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Title: Tattered Tom - or The Story of a Street Arab
Author: Horatio Alger Jr.
Language: English
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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.

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                          Transcriber’s Note:

This version of the text cannot represent certain typographical effects.
Bold and italic characters, which appear only in the advertisements, are
delimited with the ‘_’ and ‘=’ characters respectively, as ‘_italic_’ and

The few minor errors, attributable to the printer, have been corrected.
Please see the transcriber’s note at the end of this text for details
regarding the handling of these issues.

                        POPULAR JUVENILE BOOKS,

                         BY HORATIO ALGER, JR.


                         _RAGGED DICK SERIES._
                       _Complete in Six Volumes._
           I. RAGGED DICK; or, Street Life in New York.

          II. FAME AND FORTUNE; or, The Progress of Richard


          IV. ROUGH AND READY; or, Life Among New York Newsboys.

           V. BEN, THE LUGGAGE BOY; or, Among the Wharves.

          VI. RUFUS AND ROSE; or, The Fortunes of Rough and

                      =_Price, $1.25 per volume._=


                           _CAMPAIGN SERIES._
                      _Complete in Three Volumes._
           I. FRANK’S CAMPAIGN.
                      =_Price, $1.25 per volume._=


                        _LUCK AND PLUCK SERIES._
                   _To be completed in Six Volumes._
           I. LUCK AND PLUCK; or, John Oakley’s Inheritance.

          II. SINK OR SWIM; or, Harry Raymond’s Resolve.

         III. STRONG AND STEADY; or, Paddle your own Canoe. (In
                October, 1871.)

                         OTHERS IN PREPARATION.

                      =_Price, $1.50 per volume._=


                         _TATTERED TOM SERIES._

                   _To be completed in Six Volumes._
           I. TATTERED TOM; or, The story of a Street Arab.

          II. PAUL, THE PEDDLER; or, The Adventures of a Young
                Street Merchant. (In November, 1871.)

                         OTHERS IN PREPARATION.

                      =_Price, $1.25 per volume._=





                          TATTERED TOM SERIES.


                           HORATIO ALGER JR.


                             TATTERED TOM.


                             TATTERED TOM;
                      THE STORY OF A STREET ARAB.


                          HORATIO ALGER, JR.,

                           “CAMPAIGN SERIES.”


                           LORING, Publisher,

       Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1871, by
                             A. K. LORING,
       In the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.

            Rockwell & Churchill, Printers and Stereotypers,
                     122 Washington Street, Boston.


                     =AMOS AND O. AUGUSTA CHENEY,=

                          =This Volume=

                              IS DEDICATED





When, three years since, the author published “Ragged Dick,” he was far
from anticipating the flattering welcome it would receive, or the degree
of interest which would be excited by his pictures of street life in New
York. The six volumes which comprised his original design are completed,
but the subject is not exhausted. There are yet other phases of street
life to be described, and other classes of street Arabs, whose fortunes
deserve to be chronicled.

“Tattered Tom” is therefore presented to the public as the initial
volume of a new series of six stories, which may be regarded as a
continuation of the “Ragged Dick Series.” Some surprise may be felt at
the discovery that Tom is a girl; but I beg to assure my readers that
she is not one of the conventional kind. Though not without her good
points, she will be found to differ very widely in tastes and manners
from the young ladies of twelve usually to be met in society. I venture
to hope that she will become a favorite in spite of her numerous faults,
and that no less interest will be felt in her fortunes than in those of
the heroes of earlier volumes.

NEW YORK, April, 1871.


                             TATTERED TOM;


                    THE ADVENTURES OF A STREET ARAB.


                               CHAPTER I.
                        INTRODUCES TATTERED TOM.

Mr. Frederic Pelham, a young gentleman very daintily dressed, with
exquisitely fitting kids and highly polished boots, stood at the corner
of Broadway and Chambers Streets, surveying with some dismay the dirty
crossing, and speculating as to his chances of getting over without
marring the polish of his boots.

He started at length, and had taken two steps, when a dirty hand was
thrust out, and he was saluted by the request, “Gi’ me a penny, sir?”

“Out of my way, you bundle of rags!” he answered.

“You’re another!” was the prompt reply.

Frederic Pelham stared at the creature who had dared to imply that he—a
leader of fashion—was a bundle of rags.

The street-sweeper was apparently about twelve years of age. It was not
quite easy to determine whether it was a boy or girl. The head was
surmounted by a boy’s cap, the hair was cut short, it wore a boy’s
jacket, but underneath was a girl’s dress. Jacket and dress were both in
a state of extreme raggedness. The child’s face was very dark and, as
might be expected, dirty; but it was redeemed by a pair of brilliant
black eyes, which were fixed upon the young exquisite in an expression
half-humorous, half-defiant, as the owner promptly retorted, “You’re

“Clear out, you little nuisance!” said the dandy, stopping short from
necessity, for the little sweep had planted herself directly in his
path; and to step out on either side would have soiled his boots

“Gi’ me a penny, then?”

“I’ll hand you to the police, you little wretch!”

“I aint done nothin’. Gi’ me a penny?”

Mr. Pelham, provoked, raised his cane threateningly.

But Tom (for, in spite of her being a girl, this was the name by which
she was universally known; indeed she scarcely knew any other) was wary.
She dodged the blow, and by an adroit sweep of her broom managed to
scatter some mud on Mr. Pelham’s boots.

“You little brat, you’ve muddied my boots!” he exclaimed, with vexation.

“Then why did you go for to strike me?” said Tom, defiantly.

He did not stop to answer, but hurried across the street. His pace was
accelerated by an approaching vehicle, and the instinct of
self-preservation, more powerful than even the dictates of fashion,
compelled him to make a détour through the mud, greatly to the injury of
his no longer immaculate boots. But there was a remedy for the disaster
on the other side.

“Shine your boots, sir?” asked a boot-black, who had stationed himself
at the other side of the crossing.

Frederic Pelham looked at his boots. Their glory had departed. Their
virgin gloss had been dimmed by plebeian mud. He grudged the
boot-black’s fee, for he was thoroughly mean, though he had plenty of
money at his command. But it was impossible to walk up Broadway in such
boots. Suppose he should meet any of his fashionable friends, especially
if ladies, his fashionable reputation would be endangered.

“Go ahead, boy!” he said. “Do your best.”

“All right, sir.”

“It’s the second time I’ve had my boots blacked this morning. If it
hadn’t been for that dirty sweep I should have got across safely.”

The boy laughed—to himself. He knew Tom well enough, and he had been an
interested spectator of her encounter with his present customer, having
an eye to business. But he didn’t think it prudent to make known his

The boots were at length polished, and Mr. Pelham saw with satisfaction
that no signs of the street mire remained.

“How much do you want, boy?” he asked.

“Ten cents.”

“I thought five cents was the price.”

“Can’t afford to work on no such terms.”

Mr. Pelham might have disputed the fee, but he saw an acquaintance
approaching, and did not care to be caught chaffering with a boot-black.
He therefore reluctantly drew out a dime, and handed it to the boy, who
at once deposited it in the pocket of a ragged vest.

He stood on the sidewalk on the lookout for another customer, when Tom
marched across the street, broom in hand.

“I say, Joe, how much did he give you?”

“Ten cents.”

“How much yer goin’ to give me?”


“You wouldn’t have got him if I hadn’t muddied his boots.”

“Did you do it a-purpose?”

Tom nodded.

“What for?”

“He called me names. That’s one reason. Besides, I wanted to give you a

Joe seemed struck by this view, and, being alive to his own interest,
did not disregard the application.

“Here’s a penny,” he said.

“Gi’ me two.”

He hesitated a moment, then diving once more into his pocket, brought up
another penny, which Tom transferred with satisfaction to the pocket of
her dress.

“Shall I do it ag’in?” she asked.

“Yes,” said Joe. “I say, Tom, you’re a smart un.”

“I’d ought to be. Granny makes me smart whenever she gets a chance.”

Tom returned to the other end of the crossing, and began to sweep
diligently. Her labors did not extend far from the curbstone, as the
stream of vehicles now rapidly passing would have made it dangerous.
However, it was all one to Tom where she swept. The cleanness of the
crossing was to her a matter of comparative indifference. Indeed,
considering her own disregard of neatness, it could hardly have been
expected that she should feel very solicitous on that point. Like some
of her elders who were engaged in municipal labors, she regarded
street-sweeping as a “job,” out of which she was to make money, and her
interest began and ended with the money she earned.

There were not so many to cross Broadway at this point as lower down,
and only a few of these seemed impressed by a sense of the pecuniary
value of Tom’s services.

“Gi’ me a penny, sir,” she said to a stout gentleman.

He tossed a coin into the mud.

Tom darted upon it, and fished it up, wiping her fingers afterwards upon
her dress.

“Aint you afraid of soiling your dress?” asked the philanthropist,

“What’s the odds?” said Tom, coolly.

“You’re a philosopher,” said the stout gentleman.

“Don’t you go to callin’ me names!” said Tom; “’cause if you do I’ll
muddy up your boots.”

“So you don’t want to be called a philosopher?” said the gentleman.

“No, I don’t,” said Tom, eying him suspiciously.

“Then I must make amends.”

He took a dime from his pocket, and handed it to the astonished Tom.

“Is this for me?” she asked.


Tom’s eyes glistened; for ten cents was a nugget when compared with her
usual penny receipts. She stood in a brown study till her patron was
half across the street, then, seized with a sudden idea, she darted
after him, and tugged at his coat-tail.

“What’s wanted?” he asked, turning round in some surprise.

“I say,” said Tom, “you may call me that name ag’in for five cents

The ludicrous character of the proposal struck him, and he laughed with

“Well,” he said, “that’s a good offer. What’s your name?”


“Which are you,—a boy or a girl?”

“I’m a girl, but I wish I was a boy.”

“What for?”

“’Cause boys are stronger than girls, and can fight better.”

“Do you ever fight?”


“Whom do you fight with?”

“Sometimes I fight with the boys, and sometimes with granny.”

“What makes you fight with your granny?”

“She gets drunk and fires things at my head; then I pitch into her.”

The cool, matter-of-fact manner in which Tom spoke seemed to amuse her

“I was right,” he said; “you’re a philosopher,—a practical philosopher.”

“That’s more’n you said before,” said Tom; “I want ten cents for that.”

The ten cents were produced. Tom pocketed them in a business-like
manner, and went back to her employment. She wondered, slightly, whether
a philosopher was something very bad; but, as there was no means of
determining, sensibly dismissed the inquiry, and kept on with her work.

                               CHAPTER II
                        TOM GETS A SQUARE MEAL.

About twelve o’clock Tom began to feel the pangs of hunger. The exercise
which she had taken, together with the fresh air, had stimulated her
appetite. It was about the time when she was expected to go home, and
accordingly she thrust her hand into her pocket, and proceeded to count
the money she had received.

“Forty-two cents!” she said, at last, in a tone of satisfaction. “I
don’t generally get more’n twenty. I wish that man would come round and
call me names every day.”

Tom knew that she was expected to go home and carry the result of her
morning’s work to her granny; but the unusual amount suggested to her
another idea. Her mid-day meal was usually of the plainest and
scantiest,—a crust of dry bread, or a cold sausage on days of
plenty,—and Tom sometimes did long for something better. But generally
it would have been dangerous to appropriate a sufficient sum from her
receipts, as the deficit would have been discovered, and quick
retribution would have followed from her incensed granny, who was a
vicious old woman with a pretty vigorous arm. Now, however, she could
appropriate twenty cents without danger of discovery.

“I can get a square meal for twenty cents,” Tom reflected, “and I’ll do

But she must go home first, as delay would be dangerous, and have
disagreeable consequences.

She prepared for the visit by dividing her morning’s receipts into two
parcels. The two ten-cent scrips she hid away in the lining of her
tattered jacket. The pennies, including one five-cent scrip, she put in
the pocket of her dress. This last was intended for her granny. She then
started homewards, dragging her broom after her.

She walked to Centre Street, turned after a while into Leonard, and went
on, turning once or twice, until she came to one of the most wretched
tenement houses to be found in that not very choice locality. She passed
through an archway leading into an inner court, on which fronted a rear
house more shabby, if possible, than the front dwelling. The court was
redolent of odors far from savory; children pallid, dirty, and
unhealthy-looking, were playing about, filling the air with shrill
cries, mingled with profanity; clothes were hanging from some of the
windows; miserable and besotted faces were seen at others.

Tom looked up to a window in the fourth story. She could descry a woman,
with a pipe in her mouth.

“Granny’s home,” she said to herself.

She went up three flights, and, turning at the top, went to the door and
opened it.

It was a wretched room, containing two chairs and a table, nothing more.
On one of the chairs was seated a large woman, of about sixty, with a
clay pipe in her mouth. The room was redolent of the vilest

This was granny.

If granny had ever been beautiful, there were no traces of that
dangerous gift in the mottled and wrinkled face, with bleared eyes,
which turned towards the door as Tom entered.

“Why didn’t you come afore, Tom?” she demanded.

“I’m on time,” said Tom. “Clock aint but just struck.”

“How much have you got?”

Tom pulled out her stock of pennies and placed them in the woman’s
outstretched palm.

“There’s twenty-two,” she said.

“Umph!” said granny. “Where’s the rest?”

“That’s all.”

“Come here.”

Tom advanced, not reluctantly, for she felt sure that granny would not
think of searching her jacket, especially as she had brought home as
much as usual.

The old woman thrust her hand into the child’s pocket, and turned it
inside-out with her claw-like fingers, but not another penny was to be

“Umph!” she grunted, apparently satisfied with her scrutiny.

“Didn’t I tell you so?” said Tom.

Granny rose from her chair, and going to a shelf took down a piece of
bread, which had become dry and hard.

“There’s your dinner,” said she.

“Gi’ me a penny to buy an apple,” said Tom,—rather by way of keeping up
appearances than because she wanted one. Visions of a more satisfactory
repast filled her imagination.

“You don’t want no apple. Bread’s enough,” said granny.

Tom was not much disappointed. She knew pretty well beforehand how her
application would fare. Frequently she made sure of success by buying
the apple and eating it before handing the proceeds of her morning’s
work to the old woman. To-day she had other views, which she was in a
hurry to carry out.

She took the bread, and ate a mouthful. Then she slipped it into her
pocket, and said, “I’ll eat it as I go along, granny.”

To this the old woman made no objection, and Tom went out.

In the court-yard below she took out her crust, and handed it to a
hungry-looking boy of ten, the unlucky offspring of drunken parents, who
oftentimes was unable to command even such fare as Tom obtained.

“Here, Tim,” she said, “eat that; I aint hungry.”

It was one of Tim’s frequent fast days, and even the hard crust was
acceptable to him. He took it readily, and began to eat it ravenously.
Tom looked on with benevolent interest, feeling the satisfaction of
having done a charitable act. The satisfaction might have been
heightened by the thought that she was going to get something better

“So you’re hungry, Tim,” she said.

“I’m always hungry,” said Tim.

“Did you have any breakfast?”

“Only an apple I picked up in the street.”

“He’s worse off than me,” thought Tom; but she had no time to reflect on
the superior privileges of her own position, for she was beginning to
feel hungry herself.

There was a cheap restaurant near by, only a few blocks away.

Tom knew it well, for she had often paused before the door and inhaled
enviously the appetizing odor of the dishes which were there vended to
patrons not over-fastidious, at prices accommodated to scantily lined
pocket-books. Tom had never entered, but had been compelled to remain
outside, wishing that a more propitious fortune had placed it in her
power to dine there every day. Now, however, first thrusting her fingers
into the lining of her jacket to make sure that the money was there, she
boldly entered the restaurant and took a seat at one of the tables.

The room was not large, there being only eight tables, each of which
might accommodate four persons. The floor was sanded, the tables were
some of them bare, others covered with old newspapers, which had become
greasy, and were rather worse than no table-cloth at all. The guests, of
whom perhaps a dozen were seated at the table, were undoubtedly
plebeian. Men in shirt-sleeves, rough-bearded sailors and ’long-shore
men, composed the company, with one ragged boot-black, who had his
blacking-box on the seat beside him.

It was an acquaintance of Tom, and she went and sat beside him.

“Do you get dinner here, Jim?” she asked.

“Yes, Tom; what brings you here?”

“I’m hungry.”

“Don’t you live along of your granny?”

“Yes; but I thought I’d come here to-day. What have you got?”

“Roast beef.”

“Is it good?”


“I’ll have some, then. How much is it?”

“Ten cents.”

Ten cents was the standard price in this economical restaurant for a
plate of meat of whatever kind. Perhaps, considering the quality and
amount given, it could not be regarded as very cheap; still the sum was
small, and came within Tom’s means.

A plate of beef was brought and placed before Tom. Her eyes dilated with
pleasure as they rested on the delicious morsel. There was a potato
besides; and a triangular slice of bread, with an infinitesimal dab of
butter,—all for ten cents. But Tom’s ambition soared higher.

“Bring me a cup o’ coffee,” she said to the waiter.

It was brought,—a very dark, muddy, suspicious-looking beverage,—a base
libel upon the fragrant berry whose name it took; but such a thought did
not disturb Tom. She never doubted that it was what it purported to be.
She stirred it vigorously with the spoon, and sipped it as if it had
been nectar.

“Aint it prime just?” she exclaimed, smacking her lips.

Then ensued a vigorous onslaught upon the roast beef. It was the first
meat Tom had tasted for weeks, with the exception of occasional cold
sausage; and she was in the seventh heaven of delight as she hurriedly
ate it. When she had finished, the plate was literally and entirely
empty. Tom did not believe in leaving anything behind. She was almost
tempted to “lick the platter clean,” but observed that none of the other
guests did so, and refrained.

“Bring me a piece of apple pie,” said Tom, determined for once to have
what she denominated a “good square meal.” The price of the pie being
five cents, this would just exhaust her funds. Payment was demanded when
the pie was brought, the prudent waiter having some fears that his
customer was eating beyond her means.

Tom paid the money, and, vigorously attacking the pie, had almost
finished it, when, chancing to lift her eyes to the window, she saw a
sight that made her blood curdle.

Looking through the pane with a stony glare that meant mischief was her
granny, whom she had supposed safe at home.

                              CHAPTER III
                           CAUGHT IN THE ACT.

It was Tom’s ill luck that brought granny upon the scene, contrary to
every reasonable expectation. After smoking out her pipe, she made up
her mind to try another smoke, when she found that her stock of tobacco
was exhausted. Being constitutionally lazy, it was some minutes before
she made up her mind to go out and lay in a fresh supply. Finally she
decided, and made her way downstairs to the court, and thence to the

Tim saw her, and volunteered the information, “Tom gave me some bread.”

“When?” demanded granny.

“When she come out just now.”

“What did she do that for?”

“She said she wasn’t hungry.”

The old woman was puzzled. Tom’s appetite was usually quite equal to the
supply of food which she got. Could Tom have secreted some money to buy
apples? This was hardly likely, since she had carefully searched her.
Besides, Tom had returned the usual amount. Still, granny’s suspicions
were awakened, and she determined to question Tom when she returned at
the close of the afternoon.

The tobacco shop where granny obtained her tobacco was two doors beyond
the restaurant where Tom was then enjoying her cheap dinner with a zest
which the guests at Delmonico’s do not often bring to the discussion of
their more aristocratic viands. It was only a chance that led granny, as
she passed, to look in; but that glance took in all who were seated at
the tables, including Tom.

Had granny received an invitation to preside at a meeting in the Cooper
Institute, she would hardly have been more surprised than at the sight
of Tom, perfidiously enjoying a meal out of money from which she had
doubtless been defrauded.

“The owdacious young reprobate!” muttered the old woman, glaring
fiercely at her unconscious victim.

But Tom just then happened to look up, as we have seen. Her heart gave a
sudden thump, and she said to herself, “I’m in for a lickin’, that’s so.
Granny’s mad as blazes.”

The old woman did not long leave her in doubt as to the state of her

She strode into the eating-house, and, advancing to the table, seized
Tom by the arm.

“What are you here for?” she growled, in a hoarse voice.

“To get some dinner,” said Tom.

By this time she had recovered from her temporary panic. She had courage
and pluck, and was toughened by the hard life she had led into a stoical
endurance of the evils from which she could not escape.

“What business had you to come?”

“I was hungry.”

“Didn’t I give you a piece of bread?”

“I didn’t like it.”

“What did you buy?”

“A plate of beef, a cup o’ coffee, and some pie. Better buy some,
granny. They’re bully.”

“You’re a reg’lar bad un. You’ll fetch up on the gallus,” said granny,
provoked at Tom’s coolness.

So saying, she seized Tom by the shoulder roughly. But by this time the
keeper of the restaurant thought fit to interfere.

“We can’t have any disturbance here, ma’am,” he said. “You must leave
the room.”

“She had no right to get dinner here,” said granny. “I won’t let her pay
for it.”

“She has paid for it already.”

“Is that so?” demanded the old woman, disappointed.

Tom nodded, glad to have outwitted her guardian.

“It was my money. You stole it.”

“No it wa’n’t. A gentleman give it to me for callin’ me names.”

“Come out of here!” said granny, jerking Tom from her chair. “Don’t you
let her have no more to eat here,” she added, turning to the keeper of
the restaurant.

“She can eat here whenever she’s got money to pay for it.”

Rather disgusted at her failure to impress the keeper of the restaurant
with her views in the matter, granny emerged into the street with Tom in
her clutches.

She gave her a vigorous shaking up on the sidewalk.

“How do you like that?” she demanded.

“I wish I was as big as you!” said Tom, indignantly.

“Well, what if you was?” demanded the old woman, pausing in her
punishment, and glaring at Tom.

“I’d make your nose bleed,” said Tom, doubling up her fist.

“You would, would you?” said granny, fiercely. “Then it’s lucky you
aint;” and she gave her another shake.

“Where are you going to take me?” asked Tom.

“Home. I’ll lock you up for a week, and give you nothin’ to eat but
bread once a day.”

“All right!” said Tom. “If I’m locked up at home, I can’t bring you any

This consideration had not at first suggested itself to the vindictive
old woman. It would cut off all her revenue to punish Tom as she
proposed; and this would be far from convenient. But anger was more
powerful just then than policy; and she determined at all events to
convey Tom home, and give her a flogging, before sending her out into
the street to resume her labors.

She strode along, dragging Tom by the arm; and not another word was
spoken till they reached the rear tenement house.

“What’s the matter with the child?” asked Mrs. Murphy, who had just come
down into the court after one of her own children.

“She stole my money,” said granny; “and was eatin’ a mighty fine dinner
out of it.”

“It was my money, Mrs. Murphy,” said Tom. “I gave granny twenty-two
cents when I came home.”

“I hope you won’t go to hurt the child,” said kind-hearted Mrs. Murphy.

“I’ll be much obliged to you, Mrs. Murphy, if you’ll mind your own
business,” said granny, loftily. “When I want your advice, mum, I’ll
come and ask it; begging your pardon, mum.”

“She’s a tough craythur,” said Mrs. Murphy to herself. “She beats that
poor child too bad entirely.”

Granny drew Tom into the room with no gentle hand.

“Now you’re goin’ to catch it,” said she, grimly.

Tom was of the same opinion, and meant to defend herself as well as she
knew how. She had all her wits about her, and had already planned out
her campaign.

On the chair was a stout stick which granny was accustomed to use on
such occasions as the present. When wielded by a vigorous arm, it was
capable of inflicting considerable pain, as Tom very well knew. That
stick she determined to have.

Accordingly when granny temporarily released her hold of her, as she
entered the room, Tom sprang for the chair, seized the stick, and sent
it flying out of the window.

“What did you do that for?” said granny, fiercely.

“I don’t want to be licked,” said Tom, briefly.

“You’re going to be, then.”

“Not with the stick.”

“We’ll see.”

Granny poked her head out of the window, and saw Tim down in the court.

“Bring up that stick,” she said; “that’s a good boy.”

Tim picked up the stick, and was about to obey the old woman’s request,
when he heard another voice—Tom’s—from the other window.

“Don’t you do it, Tim. Granny wants to lick me.”

That was enough. Tim didn’t like the old woman,—no one in the building
did,—and he did like Tom, who, in spite of being a tough customer, was
good-natured and obliging, unless her temper was aroused by the old
woman’s oppression. So Tim dropped the stick.

“Bring it right up,” said granny, angrily.

“Are you goin’ to lick Tom?”

“None of your business! Bring it up, or I’ll lick you too.”

“No, you don’t!” answered Tim. “You must come for it yourself if you
want it.”

Granny began to find that she must do her own errands. It was an
undertaking to go down three flights of stairs to the court and return
again, especially for one so indolent as herself; but there seemed to be
no other way. She inwardly resolved to wreak additional vengeance upon
Tom, and so get what satisfaction she could in this way. Muttering
imprecations which I do not care to repeat, she started downstairs,
determined to try the stick first upon Tim. But when she reached the
court Tim had disappeared. He had divined her benevolent intentions, and
thought it would be altogether wiser for him to be out of the way.

Granny picked up the stick, and, after a sharp glance around the court,
commenced the ascent. She did not stop to rest, being spurred on by the
anticipated pleasure of flogging Tom. So, in a briefer space of time
than could have been expected, she once more arrived at her own door.

But Tom had not been idle.

No sooner was the door closed than Tom turned the key in the lock,
making herself a voluntary prisoner, but having in the key the means of

Granny tried the door, and, to her inexpressible wrath, discovered Tom’s
new audacity.

“Open the door, you trollop!” she screamed.

“You’ll lick me,” said Tom.

“I’ll give you the wust lickin’ you ever had.”

“Then I shan’t let you in,” said Tom, defiantly.

                               CHAPTER IV
                               THE SIEGE.

“Open the door,” screamed granny, beside herself with rage, “or I’ll
kill you.”

“You can’t get at me,” said Tom, triumphantly.

The old woman grasped the knob of the door and shook it vigorously. But
the lock resisted her efforts. Tom’s spirit was up, and she rather
enjoyed it.

“Shake away, granny,” she called through the key-hole.

“If I could only get at you!” muttered granny.

“I won’t let you in till you promise not to touch me.”

“I’ll skin you alive.”

“Then you can’t come in.”

The old woman began alternately to pound and kick upon the door. Tom sat
down coolly upon a chair, her dark eyes flashing exultingly. She knew
her power, and meant to keep it. She had not reflected how it was to
end. She supposed that in the end she would get a “lickin’,” as she had
often done before. But in the mean while she would have the pleasure of
defying and keeping the old woman at bay for an indefinite time. So she
sat in placid enjoyment in her stronghold until she heard something that
suggested a speedy raising of the siege.

“I’m goin’ for a hatchet,” said granny, through the key-hole.

“If you break the door, you’ll have to pay for it.”

“Never you mind!” said the old woman. “I know what I’m about.”

She heard the retreating steps of granny, and, knowing only too well her
terrible temper, made up her mind that she was in earnest. If so, the
door must soon succumb. A hatchet would soon accomplish what neither
kicks nor pounding had been able to effect.

“What shall I do?” thought Tom.

She was afraid of something more than a lickin’ now. In her rage at
having been so long baffled, the old woman might attack her with the
hatchet. She knew very well that on previous occasions she had flung at
her head anything she could lay hold of. Tom, brave and stout-hearted as
she was, shrunk from this new danger, and set herself to devise a way of
escape. She looked out of the window; but she was on the fourth floor,
and it was a long distance to the court below. If it had been on the
second floor she would have swung off.

There was another thing she could do. Granny had gone down below to
borrow a hatchet. She might unlock the door, and run out upon the
landing; but there was no place for hiding herself, and no way of
getting downstairs without running the risk of rushing into granny’s
clutches. In her perplexity her eyes fell upon a long coil of rope in
one corner. It was a desperate expedient, but she resolved to swing out
of the window, high as it was. She managed to fasten one end securely,
and let the other drop from the window. As it hung, it fell short of
reaching the ground by at least ten feet. But Tom was strong and active,
and never hesitated a moment on this account. She was incited to extra
speed, for she already heard the old woman ascending the stairs,
probably provided with a hatchet.

Tom got on the window-sill, and, grasping the rope, let herself down
rapidly hand over hand, till she reached the end of the rope. Then she
dropped. It was rather hard to her feet, and she fell over. But she
quickly recovered herself.

Tim, the recipient of her dinner, was in the court, and surveyed her
descent with eyes and mouth wide open.

“Where’d you come from, Tom?” he asked.

“Can’t you see?” said Tom.

“Why didn’t you come downstairs?”

“’Cause granny’s there waitin’ to lick me. I must be goin’ before she
finds out where I am. Don’t you tell of me, Tim.”

“No, I won’t,” said Tim; and he was sure to keep his promise.

Tom sped through the arched passage to the street, and did not rest till
she had got a mile away from the home which had so few attractions for

Beyond the chance of immediate danger, the young Arab conjured up the
vision of granny’s disappointment when she should break open the door,
and find her gone; and she sat down on the curbstone and laughed

“What are you laughing at?” asked a boy, looking curiously at the
strange figure before him.

“Oh, it’s too rich!” said Tom, pausing a little, and then breaking out

“What’s too rich?”

“I’ve run away from granny. She wanted to lick me, and now she can’t.”

“You’ve been cutting up, I suppose.”

“No, it’s granny that’s been cuttin’ up. She’s at it all the time.”

“But you’ll catch it when you do go home, you know.”

“Maybe I won’t go home.”

It was not a street-boy that addressed her; but a boy with a comfortable
home, who had a place in a store near by. He did not know, practically,
what sort of a thing it was to wander about the streets, friendless and
homeless; but it struck him vaguely that it must be decidedly
uncomfortable. There was something in this strange creature—half boy in
appearance—that excited his interest and curiosity, and he continued the

“What sort of a woman is your granny, as you call her?” he asked.

“She’s an awful old woman,” was the answer.

“I shouldn’t think you would like to speak so of your grandmother.”

“I don’t believe she is my grandmother. I only call her so.”

“What’s your name?”


“Tom!” repeated the boy, in surprise. “Aint you a girl?”

“Yes; I expect so.”

“It’s hard to tell from your clothes, you know;” and he scanned Tom’s
queer figure attentively.

Tom was sitting on a low step with her knees nearly on a level with her
chin, and her hands clasped around them. She had on her cap of the
morning, and her jacket, which, by the way, had been given to granny
when on a begging expedition, and appropriated to Tom’s use, without
special reference to her sex. Tom didn’t care much. It made little
difference to her whether she was in the fashion or not; and if the
street boys chaffed her, she was abundantly able to give them back as
good as they sent.

“What’s the matter with my clothes?” said Tom.

“You’ve got on a boy’s cap and jacket.”

“I like it well enough. As long as it keeps a feller warm I don’t mind.”

“Do you call yourself a feller?”


“Then you’re a queer feller.”

“Don’t you call me names, ’cause I won’t stand it;” and Tom raised a
pair of sharp, black eyes.

“I won’t call you names, at least not any bad ones. Have you had any

“Yes,” said Tom, smacking her lips, as she recalled her delicious
repast, “I had a square meal.”

“What do you call a square meal?”

“Roast beef, cup o’ coffee, and pie.”

The boy was rather surprised, for such a dinner seemed beyond Tom’s
probable resources.

“Your granny don’t treat you so badly, after all. That’s just the kind
of dinner I had.”

“Granny didn’t give it to me. I bought it. That’s what she wants to lick
me for. All she give me was a piece of hard bread.”

“Where did you get the money? Was it hers?”

“That’s what she says. But if a feller works all the mornin’ for some
money, hasn’t she got a right to keep some of it?”

“I should think so.”

“So should I,” said Tom, decidedly.

“Have you got any money?”

“No, I spent it all for dinner.”

“Then here’s some.”

The boy drew from his vest-pocket twenty-five cents, and offered it to

The young Arab felt no delicacy in accepting the pecuniary aid thus

“Thank you,” said she. “You can call me names if you want to.”

“What should I want to call you names for?” asked the boy, puzzled.

“There was a gent called me names this mornin’, and give me twenty cents
for doin’ it.”

“What did he call you?”

“I dunno; but it must have been something awful bad, it was so long.”

“You’re a strange girl, Tom.”

“Am I? Well, I reckon I am. What’s your name?”

“John Goodwin.”

“John Goodwin?” repeated Tom, by way of fixing it in her memory.

“Yes; haven’t you got any other name than Tom?”

“I dunno. I think granny called me Jane once. But it’s a good while ago.
Everybody calls me Tom, now.”

“Well, Tom, I must be getting back to the store. Good-by. I hope you’ll
get along.”

“All right!” said Tom. “I’m goin’ into business with that money you give

                               CHAPTER V
                          TOM GAINS A VICTORY.

Granny mounted the stairs two at a time; so eager was she to force a
surrender on the part of the rebellious Tom. She was a little out of
breath when she reached the fourth landing, and paused an instant to
recover it. Tom was at that moment half-way down the rope; but this she
did not suspect.

Recovering her breath, she strode to the door. Before making an assault
with the hatchet, she decided to summon Tom to a surrender.

“Tom!” she called out.

Of course there was no answer.

“Why don’t you answer?” demanded granny, provoked.

She listened for a reply, but Tom remained obstinately silent, as she
interpreted it.

“If you don’t speak, it’ll be the wuss for ye,” growled granny.

Again no answer.

“I’ll find a way to make you speak. Come and open the door, or I’ll
break it down. I’ve got a hatchet.”

But the old woman had the conversation all to herself.

Quite beside herself now with anger, she no longer hesitated; but with
all her force dealt a blow which buried the hatchet deep in the door.

“Jest wait till I get in!” she muttered. “Will ye open it now?”

But there was no response.

While she was still battering at the door one of the neighbors came up
from below.

“What are you doin’, Mrs. Walsh?” for such was granny’s name.

“I’m tryin’ to get in.”

“Why don’t you open the door?”

“Tom’s locked it. She won’t let me in,” said granny, finishing the
sentence with a string of profane words which had best be omitted.

“You’ll have a good bill to pay to the landlord, Mrs. Walsh.”

“I don’t care,” said granny. “I’m goin’ to get at that trollop, and beat
her within an inch of her life.”

Another vigorous blow broke the lock, and the door flew open.

Granny rushed in, after the manner of a devouring lion ready to pounce
upon her prey. But she stopped short in dismay. Tom was not visible!

Thinking she might be in the closet, the old woman flung open the door:
but again she was balked.

“What has ’come of the child?” she exclaimed, in bewilderment.

“She got out of the window,” said the neighbor, who had caught sight of
the rope dangling from the open casement.

Granny hastened to the window, and the truth flashed upon her. Her prey
had escaped her!

It was a deep disappointment to the vindictive old woman, whose hand
itched to exercise itself in punishing Tom.

“She’s a bold un,” said the neighbor, with some admiration of Tom’s

Granny answered with a strain of invective, which gave partial vent to
the rage and disappointment she felt.

“If I could only get at her!” she muttered between her teeth; “I’d give
her half-a-dozen lickin’s in one. She’d wish she hadn’t done it.”

Not a doubt entered granny’s mind that Tom would return. It never
occurred to her that her young servant had become tired of her bondage,
and had already made up her mind to break her chains. She knew Tom
pretty well, but not wholly. She did not realize that the days of her
rule were at an end; and that by her tyranny she had driven from her the
girl whose earnings she had found so convenient.

If there had been much chance of meeting Tom outside, granny would have
gone out into the streets and hunted for her. But to search for her
among the numerous streets, lanes, and alleys in the lower part of the
city would have been like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Then,
even if she found her, she could not very well whip her in the street.
Tom would probably come home at night as usual, bringing money, and she
could defer the punishment till then.

Fatigued with her exercise and excitement, the old woman threw herself
down on her rude pallet, first drawing the contents of a jug which stood
in the closet, and was soon in a drunken sleep. Leaving her thus, we go
back to Tom.

She had made up her mind not to go back to sweeping the streets; partly,
indeed, because she no longer had her broom with her. Moreover, she
thought that she would in that case be more likely to fall into the
clutches of the enemy she so much dreaded. With the capital for which
she was indebted to her new boy acquaintance she decided to lay in a
supply of evening papers, and try to dispose of them. It was not a new
trade to her; for there was scarcely one of the street trades in which
the young Arab had not more or less experience.

She bought ten copies of the “Express,” and selected the corner of two
streets for the disposal of her stock in trade.

“Here’s the ‘Express,’—latest news from the seat of war!” cried Tom;
catching the cry from a boy engaged in the same business up on Broadway.

“What’s the news?” asked one of two young men who were passing.

“The news is that you’re drafted,” said Tom, promptly. “Buy the paper,
and you’ll find out all about it.”

It was in the midst of the draft excitement in New York; and as it so
happened that the young man had actually been drafted, his companion

“You must buy a paper for that, Jack,” he said.

“I believe I will,” said the first, laughing. “Here’s ten cents. Never
mind about the change.”

“Thank you,” said Tom. “Come round to-morrow, and I’ll sell you

“You’ll have me drafted again, I am afraid. Perhaps you will go as my

“I would if I was old enough,” said Tom.

“You’re a girl,—aint you? Girls can’t fight.”

“Try me and see,” said Tom. “I can fight any boy of my size.”

The two young men passed on, laughing.

Tom soon had an opportunity to test her prowess. The corner where she
had stationed herself was usually occupied by a boy somewhat larger than
Tom, who considered that it belonged to him by right. He came up rather
late, having a chance to carry a carpet-bag for a guest at French’s
Hotel to the Hudson River station. Tom had disposed of half her papers
when he came blustering up:—

“Clear out of here!” he said, imperiously.

“Who was you speakin’ to?” asked Tom, coolly.

“To you. Just clear out!”

“What for?” asked Tom.

“You’ve got my stand.”

“Have I?” said Tom, not offering to move.

“Yes, you have.”

“Then I’m goin’ to keep it. ’Ere’s the ‘Express,’—latest news from the
seat of war.”

“Look here!” said the newsboy, menacingly, “if you don’t clear out, I’ll
make you.”

“Will you?” said Tom, independently, taking his measure, and deciding
that she could fight him. “I aint afraid of you!”

Her rival advanced, and gave her a push which nearly thrust her from the
sidewalk into the street. But he was rather astonished the next moment
at receiving a blow in the face from Tom’s fist.

“If you want to fight, come on!” said Tom, dropping her papers and
squaring off.

He was not slow in accepting the defiance, being provoked by the
unexpected blow, and aimed a blow at Tom’s nose. But Tom, who had some
rudimental ideas of boxing, while her opponent knew nothing of it,
fended off the blow, and succeeded in getting in another.

“Ho! ho!” laughed another boy, who had just come up; “you’re licked by a

Bob, for this was the newsboy’s name, felt all the disgrace of the
situation. His face reddened, and he pitched in promiscuously,
delivering blow after blow wildly. This gave a decided advantage to Tom,
who inflicted considerably more damage than she received.

The fight would have gone on longer if a gentleman had not come up, and
spoken authoritatively: “What is all this fighting about? Are you not
ashamed to fight with a girl?”

“No, I aint,” said Bob, sullenly. “She took my place, and wouldn’t give
it up.”

“Is that true?” turning to Tom.

“I’ve got as much right to it as he,” said Tom. “I’ll give it to him if
I am a gal.”

“Don’t you know it is wrong to fight?” asked the gentleman, this time
addressing Tom.

“No, I don’t,” said Tom. “Wouldn’t you fight if a feller pitched into

This was rather an embarrassing question, but the gentleman said, “It
would be better to go away than to get into a fight.”

“He fit me.”

“It is bad enough for boys to fight, but it is worse for girls.”

“Don’t see it,” said Tom.

Had Tom been in a higher social position, it might have been suggested
to her that to fight was not ladylike; but there was such an incongruity
between Tom’s appearance and anything lady-like, that such an appeal
would have been out of place. The fact is, Tom claimed no immunity or
privilege on the score of sex, but regarded herself, to all intents and
purposes, as a boy, and strongly wished that she were one.

The gentleman looked at her, rather puzzled, and walked away, satisfied
with having stopped the fight.

Bob did not seem inclined to renew hostilities, but crossed the street,
and took his stand there. Tom, by right of conquest, held her place
until she had sold out her whole stock of papers.

                               CHAPTER VI
                        AN UNFASHIONABLE HOTEL.

Tom found at the end of the afternoon that her capital had increased
from twenty-five to fifty cents.

“Granny won’t get none of this,” she soliloquized, complacently. “It’s
all mine.”

Sitting on a doorstep she counted over the money with an entirely
different feeling from what she had experienced when it was to be
transferred to granny. Now it was all her own, and, though but fifty
cents, it made her feel rich.

“What shall I do with it?” thought Tom.

She had a square meal in the middle of the day; but several hours had
passed since then, and she felt hungry again; Tom did not see any
necessity for remaining hungry, with fifty cents in her possession. She
made her way, therefore, to another eating-house, where the prices were
the same with those at the one before mentioned, and partook of another
square meal, leaving out the pie. This reduced her capital to thirty
cents. She felt that she ought to save this, to start in business upon
in the morning. As a street-sweeper she required no capital except her
broom; but though Tom was not troubled with pride, she preferred to sell
papers, or take up some other street vocation. Besides, she knew that as
a street-sweeper on Broadway, she would be more likely to be discovered
by the old woman whom she was now anxious to avoid.

After eating supper Tom went out into the streets, not knowing exactly
how to spend her time. Usually, she had gone down into the court, or the
street, and played with the children of her own and neighboring tenement
houses. But now she did not care to venture back into the old locality.

So she strolled about the streets aimlessly, until she felt sleepy, and
began to consider whereabouts to bestow herself for the night. She might
have gone to the “Girls’ Lodging House,” if she had known of such an
institution; but she had never heard of it. Chance brought her to a
basement, on which was the sign,—

                         “LODGINGS—FIVE CENTS.”

This attracted Tom’s attention. If it had not been a cold night, she
would have been willing to sleep out, which would have been cheaper; but
it was a damp and chilly evening, and her dress was thin.

“Five cents won’t bust me!” thought Tom. “I’ll go in.”

She went down some steps, and opened a door into a room very
low-studded, and very dirty.

A stout woman, in a dirty calico loose-gown, was sitting in a chair,
with a fat, unhealthy-looking baby in her lap.

“What you want, little gal?” she asked.

“Where’s your lodgin’?” asked Tom.

“In back,” answered the woman, pointing to an inner room, partially
revealed through a half-open door. It was dark, having no windows, and
dirtier, if possible, than the front room. The floor was covered with
straw, for beds and bedsteads were looked upon as unnecessary luxuries
in this economical lodging-house.

“Is that the place?” asked Tom.

“Yes. Do you want to stop here to-night?”

Tom had not been accustomed to first-class hotels, still the
accommodations at granny’s were rather better than this. However, the
young Arab did not mind. She had no doubt she could sleep comfortably on
the straw, and intimated her intention of stopping.

“Where’s your money?” asked the woman.

The invariable rule in this establishment was payment in advance, and,
perhaps, considering the character of the customers, it was the safest
rule that could be adopted.

Tom took out her money, and counted out five cents into the woman’s
palm. She then put back the remainder in her pocket. If she had been
less sleepy, she might have noticed the woman’s covetous glance, and
been led to doubt the safety of her small fortune. But Tom was sleepy,
and her main idea was to go to bed as soon as possible.

“Lay down anywhere,” said the landlady, dropping the five cents into her

Tom’s preparation for bed did not take long. No undressing was required,
for it was the custom here to sleep with the day’s clothes on. Tom
stowed herself away in a corner, and in five minutes was asleep.

It was but little after eight o’clock, and she was, at present, the only

No sooner did her deep, regular breathing indicate slumber, than the
landlady began to indulge in various suspicious movements. She first put
down her baby, and then taking a lantern,—the only light which could
safely be carried into the lodging-room, on account of the straw upon
the floor,—crept quietly into the inner room.

“She’s fast asleep,” she muttered.

She approached Tom with cautious step. She need not have been afraid to
awaken her. Tom was a good sleeper, and not likely to wake up, unless
roughly awakened, until morning.

Tom was lying on her side, with her face resting on one hand.

The woman stooped down, and began to look for the pocket in which she
kept her money; but it was in that part of her dress upon which she was
lying. This embarrassed the woman somewhat, but an idea occurred to her.
She took up a straw, and, bending over, gently tickled Tom’s ear. Tom
shook her head, as a cat would under similar circumstances, and on its
being repeated turned over, muttering, “Don’t, granny!”

This was what her dishonest landlady wanted. She thrust her hand into
Tom’s pocket, and drew out the poor girl’s entire worldly treasure. Tom,
unconscious of the robbery, slept on; and the woman went back to the
front room to wait for more lodgers. They began to come in about ten,
and by twelve the room was full. It was a motley collection, and would
have been a curious, though sad study, to any humane observer. They were
most of them in the last stages of ill-fortune, yet among them was more
than one who had once filled a respectable position in society. Here was
a man of thirty-five, who ten years before had filled a good place, with
a fair salary, in a city bank. But in an evil hour he helped himself to
some of the funds of the bank. He lost his situation, and, though he
escaped imprisonment, found his prospects blasted. So he had gone down
hill, until at length he found himself reduced to such a lodging-house
as this, fortunate if he could command the small sum needful to keep him
from a night in the streets.


Next him was stretched a man who was deserving still more pity, since
his misfortunes sprang rather from a want of judgment than from his own
fault. He was a scholar, with a fair knowledge of Latin and Greek, and
some ability as a writer. He was an Englishman who had come to the city
in the hope of making his acquisitions available, but had met with very
poor encouragement. He found that both among teachers and writers the
demand exceeded the supply, at least for those of moderate
qualifications; and, having no influential friends, had sought for
employment almost in vain. His small stock of money dwindled, his suit
became shabby, until he found himself, to his deep mortification and
disgust, compelled to resort to such lodging-houses as this, where he
was obliged to herd with the lowest and most abandoned class.

Next to him lay a mechanic, once in profitable employment. But drink had
been his ruin; and now he was a vagabond, spending the little money he
earned, at rum-shops, except what was absolutely necessary for food.

There is no need of cataloguing the remainder of Meg Morely’s lodgers.
Her low rates generally secured her a room-full, and a dozen, sometimes
more, were usually packed away on the floor. On the whole she found it a
paying business, though her charges were low. Sixty cents a day was
quite a respectable addition to her income, and she had occupied the
same place for two years already. Tom’s experience will show that she
had other, and not quite so lawful, ways of swelling her receipts, but
she was cautious not to put them in practice, unless she considered it
prudent, as in the present instance.

It was seven o’clock when Tom awoke. She looked around her in
bewilderment, thinking at first she must be in granny’s room. But a
glance at the prostrate forms around her brought back the events of the
day before, and gave her a realizing sense of her present situation.

“I’ve had a good sleep,” said Tom to herself, stretching, by way of
relief from her constrained position. “I guess it’s time to get up.”

She rubbed her eyes, and shook back her hair, and then rising, went into
the front room. Her landlady was already up and getting breakfast.

“What time is it?” asked Tom.

“It’s just gone seven,” said Meg, looking sharply at Tom to see if she
had discovered the loss of her money. “How did you sleep?”


“Come ag’in.”

“All right!” said Tom. “Maybe I will.”

She climbed up the basement stairs to the street above, and began to
think of what the day had in store for her. Her prospects were not
brilliant certainly; but Tom on the whole felt in good spirits. She had
thrown off the yoke of slavery. She was her own mistress now, and
granny’s power was broken. Tom felt that she could get along somehow.
She had confidence in herself, and was sure something would turn up for

“Now, what’ll I do first?” thought Tom.

With twenty-five cents in her pocket, and a good appetite, breakfast
naturally suggested itself.

She dove her hand into her pocket, but the face of the little Arab
almost instantly expressed deep dismay.

Her money was gone!

                              CHAPTER VII.
                          TOM MAKES A FRIEND.

Twenty-five cents is not a large sum, but it was Tom’s entire fortune.
It was all she had, not only to buy breakfast with, but also to start in
business. She had an excellent appetite, but now there was no hope of
satisfying it until she could earn some more money.

Tom hurried back to the lodging, and entered, looking excited.

“Well, what’s wanted?” asked Meg, who knew well enough without asking.

“I’ve lost some money.”

“Suppose you did,” said the woman, defiantly, “you don’t mean to say I
took it.”

“No,” said Tom, “but I had it when I laid down.”

“Where was it?”

“In my pocket.”

“Might have tumbled out among the straw,” suggested Meg.

This struck Tom as not improbable, and she went back into the bedroom,
and, getting down on her hands and knees, commenced poking about for it.
But even if it had been there, any of my readers who has ever lost money
in this way knows that it is very difficult to find under such

Tom persevered in her search until her next-door neighbor growled out
that he wished she would clear out. At length she was obliged to give it

“Have you found it?” asked Meg.

“No,” said Tom, soberly.

“How much was it?”

“Twenty-five cents.”

“That aint much.”

“It’s enough to bust me. I don’t believe it’s in the straw.”

“What do you believe?” demanded Meg, whose guilty conscience made her
scent an accusation.

“I think some of them took it while I was asleep,” said Tom, indicating
the other lodgers by a jerk of her finger.

“Likely they did,” said Meg, glad to have suspicion diverted elsewhere.

“I wish I knew,” said Tom.

“What’ud you do?”

“I’d get it back again,” said Tom, her black eyes snapping with

“No, you wouldn’t. You’re nothin’ but a babby. You couldn’t do nothin’!”

“Couldn’t I?” returned Tom. “I’d let ’em know whether I was a baby.”

“Well, you go along now,” said Meg. “Your money’s gone, and you can’t
get it back. Next time give it to me to keep, and it’ll be safe.”

Being penniless, Tom was in considerable uncertainty when she would
again be mistress of so large a sum. At present she felt in no
particular dread of being robbed. She left the lodgings, realizing that
the money was indeed gone beyond hope of recovery.

There is some comfort in beginning the day with a good breakfast. It
warms one up, and inspires hope and confidence. As a general rule people
are good-natured and cheerful after a hearty breakfast. For ten cents
Tom might have got a cup of coffee, or what passed for such, and a plate
of tea-biscuit. With the other fifteen she could have bought a few
morning papers, and easily earned enough to pay for a square meal in the
middle of the day. Now she must go to work without capital, and on an
empty stomach, which was rather discouraging. She would have fared
better than this at granny’s, though not much, her breakfast there
usually consisting of a piece of stale bread, with perhaps a fragment of
cold sausage. Coffee, granny never indulged in, believing whiskey to be
more healthful. Occasionally, in moments of extreme good nature, she had
given Tom a sip of whiskey; but the young Arab had never got to like it,
fortunately for herself, though she had accepted it as a variation of
her usual beverage, cold water.

In considering what she should do for the day, Tom decided to go to some
of the railway stations or steamboat landings, and try to get a chance
to carry a carpet-bag. “Baggage-smashing” required no capital, and this
was available in her present circumstances.

Tom made her way to the pier where the steamers of the Fall River line
arrive. Ordinarily it would have been too late, but it had been a windy
night, the sound was rough, and the steamer was late, so that Tom
arrived just in the nick of time.

Tom took her place among the hackmen, and the men and boys who, like
her, were bent on turning an honest penny by carrying baggage.

“Clear out of the way here, little gal!” said a stout, overgrown boy.
“Smash your baggage, sir?”

“Clear out yourself!” said Tom, boldly. “I’ve got as much right here as

Her little, sharp eyes darted this way and that in search of a possible
customer. The boy who had been rude to her got a job, and this gave Tom
a better chance. She offered her services to a lady, who stared at her
with curiosity and returned no answer. Tom began to think she should not
get a job. There seemed a popular sentiment in favor of employing boys,
and Tom, like others of her sex, found herself shut out from an
employment for which she considered herself fitted. But, at length, she
saw approaching a big, burly six-footer, with a good-natured face. There
was something about him which inspired Tom with confidence, and,
pressing forward, she said, “Carry your bag, sir?”

He stopped short and looked down at the queer figure of our heroine.
Then, glancing at his carpet-bag, which was of unusual size and weight,
the idea of his walking through the streets with Tom bending beneath the
weight of his baggage, struck him in so ludicrous a manner that he burst
into a hearty laugh.

“What’s up?” demanded Tom, suspiciously. “Who are you laughin’ at?”

“So you want to carry my carpet-bag?” he asked, laughing again.

“Yes,” said Tom.

“Why, I could put you in it,” said the tall man, his eyes twinkling with

“No, you couldn’t,” said Tom.

“Do you think you could carry it?”

“Let me try.”

He set it down, and Tom lifted it from the ground; but it was obviously
too much for her strength.

“You see you can’t do it. Have you found anything to do this morning?”

“No,” said Tom.

“Business isn’t good, hey?”

“No,” said Tom, “but I wouldn’t mind so much if I hadn’t had my money
stole. I’m bust!”

“How’s that? Did the bank break or have you been speculating?”

“Oh, you’re gasin’! I aint got nothing to do with banks. Somebody stole
two shillin’s I had, so I’ve had no breakfast.”

“Come, that’s bad. I guess I must give you a job, after all. You can’t
carry my bag, but you can carry this.”

He had under his arm something wrapped in a paper, making a small
bundle. He handed it to Tom, and she trudged along with it after him.

“You couldn’t guess what that is, I suppose?” said her companion,

“No,” said Tom; “it feels soft.”

“It’s a large wax doll, for my little niece,” said her patron. “You
haven’t got any dolls, I suppose?”

“I had one once,” said Tom. “It was made of rags. But granny threw it
into the fire.”

“I suppose you were sorry.”

“I was then; but I’m too old for dolls now.”

“How old are you?”

“I aint sure. Somewheres about twelve.”

“You live with your granny, then?”

“No, I don’t,—not now.”

“Why not?”

“She wanted to lick me, so I run away.”

“Then where do you live now?”


“You have no home?”

“I don’t want no home. I can take care of myself,” said Tom, briskly.

“I see you are an independent, young woman. Now, if you were a boy, I’d
give you a chance on board my ship.”

“Have you got a ship?” asked Tom, becoming interested.

“Yes, I am a sea-captain, and go on long voyages. If you wasn’t a girl,
I’d take you along with me as cabin-boy.”

“I wish you would,” said Tom, eagerly.

“But you are a girl, you know? You couldn’t climb a mast.”

“Try me,” said Tom. “I’m strong. I fit with a boy yesterday, and licked

Captain Barnes laughed, but shook his head.

“I see you’re spunky, if you are a girl,” he said. “But I never heard of
a girl being cabin-boy, and I don’t think it would do.”

“I’d put on a boy’s clothes,” suggested Tom.

“You’ve begun to do it already,” said the captain, glancing at the cap
and jacket. “I didn’t know at first but you were a boy. What makes you
wear a cap?”

“Granny gave it to me. I like it better than a bonnet.”

They had by this time reached Broadway.

“You may steer across the Park to French’s Hotel,” said the sailor.
“It’s too late to get breakfast at my sister’s.”

“All right,” said Tom.

They crossed the Park, and the street beyond, and reached the door of
the brick hotel on the corner of Frankfort Street.

“I’ll go down into the restaurant first,” said Captain Barnes. “I feel
like laying in a cargo before navigating any farther.”

“Here’s your bundle,” said Tom.

He took it, and handed Tom twenty-five cents, which she received with
gratification, not having expected so much for carrying so small a

“Stay a moment,” said the sailor, as she was about to go away. “You
haven’t had any breakfast, I think you said.”


“Then you shall come in, and breakfast with me.”

This invitation astonished Tom not a little. It was the first invitation
she had ever received to breakfast with a gentleman. French’s restaurant
being higher priced than those which her class were in the habit of
patronizing, she entered with some hesitation, not feeling quite sure
how her entrance would be regarded by the waiters. She was not generally
wanting in self-possession, but as she descended the stairs and entered
the room, she felt awkward and out of her element.

                             CHAPTER VIII.
                           AT FRENCH’S HOTEL.

“Clear out of here!” said a waiter, arresting Tom’s progress, and
pointing to the steps by which she had descended from the sidewalk.

If Tom had been alone, she would have felt bound to obey the summons;
but being under the protection of Captain Barnes, who, she reflected,
looked a good deal stronger than the waiter, she stood her ground.

“Did you hear what I said?” demanded the waiter angrily, about to take
Tom by the shoulder.

“Avast there!” put in the captain, who thought it time to interfere; “is
that the way you treat your customers?”

“She aint no customer.”

“She is going to take breakfast here, my friend, and I should like to
know what you have got to say about it.”

The waiter seemed taken aback by this unexpected championship of one
whom he had supposed to be an unprotected street girl.

“I didn’t know she was with you,” he stammered.

“Well, you know it now. Come, child, you can sit down here.”

Tom enjoyed her triumph over the waiter, and showed it in a
characteristic manner, by putting her thumb to her nose.

Captain Barnes sat down on one side of a table at one of the windows,
and motioned Tom to sit opposite.

“I don’t think you told me your name,” he said.


“Then, Tom, let me suggest that you take off your cap. It’s usual in the
best society.”

“I never was there,” said Tom; but she removed her cap. This revealed a
mop of hair, tangled it is true, but of a beautiful brown shade. Her
black eyes sparkled from beneath, giving a bright, keen look to her
face, browned by exposure to all weathers. I regret to say that the face
was by no means clean. If it had been, and the whole expression had not
been so wild and untamed, Tom would certainly have been considered
pretty. As it was, probably no one would have wasted a second glance
upon the little street girl.

“What will you have, sir, you and the young _lady_?” asked the waiter,
emphasizing the last word, with a grin at Tom.

“What will you have, Tom?” asked the captain.

“Beefsteak, cup o’ coffee, and bread-and-butter,” said Tom, glibly.

Her knowledge of dishes was limited; but she had tried these and liked
them, and this guided her in the selection.

“Very good,” said Captain Barnes; “the same for me, with fried potatoes
and an omelet.”

Tom stared at this munificent order. She fixed her black eyes
meditatively upon her entertainer, and wondered whether he always
indulged in such a superlatively square meal.

“What are you thinking about, Tom?” questioned the captain.

“You must be awful rich,” said Tom.

Captain Barnes laughed.

“What makes you think so?”

“It’ll cost you a lot for breakfast.”

“But you know I don’t always have company to breakfast.”

“Do you call me company?”

“Of course I do.”

“I shouldn’t think you’d want to have me eat with you.”

“Why not?”

“You’re a gentleman.”

“And you’re a young lady. Didn’t you hear the waiter call you so?”

“He was chaffin’.”

“You may be a lady some time.”

“’Taint likely,” said Tom.

“Why not?”

“I haven’t got no good clothes to wear, nor don’t know nothin’.”

“Can you read?”

“A little, but I don’t like to. It’s too hard work.”

“Makes your head ache, eh?”

“Yes,” said Tom, seriously.

Captain Barnes looked attentively at the odd little creature opposite
him. He wondered what would be her fate. She was quick, sharp, pretty,
but withal an untamed Arab of the streets. The chances seemed very much
against her in the warfare of life. Society seemed leagued against her,
and she was likely to be at war with it.

“I’ll make an effort to save her,” he thought. But of this he did not
speak to Tom at present, more especially as the waiter was seen
advancing with the breakfast ordered.

He deposited the various dishes, some before Tom, and the remainder
before the captain.

Tom was not used to restaurants of the better class, and did not see the
necessity of an empty plate in addition to the dish which contained the
meat. Such ceremony was not in vogue at the ten-cent restaurants which
she had hitherto patronized. She fixed her eyes eagerly upon the
beefsteak, which emitted a very savory odor.

“Pass your plate, Tom, and I will give you some meat.”

Tom passed her plate, nothing loath, and the captain transferred to it a
liberal supply of meat.

Tom waited for no ceremony, but, seizing her knife, attacked the meat

“How is it?” asked her companion, amused.

“Bully!” said Tom, too busy to raise her eyes from her plate.

“Let me help you to a little of the omelet.”

Tom extended her plate, and a portion of the omelet was placed upon it.

Tom raised a little to her lips, cautiously, for it was a new dish to
her, and she did not know whether she would like it. It seemed to be
satisfactory, however, none being left upon her plate when she had
finished eating.

Not much conversation went on during the meal. Tom’s entire energies
were given to disposing of the squarest meal in which she had ever
indulged, and the captain’s attention was divided between his breakfast
and the young waif upon whom he was bestowing perfect bliss.

At length Tom’s efforts relaxed. She laid down her knife and fork, and
heaved a sigh of exquisite enjoyment.

“Well,” said the captain, “would you like some more?”

“No,” said Tom, “I’m full.”

“Did you enjoy your breakfast?”

“Didn’t I, just?” and Tom’s tone spoke volumes.

“I’m glad of that. I think it’s very good myself.”

“You’re a brick!” said Tom, in a tone of grateful acknowledgment.

“Thank you,” said Captain Barnes, his eyes twinkling a little; “I try to

“I wonder what granny would say if she knowed where I was,” soliloquized
Tom, aloud.

“She’d be glad you had enjoyed your breakfast.”

“No, she wouldn’t. She’d be mad.”

“You don’t give your grandmother a very good character. Doesn’t she like

“No; she hates me, and I hate her. She takes all my money, and then
licks me.”

“That’s unpleasant, to be sure. Then you don’t want to go back to her?”

“Not for Joe!” said Tom, shaking her head very decidedly.

“Then you expect to take care of yourself? Do you think you can?”

Tom nodded confidently.

“What are you going to do this morning, for instance?”

“Buy some papers with the money you give me.”

“What a self-reliant spirit the little chit has!” thought Captain
Barnes. “I’ve known plenty of young men, who had less faith in their
ability to cope with the world, and gain a livelihood, than she. Yet she
has next to no clothes, and her entire capital consists of twenty-five
cents. There is a lesson for the timid and despondent in her

Tom had no idea of what was passing in the mind of her companion. If she
had been able to read his thoughts, it is not likely she would have
understood them. Her own thoughts had become practical. She had had a
good breakfast,—thanks to the kindness of her new friend,—but for dinner
she must depend upon herself. She felt that it was quite time to enter
upon the business of the day.

She put on her cap and rose to her feet.

“I’m goin’,” she said, abruptly.

“Where are you going?”

“To buy some papers. Thank you for my breakfast.”

It was probably the first time Tom ever thanked anybody for anything. I
am not quite sure whether anybody before this had given her any cause
for gratitude. Certainly, not granny, who had bestowed far less than she
had received from the child, upon whom she had not been ashamed to be a
selfish dependent. There was something, possibly, in her present
companionship with a kind-hearted gentleman, something, perhaps, in her
present more respectable surroundings, which had taught Tom this first
lesson in good manners. She was almost surprised herself at the
expression of gratitude to which she had given utterance.

“Stop a minute, Tom!” said the captain.

Tom had got half way to the door, but she stopped short on being called

“You haven’t asked me whether I have got through with you.”

Tom looked surprised. She knew of no further service in which she could
make herself useful to her companion.

“Haven’t you got through with me?” she asked.

“Not quite. I’m not going to stop here, you know,—I am going to my

“Where does she live?”

“In Sixteenth Street.”

“Do you want me to carry your carpet-bag?” asked Tom.

“Well, no; I think you couldn’t manage that. But you can carry the

“All right!” said Tom.

It was all one to her whether she sold papers, or carried bundles. The
main thing was to earn the small amount of money necessary to defray her
daily expenses. Of the two she would rather go up to Sixteenth Street;
for as she had seldom found occasion to go up town, the expedition
promised a little novelty.

Captain Barnes paid his bill, and left the restaurant, with Tom at his

                              CHAPTER IX.
                              MRS. MERTON.

“We’ll go across Broadway, and take the Sixth Avenue cars, Tom,” said
the captain.

“Are we goin’ to ride?” asked Tom, surprised.

“Yes, you don’t catch me lugging this heavy carpet-bag up to Sixteenth

Tom was rather surprised at this. She did not understand why her
services were required to carry the bundle if they were going to ride.
However, she very sensibly remained silent, not feeling called upon to
comment on her employer’s arrangements.

At this time in the day there was no difficulty in obtaining a seat in
the cars. Tom, however, was not disposed to sit down quietly:—

“I’ll stand outside,” she said.

“Very well,” said Captain Barnes, and he drew out a copy of a morning
paper which he had purchased on leaving the hotel.

Tom took her position beside the driver. She rather enjoyed the ride,
for, though she had lived in the city for years, she had seldom been on
the car as a passenger, though she had frequently stolen a ride on the
steps of a Broadway omnibus.

“Well, Johnny, are you going up town to look after your family?” asked
the driver, good-naturedly.

“I’d have to look a long time before I found ’em,” said Tom.

“Haven’t you got any relations, then?”

“There’s an old woman that calls herself my granny.”

“Does she live up on Fifth Avenue?”

“Yes,” said Tom; “next door to you.”

“You’ve got me there,” said the driver, laughing. “Give my respects to
your granny, and tell her she’s got a smart grand-daughter.”

“I will, when I see her.”

“Don’t you live with her?”

“Not now. She aint my style.”

Here the conductor tapped Tom on the shoulder.

“_He_ pays for me,” said Tom, pointing back at Captain Barnes.

“I suppose he’s your grandfather,” said the driver, jocosely.

“I wish he was. He’s a trump. He gave me a stunnin’ breakfast.”

“So you like him better than your granny?”

“You can bet on that.”

Captain Barnes, sitting near the door, heard a part of this
conversation, and it amused him.

“I wonder,” he thought, “whether my sister will be willing to assume
charge of this wild little girl? There’s enough in her to make a very
smart woman, if she is placed under the right influences and properly
trained. But I suspect that will require not a little patience and tact.
Well, we shall see.”

After a while the car reached Sixteenth Street, and the captain left it,
with Tom following him. They turned down Sixteenth Street from the
avenue, and finally stopped before a fair-looking brick house. Captain
Barnes went up the steps, and rang the bell.

“Is Mrs. Merton at home?” he asked.

“Yes,” said the servant, looking hard at Tom.

“Then I’ll come in. Tell her her brother wishes to see her. Come in,

Tom followed the captain, the servant continuing to eye her
suspiciously. They entered the parlor, where Captain Barnes took a seat
on the sofa, motioning Tom to sit beside him. Tom obeyed, surveying the
sofa with some curiosity. The families in the tenement house with whom
she had been on visiting terms did not in general possess sofas. She had
sometimes seen them in furniture stores, but this was the first time she
had sat upon one.

“What are you thinking of, Tom?” asked the captain, desiring to draw her

“Does your sister live here?”


“She’s rich, isn’t she?”

“No, she makes a living by keeping boarders. Perhaps you’d like to board
with her.”

Tom laughed.

“She don’t take the likes of me,” she said.

“Suppose you were rich enough, wouldn’t you like to board here?”

“I don’t know,” said Tom, looking round. “It’s dark.”

“All the rooms are not dark. Besides, you’d get three square meals every

“I’d like that,” said Tom, seriously.

Their further conversation was interrupted by the entrance of the
captain’s sister, Mrs. Merton. She was rather a stout woman, but there
was an expression of care on her face, which was not surprising, for it
is no light thing to keep a New York boarding-house.

“When did you arrive in the city, Albert?” she asked, giving him her
hand cordially.

“Only just arrived, Martha. How does the world use you?”

“I can’t complain, though it’s a wearing thing looking after a household
like this. Have you had any breakfast?”

“I took some down town.”

Just then Mrs. Merton’s eye fell for the first time upon Tom. She
started in surprise, and looked doubtfully at her brother.

“Who is this?” she asked. “Did she come with you?”

“It’s a young friend of mine. She met me at the wharf, and wanted to
carry my carpet-bag.”

“You didn’t let her do it?”

“Bless you, no. It’s big enough to pack her away in. But I employed her
to carry a bundle. Didn’t I, Tom?”

“What did you call her?” asked his sister.

“Tom. That’s her name, so she says.”

“What made you bring her here?” asked Mrs. Merton, who evidently
regarded her brother’s conduct as very queer.

“I’ll tell you, but not before her. Tom, you can go out into the entry,
and shut the door behind you. I’ll call you in a few minutes.”

Tom went out, and Captain Barnes returned to the subject.

“She’s got no relations except an intemperate old grandmother,” he said.
“I’ve taken a fancy to her, and want to help her along. Can’t you find a
place for her in your kitchen?”

“I take a girl from the street!” ejaculated Mrs. Merton. “Albert, you
must be crazy.”

“Not at all. I am sure you can find something for her to do,—cleaning
knives, running of errands, going to market, or something of that kind.”

“This is a very strange proposal.”

“Why is it? At present she lives in the street, being driven from the
only home she had, by the ill-treatment of a vicious grandmother. You
can see what chance she has of growing up respectably.”

“But there are plenty such. I don’t see that it’s our business to look
after them.”

“I don’t know why it is, but I’ve taken a fancy to this little girl.”

“She looks perfectly wild.”

“I won’t deny that she is rather uncivilized, but there’s a good deal in
her. She’s as smart as a steel trap.”

“Smart enough to steal, probably.”

“Perhaps so, under temptation. I want to remove the temptation.”

“This is a very strange freak on your part, Albert.”

“I don’t know about that. You know I have no child of my own, and am
well off, so far as this world’s goods are concerned. I have long
thought I should like to train up a child in whom I could take an
interest, and who would be a comfort to me when I am older.”

“You can find plenty of attractive children without going into the
street for them.”

“I don’t want a tame child. She wouldn’t interest me. This girl has
spirit. I’ll tell you what I want you to do, Martha. I’m going off on a
year’s voyage. Take her into your house, make her as useful as you can,
civilize her, and I will allow you a fair price for her board.”

“Do you want her to go to school?”

“After a while. At present she needs to be civilized. She is a young
street Arab with very elementary ideas as to the way in which people
live. She needs an apprenticeship in some house like this. My little
niece must be about her age.”

“Mary? How can I trust her to the companionship of such a girl?”

“Tom isn’t bad. She is only untrained. She will learn more than she will
teach at first. Afterwards Mary may learn something of her.”

“I am sure I don’t know what to say,” said Mrs. Merton, irresolutely.

Here the captain named the terms he was willing to pay for Tom’s board.
This was a consideration to Mrs. Merton, who found that she had to
calculate pretty closely to make keeping boarders pay.

“I’ll try her,” she said.

“Thank you, Martha. You can let her go into the kitchen at first, till
she is fit to be promoted.”

“She must have some clothes. She had on a boy’s jacket.”

“Yes, and cap. In fact she is more of a boy than a girl at present.”

“I am not sure but some of Mary’s old dresses may fit her. Mary must be
a little larger than she is.”

“That reminds me I brought a doll for Fanny. She has not grown too large
for dolls yet.”

“No, she is just the age to enjoy them. She will be delighted.”

“I think we may call in Tom now, and inform her of our intention.”

“She must have another name. It won’t do to call a girl Tom.”

“She said her name used to be Jenny, but she has been nicknamed Tom.”

The door was opened, and Captain Barnes called in Tom.

“Come in, Tom,” he said.

“All right!” said Tom. “I’m on hand!”

“We’ve been talking about you, Tom,” pursued the captain.

“What have you been sayin’?” asked Tom, suspiciously.

“I’ve been telling my sister that you had no home, and were obliged to
earn your own living in the streets.”

“I don’t care much,” said Tom. “I’d rather do that than live with
granny, and get licked.”

“But wouldn’t you like better to have a nice home, where you would have
plenty to eat, and a good bed to sleep in?”

“Maybe I would.”

“I’ve been asking my sister to let you stay here with her. Would you
like that?”

Tom regarded Mrs. Merton attentively. The face was careworn, but very
different from granny’s. On the whole, it inspired her with some degree
of confidence.

“If she wouldn’t lick me very often,” she said.

“How about that, Martha?” he asked.

“I think I can promise that,” said Mrs. Merton, amused in spite of

“Of course you will have to work. My sister will find something for you
to do.”

“I aint afraid of work,” said Tom, “if I only get enough to eat, and
aint licked.”

“You see, Tom, I feel an interest in you.”

“You’re a brick!” said Tom, gratefully.

“Little girl,” said Mrs. Merton, shocked, “you mustn’t use such language
in addressing my brother.”

“Never mind, Martha; she means it as a compliment.”

“A compliment to call you a brick!”

“Certainly. But now about clothes. Can’t you rig her out with something
that will make her presentable?”

“She needs a good washing first,” said Mrs. Merton, surveying Tom’s
dirty face and hands with disfavor.

“A very good suggestion. You won’t mind being washed, I suppose, Tom?”

“I’d just as lives,” said Tom.

In fact she was quite indifferent on the subject. She was used to being
dirty, but if she could oblige her new protector by washing, she was
quite willing.

“I’ve got to go out for an hour or two,” said Captain Barnes, “but I
will leave my carpet-bag here, and come back to lunch.”

“Of course, Albert. When do you sail?”

“In three days at farthest.”

“Of course you will remain here up to the day of sailing.”

“Yes, if you can find a spare corner to stow me in.”

“It would be odd if I couldn’t find room for my only brother.”

“So be it, then. You may expect me.”

He rose and taking his hat left the house. Tom and Mrs. Merton were now

                               CHAPTER X.
                         TOM DROPS HER TATTERS.

“Now, what is your name, little girl?” asked Mrs. Merton, surveying Tom
doubtfully, half sorry that she had undertaken the care of her.


“That’s a boy’s name.”

“Everybody calls me Tom,—sometimes Tattered Tom.”

“There’s some reason about the first name,” thought Mrs. Merton, as her
glance rested on the ragged skirt and well-ventilated jacket of her
brother’s protegée.

“As you are a girl, it is not proper that you should have a boy’s name.
What is your real name?”

“I think it’s Jenny. Granny used to call me so long ago, but I like Tom

“Then I shall call you Jenny. Now, Jenny, the first thing to do, is to
wash yourself clean. Follow me.”

Mrs. Merton went up the front stairs, and Tom followed, using her eyes
to good advantage as she advanced.

The landlady led the way into a bath-room. She set the water to running,
and bade Tom undress.

“Am I to get into the tub?” asked Tom.

“Yes, certainly. While you are undressing, I will try and find some
clothes that will fit you.”

Though she did not at first fancy the idea of bathing, Tom grew to like
it, and submitted with a good grace. Mrs. Merton took care that it
should be thorough. After it, she dressed Tom in some clothes, still
very good, which had been laid aside by her daughter Mary. Then she
combed Tom’s tangled locks, and was astonished by the improvement it
made in the appearance of the little waif.

I have already said that Tom had elements of beauty, but it took sharp
eyes to detect them under the rags and dirt which had so effectually
disguised her. She had very brilliant dark eyes, and a clear olive
complexion, with cheeks that had a tinge of red instead of the pallor
usually to be found in those children who have the misfortune to be
reared in a tenement house. In her new clothes she looked positively
handsome, as Mrs. Merton thought, though she did not see fit to say so
to Tom herself.

When her toilet was concluded she turned Tom to the glass, and said,
“There, Jenny, do you know who that is?”

Tom stared in open-eyed wonder at the image which she saw. She could
hardly believe the testimony of her eyes.

“Is that me?” she asked.

“I believe so,” said Mrs. Merton, smiling.

“It don’t look like me a bit,” continued Tom.

“It doesn’t look like ‘Tattered Tom,’ certainly. Don’t you like it

“I dunno,” said Tom, doubtfully. “It looks too much like a girl.”

“But you are a girl, you know.”

“I wish I wasn’t.”


“Boys have more fun; besides, they are stronger, and can fight better.”

“But you don’t want to fight?” said Mrs. Merton, scandalized.

“I licked a boy yesterday,” said Tom, proudly.

“Why did you do that?”

“He sassed me, and I licked him. He was bigger’n I was, too!”

“I can’t allow you to fight in future, Jenny,” said Mrs. Merton. “It
isn’t at all proper for girls, or indeed for boys, to fight; but it is
worse for girls.”

“Why is it?” asked Tom.

“Because girls should be gentle and lady-like.”

“If you was a girl, and a boy should slap you in the face, what would
you do?” asked Tom, fixing her bright eyes upon her mentor.

“I should forgive him, and hope he would become a better boy.”

“I wouldn’t,” said Tom. “I’d give him Hail Columby.”

“You’ve got some very wrong ideas, Jenny,” said Mrs. Merton. “I fear
that your grandmother has not brought you up properly.”

“She did not bring me up at all. I brought myself up. As for granny, she
didn’t care as long as I brought her money to buy whiskey.”

Mrs. Merton shook her head. It was very evident to her that Tom had been
under very bad influences.

“I hope you will see the error of your ways after a while, Jenny. My
brother takes an interest in you, and for his sake I hope you will try
to improve.”

“If he wants me to, I will,” said Tom, decidedly.

Arab as she was, she had been impressed by the kindness of Captain
Barnes, and felt that she should like to please him. Still, there was a
fascination in the wild independence of her street life which was likely
for some time to interfere with her enjoyment of the usages of a more
civilized state. There was little prospect of her taming down into an
average girl all at once. The change must come slowly.

“My brother will be very much pleased if he finds that you have improved
when he returns from his voyage.”

“When is he goin’ to sea?”

“In two or three days.”

“I asked him to take me with him,” said Tom; “but he wouldn’t.”

“You would only be in the way on a ship, Jenny.”

“No, I shouldn’t. I could be a cabin-boy.”

“But you are not a boy.”

“I could climb the masts as well as a boy. If there was only a pole
here, I’d show you.”

“What a child you are!”

“Did you ever read about the female pirate captain?” asked Tom.


“Jim Morgan told me all about it. He’d read it in some book. It was a
bully story.”

“Such stories are not fit to read.”

“I’d like to be a pirate captain,” said Tom, thoughtfully.

“You mustn’t talk so, Jenny,” said Mrs. Merton, shocked.

“But I would, though, and carry two pistols and a dagger in my belt, and
then if anybody sassed me I’d give ’em all they wanted.”

“My brother wouldn’t like to hear you talk so, Jenny. I’m sure I don’t
know what has got into you to say such dreadful things.”

“Then I won’t,” said Tom. “I wonder what granny would say if she saw me
in these fixin’s. She wouldn’t know me.”

“When my brother comes, you shall go down and open the door for him, and
see if he knows you.”

“That will be bully.”

“Now I must be thinking what I can find for you to do. You will be
willing to help me?”

“Yes,” said Tom, promptly.

“Do you know how to make beds?”

“I can learn,” said Tom.

“Didn’t your grandmother ever teach you?” asked Mrs. Merton, who, though
for a long time a resident of New York, had a very imperfect knowledge
of how the poorest classes lived.

“Granny never made her bed,” said Tom. “She just gave it a shake, and
tumbled into it.”

“Bless me, how shiftless she must be!” ejaculated Mrs. Merton, in

“Oh, granny don’t mind!” said Tom, carelessly.

“Did you ever sweep?”

“Lots of times. That’s the way I got money to carry to granny.”

“Were you paid for sweeping, then?” asked Mrs. Merton.

“Yes, people that came along would give me money. If they wouldn’t I’d
muddy their boots.”

“What do you mean, child? Where did you sweep?”

“Corner of Broadway and Chambers’ Streets.”

“Oh, you swept the crossing, then.”

“In course I did. If you’ll give me a broom, I’ll go out and sweep front
of your house; but I guess there aint so many people come along here as
in Broadway.”

“I don’t want you to do that,” said Mrs. Merton, hastily. “I want you to
sweep the rooms in the house. Sarah, the chambermaid, will show you how,
and also teach you to make beds.”

“All right,” said Tom. “Bring her on, and I’ll help her.”

“We will defer that till to-morrow. Now you may come down to the kitchen
with me, and I’ll see if I can find anything for you to do there.”

Tom felt ready for any enterprise, and started to follow Mrs. Merton
downstairs, but rather startled the good lady by making a rapid descent
astride the banisters.

“Don’t you do that again, Jenny,” she said reprovingly.

“Why not?” asked Tom. “It’s jolly fun.”

                               CHAPTER XI
                       THE MISTAKES OF A MORNING.

On the way to the kitchen they met Sarah, the chambermaid, going
upstairs to make the beds.

“Sarah,” said Mrs. Merton, “here is a little girl who is going to stay
with me, and help about the house. You may take her upstairs, and show
her how to help you make the beds.”

If Tom had been in her street costume, Sarah would have preferred to
dispense with her assistance, but she looked quite civilized and
respectable now, and she accepted the offer. Tom accompanied her
upstairs to the second floor. The first chamber was that of Mr.
Craven,—a gentleman in business down town. It was of course vacant,

Tom looked about her curiously.

“Now,” said Sarah, “do you know anything about making beds?”

“No,” said Tom.

“Then stand on one side, and I will tell you what to do.”

Tom followed directions pretty well, but, as the task was about
finished, an impish freak seized her, and she caught the pillow and
threw it at Sarah’s head, disarranging that young lady’s hair, and
knocking out a comb.

“What’s that for?” demanded Sarah, angrily.

Tom sat down and laughed boisterously.

“It’s bully fun!” she said. “Throw it at me.”

“I’ll give you a shaking, you young imp,” said Sarah. “You’ve broke my

She picked up the comb, and dashed round the bed after Tom, who, seeing
no other way for escape, sprang upon the bed, where she remained

“Come down from there,” demanded Sarah.

“Let me alone, then!”

“I’ll tell the missis, just as sure as you live!”

“What’ll she do? Will she lick me?”

“You’ll see.”

This would not have checked Tom, but it occurred to her, all at once,
that her freak would be reported to the captain, and might displease

“I’ll stop,” said she. “I was only in fun.”

By this time, Sarah had ascertained that the comb was not broken, after
all, and this made her more inclined to overlook Tom’s offence.

“Now behave decent!” she said.

She gave Tom further directions about the proper way of doing
chamber-work, which Tom followed quite closely, being resolved
apparently to turn over a new leaf. But her reformation was not
thorough. She caught sight of Mr. Craven’s shaving materials, which he
had carelessly left on the bureau, and before Sarah anticipated her
intention, she had seized the brush and spread the lather over her

“What are you doing, you little torment?” asked Sarah.

“I’m goin’ to shave,” said Tom. “It must feel funny.”

“Put that razor down!” said Sarah, approaching.

Tom brandished the razor playfully, in a manner that considerably
startled the chamber-maid, who stopped short in alarm:—

“I’ll go and tell the missis how you cut up,” said she, going to the

This was unnecessary, however, for at this moment Mrs. Merton, desirous
of learning how Tom was getting along, opened the door. She started back
in dismay at the spectacle which greeted her view, and, in a tone
unusually decided for so mild a woman, said, “Jenny, put down that razor
instantly, and wipe the soap from your cheeks. Not so,” she added
hastily, seeing that Tom was about to wipe it off upon her skirt. “Here,
take the towel. Now, what do you mean by such conduct?”

“Wouldn’t _he_ like it?” asked Tom, somewhat abashed.

“Do you mean my brother?”

“Yes, the sailor man.”

“No, he would be very angry.”

“Then I won’t do so again;” and Tom seemed quite decided in her

“What possessed you to touch those things, Jenny?”

“That isn’t all she did, mum,” said Sarah. “She threw the pillow at me,
and almost druv the comb into my head. She’s the craziest creetur’ I
ever sot eyes on.”

“Did you do that?” asked Mrs. Merton.

“Yes,” said Tom. “I told her she might pitch it at me. It’s bully fun.”

“I can’t allow such goings-on,” said Mrs. Merton. “If you do so again, I
must send you back to your grandmother.”

“You don’t know where she lives,” said Tom.

“At any rate I won’t keep you here.”

Tom thought of the three square meals which she would receive daily, and
decided to remain. She continued quiet, therefore, and really helped
Sarah in the remaining rooms. When this task was completed she went
downstairs. At this moment a ring was heard at the door-bell. Thinking
that it might be the captain, Tom answered the summons herself. She
opened the door suddenly, but found herself mistaken.

A young gentleman was the visitor.

“Can I see Mrs. Merton?” he inquired.

“Yes,” said Tom; “come in.”

He stepped into the hall.

“Come right along. I’ll show you where she is.”

She knew that the landlady was in the kitchen, and supposed that this
was the proper place to lead the visitor.

The latter followed Tom as far as the head of the stairs, and then

“Where are you leading me?” he asked.

“She’s down in the kitchen. Come right along.”

“No, I will stay here. You may tell her there is a gentleman wishes to
see her.”

Tom went down, and found the landlady.

“There’s a feller upstairs wants to see you,” she said. “He wouldn’t
come down here. I asked him.”

“Good gracious! You didn’t invite him down into the kitchen?”

“Why not?” said Tom.

“You should have carried him into the parlor.”

“All right!” said Tom. “I’ll know better next time.”

Mrs. Merton smoothed her hair, and went upstairs to greet her visitor,
who proved to be an applicant for board.

Only fifteen minutes later Tom had a chance to improve on her first
mistake. Again the door-bell rang, and again Tom opened the door. A
wrinkled old woman, with a large basket, stood before her.

“I’m a poor widder,” she whined, “with four childer that have nothing to
ate. Can’t you give me a few pennies, and may the blessings of Heaven
rest upon you!”

“Come in,” said Tom.

The old woman stepped into the hall.

“Come right in here,” said Tom, opening the door of the parlor.

The old beggar, not accustomed to being received with so much attention,
paused doubtfully.

“Come in, if you’re comin’,” said Tom, impatiently. “The lady told me to
put everybody in here.”

The old woman followed, and took a seat on the edge of a sofa, placing
her basket on the carpet. Before Tom had a chance to acquaint her
mistress with the fact that a visitor awaited her, the bell rang again.
This time Tom found herself confronted by a fashionably dressed and
imposing-looking lady.

“I wish to see Mrs. Merton,” she said.

“All right!” said Tom. “Just you come in, and I’ll call her.”

The visitor entered, and was ushered also into the parlor. Leaving her
to find a seat for herself, Tom disappeared in pursuit of the landlady.

Mrs. Courtenay did not at first observe the other occupant of the room.
When her eyes rested on the old crone sitting on the sofa, with her
basket, which was partly stored with cold victuals, resting on the
carpet, she started in mingled astonishment and disgust. Her
aristocratic nostrils curved, and, taking a delicate handkerchief, she
tried to shut out the unsavory presence. The old woman saw the action,
and fidgeted nervously, feeling that she ought not to be there. While
the two guests were in this uncomfortable state of feeling, Mrs. Merton,
quite unsuspicious of anything wrong, opened the door.

“Is this Mrs. Merton?” asked Mrs. Courtenay.

“Yes, madam.”

“I called to inquire about a servant who referred me to you,” continued
Mrs. Courtenay, haughtily; “but I didn’t anticipate the company I should
find myself in.”

Following her glance, Mrs. Merton was struck with dismay, as she saw the
second visitor.

“How came you here?” she demanded hastily.

“The little gal brought me. It wasn’t my fault indeed, mum,” whined the
old woman.

“What do you want?”

“I’m a poor widder, mum. If you could be so kind as to give me a few

“I have nothing for you to-day. You can go,” said Mrs. Merton, who was
too provoked to be charitable, as otherwise she might have been. She
pointed to the door, and the applicant for charity hobbled out hastily,
feeling that she was not likely to obtain anything under present

“I must beg your pardon,” said Mrs. Merton, “for the mistake of an
inexperienced child, who has never before waited upon the door; though,
how she could have made such an absurd blunder, I cannot tell.”

Mrs. Courtenay deigned to be appeased, and opened her business. When she
had left the house, Mrs. Merton called Tom.

“Jenny,” she said, “how came you to show that beggar into the parlor?”

“She asked for you,” said Tom, “and you told me to take everybody that
asked for you into the parlor.”

“Never take such a woman as that in.”

“All right!” said Tom.

“That comes of taking a girl in from the street,” thought Mrs. Merton.
“I wish I hadn’t agreed to take her.”

                              CHAPTER XII
                         THE VANQUISHED BULLY.

Notwithstanding Tom’s mistake, she was still intrusted with the duty of
answering the bell. At length, to her satisfaction, she opened the door
to her friend of the morning.

He looked at her in surprise.

“What, is this Tom?” he asked.

“Yes,” she said, enjoying his surprise. “Didn’t you know me?”

“Hardly. Why, you look like a young lady!”

“Do I?” said Tom, hardly knowing whether or not to feel pleased at the
compliment, for she fancied she should prefer to be a boy.

“Yes, you are much improved. And how have you been getting on this

“I’ve been cutting up,” said Tom, shaking her head.

“Not badly, I hope.”

“I’ll tell you what I did;” and Tom in her own way gave an account of
the events related in the previous chapter.

The captain laughed heartily.

“You aint mad?” questioned Tom.

“Did you think I would be?”

“She said so,” said Tom.

“Who is she?”

“Your sister.”

The captain recovered his gravity. He saw that his merriment might
encourage Tom in her pranks, and so increase the difficulties his sister
was likely to find with her.

“No, I am not angry,” he said, “but I want you very much to improve. You
will have a good home here, and I want you to do as well as you can, so
that when I get home from my voyage I may find you very much improved.
Do you think I shall?”

Tom listened attentively.

“What do you want me to do?” she asked.

“To learn, as fast as you can, both about work and study. I shall leave
directions to have you sent to school. Will you like that?”

“I don’t know,” said Tom. “I’m afraid I’ll be bad, and get licked.”

“Then try not to be bad. But you want to know something when you grow
up,—don’t you?”


“Then you will have to go to school and study. Can you read?”

“Not enough to hurt me,” said Tom.

“Then, if you find yourself behind the rest, you must work all the
harder. Will you promise me to do it?”

Tom nodded.

“And will you try to behave well?”

“Yes,” said Tom. “I’ll do it for you. I wouldn’t do it for granny.”

“Then do it for me.”

Here Mrs. Merton appeared on the scene, and Tom was directed to go
downstairs to assist the cook.

“Well, what do you think of her, Martha?”

“She’s a regular trial. I’ll tell you what she did this morning.”

“I know all.”

“Did she tell you?” asked his sister, in surprise.

“Yes, she voluntarily told me that she had been ‘cutting up;’ and, on my
questioning her, confessed how. However, it was partly the result of

“I wish I hadn’t undertaken the charge of her.”

“Don’t be discouraged, Martha. There’s some good in her, and she’s as
smart as a steel trap. She’s promised me to turn over a new leaf, and do
as well as she can.”

“Do you rely upon that?”

“I do. She’s got will and resolution, and I believe she means what she

“I hope it’ll prove so,” said Mrs. Merton, doubtfully.

“I find she knows very little. I should like to have her sent to school
as soon as possible. She can assist you when at home, and I will take
care that you lose nothing by it.”

To this Mrs. Merton was brought to agree, but could not help expressing
her surprise at the interest which her brother took in that child. She
was a good woman, but it was not strange if the thought should come to
her that she had two daughters of her own, having a better claim upon
their uncle’s money than this wild girl whom he had picked up in the
streets. But Captain Barnes showed that he had not forgotten his nieces,
as two handsome dress-patterns, sent in from Stewart’s during the
afternoon, sufficiently evinced.

Tom had not yet met Mrs. Merton’s daughters, both being absent at
school. They returned home about three o’clock. Mary, a girl of about
Tom’s age, had rather pretty, but insipid, features, and was vain of
what she regarded as her beauty. Fanny, who was eight, was more

“Children, can’t you speak to your uncle?” said Mrs. Merton; for the
captain declared himself tired, and did not go out after lunch.

“How do you do, uncle?” said Mary, advancing and offering her hand.

“Why, Mary, you have become quite a young lady,” said her uncle.

Mary simpered and looked pleased.

“And Fanny too. Martha, where is that doll I brought for her?”

The doll was handed to the delighted child.

“I suppose you are too old for dolls, Mary,” said the captain to his
eldest niece.

“I should think so, Uncle Albert,” answered Mary, bridling.

“Then it’s lucky I didn’t bring you one. But I’ve brought you a

Mary looked surprised.

Tom was passing through the hall at the moment, and her guardian called

“Come in, Tom.”

Mary Merton stared at the new-comer, and her quick eyes detected that
the dress in which she appeared was one of her own.

“Why, she’s got on my dress,” she said.

“She is about your size, Mary, so I gave her your dress.”

“Didn’t she have any clothes of her own?”

“Were you unwilling to let her have that dress?” asked her uncle.

Mary pouted, and Captain Barnes said, “Martha, I will put money in your
hands to supply Jenny with a suitable wardrobe. I had intended to give
Mary new articles for all which been appropriated to Tom’s use; but I
have changed my mind.”

“She can have them,” said Mary, regretting her selfishness, from an
equally selfish motive.

“I won’t trouble you,” said her uncle, rather coldly.

Tom had listened attentively to this conversation, turning her bright
eyes from one to the other.

“Come here, Tom, and shake hands with these two little girls.”

“I’ll shake hands with her,” said Tom, indicating Fanny.

“And won’t you shake hands with Mary?”

“I don’t want to.”

“Why not?”

“I don’t like her.”

“Shake hands with her, for my sake.”

Tom instantly extended her hand, but now it was Mary who held back. Her
mother would have forced her to give her hand, but Captain Barnes said,
“It don’t matter. Leave them to become friends in their own time.”

Two days afterwards the captain sailed. Tom renewed her promise to be a
good girl, and he went away hopeful that she would keep it.

“I shall have somebody to come home to, Jenny,” he said. “Will you be
glad to see me back?”

“Yes, I will,” she said; and there was a heartiness in her tone which
showed that she meant what she said.

The next day Tom went to school. She was provided with two or three
books such as she would need, and accompanied Fanny; for, though several
years older, she was not as proficient as the latter.

In the next street there was a boy, whose pleasure it was to bully
children smaller than himself. He had more than once annoyed Fanny, and
when the latter saw him a little in advance, she said, nervously, “Let
us cross the street, Jenny.”

“Why?” asked Tom.

“There’s George Griffiths just ahead.”

“What if he is?”

“He’s an awful bad boy. Sometimes he pulls away my books, and runs away
with them. He likes to plague us.”

“He’d better not try it,” said Tom.

“What would you do?” asked Fanny, in surprise.

“You’ll see. I won’t cross the street. I’m goin’ right ahead.”

Fanny caught her companion’s arm, and advanced, trembling, hoping that
George Griffiths might not see them. But he had already espied them,
and, feeling in a bullying mood, winked to a companion and said, “You’ll
see how I’ll frighten these girls.”

He advanced to meet them, and took off his hat with mock politeness.

“How do you do this morning, young ladies?” he said.

“Go away, you bad boy!” said little Fanny, in a flutter.

“I’ll pay you for that,” he said, and tried to snatch one of her books,
but was considerably startled at receiving a blow on the side of the
head from her companion.

“Just let her alone,” said Tom.

“What have you got to say about it?” he demanded insolently.

“You’ll see.”

Hereupon he turned his attention to Tom, and tried to snatch her books,
but was rather astounded when his intended victim struck him a sounding
blow in the face with her fist.

“Take my books, Fanny,” she said, and, dropping them on the sidewalk,
squared off scientifically.

“Come on, if you want to!” said Tom, her eyes sparkling with excitement
at the prospect of a fight.

“I don’t want to fight with a girl,” he said, considerably astonished at
vigorous resistance where he had expected timid submission.

“You’re afraid!” said Tom, triumphantly.

“No, I’m not,” said George, backing out all the while; “I don’t want to
hurt you.”

“You can’t do it,” said Tom; “I can lick you any day.”

“How could you do it?” asked Fanny, as the dreaded bully slunk away.
“How brave you are, Jenny! I’m awful afraid of him.”

“You needn’t be,” said Tom, taking her books. “I’ve licked boys bigger’n
him. I can lick him, and he knows it.”

She was right. The story got about, and George Griffiths was so laughed
at, for being vanquished by a girl, that he was very careful in future
whom he attempted to bully.

                              CHAPTER XIII

Leaving Tom in her new home, we return to Mrs. Walsh, which was the
proper designation of the old woman whom she called granny. Though Tom
had escaped from her clutches, granny had no idea that she intended to
stay away permanently. She did not consider that all the advantages of
the connection between them had been on her side, and that Tom had only
had the privilege of supporting them both. If she had not carried
matters so far our heroine would have been satisfied to remain; but now
she had fairly broken away, and would never come back unless brought by

When six o’clock came granny began to wonder why Tom did not come back.
She usually returned earlier, with whatever money she had managed to

“She’s afraid of a lickin’,” thought granny. “She’ll get a wuss one if
she stays away.”

An hour passed, and granny became hungry; but unfortunately she was
penniless, and had nothing in the room except a crust of hard bread
which she intended for Tom’s supper. Hunger compelled her to eat this
herself, though it was not much to her taste. Every moment’s additional
delay irritated her the more with the rebellious Tom.

“I wish I had her here,” soliloquized granny, spitefully.

When it was half-past seven granny resolved to go out and hunt her up.
She might be on the sidewalk outside playing. Perhaps—but this was too
daring for belief—she might be spending her afternoon’s earnings on
another square meal.

Granny went downstairs, and through the archway into the street. There
were plenty of children, living in neighboring tenement houses, gathered
in groups or playing about, but no Tom was visible.

“Have you seen anything of my gal, Micky Murphy?” asked granny of a boy
whom she had often seen with Tom.

“No,” said Micky. “I haven’t seen her.”

“Haven’t any of you seen her?” demanded Mrs. Walsh, making the question
a general one.

“I seen her sellin’ papers,” said one boy.

“When was that?” asked granny, eagerly.

“’Bout four o’clock.”

“Where was she?”

“Greenwich Street.”

This was a clue at least, but a faint one. Tom had been seen at four
o’clock, and now it was nearly eight. Long before this she must have
sold her papers, and the unpleasant conviction dawned upon granny that
she must have spent her earnings upon herself.

“If I could only get hold of her!” muttered granny, vengefully.

She went as far as the City Hall, and followed along down by the Park
fence, looking about her in all directions, in the hope that she might
espy Tom. But the latter was at this time engaging lodgings for the
night, as we know, and in no danger of being caught.

Unwilling to give up the pursuit, Mrs. Walsh wandered about for an hour
or more, occasionally resting on one of the seats in the City Hall Park,
till the unwonted exertion began to weary her, and she realized that she
was not likely to encounter Tom.

There was one chance left. Tom might have got home while she had been in
search of her. Spurred by this hope, Mrs. Walsh hurried home, and
mounted to her lofty room. But it was as desolate as when she left it.
It was quite clear that Tom did not mean to come back that night. This
was provoking; but granny still was confident that she would return in
the course of the next day. So she threw herself on the bed,—not without
some silent imprecations upon her rebellious charge,—and slept till

Morning brought her a new realization of her loss. She found her
situation by no means an agreeable one. Her appetite was excellent, but
she was without food or money to buy a supply. It was certainly
provoking to think that she must look out for herself. However, granny
was equal to the occasion. She did not propose to work for a living, but
decided that she would throw herself upon charity. To begin with, she
obtained some breakfast of a poor but charitable neighbor, and then
started on a walk up town. It was not till she got as far as Fourteenth
Street that she commenced her round of visits.

The first house at which she stopped was an English basement house.
Granny rang the basement bell.

“Is your mistress at home?” she asked.

“Yes; what’s wanted?”

“I’m a poor widder,” whined granny, in a lugubrious voice, “with five
small children. We haven’t got a bit of food in the house. Can’t you
give me a few pennies?”

“I’ll speak to the missis, but I don’t think she’ll give any money.”

She went upstairs, and soon returned.

“She won’t give you any money, but here’s a loaf of bread.”

Mrs. Walsh would much have preferred a small sum of money, but muttered
her thanks, and dropped the loaf into a bag she had brought with her.

She went on to the next block, and intercepted a gentleman just starting
down town to his business.

“I’m a poor widder,” she said, repeating her whine; “will you give me a
few pennies? and may the Lord bless you!”

“Why don’t you work?” asked the gentleman, brusquely.

“I’m too old and feeble,” she answered, bending over to assume the
appearance of infirmity. This did not escape the attention of the
gentleman, who answered unceremoniously, “You’re a humbug! You won’t get
anything from me! If I had my way, I’d have you arrested and locked up.”

Granny trembled with passion, but did not think it politic to give vent
to her fury.

Her next application was more successful, twenty-five cents being sent
to the door by a compassionate lady, who never doubted the story of the
five little children suffering at home for want of food.

Granny’s eyes sparkled with joy as she hastily clutched the money. With
it she could buy drink and tobacco, while food was not an object of

“The missis wants to know where you live,” said the servant.

Mrs. Walsh gave a wrong address, not caring to receive charitable
callers, who would inevitably find out that her story was a false one,
and her children mythical.

At the next house she got no money; but on declaring that she had eaten
nothing for twenty-four hours, was invited into the kitchen, where she
was offered a chair, and a plate of meat and bread was placed before
her. This invitation was rather an embarrassing one; for, thanks to her
charitable neighbor, granny had eaten quite a hearty breakfast not long
before. But, having declared that she had not tasted food for
twenty-four hours, she was compelled to keep up appearances, and eat
what was set before her. It was very hard work, and attracted the
attention of the servants, who had supposed her half famished.

“You don’t seem very hungry,” said Annie, the cook.

“It’s because I’m faint-like,” muttered granny. At this moment her bag,
containing the loaf of bread, tumbled on the floor.

“What’s that?” asked the cook, suspiciously.

“It’s some bread I’m goin’ to carry home to the childers,” said Mrs.
Walsh, a little confused. “They was crying for something to ate when I
come away.”

“Then you’d better take it home as soon as you can,” said Annie,
surveying the old woman with some suspicion.

Granny was forced to leave something on her plate, nature refusing the
double burden she sought to impose upon it, and went out with an
uncomfortable sense of fulness. Resuming her rounds, she was repulsed at
some places, at others referred to this or that charitable society, but
in the end succeeded in raising twenty-five cents more in money. Fifty
cents, a loaf of bread, and a little cold meat represented her gains of
the morning, and with these she felt tolerably well satisfied. She had
been compelled to walk up town, but now she had money and could afford
to ride. She entered a Sixth Avenue car, therefore, and in half an hour
or thereabouts reached the Astor House. She walked through the Park,
looking about her carefully, in the hope of seeing Tom, who would
certainly have fared badly if she had fallen into the clutches of the
angry old woman. But Tom was nowhere visible.

So granny plodded home, and, mounting to her room, laid away the bread
and meat, and, throwing herself upon the bed, indulged in a pipe. Tom
was not at home, and granny began to have apprehensions that she meant
to stay away longer than she had at first supposed.

“But I’ll come across her some day,” said granny, vindictively. “When I
do I’ll break every bone in her body.”

The old woman lay on the bed two or three hours, and then went out, with
the double purpose of investing a part of her funds in a glass of
something strong, and in the hope that she might fall in with Tom.
Notwithstanding the desire of vengeance, she missed her. She had not the
slightest affection for the young girl who had been so long her charge,
but she was used to her companionship. It seemed lonely without her.
Besides, granny had one of those uncomfortable dispositions that feel
lost without some one to scold and tyrannize over, and, although Tom had
not been so yielding and submissive as many girls would have been under
the same circumstances, Mrs. Walsh had had the satisfaction of beating
her occasionally, and naturally longed for the presence of her customary

So, after making the purchase she intended, granny made another visit to
the Park and Printing House Square, and inspected eagerly the crowds of
street children who haunt those localities as paper-venders, peddlers,
and boot-blacks. But Tom, as we know, was by this time an inmate of Mrs.
Merton’s boarding-house,—the home found for her by her friend, the
sea-captain. This was quite out of Mrs. Walsh’s beat. She had not
anticipated any such contingency, but supposed that Tom would be forced
to earn her living by some of those street trades by means of which so
many children are kept from starvation. It did not enter her
calculations that, so soon after parting from her, Tom had also ceased
to be a street Arab, and obtained a respectable home. Of course,
therefore, disappointment was again her portion, and she was forced to
return home and go to bed without the exquisite satisfaction of
“breaking every bone in Tom’s body.”

Granny felt that she was ill-used, and that Tom was a monster of
ingratitude; but on that subject there may, perhaps, be a difference of

                              CHAPTER XIV
                     TOM IS CAPTURED BY THE ENEMY.

We pass over two months, in which nothing of striking interest occurred
to our heroine, or her affectionate relative, who continued to mourn her
loss with more of anger than of sorrow. My readers may be interested to
know how far Tom has improved in this interval. I am glad to say that
she has considerably changed for the better, and is rather less of an
Arab than when she entered the house. Still Mrs. Merton, on more than
one occasion, had assured her intimate friend and gossip, Miss Betsy
Perkins, that Tom was “a great trial,” and nothing but her promise to
her brother induced her to keep her.

Tom was, however, very quick and smart. She learned with great rapidity,
when she chose, and was able to be of considerable service in the house
before and after school. To be sure she was always getting into hot
water, and from time to time indulged in impish freaks, which betrayed
her street-training. At school, however, she learned very rapidly, and
had already been promoted into a class higher than that which she
entered. If there was one thing that Tom was ashamed of, it was to find
herself the largest and oldest girl in her class. She was ambitious to
stand as well as other girls of her own age, and, with this object in
view, studied with characteristic energy, and as a consequence improved

She did not get along very well with Mary Merton. Mary was languid and
affected, and looked down scornfully upon her mother’s hired girl, as
she called her; though, as we know, money was paid for Tom’s board. Tom
did not care much for her taunts, being able to give as good as she
sent; but there was one subject on which Mary had it in her power to
annoy her. This was about her defective education.

“You don’t know any more than a girl of eight,” said Mary,

“I haven’t been to school all my life as you have,” said Tom.

“I know that,” said Mary. “You were nothing but a beggar, or rag-picker,
or something of that kind. I don’t see what made my uncle take you out
of the street. That was the best place for you.”

“I wish you had to live with granny for a month,” retorted Tom. “It
would do you good to get a lickin’ now and then.”

“Your grandmother must have been a very low person,” said Mary,

“That’s where you’re right,” said Tom, whose affection for granny was
not very great.

“I’m glad I haven’t such a grandmother. I should be ashamed of it.”

“She wasn’t my grandmother. She only called herself so,” said Tom.

“I’ve no doubt she was,” said Mary, “and that you are just like her.”

“Say that again, and I’ll punch your head,” said Tom, belligerently.

As Mary knew that Tom was quite capable of doing what she threatened,
she prudently desisted, but instead taunted her once more with her

“Never mind,” said Tom, “wait a while and I’ll catch up with you.”

Mary laughed a spiteful little laugh.

“Hear her talk!” she said. “Why, I’ve been ever so far in English;
besides, I am studying French.”

“Can’t I study French too?”

“That would be a great joke for a common street girl to study French!
You’ll be playing the piano next.”

“Why not?” asked Tom, undauntedly.

“Maybe your granny, as you call her, had a piano.”

“Perhaps she did,” said Tom; “but it was to the blacksmith’s to be
mended, so I never saw it.”

Tom was not in the least sensitive on the subject of granny, and however
severe reflections might be indulged in upon granny’s character and
position, she bore them with equanimity, not feeling any particular
interest in the old woman.

Still she did occasionally feel a degree of curiosity as to how granny
was getting along in her absence. She enjoyed the thought that Mrs.
Walsh, no longer being able to rely upon her, would be compelled to
forage for herself.

“I wonder what she’ll do,” thought Tom. “She’s such a lazy old woman
that I think she’ll go round beggin’. Work don’t agree with her

It so happened that granny, though in her new vocation she made frequent
excursions up town, had never fallen in with Tom. This was partly
because Tom spent the hours from nine to two in school, and it was at
this time that granny always went on her rounds. But one Saturday
forenoon Tom was sent on an errand some half a mile distant. As she was
passing through Eighteenth Street her attention was drawn to a tall,
ill-dressed figure a few feet in advance of her. Though only her back
was visible, Tom remembered something peculiar in granny’s walk.

“That’s granny,” soliloquized Tom, in excitement; “she’s out beggin’,
I’ll bet a hat.”

The old woman carried a basket in one hand, for the reception of cold
victuals, for, though she preferred money, provisions were also
acceptable, and she had learned from experience that there were some who
refrained from giving money on principle, but would not refuse food.

Tom was not anxious to fall into the old woman’s clutches. Still she
felt like following her up, and hearing what she had to say.

She had not long to wait.

Granny turned into the area of an English basement house, and rang the
basement bell.

Tom paused, and leaned her back against the railing, in such a position
that she could hear what passed.

A servant answered the bell.

“What do you want?” she asked, not very ceremoniously.

“I’m a poor widder,” whined granny, “with five small children. They
haven’t had anything to eat since yesterday. Can’t you give me
something? and may the Lord bless you!”

“She knows how to lie,” thought Tom. “So she’s got five small children!”

“You’re pretty old to have five small children,” said the servant,

“I aint so old as I look,” said Mrs. Walsh. “It’s bein’ poor and
destitoot that makes me look old before my time.”

“Where’s your husband?”

“He’s dead,” said granny. “He treated me bad; he used to drink, and then
bate me and the children.”

“You look as if you drank, yourself.”

“I’d scorn the action,” said granny, virtuously. “I never could bear

“Aint she doin’ it up brown?” thought Tom. “Haven’t I seen her pourin’
it down though?”

“Give me your basket,” said the servant.

“Can’t you give me some money,” whined granny, “to help pay the rint?”

“We never give money,” said the servant.

She went into the kitchen, and Shortly returned with some cold meat and
bread. Granny opened it to see what it contained.

“Haven’t you got any cold chicken?” she asked, rather dissatisfied.

“She’s got cheek,” thought Tom.

“If you’re not satisfied with what you’ve got, you needn’t come again.”

“Yes,” said granny, “I’m satisfied; but my little girl is sick, and
can’t bear anything but chicken, or maybe turkey.”

“Then you must ask for it somewhere else,” said the servant. “We haven’t
got any for you here.”

Having obtained all she was likely to get, granny prepared to go.

Tom felt that she, too, must start, for there might be danger of
identification. To be sure she was now well-dressed,—quite as well as
the average of girls of her age. The cap and jacket, indeed all that had
made her old name of “Tattered Tom” appropriate, had disappeared, and
she was very different in appearance from the young Arab whom we became
acquainted with in the first chapter. In other respects, as we know, Tom
had not altered quite so much. There was considerable of the Arab about
her still, though there was a prospect of her eventually becoming
entirely tamed.

Granny just glanced at the young girl, whose back only was visible to
her, but never thought of identifying her with her lost grand-daughter.
Sometimes, however, she had obtained money from compassionate
school-girls, and it struck her that there might be a chance in this

She advanced, and tapped Tom on the shoulder.

“Little gal,” she dolefully said, “I’m a poor widder with five small
children. Can’t you give me a few pennies? and may the Lord reward you!”

Tom was a little startled, but quite amused, by this application from
granny. She knew there was danger in answering; but there was a
fascination about danger, and she thought that, even if identified, she
could make her escape.

“Where do you live?” she asked, trying to disguise her voice, and
looking down.

“No. 417 Bleecker Street,” said granny, at random, intentionally giving
the wrong address.

“I’ll get my aunt to come round to-morrow and see you,” said Tom.

“Give me a few pennies now,” persisted granny, “to buy some bread for my

“How many have you got?”


It was very imprudent, but Tom obeyed an irresistible impulse, and said,
“Isn’t one of them named Tom?” and she looked up in her old way.

Granny bent over eagerly, and looked in her face. She had noticed
something familiar in the voice, but the dress had prevented her from
suspecting anything. Now it flashed upon her that the rebellious Tom was
in her clutches.

“So it’s you, is it?” she said, with grim delight, clutching Tom by the
arm. “I’ve found you at last, you trollop! Come along with me! I’ll
break every bone in your body!”

Tom saw that she had incautiously incurred a great peril; but she had no
idea of being dragged away unresisting. She was quick-witted, and saw
that, if she chose to deny all knowledge of the old woman, granny would
find it hard to substantiate her claims.

“Stop that, old woman!” she said, without the least appearance of fear.
“If you don’t let go, I’ll have you arrested!”

“You will, will you?” exclaimed granny, giving her a shake viciously.
“We’ll see about that. Where’d you get all them good clothes from? Come
along home.”

“Let me alone!” said Tom. “You’ve got nothing to do with me.”

“Got nothing to do with you? Aint I your granny?”

“You must be crazy,” said Tom, coolly. “My grandmother don’t go round
the streets, begging for cold victuals.”

“Do you mean to say I’m not your granny?” demanded the old woman,

“I don’t know what you mean,” said Tom, coolly. “You’d better go home to
your five small children in Bleecker Street.”

“O you trollop!” muttered granny, giving her a violent shaking; which
reminded Tom of old times in not the most agreeable manner.

“Come, old woman, that’s played out!” said Tom. “You’d better stop

“You’re my gal, and I’ve a right to lick you,” said Mrs. Walsh.

“I’ve got nothing to do with you.”

“Come along!” said granny, attempting to drag Tom with her.

But Tom made a vigorous resistance, and granny began to fear that she
had undertaken rather a hard task. The distance from Eighteenth Street
to the tenement house which she called home was two miles, probably, and
it would not be very easy to drag Tom that distance against her will. A
ride in the horse-cars was impracticable, since she had no money with

The struggle was still going on, when Tom all at once espied a policeman
coming around the corner. She did not hesitate to take advantage of his
opportune appearance.

“Help! Police!” exclaimed Tom, in a loud voice.

This sudden appeal startled granny, whose associations with the police
were not of the most agreeable nature, and she nearly released her hold.
She glared at Tom in speechless rage, foreseeing that trouble was

“What’s the matter?” asked the officer, coming up, and regarding the two

“I think this woman must be crazy,” said Tom. “She came up and asked me
for a few pennies, and then grabbed me by the arm, saying she was my
granny. She is trying to drag me home with her.”

“What have you to say to this?” demanded the policeman.

“She’s my gal,” said granny, doggedly.


“You hear her,” said Tom. “Do I look as if I belonged to her? She’s a
common beggar.”

“O you ungrateful trollop!” shrieked granny, tightening her grip.

“She hurts me,” said Tom. “Won’t you make her let go?”

“Let her go!” said the policeman, authoritatively.

“But she’s my gal.”

“Let go, I tell you!” and granny was forced to obey. “Now where do you

“340 Bleecker Street.”

“You said it was 417 just now,” said Tom, “and that you had five small
children. Was I one of them?”

Granny was cornered. She was afraid that Bleecker Street might be
visited, and her imposture discovered. It was hard to give up Tom, and
so have the girl, whom she now hated intensely, triumph over her. She
would make one more attempt.

“She’s my gal. She run away from me two months ago.”

“If you’ve got five small children at home, and have to beg for a
living,” said the officer, who did not believe a word of her story, “you
have all you can take care of. She’s better off where she is.”

“Can’t I take her home, then?” asked granny, angrily.

“You had better go away quietly,” said the policeman, “or I must take
you to the station-house.”

Mrs. Walsh, compelled to abandon her designs upon Tom, moved off slowly.
She had got but a few steps, when Tom called out to her, “Give my love
to your five small children, granny!”

The old woman, by way of reply, turned and shook her fist menacingly at
Tom, but the latter only laughed and went on her way.

“Aint she mad, though!” soliloquized Tom. “She’d lick me awful if she
only got a chance. I’m glad I don’t live with her. Now I get square
meals every day. I’d like to see granny’s five small children;” and Tom
laughed heartily at what she thought a smart imposture. That Tom should
be very conscientious on the subject of truth could hardly be expected.
A street education, and such guardianship as she had received from
granny, were not likely to make her a model; but Tom is more favorably
situated now, and we may hope for gradual improvement.

                               CHAPTER XV

After her unsuccessful attempt to gain possession of Tom, granny
returned home, not only angry but despondent. She had been deeply
incensed at Tom’s triumph over her. Besides, she was tired of earning
her own living, if begging from door to door can properly be called
earning one’s living. At any rate it required exertion, and to this Mrs.
Walsh was naturally indisposed. She sighed as she thought of the years
when she could stay quietly at home, and send out Tom to beg or earn
money for her. She would like, since Tom was not likely to return, to
adopt some boy or girl of suitable age, upon whom she could throw the
burden of the common support. But such were not easy to be met with, and
Mrs. Walsh was dimly aware that no sane child would voluntarily select
her as a guardian.

So granny, in rather low spirits, sought her elevated room, and threw
herself upon the bed to sleep off her fatigue.

On awaking, granny seated herself at the window, and picked up
mechanically the advertising sheet of the “Herald,” in which a loaf of
bread had been wrapped that had been given to her the day previous. It
was seldom that Mrs. Walsh indulged in reading, not possessing very
marked literary tastes; but to-day she was seized with an idle impulse,
which she obeyed, without anticipating that she would see anything that
concerned her.

In glancing through the advertisements under the head “PERSONAL,” her
attention was drawn to the following:—

/# “If Margaret Walsh, who left Philadelphia in the year 1855, will call
at No. — Wall Street, Room 8, she will hear of something to her
advantage.” #/

“Why, that’s me!” exclaimed granny, letting the paper fall from her lap
in surprise. “It’s my name, and I left Philadelphy that year. I wonder
what it’s about. Maybe it’s about Tom.”

There were circumstances which led Mrs. Walsh to think it by no means
improbable that the inquiries to be made were about Tom, and this made
her regret more keenly that she had lost her.

“If it is,” she soliloquized, “I’ll get hold of her somehow.”

There was one part of the advertisement which particularly interested
granny,—that in which it was suggested that she would hear something to
her advantage. If there was any money to be made, granny was entirely
willing to make it. Considering the unpromising state of her prospects,
she felt that it was a piece of extraordinary good luck.

Looking at the date of the paper, she found that it was a fortnight old,
and was troubled by the thought that it might be too late. At any rate
no time was to be lost. So, in spite of the fatigue of her morning
expedition, she put on her old cloak and bonnet, and, descending the
stairs, sallied out into the street. She made her way down Nassau Street
to Wall, and, carefully looking about her, found without difficulty the
number mentioned in the advertisement. It was a large building,
containing a considerable number of offices. No. 8 was on the third
floor. On the door was a tin sign bearing the name:—

                            “EUGENE SELDEN,
                      _Attorney and Counsellor_.”

Mrs. Walsh knocked at the door; but there was no response. She knocked
again, after a while, and then tried the door. But it was locked.

“The office closes at three, ma’am,” said a young man, passing by. “You
will have to wait till to-morrow.”

Mrs. Walsh was disappointed, being very anxious to ascertain what
advantage she was likely to receive. She presented herself the next
morning at nine, only to find herself too early. At last she found the
lawyer in. He looked up from his desk as she entered.

“Have you business with me?” he asked.

“Are you the man that advertised for Margaret Walsh?” asked granny.

“Yes,” said Mr. Selden, laying down his pen, and regarding her with
interest. “Are you she?”

“Yes, your honor,” said granny, thinking her extra politeness might
increase the advantage promised.

“Did you ever live in Philadelphia?”

“Yes, your honor.”

“Were you in service?”

Mrs. Walsh answered in the affirmative.

“In what family?”

“In the family of Mrs. Lindsay.”

“What made you leave her?” asked the lawyer, fixing his eyes searchingly
upon Margaret.

Granny looked a little uneasy.

“I got tired of staying there,” she said.

“When you left Philadelphia, did you come to New York?”

“Yes, your honor.”

“Did you know that Mrs. Lindsay’s only child disappeared at the time you
left the house?” inquired the lawyer.

“If I tell the truth will it harm me?” asked granny, uneasily.

“No; but if you conceal the truth it may.”

“Then I took the child with me.”

“What motive had you for doing this wicked thing? Do you know that Mrs.
Lindsay nearly broke her heart at the loss of the child?”

“I was mad with her,” said granny, “that’s one reason.”

“Then there was another reason?”

“Yes, your honor.”

“What was it?”

“Young Mr. Lindsay hired me to do it. He offered me a thousand dollars.”

“Are you ready to swear this?”

“Yes,” said granny. “I hope you’ll pay me handsome for tellin’,” she
added. “I’m a poor—woman,” she was on the point of saying “widder with
five small children;” but it occurred to her that this would injure her
in the present instance.

“You shall receive a suitable reward when the child is restored. It is
living, I suppose?”

“Yes,” said granny.

“With you?”

“No, your honor. She ran away two months ago; but I saw her this

“Why should she run away? Didn’t you treat her well?”

“Like as if she was my own child,” said granny. “I’ve often and often
gone without anything to eat, so that Tom might have enough. I took
great care of her, your honor, and would have brought her up as a leddy
if I hadn’t been so poor.”

“I thought it was a girl.”

“So it was, your honor.”

“Then why do you call her Tom?”

“’Cause she was more like a boy than a gal,—as sassy a child as I ever

“So you have lost her?”

“Yes, your honor. She ran away from me two months since.”

“But you said you saw her yesterday. Why did you not take her back?”

“She wouldn’t come. She told the policeman she didn’t know me,—me that
have took care of her since she was a little gal,—the ungrateful hussy!”

Granny’s pathos, it will be perceived, terminated in anger.

The lawyer looked thoughtful.

“The child must be got back,” he said. “It is only recently that her
mother ascertained the treachery by which she was taken from her, and
now she is most anxious to recover her. If you will bring her to me, you
shall have a suitable reward.”

“How much?” asked granny, with a cunning look.

“I cannot promise in advance, but it will certainly be two hundred
dollars,—perhaps more. Mrs. Lindsay will be generous.”

The old woman’s eyes sparkled. Such a sum promised an unlimited amount
of whiskey for a considerable time. The only disagreeable feature in the
case was that Tom would benefit by the restoration, since she would
obtain a comfortable home, and a parent whose ideas of the parental
relation differed somewhat from those of Mrs. Walsh. Still, two hundred
dollars were worth the winning, and granny determined to win them. She
suggested, however, that, in order to secure the co-operation of the
police, she needed to be more respectably dressed; otherwise her claim
would be scouted, provided Tom undertook to deny it.

This appeared reasonable, and as the lawyer had authority to incur any
expense that he might consider likely to further the successful
prosecution of the search, he sent out some one, in whom he had
confidence, to purchase a respectable outfit for Mrs. Walsh. He further
agreed to allow her three dollars a week for the present, that she might
be able to devote all her time to hunting up Tom. This arrangement was
very satisfactory to Mrs. Walsh, who felt like a lady in easy
circumstances. Her return to the tenement house, in her greatly improved
dress, created quite a sensation. She did not deign to enlighten her
neighbors upon the cause of her improved fortunes, but dropped hints
that she had come into a legacy.

From this time Mrs. Walsh began to frequent the up-town streets,
particularly Eighteenth Street, where she had before encountered Tom.
But as she still continued to make her rounds in the morning, it was
many days before she caught a glimpse of the object of her search. As
her expenses were paid in the mean time, she waited patiently, though
she anticipated with no little pleasure the moment which should place
Tom in her power. She resolved, before restoring her to her mother, to
inflict upon her late ward a suitable punishment for her rebellion and
flight, for which granny was not likely ever to forgive her.

“I’ll give her something to remember me by,” muttered granny. “See if I

                              CHAPTER XVI
                            TOM IN TROUBLE.

The reader has already obtained some idea of the character of Mary
Merton. She was weak, vain, affected, and fond of dress. There was not
likely to be much love lost between her and Tom, who was in all respects
her opposite. Whatever might have been the defects of her street
education, it had at all events secured Tom from such faults as these.

Mary sought the society of such of her companions as were wealthy or
fashionable, and was anxious to emulate them in dress. But unfortunately
her mother’s income was limited, and she could not gratify her tastes.
She was continually teasing Mrs. Merton for this and that article of
finery; but, though her mother spent more for her than she could well
afford, she was obliged in many cases to disappoint her. So it happened
that Mary was led into temptation.

One morning she was going downstairs on her way to school. The door of
Mr. Holland’s room (who occupied the second floor front) chanced to be
open. It occurred to Mary that the large mirror in this room would
enable her to survey her figure to advantage, and, being fond of looking
in the glass, she entered.

After satisfactorily accomplishing the object of her visit, Mary, in
glancing about, caught sight of a pocket-book on the bureau. Curiosity
led her to approach and open it. It proved to contain four five-dollar
bills and a small amount of change.

“I wish the money was mine,” said Mary to herself.

There was a particular object for which she wanted it. Two of her
companions had handsome gold pencils, which they wore suspended by a
cord around their necks. Mary had teased her mother to buy her one, but
Mrs. Merton had turned a deaf ear to her request. Finally she had given
up asking, finding that it would be of no avail.

“If I only had this money, or half of it,” thought Mary, “I could buy a
pencil for myself, and tell mother it was given me by one of my

The temptation, to a vain girl like Mary, was a strong one.

“Shall I take it?” she thought.

The dishonesty of the act did not so much deter her as the fear of
detection. But the idea unluckily suggested itself that Tom would be far
more likely to be suspected than she.

“Mr. Holland is rich,” she said to herself; “he won’t feel the loss.”

She held the pocket-book irresolutely in her hand, uncertain whether to
take a part of the contents or the whole. Finally she opened it, drew
out the bills, amounting to twenty dollars, hastily thrust them into her
pocket, and, replacing the pocket-book on the bureau, went downstairs.

She met her mother in the lower hall.

“I am afraid you will be late to school, Mary,” she said.

“I couldn’t find my shoes for a long time,” said Mary, flushing a little
at the thought of the money in her pocket.

Mr. Holland’s room had already been attended to, and was not again
entered until half-past five in the afternoon, when Mr. Holland, who was
a clerk in a down-town office, returned home.

He had missed the pocket-book shortly after leaving the house in the
morning, but, being expected at the office at a certain hour, had not
been able to return for it. He had borrowed money of a fellow-clerk to
pay for his lunch.

As he entered the room, he saw his pocket-book lying on the bureau.

“There it is, all safe,” he said to himself, quite relieved; for, though
in receipt of a handsome salary, no one would care to lose twenty

He was about to put the pocket-book into his pocket unexamined, when it
occurred to him to open it, and make sure that the contents were
untouched. He was startled on finding less than a dollar, where he
distinctly remembered that there had been nearly twenty-one dollars.

“Some one has taken it,” he said to himself. “I must see Mrs. Merton
about this.”

He did not get an opportunity of speaking to the landlady until after
dinner, when he called her aside, and told her of his loss.

“Are you quite sure, Mr. Holland,” she asked, considerably disturbed,
“there were twenty dollars in the pocket-book?”

“Yes, Mrs. Merton. I remember distinctly having counted the money this
morning, before laying it on the bureau. It must have been taken by some
one in the house. Now, who was likely to enter the room? Which of your
servants makes the bed?”

“It was Jenny,” said Mrs. Merton, with a sudden conviction that Tom was
the guilty party.

“What, that bright little girl that I have seen about the house?”

“Yes, Mr. Holland, I am afraid it is she,” said Mrs. Merton, shaking her
head. “She is not exactly a servant, but a child whom my brother took
out of the streets, and induced me to take charge of while he is away.
She has been very ill-trained, and I am not surprised to find her
dishonest. More than once I have regretted taking charge of her.”

“I am sorry,” said Mr. Holland. “I have noticed that she is rather
different from most girls. I wish I had not exposed her to the

“She must give up the money, or I won’t keep her in the house,” said
Mrs. Merton, who had become indignant at Tom’s ingratitude, as she
considered it. “My brother can’t expect me to harbor a thief in the
house, even for his sake. It would ruin the reputation of my house if
such a thing happened again.”

“She will probably give it back when she finds herself detected,” said
Mr. Holland.

“I will tax her with it at once,” said the landlady. “Stay here, Mr.
Holland, and I will call her.”

Tom was called in. She looked from one to the other, and something in
the expression of each led her to see that she was to be blamed for
something, though what she could not conceive.

“Jane,” said Mrs. Merton, sternly, “my brother will be very much grieved
when he learns how badly you have behaved to-day.”

“What have I been doing?” asked Tom, looking up with a fearless glance,
not by any means like a girl conscious of theft.

“You have taken twenty dollars belonging to Mr. Holland.”

“Who says I did it?” demanded Tom.

“It is useless to deny it. You cleared up his room this morning. His
pocket-book was on the bureau.”

“I know it was,” said Tom. “I saw it there.”

“You opened it, and took out twenty dollars.”

“No, I didn’t,” said Tom. “I didn’t touch it.”

“Do not add falsehood to theft. You must have done it. There was no one
else likely to do it.”

“Wasn’t the door unlocked all day?” demanded Tom. “Why couldn’t some one
else go in and take it as well as I?”

“I feel sure it was you.”

“Why?” asked Tom, her eyes beginning to flash indignantly.

“I have no doubt you have stolen before. My brother took you from the
street. You were brought up by a bad old woman, as you say yourself. I
ought not to be surprised at your yielding to temptation. If you will
restore the money to Mr. Holland, and promise not to steal again, I will
overlook your offence, and allow you to remain in the house, since it
was my brother’s wish.”

“Mrs. Merton,” said Tom, proudly, “I didn’t take the money, and I can’t
give it back. I might have stolen when I lived with granny, for I didn’t
get enough to eat half the time, but I wouldn’t do it now.”

“That sounds well,” said Mrs. Merton; “but somebody must have taken the

“I don’t care who took it,” said Tom, “I didn’t.”

“You are more likely to have taken it than any one else.”

“You may search me if you want to,” said Tom, proudly.

“Perhaps she didn’t take it,” said Mr. Holland, upon whom Tom’s fearless
bearing had made an impression.

“I will inquire if any of the servants went into your room,” said Mrs.
Merton. “If not, I must conclude that Jane took it.”

Inquiry was made, but it appeared evident that no servant had entered
the room. Tom had made the bed and attended to the chamber-work alone.
Mrs. Merton was therefore confirmed in her suspicions. She summoned Tom
once more, and offered to forgive her if she would make confession and

“I didn’t steal the money,” said Tom, indignantly. “I’ve told you that

“Unless you give it up, I cannot consent to have you remain longer in my

“All right!” said Tom, defiantly. “I don’t want to stay if that’s what
you think of me.”

She turned and left Mrs. Merton. Five minutes later she was in the
street, going she knew not whither. She was so angry at the unfounded
suspicions which had been cast upon her, that she felt glad to go. But
after a while she began to think of the sudden change in her fortunes.
For three months she had possessed a comfortable home, been well fed and
lodged, and had been rapidly making up the deficiencies in her
education. She had really tried to soften the roughness and abruptness
of her manners, and become a good girl, hoping to win the approbation of
her good friend, the captain, when he should return from his voyage. Now
it was all over. She had lost her home, and must again wander about with
no home but the inhospitable street.

“It isn’t my fault,” thought Tom, with a sigh. “I couldn’t give back the
money when I didn’t take it.”

                              CHAPTER XVII
                            THE GOLD PENCIL.

Mrs. Merton was taken by surprise when she found that Tom had actually
gone. Her conviction remained unshaken that she had stolen Mr. Holland’s
money, and she considered that she had been forbearing in not causing
her arrest.

“Your uncle cannot blame me,” she said to Mary, “for sending her away.
He cannot expect me to keep a thief in my house.”

“To be sure not,” said Mary, promptly. “I am glad she has gone. You
couldn’t expect much from a girl that was brought up in the streets.”

“That is true. I don’t see, for my part, what your uncle saw in her.”

“Nor I. She’s a rude, hateful thing.”

“She denied taking the money.”

“Of course,” said Mary. “She wouldn’t mind lying any more than

Mary felt very much relieved at the way things had turned out. After
taking the money, she had become frightened lest in some way suspicion
might be directed towards herself. As she had hoped, her fault had been
laid to Tom, and now she felt comparatively safe. She had not yet dared
to use the money, but thought she might venture to do so soon.

She went up to her bedroom, and, after locking the door, opened her
trunk. The four five-dollar bills were carefully laid away in one
corner, underneath a pile of clothes. Mary counted them over with an air
of satisfaction. Her conscience did not trouble her much as long as the
fear of detection was removed.

“Mr. Holland won’t miss the money,” she thought, “and everybody’ll think
Jane took it.”

The thought of her own meanness in depriving Tom of a good home, and
sending her out into the street without shelter or money, never
suggested itself to the selfish girl. She felt glad to be rid of her,
and did not trouble herself about any discomforts or privations that she
might experience.

Three days later Mary felt that she might venture to buy the pencil
which she had so long coveted. Tom’s disappearance was accepted by all
in the house as a confirmation of the charge of theft, and no one else
was likely to be suspected. Not knowing how much the pencil was likely
to cost, Mary took the entire twenty dollars with her. She stopped on
her way from school at a jewelry store only a few blocks distant from
her mother’s house. She was unwise in not going farther away, since this
increased the chances of her detection.

“Let me look at your gold pencils,” she asked, with an air of

The salesman produced a variety of pencils, varying in price.

Mary finally made choice of one that cost twelve dollars.

She paid over the money with much satisfaction, for the pencil was
larger and handsomer than those belonging to her companions, which had
excited her envy. She also bought a silk chain, to which she attached
it, and then hung it round her neck.

Though Mary was not aware of it, her entrance into the jewelry store had
been remarked by Mrs. Carver, a neighbor and acquaintance of her
mother’s. Mrs. Carver, like some others of her sex, was gifted with
curiosity, and wondered considerably what errand had carried Mary into
the jeweller’s.

Bent upon finding out, she entered the store and approached the counter.

“What did that young girl buy?” she asked.

“You mean that one who just went out?”


“A gold pencil-case.”

“Indeed,” said Mrs. Carver, looking surprised. “How expensive a pencil
did she buy?”

“She paid twelve dollars.”

“Will you show me one like it?”

A pencil, precisely similar, was shown Mrs. Carver, the clerk supposing
she wished to purchase. But she had obtained all the information she

“I won’t decide to-day,” she said. “I will come in again.”

“There’s some mystery about this,” said Mrs. Carver to herself. “I
wonder where Mary got so much money; surely, her mother could not have
given it to her. If she did, all I have to say is, that she is very
extravagant for a woman that keeps boarders for a living.”

Mrs. Carver was one of those women who feel a very strong interest in
the business of others. The friends with whom she was most intimate were
most likely to incur her criticism. In the present instance she was
determined to fathom the mystery of the gold pencil.

Mary went home with her treasure. Of course she knew that its possession
would excite surprise, and she had a story prepared to account for it.
She felt a little nervous, but had little doubt that her account would
be believed.

As she anticipated, the pencil at once attracted her mother’s attention.

“Whose pencil is that, Mary?” she asked.

“Mine, mother.”

“Yours? Where did you get it?” inquired her mother, in surprise.

“Sue Cameron gave it to me. She’s my bosom friend, you know.”

“Let me see it. It isn’t gold—is it?”

“Yes, it’s solid gold,” said Mary, complacently.

“But I don’t understand her giving you so expensive a present. It must
have cost a good deal.”

“So it did. Sue said it cost twelve dollars.”

“Then how came she to give it to you?”

“Oh, her father’s awful rich! Besides, Sue has had another pencil given
to her, and she didn’t want but one; so she gave me this.”

“It looks as if it were new.”

“Yes, she has had it only a short time.”

“When did she give it to you?”

“This morning. She promised it to me a week ago,” said Mary, in a
matter-of-fact manner which quite deceived her mother.

“She has certainly been very kind to you. She must like you very much.”

“Yes, she does. She likes me better than any of the other girls.”

“Why don’t you invite her to come and see you? You ought to be polite to
her, since she is so kind.”

This suggestion was by no means pleasing to Mary. In the first place Sue
Cameron was by no means the intimate friend she represented, and in the
next, if she called and Mrs. Merton referred to the gift, it would at
once let the cat out of the bag, and Mary would be in trouble. Therefore
she said, “I’ll invite her, mother, but I don’t think she’ll come.”

“Why not?”

“She lives away up on Fifth Avenue, and is not allowed to make visits
without some one of the family. The Camerons are very rich, you know,
and stuck up. Only Sue is not.”

“You’d better invite her, however, Mary, since she is such a friend of

“Yes, I will, only you must not be surprised if she does not come.”

The next afternoon Mrs. Carver dropped in for a call. While she was
talking with Mrs. Merton, Mary came into the room. Her gold pencil was
ostentatiously displayed.

“How do you do, Mary?” said the visitor. “What a handsome pencil-case
you have!”

“One of her school friends gave it to her,” explained Mrs. Merton.

“Indeed!” returned Mrs. Carver, with an emphasis which bespoke surprise.

“Yes,” continued Mrs. Merton, unconsciously. “It was a Miss Cameron,
whose father lives on Fifth Avenue. Her father is very rich, and she is
very fond of Mary.”

“I should think she was—uncommonly,” remarked Mrs. Carver.

“There’s some secret here,” she thought. “I must find it out.”

“Mary, my dear,” she said, aloud, “come here, and let me look at your

Mary advanced reluctantly. There was something in the visitor’s tone
that made her feel uncomfortable. It was evident that Mrs. Carver did
not accept the account she had given as readily as her mother.

“It is a very handsome pencil,” said Mrs. Carver, after examination.
“You are certainly very lucky, Mary. My Grace is not so fortunate. So
this Mrs. Cameron lives on Fifth Avenue?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“And her father sends her to a public school. That’s rather
singular,—isn’t it?”

“So it is,” said Mrs. Merton. “I didn’t think of that. And the family is
very proud too, you say, Mary?”

Mary by this time was quite willing to leave the subject, but Mrs.
Carver was not disposed to do so.

“I don’t know why it is,” said Mary. “I suppose they think she will
learn more at public schools.”

“Now I think of it,” said Mrs. Carver, meditatively, “this pencil looks
very much like one I saw at Bennett’s the other day.”

The color rushed to Mary’s face in alarm. Her mother did not observe it,
but Mrs. Carver did. But she quickly recovered herself.

“Perhaps it was bought there,—I don’t know,” she said.

“She carries it off well,” thought Mrs. Carver. “Never mind, I’ll find
out some time.”

Mary made some excuse for leaving the room, and the visitor asked:—

“How is that girl getting along whom your brother left with you?”

Mrs. Merton shook her head.

“She’s turned out badly,” she said.

“What has she done?”

“She stole twenty dollars from Mr. Holland’s room. He left his
pocket-book on the bureau, and she took out the money.”

“Did she confess it?”

“No, she stoutly denied it. I told her, if she would confess, I would
forgive her, and let her stay in the house. But she remained obstinate,
and went away.”

“Are you convinced that she took it?” asked Mrs. Carver, who now
suspected where the gold pencil came from.

“It could have been no one else. She was in the room, making the beds,
and sweeping, in the morning.

“Still, she may have been innocent.”

“Then who could have taken the money?”

“Somebody that wanted a gold pencil,” returned Mrs. Carver, nodding

“What!” exclaimed Mrs. Merton, aghast. “You don’t mean to hint that Mary
took it?”

“I mean this, that she bought the pencil herself at Bennett’s, as I
happen to know. Where she got the money from, you can tell better than I

“I can’t believe it,” said Mrs. Merton, very much perturbed.

“Didn’t you see how she flushed up when I said I had seen a pencil like
it at Bennett’s? However, you can ask her.”

Mrs. Merton could not rest now till she had ascertained the truth. Mary
was called, and, after an attempt at denial, finally made confession in
a flood of tears.

“How could you let me send Jane away on account of your fault?” asked
her mother, much disturbed.

“I didn’t dare to own it. You won’t tell, mother?”

“I must return the money to Mr. Holland.”

“You can tell him that it was accidentally found.”

This Mrs. Merton finally agreed to do, not wishing to expose her own
child. She was really a kind-hearted woman, and was very sorry for her
injustice to Tom.

“What will your uncle say?” she inquired, after Mrs. Carver had gone.

“Don’t tell him,” said Mary. “It’s better for Jane to go, or he would be
making her his heiress. Now I shall stand some chance. You can tell him
that Jane went away of her own accord.”

Mrs. Merton was human. She thought it only fair that one of her
daughters should inherit their uncle’s money in preference to a girl
taken from the streets, and silently acquiesced. So the money was
restored to Mr. Holland, and he was led to think that Tom had left it
behind her, while the real perpetrator of the theft retained her gold
pencil, and escaped exposure.

                             CHAPTER XVIII
                         IN SEARCH OF A PLACE.

Tom went out into the street angry, and justly so, at the unfounded
charge which had been made against her. The change in her circumstances
had been so sudden, that she hardly realized, as she walked along, that
she must return to her old street life. When she did realize it, it was
with a feeling of disappointment, not unmixed with apprehension.

Tom had only been living at Mrs. Merton’s for three months, but this
short time had wrought a considerable change in her. She was no longer
the wild, untamed girl who once swept the crossing. She had begun to
feel the advantages of respectability, and had become ambitious of
acquiring a good education. This feeling originated in the desire of
surprising Captain Barnes with her improvement; but she soon began to
feel an interest in learning for its own sake. She was still spirited
and independent, but in a different way. Her old life looked far less
attractive, since she had acquired such different tastes. Now to be
suddenly thrust back into it seemed rather hard to Tom.

One thing at least could be said, she was no longer “Tattered Tom.” Her
old rags had been cast aside, and she was now dressed as well as most
school-girls. She no longer looked like a child having no home but the
street, but would be supposed by any who noticed her to belong to some
family in good circumstances. Now, good clothes exert more influence
upon the wearer than we may at first suppose. So it was with Tom. When
she wore her old tatters she was quite ready to engage in a fight with
any boy who jeered at her, provided he was not too large. Now she would
hesitate before doing it, having an undefined idea that her respectable
dress would make such a scene unbecoming.

There was one question that presented itself to Tom as she walked along,
and demanded her earnest attention. This was, “How was she to live?”

She could no longer sweep the crossing; she was too well-dressed for
that. Indeed she was likely to attract attention if she engaged in any
of the street occupations to which she had in former times been
accustomed. But something must be done. Her whole stock of money
consisted of five cents, and this was not likely to last very long. It
was far too little to buy such a meal as she got at Mrs. Merton’s. It
was doubtful, Tom reflected with a sigh, when she would get another
square meal.

Suddenly the thought came to Tom, could she not hire out to do
chamber-work? She had learned to do this at Mrs. Merton’s. It would be a
great deal better than sweeping the crossing, or selling papers.

Tom did not know how such situations were obtained, but it occurred to
her that she could go from one house to another, and apply.

With this plan in her mind, she turned round, and walked up town again.
When she reached Twenty-First Street she decided to try her luck.
Accordingly she went up to the front door of a handsome house with a
brown stone front, and rang the bell.

The door was opened by a servant, who waited respectfully for her to
announce her errand, supposing her to be a school-mate of one of the
children of the family. Her neat dress favored this mistake.

“Is the lady of the house at home?” inquired Tom.

“Who shall I say wishes to see her?” asked the servant, doubtfully.

“Does she want to hire a girl to do chamber-work?” continued Tom.

“Who wants the place?”

“I do,” said Tom.

“Then, she don’t want any,” said the girl, preparing to shut the door,
with an entire change of manner. “Don’t you know better than to come to
the front door? There’s the basement door below.”

“One door’s as good as another,” said Tom, independently.

“Both are too good for you,” said the servant, angry that under the
influence of a mistake she had at first treated Tom with the respect due
to a visitor.

“How much are you paid extra for your politeness?” asked Tom.

“Never you mind! You needn’t call again.”

Such was the result of Tom’s first application. However, she was not
discouraged. She reflected that there were a good many streets in the
city, and a good many houses in each street. So she walked on, and rang
the bell at the next house. She concluded to take the hint which had
excited her indignation, and rang the basement bell.

“Do you want a girl to do chamber-work?” she asked.

Now it so happened that a chamber-maid was wanted here, and an order had
been sent to an intelligence office for one. It was naturally supposed
that Tom had come in answer to the application.

“Come in,” said the servant. “I’ll tell the missis that you are here.”

She went upstairs, and shortly reappeared.

“You’re to come up,” she said.

Tom followed her upstairs, and took a seat in the hall.

Soon a lady came downstairs, with a languid step.

“Are you the girl that has applied to do chamberwork?” she said.

“Yes, ma’am,” answered Tom.

“You seem very young. How old are you?”

“Twelve,” answered Tom.

“Only twelve? I am surprised that so young a girl should have been sent
to me. Have you any experience?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Where have you lived?”

“At Mrs. Merton’s, No. — Sixteenth Street.”

“How long were you there?”

“Three months.”

“Have you a recommendation from her?”

“No,” answered Tom.

“Why did you leave?” asked the lady, suspiciously.

“Because she said I took some money, when I didn’t,” replied Tom,

A change came over the lady’s face,—a change that betokened little
encouragement to Tom.

“I shall not be able to take you,” she said. “I wonder they should have
sent you from the intelligence office.”

“They didn’t send me.”

“You were not sent from the office? How did you know I wanted a

“I didn’t know,” said Tom. “I thought you might.”

“If I had known that, I should have refused you at once. You can go
downstairs, and the servants will let you out at the basement door,—down
those stairs.”

“All right,” said Tom. “I can find the way; you needn’t come with me.”

This last remark led the lady to stare at Tom, uncertain whether she
meant to be impudent or not. But Tom looked so unconscious of having
said anything out of the way that she passed it over in silence.

Tom made two more applications, which proved equally unsuccessful. She
began to think it would be more difficult to obtain a situation than she
had supposed. At any rate, she resolved to defer further applications
till the morrow. Something might turn up then, she reflected with
something of her old philosophy.

                              CHAPTER XIX
                          THE OLD APPLE-WOMAN.

When Tom had got through her unsuccessful applications for a place, it
was already nearly five o’clock. She started on her way down town. Her
old street life had been spent in the neighborhood of the City Hall
Park. The offices of the leading daily and weekly papers may be found
within a radius of a furlong from it. It is within this limit that
hundreds of homeless young Arabs swarm, and struggle for a precarious
living. In returning to her old life, Tom was drawn, as by a magnet, to
this centre.

She walked down Fourth Avenue, and afterwards down the Bowery. It was
three months since she had been in this street, which had once been so
familiar to her. As she drew near the scene of her old life, she began
to see familiar faces. She passed boot-blacks and newsboys whom she had
once known and still remembered; but none of them appeared to recognize
her. This surprised Tom at first, until she remembered what a change
there was in her dress. Neatly dressed, she looked very different from
the Tom who had roamed the streets in rags and tatters. She seemed to
have cut adrift from her former life and from the sympathies of her old
companions. This was not a pleasant thought, since she must now go back
to it. Poor Tom began to regret that she had experienced anything
better, since it seemed doubtful whether she would ever again be
satisfied with a street life.

She did not make herself known to any of her old acquaintances, but
walked slowly along till she reached the City Hall Park. She entered the
inclosure and sat down on a seat. By this time she felt hungry as well
as tired. She therefore purchased, before sitting down, two apples for
three cents, thus diminishing her cash capital to two. The apples were
large, and satisfied her appetite tolerably well. Still it was not like
the dinner she would have got at Mrs. Merton’s.

Supper was provided, but it would soon be night, and she must lodge
somewhere. Tom had more than once slept out, like hundreds of other
street children, and not minded it; but now, after being accustomed to a
good chamber and a comfortable bed, she did not feel like doing this.
Besides, her clothes would be spoiled, and Tom wanted to look
respectable as long as she could.

She might go back to granny, but had no disposition to do that. Whatever
she might be called upon to suffer, she felt that she should be better
off alone than in the power of the bad old woman who had so maltreated

“I wish I could earn a few pennies,” said Tom to herself. “I might buy
some papers if I only had money enough.”

While she was thinking, a boot-black had been surveying her curiously.
It was Mike Murphy, an old acquaintance of Tom’s. He thought he
recognized her face, but her dress puzzled him. Where could Tattered Tom
have procured such a stunning outfit? That was the mystery, and it made
him uncertain of her identity. However, the face looked so familiar that
he determined to speak.

“Is that you, Tom?” he asked.

Tom looked up, and recognised Mike at once. It seemed good to speak to
an old acquaintance.

“Yes, Mike, it’s me,” said Tom, whose grammar was not yet quite

“Where’d you get them clo’es? You aint going to be married, be you?”

“Not that I know of,” said Tom.

“Where’ve you been this long time? I haven’t seen you round anywhere.”

“I’ve been livin’ up in Sixteenth Street,” said Tom. “A sailor-man took
me to his sister’s, and got her to keep me.”

“Did you like it?”

“Yes,” said Tom. “I had three square meals every day. I went to school

“Did he buy you them clo’es?”


“Are you there now?”

“No, I left to-day.”

“What for?”

“The old woman said I stole some money, and told me I must give it back
or leave the house.”

“How much did you steal?” asked Mike.

“Look here, Mike Murphy,” said Tom, indignantly, “don’t you say that

“Didn’t you take anything then?”

“Of course I didn’t.”

“What made her think so?”

“I don’t know. Somebody took it, I s’pose, and she thought it was me.”

“So you had to leave?”


“What are you goin’ to do now?”

“I don’t know,” said Tom. “I haven’t got but two cents, and I don’t know
where to sleep.”

“Where’s the old woman you used to live with?”

“I shan’t go back to her,” said Tom, firmly. “I hate her.”

“You’ve got some good clo’es,” said Mike. “I didn’t know you, at first.
I thought you was a young lady.”

“Did you?” asked Tom, rather pleased.

The time had been when she did not want to look like a young lady,—when
she would have preferred to be a boy. But her tastes had changed
considerably since then. Something of the instinct of her sex had sprung
up in her, as she was brought to a closer knowledge of more refined ways
of life. She was no longer a young Arab in her feelings, as before.
Three months had wrought a great change in Tom.

“If you haven’t any place to sleep, Tom,” said Mike, “you can come along
of me.”

“Can I?” asked Tom. “What’ll your mother say?”

“Oh, she won’t mind. Only you’ll maybe have to sleep on the floor.”

“I don’t mind,” said Tom. “It’ll be better than sleeping in the street.
Where do you live?”

“In Mulberry Street.”

“I guess I’ll get something to do to-morrow,” said Tom.

“What did you use to do?”

“Sweep the crossings sometimes. I won’t do that again. It’s too dirty.”

“It would sp’ile them nice clo’es of yours.”

“Yes,” said Tom. “Besides, I wouldn’t want Mrs. Merton, or Mary, to see
me doin’ that.”

“Who’s Mary?”

“It’s her child.”

“Did you like her?”

“No, I didn’t. She hated me too.”

“Well, I’m goin’ home. Come along, Tom.”

Tom got up from her seat with alacrity, and prepared to accompany Mike.
It was a great burden off her mind to think she was likely to have a
shelter for the night. Perhaps something would turn up for her the next
day. This thought brought back some of her old courage and confidence.

Mike Murphy’s home was neither elegant nor spacious. Mulberry Street is
not an aristocratic locality, and its residents do not in general move
in fashionable society. Mrs. Murphy was a retail merchant, being the
proprietor of an apple-stand on Nassau, near Spruce Street. Several
years’ exposure to the weather had made her face nearly as red as the
apples she dealt in, and a sedentary life had enlarged her proportions
till she weighed close upon two hundred pounds. In nearly all weathers
she was to be found at her post, sometimes sheltered by a huge cotton
umbrella, whose original color had been changed by the sun to a pale
brown. Though she had not yet been able to retire from trade upon a
competence, she had earned enough, with Mike’s assistance, to support a
family of six children,—in Mulberry Street style, to be sure, but they
had never been obliged to go to bed hungry, and the younger children had
been kept at the public school.

When Mike entered, his mother was already at home. She usually closed up
her business about five o’clock, and went home to get supper.

She looked up as Mike entered, and regarded his companion with some

“What young leddy have you got with you, Mike?” asked Mrs. Murphy.

“She thinks you are a young lady, Tom,” said Mike, laughing.

“Don’t you know me, Mrs. Murphy?” asked Tom, who had known Mike’s mother
for several years.

“By the powers, if it aint Tom. Shure and you’ve had a rise in the
world, I’m thinkin’. Why, you’re dressed like a princess!”

“Maybe I am,” said Tom; “but if I was one I’d be richer’n I am now.”

“Tom was took up by a lady,” explained Mike; “but she’s sent her away,
and she’s got nothing barrin’ her clo’es. I told her you’d let her sleep
here to-night, mother.”

“To be sure I will,” said the kind-hearted woman. “It isn’t much of a
bed I can offer you, Tom, but it’s better than sleepin’ out.”

“I can lie on the floor,” said Tom. “I don’t mind that.”

“But why did the leddy turn you out?” inquired the apple-merchant.

Tom told her story, which Mrs. Murphy never thought of doubting.

“She’s a hard, cruel woman. I’ll say that for her, Tom dear,” said Mrs.
Murphy. “But never you mind. You’re welcome to stay here, though it’s a
poor place. We’re going to have some supper directly, and you must take
some with us.”

“I’ve eaten supper,” said Tom.

“What did you have?”

“Two apples.”

“I don’t say nothin’ ag’in’ apples, for it’s them I live by, but tay and
toast is better for supper. Biddy, toast the bread, and I’ll set the
table. When a body’s tired, a cup of tay goes to the right spot, and
you’ll find it so, Tom dear.”

The good-hearted woman bustled about, and set the table, while Biddy, a
girl of ten, toasted a large number of slices of bread, for the young
Murphys were all blessed with good appetites. The tea soon diffused a
fragrant aroma about the little room. Mrs. Murphy, humble as were her
means, indulged in one solitary extravagance. She always purchased the
best quality of “tay,” as she called it, no matter what might be the

“It’s a dale chaper than whiskey,” she used to say, in extenuation of
her extravagance. “It’s mate and drink to me both, and warms me up
besides, when I’ve got chilled by rason of stayin’ out all day.”

There was a plate of cold meat placed on the table. This, with the tea
and toast, constituted Mrs. Murphy’s evening repast.

“You can sit by me, Tom dear,” she said, her face beaming with
hospitality. “It isn’t much I’ve got, but you are heartily welcome to
what there is. Children, set up to the table, all of you. Mike, see that
Tom has enough to ate. There’s one thing I can give you, and that’s a
cup of illigant tay, that a quane might not turn up her nose at.”

In spite of the two apples, Tom made room for a fair share of Mrs.
Murphy’s supper. Once more she felt that she had a home, humble enough,
to be sure, but made attractive by kindness.

“I wish I could stay here,” thought Tom; and it occurred to her that she
might be able to make such an arrangement with the old apple-woman, on
condition of paying a certain sum towards the family expenses.

                               CHAPTER XX
                        TOM SPECULATES IN GOLD.

During the evening some of the neighbors came in, and received a hearty
greeting from Mrs. Murphy.

“And who is this young leddy?” asked Mrs. O’Brien, looking at Tom.

“It’s a friend of mine,” said Mrs. Murphy.

“Don’t you know me?” asked Tom, who, in the days of her rags and
tatters, had known Mrs. O’Brien.

“Shure and it isn’t Tom?” said Mrs. O’Brien, in surprise.

“Did ye iver see such a change?” said Mrs. Murphy. “Shure and I didn’t
know her meself when she came in wid my Mike.”

“It’s mighty fine you’re dressed, Tom,” said Mrs. O’Brien. “Your granny
aint come into a fortun’, has she?”

“I don’t live with granny now,” answered Tom. “She’s a bad old woman,
and she isn’t my granny either.”

“It was only yesterday I saw her, and fine she was dressed too, wid a
nice shawl to her back, and quite the leddy, barrin’ a red nose. She
says she’s come into some money.”

Tom opened wide her eyes in astonishment. She had speculated more than
once on granny’s circumstances, but it had never entered her thoughts
that she had taken a step upwards in respectability.

“Where did you see her?” asked Tom.

“She was gettin’ out of a Third Avenue car. She said she had just come
from up town.”

“She was lookin’ after me, it’s likely,” said Tom.

“Where did she get her new clothes from?” Tom wondered.

“Maybe she’s been adopted by a rich family in Fifth Avenoo,” remarked
Mike,—a sally which nearly convulsed his mother with laughter.

“Shure, Mike, and you’ll be the death of me some time,” she said.

“She’d make an interestin’ young orphan,” continued Mike.

“Hadn’t you better marry her, Mike? and then you’d be my grandfather,”
suggested Tom.

“Such a beauty aint for the likes of me,” answered Mike. “Besides,
mother wouldn’t want her for a daughter-in-law. She’d likely get jealous
of her good looks.”

“O Mike, you’re a case!” said Mrs. Murphy, with a smile on her broad,
good-humored face.

So the evening passed, enlivened with remarks, not very intellectual or
refined, it is true, but good-natured, and at times droll. Tom enjoyed
it. She had a home-feeling, which she had never had at Mrs. Merton’s;
and above all she was cheered by the thought that she was welcome,
though the home was humble enough.

By and by the callers departed, and the family made preparations for

“I can’t give you a very nice bed, Tom,” said Mrs. Murphy, “but I’ll fix
you up a place to slape on the floor wid my Biddy.”

“That’ll be jolly,” said Tom. “If it wasn’t for you, I’d have to sleep
out in the street.”

“That would be a pity, entirely, as long as I have a roof over me.
There’s room enough for you, Tom, and it won’t be robbin’ any of us.”

Tom slept comfortably. Her bed was not one of the softest; but she had
never been used to beds of down, sleeping on a hard straw bed even at
Mrs. Merton’s. She woke, feeling refreshed, and in much better spirits
than when she set out from Mrs. Merton’s.

When breakfast was over, Mrs. Murphy set out for her place of business,
and Mike for his daily occupation. Biddy remained at home to take charge
of the younger children. With the rest Tom went too.

“Come back to-night, Tom,” said Mrs. Murphy.

“I should like to,” said Tom, “if you’ll let me pay for my board.”

“Shure we won’t quarrel about that. And what are you goin’ to do, Tom,
the day?”

“I don’t know,” said Tom. “If I had any money I’d buy some papers.”

“How much wud you want?”

“Twenty-five cents would give me a start.”

Mrs. Murphy dived into the recesses of a capacious pocket, and drew out
a handful of currency.

“I’ll lind it to you,” she said. “Why didn’t you ask me before?”

“Thank you,” said Tom. “I’ll bring it back to-night. You’re very kind to
me, Mrs. Murphy,” she added, gratefully.

“It’s the poor that knows how to feel for the poor,” said the
apple-woman. “It’s I that’ll trust you, Tom, dear.”

Three months before Tom would have told Mrs. Murphy that she was a
trump; but though some of her street phrases clung to her, she was
beginning to use less of the slang which she had picked up during her
long apprenticeship to a street life. Though her position, even at Mrs.
Merton’s, had not been as favorable as it might have been elsewhere, the
influences were far better than in the home (if it deserved the name) in
which she had been reared, and the association of the school which she
attended had, likewise, been of advantage to her. I do not wish it to be
understood that Tom had in three months changed from a young Arab into a
refined young lady. That would be hardly possible; but she had begun to
change, and she could never again be quite the wild, reckless girl whose
acquaintance we made at the street-crossing.

Tom went out with Mrs. Murphy, helping her to carry her basket of
apples. Leaving her at her accustomed stand, she went to the newspaper
offices, and laid in a small supply. With these she went to Fulton
Ferry, partly because she fancied that there was no danger of granny’s
coming there in pursuit of her. Even if the encounter did take place she
was resolved not to go back. Still it was better to avoid it altogether.

Tom was rather late in the field. Most of her competitors had been
selling papers for an hour, and some had already sold quite a number.
However, not being in the least bashful, she managed to obtain her share
of the trade that remained. The boats came in at frequent intervals,
loaded down with passengers,—clerks, shop-boys, merchants, bankers,
book-keepers, operatives, who made a home in Brooklyn, but spent the day
in the busy metropolis.

“Morning papers, sir?” asked Tom, to a rather portly gentleman, who did
business in Wall Street.

“Yes; give me the ‘Herald.’”

He drew a coin from his pocket, and handed to Tom.

“Never mind about the change,” he said.

Tom was about to put it in her pocket, supposing from the size that it
was a five-cent piece; but, chancing to glance at it more particularly,
she saw that it was a five-dollar gold piece.

Her eyes sparkled with joy. To her it was an immense fortune. She had
never, in all her life, had so much money before. “But did he mean to
give her so much?” was the question that suggested itself to her
immediately. He had, to be sure, told her to keep the change, but Tom
knew too much of human nature and the ways of the world to think it
likely that anybody would pay five dollars in gold for a morning paper,
without asking for a return of the change.

Now I am quite aware that in three cases out of four the lucky
news-vender would have profited by the mistake, and never thought of
offering to correct it. Indeed, I am inclined to think that Tom herself
would have done the same three months before. Even now she was strongly
tempted to do so. But she remembered the false charge that had been made
against her by Mrs. Merton the day before, and the indignation she felt.

“If I keep this, and it’s ever found out, she’ll be sure I took the
twenty dollars,” thought Tom. “I won’t do it. I won’t let her call me a
thief. I’ll give it back.”

The purchaser of the paper was already half through Fulton Market before
Tom made up her mind to return the money. She started on a run, afraid
her resolution might give way if she stopped to consider.

She easily recognized the man who had paid her the money.

“Mister,” said Tom, touching him to attract his attention.

“What’s wanted?” he inquired, looking at our heroine.

“Did you mean to give me this?” and Tom displayed the gold piece.

“Did I give it to you?”

“Yes, you bought a ‘Herald,’ you know, and told me to keep the change.”

“Well, why didn’t you?” he asked, in some curiosity.

“I thought you made a mistake.”

“I shouldn’t have found it out. Didn’t you want to keep it?”

“Yes,” said Tom, unhesitatingly.

“Why didn’t you?”

“I thought it would be stealing.”

“You’re a natural phenomenon!”

“Is that a bad name?” demanded Tom.

“No, not in this case. So I told you to keep the change, did I?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Then you’d better do it.”

“Do you mean it?” asked Tom, astonished.

“To be sure. I never break my word.”

“Then I’ll do it,” said Tom. “Aint I in luck this morning, though?”

“Yes, I think you are. As I probably know more of business than you, my
young friend, will you permit me to give you a piece of advice?”

“All right,” said Tom.

“Then, as gold is at a premium, you had better sell that gold piece, and
take the value in currency.”

“Where can I sell it?” asked Tom.

“I don’t, in general, solicit business, but, if you have confidence in
my integrity, you may call at my office, No. — Wall Street, any time
to-day, and I will give you the market value of the gold.”

“I don’t understand all them big words,” said Tom, rather puzzled, “but
I’ll go as soon as I have sold my papers.”

“Very good. You may ask for Mr. Dunbar. Can you remember the name?”

Tom said she could, repeating it two or three times, to become familiar
with it.

An hour later she entered the broker’s office, looking about her for her
acquaintance of the morning.

“Ah, there you are,” said the broker, recognizing her.

“So you want to sell your gold?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Gold sells at 141 to-day. Will that be satisfactory?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Mr. Johnson,” said Mr. Dunbar, addressing a clerk, “give that young
lady value in currency for five dollars in gold.”

Tom handed in the gold, and received in return seven dollars and five
cents. She could hardly credit her good luck, not being familiar with
the mysteries of banking.

“Thank you, sir,” said she gratefully, to the broker.

“I hope you will favor us with any future business you may have in our
line,” said Mr. Dunbar, with a friendly smile.

“Yes, sir,” answered Tom, rather mystified by his manner, but mentally
deciding that he was one of the jolliest gentlemen she had ever met.

When Tom emerged from the office, and was once more in the hurry and
bustle of Wall Street, it is very doubtful whether, in that street of
millionnaires and men striving to become such, there was a single one
who felt so fabulously wealthy as she.

                              CHAPTER XXI
                   TOM FALLS INTO THE ENEMY’S HANDS.

Tom found herself the possessor of seven dollars and fifty cents,
including the quarter which she owed to Mrs. Murphy for money advanced.
It was not yet eleven o’clock. She decided to call on Mrs. Murphy, pay
back the loan, and inform her of her good luck.

Mrs. Murphy was seated at her stand, keeping a sharp lookout for
customers, when she espied Tom approaching.

“Have you sold your papers, Tom?” she asked.

“Yes, Mrs. Murphy. Here’s the money I borrowed of you.”

“Keep it longer; you’ll maybe nade it. I aint afraid to trust you.”

“I don’t need it. I have been lucky. See there!” and Tom displayed a
roll of bills.

“Where’d ye get all them?” asked the apple-woman, in amazement.

“A gentleman paid me a gold piece for a ‘Herald,’ and wouldn’t take any

“Is it truth you’re tellin’, Tom?”

“Of course it is. Do you think I’d tell you a lie?”

“Tell me all about it, Tom.”

Tom did so, to the intense interest of Mrs. Murphy, who, after
ejaculations as to Tom’s luck, added, “I wish he’d buy some apples of
me, and trate me in the same way. And what are you goin’ to do wid your
money, Tom, dear?”

“I’m going to get a square meal pretty soon, Mrs. Murphy. If you’ll come
along, I’ll treat you.”

“Thank you, Tom, all the same, but I can’t lave my business. You’d
better put it in the savings-bank, where it’ll be safe. Maybe you might
lose it.”

“Have you got any money in the savings-bank?”

“No, Tom, dear. It takes all I earn for the rint, and atin’ for the

“I want to live with you, Mrs. Murphy, if you’ll take me.”

“Shure and I’d be glad to have you, Tom, if you’ll put up wid my poor

“I’d rather be there than at Mrs. Merton’s,” said Tom.

After some negotiation, Mrs. Murphy agreed to take Tom as a boarder,
furnishing her with lodging, breakfast and supper, for a dollar and a
half a week. It seemed a small sum, but it would be a welcome addition
to the apple-woman’s weekly income, while it would take Tom from the
streets, and give her a cheerful and social home.

“I’ll pay you now for a week,” said Tom. “Then I’ll be all right even if
I lose the money.”

After some persuasion, Mrs. Murphy was induced to accept the payment in

“Now I’ll go and get some dinner,” said Tom.

Tom directed her steps to the Belmont House Restaurant, on Fulton
Street. It has two rooms,—one for ladies, the other for gentlemen; and
is well-patronized by a very respectable class, chiefly clerks and
business men. It was of a higher grade than the restaurants which those
in Tom’s line of business were accustomed to frequent. Her dress,
however, prevented any surprise being felt at her entrance. She sat down
at a table, and looked over a bill of fare. She observed that roast
turkey was marked forty cents. This was rather a large price for one in
her circumstances to pay. However, she had been in luck, and felt that
she could afford an unusual outlay.

“Roast turkey and a cup of coffee!” ordered Tom, as the waiter
approached the table.

“All right, miss,” said that functionary.

Soon the turkey was set before her, with a small dish of cranberry
sauce, and a plate of bread and butter. Two potatoes and the cup of
coffee made up Tom’s dinner. She surveyed it with satisfaction, and set
to with an appetite.

“I should like to live this way every day,” thought Tom; “but I can’t
afford it.”

The waiter brought a check, and laid it beside her plate. It was marked
45 cents.

Tom walked up to the desk near the door, and paid her bill in an
independent manner, as if she were accustomed to dine there every day.
In making the payment she had drawn out her whole stock of money, and
still held it in her hand as she stood on the sidewalk outside. She
little guessed the risk she ran in doing so, or that the enemy she most
dreaded was close at hand. For just at the moment Tom stood with her
face towards Broadway, granny turned the corner of Nassau and Fulton
Streets, and bore down upon her, her eyes sparkling with joy and
anticipated triumph. She was not alone. With her was a man of
thirty-five, bold and reckless in expression, but otherwise with the
dress and appearance of a gentleman.

“There’s the gal now!” said granny, in excitement.

“Where?” said her companion, sharing her excitement.

“There, in front of that eating-house.”

“The one with her back towards us?”

“Yes. Don’t say a word, and I’ll creep up and get hold of her.”

Tom was about to put back her money in her pocket, when she felt her arm
seized in a firm grasp. Turning in startled surprise, she met the
triumphant glance of her old granny.

“Let me alone!” said Tom, fiercely, trying to snatch away her arm.

“I’ve got you, have I?” said granny. “I knowed I’d get hold of you at
last, you young trollop! Come home with me, right off!”

“I won’t go with you,” said Tom, resolutely. “I don’t want to have
anything to do with you. You haven’t got anything to do with me.”

“Haven’t I, I should like to know? Aint I your granny?”

“No, you aint.”

“What do you mean by that?” demanded Mrs. Walsh, rather taken aback.

“You aint any relation of mine. I don’t know where you got hold of me;
but I won’t own such an old drunkard for a granny.”

“Come along!” said granny, fiercely. “You’ll pay for this, miss.”

“Help!” exclaimed Tom, finding that she was likely to be carried away
against her will, at the same time struggling violently.

“What’s the matter?” asked a gentleman, who had just come out of the

“It’s my grand-child, sir,” said Mrs. Walsh, obsequiously. “She run away
from me, and now she don’t want to go back.”

“She hasn’t got anything to do with me,” said Tom. “Help!”

This last exclamation was intended to attract the attention of a
policeman who was approaching.

“What’s the trouble?” he demanded, authoritatively.

Mrs. Walsh repeated her story.

“What is the child’s name?” asked the policeman.

“Jane,” answered the old woman, who was at first on the point of saying

“How long has she lived with you?”

“Ever since she was born, till a few weeks ago.”

“What do you say to this?” asked the officer.

“I did live with her; but she beat me, so I left her. She says she is my
granny, but she isn’t.”

“Where do you live now?”

“With Mrs. Murphy, in Mulberry Street.”

This intelligence rather astonished granny, who heard it for the first

“Is the child related to you?” asked the officer.

“She’s my grandchild, but she’s always been a wild, troublesome child.
Many’s the time I have kept awake all night thinkin’ of her bad ways,”
said granny, virtuously. “It was only yesterday,” she added, with a
sudden thought suggested by the sight of the money which she had seen
Tom counting, “that she came to my room, and stole some money. She’s got
it in her pocket now.”

“Have you taken any money from your grandmother?” demanded the

“No, I haven’t,” said Tom, boldly.

“I saw her put it in her pocket,” said granny.

“Show me what you have in your pocket.”

“I’ve got some money,” said Tom, feeling in rather a tight place; “but
it was given me this morning by a gentleman at Fulton Ferry.”

“Show it,” said the officer, authoritatively.

Tom was reluctantly compelled to draw out the money she had left,—a
little over five dollars. Granny’s eyes sparkled as she saw it.

“It’s the money I lost,” said she. “Give it to me;” and she clutched
Tom’s hand.

“Not for Joe!” said Tom, emphatically. “It’s mine, and I’ll keep it.”

“Will you make her give it up?” asked granny, appealing to the
policeman. “It’s some of my hard earnings, which that wicked girl took
from me.”

“That’s a lie!” retorted Tom. “You never saw the money. There was a
gentleman down to Fulton Ferry that give it to me this morning.”

“That’s a likely story,” said granny, scornfully.

“If you don’t believe it you can ask him. He’s got an office on Wall
Street, No. —, and his name is Mr. Dunbar. Take me round there, and see
if he don’t say so.”

“Don’t believe her,” said granny. “She can lie as fast as she can talk.”

“Ask Mrs. Murphy then. She keeps an apple-stand corner of Nassau and
Spruce Streets.”

“You are sure she took this money from you?” inquired the policeman.

“Yes,” said Mrs. Walsh. “I put it in my drawer yesterday forenoon, and
when I come to look for it it was gone. Mrs. Molloy, that lives on the
next floor, told me she saw Tom, I mean Jane, come in about three
o’clock, when I was out to work. It was then that she took it.”

If granny had been dressed in her old fashion, she would have inspired
less confidence; but it must be remembered that, through money advanced
by the lawyer, she was now, in outward appearance, a very respectable
old woman; and appearances go a considerable way. The officer was,
therefore, disposed to believe her. If he had any doubt on the subject
it was settled by the interference of Mr. Lindsay, who had hitherto kept
aloof, but who now advanced, saying, “I know this woman, Mr. Officer,
and I can assure you that her story is correct. The child has been wild
and rebellious, and stolen money. But her grandmother does not wish to
have her arrested, as she might rightfully do. She prefers to take her
back, and do what she can to redeem her.”

Mr. Lindsay was in outward appearance a gentleman. His manner was quiet,
and calculated to inspire confidence.

“That is sufficient,” said the officer, respectfully. “Hark you,” he
added, addressing Tom, “you had better go away quietly with your
grandmother, or I shall advise her to give you in charge for theft.”

Granny had conquered. Tom saw that further immediate resistance would be
unavailing; without a word, therefore, she allowed herself to be led
away, mentally resolving, however, that her stay with granny would be

                              CHAPTER XXII
                       THE LAWYER AND HIS CLIENT.

Mr. Selwyn, the lawyer who has already been introduced to the reader,
sat in his office with a pile of papers before him, when a knock was
heard at the door. His clerk being absent, he arose and opened it. A
lady stood before him.

“Will you enter, madam?” he said.

“Is this Mr. Selwyn?” she asked.

“That is my name, madam.”

“My name will probably be familiar to you. I am Mrs. Lindsay.”

“I am glad to see you, madam. Will you be seated?”

She sat down, and the lawyer regarded with interest the client whom he
now saw for the first time. She was still young, less than forty
probably, and, though her face bore the impress of sorrow, she was still

“I suppose you have no news for me,” she said.

“I am sorry to say that I have as yet no trace of the child. Margaret
Walsh is on the lookout for her, and, as you have made it worth her
while, I do not doubt that she will eventually find her for you.”

“Do you think my child is still in the city?” asked Mrs. Lindsay,

“I have no doubt of it. A child, bred as she has been, does not often
leave the city voluntarily, unless in the case of those children who are
from time to time carried away to homes in the West, through the agency
of the Children’s Aid Society.”

“But may she not be of the number of these?”

“I thought it possible, and have accordingly inquired particularly of
the officers of the society whether any child answering to her
description has been under their charge, and I am assured that this is
not the case. She is probably earning a living for herself somewhere in
the streets, though we cannot tell in what way, or in what part of the
city. Having run away from Mrs. Walsh, whom I suspect she did not like,
she probably keeps out of the way, to avoid falling again into her

“It is terrible to think that my dear child is compelled to wander about
the streets homeless, and no doubt often suffering severe privations,”
said Mrs. Lindsay, with a sigh.

“Have good courage, madam,” said the lawyer. “I am convinced that we
shall find her very soon.”

“I hope indeed that your anticipations may be realized,” said the
mother. “But I have not yet told you what brings me to New York at this

Mr. Selwyn bowed and assumed an air of attention.

“It is not pleasant,” said Mrs. Lindsay, after a slight pause, “to speak
ill of a relative; but I am obliged to tell you that the worst foe I
have is my brother-in-law, a younger brother of my late husband. It was
he who in the first place contrived the abduction of the child, and,
though he witnessed my distress, he has never relented, though it was
doubtless in his power, at any time, to restore her to me.”

“How lately have you become aware of his connection with the affair?”

“Only a few months since. One day I opened a desk belonging to him, in
search of an envelope, when I accidentally came upon a letter from
Margaret Walsh, written some years since, giving an account of her
arrival in New York with my dear child, and claiming from him a sum of
money which it appears he had promised as a compensation for her
services. This discovery astounded me. It was the first intimation I had
of my brother-in-law’s perfidy. He had always offered me such a delicate
and unobtrusive sympathy, and appeared to share so sincerely in my
sorrow, that I could scarcely believe the testimony of my senses. I read
the letter three times before I could realize his treachery. Of course I
did not make known to him the discovery I had made, but, calling on a
lawyer, I asked him to recommend to me some trustworthy gentleman in his
profession in this city. Your name was suggested, and I at once
authorized him to communicate with you, and employ you in the matter.”

“I trust I shall prove worthy of the recommendation,” said the lawyer,
inclining his head.

“There is one question which I should like to ask,” he continued. “In
what manner would your brother-in-law be likely to derive advantage from
your child’s disappearance?”

“My husband left a large property,” said Mrs. Lindsay. “Half of this was
bequeathed to me, the remaining half I was to hold in trust for my
child. If, however, she should die before reaching her majority, my
brother-in-law, Mr. James Lindsay, was to receive my child’s portion.”

“That constitutes a very powerful motive,” said the lawyer. “The love of
money is the root of all evil, you know.”

“I do not like to suspect my brother-in-law of such baseness,” said Mrs.
Lindsay, “but I fear I must.”

“How are his own means? Has he considerable property?”

“He had. Both my husband and himself inherited a large property; but I
have reason to think that, at the time I speak of, he had lost large
sums by gambling. He had passed two years abroad, and I heard from
acquaintances, who met him there, that he played for high stakes at
Baden Baden and other German gambling resorts, and lost very heavily. I
suspect that he must have reduced his means very much in this way.”

“You are probably correct, and this supplies what we lawyers always
seek—the motive. I can quite understand that to a man so situated a
hundred thousand dollars must have been a powerful temptation. I must
ask you another question. Has Mr. James Lindsay derived any advantage
from your child’s property thus far?”

“He has, though it was legally decided that he could not come into
absolute possession, since my child’s death was not definitely
ascertained; at least, until such time as, if living, she would have
attained her majority, it was decreed that the income derived from the
property should be paid to him, this payment to cease only in case of
Jenny’s restoration.”

“And has this been done?”

“It has.”

“Then Mr. James Lindsay has for the last six years received the income
of a hundred thousand dollars.”

Mrs. Lindsay inclined her head.

“And you never suspected his agency in the affair, in spite of all

“Never. I knew James profited by my dear child’s loss, but I was not
prepared to suspect him of such baseness.”

“I should have thought of it at once; but then we lawyers see so much of
the bad side of human nature that we are prone to suspect evil.”

“Then I should not wish to be a lawyer. It pains me to think ill of

“I respect you for the sentiment, madam, though in my profession I am
compelled to repudiate it. May I inquire whether your brother-in-law yet
suspects that you have discovered his complicity in the plot against
your child?”

“It is that which brings me to see you to-day. I feel sure that in some
way he has gained a knowledge of my secret, though I endeavored to
conceal it from him.”

“That is not surprising. He might accidentally have seen the
advertisement for Margaret Walsh, which, under your directions, I
inserted in the leading New York daily papers.”

“He must have found out in this way.”

“He will now doubtless do what he can to prevent your recovering
possession of her.”

“I fear he has already commenced. Three days since, he told me that he
was about to go to Washington, and possibly further south for a few
weeks. He added that, having much business to occupy him, he doubted if
he should be able to write often. I supposed this to be true, until
yesterday I heard that, instead of taking the cars to Baltimore, he had
bought a ticket for New York. This attempt to deceive me convinces me
that he has penetrated my secret.”

“Do you know where he is staying in New York?”

“No, I do not. I only reached the city to-day, and came at once to your
office to inform you of the new danger which menaced our cause.”

“The information is important, Mrs. Lindsay,” said the lawyer,
thoughtfully. “I must endeavor to guard against his machinations. No
doubt he will first try to find out Margaret Walsh, and when he has
found her will seek to buy her over to his interest. From what I know of
the woman, he will have no difficulty in succeeding.”

“What can we do?” asked Mrs. Lindsay, anxiously.

“I don’t care to bid against him, for, having such large interests at
stake, he will take care to go as high as we. We must do what we can to
keep them apart.”

“Will that be possible?”

“We can at least try. I must have time to think what methods are to be

“When shall you see Margaret?”

“To-morrow, probably. That is the day on which she has been accustomed
to come for her weekly allowance, and I must do her the justice to say
that she has never yet failed to present herself punctually. You will
remain in New York?”

“Yes,” said Mrs. Lindsay. “In my present state of mind I could not be
contented away from here.”

“What will be your address?”

“I have not thought.”

“Let me advise you not to stop at a hotel. Your arrival would in that
way become known to Mr. James Lindsay, as it would probably be published
in the ‘Evening Express.’”

“Can you recommend me a good boarding-house, Mr. Selwyn?”

“I know an excellent one on West Twenty-Fifth Street, where you will
have a fine room and every comfort. I will, if you desire it, give you a
letter to Mrs. Thurston, with whom I once boarded myself.”

“I shall feel much indebted to you, Mr. Selwyn, if you will do so.”

The lawyer turned to his desk, and wrote a brief note, which he handed
to his client. She took it, and rose from her seat, saying, “May I hope
to see you this evening, Mr. Selwyn? I am sorry to trespass upon your
time to such an extent, but you will appreciate a mother’s anxiety.”

“I can and I do,” said the lawyer; “and you may rest assured that my
best energies shall be devoted to your service.”

Within two hours Mrs. Lindsay found herself installed in a handsome
apartment at Mrs. Thurston’s boarding-house.

“I shall feel better,” she reflected, “now that I am in the city where
my child in all probability is leading a life of poverty and privation.
God grant that she may be restored to me, and that I may be able to make
up to her the care of which she has so cruelly been deprived for six
long years!”

                             CHAPTER XXIII

It will be understood why Mr. Lindsay had visited New York, and opened
communication with Margaret Walsh. The knowledge that his sister-in-law
had discovered his agency in the disappearance of her child, and the
fear that she might recover her, and so deprive him of the large
property for which he had intrigued, alarmed him, and led him to exert
himself to frustrate, if possible, his sister’s plans.

Only two days after reaching the city, he had met Margaret in the
street. He recognized her at once, and discovered without much
difficulty the steps Mrs. Lindsay had this far taken. He at once offered
Margaret double the reward if she would serve his interests; and granny
consented, nothing loth. The first object was still to get possession of
Tom. How that was effected has already been told. We will now resume our
story where we left it at the end of the twenty-first chapter.

Tom walked quietly away with granny, feeling that there was no chance of
immediate escape. She meant to bide her time, and break away as soon as
she could. Mr. Lindsay walked on the other side of granny until they
reached the Astor House.

“Stop here a minute,” he said, “I will go in and inquire when the next
train starts on the Erie Road.”

The old woman did as directed. Tom could not help wondering how there
should be an acquaintance between granny and a well-dressed gentleman
like Mr. Lindsay. It seemed strange, yet there was an evident
understanding between them.

Mr. Lindsay came out in less than five minutes.

“A train starts in an hour,” he said. “We had better go to the depot at

Granny made some objection to the short notice, but he overruled it.

“It must be done,” he said, decidedly. “It is the only safe way.”

“I aint used to travellin’,” said Margaret.

“You’ve got a tongue in your head,” he said roughly. “All you’ve got to
do is to inquire when you are in doubt. I will go to the depot with you,
and buy your tickets.”

Mrs. Walsh made no further objection, and they took their way to the

“I wonder what’s up,” thought Tom.

They reached the depot and went into the reception-room. Mr. Lindsay
went out, and returned shortly with two strips of tickets, which he gave
to granny, explaining in what way they would be called for. He then took
out a roll of bills, and gave her. Then ensued a whispered conversation,
of which Tom only heard detached words, from which she was unable to
gather a definite idea. Then they entered the cars, and Mr. Lindsay left
them, with a last injunction, “Mind she don’t escape.”

“I’ll take care,” nodded granny.

Soon the cars were on their way. It was the first time within her
remembrance that Tom had ridden in the cars, and she looked out of the
window with great interest, enjoying the rapid motion and the changing
views. At last, yielding to curiosity, she turned and addressed the old

“Where are we goin’, granny?”

“Never you mind!” said granny.

“But I do mind. Are we goin’ far?”

“None of your business!”

“Who was that man that gave you money? Has he got anything to do with

“No,” said granny.

“Why did he give you money?”

“Because he’s a relation of mine,” said granny. “He’s my nephew.”

Tom was not in the least deceived. She knew that, if granny had a
nephew, he would be a far different man from Mr. Lindsay. However, she
had a curiosity to hear what granny would say, and continued asking

“Then he’s a relation of mine,” said Tom.

“No he isn’t,” said granny, sharply.

“Why isn’t he? Aint you my granny?”

Mrs. Walsh could not gainsay this argument. “He’s a little of a relation
to you,” she said. “He’s give me some money, so I can live with you out
West. You won’t have to sweep streets no longer.”

The mystery seemed to deepen. What truth there might be in granny’s
representations Tom could not tell. One thing was clear, however.
Relation or not, this man had given granny money, and would probably
give her more. Probably, if Tom remained with her, she would not fare as
hard as formerly; but this she did not intend to do. She had come to
dislike granny, who, she felt instinctively, was not really her
relation, and still cherished the intention of running away as soon as
there was a good opportunity.

Meanwhile the cars sped on till seventy-five miles separated them from
the city. Broad fields extended on either side the railway track. To
Tom, who was a true child of the city, who had rarely seen green grass,
since the round of her life had been spent within a short distance of
City Hall Park, it seemed strange. She wondered how it would seem to
live in the country, and rather thought she should not like it.

At length they came to a station where supper was to be obtained. Granny
was hungry and rose with alacrity.

“Shall I go with you?” asked Tom.

“No,” said Mrs. Walsh, “set right here. I’ll go and buy something for

They were so far away from the city now that granny had no fear of Tom’s
escaping, particularly as she had no money.

Tom retained her seat, therefore, and granny entered the station-house,
where some of her fellow-passengers were already hurrying down their

She stepped up to the counter, and soon was engaged in a similar way.

“Will you have a cup of coffee, ma’am?” inquired the waiter.

“Haven’t you got some whiskey?” inquired the old woman.

“No, we don’t keep it.”

Granny looked disappointed. She was very fond of whiskey, and, having
plenty of money, saw no reason why she should be deprived of her
favorite beverage.

“Aint there any to be got near by?” she asked.

“There’s a saloon a few rods up the road,” was the reply.

“Could I find it easy?”

“Yes, there’s a sign outside. It’s a small one-story building. You can’t
miss it.”

Mrs. Walsh hastily bought a couple of cakes for Tom, and hurried out of
the building. There stood the cars, liable to start at any time. It was
the part of prudence to get in, and granny hesitated. But the desire for
a dram was strong within her, and she thought she could run over and get
a glass, and be back in time. The train stopped ten minutes for
refreshments, and she had not consumed more than five. The temptation
proved too strong for her to resist.

She reached the saloon, and, entering, said, “Give me a glass of
whiskey, quick. I’m going right off in the train.”

The whiskey was poured out, and granny drank it with a sense of
exquisite enjoyment.

“Give me another,” she said.

Another was poured out, and she had half drunk it, when the whistle was
heard. This recalled the old woman to the risk she incurred of being
left by the train. Setting down the glass hastily, she was hurrying out
of the saloon, when she was stopped by the bar-tender.

“You haven’t paid for your drinks, ma’am,” he said bluntly.

Granny saw the train just beginning to move.

“I can’t stop,” she said desperately. “I shall be left.”

“That don’t go down!” said the bar-tender, roughly; “you must pay for
your drinks.”

“I’ll send it to you,” said granny, trying to break away.

“That trick won’t work,” said the man, and he clutched the old woman by
the arm.

“I’ve got a gal aboard,” screamed granny, desperately, trying at the
same time to break away.

“I don’t care if you’ve got forty gals aboard, you must pay.”

Mrs. Walsh drew a bill from her pocket, and, throwing it down, rushed
for the train without waiting for the change. But too much time had
already been lost. The cars were now speeding along at a rate which made
it quite impossible for her to catch them, and get aboard.

“Stop!” she shrieked frantically, running with a degree of speed of
which she would have been thought incapable. “I’ve got a gal aboard. I
shall lose her.”

Some of the passengers saw her from the windows, and were inclined to
laugh rather than sympathize with her evident distress.

“Serves her right!” said a grouty old fellow. “Why didn’t she come back
in time?”

“There’s a woman left behind,” said another passenger to the conductor.

He shrugged his shoulders, and said, indifferently, “That’s her lookout.
If she didn’t choose to come to time, she must take the consequences.”

“Couldn’t you stop the train?” asked a kind-hearted little woman.

“No ma’am. Quite impossible. We’re behind time already.”

So the train sped on, leaving granny frantic and despairing, waving her
arms and screaming hoarsely, “Stop! I’ve got a gal aboard!”

“What would Mr. Lindsay say?” she could not help thinking. Only four
hours had passed since Tom had been placed in her charge, and they were
separated. She cared little or nothing for Tom, or her welfare, but for
her own interests, which were likely to be seriously affected, she cared
a great deal. She was to have a comfortable annuity as long as she kept
Tom safe in custody, and that was at an end unless she could manage to
get her back.

She went into the station-house, and inquired when the next train would
leave. She learned that several hours must elapse. Having plenty of
time, therefore, she went back to the saloon, and recovered the change
due her, taking an additional glass of whiskey, to drown her chagrin and

                              CHAPTER XXIV
                           TOM’S ADVENTURES.

Among those who looked out of the window, and witnessed granny’s frantic
gesticulations was Tom.

“Aint that rich?” she uttered, in high delight.

“What’s the matter?” asked an old lady, who sat just in front, bending
over and speaking to Tom.

“It’s my granny,” said Tom, laughing afresh. “She’s left behind. You
ought to see her shakin’ her fist at the cars.”

“Are you laughing at your grandmother’s disappointment?” asked the old
lady’s daughter, a prim-visaged maiden lady. “For shame, child!”

“I’m glad to get rid of her,” said Tom, coolly. “She aint my granny; she
only pretends to be.”

“Hasn’t she had the care of you?”

“No,” said Tom. “I’ve had the care of her. She took all the money I
earned, and spent it for rum.”

“What are you going to do?” inquired the old maid.

“I don’t know,” said Tom, her attention being now first called to the
embarrassment of her situation. She was nearly eighty miles from New
York, and this distance was fast increasing. She had no railway ticket
and no money. What was she to do?

“Have you had any supper, child?” asked the old lady.

“No,” answered Tom. “Granny went out to get some.”

“Priscilla,” said the old lady, “haven’t you got some of them cookies

“Yes, ma,” said the daughter.

“You’d better give some of them to the child.”

The younger lady took several hard seed-cakes from a paper bag, and
offered them to Tom, who accepted and ate them with avidity.

Meanwhile she was considering what was best to be done. She wanted to
get back to New York, where she felt at home. Then she could go back to
Mrs. Murphy’s, whom she had paid for a week’s board in advance. She had
no money, for granny had forcibly taken from her what she had left after
paying for her dinner. How she was to get back seemed rather a problem.
One thing, however, appeared evident: every moment carried her farther
away from the city. So Tom concluded that the sooner she got off, the

When the cars reached the next stopping-place, Tom got up and went to
the door.

“Where are you going?” asked the old lady.

“I’m going to look out,” answered Tom, fearing that some impediment
might be placed in her way.

“Don’t you get off, or you may get lost too.”

“All right.”

Tom stepped on the platform, and, quietly jumping from the cars, ran
round the depot, to escape notice. The stop was a short one, and
directly she heard the noise of the departing train. When it was fairly
on the way, Tom began to look around her and consider her situation.

It was a small station, and there was scarcely a house near the depot.
It was already twilight, and to Tom, who was accustomed to the crowded
city, it appeared very lonely and desolate. She knew not where she
should pass the night. She had often been in that position in the city,
and it did not trouble her. Here, however, she was rather startled at
the unwonted solitude. Besides, being wholly ignorant of the country, it
occurred to her that she might meet some wild animal prowling around.

Just as this thought came into her mind, she saw advancing towards her a
cow, followed by a farmer’s boy, about two years older than herself. Now
Tom was brave enough constitutionally, but this was the first cow she
had ever seen, and the branching horns led her to suppose it fierce and
dangerous, like a lion, for example.

She rushed with headlong speed to a stone wall and climbed over.

“Ho! ho!” laughed the boy; “are you afraid of a cow?”

“Won’t she kill me?” asked Tom, a little reassured.

“She wouldn’t kill a fly. Didn’t you ever see a cow afore?”

“No, I didn’t,” said Tom. “I thought it was something like a lion.”

“Where’ve you lived all your life?” asked the boy, astonished at Tom’s
greenness, as he considered it.

“In New York.”

“I thought everybody’d seen cows. Where are you going?”

“I don’t know,” answered Tom.

“You aint stoppin’ to Doctor Simpson’s, be you?”

“I’m stoppin’ on this fence,” said Tom, rather humorously.

“Taint a fence; it’s a stone wall.”

“What’s the odds?”

“How did you come here?”

“By the cars,” said Tom. “I got left.”

“You did? Where are you going to sleep to-night?”

“I don’t know.”

“There’s a tavern in the village.”

“What’s that?”

“A tavern. Don’t you know? A hotel.”

“I haven’t got any money.”

“That’s queer,” said the boy, staring. “Where are you goin’ to sleep?”

“On the grass,” said Tom; “only I’m afraid of the wild animals.”

“Pooh! there aint no wild animals round here. But you mustn’t sleep
out-doors. You’ll catch cold. If you’ll come home with me, mother’ll let
you sleep in our house.”

“Thank you,” said Tom. “You’re a brick.”

“You talk queer for a girl. What’s your name?”


“Tom? That’s a boy’s name.”

“They call me so. My right name is Jane.”

“Well, Jane, come along, and I’ll show you where we live.”

The two walked together, soon becoming sociable. The boy, James Hooper,
was amazed at Tom’s ignorance of the most common things pertaining to
country life, but found that in other ways she was sharp enough.

“You talk just like a boy,” he said.

“Do I?” said Tom. “I used to wish I was a boy, but I don’t know now. I
think I’d like to grow up a lady,—a tip-top one, you know,—and dress

“Are all the girls in New York like you?” asked James, curiously.

“No,” said Tom. “There’s Mary Merton, she isn’t a bit like me. This is
the way she walks,” and Tom imitated Mary’s languid, mincing gait.

“I like you best,” said John. “But here we are. Do you see that house
down the lane?”

“Yes,” said Tom.

“That’s where we live.”

It was a large, square, comfortable farm-house, such as we often see in
farming towns. The farmer’s wife, a stout, comely woman, stood at the

“Who’ve you got with you, James?” she asked.

“It’s a girl that got left by the train,” said James. “She’s got no
money to pay for her lodging. I told her you would let her sleep here.”

“Of course I will. Come right in, child. How did you get left?”

“I just got out a minute,” said Tom, “and the cars went off and left

“What a pity! Who was travelling with you?”

“My granny,” answered Tom.

“What’ll she do? She’ll be very much frightened.”

“I expect she will,” said Tom, who had made up her mind not to tell too

“Were you going back to the city?”

Tom answered in the affirmative. I do not mean to defend the lie, for a
lie it was, but I have not represented Tom as perfect in any respect. In
the future she will improve, I hope, when placed under more favorable
circumstances. Her object in saying what she did was to prevent any
opposition being made to her return to the city.

“You haven’t had any supper, have you?” asked Mrs. Hooper.

“I ate a few cakes,” answered Tom.

“That isn’t hearty enough for a growing girl,” said the good woman. “You
must take some supper with us.”

The family supper had been eaten, but a tempting array of dishes was
soon set before Tom, whose appetite was always ready to answer any
reasonable demands upon it.

In the evening Tom’s best course was discussed. She expressed a strong
desire to return at once to the city, saying she would be all right

“If your grandmother would not feel anxious about you,” said Mrs.
Hooper, “we should be glad to have you stop with us a day or two.”

“I guess I’d better go back,” said Tom, for, knowing that granny had
been left by the cars only five miles away, she was under some
apprehensions that she might find her way thither.

“You can take the nine-o’clock train to-morrow morning,” said James,
“and get to the city before night.”

“Before night? She’ll get there by one o’clock,” said his mother.

“I haven’t got any money to buy a ticket,” said Tom.

“We will lend you the necessary amount,” said the farmer, “and your
grandmother can pay it back whenever it is convenient.”

Tom felt a little reluctant to accept this money, for she knew that
there was no hope of repayment by granny; but she determined to accept
it, and work hard till she could herself save up money enough to pay the
debt incurred. She felt grateful to the farmer’s family for their
kindness, and was resolved that they should not suffer by it.

In the evening they gathered in the plain sitting-room, covered with a
rag-carpet. Tom helped James make a kite. She was ignorant, but learned
readily. In her interest, she occasionally let slip some street phrases
which rather surprised James, who was led to wonder whether Tom was a
fair specimen of New York girls. He had always fancied that he should
feel bashful in their society; but with Tom he felt perfectly at home.

In the morning he accompanied Tom to the depot, and paid for her ticket,
being supplied with money for the purpose by his mother.

“Good-by,” he said, shaking her hand as she entered the cars.

“Good-by, old fellow,” said Tom. “I’ll pay you back that money if granny

The train started and was soon whirling along at the rate of twenty
miles an hour. Half-way between this and the next station they passed a
train bound in an opposite direction. Looking through the window on the
side towards the other train, Tom caught a glimpse of granny’s face. The
old woman had been compelled to stop till morning, and had taken the
first train bound westward. She did not see Tom, who quickly moved her
head from the window.

“Sold again!” thought Tom, in high delight. “When granny catches me
again, she’ll know it.”

                              CHAPTER XXV
                         TOM FINDS HER MOTHER.

Tom sat back in her seat and enjoyed the prospect from the windows, as
the train sped along. She felt in unusually good spirits, knowing that
she had put granny entirely off the track, and that there was no
immediate chance of her recapture.

“If I only had that money granny took from me, I’d be all right,” she
said to herself. However, her board and lodging were paid at Mrs.
Murphy’s for a week in advance, and that was something.

About forty miles from New York a number of passengers got into the
cars. The seats were mostly occupied, but the one beside Tom was
untaken. A gentleman advanced up the aisle with a lady, looking about
him for a seat.

“Is this seat engaged?” he inquired of Tom.

“No,” answered Tom.

“Then you had better sit here, Rebecca,” said the gentleman. “I think
you will have no trouble. You won’t forget where you are to go,—Mrs.
Thurston’s, West Twenty-Fifth Street. I can’t recall the number, but a
glance in the Directory will settle that.”

“I wish you knew the number,” said the lady.

“It was very careless of me to lose it, I confess. Still, I think you
will have no trouble. But good-by, I must hurry out, or I shall be

“Good-by. Let me see you soon.”

The gentleman got out, and the lady settled down into her seat, and
looked about her. Finally her glance rested on her young companion. She
was inclined to be social, and accordingly opened a conversation with

“Are you going to New York?” she inquired.

“Yes, ma’am.”

“I suppose you live there?”


“I have never been there, and know nothing at all about the city.”

“It’s a big place,” remarked Tom.

“Yes, I suppose so. I have always lived in the country, and I am afraid
I shan’t feel at home there. But my sister, who is boarding with a Mrs.
Thurston, who keeps a large boarding-house on West Twenty-Fifth Street,
has invited me to come up and spend a few weeks, and so I have got

“I guess you’ll like it,” said Tom.

“Do you live anywhere near West Twenty-Fifth Street?”

“Not now,” said Tom. “I did live in West Sixteenth Street, but I don’t

“Are you travelling alone?”

“Yes,” said Tom.

“I suppose you live with your father and mother?”

“I haven’t got any,” answered Tom, laconically.

“I suppose you are well acquainted with the city?”

“Yes,” said Tom. “I know it like a book.”

The fact was, that Tom knew it a great deal better than a book, for her
book-knowledge, as we very well know, was by no means extensive.

“Do you board?”

“Yes,” said Tom. “I board with Mrs. Murphy, in Mulberry Street.”

It struck the lady that Murphy was an Irish name, but the name of the
street suggested nothing to her. She judged from Tom’s appearance that
she belonged to a family in comfortable circumstances.

“I wish I knew the number of Mrs. Thurston’s house,” said the lady
rather anxiously. “I’m so afraid I shan’t find it.”

“I’ll tell you what,” said Tom, “I’ll go with you, if you want me to.”

“I wish you would,” said the lady, much relieved. “It would be a great

“I s’pose you won’t mind givin’ me a quarter,” added Tom, with a sharp
eye to the main chance; not unreasonably, since she was penniless.

“I’ll give you double that amount,” said the lady, “and thank you into
the bargain. I’m not much used to travelling, and feel as helpless as a

“I’ll take care of you,” said Tom, confidently. “I’ll take you to Mrs.
Thurston’s right side up with care.”

“She talks rather singularly,” thought the lady; but Tom’s confident
tone inspired her with corresponding confidence, and she enjoyed the
rest of her journey much more than she would otherwise have done. Tom’s
request for compensation did not surprise her, for she reflected that
children have always a use for money.

At length they reached the city, and Tom and her companion got out of
the cars.

“Come right along,” said Tom, taking the lady by the hand as if she were
a child.

“Carriage, ma’am?” asked several hackmen.

“Perhaps I’d better take a carriage,” said the lady, whose name, by the
way, was Mrs. Parmenter.

“Just as you say,” said Tom.

“I’ve got a nice carriage, ma’am. This way, please,” said a burly

“Look here, mister, what are you going to charge?” demanded Tom.

“Where do you want to go?”

“To Mrs. Thurston’s, West Twenty-Fifth street.”

“Whereabouts in the street? What number?”

“The lady don’t know.”

“Then how am I to carry you there?”

“Look into the Directory,” said Tom. “If it’s too much trouble for you,
we’ll take another man.”

The hackman made no further objections, but resolved to increase his
charge to compensate for the extra trouble. But here again Tom defeated
him, compelling him to agree to a price considerably less than he at
first demanded.

“Young lady,” said he, paying an involuntary tribute to Tom’s
shrewdness, “you’re about as sharp as they make ’em.”

“That’s so,” said Tom. “You’re right the first time.”

Mrs. Parmenter and Tom entered the carriage, and the driver mounted his

“I don’t see how you dared to talk to that man so,” said the lady. “I
should have paid him whatever he asked.”

“Then you’d have got awfully cheated,” said Tom. “I know their tricks.”

“I’m sure I’m much obliged to you. I don’t know how I should have got
along without you.”

“I’ve always lived in the city,” said Tom; “so I’ve got my eye-teeth
cut. They can’t cheat me easy.”

“I’m afraid I’m selfish in taking you with me,” said Mrs. Parmenter. “I
hope your friends won’t be alarmed at your coming home late.”

“I don’t think they will,” said Tom, laughing.

“You said you had no relatives living in the city?”

“Not now. My granny’s just left New York. She’s travellin’ for her
health,” added Tom, with a burst of merriment, at which Mrs. Parmenter
was rather surprised.

“Where has she gone?”

“Out West. I went a little way with her, just to oblige. She was awful
sorry to part with me, granny was;” and Tom laughed again in a manner
that quite puzzled her companion, who mentally decided that Tom was a
very odd girl indeed.

“After we get to Mrs. Thurston’s,” said Mrs. Parmenter, “I’ll tell the
driver to carry you home. Shall I?”

Tom fancied the sensation she would produce in Mulberry Street, if she
should drive up to the door of the humble tenement house in which she
boarded, and declined the offer. She might have accepted, for the joke
of it, but she saw that the hackman took her for a young lady, and she
did not wish to let him discover the unfashionable locality in which she
made her home.

“Never mind,” said Tom. “I’d just as lieves ride in the cars.”

They stopped at a drug-store, and the driver, going in, ascertained
without difficulty, by an examination of the Directory, the number of
Mrs. Thurston’s boarding-house. A few minutes later, he drew up in front
of a very good-looking house, and, jumping from the box, opened the

“Is this Mrs. Thurston’s?” asked Mrs. Parmenter.

“Yes, ma’am; it’s the number that’s put down in the Directory.”

“I’ll ring the bell and see,” said Tom.

She ran up the steps, and rang a loud peal, which was quickly answered.

“Is this Mrs. Thurston’s?” she asked.


“Then here’s a lady that’s coming in,” said Tom. “It’s the right place,”
she added, going back to the carriage where Mrs. Parmenter was engaged
in paying the driver.

“Now, my dear,” said Mrs. Parmenter, “I hope you’ll accept this for your
kindness in guiding me.”

She drew a dollar from her purse, and handed it to Tom.

“Thank you,” said Tom, quite elated. “I’m glad I come with you.”

Mrs. Parmenter was about to enter the house, when another lady descended
the steps. It was Mrs. Lindsay, who had been recommended to this house,
as the reader may remember, by the Wall Street lawyer. She no sooner saw
Tom than she became excited, and grasped the balustrade for support.

“Child,” she said, eagerly, “what is your name?”

“Tom,” answered our heroine, surprised.


“That’s what they call me. Jane is my real name.”

“Do you know a woman named Margaret Walsh?” continued Mrs. Lindsay, her
emotion increasing.

“Why, that’s my granny,” said Tom, surprised.

There was no more room for doubt. Mrs. Lindsay opened her arms.

“Found at last!” she exclaimed. “My dear, dear child!”

“Are you my mother?” asked Tom, in amazement.

“Yes, Jenny, your own mother, never again, I hope, to be separated from
you;” and Mrs. Lindsay clasped the astonished girl to her arms.

“You don’t look a bit like granny,” she said, scanning the refined and
beautiful features of her mother.

“You mean Margaret,” said Mrs. Lindsay, with a shudder. “She is a wicked
woman. It was she who stole you away from me years ago.”

“I played such a trick on her,” said Tom, laughing. “She wanted to carry
me off out West; but I left her, and she’s goin’ on alone.”

“Come in, my darling,” said Mrs. Lindsay. “Your home is with your mother
henceforth. You have much to tell me. I want to know how you have passed
all these years of cruel separation.”

She took Tom up to her own chamber, and drew from her the whole story.
Many parts gave her pain, as Tom recounted her privations and
ill-treatment; but deep thankfulness came at the end, because the child
so long-lost was at last restored.

“To-morrow I must buy you some new clothes,” said she. “Are these all
you have?”

“Yes,” said Tom, “they are a good deal nicer than I used to wear.”

“You shall have better still. I will try to make up to you for your past

“I want to go out a little while,” said Tom. “I’d like to tell Mrs.
Murphy what’s happened to me. You see, I paid her for a week’s board,
and she’ll wonder where I am.”

“I can’t trust you out of my sight,” said Mrs. Lindsay; “but I’ll go
with you if you wish it.”

“Yes, I should like that.”

Great was the astonishment of worthy Mrs. Murphy, when Tom came up to
her stand with a handsomely dressed and stylish lady, whom she
introduced as her mother. I will not attempt to repeat the ejaculations
in which she indulged, nor her delight when Mrs. Lindsay bought one of
her apples for Tom, and paid for it with a ten-dollar bill, refusing

“Shure, your mother’s a rale leddy, Tom dear,” she said; “and it’s I
that’s glad of it, for your sake.”

Mrs. Lindsay ordered dinner for herself and Tom in her own room, not
wishing to introduce her to her fellow-boarders until she had supplied
her with a more suitable wardrobe, for Tom’s dress was by this time
soiled and dirty. When the lawyer came up in the evening, his surprise
was great to find the child, whom he had exhausted his legal skill to
discover, already restored to her mother. He offered his sincere
congratulations, and, it may here be remarked, was handsomely paid for
the trouble he had taken in the matter.

By the next post, at Tom’s request, a letter was sent by Mrs. Lindsay to
the farmer’s wife who had sheltered Tom, enclosing the amount of money
paid for the railroad ticket, and thanking her earnestly for the
kindness shown to her child. Much to Tom’s delight, an extra ten dollars
was enclosed as a present to James Hooper from her.

                              CHAPTER XXVI

When Tom was suitably dressed, it was easy to perceive a strong
resemblance between her mother and herself. This resemblance was
affected, to be sure, by a careless, independent expression produced by
the strange life she had led as a street Arab. No doubt her new life
would soften and refine her manners, and make her more like girls of her
own age.

Having no further occasion to remain in New York, Mrs. Lindsay took the
train for Philadelphia the next day, where Tom, whom we must now call
Jane Lindsay, found herself in an elegant home, surrounded by all that
wealth could supply. Her mother lost no time in supplying her with
teachers, that the defects of her education might be remedied. These
were great, as we know, but Jane—I had nearly said Tom—was quick, and
her ambition was excited, so that the progress which she made was indeed
remarkable. At the end of the year she was as far advanced as most girls
of her age.

At first our heroine found the change in her life not altogether
agreeable. She missed the free life of the streets, which, in spite of
all its privations and discomforts, is not without a charm to the
homeless young Arabs that swarm about the streets. But in a short time
she acquired new tastes, never, however, losing that fresh and buoyant
spirit, and sturdy independence, which had enabled her to fight her way
when she was compelled to do so. It was evident that Jane, whether from
her natural tendencies or her past experiences, was not likely to settle
down into one of those average, stereotyped, uninteresting young ladies
that abound in our modern society. Nature was sure to assert itself in a
certain piquancy and freshness of manner, which, added to her personal
attraction, will, I think, eventually make Tom—the name slipped from my
pen unintentionally—a great favorite in society. Her faults, at some of
which I have hinted, she did not at once get rid of; but the influence
of an excellent mother will, I am convinced, in time eradicate most of

When James Lindsay learned that his sister-in-law had recovered her
child, he went abroad without seeing her, being ashamed no doubt to meet
one whom he had so deeply injured, and there was no difficulty in
reclaiming the property, the income of which had for some years been
wrongly diverted to his use.

Such of my readers as have conceived an admiration for granny may be
interested to learn that she kept on in her western journey, hoping to
come upon Tom somewhere; but of course she was disappointed. She arrived
at length in Chicago, and, having a considerable sum of money in her
possession, decided to stay there. She did not venture to open
communication with James Lindsay, lest he should take from her the money
she had at present, on account of her careless guardianship. Hiring a
room, she gave herself up to the delights of drinking and smoking. The
last habit proved fatal, when, one afternoon, she lay down with her
lighted pipe in her mouth. Falling asleep, the pipe fell upon the bed,
setting on fire the bedclothes, and next the clothing of Margaret
herself. Whether she was suffocated before awakening, or whether she
awoke too late for rescue, was never ascertained. Certain it is,
however, that when the smell of smoke called in the neighbors, granny
was quite dead, expiating by her tragical end the sins of her miserable

I must sketch one more scene, and then this chronicle of Tom’s
adventurous life will close.

Fifteen months after Tom made the acquaintance of Captain Barnes, that
worthy officer returned to New York. He at once repaired to the house of
his sister, Mrs. Merton, expecting to find Tom. He had thought of her
very often while at sea, and pictured with pleasure the improvement
which she would exhibit after a year’s training and education.

“I have no child. I probably shall never have one,” he said to himself.
“If Jenny has become such a girl as I hope, I will formally adopt her,
and when I have become too old to go to sea, we will make a pleasant and
cosey little home together, and she shall cheer my declining years.”

Such thoughts as these warmed the heart of the sailor, and made him
anxious for the voyage to close. He had heard nothing from his sister
since he left, and was, therefore, ignorant of the fact that Tom was no
longer in her charge.

When he reached his sister’s house, and had kissed her and his nieces,
he inquired eagerly:—

“Where’s Jane? Has she improved?”

“Then you haven’t heard, Albert,” said his sister, not without
embarrassment, for she was about to deceive him.

“Heard! What is there to hear?” he said impatiently.

“Jane has not been with me for a year.”

“What has become of her?”

“Indeed I don’t know. She remained with me three months after you left,
and then suddenly disappeared. She must have got tired of a life so
different from that she had been accustomed to lead, and determined to
go back to her street life.”

“I am deeply grieved to hear it,” said Captain Barnes. “I have
anticipated meeting her with so much pleasure. And have you never seen
her since?”


“I thought you might accidentally have met her in the street.”


“Had she improved while she did stay?”

“Yes,” said Mrs. Merton, with hesitation, “that is, a little. She was
not quite so wild and rude as at first; but I don’t think she would ever
have made up the deficiencies of her early training.”

Captain Barnes paced the floor, deeply disturbed. His disappointment was
a great one.

“I shall try to trace her,” he said at length. “I will apply to the
police for help.”

“That’s the best thing to do, uncle,” said Mary, with a sneer. “Very
likely you’ll find her at Blackwell’s Island.”

“For shame, niece,” said her uncle, sternly. “You might have a little
more charity for a poor girl who has not had your advantages.”

Mary was abashed, and regretted that she had spoken so unguardedly, for
she hoped to produce a favorable impression upon her uncle, in the hope
of becoming his heiress.

The silence was broken by the stopping of a carriage before the door.
Mary flew to the window.

“O mother,” she said, “there’s a beautiful carriage at the door, with a
coachman in livery, and there’s a lady and a young girl, elegantly
dressed, getting out.”

Quite a sensation was produced by the intelligence.

A moment later, and the servant brought in the cards of Mrs. Lindsay and
Miss Lindsay.

“I don’t remember the name,” said Mrs. Merton, “but you may show the
ladies in, Hannah.”

Directly afterwards Mrs. Lindsay and our heroine entered the room. They
were visiting friends in New York, and Jane had induced her mother to
call at the house where she had learned her first lessons in
civilization. She was very different now from the young Arab of fifteen
months since. She was now a young lady in manners, and her handsome
dress set off a face which had always been attractive. Neither Mrs.
Merton nor Mary dreamed of associating this brilliant young lady with
the girl whom they had driven from the house by a false charge.

“Good-morning, Mrs. Lindsay,” said Mrs. Merton, deferentially. “Won’t
you and the young lady take seats?”

“You are no doubt surprised to see me,” said Mrs. Lindsay, “but my
daughter wished me to call. She was for three months, she tells me, a
member of your family.”

“Indeed,” said Mrs. Merton, in surprise, “I think there must be some
mistake. I don’t remember that Miss Lindsay ever boarded with me.”

“Don’t you remember Tom?” asked Jane, looking up, and addressing Mrs.
Merton in something of her old tone.

“Good gracious! You don’t mean to say—” ejaculated the landlady, while
Mary opened wide her eyes in astonishment and dismay.

“For years,” explained Mrs. Lindsay, “my daughter was lost to me through
the cruel schemes of one whom I deemed a faithful friend; but, thank
God, she was restored to me within a week after she left your house.”

“Was that the reason of your leaving, Jane?” asked Captain Barnes.

“Mother,” said Jane, cordially grasping the hand of the captain, “this
is the kind gentleman who first found me in the street, and provided me
with a home.”

“Accept a mother’s gratitude,” said Mrs. Lindsay, simply, but with deep

“I was sure you would turn out right, Jane,” said the captain, his face
glowing with pleasure. “Then you left my sister, because you found your

“No, that was not the reason,” said Jane, looking significantly at Mrs.
Merton, who, knowing that she had suspected her of what was really her
daughter’s fault, felt confused and embarrassed.

“There was a—a little misunderstanding,” she stammered, “for which I
hope Miss Lindsay will excuse me. I found out my mistake afterwards.”

No further explanation was then given, but Captain Barnes required and
obtained an explanation afterwards. He blamed his sister severely, and
Mary even more, and that young lady’s prospects of becoming her uncle’s
heiress are now very slender.

“I hope, Captain Barnes,” said Mrs. Lindsay, “you will come to
Philadelphia and pass a few days at my house. Nothing would please my
daughter more, nor myself.”

The good captain finally accepted this invitation, though with
diffidence, and henceforth never arrived in port without visiting his
former protegée, where he always found a warm welcome.

And so my story ends. My heroine is now a young lady, not at all like
the “Tattered Tom” whose acquaintance we first made at the
street-crossing. For her sake, her mother loses no opportunity of
succoring those homeless waifs, who, like her own daughter, are exposed
to the discomforts and privations of the street, and through her
liberality and active benevolence more than one young Arab has been
reclaimed, and is likely to fill a respectable place in society.

The next story of this series will be

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                           Transcriber’s Note

Errors deemed most likely to be the printer’s have been corrected, and
are noted here. The references are to the page and line in the original.
The following issues should be noted, along with the resolutions.

  75.5     and licked him.[”]                             Added.

  149.13   “I’[ll] get my aunt to come round to-morrow    Restored.

  153.11   “340 Bleecker Street.[”]                       Added.

  194.11   down those stairs.[”]                          Added.

  256.6    “I like you best,” said [John].                _sic_:

  258.16   farmer,[” / “]and your grandmother can pay it  Replaced.

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