go
back to the office at once. He consoled himself, however, by the
reflection that at any rate Martin wouldn't find out his boarding-place,
of which he was chiefly afraid, as it might affect the safety of Rose.

"What have you got in that box?" asked Martin.

"I don't care to tell," said Rufus.

"I know well enough. It's money and bonds. You're in a broker's office,
aint you?"

"I can't stop to answer questions," said Rufus, coldly. "I'm in a
hurry."

"I'll find out in spite of you," said Martin. "You can't dodge me as
easy as last time. I aint so poor as I was. Do you see that?"

As he spoke he drew out a roll of bills (they were counterfeit, but
Rufus, of course, was not aware of that), and displayed them.

Our hero was certainly astonished at this display of wealth on the part
of his step-father, and was puzzled to understand how in the brief
interval since he last saw him he could have become so favored by
fortune, but his conjectures were interrupted by his arrival at the
office.

"TURNER!" repeated Martin to himself, observing the sign. "So this is
where my dootiful step-son is employed. Well, I'm glad to know it. It'll
come handy some day."

So saying, he lighted a fresh cigar, and sauntered away with the air of
a man of independent means, who had come down to Wall Street to look
after his investments.



CHAPTER XV.

THE TIN BOX.


"I met my dootiful son this mornin'," remarked Martin to his employer,
at their next interview.

"Did you?" said Smith, carelessly, for he felt little interest in
Martin's relations.

"Yes; he's in business in Wall Street."

"How's that?" asked Smith, his attention arrested by this statement.

"He's with Turner, the banker. He was going to the bank, with a tin box
under his arm. I'd like to have the money there was in it."

"Did he tell you there was money in it?"

"No; but I'll bet there was enough in it to make a poor man rich."

"Perhaps so," said Smith, thoughtfully.

"How old is your son?" he inquired, after a pause.

"Fifteen or sixteen, I've forgotten which. You see he isn't my own son;
I married his mother, who was a widder with two children; that's the way
of it."

"I suppose he doesn't live with you."

"No; he's an undootiful boy. He haint no gratitude for all I've done for
him. He wouldn't care if I starved in the street."

"That shows a bad disposition," said Smith, who seemed disposed to
protract the conversation for some purposes of his own.

"Yes," said Martin, wiping his eyes pathetically with a red
handkerchief; "he's an ungrateful young scamp. He's set my little
daughter Rose ag'inst me,--she that set everything by me till he made
her believe all sorts of lies about me."

"Why don't you come up with him?"

"I don't know how."

"I suppose you would have no objections if I should tell you."

"No," said Martin, hesitating; "that is, if it aint dangerous. If I
should give him a lickin' in the street, he'd call the police, and swear
I wasn't his father."

"That isn't what I mean. I'll think it over, and tell you by and by. Now
we'll talk about business."

It was not until the next day that Smith unfolded to Martin his plan of
"coming up with" Rufus. It was of so bold a character that Martin was
startled, and at first refused to have any part in it, not from any
conscientious scruples,--for Martin's conscience was both tough and
elastic,--but solely because he was a coward, and had a wholesome dread
of the law. But Smith set before him the advantages which would accrue
to him personally, in so attractive a manner, that at length he
consented, and the two began at once to concoct arrangements for
successfully carrying out the little plan agreed upon.

Not to keep the reader in suspense, it was no less than forcibly
depriving Rufus of the tin box, some morning on his way home from the
bank. This might bring Rufus into trouble, while Martin and Smith were
to share the contents, which, judging from the wealth of Mr. Turner,
were likely to be of considerable value.

"There may be enough to make your fortune," suggested Smith.

"If I don't get nabbed."

"Oh, there'll be no danger, if you will manage things as I direct you."

"I'll have all the danger, and you'll share the profits," grumbled
Martin.

"Isn't the idea mine?" retorted Smith. "Is it the soldiers who get all
the credit for a victory, or doesn't the general who plans the campaign
receive his share? Besides, I may have to manage converting the
securities into cash. There isn't one chance in a hundred of your
getting into trouble if you do as I tell you; but if you do, remember
your oath."

With this Martin was forced to be contented. He was only a common
rascal, while Smith was one of a higher order, and used him as a tool.
In the present instance, despite his assurances, Smith acknowledged to
himself that the plan he had proposed was really attended with
considerable danger, but this he ingloriously managed that Martin should
incur, while he lay back, and was ready to profit by it if it should
prove successful.

Meanwhile Rufus was at work as usual, quite unconscious of the danger
which menaced him. His encounter with Martin gave him a little
uneasiness, for he feared that the latter might renew his attempts to
gain possession of Rose. Farther than this he had no fears. He wondered
at the sudden improvement in Martin's fortunes, and could not conjecture
what business he could have engaged in which would give him a hundred
dollars a month. He might have doubted his assertion, but that his
unusually respectable appearance, and the roll of bills which he had
displayed, seemed to corroborate his statement. He was glad that his
step-father was doing well, having no spite against him, provided he
would not molest him and Rose.

He decided not to mention to Rose or Miss Manning that he had met
Martin, as it might occasion them anxiety. He contented himself by
warning them to be careful, as Martin was no doubt still in the city,
and very likely prowling round in the hopes of finding out where they
lived.

It was towards the close of business hours that Mr. Marston, the head
clerk, handed Rufus a tin box, saying, "Rufus, you may carry this round
to the Bank of the Commonwealth."

"Yes, sir," said Rufus.

It was one of his daily duties, and he took the box as a matter of
course, and started on his errand. When he first entered the office, the
feeling that property of value was committed to his charge gave him a
feeling of anxious responsibility; but now he had become used to it, and
ceased to think of danger. Probably he would have felt less security,
had he seen Mr. Martin prowling about on the opposite side of the
street, his eyes attentively fixed on the entrance to Mr. Turner's
office. When Martin saw Rufus depart on his errand, he threw away the
cigar he had in his mouth, and crossed the street. He followed Rufus
closely, unobserved by our hero, to whom it did not occur to look back.

"It's a risky business," thought Martin, rather nervously. "I wish I
hadn't undertaken it. Ten to one I'll get nabbed."

He was more than half inclined to give up his project; but if he should
do so he knew he would get into disgrace with his employers. Besides,
the inducements held out to him were not small. He looked covetously at
the tin box under the arm of Rufus, and speculated as to the value of
the contents. Half of it would perhaps make him a rich man. The stake
was worth playing for, and he plucked up courage and determined to
proceed.

Circumstances favored his design.

Before going to the bank, Rufus was obliged to carry a message to an
office on the second floor of a building on Wall Street.

"This is my opportunity," thought Martin.

He quickened his steps, and as Rufus placed his foot on the lower step
of the staircase, he was close upon him. Hearing the step behind him,
our hero turned, only in time to receive a violent blow in the face,
which caused him to fall forward. He dropped the box as he fell, which
was instantly snatched by Mr. Martin, who lost no time in making his
escape.

The blow was so violent that Rufus was for the moment stunned. It was
only for a moment, however. He quickly recovered himself, and at once
realized his position. He knew, also, that it was Martin who had
snatched the box, for he had recognized him during the instant of time
that preceded the blow.

He sprang to his feet, and dashed into the street, looking eagerly on
either side for the thief. But Martin, apprehending immediate pursuit,
had slipped into a neighboring door-way, and, making his way upstairs,
remained in concealment for ten minutes. Not suspecting this, Rufus
hastened to Nassau Street, and ran toward the bank, looking about him
eagerly for Martin. The latter, in the mean while, slipped out of the
door-way, and hurried by a circuitous course to Fulton Ferry, where
Smith had arranged to meet him and relieve him of the tin box.

"Have you got it?" asked Smith, who had been waiting anxiously for over
an hour.

"Here it is," said Martin, "and I'm glad to be rid of it. I wouldn't do
it again for a thousand dollars."

"I hope you'll get more than that out of it," said Smith, cheerfully.
"You've done well. Did you have much trouble?"

"Not much; but I had to work quick. I followed him into a door-way, and
then grabbed it. When'll you divide?"

"Come round to the house this evening, and we'll attend to it."

"Honor bright?"

"Of course."

Meanwhile Rufus, in a painful state of excitement, ran this way and
that, in the faint hope of setting eyes upon the thief. He knew very
well that however innocent he had been in the matter, and however
impossible it was for him to foresee and prevent the attack, the loss
would subject him to suspicion, and it might be supposed that he had
connived at the theft. His good character was at stake, and all his
bright prospects were imperilled.

Meeting a policeman, he hurriedly imparted to him the particulars of the
theft, and described Martin.

"A tall man with a blue coat and slouched hat," repeated the officer. "I
think I saw him turn into Wall Street half an hour ago. Was his nose
red?"

"Yes," said Rufus.

"He hasn't come back this way, or I should have seen him. He must have
gone the other way, or else dodged into some side street or door-way.
I'll go back with you."

The two went back together, but it was too late. Martin was by this time
at some distance, hurrying towards Fulton Ferry.

Rufus felt that the matter was too serious for him to manage alone, and
with reluctant step went back to the office to communicate his loss. A
formidable task was before him, and he tried to prepare himself for it.
It would naturally be inferred that he had been careless, if not
dishonest, and he knew that his formerly having been a street boy would
weigh against him. But, whatever might be the consequences, he knew that
it was his duty to report the loss instantly.



CHAPTER XVI.

MR. VANDERPOOL.


Rufus entered the office as Mr. Turner was about to leave it.

"You were rather long," he said. "Were you detained?"

"I wish that was all, Mr. Turner," said Rufus, his face a little pale.

"What has happened?" asked the banker, quickly.

"The box was stolen from me as I was going upstairs to the office of
Foster & Nevins."

"How did it happen? Tell me quickly."

"I had only gone up two or three steps when I heard a step behind me.
Turning to see who it was, I was struck violently in the face, and fell
forward. When I recovered, the man had disappeared, and the box was
gone."

"Can I depend upon the absolute truth of this statement, Rufus?" asked
Mr. Turner, looking in the boy's face searchingly.

"You can, sir," said Rufus, proudly.

"Can you give any idea of the appearance of the man who attacked you?"

"Yes, sir, I saw him for an instant before the blow was given, and
recognized him."

"You recognized him!" repeated the banker, in surprise. "Who is he?"

Our hero's face flushed with mortification as he answered, "His name is
Martin. He is my step-father. He has only just returned from Blackwell's
Island, where he served a term of three months for trying to pick a
man's pocket."

"Have you met him often since he was released?" asked Mr. Turner.

"He attempted to follow me home one evening from the Academy of Music,
but I dodged him. I didn't want him to know where I boarded, for fear he
would carry off my little sister, as he did once before."

"Did he know you were in my employ?"

"Yes, sir; I met him day before yesterday as I was coming home from the
post-office, and he followed me to the office. He showed me a roll of
bills, and said he was getting a hundred dollars a month."

"Now tell me what you did when you discovered that you had been robbed."

"I searched about for Martin with a policeman, but couldn't find him
anywhere. Then I thought I had better come right back to the office, and
tell you about it. I hope you don't think I was very much to blame, Mr.
Turner."

"Not if your version of the affair is correct, as I think it is. I don't
very well see how you could have foreseen or avoided the attack. But
there is one thing which in the minds of some might operate to your
prejudice."

"What is that, sir?" asked Rufus, anxiously.

"Your relationship to the thief."

"But he is my greatest enemy."

"It might be said that you were in league with him, and arranged to let
him have the box after only making a show of resistance."

"I hope you don't think that, sir?" said our hero, anxiously.

"No, I do not."

"Thank you for saying that, sir. Now, may I ask you one favor?"

"Name it."

"I want to get back that box. Will you give me a week to do it in?"

"What is your plan?"

"I would like to take a week out of the office. During that time, I will
try to get on the track of Martin. If I find him, I will do my best to
get back the box."

Mr. Turner deliberated a moment.

"It may involve you in danger," he said, at length.

"I don't care for the danger," said Rufus, impetuously. "I know that I
am partly responsible for the loss of the box, and I want to recover it.
Then no one can blame me, or pretend that I had anything to do with
stealing it. I should feel a great deal better if you would let me try,
sir."

"Do you think there is any chance of your tracing this man, Martin? He
may leave the city."

"I don't think he will, sir."

"I am inclined to grant your request, Rufus," said the banker, after a
pause. "At the same time, I shall wish you to call with me at the office
of police, and give all the information you are possessed of, that they
also may be on the lookout for the thief. We had best go at once."

Mr. Turner and Rufus at once repaired to the police office, and lodged
such information as they possessed concerning the theft.

"What were the contents of the box?" inquired the officer to whom the
communication was made.

"Chiefly railroad and bank stocks."

"Was there any money?"

"Four hundred dollars only."

"Were any of the securities negotiable?"

"There were two government bonds of five hundred dollars each. They were
registered, however, in the name of the owner, James Vanderpool, one of
our customers. Indeed, the box was his, and was temporarily in our
care."

"Then there would be a difficulty about disposing of the bonds."

"Yes."

"We may be able to get at the thief through them. Very probably he may
be tempted to offer them for sale at some broker's office."

"It is quite possible."

"We will do our best to ferret out the thief. The chances are good."

"The thief will not be likely to profit much by his theft," said Mr.
Turner, when they were again in the street. "The four hundred dollars,
to be sure, he can use; but the railway and bank stocks will be
valueless to him, and the bonds may bring him into trouble. Still, the
loss of the securities is an inconvenience; I shall be glad to recover
them. By the way, Mr. Vanderpool ought at once to be apprised of his
loss. You may go up there at once. Here is his address."

Mr. Turner wrote upon a card, the name

    JAMES VANDERPOOL,
    _No. -- West Twenty-Seventh Street_

and handed it to Rufus.

"After seeing Mr. Vanderpool, you will come to my house this evening,
and report what he says. Assure him that we will do our best to recover
the box. I shall expect you, during the week which I allow you, to
report yourself daily at the office, to inform me of any clue which you
may have obtained."

"You may depend upon me, sir," said our hero.

Rufus at once repaired to the address furnished him by Mr. Turner.

Another difficult and disagreeable task lay before him. It is not a very
pleasant commission to inform a man of the loss of property,
particularly when, as in the present case, the informant feels that the
fault of the loss may be laid to his charge. But Rufus accepted the
situation manfully, feeling that, however disagreeable, it devolved upon
him justly.

He took the University Place cars, and got out at Twenty-Seventh Street.
He soon found Mr. Vanderpool's address, and, ringing the bell, was
speedily admitted.

"Yes, Mr. Vanderpool is at home," said the servant. "Will you go up to
his study?"

Rufus followed the servant up the front staircase, and was ushered into
a front room on the second floor. There was a library table in the
centre of the apartment, at which was seated a gentleman of about
sixty, with iron-gray hair, and features that bore the marks of sickness
and invalidism.

Mr. Vanderpool had inherited a large estate, which, by careful
management, had increased considerably. He had never been in active
business, but, having some literary and scientific tastes, had been
content to live on his income, and cultivate the pursuits to which he
was most inclined.

"Mr. Vanderpool?" said Rufus, in a tone of inquiry.

"Yes," said that gentleman, looking over his glasses, "that is my name.
Do you want to speak to me?"

"I come from Mr. Turner, the banker," said Rufus.

"Ah, yes; Mr. Turner is my man of business. Well, what message do you
bring to me from him?"

"I bring bad news, Mr. Vanderpool," said our hero.

"Eh, what?" ejaculated Mr. Vanderpool, nervously.

"A tin box belonging to you was stolen this morning."

"Bless my soul! How did that happen?" exclaimed the rich man, in dismay.

Rufus gave the account, already familiar to the reader, of the attack
which had been made upon him.

"Why," said Mr. Vanderpool, "there were fifty thousand dollars' worth of
property in that box. That would be a heavy loss."

"There is no danger of losing all that," said Rufus. "The money I
suppose will be lost, and perhaps the government bonds may be disposed
of; but that will only amount to about fifteen hundred dollars. The
thief can't do anything with the stocks and shares."

"Are you sure of that?" asked Mr. Vanderpool, relieved.

"Yes, sir, Mr. Turner told me so. We have given information to the
police. Mr. Turner has given me a week to find the thief."

"You are only a boy," said Mr. Vanderpool, curiously. "Do you think you
can do any good?"

"Yes, sir; I think so," said Rufus, modestly. "The box was taken from
me, and I feel bound to get it back if I can. If I don't succeed, the
certificates of stock can be replaced."

"Well, well, it isn't so bad as it might be," said Mr. Vanderpool. "But
are you not afraid of hunting up the thief?" he asked, looking at Rufus,
attentively.

"No, sir," said Rufus. "I'd just like to get hold of him, that's all."

"You would? Well now, I would rather be excused. I don't think I have
much physical courage. How old are you?"

"Sixteen."

"Well, I hope you'll succeed. I would rather not lose fifteen hundred
dollars in that way, though it might be a great deal worse."

"I hope you don't blame me very much for having the box stolen from me."

"No, no, you couldn't help it. So the man knocked you down, did he?"

"Yes, sir."

"That must have been unpleasant. Did he hurt you much?"

"Yes, sir, just at first; but I don't feel it now."

"By the way, my young friend," said Mr. Vanderpool, reaching forward to
some loose sheets of manuscript upon the desk before him, "did you ever
consider the question whether the planets were inhabited?"

"No, sir," said Rufus, staring a little.

"I have given considerable time to the consideration of that question,"
said Mr. Vanderpool. "If you have time, I will read you a few pages from
a work I am writing on the subject."

"I should be happy to hear them, sir," said Rufus, mentally deciding
that Mr. Vanderpool was rather a curious person.

The old gentleman cleared his throat, and read a few pages, which it
will not be desirable to quote here. Though rather fanciful, they were
not wholly without interest, and Rufus listened attentively, though he
considered it a little singular that Mr. Vanderpool should have selected
him for an auditor. He had the politeness to thank the old gentleman at
the close of the reading.

"I am glad you were interested," said Mr. Vanderpool, gratified. "You
are a very intelligent boy. I shall be glad to have you call again."

"Thank you, sir; I will call and let you know what progress we make in
finding the tin box."

"Oh, yes. I had forgotten; I have no doubt you will do your best. When
you call again, I will read you a few more extracts. It seems to me a
very important and interesting subject."

"Thank you, sir; I shall be very happy to call."

"He don't seem to think much of his loss," said our hero, considerably
relieved. "I was afraid he would find fault with me. Now, Mr. Martin, I
must do my best to find you."



CHAPTER XVII.

DIVIDING THE SPOILS.


Martin did not fail to go to the house occupied by his employers, in the
evening. He was anxious to learn the amount of the booty which he had
taken. He decided that it must be ten thousand dollars at least. Half of
this would be five thousand, and this, according to the agreement
between them, was to come to him. It was quite a fortune, and the
thought of it dazzled Martin's imagination. He would be able to retire
from business, and resolved to do so, for he did not like the risk which
he incurred by following his present employment.

Martin had all his life wished to live like a gentleman,--that is, to
live comfortably without work; and now his wish seemed likely to be
gratified. In the eyes of some, five thousand dollars would seem rather
a small capital to warrant such a life; but it seemed a great deal to a
shiftless character like him. Besides, the box might contain more than
ten thousand dollars, and in that case, of course, his own share would
be greater.

So, on the whole, it was with very pleasant anticipations that Martin
ascended the front steps of the counterfeiter's den, and rang the bell.

Meanwhile Smith had opened the box, and his disappointment had been
great when he found the nature of its contents. Actually but four
hundred dollars were immediately available, and, as the banker no doubt
had recorded the number of the government bonds, there would be risk in
selling them. Besides, even if sold, they would produce, at the market
price, barely eleven hundred dollars. As to the bank and railway shares,
they could not be negotiated, and no doubt duplicates would be applied
for. So, after all, the harvest was likely to prove small, especially as
Smith had passed his word to divide with Martin.

After a while it occurred to him that, as Martin did not know the
contents of the box, he could easily be deceived into supposing them
less than they were. He must tell a falsehood; but then Smith's
conscience was tough, and he had told a great many in the course of his
life.

When Martin was ushered into the room, he found his confederate looking
rather sober.

"Have you opened the box?" inquired Martin, eagerly.

"Yes," said Smith, rather contemptuously. "A great haul you made, I must
say."

"Wasn't there anything in it?" asked Martin, in dismay.

"Yes, there were plenty of bank and railroad shares."

"Can't we sell them?" queried Martin, whose knowledge of business was
limited.

"You must be a fool! We can't sell them without the owner's indorsement.
Perhaps you'll call and ask him for it."

"Can't we do anything with them, then?" asked Martin, anxiously.

"Nothing at all."

"Wasn't there nothing else in the box?"

"Yes, there was a government bond for five hundred dollars."

Smith concluded to mention only one.

"That's something."

"Yes, it's something. You can sell it after a while, and bring me half
the money."

"Will there be any danger in selling it?"

"None to speak of," said Smith, who was afraid Martin might decline
selling it, unless he gave this assurance.

"Wasn't there any money?" asked Martin, disappointed.

"Yes, there was a trifle,--a hundred dollars," answered his unscrupulous
confederate, who was certainly cheating Martin in the most barefaced
manner.

"Half of that belongs to me," said Martin.

"Of course it does. Do you think I wouldn't treat you fair?"

"No," said his dupe. "I know, Mr. Smith, you're a man of honor."

"Of course I am. I'd like to see anybody say I wasn't. I've left
everything in the box just as it was, so you might see it was all
right."

He went to the cupboard, and, unlocking it, produced the box, of which
he lifted the lid. The certificates of stock were at the bottom. Above
them, folded up, was the five-twenty U. S. bond for five hundred
dollars, and upon it a small roll of green-backs.

"You see it's just as I say, Martin," said Smith, with an air of
frankness. "There's the shares that we can't do anything with, here's
the bond, and there's the money. Just take and count it, I may have been
mistaken in the amount."

Martin counted the roll of bills, and made out just one hundred dollars.
Of course he could not be expected to know that there had been three
hundred more, which, together with the other bond, were carefully
concealed in his confederate's breast-pocket.

"Yes, it's just a hundred dollars," he said, after finishing the count.

"Well, take fifty of them, and put in your pocket."

Martin did so.

"It aint what I expected," he said, rather ruefully. "If I'd knowed
there was so little in the box, I wouldn't have taken it."

"Well, it's better than nothing," said Smith, who could afford to be
philosophical, having appropriated to himself seven-eighths of the
money, and three-fourths of the bonds. "There's the bond, you know."

"Let me see it."

Smith extended it to Martin.

"When shall I sell it?" asked he.

"Not just yet. Wait till the affair blows over a little."

"Do you think there's any danger, then?" queried Martin, anxiously.

"Not much. Still it's best to be prudent."

"Hadn't you better sell it yourself?"

"Suppose I did," said Smith. "I might take the notion to walk off with
all the money."

"I don't think you would," said Martin, surveying his confederate
doubtfully, nevertheless.

"No, I don't think I would; but if you sell it yourself, you'll have the
affair in your own hands."

"But _I_ might walk off with all the money, too," said Martin, who
thought it a poor rule that didn't work both ways.

"I don't think you would," said Smith, "and I'll tell you why. We
belong to a large band, that are bound together by a terrible oath to
punish any one guilty of treachery. Suppose you played me false, and did
as you say,--though of course I know you don't mean it,--I wouldn't give
that for your life;" and he snapped his fingers.

"Don't!" said Martin, with a shudder. "You make me shiver. Of course I
didn't mean anything. I'm on the square."

"Certainly, I only told you what would happen to you or me, or any one
that was false to the others."

"I think I'd rather have you sell the bond," said Martin, nervously.

"If I were in your case, I'd be perfectly willing; but the fact is, the
brokers know me too well. They suspect me, and they won't suspect you."

"I think I've had my share of the risk," grumbled Martin. "I don't see
but I do the work, and you share the profits."

"Wasn't it I that put you up to it?" demanded Smith. "Would you ever
have thought of it if it hadn't been for me?"

"Maybe I wouldn't. I wish I hadn't."

"You're a fool, then! Don't you see it's turned out all right? Haven't
you got fifty dollars in your pocket, and won't you have two hundred and
fifty more when the bond is sold?"

"I thought I'd get five thousand," said Martin, dissatisfied.

"It seems to me that three hundred dollars is pretty good pay for one
morning's work; but then there are some people that are never
satisfied."

"It wasn't the work, it was the danger. I aint at all sure but the boy
saw me, and knew who I was. If he did, I've got to keep out of the way."

"Do you think he did recognize you?" asked Smith, thoughtfully.

"I'm not sure. I'm afraid he did."

"I wish we'd got him in our clutches. But I dare say he was too
frightened to tell who it was."

"He aint easy frightened," said Martin, shaking his head. He understood
our hero better than his confederate.

"Well, all is, you must be more careful for a few days. Instead of
staying in the city, I'll send you to Jersey City, Newark, and other
places where you won't be likely to meet him."

"That might do," said Martin; "he's a smart boy, though he's an
undootiful son. He don't care no more for me than if I was no kith nor
kin to him, and he just as lieves see me sent to prison as not."

"There's one thing you haven't thought of," said Smith.

"What's that?"

"His employer will most likely think that the boy has stolen the box, or
had something to do with its being carried off. As he took him out of
the street, he won't have much confidence in his honesty. I shouldn't be
at all surprised if this undootiful boy of yours, as you call him, found
himself locked up in the Tombs, on account of this little affair."

"Do you think so?" said Martin, brightening up at the suggestion.

"I think it more likely than not. If that is the case, of course you
won't be in any danger from him."

"That's so," said Martin, cheerfully. "I hope you're right. It would be
worth something to have that young imp locked up. He wouldn't put on so
many airs after that."

"Well, it's very likely to happen."

The contemplation of this possibility so raised Martin's spirits, that,
in spite of the disappointment he had experienced in finding the booty
so far below what he had anticipated, he became quite cheerful,
especially after Smith produced a bottle of whiskey, and asked him to
help himself,--an invitation which he did not have occasion to repeat.



CHAPTER XVIII.

RUFUS ENTRAPPED.


"Now," said Rufus to himself on the morning succeeding the robbery,
"I've got a week to recover that box. How shall I go about it?"

This was a question easier asked than answered. Martin being the thief,
the first thing, of course, was to find him; and Rufus had considerable
hopes of encountering him in the street some day. Should this be the
case, he might point him out to a policeman, and have him arrested at
once; but this would not recover the box. Probably it was concealed at
Martin's boarding-house, and this it was that Rufus was anxious to find.
He decided, therefore, whenever he got on the track of his step-father,
to follow him cautiously until he ascertained where he lodged.

He walked the street with his eyes about him all day, but did not catch
a glimpse of Martin. The fact was, the latter was at Newark, having been
sent there by his employers with a supply of counterfeit money to
dispose of, so that our hero's search was of course fruitless, and so he
was obliged to report to Mr. Turner the next morning.

"Probably he is in hiding," said his employer. "I don't think you have
much chance of meeting him for a few days to come."

"I should like to try," said Rufus. "He won't be content to hide long."

"I have notified the banks and railroad companies of the robbery," said
Mr. Turner; "so that it will be impossible to sell the shares. After a
while, should we fail to recover them, they will grant us duplicate
certificates. I have advertised, also, the numbers of the bonds; and, if
an attempt is made to dispose of them, the thief will find himself in
trouble. So the loss is reduced to four hundred dollars."

"That is too much to lose," said Rufus.

"That is true; but we are lucky to get off so cheap."

"I hope to get back some of that," said our hero, stoutly.

"Did it ever strike you that there might be some risk encountering this
man? If he is driven to bay he may become dangerous."

"I don't think of the danger, Mr. Turner," said Rufus. "I lost that box,
and it is my duty to recover it if I can, danger or no danger."

Mr. Turner secretly admired the pluck of Rufus; but he was not a man
given to compliments, so he only said, quietly, "Well, Rufus, you shall
have the week I promised you. I have no doubt you will do your best. I
shall not be surprised, however, if you fail."

So Rufus entered upon his second day's search.

He went up Chatham Street, and explored most of the streets intersecting
it, visiting many places which he remembered as former haunts of his
step-father. But he was quite off the track here. Martin's employment
now was on the other side of the city, near the North River, and he had
no longer occasion to visit his old haunts. Besides, he had again been
sent over to New Jersey, and did not get back to the city at all till
late in the afternoon.

The next day Martin complained of headache, and was permitted to remain
at home. He did not think it prudent to be out during the day; but
easily solaced himself in his confinement with whiskey and cigars, of
which he had laid in a good supply. He was sitting in his shirt-sleeves
at the front window, looking through the blinds, which were always
closed, when his eyes lighted on Rufus passing on the opposite side of
the street.

"He's looking for me," exclaimed Martin to himself, observing that Rufus
was looking about him as he walked.

"Who's looking for you?" asked his confederate, Smith, who happened just
then to enter the room.

"My undootiful son. Look, there he is," said Martin, nervously. "I
wonder if he has heard about my living here."

Smith went to the window, and looked out.

"He looks resolute and determined," said Smith. "We must pull his
teeth."

"What do you mean?"

"I mean we must put it out of his power to do you harm."

"How are we going to do that?"

"Wait a minute and I'll tell you."

Smith left the room hastily, and after a brief interval returned.

"I think I'll fetch it," he said.

"What have you done?" asked Martin.

"I've sent Humpy to follow your son. He's to carry him a message from
you."

"What do you mean?" asked Martin, alarmed.

"Don't be afraid. It's all right."

"But I don't understand it. I didn't send any message. What was it?"

"I'll tell you. If I'm not mistaken Humpy will bring your son back with
him, so that I shall have the pleasure of reuniting parent and child."

"You don't mean to say you are going to bring Rufus here?" said Martin,
his lower jaw falling. "You aint going to betray me, are you?"

"Stuff and nonsense! What are you thinking of? All you need understand
is, that the boy is getting dangerous. He is following you round as if
he meant something, and that must be stopped. I mean to get him into the
house, but I don't mean to part company with him very soon."

Smith here briefly detailed the instructions which he had given to his
errand-boy. Martin listened with much satisfaction.

"What a head you've got!" he said admiringly.

"I'm generally ready for an emergency," remarked Smith, complacently.
"You've got to get up early in the morning to get ahead of me."

We must now follow Smith's messenger, and we shall ascertain that
gentleman's plan.

Humpy was a boy of sixteen, very short, in fact almost a dwarf, and, as
his name implies, disfigured by a hump. He was sharp, however, and
secretive, and, though he could not help understanding the character of
the men who employed him, was not likely to betray them. He had a pride
in deserving the confidence which he saw was reposed in him.

After receiving the instructions of his principal, he crossed the
street, and followed Rufus at a little distance, being particular to
keep him in sight. Our hero turned a corner, and so did he. He then
quickened his pace and came up with him.

"Was you a-lookin' for anybody in particular?" he said.

"What makes you ask?" said Rufus, facing round upon him.

"Maybe I could help you."

"Perhaps you know who I am after," said Rufus, looking at him steadily.

"You're looking for a man named Martin, aint you?"

"Do you know where I can find him?" asked Rufus, eagerly.

"Yes, I do. He sent me after you."

"He sent you!" repeated our hero, hardly believing his ears.

"Yes; he wants to see you."

"What does he want to see me for?" asked Rufus, inclined to be
suspicious.

"There's something he's got of yours that he wants to return," said
Humpy, in a low voice, looking around cautiously.

Rufus was more and more astonished. Was it possible that Martin's
conscience troubled him, and that he wanted to make restitution? He
could hardly believe this, knowing what he did of his step-father.
Martin was about the last man he would have suspected of being troubled
in any such way.

"Yes, he has got something of mine," he said aloud. "Does he want to
return it?"

"Yes, he's sorry he took it. He's afraid you'll set the copps on him."

"So he's frightened," thought Rufus. This seemed to throw light on the
new phase of affairs. He had never regarded his step-father as very
brave, and now concluded that he was alarmed about the consequences of
the theft.

"If he'll return what he took, all right," said Rufus, venturing to make
this promise on his own responsibility; "he shan't be touched. Where is
he?"

"Not far off," said Humpy.

"Tell him to bring it to me, and I'll give my word not to have him
arrested."

"He can't come."

"Why can't he?"

"He's sick."

"Where?"

"In a house near by. He wants you to come and see him."

Rufus hesitated.

"What's the matter with him?" he asked.

"He caught a cold, and is threatened with a fever," said the boy,
glibly. "If you want to see him, I'll lead you where he is."

"All right! Go ahead!" said Rufus, thoroughly deceived by the boy's
plausible story.

"You'll promise not to set the copps on him, after you've got the box?"
said Humpy.

"Yes, I promise."

"Then follow me."

Rufus followed, congratulating himself that things were coming out
satisfactorily. He had no hesitation in making the promise he did, for
he felt sure that he would be sustained by his employer. At any rate, he
determined that, having pledged his word to Martin, nothing should make
him break it.

Humpy stumped along, followed by Rufus. They turned the corner again,
and the boy guided him at once to the counterfeiter's den.

"He's in there," said Humpy, with a jerk of his forefinger. "Come
along!"

He mounted the steps, and opened the door, which had been left unlocked.

"He's upstairs," said Humpy. "Come up."

Rufus, without suspicion, followed his humpbacked guide up the narrow
staircase. They had scarcely reached the top, when Smith, coming out of
a room on the floor below, locked the outer door, and put the key in his
pocket. This Rufus did not see, or it would have aroused his suspicion.
The boy opened the door of a chamber at the head of the staircase. "Go
in there," he said.

Rufus entered, and looked around him, but saw no one. He did not have to
wait long. A step was heard at the door, and James Martin entered the
room, apparently in perfect health.

"I'm glad to see you, Rufus," he said with a triumphant grin. "You've
been such an undootiful son that I didn't much expect you'd come to see
your sick father."

Rufus sprang to his feet in dismay. The whole plot flashed upon him at
once, and he realized that he had walked into a trap with his eyes wide
open.



CHAPTER XIX.

IN A TRAP.


Our hero's first impulse, on finding himself entrapped, was to escape.
He sprang towards the door, but Martin quickly grasped him by the arm,
and forced him back.

"No you don't!" he said, with emphasis. "I want you to stay with me."

"Let me go!" exclaimed Rufus, struggling to escape.

"Sorry I couldn't oblige you," said Martin, with a grin. "Can't you stay
with your sick father a few days?"

"You've played me a mean trick," said Rufus, indignantly.

"What was you walkin' through this street for?" asked Martin. "Wasn't it
because you wanted to see me?"

"Yes," answered our hero.

"Well, you've got what you wanted," said Martin, smiling maliciously. "I
know'd you'd never find me if I didn't send out for you. Was there
anything partic'lar you wish to say to me?"

"Yes," said Rufus, bluntly. "I want you to give me back that tin box you
stole from me the other day."

"What do I know about any tin box?" asked Martin, not knowing that it
had been spoken of by Humpy in the street.

"You needn't deny it, Mr. Martin. The boy you sent after me told me you
took it."

"He did, did he?" said Martin, seeing that he must try another tack.
"Well, s'posin' I did, what then?"

"The law may have something to say. You'll stand a chance of going to
Sing Sing for a few years."

"You'd have to prove I took it," said Martin, uneasily. "I only told the
boy to say so, so's to get you in here. I read about the robbery in the
papers."

"I recognized you at the time, and am ready to swear to you," said
Rufus, firmly.

This was rather imprudent, for it made Martin even more determined to
prevent our hero's escape.

"If that's your game," he said, "I'll see you don't get a chance to
swear to any lies."

"What do you mean to do with me?" demanded Rufus.

"I aint decided yet," said Martin. "Your health's so delicate that I
don't think it'll agree with you to go out in the street."

"Are you going to confine me here?"

"Maybe," said his step-father. "I shan't charge you nothing for board.
Your cheerful company'll pay me for that."

"Mr. Martin," said Rufus, "I've got a proposition to make to you."

"Go ahead and make it then."

"You've got yourself into a scrape about that tin box."

"I thought you was the one that had got into a scrape," said Martin,
jocularly.

"So I have; but mine is of a different kind from yours. You run the risk
of going to prison."

"And you're in prison already," said Martin, with a grin. "Seems to me
I've got the best of it so far."

"Perhaps you have; but I wouldn't exchange with you for all that. Now
I've got a proposition to make."

"That's what you said before."

"If you will restore the tin box, and let me go free, I'll see that you
are not arrested for what you've done."

"You're very kind," said Martin; "but that won't pay me for my trouble."

"If I'll get you out of your present danger?"

"I don't know about that. S'posin' I was to do as you say, the first
thing you'd do after you got out would be to set the copps on me."

"No, I wouldn't. I'd go to prison first myself."

This proposition had some effect upon Martin. He realized that he was in
danger, and felt that he had been very poorly paid for his risk and
trouble. He was inclined to believe Rufus would keep his word, but he
knew also that matters had gone too far. Smith, he was sure, would not
consent to any such arrangement, and without him he could do nothing.
Besides, it was a satisfaction to him to feel that he had Rufus in his
power, and he had no desire to lose that advantage by setting him free.
Tyrant and bully as he was by nature, he meant to gratify his malice at
our hero's expense.

"I couldn't do it, Rufus," he said. "There's another man in it, and he's
got the box."

Rufus looked sharply at Martin to ascertain if he was speaking the
truth. He decided that it was as his step-father stated, and, if this
was the case, he would have more than one enemy to deal with.

"Does the other man live here?" he asked.

"Maybe he does, and maybe he doesn't."

"Who is he?"

"Maybe it's the Emperor of Chiny, and maybe it isn't. What would you
give to know?"

"Not much," said Rufus, assuming an indifferent tone. "You're the man
that took the box,--that's enough for me."

"He put me up to it," said Martin, unguardedly.

"I thought Martin wasn't smart enough to plan the robbery himself," said
Rufus to himself. He resolved to appear indifferent to this information,
in the hope of learning more.

"You can settle that among yourselves," he said, quietly. "If you
consented to do it, you're as much to blame as he."

At this moment Smith, influenced by curiosity, opened the door and
entered.

"This is my undootiful son, Mr. Smith," said Martin.

"So his name's Smith," thought Rufus. "I wonder whether it's his real
name, or a false one."

"I'm glad to see you, young man," said Smith. "So you've called to see
your father?"

"He isn't my father."

"You see how undootiful he is," said Martin. "He won't own me."

"We'll teach him to be more dutiful before we get through with him,"
said Smith.

"Mr. Smith," said Rufus, "I'm not here of my own accord. I dare say you
know that. But as long as I am here, I'd like to ask you if you know
anything about a tin box that was taken from me the other day by Mr.
Martin."

"By your father?"

"By Mr. Martin," said Rufus, determined not to admit the relationship.

"What should I know about it?"

"Mr. Martin tells me that, though he took it, somebody else set him to
do it. I thought you might be the one."

"Did you say that?" demanded Smith, looking angrily at Martin.

"I was only foolin'," returned Martin, who began to think he had made a
blunder.

"It's my belief that you're a fool," retorted Smith. "You'd better be
careful what you tell your son. Young man," turning to Rufus, "as to the
tin box you speak of, I can tell you nothing. Your father says that he
has recovered some property which you stole from him a while since, and
I suppose that may be the tin box you refer to."

"That isn't true. It belonged to Mr. Turner, my employer, or rather to a
customer of his."

"That's nothing to me. Mr. Martin boards with me, and as long as he pays
for his board I don't want to pry into his affairs. If he has taken a
tin box from you, I presume he had a better right to it than you had.
Are you going to bring your son down to dinner, Mr. Martin?"

"I guess he'd better eat his victuals up here," said Martin.

"Just as you say. I can send Humpy with them. We shall have dinner in
about an hour."

"All right; I'll go down now if my dootiful son can spare me."

As Rufus did not urge him to stay, Martin left the room with Smith,
taking care to lock the door after him.

"What's the boy's name?" asked Smith, abruptly.

"Rufus."

"He's smart. I can tell that by his looks."

"Ye-es, he's smart enough," said Martin, hesitatingly; "but he's as
obstinate as a pig."

"Likes to have his own way, eh?"

"That's what he does."

"He'd make a good boy for our business," said Smith, musingly.

Martin shook his head.

"It wouldn't do," he said.

"Why not?"

"He wants to be honest," said Martin, contemptuously. "We couldn't trust
him."

"Then there's only one thing to do."

"What's that?"

"We must keep him close. We mustn't on any account allow him to escape."

"I'll look after that," said Martin, nodding. "I've had hard work enough
to get hold of him. He won't get away in a hurry."

"If he does, you'll be arrested."

"And you too," suggested Martin.

"Why should I?"

"Didn't you put me up to taking the box, and haven't you taken half what
was in it?"

"Look here," said Smith, menacingly, "you'd better stop that. You've
already told the boy more than you ought. If you are taken through your
own carelessness, mind what you are about, and don't split on me. If
you do, it'll be the worse day's work you ever did. Imprisonment isn't
the worse thing that can happen to a man."

Martin understood what his confederate meant, and the intended effect
was produced. He began to think that Smith was a desperate man, and
capable of murdering him, or instigating his murder, in case of
treachery. This made him feel rather uneasy, in spite of his capture of
Rufus.

Meanwhile, our hero, left to himself, began to examine the apartment in
which he was confined. The door had been locked by Martin, as we have
already said. This was the only mode of exit from the apartment, except
what was afforded by two windows. Rufus walked to them, and looked out.
The room was in the back part of the house, and these windows looked out
into a back yard. He could see the rear portions of the houses on a
parallel street, and speculated as to the chances of escape this way. As
the room was only on the second floor, the distance to the ground was
not great. He could easily swing off the window-sill without injury.
Though he knew it would not be well to attempt escape now when Martin
and Smith were doubtless on the lookout, he thought he would open the
window softly and take a survey. He tried one window, but could not
raise it. He tried the other, with like want of success. He thought at
first that the difficulty lay in their sticking, but, on closer
examination, he ascertained that both were firmly fastened by nails,
which accounted for their being immovable.



CHAPTER XX.

HUMPY.


"I might break the window," thought Rufus; but it occurred to him at
once that the noise would probably be heard. Besides, if there was any
one in the room below, he would very likely be seen descending from the
window. If this plan were adopted at all, he must wait till evening.
Meanwhile some other way of escape might suggest itself.

The room was of moderate size,--about fifteen feet square. A cheap
carpet covered the floor. A pine bedstead occupied one corner. There
were three or four chairs, a bureau, and a bedstead.

Rufus sat down, and turned the matter over in his mind. He couldn't make
up his mind what Martin's business was, but decided that it was
something unlawful, and that he was either employed by Smith, or
connected in some way with him. It seemed to him probable that his
step-father, in waylaying him and stealing the tin box, had acted under
the direction of Smith, and that probably the box was at that very
moment in the possession of the superior villain.

"If I could only find the box and escape with it," thought Rufus, "that
would set me right with Mr. Turner."

But there seemed little chance of that. It did not seem very probable
even that he could escape from the room in which he was confined, much
less carry out the plan he had in view.

While he was thinking over his situation, the key turned in the lock,
and the door was opened. Rufus looked up, expecting to see Martin; but
instead of his step-father there entered the boy already referred to as
Humpy.

Humpy carried in his hand a plate of meat and vegetables.

"Here's your dinner," he said, laying the plate down, while he locked
the door behind him.

"Look here, Johnny," said Rufus, "you served me a mean trick."

Humpy chuckled.

"You came in just as innocent," he said. "It was jolly."

"Maybe it is, but I don't see it. You told me a lie."

"Didn't you find the man you was after?" said Humpy.

"You told me he was sick."

"So he is. He's in delicate health, and couldn't go to business to-day."

"What is his business?" asked Rufus, a little too eagerly.

Humpy put his thumbs to his nose, and twirled his fingers with a grin of
intelligence.

"Don't you wish you knew?" he said tantalizingly.

"Do you know anything about the tin box?" asked Rufus, seeing that his
former question was not likely to be answered.

"Maybe I do."

"It's in this house."

"Oh, is it? Well, if you know that, there's no use of my telling you."

"I can't make much of him," thought Rufus. "He's a young imp, and it
isn't easy to get round him."

He looked at Humpy meditatively, and it occurred to him whether it would
not be well to spring upon him, snatch the key, release himself from the
room, and dash downstairs. So far as the boy was concerned, this plan
was practicable. Rufus was much his superior in strength, and could
master him without difficulty. But, doubtless, Martin and Smith were
below. They would hear the noise of the struggle, and would cut off his
flight. Evidently that plan would not work. Another suggested itself to
him.

"Johnny," said he, "don't you want to make some money?"

Here he attacked the boy on his weak side. Humpy was fond of money. He
had already scraped together about twenty dollars from the meagre pay he
received, and had it carefully secreted.

"Of course I do," he answered. "How'm I to do it?"

"I'll tell you. That tin box contained property of value. It doesn't
belong to me. It belongs to Mr. Turner, the banker. I was trying to
recover it when you got me to come in here this morning. Now what I
want to say, is this. Get that tin box for me, and help me to get away
with it, and it'll be worth fifty dollars to you."

Fifty dollars! Humpy's eyes sparkled when he heard the sum named; but
prudence came to his aid, fortified by suspicion.

"Who's a-goin' to pay it?" he asked.

"Mr. Turner."

"S'posin' he don't?"

"Then I will."

"Where'd you raise the money?"

"I'm not rich, but I'm worth a good deal more than that. I'd rather pay
it out of my own pocket than not get back that box."

But if Humpy was fond of money, he had also a rude sense of honor, which
taught him to be faithful to his employer. He did want the money, and
then there was something in our hero's look that made him pretty sure
that he would keep his promise. So he put away the seductive temptation,
though reluctantly.

"I aint a-goin' to do it," he said, doggedly.

"Perhaps you'll think better of it," said Rufus, who, in spite of the
boy's manner, saw the struggle in his mind. "If you do, just let me
know."

"I've got to be goin'," said Humpy, and, unlocking the door, he went
out, locking it again directly.

Rufus turned his attention to the dinner, which he found of good
quality. Despite his imprisonment, his appetite was excellent, and he
ate all there was of it.

"I must keep up my strength at any rate," he said to himself; "I may
need it."

Meanwhile, as there was no longer anything to dread, Rufus being a
prisoner, Martin went out in the service of his employer.

"Now," thought he, reflecting with satisfaction on his signal triumph
over Rufus, "if I only knew where Rose was, I'd go after her, and her
brother shouldn't get hold of her again in a hurry. He's got enough to
do to take care of himself."

This was pleasant to think about; but Martin had not the least idea
where Rose was, and was not likely to find out.

Meanwhile something happened in the counterfeiter's den, which was
destined to prove of advantage to Rufus.

Smith sent Humpy out on an errand. The boy was detained unavoidably, and
returned an hour later than he was expected. Smith was already in an
ill-temper, which the late return of his emissary aggravated.

"What made you so late?" he demanded, with lowering brow.

"I couldn't help it," said Humpy.

"Don't tell me that!" roared Smith. "You stopped to play on the way; I
know you did."

"No, I didn't," said Humpy, angrily.

"Do you dare to contradict me, you villanous little humpback?" screamed
Smith. "I'll teach you to do it again."

[Illustration: "I'LL TEACH YOU TO DO IT AGAIN."]

He clutched the boy by the collar, and, seizing a horsewhip, brought it
down with terrible force on the boy's shrinking form.

"Let me go! Don't beat me!" screamed Humpy, in mingled fear and rage.

"Not till I've cured you," retorted Smith. Twice more he struck the
humpbacked boy with the whip, and then threw him on the floor.

"That's what you get for contradicting me," he said.

The boy rose slowly and painfully, and limped out of the room. His face
was pale, but his heart was filled with a burning sense of humiliation
and anger against the man who had assaulted him. It would have been well
for Smith if he had controlled himself better, for the boy was not one
of the forgiving kind, but harbored resentment with an Indian-like
tenacity, and was resolved to be revenged.

He crawled upstairs to the small attic room in which he usually slept,
and, entering, threw himself upon the bed, face downward, where he burst
into a passion of grief, shame, and rage, which shook his crooked form
convulsively. This lasted for fifteen minutes, when he became more
quiet.

Then he got up slowly, and, going to a corner of the room, lifted up a
board from which the nails appeared to have been drawn out, and drew
from beneath a calico bag. This he opened, and exposed to view a
miscellaneous collection of coins, which he took out and counted.

"Twenty dollars and nineteen cents!" he said to himself. "I've been
more'n a year gettin' it. That boy offers me fifty dollars,--most three
times as much,--if I'll get him the tin box and help him to escape. I
said I wouldn't do it; but he hadn't struck me then. He hadn't called me
a villanous humpback. Now he's got to pay for it. He'll wish he hadn't
done it;" and the boy clenched his fist, and shook it vindictively.
"Now, how'll I get the box?"

He sat on the bed thinking for some time, then, composing his
countenance, he went downstairs. He resolved to assume his usual manner,
in order not to excite Smith's suspicion.

Smith had by this time got over his rage, and was rather sorry he had
struck the boy so brutally, for he knew very well that Humpy might prove
a dangerous enemy. He glanced at Humpy's face when he came downstairs,
but saw nothing unusual.

"Oh, he'll forget all about it," he thought to himself.

"Here's ten cents, Humpy," he said. "Maybe I struck you too hard. Go and
buy yourself some candy."

"Thank you," said the boy, taking the money.

"I've another errand for you."

He told what it was.

"Go and come back as soon as possible."

Humpy went quietly, and returned in good season.

About five o'clock, Martin not yet having returned, Smith directed him
to carry up our hero's supper. There was a little exultant sparkle in
the boy's eye, as he took the plate of buttered bread, and started to go
upstairs.

"So it's you, is it?" said Rufus, on the boy's entrance. "Where is
Martin?"

"He aint come in yet. Do you want to see him?"

"No, I'm not particular about it."

Humpy stood looking earnestly at Rufus while he was eating the bread and
butter. At length he said, "I've been thinkin' over what you said to me
at dinner-time. Shall I get the fifty dollars certain sure if I do what
you want?"

"Yes," said Rufus, eagerly. "Get me the tin box, and help me to escape,
and the money shall be yours."

"Honor bright?"

"Honor bright."



CHAPTER XXI.

SUSPENSE.


Rufus generally reached his boarding-house at half-past five o'clock.
Sometimes Rose and her two young companions were playing in Washington
Park at that time, and ran to meet him when he appeared in sight. But on
the night of our hero's capture by Martin they waited for him in vain.

"Where can Rufie be?" thought Rose, as she heard six o'clock peal from a
neighboring church-tower.

She thought he might have gone by without her seeing him, and with this
idea, as it was already the hour for dinner, she went into the house.
She ran upstairs two steps at a time, and opened the door of her own
room.

"You should not have stayed out so late, Rose," said Miss Manning. "You
will hardly have time to get ready for dinner."

"I was waiting for Rufie. Has he come?"

"No; he seems to be late to-night."

"I am afraid he's got run over," said Rose anxiously.

"Rufus is old enough to take care of himself. I've no doubt he's quite
safe."

"Then what makes him so late?"

"He is probably detained by business. But there is the bell. We must go
down to dinner."

"Can't we wait for Rufie?"

"No, my dear child; we cannot tell when he will be home."

"It don't seem a bit pleasant to eat dinner without Rufie," complained
Rose.

"It isn't often he stays, Rose. He'll tell us all about it when he
comes."

They went down and took their seats at the dinner-table.

"Where is your brother, Rose?" asked Mrs. Clifton.

"He hasn't got home," said Rose, rather disconsolately.

"I am sorry for that. He is a very agreeable young man. If I wasn't
married," simpered Mrs. Clifton, "I should set my cap for him. But I
mustn't say that, or Mr. Clifton will be jealous."

"Oh, don't mind me!" said Mr. Clifton, carelessly. "It won't spoil my
appetite."

"I don't think there's anything that would spoil _your_ appetite," said
his wife, rather sharply, for she would have been flattered by her
husband's jealousy.

"Just so," said Mr. Clifton, coolly. "May I trouble you for some
chicken, Mrs. Clayton?"

"You're a great deal too old for Rufie, Mrs. Clifton," said Rose, with
more plainness than politeness.

"I'm not quite so young as you are, Rose," said Mrs. Clifton, somewhat
annoyed. "How old do you think I am?"

"Most fifty," answered Rose, honestly.

"Mercy sake!" exclaimed Mrs. Clifton, horrified, "what a child you are!
Why don't you say a hundred, and done with it?"

"How old are you, Mrs. Clifton?" persisted Rose.

"Well, if you must know, I shall be twenty-five next November."

Mrs. Clifton was considerably nearer thirty-five; but, then, some ladies
are very apt to be forgetful of their age.

The dinner-hour passed, and Rose and Miss Manning left the table. They
went upstairs hoping that Rufus might be there before them; but the room
was empty. An hour and a half passed, and it was already beyond eight,
the hour at which Rose usually went to bed.

"Can't I sit up a little later to-night, Miss Manning?" pleaded Rose. "I
want to see Rufie."

"No, Rose, I think not. You'll see him in the morning."

So Rose unwillingly undressed and went to bed.

By this time Miss Manning began to wonder a little why Rufus did not
appear. It seemed to her rather strange that he should be detained by
business till after eight o'clock, and she thought that an accident
might possibly have happened to him. Still Rufus was a strong, manly
boy, well able to take care of himself, and this was not probable.

When ten o'clock came, and he had not yet made his appearance, she went
downstairs. The door of the hall bedroom, which Rufus occupied, was open
and empty. This she saw on the way. In the hall below she met Mrs.
Clayton.

"Rufus has not yet come in?" she said, interrogatively.

"No, I have not seen him. I saved some dinner for him, thinking he might
have been detained."

"I can't think why he doesn't come home. I think he must be here soon.
Do you know if he has a latch-key?"

"Yes, he got a new one of me the other day. Perhaps he has gone to some
place of amusement."

"He would not go without letting us know beforehand. He would know we
would feel anxious."

"Yes, he is more considerate than most young men of his age. I don't
think you need feel anxious about him."

Miss Manning went upstairs disappointed. She began to feel perplexed and
anxious. Suppose something should happen to Rufus, what would they do?
Rose would refuse to be comforted. She was glad the little girl was
asleep, otherwise she would be asking questions which she would be
unable to answer. It was now her hour for retiring, but she resolved to
sit up a little longer. More than an hour passed, and still Rufus did
not come. It seemed unlikely that he would return that night, and Miss
Manning saw that it was useless to sit up longer. It was possible,
however, that he might have come in, and gone at once to his room,
thinking it too late to disturb them. But, on going down to the next
floor, she saw that his room was still unoccupied.

Rose woke up early in the morning; Miss Manning was already awake.

"Did Rufie come last night?" asked the little girl.

"He had not come when I went to bed," was the answer. "Perhaps he came
in afterwards."

"May I dress and go down and see?"

"Yes, if you would like to."

Rose dressed quicker than usual, and went downstairs. She came up again
directly, with a look of disappointment.

"Miss Manning, he is not here," she said. "His chamber door is open,
and I saw that he had not slept in his bed."

"Very likely Mr. Turner sent him out of the city on business," said Miss
Manning, with an indifference which she did not feel.

"I wish he'd come," said Rose. "I shall give him a good scolding, when
he gets home, for staying away so long."

"Has not Mr. Rushton come?" asked Mrs. Clayton, at the breakfast-table.

"Not yet. I suppose he is detained by business."

Just after breakfast, Miss Manning, as usual, took the three little
girls out in the Park to play. It was their custom to come in about nine
o'clock to study. This morning, however, their governess went to Mrs.
Colman and said, "I should like to take this morning, if you have no
objection. I am feeling a little anxious about Rufus, who did not come
home last night. I would like to go to the office where he is employed,
and inquire whether he has been sent out of town on any errand."

"Certainly, Miss Manning. The little girls can go out and play in the
Park while you are gone."

"Thank you."

"Where are you going, Miss Manning?" asked Rose, seeing that the
governess was preparing to go out.

"I am going to Rufie's office to see why he stayed away."

"May I go with you?" asked Rose, eagerly.

"No, Rose, you had better stay at home. The streets are very crowded
down town, and I shouldn't like to venture to cross Broadway with you.
You can go and play in the Park."

"And shan't we have any lessons?"

"Not this morning."

"That will be nice," said Rose, who, like most girls of her age, enjoyed
a holiday.

Miss Manning walked to Broadway, and took a stage. That she knew would
carry her as far as Wall Street, only a few rods from Mr. Turner's
office. She had seldom been in a stage, the stage fare being higher than
in the cars, and even four cents made a difference to her. She would
have enjoyed the brilliant scene which Broadway always presents, with
its gay shop-windows and hurrying multitudes, if her mind had not been
preoccupied. At length Trinity spire came in sight. When they reached
the great church which forms so prominent a landmark in the lower part
of Broadway, she got out, and turned into Wall Street.

It did not take her long to find Mr. Turner's number. She had never been
there before, and had never met Mr. Turner, and naturally felt a little
diffident about going into the office. It was on the second floor. She
went up the stairway, and timidly entered. She looked about her, but
Rufus was not to be seen. At first no one noticed her; but finally a
clerk, with a pen behind his ear, came out from behind the line of
desks.

"What can I do for you, ma'am?" he asked.

"Is Rufus Rushton here?" she inquired.

"No, he is not."

"Was he here yesterday?"

"He's out of the office just now, on some business of Mr. Turner's.
That's Mr. Turner, if you would like to speak to him."

Miss Manning turned, and saw Mr. Turner just entering the office. He
was a pleasant-looking man, and this gave her courage to address him.

"Mr. Turner," she said, "I came to ask about Rufus Rushton. He did not
come home last night, and I am feeling anxious about him."

"Indeed!" said the banker, "I am surprised to hear that. It leads me to
think that he may have found a clue to the stolen box."

"The stolen box!" repeated Miss Manning, in surprise.

"Yes; did he not tell you of it?"

"No, sir."

Mr. Turner briefly related the particulars already known to the reader.
"I think," he said, in conclusion, "Rufus must have tracked the man
Martin, and--"

"Martin!" interrupted Miss Manning. "Was he the thief?"

"Yes, so Rufus tells me. Do you know him?"

"I have good reason to. He is a very bad man. I hope he has not got
Rufus in his power."

"I don't think you need feel apprehensive. Rufus is a smart boy, and
knows how to take care of himself. He'll come out right, I have no
doubt."

"I am glad to hear you say so, Mr. Turner. I will bid you good-morning,
with thanks for your kindness."

"If Rufus comes in this morning, I will let him go home at once, that
your anxiety may be relieved."

With this assurance Miss Manning departed. She had learned something,
but, in spite of the banker's assurance, she felt troubled. She knew
Martin was a bad man, and she was afraid Rufus would come to harm.



CHAPTER XXII.

MARTIN GROWS SUSPICIOUS.


Our hero's interview with Humpy gave him new courage. When he had felt
surrounded by enemies the chances seemed against him. Now he had a
friend in the house, who was interested in securing his escape. Not only
this, but there was a fair chance of recovering the box for which he was
seeking. On the whole, therefore, Rufus was in very good spirits.

About nine o'clock he heard a step on the stairs, which he recognized as
that of his step-father. He had good reason to remember that step. Many
a time while his mother was alive, and afterwards while they were living
in Leonard Street, he had listened to it coming up the rickety
staircase, and dreaded the entrance of the man whose presence was never
welcome.

After some fumbling at the lock the door opened, and Martin entered. It
was dark, and he could not at first see Rufus.

"Where are you, you young villain?" he inquired, with a hiccough.

Rufus did not see fit to answer when thus addressed.

"Where are you, I say?" repeated Martin.

"Here I am," answered Rufus.

"Why didn't you speak before? Didn't you hear me?" demanded his
step-father, angrily.

"Yes, Mr. Martin, I heard you," said Rufus, composedly.

"Then why didn't you answer?"

"Because you called me a young villain."

"Well, you are one."

Rufus did not answer.

Martin locked the door and put the key in his pocket. He next struck a
match, and lit the gas. Then seating himself in a rocking-chair, still
with his hat on, he looked at Rufus with some curiosity, mingled with
triumph.

"I hope you like your accommodations," he said.

"Pretty well."

"We don't charge you nothing for board, you see, and you haven't any
work to do. That's what I call living like a gentleman."

"I believe you tried the same kind of life at Blackwell's Island," said
Rufus.

"Look here," said Martin, roughly, "you'd better not insult me. I didn't
come here to be insulted."

"What did you come for, then?" asked Rufus.

"I thought you'd like to know how Rose was," answered Martin.

"I don't believe you have seen her."

"Well, you needn't believe it. Perhaps I didn't meet her on the street,
and follow her home. She begged me to tell her where you was; but I
couldn't do it."

Rufus felt a temporary uneasiness when he heard this statement; but
there was something in Martin's manner which convinced him that he had
not been telling the truth. He decided to change the subject.

"Mr. Martin," he said, "have you made up your mind to give up that tin
box?"

"No I haven't. I can't spare it."

"If you will give it up, I will see that you are not punished for taking
it."

"I aint a-goin' to be punished for taking it."

"You certainly will be if you are caught."

"What do you know about it?"

"There was a man convicted of the same thing three months ago, and he
got five years for it."

"I don't believe it," said Martin, uneasily.

"You needn't if you don't want to."

"I haven't got the box now, so I couldn't give it back. Smith's got it."

"Is that the man I saw this morning?"

"Yes."

"Then you'd better ask him to give it back to you."

"He wouldn't do it if I asked him."

"Then I'm sorry for you."

Martin was not very brave, and in spite of his assertions he felt uneasy
at what Rufus was saying. Besides, he felt rather afraid of our hero. He
knew that Rufus was a resolute, determined boy, and that he could not
keep him confined forever. Some time he would get out, and Martin feared
that he would set the officers on his track. The remark of Smith that
he would make a good boy for their business occurred to him, and he
determined to try him on a new tack. If he could get him compromised by
a connection with their business, it would be for his interest also to
keep clear of the police.

"Rufus," said Martin, edging his chair towards our hero, "I'm your
friend."

Rufus was rather astonished at this sudden declaration.

"I'm glad to hear it," he said; "but I don't think you've treated me in
a very friendly manner."

"About the tin box?"

"Yes, partly that. If you're my friend, you will return it, and not keep
me locked up here."

"Never mind, Rufus, I've got a business proposal to make to you. You're
a smart boy."

"I am glad you think so."

"And I can give you a chance to make a good living."

"I am making a good living now, or I was before you interfered with me."

"How much did you earn a week?"

"Why do you want to know?"

"Was it over ten dollars a week?"

"About that."

"I know a business that will pay you fifteen dollars a week."

"What is it?"

"It is the one I'm in. I earn a hundred dollars a month."

"If you are earning as much as that, I shouldn't think you'd need to
steal tin boxes."

"There wasn't much in it. Only a hundred dollars in money."

"You are not telling me the truth. There were four hundred dollars in
it."

"What was that you said?" asked Martin, pricking up his ears.

"There were four hundred dollars in it."

"How do you know?"

"Mr. Turner told me so."

"Smith told me there were only a hundred. He opened it, and gave me
half."

"Then he gave you fifty, and kept three hundred and fifty himself."

"If I thought that, I'd smash his head!" said Martin, angrily. "Make me
run all the risk, and then cheat me out of my hard earnin's. Do you call
that fair?"

"I think he's been cheating you," said Rufus, not sorry to see Martin's
anger with his confederate.

"It's a mean trick," said Martin, indignantly. "I'd ought to have got
two hundred. It was worth it."

"I wouldn't do what you did for a good deal more than two hundred
dollars. You haven't told me what that business was that I could earn
fifteen dollars a week at."

"No," said Martin, "I've changed my mind about it. If Smith's goin' to
serve me such a mean trick, I won't work for him no longer. I'll speak
to him about it to-morrow."

Martin relapsed into silence. Rufus had given him something to think
about, which disturbed him considerably. Though he had been disappointed
in the contents of the box, he had not for a moment doubted the good
faith of his confederate, and he was proportionately incensed now that
the latter had appropriated seven dollars to his one. Considering that
he had done all the work, and incurred all the danger, it did seem
rather hard.

There was one bed in the room, rather a narrow one.

"I'm goin' to bed," said Martin, at length. "I guess the bed'll be big
enough for us both."

"Thank you," said Rufus, who did not fancy the idea of sleeping with his
step-father. "If you'll give me one of the pillows, I'll sleep on the
floor."

"Just as you say, but you'll find it rather hard sleepin'."

"I shan't mind."

This was the arrangement they adopted. Martin took off his coat and
vest, and threw himself on the bed. He was soon asleep, as his heavy
breathing clearly indicated. Rufus, stretched on the floor, lay awake
longer. It occurred to him that he might easily take the key of the door
from the pocket of Martin's vest, which lay on the chair at his bedside,
and so let himself out of the room. But even then it would be uncertain
whether he could get out of the house, and he would have to leave the
tin box behind him. This he hoped to get hold of through Humpy's
assistance. On the whole, therefore, it seemed best to wait a little
longer.



CHAPTER XXIII.

ESCAPE.


Humpy made up his mind to accept our hero's offer. Fifty dollars was to
him a small fortune, and he saw no reason why he should not earn it. The
brutal treatment he had received from Smith removed all the objections
he had at first felt.

Now, how was he going to fulfil his part of the compact?

To release Rufus would be comparatively easy. He happened to know that
the key of his own room in the attic would also fit the door of the
chamber in which our hero was confined. The difficulty was to get
possession of the tin box. He did not even know where it was concealed,
and must trust to his own sagacity to find out.

To this end he watched his employer carefully whenever he got a chance
to do so without being observed, hoping he might take the box out from
its place of concealment. Finally Smith noticed the boy's glances, and
said, roughly, "What are you looking at, boy? Do you think you shall
know me the next time you see me?"

Humpy did not reply, but this made him more careful.

In the morning he took up our hero's breakfast, meeting Martin on his
way downstairs.

"Well," said Rufus, eagerly, as he entered the room, "have you found out
anything about the box?"

"Not yet," said Humpy. "I'm tryin' to find where he's hid it. I can let
you out any time."

"How?"

"I've got a key that fits this lock."

"That's well, but I'd rather wait till I can carry the box with me."

"I'll do what I can," said Humpy. "I'm goin' to watch him sharp. I'd
better go down now, or maybe he'll be suspectin' something."

Humpy went downstairs, leaving Rufus to eat his breakfast. On his way
down his attention was drawn by angry voices, proceeding from the room
in which he had left Smith. He comprehended at once that Smith and
Martin were having a dispute about something. He stood still and
listened attentively, and caught the following conversation:--

"The boy tells me," said Martin, doggedly, "that there was four hundred
dollars in the box. You only gave me fifty."

"Then the boy lies!" said Smith, irritated.

"I don't believe he does," said Martin. "I don't like him myself, but he
aint in the habit of telling lies."

"Perhaps you believe him sooner than you do me."

"I don't see where the three hundred dollars went," persisted Martin.
"Considerin' that I did all the work, fifty dollars was very small for
me."

"You got half what there was. If there'd been more, you'd have got
more."

"Why didn't you wait and open the box when I was there?"

"Look here," said Smith, menacingly, "if you think I cheated you, you
might as well say so right out. I don't like beating around the bush."

"The boy says there was four hundred dollars. Turner told him so."

"Then Turner lies!" exclaimed Smith, who was the more angry, because the
charge was a true one. "The box is just as it was when I opened it. I'll
bring it out and show you just where I found the money."

When Humpy heard this, his eyes sparkled with excitement and
anticipation. Now, if ever, he would find out the whereabouts of the tin
box. Luckily for him the door was just ajar, and by standing on the
upper part of the staircase he could manage to see into the room.

He saw Smith go to a desk at the centre of one side of the room, and
open a drawer in it. From this he drew out the box, and, opening it,
displayed the contents to Martin.

"There," said he, "that's where I found the money. There was a roll of
ten ten-dollar bills. I divided them into two equal parts, and gave you
your share. I was disappointed myself, for I expected more. I didn't
think you'd suspect me of cheating you. But I don't want any fuss. I'll
give you ten dollars off my share, and then you can't complain."

So saying, he took out a ten from his pocket-book, and handed it to
Martin.

"Are you satisfied now?" he asked.

"I suppose I shall have to be," said Martin, rather sullenly, for he was
by no means sure of the veracity of his confederate.

"It's all I can do for you at any rate," said Smith. "And now suppose we
take breakfast. I shall want you to go to Newark to-day."

He replaced the box in the drawer, and, locking it, put the key in his
pocket.

By this time Humpy thought it would do to reappear.

"Where've you been all the time?" asked Smith, roughly.

"The boy upstairs was talkin' to me."

"What did he say?"

"He asked what was your business."

"What did you tell him?"

"I told him I didn't rightly know; but I thought you was a
manufacturer."

"Right, Humpy; you're a smart boy," laughed Smith. "You know a thing or
two."

The boy showed his teeth, and appeared pleased with the compliment.

"What else did he ask?"

"He asked, would I let him out?"

"Did he, the young rascal? And what did you tell him?"

"Not for Joe!"

"Good for you! There's a quarter;" and Smith offered the boy twenty-five
cents.

"If he'd done that yesterday instead of hittin' me," thought Humpy, "I
wouldn't have gone ag'inst him."

But the money came too late. Humpy had a brooding sense of wrong, not
easily removed, and he had made up his mind to betray his employer.

The breakfast proceeded, Humpy waiting upon the table. When the meal was
over, Smith gave Martin some instructions, and the latter set out for
Newark, which was to be the scene of his operations during the day.
About half an hour later Smith said, "Humpy, I've got to go down town; I
may be gone all the forenoon. Stay in the house while I am gone, and
look out, above all, that that boy upstairs don't escape."

"Yes, sir," said Humpy.

When Smith left, the coast was clear. There were none in the house
except Rufus and the boy who was expected to stand guard over him. The
giant had gone to Philadelphia on some business, precisely what Humpy
did not understand, and there was nothing to prevent his carrying out
his plans.

He had two or three old keys in his pocket, and with these he eagerly
tried the lock of the drawer. But none exactly fitted. One was too
large, the other two were too small.

Humpy decided what to do. He left the house, and went to a neighboring
locksmith.

"I want to get a key," he said.

"What size?"

"A little smaller than this."

"I must know the exact size, or I can't suit you. What is it the key
of?"

"A drawer."

"I can go with you to the house."

"That won't do," said Humpy. "I've lost the key, and I don't want the
boss to know it. He'd find out if you went to the house."

"Then I'll tell you what you can do. Take an impression of the lock in
wax. I'll give you some wax, and show you how. Then I'll make a key for
you."

"Can you do it right off? I'm in a great hurry."

"Yes, my son, I'll attend to it right away."

He brought a piece of wax, and showed Humpy how to take an impression of
a lock.

"There," said he, laughing, "that's the first lesson in burglary."

Humpy lost no time in hurrying back and following the locksmith's
instructions. He then returned to the shop.

"How soon can I have the key?"

"In an hour. I'm pretty sure I've got a key that will fit this
impression with a little filing down. Come back in an hour, and you
shall have it."

Humpy went back, and seeing that there were some traces of wax on the
lock, he carefully washed them off with soap. A little before the hour
was up, he reported himself at the locksmith's.

"Your key is all ready for you," said the smith. "I guess it will
answer."

"How much is it?"

"Twenty-five cents."

Humpy paid the money, and hurried to the house, anxious to make his
experiment.

The locksmith's assurance was verified. The key did answer. The drawer
opened, and the errand-boy's eyes sparkled with pleasure as they rested
on the box. He snatched it, hastily relocked the drawer, and went up the
stairs two at a time. He had the key of his attic room in his pocket.
With this he opened the door of the chamber, and, entering triumphantly,
displayed to Rufus the tin box.

"I've got it!" he ejaculated.

Rufus sprang to his feet, and hurried up to him.

"You're a trump!" he said. "How did you get hold of it?"

"I haven't time to tell you now. We must be goin', or Mr. Smith may come
back and stop us."

"All right!" said Rufus; "I'm ready."

The two boys ran downstairs, and, opening the front door, made their
egress into the street, Rufus with the tin box under his arm.

"Where will we go?" asked Humpy.

"Are you going with me?"

"Yes, I want that money."

"You shall have it. You have fairly earned it, and I'll see that you get
it, if I have to pay it out of my own pocket."

"I shan't go back," said Humpy.

"Why not?"

"He'll know I let you out. He'll murder me if I go back."

"I'll be your friend. I'll get you something to do," said Rufus.

"Will you?" said the hunchback, brightening up.

"Yes. I won't forget the service you have done me."

Rufus had hardly got out these words when Humpy clutched him violently
by the arm, and pulled him into a passageway, the door of which was open
to the street.

"What's that for?" demanded Rufus, inclined to be angry.

Humpy put his finger to his lip, and pointed to the street. On the
opposite sidewalk Rufus saw Smith sauntering easily along with a cigar
in his mouth.



CHAPTER XXIV.

HOW RUFUS GOT BACK.


It happened that Smith espied the man whom he wished to meet, from the
car-window, just as it turned into Canal Street. He got out, therefore,
and, adjourning to a whiskey saloon, the two discussed a matter of
business in which they were jointly interested, and then separated. Thus
Smith was enabled to return home sooner than he had anticipated. He
little suspected that his prisoner had escaped, as he walked
complacently by on the opposite sidewalk.

"It's lucky I saw him," said Humpy. "He might have nabbed us."

"He wouldn't have nabbed me," said Rufus, resolutely. "He'd have found
it hard work to get me back."

"He's stronger than you," said Humpy, doubtfully.

"I'd have called a copp, then," said Rufus, using his old word for
policeman.

"He'll kill me if he ever gets hold of me," said Humpy, shuddering. "He
horsewhipped me yesterday."

"Then he's a brute," said Rufus, who could not help feeling a degree of
sympathy for the deformed boy, who had done him such good service.

"He never did it before," said Humpy. "That's what made me turn against
him."

"And you won't go back to him?"

"_Never!_" said Humpy, decidedly. "He'll know I let you out."

"What's your name?" asked Rufus, remembering that he had never heard the
name of his guide.

"They call me Humpy," said the deformed boy, flushing a little. He had
got hardened to the name, he thought; but now that Rufus asked him, he
answered with a feeling of shame and reluctance.

"Haven't you another name? I don't like to call you that."

"My name is William Norton, but I've most forgot it, it's so long since
anybody ever called me so."

"Then I'll call you so. I like it better than the other. Have you made
up your mind what to do, now you've left your old place?"

"Yes, I'm going out West,--to Chicago maybe."

"Why do you leave New York?"

"I want to get away from _him_," said William, indicating his old
employer by a backward jerk of his finger. "If I stay here, he'll get
hold of me."

"Perhaps you are right; but you needn't go so far as Chicago.
Philadelphia would do."

"He goes there sometimes."

"What will you do in Chicago?"

"I'll get along. There's a good many things I can do,--black boots, sell
papers, smash baggage, and so on. Besides, I'll have some money."

"The fifty dollars I am to give you?"

"I've got more besides," said Humpy, lowering his voice. Looking around
cautiously, lest he might be observed, he drew out the calico bag which
contained his savings, and showed to Rufus.

"There's twenty dollars in that," he said, jingling the coins with an
air of satisfaction. "That'll make seventy when you've paid me."

"I'm glad you've got so much, William. Where did you get it all?"

"I saved it up. He paid me fifty cents a week, and gave me an extra
quarter or so sometimes when he felt good-natured. I saved it all up,
and here it is."

"When did you begin saving?"

"Six months ago. I used to spend all my money for oysters and cigars,
but somebody told me smokin' would stop me from growin', and I gave it
up."

"You did right. I used to smoke sometimes; but I stopped. It don't do a
boy any good."

"Are you rich?" asked Humpy.

"No. What makes you ask?"

"You wear nice clo'es. Besides, you are goin' to pay me fifty dollars."

"I'm worth five hundred dollars," said Rufus, with satisfaction.

"That's a good deal," said Humpy, enviously. "I'd feel rich if I had so
much."

"You'll be worth a good deal more some time, I hope."

"I hope so, but it'll be a good while."

While this conversation had been going on, the boys had been walking
leisurely. But Rufus, who was anxious to restore the tin box as soon as
possible, now proposed to ride.

"We'll jump aboard the next car, William," he said. "I'll pay the fare."

"Where are you goin'?"

"To Mr. Turner's office, to return the box."

"He won't think I had anything to do with stealin' it, will he?"

"No; I'll take care he doesn't."

They jumped on board the next car, and before long reached the
termination of the car route, at the junction of Vesey Street and
Broadway.

"Where's the place you're goin' to?" asked Humpy.

"In Wall Street. We'll be there in ten minutes."

The boys proceeded down Broadway, and in rather less than ten minutes,
Rufus, followed by Humpy, entered his employer's office.

His arrival created a sensation.

"I am glad to see you back, Rufus," said Mr. Turner, coming forward, and
shaking his hand cordially.

The clerks left their desks, and greeted him in a friendly manner.

"I've brought back the tin box, Mr. Turner," said Rufus. "I told you I'd
get it back, and I have," he added, with pardonable pride.

"How did you recover it? Tell me all about it."

"This boy helped me," said Rufus, directing attention to Humpy, who had
kept himself in the background. "But for him I should still be a
prisoner, closely confined and guarded."

"He shall be rewarded," said the banker. "What is his name?"

"William Morton."

Mr. Turner took the boy's hand kindly, dirty though it was, and said, "I
will bear you in mind, my lad," in a tone which made Humpy, who before
felt awkward and uncertain of a welcome, quite at his ease.

"Now for your story, Rufus," said the banker. "I am curious to hear your
adventures. So you were a prisoner?"

"Yes, sir," answered Rufus, and forthwith commenced a clear and
straightforward account of his experiences, which need not be repeated.
He wound up by saying that he had promised Humpy fifty dollars in return
for his assistance.

"Your promise shall be kept," said Mr. Turner. "I will pay you the money
now, if you wish," he added, turning to Humpy. "I would advise you to
put most of it in a savings-bank, as you are liable to be robbed, or to
lose it."

"I'll put it in as soon as I get to Chicago," said Humpy.

"Are you going there?"

Rufus explained why the boy wished to leave New York.

"Do you want to start at once?"

"I'd like to."

"Then, Rufus, I think you had better go with him, and buy his ticket.
You may also buy him a suit of clothes at my expense."

"Thank you, sir," said Humpy, gratefully.

"If you can spare me, Mr. Turner," said Rufus, "I would like to go home
first, and let them know that I am safe."

"Certainly. That reminds me that a lady--was it your aunt?--was in the
office an hour ago, asking for you."

"It was Miss Manning."

"I promised to let you go home when you appeared, and I think you had
better do so at once to relieve the anxiety of your friends."

"Thank you, sir;" and Rufus was about to leave the office, when a
thought occurred to him, and he turned back.

"I didn't think to tell you that the money had been taken out," he said.

"So I supposed. I will open the box."

The box being opened, it was discovered also that the government bonds
were missing.

"That's too much to lose," said the banker. "What is the number of the
house in which you were confined?"

Rufus was able to give it, having judged that it would be wanted.

"I shall give information to the police, and see what can be done
towards recovering the bonds."

"Shall I go to the police-office for you, Mr. Turner?"

"No, you can go home at once. Then accompany this boy to a
clothing-store, and afterwards to the Erie Railroad Station, where you
may buy him a through ticket to Chicago. Here is the necessary money;"
and Mr. Turner placed a roll of bills in the hands of our hero.

"Am I to buy the railroad ticket, also, out of this?"

"Yes. William shall have his fifty dollars clear to start on when he
gets there."

Miss Manning had nearly got through with the morning lessons, when a
quick step was heard ascending the stairs two or three at a time. Rose
let drop the arithmetic, from which she had been reciting, and
exclaimed, in glad excitement, "That's Rufie, I know it is!"

The door opened, and she was proved to be correct.

"Where've you been, Rufie?" exclaimed his sister, throwing her arms
around his neck.

"Mr. Martin carried me off, Rosy."

"I knew he would; but you said you was too big."

"He was smarter than I thought for. Sit down, Rosy, and I'll tell you
all about it. Were you anxious about me, Miss Manning?"

"Yes, Rufus. I don't mind saying now that I was, though I would not
confess it to Rose, who fretted enough for you without."

So the story had to be told again, and was listened to, I need not say,
with breathless interest.

"You won't let him catch you again, will you, Rufie?" said Rose,
anxiously, when it was finished.

"Not if I know myself, Rosy," answered Rufus. "That can't be done twice.
But I've got to be going. I've got ever so much to do. I'll be back to
dinner at six."

He hastened downstairs, and rejoined Humpy, who had been waiting for him
in the street.



CHAPTER XXV.

UNPLEASANT DISCOVERIES.


Smith did not go home immediately. He intended to do so, but happened to
think of an errand, and this delayed him for an hour or two.

When he entered the house, he looked around for his errand-boy, but
looked in vain.

"Humpy!" he called out in a voice which could be heard all over the
house.

There was no answer. Smith, who was not remarkable for patience, began
to grow angry.

"Very likely the young rascal is in his room," he said to himself. "I'll
stir him up."

He took the whip and ascended the stairs two or three at a time. Arrived
in the attic, he peered into Humpy's room, but, to his disappointment,
saw nobody.

"The little villain got tired of waiting, and went out, thinking I
couldn't find him out," he muttered. "He shall have a taste of the whip
when he comes back."

He went downstairs more slowly than he ascended. He was considerably
irritated, and in a state that required an object to vent his anger
upon. Under these circumstances his prisoner naturally occurred to him.
He had the proper key in his pocket, and, stopping on the second floor,
he opened the door of the chamber in which our hero had been confined.
His anger may be imagined when he found it untenanted. It was not very
dignified, but Smith began to stamp in his vexation, and lash with his
whip an unoffending chair in which Rufus ought to have been seated.

"I wish it was that young villain!" muttered Smith, scowling at the
chair, and lashing it harder. "I'd teach him to run away! I'd make him
howl!"

Smith was considerably discomposed. Things were going decidedly against
him. Besides, the escape of Rufus might entail serious consequences, if
he should give information to the police about the place of his
captivity. A visit from these officials was an honor which Smith felt
disposed respectfully, but firmly, to decline. Unfortunately, however,
policemen are not sensitive, and are very apt to intrude where they are
not wanted. A visit to Smith's abode might lead to unpleasant
discoveries, as he very well knew, and he could not easily decide what
course it would be best for him to pursue. He inferred at once that
Humpy had been bought over, and had released the prisoner, otherwise he
would, undoubtedly, have detected or frustrated our hero's attempt to
escape. This did not inspire very amiable feelings towards Humpy, whom
it would have yielded him great satisfaction to get into his power. But
Humpy had disappeared, and that satisfaction was not to be had.

Mingled with Smith's anger was a feeling of surprise. Humpy had been a
good while in his employ, and he had reposed entire confidence in his
fidelity. He might have continued to do so but for the brutal assault
upon the boy recorded in a previous chapter. He did not think of this,
however, or guess the effect it had produced on the mind of the deformed
errand-boy.

"I think I had better get out of the city a week or two till this blows
over," thought Smith. "I guess I'll take the afternoon train for
Philadelphia."

This was a wise resolution; but Smith made one mistake. He ought to have
put it into effect at once. At that very moment information was lodged
at the office of police, which threatened serious consequences to him;
but of this he was ignorant. He had no idea that Rufus would act so
promptly.

In spite of his anger Smith was hungry. His morning walk had given him
an excellent appetite, and he began to think about dinner. As, on
account of the unlawful occupation in which he was engaged, he did not
think it prudent to employ a cook, who might gossip about his affairs,
he generally devolved the task of preparing the dinner upon Humpy, whom
he had taught to cook eggs, broil beef-steak, make coffee, fry potatoes,
and perform other simple culinary duties. Now that Humpy was gone, he
was obliged to do this work himself.

He looked into the pantry, and found half-a-dozen eggs, and a slice of
steak. These he proceeded to cook. He had nearly finished his
unaccustomed task when the door opened, and Martin returned, with his
nose a little redder than usual, and his general appearance somewhat
disordered by haste.

"What brings you here so soon?" asked Smith, in surprise. "What's the
matter?"

"I came near gettin' nabbed; that's what's the matter," said Martin.

"How did that happen?"

"I went into a cigar-store near the ferry in Jersey City," said Martin,
"and asked for a couple of cigars,--twenty-cent ones. I took 'em, and
handed in one of your ten-dollar bills. The chap looked hard at it, and
then at me, and said he'd have to go out and get it changed. I looked
across the street, and saw him goin' to the police-office. I thought I'd
better leave, and made for the ferry. The boat was just goin'. When we'd
got a little ways out, I saw the cigar man standin' on the drop with a
copp at his elbow."

"You'd better not go to Jersey City again," said Smith.

"I don't mean to," said Martin. "Have you got enough dinner for me? I'm
as hungry as a dog."

"Yes, there's dinner enough for two, and that's all there is to eat it."

Something significant in his employer's tone struck Martin.

"There's the boy upstairs," he said.

"There isn't any boy upstairs."

"You haven't let him go?" queried Martin, staring open-mouthed at the
speaker.

"No, he got away while I was out this morning,--the more fool I for
leaving him."

"But there was Humpy. How did the boy get away without his seeing him?"

"Humpy's gone too."

"You don't say!" ejaculated Martin.

"Yes, I do."

"What you goin' to do about it?" inquired Martin, hopelessly.

"I'll half kill either of the little rascals when I get hold of them,"
said Smith, spitefully.

"I'd give something out of my own pocket to get that undootiful son of
mine back," chimed in Martin.

"I'll say this for him," said Smith, "he's a good sight smarter than his
father."

"I always was unlucky," grumbled Martin. "I aint been treated right."

"If you had been you'd be at Sing Sing," returned Smith, amiably.

"Smith," said Martin, with drunken dignity, for he was somewhat under
the influence of a liberal morning dram, "you'd ought to respect the
feelin's of a gentleman."

"Where's the gentleman? I don't see him," responded Smith, in a
sarcastic tone. "If you aint too much of a gentleman to do your share of
the work, just draw out the table and put the cloth on."

This Martin, who was hungry, did with equal alacrity and awkwardness,
showing the latter by over-turning a pile of plates, which fell with a
fatal crash upon the floor.

"Just like your awkwardness, you drunken brute!" exclaimed Smith,
provoked.

Martin did not reply, but looked ruefully at the heap of broken
crockery, which he attributed, like his other misfortunes, to the
ill-treatment of the world, and meekly got upon his knees and gathered
up the pieces.

At length dinner was ready. Martin, in spite of an ungrateful world, ate
with an appetite truly surprising, so that his companion felt called
upon to remonstrate.

"I hope you'll leave a little for me. It's just possible that I might
like to eat a little something myself."

"I didn't eat much breakfast," said Martin, apologetically.

"You'd better lunch outside next time," said his employer. "It will give
you a good chance to change money."

"I've tried it at several places," said Martin; "I could do it better if
you'd give me some smaller bills. They don't like to change fives and
tens."

After dinner was despatched, and the table pushed back, Smith unfolded
his plans to Martin. He suggested that it might be a little unsafe to
remain at their present quarters for a week or fortnight to come, and
counselled Martin to go to Boston, while he would go to Philadelphia.

"That's the way we'll dodge them," he concluded.

"Just as you say," said Martin. "When do you want me back?"

"I will write you from Philadelphia. You can call at the post-office for
a letter in a few days."

"When had I better sell the bond?"

"That reminds me," said Smith. "I will take the box with me."

He went and unlocked the drawer in which the box had been secreted. To
his dismay he discovered that it was gone.

"Have you taken the tin box?" he demanded, turning upon Martin with
sudden suspicion.

"Isn't it there?" gasped Martin.

"No, it isn't," said Smith, sternly. "Do you know anything about it?"

"I wish I may be killed if I do!" asserted Martin.

"Then what can have become of it?"

"It's my undootiful boy that took it,--I'm sure it is," exclaimed
Martin, with sudden conviction.

"He had no key."

"Humpy got him one, then."

Just then Smith espied on the floor some scraps of wax. They told the
story.

"You're right," he said, with an oath. "We've been taken in worse than I
thought. The best thing we can do is to get away as soon as possible."

They made a few hurried preparations, and left the house in company. But
they were too late. A couple of officers, who were waiting outside,
stepped up to them, as they set foot on the sidewalk, and said, quietly,
"You must come with us."

"What for?" demanded Smith, inclined to show fight.

"You'd better come quietly. You are charged with stealing a box
containing valuables."

"That's the man that did it," said Smith, pointing to Martin. "He's the
one you want."

"He put me up to it, and shared the money," retorted Martin.

"You're both wanted," said the officer. "You'll have a chance to tell
your story hereafter."

As this winds up the connection of these two worthies with our story, it
may be added here that they were found guilty, not only of the robbery,
but of manufacturing and disseminating counterfeit money, and were
sentenced to Sing Sing for a term of years. The bonds were found upon
them, and restored to Mr. Vanderpool.

Thus the world persists in its ill-treatment of our friend, James
Martin. Still I cannot help thinking that, if he had been a sober and
industrious man, he would have had much less occasion to complain.



CHAPTER XXVI.

CONCLUSION.


In the course of an hour Humpy was provided with a new suit, which
considerably improved his appearance. Rufus accompanied him to the Erie
Railway Station, where he purchased for him a through ticket to Chicago,
and saw him enter the cars.

"Good-by, William, and good luck!" said Rufus.

"Good-by," said Humpy. "You're a trump. You're the first friend I ever
had."

"I hope I shan't be the last," said Rufus. "Shall I give your love to
Smith, if I see him?"

"Never mind about it."

Rufus was compelled to leave the station before the cars started, in
order to hurry back to the office. Arrived there a new errand awaited
him.

"Rufus," said Mr. Turner, "do you remember where Mr. Vanderpool lives?"

"The owner of the tin box? Yes, sir."

"You may go up at once, and let him know that his property is
recovered."

This task Rufus undertook with alacrity. He had been pleased with what
he saw of Mr. Vanderpool on his first visit, and was glad to be able to
tell him that the box, for whose loss he felt partly to blame, was
recovered.

He was soon ringing the bell of the house in Twenty-Seventh Street.

Mr. Vanderpool was at home, the servant told him, and he was ushered
immediately into his presence.

The old gentleman, who had been writing, laid aside his pen, and,
looking up, recognized Rufus.

"You're the boy that came to tell me about my property being stolen, are
you not?" he asked.

"Yes, sir; but it's found."

"Bless my soul, you don't say so! Did the thief give it up?"

"No," said Rufus. "I took it from him."

"Is it possible? Why, you're only a boy," said Mr. Vanderpool, regarding
him with interest.

"Boys can do something as well as men," said Rufus, with pardonable
pride.

"Tell me all about it."

Rufus told his story as briefly as possible. When he described how he
had been entrapped and imprisoned, Mr. Vanderpool said, "Bless my soul!"
several times.

"You're a brave boy!" he said, when the story was finished.

"Thank you, sir," said Rufus, modestly.

"Were you not afraid when you were locked up by those bad men?"

"Not at all, sir."

"I should have been. I don't think I am very brave. You've behaved very
well indeed, Master ---- I don't remember your name."

"Rufus Rushton."

"Master Rushton, I must make you a present."

"I have only done my duty, Mr. Vanderpool. I don't want any present for
that."

"We'll talk about that afterwards. By the way, have you thought anything
more about the question whether the planets are inhabited?"

"I can't say I have, sir. I've had so much else to think about."

"Very true, very true. I've written a few pages more, which I will read
to you if you have time."

"I should like very much to hear them, sir; but I am afraid I must hurry
back to the office."

"Ah, I am sorry for that," said the old gentleman, in a tone of
disappointment, but he brightened up immediately.

"I'll tell you what, my young friend," he said; "you shall come and dine
with me next Saturday at six, and then we will have the evening to
ourselves. What do you say?"

"I shall be very happy to come, sir," said Rufus, not quite sure whether
he would be happy or not.

When Saturday came he presented himself, and was very cordially received
by the old gentleman. The dinner was a capital one, and served in
excellent style. Mr. Vanderpool paid Rufus as much attention as if he
were a guest of distinction,--read him his essay on the planets, and
showed him some choice engravings. The evening passed very agreeably,
and Rufus was urged to come again. He did so, and so won the favor of
the old gentleman that at the end of two months he was invited to come
and make his home permanently in the house in Twenty-Seventh Street.

"Thank you, Mr. Vanderpool," said our hero. "You are very kind; but I
shouldn't like to leave Miss Manning and my little sister."

"Have you a little sister? Tell me about her."

"Her name is Rose, and she is a dear little girl," said Rufus, warmly.

"How old is she?"

"Eight years old."

"I am glad she is not a young lady. You can bring her too. I've got
plenty of room. Who is Miss Manning?"

"She is a friend of mine, and teaches my sister."

"Why can't she come and look after my servants? I have no house-keeper."

"I will mention it to her," said Rufus.

Rufus did mention it to Miss Manning, who by appointment called upon the
old gentleman. Mr. Vanderpool repeated the invitation, and offered her
ten dollars per week for her services. Such an offer was not to be
rejected. Miss Manning resigned her situation as governess to Mrs.
Colman's children, greatly to that lady's disappointment, and removed
with Rose to the house of Mr. Vanderpool. Elegant chambers were assigned
to all three, and they found themselves living in fashionable style. As
neither had any board to pay, Rufus felt justified in dressing both Rose
and himself in a manner more befitting the style in which they now
lived, while Miss Manning also, finding that she was expected to preside
at the table, felt called upon to follow their example. It was such a
change for all three that it seemed like a dream sometimes when they
recalled the miserable attic in Leonard Street, and the humble lodging
near the North River.

Rose was sent to school, and had a music-teacher at home. Miss Manning
also, having considerable time at her disposal, took lessons in music
and French, and soon acquired very respectable proficiency in both. The
old gentleman, so long accustomed to solitude, seemed to renew his youth
in the cheerful society he had gathered around him, and came to look
upon Rufus and Rose as his own children. He was continually loading them
with gifts, and his kindness won their gratitude and affection. He
tried to induce Rufus to give up his situation with the banker; but our
hero was of an independent turn, and had too active a temperament to be
content with doing nothing. On the succeeding Christmas he received from
Mr. Vanderpool a very costly gold watch, which I need not say was very
acceptable.

About six months after her entrance into the house, Miss Manning was
profoundly astonished by receiving from the old gentleman an offer of
marriage.

"I don't ask for romantic love, my dear Miss Manning," said Mr.
Vanderpool, "but I hope you will not find it hard to like me a little,
and I'll try to make you happy. I don't want to hurry you. Take a week
to think of it."

Miss Manning did take a week to think of it. She was not in love with
Mr. Vanderpool,--that was hardly to be expected, as he was thirty years
older than she,--but she did respect and esteem him, and she knew that
he would be kind to her. So she said yes, after consulting with Rufus,
and one morning, without any fuss or ostentation, she was quietly
married, and transformed from plain Miss Manning into the rich Mrs.
Vanderpool. I may say here that neither she nor her husband has seen
cause to repent the match, so unexpectedly brought about, but live in
harmony and mutual friendship, as I hope they may continue to do to the
end of their days.

When Rufus reached the age of twenty-one, he was agreeably surprised by
an offer from Mr. Turner to take him into partnership.

"But, Mr. Turner," he said, "I have very little capital,--far too little
for a partner in such a large business."

"You have fifty thousand dollars. That will answer very well."

"I don't understand you, sir," said Rufus, suspecting that Mr. Turner
was crazy, or was dreaming.

"You remember the tin box which you recovered five years ago?"

"Yes, sir."

"Mr. Vanderpool has made it over with its contents to you as a free
gift. Its value, as you remember, is fifty thousand dollars, or rather
more now, some of the stocks having risen in value."

Rufus was quite affected by this munificent gift, and no longer
objected to the plan proposed. Shortly after, the style of the firm was
changed, and now, as you pass through Wall Street, if you will closely
examine the signs on either side of the street, your eyes may light on
this one:--

    TURNER AND RUSHTON,
         BANKERS

You will have no trouble in conjecturing that the junior partner in this
firm is the same who was first known to you as Rough and Ready. If you
think that our young friend, the newsboy, has had rare luck, I hope you
will also admit that, by his honesty, industry, and generous protection
of his little sister, he has deserved the prosperity he has attained.

George Black has long since bought out his partner's interest in the
periodical store, and now carries on quite a flourishing trade in his
own name. Smith and Martin are still in prison, their term of
confinement not yet having expired. What adventures yet remain in store
for James Martin I am unable to say, but I doubt if he will ever turn
over a new leaf. His habits of indolence and intemperance are too
confirmed to give much hope of amendment.

       *       *       *       *       *

The fortunes of Rough and Ready, so far as this record is concerned, are
now ended, and with them is completed the sixth and concluding volume of
the Ragged Dick Series. But the flattering interest which his young
friends have taken in these pictures of street life leads the author to
announce the initial volume of a new series of stories of similar
character, which will soon be published under the name of

             TATTERED TOM:
                  OR,
    THE ADVENTURES OF A STREET ARAB.



FAMOUS ALGER BOOKS.


Horatio Alger, Jr., has attained distinction as one of the most popular
writers of books for boys, and the following list comprises all of his
best books.


RAGGED DICK SERIES.

    Ragged Dick; or, Street Life in New York.
    Fame and Fortune; or, The Progress of Richard Hunter.
    Mark the Match Boy; or, Richard Hunter's Ward.
    Rough and Ready; or, Life among the New York Newsboys.
    Ben the Luggage Boy; or, Among the Wharves.
    Rufus and Rose; or, The Fortunes of Rough and Ready.


TATTERED TOM SERIES. (First Series.)

    Tattered Tom; or, The Story of a Street Arab.
    Paul the Peddler; or, The Adventures of a Young Street Merchant.
    Phil the Fiddler; or, The Young Street Musician.
    Slow and Sure; or, From the Sidewalk to the Shop.


TATTERED TOM SERIES. (Second Series.)

    Julius; or, The Street Boy Out West.
    The Young Outlaw; or, Adrift in the World.
    Sam's Chance and How He Improved it.
    The Telegraph Boy.


LUCK AND PLUCK SERIES. (First Series.)

    Luck and Pluck; or, John Oakley's Inheritance.
    Sink or Swim; or, Harry Raymond's Resolve.
    Strong and Steady; or, Paddle Your Own Canoe.
    Strive and Succeed; or, The Progress of Walter Conrad.


LUCK AND PLUCK SERIES. (Second Series.)

    Try and Trust; or, The Story of a Bound Boy.
    Bound to Rise; or, How Harry Walton Rose in the World.
    Risen from the Ranks; or, Harry Walton's Success.
    Herbert Carter's Legacy; or, The Inventor's Son.


BRAVE AND BOLD SERIES.

    Brave and Bold; or, The Story of a Factory Boy.
    Jack's Ward; or, The Boy Guardian.
    Shifting for Himself; or, Gilbert Greyson's Fortunes.
    Wait and Hope; or, Ben Bradford's Motto.


CAMPAIGN SERIES.

    Frank's Campaign; or, the Farm and the Camp.
    Paul Prescott's Charge.
    Charlie Codman's Cruise.


PACIFIC SERIES.

    The Young Adventurer; or, Tom's Trip Across the Plains.
    The Young Miner; or, Tom Nelson in California.
    The Young Explorer; or, Among the Sierras.
    Ben's Nugget; or, A Boy's Search for Fortune. A Story of the Pacific
      Coast.


ATLANTIC SERIES

    The Young Circus Rider; or, The Mystery of Robert Rudd.
    Do and Dare; or, A Brave Boy's Fight for Fortune.
    Hector's Inheritance; or, Boys of Smith Institute.



Famous Castlemon Books.

No author of the present day has become a greater favorite with boys
than "Harry Castlemon," every book by him is sure to meet with hearty
reception by young readers generally. His naturalness and vivacity leads
his readers from page to page with breathless interest, and when one
volume is finished the fascinated reader, like Oliver Twist, asks "for
more."


By Harry Castlemon.


GUNBOAT SERIES.

    Frank the Young Naturalist.
    Frank in the Woods.
    Frank on the Prairie.
    Frank on a Gunboat.
    Frank before Vicksburg.
    Frank on the Lower Mississippi.


GO AHEAD SERIES.

    Go Ahead; or, The Fisher Boy's Motto.
    No Moss; or, The Career of a Rolling Stone.
    Tom Newcombe; or, The Boy of Bad Habits.


ROCKY MOUNTAIN SERIES.

    Frank at Don Carlos' Rancho.
    Frank among the Rancheros.
    Frank in the Mountains.


SPORTSMAN'S CLUB SERIES.

    The Sportsman's Club in the Saddle.
    The Sportsman's Club Afloat.
    The Sportsman's Club among the Trappers.


FRANK NELSON SERIES.

    Snowed up; or, The Sportsman's Club in the Mountains.
    Frank Nelson in the Forecastle; or, the Sportsman's Club among the
      Whalers.
    The Boy Traders; or, The Sportsman's Club among the Boers.


BOY TRAPPER SERIES.

    The Buried Treasure; or, Old Jordan's "Haunt"
    The Boy Trapper; or, How Dave filled the Order.
    The Mail Carrier.


ROUGHING IT SERIES.

    George in Camp; or, Life on the Plains.
    George at the Wheel; or, Life in a Pilot House.
    George at the Fort; or, Life Among the Soldiers.


ROD AND GUN SERIES.

    Don Gordon's Shooting Box.
    Rod and Gun.
    The Young Wild Fowlers.



By C. A. Stephens.


Rare books for boys--bright, breezy, wholesome and instructive--full of
adventure and incident, and information upon natural history--they blend
instruction with amusement--contain much useful and valuable information
upon the habits of animals, and plenty of adventure, fun and jollity.


CAMPING OUT SERIES.

    Camping Out. As recorded by "Kit."
    Left on Labrador; or, The Cruise of the Schooner Yacht "Curlew."
      As recorded by "Wash."
    Off to the Geysers; or, The Young Yachters in Iceland. As recorded
      by "Wade."
    Lynx Hunting. From Notes by the Author of "Camping Out."
    Fox Hunting. As recorded by "Raed."
    On the Amazon; or, the Cruise of the "Rambler." As recorded by "Wash."



By J. T. Trowbridge.


These stories will rank among the best of Mr. Trowbridge's books for the
young, and he has written some of the best of our juvenile literature.


JACK HAZARD SERIES.

    Jack Hazard and his Fortunes.
    A Chance for Himself; or, Jack Hazard and his Treasure.
    Doing his Best.
    Fast Friends.
    The Young Surveyor; or, Jack on the Prairies.
    Lawrence's Adventures Among the Ice Cutters, Glass Makers, Coal
        Miners, Iron Men and Ship Builders.



By Edward S. Ellis.


A New Series of Books for Boys, equal in interest to the "Castlemon" and
"Alger" books. His power of description of Indian life and character is
equal to the best of Cooper.


BOY PIONEER SERIES.

    Ned in the Block House; or, Life on the Frontier.
    Ned in the Woods.
    Ned on the River.





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Rufus and Rose - Or, The Fortunes of Rough and Ready" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



Home