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Title: Tony The Tramp - Right is Might
Author: Alger, Horatio, 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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Famous Alger Stories for Boys

A new edition, five by seven inches, from new plates, with new
illustrations. Bound in cloth, and stamped in colors on the front
cover in several designs.


More ALGER BOOKS are sold and they are more popular than any other
line of BOYS’ BOOKS.

ALGER stands on the boy’s level, appeals to his heart, and what his
heroes suggest or achieve is in the line of advancement to high

ALGER’S BOOKS go to the right spot every time. His characters are
living boys who do things.

ALGER could look on life as boys do, and entered into their plans,
hopes, and aspirations as they do.

The episodes are graphic, exciting, realistic. The tendency of ALGER
stories is to the formation of an honorable, manly character. They
convey lessons of pluck, perseverance, and independence.

Their high moral character, clean, manly tone, and the wholesome
lessons they teach without being _goody-goody_, make ALGER BOOKS as
acceptable to the parents as to the boys.


[Frontispiece: “Tony the Tramp, now the Hon. Anthony Middleton of
Middleton Hall.”]







  [Illustration: Printer's Logo]





A man and a boy were ascending a steep street in a country town in
eastern New York. The man was tall and dark-complexioned, with a
sinister look which of itself excited distrust. He wore a slouch hat,
which, coming down over his forehead, nearly concealed from view his
low, receding brow. A pair of black, piercing eyes looked out from
beneath the brim. The first impression produced upon those who met him
was that he was of gypsy blood, and the impression was a correct one.
Where he was born no one seemed to know; perhaps he did not himself
know, for all his life he had been a wanderer, but English was the
tongue which he spoke, and, apart from the gypsy dialect, he knew no

His companion was a boy of fourteen. Between the two there was not the
slightest resemblance. Though browned by exposure to the sun and the
wind, it was easy to see that the boy was originally of light
complexion. His hair was chestnut and his eyes blue. His features were
regular and strikingly handsome, though owing to the vagrant life he
was compelled to lead, he was not able to pay that attention to
cleanliness which he might have done if he had had a settled home.

It was five o’clock in the afternoon, and the boy looked weary. He
seemed scarcely able to drag one foot after the other. His companion
turned upon him roughly.

“What are you dawdling that way for, Tony?” he demanded. “You creep
like a boy of three.”

“I can’t help it, Rudolph,” said the boy wearily; “I’m tired.”

“What business have you to be tired?”

“I’ve walked far to-day.”

“You’ve walked no further than I. I don’t dawdle like you.”

“You’re a man. You’re stronger than I am, Rudolph.”

“And you’re a milksop,” said the man contemptuously.

“I’m nothing of the sort,” said the boy, with a flash of spirit. “I’m
not made of cast iron, and that’s why I can’t stand walking all day
long. Besides, I have had no dinner.”

“That isn’t my fault, is it?”

“I didn’t say it was, but it makes me weak for all that.”

“Well,” said Rudolph, “perhaps you’re right. I feel like eating
something myself. We’ll go to some house and ask for supper.”

Tony looked dissatisfied.

“I wish we were not obliged to beg our meals,” he said; “I don’t like

“Oh, you’re getting proud, are you?” sneered Rudolph. “If you’ve got
money to pay for your supper we won’t beg, as you call it.”

“Why can’t we do as other people do?” asked Tony.

“What’s that?”

“Live somewhere, and not go tramping round the country all the time.
It would be a good deal pleasanter.”

“Not for me. I’m a vagrant by nature. I can’t be cooped up in one
place. I should die of stagnation. I come of a roving stock. My mother
and father before me were rovers, and I follow in their steps.”

The man spoke with animation, his eye flashing as he gazed about him,
and unconsciously quickened his pace.

“Then I’m not like you,” said Tony decidedly. “I don’t want to be a
tramp. Were my father and mother rovers like yours?”

“Of course they were,” answered Rudolph, but not without hesitation.
“Ain’t I your uncle?”

“I don’t know. Are you?” returned Tony searchingly.

“Haven’t I told you so a hundred times?” demanded Rudolph impatiently.

“Yes,” said the boy slowly, “but there’s no likeness between us.
You’re dark and I am light.”

“That proves nothing,” said the elder tramp hastily. “Brothers are
often as unlike. Perhaps you don’t want to look upon me as a

The boy was silent.

“Are you getting ashamed of me?” demanded Rudolph, in a harsh tone.

“I am ashamed of myself,” said Tony bitterly. “I’m nothing but a
tramp, begging my bread from door to door, sleeping in barns,
outhouses, in the fields, anywhere I can. I’m as ignorant as a boy of
eight. I can just read and that’s all.”

“You know as much as I do.”

“That don’t satisfy me. When I grow up I don’t want to be——”

Tony hesitated.

“You don’t want to be like me. Is that it?” asked Rudolph angrily.

“No, I don’t want to be like you,” answered Tony boldly. “I want to
have a home, and a business, and to live like other people.”

“Humph!” muttered Rudolph, fixing his eyes thoughtfully upon his young
companion. “This is something new. You never talked like that before.”

“But I’ve felt like that plenty of times. I’m tired of being a tramp.”

“Then you’re a fool. There’s no life so free and independent. You can
go where you please, with no one to order you here nor there, the
scene changing always, instead of being obliged to look always upon
the same people and the same fields.”

“What’s the good of it all? I’m tired of it. I’ve got no home, and
never had any.”

“You’ve got no spirit. You’re only fit for a farmboy or an

“I wish I was either one.”

“Sit down here if you are tired,” said the man abruptly, throwing
himself down under a wide-spreading tree by the roadside.

Tony stretched himself out at a little distance, and uttered a sigh of
relief as he found himself permitted to rest.

“Have you been thinking of this long?” asked Rudolph.

“Of what?”

“Of not liking to be a tramp?”


“You have not spoken of it before.”

“I’ve been thinking of it more lately.”

“How did that come?”

“I’ll tell you,” said Tony. “Don’t you remember last week when we
passed by a schoolhouse? It was recess, and the boys were out at play.
While you were away a few minutes, one of the boys sat down by me and
talked. He told me what he was studying, and what he was going to do
when he got older, and then he asked me about myself.”

“What did you tell him?”

“What did I tell him?” said Tony bitterly. “I told him that I was a
tramp, and that when I got older I should be a tramp still.”

“Well,” said Rudolph sharply, “what then?”

“The boy told me I ought to get some regular work to do, and grow into
a respectable member of society. He said that his father would help
me, he thought, and——”

“So you want to leave me, do you?” demanded Rudolph fiercely. “Is that
what you’re coming to, my chicken?”

“It isn’t that so much as the life you make me lead. I want to leave
that, Rudolph.”

“Well, you can’t do it,” said the man shortly.

“Why not?”

“I say so, and that’s enough.”

Tony was silent for a moment. He was not greatly disappointed, for he
expected a refusal. He changed the subject.

“Rudolph,” he said, “there’s something else I want to ask you about.”


“Who am I?”

“Who are you? A young fool,” muttered the tramp, but he appeared a
little uneasy at the question.

“I want to know something about my father and mother.”

“Your mother was my sister. She died soon after you were born.”

“And my father?”

“He was put in jail for theft, and was shot in trying to make his
escape. Does that satisfy you?”

“No, it doesn’t, and what’s more, I don’t believe it,” said Tony

“Look here,” said Rudolph sternly. “I’ve had enough of your insolence.
Do you see this strap?”

He produced a long leather strap, which he drew through his fingers

“Yes, I see it.”

“You’ll feel it if you ain’t careful. Now get up. It’s time to be



“Where are we going to stop to-night?” asked Tony ten minutes later.

“There,” answered Rudolph, pointing out a farmhouse a little to the

“Suppose they won’t let us.”

“They will admit us into the barn at least, if we play our cards
right. Listen to what I say. You are to be my son.”

“But I am not your son.”

“Be silent!” said the other tramp, “and don’t you dare to contradict
me. You have been sick, and are too weak to go further.”

“That is a lie, Rudolph.”

“That doesn’t matter. If they believe it, they won’t turn us away.
Perhaps they will let you sleep in the house.”

“Away from you?”


Tony was puzzled. It seemed as if Rudolph wanted him to be more
comfortably provided for than himself, but the boy knew him too well
not to suspect that there was some concealed motive for this apparent

“Well, what are you thinking about?” demanded Rudolph, suspiciously,
as he observed the boy’s earnest gaze.

“Why do you want me to sleep in the house?” he asked.

“I will tell you. When all the family are asleep, I want you to steal
downstairs, open the back door, and let me in.”

“What for?” asked the boy, startled.

“Never you mind. Do as I tell you.”

“But I don’t want to do it. You never asked me to do that before.”

“Didn’t I? Well, I had no occasion. I ask you now.”

“What are you going to do? Are you going to harm anyone?”

“No. I’ll tell you what I’m going to do, but mind you, if you breathe
a word to any being, I’ll cut your tongue out.”

Tony looked troubled, but not frightened.

“Go on,” he said.

Rudolph continued in a rapid tone.

“I want money to carry out a plan of importance. This farm belongs to
a farmer who is rich, and who keeps a part of his money in the house.”

“How do you know that?”

“A friend of mine stopped there last week, and found out. He put me on
the scent. The old man keeps from two to three hundred dollars in his
desk. I must have that money.”

“I don’t want to help you in this, Rudolph,” said Tony. “I won’t
betray you, but you mustn’t compel me to be a thief.”

“I can’t get along without you, and help me you must.”

“Suppose we fail?”

“Then we must take to our legs. If we’re caught we’re both in the same
box. I don’t ask you to take any risks that I don’t run myself.”

Tony was about to remonstrate further, but it was too late. They had
already reached the farmhouse, and caught sight of the owner standing
under a tree in the front yard.

“Remember!” hissed the older tramp. “Follow my lead, or I’ll beat you
till you are half dead. Good-evening, sir.”

This last was said in an humble tone to the farmer, who advanced to
the gate.

“Good-evening,” said the farmer, ingenuously.

He was a man of sixty, roughly dressed to suit his work, with grizzled
hair, a form somewhat bowed, and a face seamed with wrinkles. He had
been a hard worker, and showed abundant traces of it in his

“We are very tired and hungry, my boy and I,” whined Rudolph. “We’ve
traveled many miles since morning. Would you kindly give us some
supper and a night’s lodging?”

“My wife’ll give you something to eat,” said the old man. “Thank
Heaven! we’ve got enough for ourselves and a bit for the poor besides.
But I don’t know about lodging. I don’t like to take in strangers that
I know nothing about.”

“I don’t blame you, sir,” said Rudolph, in a tone of affected
humility. “There’s many rogues going round the country, I’ve heard,
but I’m a poor, hard-working man.”

“Then why are you not at work?”

“Times are hard, and I can get nothing to do. I am in search of work.
I can do almost anything. I’m a carpenter by trade.”

Rudolph knew no more of the carpenter’s trade than the man in the
moon, but that would do as well as any other.

“Where are you from?”

“From Buffalo,” he answered, with slight hesitation.

“Is business dull there?”

“Nothing doing.”

“Well, my friend, you haven’t come to the right place. There’s nothing
but farming done here.”

“I don’t know anything about that,” said Rudolph, hastily, for he had
no disposition to be set to work in the fields.

“I don’t need any extra hands,” said the farmer.

“I am glad of that,” thought the tramp.

“Go round to the back door, and I will speak to my wife about supper,”
said the old man.

“Come, Tony,” said Rudolph, motioning to take the boy’s hand, but Tony
did not see fit to notice the movement, and walked in silence by his

A motherly looking old woman made her appearance at the back door.

“Come in,” she said. “Come right in, and sit down to the table. Abner,
make room for the poor man and his son.”

Abner was a stalwart youth of eighteen, hard-handed and muscular. He
was the only permanent “hired man” employed on the farm. In haying
time there were others transiently employed.

A farmer’s table is plentiful, though homely. The two tramps made an
abundant meal, both doing justice to the homely fare. The farmer’s
wife looked on with hospitable satisfaction. She could not bear to
have anybody hungry under her roof.

“You’ll excuse our appetite, ma’am,” said Rudolph, “but we’ve had
nothing to eat since breakfast.”

“Eat as much as you like,” said she. “We never stint anybody here. Is
that your son?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

Tony bent his eyes upon his plate, and frowned slightly. He wanted to
deny it, but did not dare.

“He don’t look a bit like you,” said the woman. “He’s light, and
you’re very dark.”

“His mother was light,” said Rudolph. “He takes after her.”

“How old is he?”

“Tony, tell the lady how old you are.”


“He is well grown at his age.”

“Yes; he will make a good-sized man. He’s been sick.”

“Has he? What has been the matter?”

“I don’t know. Poor folks like us can’t call in a doctor.”

“He don’t look sick,” said the farmer’s wife thoughtfully.

“He’s delicate, though he don’t look it. It’s sleeping out in the open
air, I expect.”

“Do you have to sleep out in the open air?”

“Yes; we can’t afford to pay for lodgings, and people won’t take us
into their houses. I don’t mind myself—I’m tough—but Tony can’t
stand it as well as I can.”

While this conversation was going on, Tony fixed his eyes upon his
plate. He was angry that such falsehoods should be told about him, but
if he should utter a word of objection he knew that there would be an
explosion of wrath on the part of his guardian, and he remained

The farmer’s wife was a simple-minded, kind-hearted woman, and though
Tony did not look at all delicate, she never thought of questioning
the statement of Rudolph. Indeed she was already revolving in her mind
inviting the boy to sleep in the house. She was rather prejudiced in
favor of Rudolph by his show of parental solicitude.

When supper was over, having in the meantime consulted her husband,
she said to Rudolph:

“My husband says you may sleep in the barn, if you don’t smoke. We can
find a bed for your son with Abner. You won’t mind taking him into
your room?”

“He can come,” said Abner good-naturedly.

So it was arranged. At half-past eight, for they retired at that early
hour in the farmhouse, Rudolph left the fireside, and sought the barn.
As he left the room he looked suspiciously at Tony, and shook his head



Abner slept in a large room in the attic. It had been roughly
partitioned off, and was not even plastered. The beams were plainly
visible. Upon nails which had been driven into them hung Abner’s
limited wardrobe. There were two cot beds in the room, as a part of
the year the farmer employed more than one hired man.

“You can sleep there, youngster,” said Abner, pointing to one of the
beds. “This is my bed.”

“Thank you,” said Tony politely.

“I s’pose you’ve traveled round considerable,” said Abner, with

“Yes, a good deal.”

“Do you like it?”

“No; I’m tired of it.”

“How do you make your livin’?”

“As we can. We often go hungry.”

“Why don’t your father settle down somewhere?”

Tony thought of disclaiming the relationship implied, but he reflected
that Rudolph would be angry, and merely answered:

“He prefers to travel round.”

“Was you ever in New York?” asked Abner.

“Do you mean the city of New York? Yes.”

“I’d like to see it,” said Abner, regarding Tony with new respect.
“I’ve heard a sight about it. It’s powerful big, isn’t it?”

“It’s very large.”

“There’s as many as a thousand houses, isn’t there?”

“There’s a hundred thousand, I should think,” answered Tony.

“Sho! you don’t say so!” exclaimed Abner, awestruck. “I’d like to go

“Didn’t you ever visit the city?”

“No; I never traveled any. I never was more’n fifteen miles from home.
Dad wouldn’t let me. When I’m a man, I’m bound to see the world.”

“Ain’t you a man now?” inquired Tony, surveying his herculean
proportions with astonishment.

“No; I’m only eighteen.”

“You’re as big as a man.”

“Yes, I’m pooty big,” said Abner, with a complacent grin. “I can do a
man’s work.”

“I should think you might. I thought you were more than four years
older than me. I’m fourteen.”

“I guess I weigh twice as much as you.”

“I’m not small for my age,” said Tony jealously.

“Maybe not. I’m a regular bouncer. That’s what dad says. Why, I’m half
as big again as he is.”

“Does he ever lick you?” asked Tony, smiling.

“I’d like to see him try it,” said Abner, bursting into a roar of
laughter. “He’d have to get upon a milkin’ stool. Does your dad lick

“No,” answered Tony shortly.

“He looks as if he might sometimes. He’s kinder fractious-looking.”

Tony did not care to say much on the subject of Rudolph. He felt that
it was his policy to be silent. If he said anything he might say too
much, and if it got to Rudolph’s ears, the man’s vindictive temper
would make it dangerous for him.

“We get along pretty well,” he said guardedly. “Do you get up early?”

“Four o’clock. You won’t have to, though.”

“What time do you get breakfast?”

“Half-past five, after I’ve milked and done the chores. You must be up
by that time, or you won’t get anything to eat.”

“That’s pretty early,” thought Tony. “I don’t see the use of getting
up so early.”

“I guess I’ll go to sleep,” said Abner. “I’m tuckered out.”

“Good-night,” said Tony.


The young giant turned over, closed his eyes, and in five minutes was

Tony did not compose himself to sleep so readily, partly because Abner
began to snore in a boisterous manner, partly because he felt
disturbed by the thought of the treachery which Rudolph required at
his hands.

Tony was only a tramp, but he had an instinct of honor in him. In the
farmhouse he had been kindly treated and hospitably entertained. He
felt that it would be very mean to steal down in the dead of night and
open the door to his companion in order that he might rob the
unsuspecting farmer of his money. On the other hand, if he did not do
this he knew that he would be severely beaten by Rudolph.

“Why am I tied to this man?” he thought. “What chance is there of my
ever being anything but a tramp while I stay with him?”

He had thought this before now, but the circumstances in which he now
found himself placed made the feeling stronger. He had been often
humiliated by being forced to beg from door to door, by the thought
that he was a vagrant, and the companion of a vagrant, but he had not
been urged to actual crime until now. He knew enough to be aware that
he ran the risk of arrest and imprisonment if he obeyed Rudolph. On
the other hand, if he refused he was sure of a beating.

What should he do?

It was certainly a difficult question to decide, and Tony debated it
in his own mind for some time. Finally he came to a determination.
Rudolph might beat him, but he would not be guilty of this treachery.

He felt better after he had come to this resolve, and, the burden
being now off his mind, he composed himself to sleep.

He did not know how long he slept, but he had a troubled dream. He
thought that in compliance with his companion’s order he rose and
opened the door to him. While Rudolph was opening the farmer’s desk,
he thought that heavy steps were heard and Abner and the farmer
entered the room, provided with a lantern. He thought that Rudolph and
himself were overpowered and bound. Just as he reached this part he
awoke, and was reassured by hearing Abner’s heavy breathing.

“I’m glad it’s a dream,” he thought, breathing a sigh of relief.

At this instant his attention was called by a noise upon the panes of
the only window in the room.

He listened, and detected the cause.

Some one was throwing gravel stones against it.

“It’s Rudolph,” he thought instantly. “He’s trying to call my

He thought of pretending to be asleep, and taking no notice of the
signal. But he feared Abner would awake, and ascertain the meaning of
it. He decided to go to the window, show himself, and stop the noise
if he could.

He rose from his bed, and presented himself at the window. Looking
down, he saw the dark figure of Rudolph leaning against the well curb,
with his eyes fixed on the window.

“Oh, you’re there at last!” growled Rudolph. “I thought I’d never wake
you up. Is the man asleep?”

“Yes,” said Tony.

“Then come down and let me in.”

“I would rather not,” said Tony, uneasily.

“What’s the fool afraid of?” answered Rudolph, in a low, menacing

“The man might wake up.”

“No danger. Such animals always sleep heavily. There’s no danger, I
tell you.”

“I don’t want to do it,” said Tony. “It would be mean. They’ve treated
me well, and I don’t want to help rob them.”

“Curse the young idiot!” exclaimed Rudolph, in low tones of
concentrated passion. “Do you mean to disobey me?”

“I can’t do as you wish, Rudolph. Ask me anything else.”

“I wish I could get at him!” muttered Rudolph, between his teeth. “He
never dared to disobey me before. Once more! Will you open the door to
me?” demanded Rudolph.

Tony bethought himself of an expedient. He might pretend that Abner
was waking up.

“Hush!” he said, in feigned alarm. “The man is waking up. Get out of
sight quick.”

He disappeared from the window, and Rudolph, supposing there was
really danger of detection, hurriedly stole away to the barn, where he
had been permitted to lodge.

He came out half an hour later, and again made the old signal, but
this time Tony did not show himself. He had made up his mind not to
comply with the elder tramp’s demands, and it would do no good to
argue the point.

“I wish I knew whether he was asleep, or only pretending, the young
rascal,” muttered Rudolph. “I must manage to have him stay here
another night. That money must and shall be mine, and he shall help to
get it for me.”



At half-past five Tony got up. He would have liked to remain in bed
two hours longer, but there was no chance for late resting at the
farmhouse. Rudolph, too, was awakened by Abner, and the two tramps
took their seats at the breakfast table with the rest of the family.

Rudolph furtively scowled at Tony. To him he attributed the failure of
his plans the night before, and he was furious against him—the more
so that he did not dare to say anything in presence of the farmer’s

“Where are you going to-day?” asked the farmer, addressing Rudolph.

“I am going to walk to Crampton. I may get employment there.”

“It is twelve miles away. That is a good walk.”

“I don’t mind for myself. I mind it for my son,” said Rudolph

“He can stay here till you come back,” said the farmer’s wife

“If you’re willing to have him, I’ll leave him for one more night,”
said Rudolph. “It’ll do him good to rest.”

“He can stay as well as not,” said the farmer. “When are you coming

“Perhaps to-night. But I think not till to-morrow.”

“Don’t trouble yourself about your son. He will be safe here.”

“You are very kind,” said the elder tramp. “Tony, thank them good
people for their kindness to you.”

“I do thank them,” said Tony, glancing uneasily at the other.

When breakfast was over, Rudolph took his hat and said:

“I’ll get started early. I have a long walk before me.”

Tony sat still, hoping that he would not be called upon to join him.
But he was destined to be disappointed.

“Come and walk a piece with me, Tony,” said Rudolph. “You needn’t walk

Reluctantly Tony got his hat and set out with him.

As long as they were in sight and hearing, Rudolph spoke to him
gently, but when they were far enough for him to throw off the mask
safely he turned furiously upon the boy.

“Now, you young rascal,” he said roughly, “tell me why you did not
obey me last night.”

“It wasn’t safe,” said Tony. “We should both have been caught.”

“Why should we? Wasn’t the man asleep?”

“He stirred in his sleep. If I had moved about much, or opened the
door, it would have waked him up.”

“You are a coward,” sneered Rudolph. “When I was of your age I
wouldn’t have given up a job so easily. Such men sleep sound. No
matter if they do move about, they won’t wake up. If you had had a
little more courage we should have succeeded last night in capturing
the money.”

“I wish you’d give it up, Rudolph,” said Tony earnestly.

“You don’t know what you’re talking about,” said the tramp harshly.
“You’re a milksop. The world owes us a living, and we must call for

“I’d rather work than steal.”

“There’s no work to be had, and we must have money. More depends on it
than you think. But we’ve got one more night to work in.”

“What do you mean to do?” asked Tony uneasily.

“Thanks to my management, you will sleep in the same room to-night.
Look round the house during the day; see if the key’s in the desk. If
you can get hold of the money, all the better. In that case, come and
hide it in that hollow tree, and we can secure it after the hue and
cry is over. Do you hear?”


“But if there is no chance of that, look out for me at midnight. I
will throw gravel against your window as a signal. When you hear it,
steal downstairs, with your shoes in your hands, and open the door to
me. I will attend to the rest. And mind,” he added sternly, “I shall
take no excuses.”

“Suppose I am caught going downstairs?”

“Say you are taken sick. It will be easy enough to make an excuse.”

“Are you going to Crampton?” asked Tony.

“Of course not. Do you think I am such a fool as to take a long walk
like that?”

“You said you were going.”

“Only to put them off the scent. I shall hide in yonder wood till
night. Then I will find my way back to the farmhouse.”

“Do you want me to go any further with you?”

“No; you can go back now if you want to. Don’t forget my directions.”

“I will remember them,” said Tony quietly.

The two parted company, and Tony walked slowly back to the farm. He
was troubled and perplexed. He was in a dilemma, and how to get out of
it he did not know.

It was not the first time that he thought over his relations to

As far back as he could remember he had been under the care of this
man. Sometimes the latter had been away for months, leaving him in the
charge of a woman whose appearance indicated that she also was of
gypsy descent. He had experienced hunger, cold, neglect, but had lived
through them all, tolerably contented. Now, however, he saw that
Rudolph intended to make a criminal of him, and he was disposed to
rebel. That his guardian was himself a thief, he had reason to know.
He suspected that some of his periodical absences were spent inside
prison walls. Would he be content to follow his example?

Tony answered unhesitatingly, “No.” Whatever the consequences might
be, he would make a stand there. He had reason to fear violence, but
that was better than arrest and imprisonment. If matters came to the
worst, he would run away.

When he had come to a decision he felt better. He returned to the
farm, and found Abner just leaving the yard with a hoe in his hand.

“Where are you going?” he asked.

“To the cornfield.”

“May I go with you?”

“If you want to.”

So Tony went out to the field with the stalwart “hired man,” and kept
him company through the forenoon.

“That’s easy work,” said Tony, after a while.

“Do you think you can do it?”

“Let me try.”

Tony succeeded tolerably well, but he could not get over the ground so
fast as Abner.

“Why don’t you hire out on a farm?” asked Abner, as he took back the

“I would if I could,” answered Tony.

“Why can’t you? Won’t your father let you?”

“He wants me to go round with him,” answered Tony.

“Wouldn’t he take me instead of you?” asked Abner, grinning. “I’d like
to travel round and see the world. You could stay here and do the farm

“If he and the farmer agree to the change, I will,” answered Tony,
with a smile.

At noon they went back to the farmhouse to dinner. Tony stared with
astonishment at the quantity of food Abner made away with. He
concluded that farm work was favorable to the appetite.

The afternoon passed rapidly away, and night came. Again Tony went up
to the attic to share Abner’s room. He got nervous as the night wore
on. He knew what was expected of him, and he shrank from Rudolph’s
anger. He tried to go to sleep, but could not.

At last the expected signal came. There was a rattling of gravel
stones upon the window.

“Shall I lie here and take no notice?” thought Tony.

In this case Rudolph would continue to fling gravel stones, and Abner
might wake up. He decided to go to the window and announce his

When Rudolph saw him appear at the window, he called out:

“Come down quick, and open the door.”

“I would rather not,” answered Tony.

“You must!” exclaimed Rudolph, with a terrible oath. “If you dare to
refuse I’ll flay you alive.”

“I can’t do it,” said Tony, pale, but resolute. “You have no right to
ask it of me.”

Just then Tony was startled by a voice from the bed:

“Is that your father? What does he want?”

“I would rather not tell,” said Tony.

“You must!” said Abner sternly.

“He wants me to open the door and let him into the house,” Tony
confessed reluctantly.

“What for?”

“He wants to get your master’s money.”

“Ho, ho!” said Abner. “Well, we’ll go down and let him in.”

“What!” exclaimed Tony, in surprise.

“Call from the window that you will be down directly.”

“I don’t want to get him into trouble.”

“You must, or I shall think you are a thief, too.”

Thus constrained, Tony called out that he would come down at once.

“I thought you’d think better of it,” muttered Rudolph. “Hurry down,
and waste no time.”

Five minutes later Abner and Tony crept downstairs, the former armed
with a tough oak stick.



Unsuspicious of danger, Rudolph took a position on the doorstep. He
was incensed with Tony for having given him so much unnecessary
trouble, and he was resolved to give the boy a lesson.

It was quite dark in the shadow of the house, and when the door
opened, Rudolph, supposing, of course, it was Tony who had opened it,
seized the person, whom he saw but dimly, by the arm, exclaiming,
venomously, as he tried to shake him:

“I’ll teach you to keep me waiting, you young rascal!”

He was not long in finding out his mistake.

Abner was considerably larger and more muscular than the tramp, and he
returned the compliment by shaking off Rudolph’s grasp and seizing him
in his own viselike grip.

“You’ll teach me, will you, you villain!” retorted Abner. “I’ll teach
you to come here like a thief!”

“Let go!” exclaimed the tramp, as he felt himself shaken roughly.

“Not till I’ve given you a good drubbing,” returned Abner, and he
began to use his cudgel with effect on the back and shoulders of the
tramp. “You’ve come to the wrong house, you have.”

Rudolph ground his teeth with ineffectual rage. He lamented that he
had not a knife or pistol with him, but he had made so sure of easy
entrance into the house, and no resistance, that he had not prepared
himself. As to brute force, he was no match for Abner.

“The boy betrayed me!” he shrieked. “I’ll have his life!”

“Not much,” said Abner. “You’ll be lucky to get away with your own. It
isn’t the boy. I was awake and heard you ask him to let you in. Now
take yourself off.”

As he said this he gave a powerful push, and Rudolph reeled a moment
and sank upon the ground, striking his head with violence.

“He won’t try it again,” said Abner, as he shut the door and bolted
it. “I guess he’s got enough for once.”

Tony stood by, ashamed and mortified. He was afraid Abner would class
him with the tramp who had just been ignominiously expelled from the
house. He was afraid he, too, would be thrust out of doors, in which
case he would be exposed to brutal treatment from Rudolph. But he did
not need to fear this. Abner had seen and heard enough to feel
convinced that Tony was all right in the matter, and he did not mean
to make the innocent suffer for the guilty.

“Now let us go to bed, Tony,” he said, in a friendly manner. “You
don’t want to go with him, do you?”

“No,” said Tony. “I never want to see him again.”

“I shouldn’t think you would. He’s a rascal and a thief.”

“I hope you don’t think I wanted to rob the house,” said Tony.

“No; I don’t believe you’re a bit like him. What makes you go with

“I won’t any more.”

“He isn’t your father?”

“No; I don’t know who my father is.”

“That’s strange,” said Abner, who had seen but little of the world.
Everyone that he knew had a father, and knew who that father was. He
could not realize that anyone could have an experience like Tony’s.

“I wish I did know my father,” said Tony, thoughtfully. “I’m alone in
the world now.”

“What do you mean to do?”

“I’ll go off by myself to-morrow, away from Rudolph. I never want to
see him again.”

“Have you got any money?”

They had now got back into the chamber, and were taking off their

“I’ve got five cents,” answered Tony.

“Is that all?”

“Yes, but I don’t mind. I’ll get along somehow.”

Tony had always got along somehow. He had never—at least not for long
at a time—known what it was to have a settled home or a permanent
shelter. Whether the world owed him a living or not, he had always got
one, such as it was, and though he had often been cold and hungry,
here he was at fourteen, well and strong, and with plenty of pluck and
courage to carry with him into the life struggle that was opening
before him. Abner’s training had been different, and he wondered at
the coolness with which Tony contemplated the future. But he was too
sleepy to wonder long at anything, and, with a yawn, he lapsed into

Tony did not go to sleep immediately. He had need to be thoughtful. He
had made up his mind to be his own master henceforth, but Rudolph he
knew would have a word to say on that point. In getting away the next
morning he must manage to give the tramp a wide berth. It would be
better for him to go to some distant place, where, free from
interference, he could make his own living.

There was another thought that came to him. Somewhere in the world he
might come across a father or mother, or more distant relative—one of
whom he would not be ashamed, as he was of the companion who tried to
draw him into crime. This was the last thought in his mind, as he sank
into a sound sleep from which he did not awaken till he was called for

To say that Rudolph was angry when he recovered from the temporary
insensibility occasioned by his fall would be a very mild expression.
He had not only been thwarted in his designs, but suffered violence
and humiliation in the presence of the boy of whom he regarded himself
as the guardian. He thirsted for revenge, if not on Abner, then on
Tony, whom it would be safer to maltreat and abuse.

Anger is unreasonable, and poor Tony would have fared badly if he had
fallen into Rudolph’s clutches just then. It made no difference that
Abner had exonerated Tony from any share in the unpleasant surprise he
had met. He determined to give him a severe beating, nevertheless.

There is an old proverb: “You must catch your hare before you cook
it.” This did not occur to the tramp. He never supposed Tony would
have the hardihood or courage to give him the slip.

The remainder of the night spent by Tony in sleeping was less
pleasantly spent by Rudolph in the barn.

He meant to be up early, as he knew he was liable to arrest on account
of his last night’s attempt, and lie in wait for Tony, who, he
supposed, would wait for breakfast.

He was right there. Tony did remain for breakfast. The farmer—Mr.
Coleman—had already been informed of Rudolph’s attempted burglary,
and he did Tony the justice to exonerate him from any share in it.

“What are you going to do, my boy?” he asked, at the breakfast table.

“I am going to set up for myself,” answered Tony, cheerfully.

“That’s right. Have nothing more to do with that man. He can only do
you harm. Have you got any money?”

“I’ve got five cents.”

“That isn’t enough to buy a farm.”

“Not a very large one,” said Tony, smiling.

Abner nearly choked with laughter. This was a joke which he could

“I don’t think I’ll go to farming,” continued Tony.

“You can stay here a week or two,” said the farmer, hospitably, “till
you get time to look around.”

“Thank you,” said Tony. “You are very kind, but I don’t think it will
be safe. Rudolph will be on the watch for me.”

“The man you came with?”


“Guess he won’t touch you while I’m round,” said Abner.

“I don’t think he’ll want to tackle you again,” said Tony.

“Didn’t I lay him out, though?” said Abner, with a grin. “He thought
it was you, ho! ho!”

“He didn’t think so long,” said Tony. “I haven’t got such an arm as

Abner was pleased with this compliment to his prowess, and wouldn’t
have minded another tussle with the tramp.

“Where do you think that chap you call Rudolph is?” he asked.

“He’s searching for me, I expect,” said Tony. “If I’m not careful
he’ll get hold of me.”

Just then a neighbor’s boy, named Joe, came to the house on an errand.
He was almost Tony’s size. He waited about, not seeming in any hurry
to be gone.

“Abner,” said the farmer, “if you’ve got nothing else to do, you may
load up the wagon with hay and carry it to Castleton. We shall have
more than we want.”

“All right,” said Abner.

“May I go, too? May I ride on the hay?” asked Joe eagerly.

“Will your father let you?” asked the farmer.

“Oh, yes; he won’t mind.”

“Then you may go,” was the reply. “Do you want to go, too, Tony?”

Tony was about to say yes, when an idea seized him.

“If the other boy goes, Rudolph will think it is I, and he will follow
the wagon. That will give me a chance of getting off in another

“So it will,” said Abner. “What a headpiece you’ve got,” he added
admiringly. “I wouldn’t have thought of that.”

Abner’s headpiece was nothing to boast of. He had strength of body,
but to equalize matters his mind was not equally endowed.

The plan was disclosed to Joe, who willingly agreed to enter into it.
This was the more feasible because he was of about Tony’s size, and
wore a hat just like his.

The hay was loaded, and the wagon started off with Abner walking
alongside. Joe was perched on top, nearly buried in the hay, but with
his hat rising from the mass. This was about all that could be seen of



Abner and Joe had gone about half a mile when from the bushes by the
roadside Rudolph emerged. He had seen the hat, and he felt sure that
Tony was trying to escape him in that way.

“Well,” said Abner, with a grin, as he recognized his midnight foe,
“how do you feel this morning?”

“None the better for you, curse you!” returned the tramp roughly.

Abner laughed.

“That’s what I thought,” he said, cracking his whip.

Rudolph would like to have punished him then and there for his
humiliation of the night before, but Abner looked too powerful as he
strode along manfully with vigorous steps. Besides, he had a heavy
whip in his hand, which the tramp suspected would be used
unhesitatingly if there were occasion. The prospect was not inviting.
But, at any rate, Rudolph could demand that Tony be remitted to his

“Where’s my boy?” asked the tramp, keeping at a safe distance.

“Didn’t know you had a boy,” said Abner.

“I mean that villain Tony. Isn’t that he on that load of hay?”

“Kind o’ looks like him,” answered Abner, grinning.

Rudolph looked up, and caught sight of the hat.

“Come down here, Tony,” he said sternly.

Joe, who had been instructed what to do, answered not a word.

“Come down here, if you know what’s best for you,” continued the

“Guess he’s hard of hearing,” laughed Abner.

“Stop your wagon,” said Rudolph furiously, “I want to get hold of

“Couldn’t do it,” said Abner coolly. “I’m in a hurry.”

“Will you give me the boy or not?” demanded the tramp hoarsely.

“He can get off and go along with you if he wants to,” said Abner. “Do
you want to get down, Tony?”

“No!” answered the supposed Tony.

“You see, squire, he prefers to ride,” said Abner. “Can’t blame him
much. I’d do it in his place.”

“Where are you going?” demanded the tramp, who hadn’t discovered that
the voice was not that of Tony.

“I’m going to Castleton,” answered Abner.

“Are you going to leave the hay there?”

“Yes, that’s what I calc’late to do.”

“How far is it?”

“Six miles.”

“I’ll walk along, too.”

“Better not, squire, you’ll get tired.”

“I’ll risk that.”

Rudolph’s plan was manifest. When the hay was unloaded, of course Tony
would have to get down. Then he would get hold of him.

“You can do just as you’ve a mind to,” said Abner. “You’ll be company
to Tony and me, but you needn’t put yourself out on our account, hey,

There was a smothered laugh on top of the hay, which the tramp heard.
His eyes snapped viciously, and he privately determined to give Tony a
settlement in full for all his offenses just as soon as he got hold of

So they jogged on, mile after mile. Abner walked on one side, swinging
his whip, and occasionally cracking it. The tramp walked on the other
side of the road, and the boy rode along luxuriously imbedded in his
fragrant couch of hay. Abner from time to time kept up the tramp’s
illusion by calling out, “Tony, you must take keer, or you’ll fall

“I’ll catch him if he does,” said Rudolph grimly.

“So you will,” chuckled Abner. “You’d like to, wouldn’t you?”

“Certainly. He is my son,” said Rudolph.

“Do you hear that, Tony? He says you’re his son,” said Abner, grinning

There was another laugh from the boy on the load of hay.

“You won’t find anything to laugh at when I get hold of you,” muttered

So they journeyed into Castleton.

From time to time Abner, as he thought how neatly the tramp had been
sold, burst into a loud laugh, which was echoed from the hay wagon.
Rudolph was not only angry, but puzzled.

“Does the boy hope to escape me?” he asked himself. “If so, he will
find himself badly mistaken. He will find that I am not to be trifled

“Say, squire, what makes you look so glum?” asked Abner. “Maybe it’s
because I didn’t let you in when you called so late last night. We
don’t receive visitors after midnight.”

Rudolph scowled, but said nothing.

“How long has the boy been with you?” asked Abner, further.

“Since he was born,” answered the tramp. “Ain’t I his father?”

“I don’t know. If it’s a conundrum, I give it up.”

“Well, I am, and no one has a right to keep him from me,” said the
tramp, in a surly manner.

“I wouldn’t keep him from you for a minute,” said Abner innocently.

“You are doing it now.”

“No, I ain’t.”

“I can’t get at him on that hay.”

“He can come down if he wants to. I don’t stop him. You can come down
if you want to, Tony,” he said, looking up to where the boy’s hat was

Tony did not answer, and Abner continued:

“You see he don’t want to come. He’d rather ride. You know he’s been
sick,” said Abner, with a grin, “and he’s too delicate to walk. He
ain’t tough, like you and me.”

“He’ll need to be tough,” muttered the tramp, as he thought of the
flogging he intended to give Tony.

“What did you say?”

“Never mind.”

“Oh, I don’t mind,” said Abner. “You can say what you want to. This is
a free country, only you can’t do what you’ve a mind to.”

Rudolph wished that he had a double stock of strength. It was very
provoking to be laughed at and derided by Abner, without being able to
revenge himself. A pistol or a knife would make him even with the
countryman, but Rudolph was too much of a coward to commit such
serious crimes where there was so much danger of detection and

At last they entered Castleton.

The hay was to be delivered to a speculator, who collected large
quantities of it, and forwarded it over the railroad to a large city.

It had to be weighed, and Abner drove at once to the hay scales.

“Now,” thought Rudolph, with exultation, “the boy must come down, and
I shall get hold of him.”

“I guess you’d better slide down,” said Abner. “I can’t sell you for
hay, Tony.”

There was a movement, and then the boy slid down, Abner catching him
as he descended.

Rudolph’s face changed ominously when he saw that it wasn’t Tony who
made his appearance.

“What does this mean?” he demanded furiously.

“What’s the matter?”

“This isn’t Tony.”

“Come to look at him, it isn’t,” said Abner, with a twinkle in his

“Didn’t you say it was Tony?” asked the tramp, exasperated.

“I guess I was mistaken, squire,” said Abner, grinning.

“Where is he, then?”

“I don’t know, I’m sure. It seems he didn’t come. Guess he must have
given us the slip.”

The tramp, unable to control his rage, burst into a volley of

“Hope you feel better, squire,” said Abner, when he got through.

“I’d like to see you hanged,” retorted Rudolph bitterly.

“Thank you,” said Abner, “I’ll invite you when it comes off.”

The tramp strode off, vowing dire vengeance against both Abner and



From the upper window in the farmhouse, which was situated on elevated
ground, Tony saw his old guardian follow Abner. Thus the way was
opened for his escape.

“Won’t you stay longer with us?” asked the farmer.

“Thank you,” answered Tony, “but I wouldn’t dare to. Rudolph may be
back for me, and I want to get away before he has a chance.”

“Are you going to walk?” asked the farmer’s wife.

“Yes,” said Tony. “I’ve only got five cents in my pocket, and I can’t
ride far on that.”

“I’m afraid you will be tired,” she said.

“Oh, I’m used to tramping,” returned Tony lightly.

“Can’t you put up some dinner for him, wife?” suggested the farmer.
“It’ll make him hungry walking.”

“To be sure, I will,” she replied, and a large supply of eatables were
put in a paper, sufficient to last Tony twenty-four hours at least.

The farmer deliberated whether he should not offer our hero half a
dollar, but he was close, so far as money was concerned, and he
decided in the negative.

So Tony set out, taking a course directly opposite to that pursued by
Abner. In this way he thought he should best avoid the chance of
meeting Rudolph.

About five o’clock he felt that it was about time to look about for a
night’s rest. A hotel was, of course, out of the question, and he
looked about for a farmhouse. The nearest dwelling was a small one, of
four rooms, setting back from the road, down a lane.

“Perhaps I can get in there,” thought Tony.

An old man, with a patriarchal beard, whose neglected and squalid
dress seemed to indicate poverty, was sitting on the doorstep.

“Good-evening,” said Tony.

“Who are you?” demanded the old man suspiciously.

“I am a poor traveler,” said Tony.

“A tramp,” said the old man, in the same tone.

“Yes, I suppose so,” said Tony.

“Well, I’ve got nothing for you.”

“I don’t want anything except the chance to sleep.”

“Don’t you want any supper?”

“No; I’ve got my supper here,” returned our hero.

“What have you got there?” asked the old man.

“Some bread and butter, and cold meat.”

“It looks good,” said the other, with what Tony thought to be a
longing look.

“I’ll share it with you, if you’ll let me sleep here to-night,” said

The old man was a miser, as Tony suspected. He was able to live
comfortably, but he deprived himself of the necessaries of life in
order to hoard away money. His face revealed that to Tony. He had
nearly starved himself, but he had not overcome his natural appetites,
and the sight of Tony’s supper gave him a craving for it.

“I don’t know,” he said doubtfully. “If I let you sleep here, you
might get up in the night and rob me.”

“You don’t look as if you had anything worth stealing.”

“You’re quite right,” said old Ben Hayden. “I’ve only saved a little
money—a very little—to pay my funeral expenses. You wouldn’t take

“Oh, no,” said Tony. “I wouldn’t take it if you’d give it to me.”

“You wouldn’t? Why not?”

“Because you need it yourself. If you were a rich man it would be

“So it would,” said old Hayden. “You’re a good boy—an excellent boy.
I’ll trust you. You can stay.”

“Then let us eat supper,” said Tony.

He sat down on the doorstep and gave the old man half of his supply of
food. He was interested to see the avidity with which he ate it.

“Is it good?” he asked.

“I haven’t eaten anything so good for a long time. I couldn’t afford
to buy food.”

“I am sorry for you.”

“You haven’t got any left for breakfast.”

“Oh, somebody will give me breakfast,” said Tony.

“Do you travel round all the time?”

“Yes; but I hope to get a chance to go to work soon. I’d rather live
in one place.”

“You might live with me, if I were not so poor.”

“Thank you,” answered Tony politely, but it did not appear that it was
such a home as he would choose.

“Do you live alone?” he asked.


“I didn’t know but you might be married.”

“I was married but my wife died long ago.”

“Why don’t you marry again?” inquired Tony.

“I couldn’t afford it,” answered Hayden, frightened at the suggestion.
“Women have terrible appetites.”

“Have they?” returned Tony, amused.

“And I can’t get enough for myself to eat.”

“Have you always lived here?”

“No; I lived in England when I was a young man.”

“What made you leave it?”

“Why do you ask me that?” demanded old Ben.

“Oh, if it’s a secret, don’t tell me,” said Tony.

“Who said it was a secret?” said the old man irritably.

“Nobody that I know of.”

“Then why do you ask me such questions?”

“Don’t answer anything you don’t want to,” said our hero. “I only
asked for the sake of saying something.”

“I don’t mind telling,” said old Ben, more calmly. “It was because I
was so poor. I thought I could do better in America.”

“Do you own this place?”

“Yes, but it’s a very poor place. It isn’t worth much.”

“I shouldn’t think it was,” said Tony.

“You’re a good lad. You see how poor I am.”

“Of course I do, and I’m sorry for you. I would help you only I am
very poor myself.”

“Have you got any money?” asked Ben, with interest.

“I’ve got five cents,” answered Tony, laughing. “I hope you’ve got
more than that.”

“A little more—a very little more,” said Ben.

The old miser began to consider whether he couldn’t charge Tony five
cents for his lodging, but sighed at the recollection that Tony had
already paid for it in advance by giving him a supper.

At eight o’clock the miser suggested going to bed.

“I haven’t any lights,” he said; “candles cost so much. Besides, a
body’s better off in bed.”

“I’m willing to go to bed,” said Tony. “I’ve walked a good deal
to-day, and I’m tired.”

They went into the house. There was a heap of rags in the corner of
the room when they entered.

“That’s my bed,” said old Ben; “it’s all I have.”

“I can sleep on the floor,” said Tony.

He took off his jacket, rolled it up for a pillow, and stretched
himself out on the bare floor. He had often slept so before.



Tony was not slow in going to sleep. Neither his hard bed nor his
strange bedchamber troubled him.

Generally he slept all night without awakening, but to-night, for some
unknown reason, he awoke about two o’clock. It was unusually light for
that hour, and so he was enabled to see what at first startled him.
The old man had raised a plank forming a part of the flooring, and had
lifted from beneath it a canvas bag full of gold pieces. He was taking
them out and counting them, apparently quite unconscious of Tony’s

Tony raised himself on his elbow, and looked at him. It occurred to
him that for a man so suspicious it was strange that he should expose
his hoard before a stranger. Something, however, in the old man’s look
led him to think that he was in a sleep-walking fit.

“Ninety-five, ninety-six, ninety-seven,” Tony heard him count; “that
makes nine hundred and seventy dollars, all gold, good, beautiful
gold. Nobody knows the old man is so rich. There’s another bag, too.
There are one hundred pieces in that. Three more and this will be
full, too. Nobody must know, nobody must know.”

He put back the pieces, replaced the bag in its hiding place, and
then, putting back the plank, lay down once more on his heap of rags.

“How uneasy he would be,” thought Tony, “if he knew I had seen his
treasures. But I wouldn’t rob him for the world, although the money
would do me good, and he makes no use of it except to look at it.”

Tony slept till six when he was awakened by a piteous groaning.

“What’s the matter?” he asked.

“Who’s there?” demanded Ben, terrified.

“It’s only I. Don’t you remember you let me sleep here last night?”

“Oh, yes. I remember now. I’m sick; very sick.”

“How do you feel?”

“I’m aching and trembling all over. Do you think I’m going to die?” he
asked, with a startled look.

“Oh, no, I guess not,” said Tony reassuringly.

“I never felt so before,” groaned Ben. “I’m an old man. Don’t you
really think I shall die?”

Tony knew nothing of medicines or of diseases, but he had the sense to
understand that the old man would be more likely to recover if his
terror could be allayed, and he said lightly:

“Oh, it’s only a trifle. You’ve taken cold, very likely. A cup of hot
tea would be good for you.”

“I haven’t any tea,” groaned Ben. “It costs a great deal, and I’m very
poor. I can’t afford to buy it.”

Tony smiled, remembering the hoard of gold.

“I guess you’ve got some money,” said Tony. “You’d better let me go to
the store, and buy some tea and a fresh roll for you.”

“How much will it cost?” asked Ben.

“I can get some bread, and tea, and sugar for thirty or forty cents,”
answered Tony.

“Forty cents! It’s frightful!” exclaimed Ben. “I—I guess I’ll do
without it.”

“Oh, well, if you prefer to lie there and die, it’s none of my
business,” said Tony, rather provoked.

“But I don’t want to die,” whined Ben.

“Then do as I tell you.”

Tony jumped up, unrolled his coat and put it on.

“Now,” he said, “I’m ready to go for you, if you’ll give me the

“But you may take it and not come back.”

“If you think you can’t trust me, you needn’t.”

“I think I’ll go myself,” said Ben.

He tried to raise himself, but a twinge of pain compelled him to lie
down again.

“No, I can’t,” he said.

“Well, do you want me to go for you?”

“Yes,” answered Ben reluctantly.

“Then give me the money.”

Ben produced twenty-five cents from his pocket.

“Isn’t that enough?” he asked.

“Better give me more,” said Tony.

He produced ten cents more, and vowed it was all the money he had in
the world.

Tony decided not to contradict his assertion, but to make this go as
far as it would. He put on his hat and started out. He meant also to
stop at the doctor’s, and ask him to call round, for he thought it
possible that the old man might be seriously sick.

After he left the grocery store, he called at the house of the village

“Old Ben sick?” said Dr. Compton. “How did you happen to be in his

Tony explained.

“He has been repaid for taking you in,” said the doctor. “I’ll put on
my hat and go right over with you.”

After Tony left the house, old Ben tormented himself with the thought
that the boy would never come back.

He was relieved by seeing the door open and Tony enter. But he looked
dismayed when he saw the doctor.

“What did you come for?” he asked peevishly.

“To see what I can do for you, Mr. Hayden.”

“But I can’t pay you,” whined old Ben.

“We’ll talk about that afterward.”

“You can’t charge when I didn’t send for you.”

“Make your mind easy. I won’t charge for this visit. Let me feel your

Old Ben no longer opposed medical treatment, finding it would cost

“Am I going to die?” he asked, with an anxious look.

“You need nourishing food and care, that is all,” was the reply. “You
have had a chill, and you are reduced by insufficient food.”

“I have some bread and tea here,” said Tony.

“Then make a fire and boil the tea. And, by the way, Mr. Hayden needs
somebody for a few days. Can you look after him?”

“If he will give me money enough to buy what he needs,” said Tony.

Old Ben whined that he was poor, and had no money, but the doctor
interrupted him impatiently.

“That’s all nonsense,” he said. “You may not have much money, but
you’ve got some, and you’ll die if you don’t spend some on yourself.
If you don’t agree to it I shall advise this boy here to leave you to
your fate. Then your only resource will be to go to the poorhouse.”

This proposal was not acceptable to Ben, who was unwilling to leave
the house where his treasures were concealed. He, therefore,
reluctantly acceded to the doctor’s conditions, and Tony got his

“Well,” thought Tony to himself, with a smile, “I’ve got a situation
as plain cook and housekeeper. I wonder how long it will last, and
what’ll come of it. I don’t believe Rudolph will look for me here.”



Tony was not only cook and housekeeper, but he was sick nurse as well.
Nor were his duties easy. The main difficulty was about getting money
to buy what was absolutely necessary. This was very irritating,
especially since Tony knew about Ben’s hidden treasure.

One morning Tony went to Ben for money, saying:

“There isn’t a scrap of food in the house except a little tea.”

“You can make some tea. That will do,” said Ben.

“It may do for you, but it won’t for me.”

“It costs a sight to support two people.”

“I don’t know about that. I’ve only spent two dollars in six days. You
don’t call that much, do you?”

“Two dollars!” ejaculated the old man, terrified. “Oh, it’s too much.
I am ruined!”

“Are you?” said Tony coolly. “Then all I can say is, you’re easily
ruined. I want half a dollar.”

“I shan’t give it to you,” snarled Ben.

“Do you mean to starve?”

“I won’t part with all I have. You are robbing me.”

“That won’t make much difference, as you’ll be dead in three days,”
said Tony.

“What?” almost shrieked Ben, in dismay. “Who told you so? The doctor?”


“You ain’t goin’ to murder me, are you?”

“No; you are going to murder yourself.”

“What do you mean?” demanded Ben peevishly.

“You’re not willing to buy anything to eat,” explained Tony, “and you
can’t live above three days on nothing.”

“Is that all? What made you frighten me so?”

“I only told you the truth. Are you going to give me the money?”

“Perhaps you’ll tell me where I’m going to get so much money?” said
Ben, in the same tone.

“I will tell you if you want me to,” answered Tony.

“Where?” asked Ben eagerly.

“Under the floor,” returned Tony composedly.

“What!” screamed Ben, in consternation.

“Just where I said. There’s plenty of money under that plank.”

“Who told you?” groaned the old man, livid with terror. “Have—have
you taken any?”

“Not a dollar. It’s all there.”

“Have you been spying when I was asleep?”

“No, I haven’t. That ain’t my style.”

“How could you find out, then?”

“I’ll tell you. The first night I was here, you got up in your sleep
and took up the board. Then you drew out two bags of gold pieces and
counted them.”

“Oh, I’m ruined! I’m undone!” lamented Ben.

“I don’t see how you are.”

“I shall be robbed. There’s only a little there—only a few dollars to
bury me.”

“I guess you mean to have a tall funeral,” said Tony coolly. “There’s
a thousand dollars there.”

“No, no, only fifty,” answered the old man.

“There’s no use talking, I know better. If you don’t believe it,
suppose I count the pieces.”

“No, no!”

“Just as you say. As it is, you’ve got plenty of money, and I know it,
and if you ain’t willing to use some of it, I’ll go off and leave you

“Don’t go,” said Ben hastily. “You’re a good boy. You wouldn’t rob a
poor old man, would you?”

“Nor a rich old man either, but I don’t mean to starve. So give me
fifty cents and I’ll get some fresh bread and butter, and tea and

“No matter about the butter. It costs too much.”

“I want butter myself. My constitution requires it,” said Tony. “You
needn’t eat it if you don’t want to.”

Ben groaned again, but he produced the money required, and Tony soon
returned from the grocery store with small supplies of the articles he
had named.

“Now we’ll have some breakfast,” said Tony cheerfully. “Don’t you feel

“A—a little,” acknowledged Ben reluctantly. “I wish I wasn’t. It
costs so much to live.”

“I don’t think it costs you much,” said Tony. “This morning I’m going
to give you a boiled egg.”

“I can’t afford it,” groaned the old man.

“You may as well eat it, as it’s here.”

“How much did you pay?”

“Three cents for two.”

Ben groaned again, but when breakfast was ready he showed an unusually
good appetite, and did not refrain from partaking of the egg,
expensive as it was.

Dr. Compton came in the next morning, and pronounced the old man
better and stronger.

“Shall I be able to get up soon, doctor?” asked Ben.

“In a day or two, I think.”

Ben heaved a sigh of relief.

“I’m glad of it,” he said. “I can’t afford to be sick.”

“Has it cost you much?” asked the doctor, amused.

“It costs a sight to live. He eats a good deal.”

“He’s a growing boy; but he’s worth all he costs you. You’d better ask
him to stay with you a few weeks.”

“No, no; I can’t afford it,” said Ben hastily. “He’s a good boy; but
he’s very hearty—very hearty.”

“Don’t vex him, doctor,” said our hero. “I’m tired of staying here. I
want to get out on the road again.”

Ben looked relieved.

“Right, boy,” he said—“you’re right. It’s a dull place. You’ll be
better off to go.”

“You have been lucky to have him here during your sickness,” said the
doctor. “Without his care, or that of some one else, you would
probably have died.”

“But I won’t die now?” asked old Ben anxiously.

“Not at present, I hope. But you must live better than you have been
accustomed to do.”

“I shall be glad to get away,” said Tony hurriedly, to the doctor,
outside of the house. “I’m used to tramping, and I can’t stand it much
longer. There’s one thing I want to tell you before I go.”

“Go on, my boy.”

“I am afraid the old man will be robbed sometime.”

“Is there anything to steal?”

Tony, in a low tone, imparted to Dr. Compton the discovery he had made
of the miser’s hoards.

“I suspected as much,” said the doctor. “I will do what I can to
induce Ben to have the gold moved to a place of safety, but I don’t
feel confident of my ability to do it. Such men generally like to have
their hoards within their own reach.”

       *     *     *     *     *

Two nights later Tony awoke shortly after midnight. It was a bright,
moonlight night, as on the first night he slept there. Again he saw
Ben crouched on the floor, engaged in counting his hoards. The old man
had recovered enough strength to get out of bed without assistance.
This time, he was broad awake.

Tony was not the only witness of the spectacle. Casting his eyes
toward the window, he was startled by seeing a dark, sinister face
pressed against the pane, almost devouring the old man and his gold.

It was the face of Rudolph, the tramp!



“Has Rudolph tracked me, or is it only accident that has brought him

This was the thought which naturally suggested itself to our hero, as
in a very disturbed state of mind he stared at Rudolph through the
uncertain light.

Tony felt the difficulties of the position. Not only would the gold be
taken, but, he, too, would fall into the power of the tramp.

Old Ben had not yet discovered the sinister face at the window. He was
too busily occupied with his pleasant employment of counting over his

But he was speedily aroused by the noise of the window being raised
from the outside.

Then he turned with a startled look, which quickly deepened into
astonishment and dismay, as he caught the lowering look fixed upon
him. There was more than this. There was recognition besides.

“You here?” he gasped.

“Yes, Ben, it’s me. May I come in?”

“No, no!” ejaculated the old man hastily.

“I think I must,” returned the tramp, in the same mocking tone. “I
came to see you as an old friend, but I never dreamed you were so

“Rich!” repeated Ben. “I’m very poor.”

“That looks like it.”

“It’s only a few dollars—enough to bury me.”

“Very well, Ben, I’ll take charge of it, and when you need burial I’ll
attend to it. That’s fair, isn’t it?”

Rudolph, who had paused outside, now raised the window to its full
height, and, despite the old man’s terrified exclamations, bounded
lightly into the room.

“Help! help! thieves!” screamed Ben.

“Hold your jaw, you driveling old idiot!” said Rudolph, “or I’ll give
you something to yell about.”

“Help, Tony, help!” continued the old man.

The tramp’s eyes, following the direction of Ben’s, discovered our
hero on his rude bed in the corner.

“Ho, ho!” he laughed, with a mirth that boded ill to Tony, “so I’ve
found you at last, have I? You served me a nice trick the other day,
didn’t you?”

“I hoped I should never set eyes on you again.”

“I’ve no doubt you did. You undertook to run away from me, did you? I
knew I should come across you sooner or later.”

While this conversation was going on Ben glanced from one to the other
in surprise, his attention momentarily drawn away from his own

“Do you know this boy, Rudolph?” he inquired.

“I should think I did,” answered the tramp grimly.

“Who is he?” asked Ben, evidently excited.

“What’s that to you?” returned Rudolph. “It’s a boy I picked up, and
have taken care of, and this is his gratitude to me. A few days since
he ran away from me, and I’ve had a long chase to find him.”

“Is this true?” asked Ben, turning to Tony.

“Some of it is true,” said our hero. “I’ve been with him ever since I
could remember, and I ran away because he wanted me to join him in
robbing a house. He calls me his son, but I know he is not my father.”

“How do you know?” demanded the tramp sternly.

“Didn’t you say so just now?”

“It was none of the old man’s business, and I didn’t care what I told

“There’s something within me tells me that there’s no relationship
between us,” said Tony boldly.

“Is there, indeed? Is there anything within you tells you you are
going to get a good flogging?”

“No, there isn’t.”

“Then you needn’t trust it, for that is just what is going to happen.”

He advanced toward Tony in a threatening manner, when he was diverted
from his purpose by seeing the old man hastily gathering up the gold.
Punishment could wait, he thought, but the gold must be secured now.

“Not so fast, Ben!” he said. “You must lend me some of that.”

“I can’t,” said Ben, hurrying all the faster. “It’s all I have, and I
am very poor.”

“I am poorer still, for I haven’t a red to bless myself with. Come, I
won’t take all, but some I must have.”

He stooped over and began to grasp at the gold pieces, some of which
were heaped up in piles upon the floor.

Even the weakest are capable of harm when exasperated, and Ben was
gifted with preternatural strength when he saw himself likely to lose
the hoards of a lifetime, and his anger rose to fever heat against the
scoundrel whom he had known years before.

With a cry like that of a wild beast, he sprang upon the tramp, who,
in his crouching position, was unable to defend himself against a
sudden attack. Rudolph fell backward, striking his head with great
force against the brick hearth and he lay insensible, with the blood
gushing from a wound in his head.

The old man stood appalled at the consequence of his sudden attack.

“Have I killed him? Shall I be hanged?”

“No, he’s only stunned,” said Tony, with all his wits about him. “We
have no time to lose.”

“To run away? I can’t leave my gold,” said Ben.

“I don’t mean that. We must secure him. Have you got some stout cord?”

“Yes, yes,” said Ben, beginning to understand our hero’s design.
“Stay, I’ll get it right away.”

“You’d better, for he may come to at any minute.”

The old man fumbled round until in some out-of-the-way corner he
discovered a quantity of stout cord.

The boy set to work with rapid hands to tie the prostrate tramp hand
and foot.

“How brave you are,” exclaimed the old man, admiringly. “I wouldn’t
dare to touch him.”

“Nor I, if he were awake. I didn’t think you were so strong. He went
over as if he were shot.”

“Did he?” asked the old man, bewildered.

“It’s lucky for us you threw yourself upon him as you did. A little
more cord, Mr. Hayden. I want to tie him securely. You’d better be
gathering up that gold, and putting it away before he comes to.”

Scarcely was the money put away in its place of concealment when the
tramp recovered from his fit of unconsciousness, and looked stupidly
around him. Then he tried to move, and found himself hampered by his
bonds. Looking up, he met the terrified gaze of old Ben, and the
steady glance of Tony. Then the real state of the case flashed upon
him, and he was filled with an overpowering rage at the audacity of
his late charge, to whom he rightly attributed his present humiliating



“Let me up!” roared Rudolph, struggling vigorously with the cords that
bound him.

Ben was terrified by his demonstration, and had half a mind to comply
with his demand.

“Don’t you do it, Mr. Hayden!” Tony exclaimed.

“What, young jackanapes!” said the tramp, scowling fiercely. “You dare
to give him this advice?”

“Yes, I do,” said Tony boldly. “He will be a fool if he releases you.”

“If he don’t I’ll kill him, and you, too.”

“What shall I do?” added Ben helplessly.

“Do you know what he’ll do if you untie him?”

“What will I do?” demanded Rudolph.

“You will steal this old man’s money. It was what you were about to do
when you fell over backward.”

“He threw me over,” said the tramp.

“I’m very sorry,” stammered Ben.

“If you’re very sorry untie them cords, and let me up.”

“I didn’t tie you.”

“Who did?”

“The—the boy.”

“You dared to do it!” exclaimed Rudolph.

“Yes, I did,” said Tony calmly. “It was the only way to keep you out
of mischief.”

“Insolent puppy; if I only had my hands free I would strangle you

“You hear what he says?” said Tony, turning to old Ben. “Are you in
favor of untying him now?”

“No, no!” exclaimed Ben, trembling. “He is a dreadful man. Oh, why did
he come here?”

“I came for your gold, you fool, and I’ll have it.”

“What shall I do?” asked the old man, wringing his hands in the excess
of his terror.

“Let me up, and I won’t hurt you.”

“Just now you said you would strangle the both of us, Rudolph.”

“I’ll strangle you, you cub, but I will do no harm to the old man.”

“Don’t you trust him, Mr. Hayden,” said Tony. “He will promise
anything to get free, but he will forget all about it when he is

“I’d like to choke you!” muttered Rudolph.

“I’ll go and call for help to arrest him,” said Tony.

“And leave me alone with him?” asked Ben, terrified.

“No, we will lock the door, and you shall go and stay outside till I
come back.”

Tony’s proposal was distasteful to Rudolph. He had a wholesome dread
of the law, and didn’t fancy the prospect of an arrest. He made a
fresh and violent struggle which portended danger to his captors.

“Come out quick,” said Tony hastily. “It is not safe for you to stay
here any longer.”

The old man followed him nothing loath, and Tony locked the door on
the outside.

“Do you think he will get free?” asked Ben nervously.

“He may, and if he does there is no safety for either of us till he is
caught again.”

“Oh, my gold! my gold!” groaned Ben. “He may get it.”

“Yes, he may; our only hope is to secure him as soon as possible.”

“I’m so weak I can’t go fast.”

“You must conceal yourself and let me run on.”

“I don’t know of any place.”

“Here’s a place. You will be safe here till I come for you.”

Tony pointed to an old ruined shed.

“Will you be sure and come for me?”

“Yes, don’t be alarmed. Only don’t show yourself till you hear my

Ben crept into the temporary shelter, glad that in his weakened
condition he should not be obliged to go any further. He tormented
himself with the thought that even now the desperate tramp might be
robbing him of his treasures. Still he had great confidence in Tony
and hope was mingled with his terror.

“He’s a brave boy,” he murmured. “I am glad he was with me, though he
does eat a sight.”

Tony hurried on to the village, where he lost no time in arousing a
sufficient number to effect the capture of the burglar. He no longer
felt any compunction in turning against his quondam guardian.

“I owe him nothing,” thought Tony. “What has he ever done for me? He
is not my father. Probably he kidnaped me from my real home, and has
made me an outcast and a tramp like himself.”

Meanwhile Rudolph was not idle.

It may be thought strange that he should have so much difficulty in
freeing himself from the cords with which Tony had bound him. But it
must be remembered that the boy had done his work well.

After he had been locked in, Rudolph set to work energetically to
obtain release. He succeeded in raising himself to his feet, but as
his ankles were tied together, this did not do him much good. He tried
to break the cords; but the only result was to chafe his wrists.

“What a fool I am!” he exclaimed, at length. “The old man must have
some table knives about somewhere. With these I can cut the cords.”

When found, they proved so dull that even if he had had free use of
one of his hands, it would not have been found easy to make them of
service. But when added to this was the embarrassment of his fettered
hands, it will not excite surprise that it required a long time to
sever the tough cords which bound him. But success came at length.

“Now for revenge!” thought the tramp. “The boy shall rue this night’s
task, or my name is not Rudolph.”

But, angry as he was, and thirsting as he did for vengeance, he did
not forget the object which had drawn him thither. Whatever else he
might do, he must secure the miser’s gold.

He removed the plank, and there, beneath him lay the much-coveted bags
of golden treasure.

“These,” he said to himself, “will carry me back to England, and
provide for me like a gentleman, till I can get some more.”

He rose from the floor, and, with the bags in his hand, jumped out of
the still open window.

But he was too late. Two strong men seized him, each by an arm, and
said sternly:

“You are our prisoner!”



After Rudolph’s seizure Ben discovered the bags of gold in the hands
of the tramp.

“Give me my money!” he shrieked.

“It’s safe, Ben,” said one of the captors. “But who would have
supposed you had so much money?”

“It isn’t much,” faltered the old man.

“The bags are pretty heavy,” was the significant rejoinder. “Will you
take two hundred dollars apiece for them?”

“No,” said the old man, embarrassed.

“Then there is considerable after all. But never mind. Take better
care of them hereafter.”

Ben stooped to pick up the bags. He had got hold of them when the
tramp aimed a kick at him which completely upset him.

Even though he fell, however, he did not lose his grip of the bags,
but clung to them while crying with pain.

“Take that, you old fool!” muttered the tramp. “It’s the first
installment of the debt I owe you.”

“Take him away, take him away! He will murder me!” exclaimed old Ben,
in terror.

“Come along. You’ve done mischief enough,” said his captors, sternly,
forcing the tramp along.

“I’ll do more yet,” muttered Rudolph.

He turned to Tony, who stood at a little distance.

“I’ve got a score to settle with you, young traitor.”

“I’m sorry for you, Rudolph,” said Tony; “but you’ve brought it on

“Bah! you hypocrite!” retorted the tramp. “I don’t want any of your
sorrow. It won’t save you when the day of reckoning comes.”

He was not allowed to say more, but was hurried away to the village
lockup for detention.

Dr. Compton was among the party who had been summoned by Tony. He
lingered behind, and took Ben apart.

“Mr. Hayden,” he said, “I want to give you a piece of advice.”

“What is it?” asked the old man.

“Don’t keep this gold in your house. It isn’t safe.”

“Who do you think will take it?” asked Ben.

“None of those here this morning, unless this tramp should escape from

“If he don’t, what danger is there?”

“It will get about that you have money secreted here, and I venture to
say it will be stolen before three months are over.”

“It will kill me,” said Ben piteously.

“Then put it out of reach of danger.”


“I am going over to the county town, where there is a bank. Deposit it
there, and whenever you want any go and get it.”

“But banks break sometimes,” said Ben, in alarm.

“This is an old established institution. You need not be afraid of

“But I can’t see the money—I can’t count it.”

“You can see the deposit record in a book. Even if that doesn’t suit
you as well, you can sleep comfortably, knowing that you are not
liable to be attacked and murdered by burglars.”

The old man vacillated, but finally yielded to the force of the
doctor’s reasoning. A day or two later he rode over to the neighboring
town, and saw his precious gold deposited in the vaults of the bank.

We are anticipating, however.

When the confusion incident to the arrest was over, Tony came forward.

“Mr. Hayden,” he said, “you are so much better that I think you can
spare me now.”

“But suppose Rudolph comes back.”

“I don’t think he can. He will be put in prison.”

“I suppose he will. What a bold, bad man.”

“Yes, he is a bad man, but I’m sorry for him.”

“How did you come to be with him?”

“I don’t know, I have been with him as long as I can remember. You
used to know him, didn’t you?”

“A little,” said the old man hastily.

“Where was it?”

“In England—long ago.”

“In England. Was he born in England?”


“Do you think I am English, too?”

“I think so; yes, I think so,” answered Ben cautiously.

“Have you any idea who I am—who were my parents?”

“Don’t trouble me now,” said Ben peevishly. “I am not well. My head is
confused. Some day I will think it over and tell you what I know.”

“But if I am not here?”

“I will write it down, and give it to the doctor.”

“That will do,” said Tony. “I know he will keep it for me. Now,

“Are you going?”

“Yes, I have my own way to make in the world. I can’t live on you any

“To be sure not,” said Ben. “I am too poor to feed two persons, and
you have a very large appetite.”

“Yes,” said Tony, laughing, “I believe I have a healthy appetite. I’m
growing, you know.”

“It must be that. What is your name?”

“That is more than I know. I have always been called Tony, or Tony the
Tramp. Rudolph’s last name is Rugg, and he pretends that I am his

“You are not his son. He never had any son.”

“I am glad to hear that. I shan’t have to say now that my father is in
jail. Good-by, Mr. Hayden.”

“Good-by,” said Ben, following the boy thoughtfully with his eyes,
till he had disappeared.

With a light heart, and a pocket still lighter, Tony walked on for
several miles. Then he stopped at a country grocery store, and bought
five cents’ worth of crackers. These he ate with a good appetite,
slaking his thirst at a wayside spring.

He was lying carelessly on the greensward when a tin peddler’s cart
drove slowly along the road.

“Hello, there!” said the peddler.

“Hello!” said Tony.

“Do you want a lift?”

“Yes,” said Tony, with alacrity.

“Then get up here. There’s room enough for both of us. You can hold
the reins when I stop anywhere.”

“It’s a bargain,” said Tony.

“Are you travelin’ for pleasure?”

“On business,” said Tony.

“What is your business?”

“I want to find work,” said Tony.

“You’re a good, stout youngster. You’d ought to get something to do.”

“So I think,” said Tony.

“Got any folks?”

“If you mean wife and children, I haven’t,” answered our hero, with a

“Ho, ho!” laughed the peddler. “I guess not. I mean father or mother,
uncles or aunts, and such like.”

“No, I am alone in the world.”

“Sho! you don’t say so. Well, that’s a pity. Why, I’ve got
forty-’leven cousins and a mother-in-law to boot. I’ll sell her

“Never mind!” said Tony.

“I’ll tell you what,” said the peddler, “I feel interested in you.
I’ll take you round with me for a day or two, and maybe I can get you
a place. What do you say?”

“Yes, and thank you,” said Tony.

“Then it’s settled. Gee up, Dobbin!”



Toward the close of the next day the tin peddler halted in front of a
country tavern.

“I’m going to stay here overnight,” he said.

“Maybe they’ll let me sleep in the barn,” said Tony.

“In the barn! Why not in the house?”

“I haven’t got any money, you know Mr. Bickford.”

“What’s the odds? They won’t charge anything extra for you to sleep
with me.”

“You’re very kind, Mr. Bickford, but they won’t keep me for nothing,
and I don’t want you to pay for me.”

At this moment the landlord came out on the piazza, and asked the

“Where’s Tom?”

“Gone home—says he’s sick,” answered James.

“Drat that boy! It’s my opinion he was born lazy. That’s what’s the
matter with him.”

“I guess you’re right, Mr. Porter,” said James.

“I wouldn’t take him back if I had anybody to take his place.”

“Do you hear that, Tony?” said the peddler.

Tony walked to the landlord and said:

“I’ll take his place.”

“Who are you?” asked the landlord, in surprise.

“I have just come,” said Tony.

“What can you do?”

“Anything you want me to do.”

“Have you any references?”

“I can refer to him,” said Tony, pointing to the tin peddler.

“Oh, Mr. Bickford,” said the landlord, with a glance of recognition.
“Well, that’s enough. I’ll take you. James, take this boy to the
kitchen, and give him some supper. What’s your name, boy?”

“Tony Rugg.”

“Very well, Tony, I’ll give you three dollars a week and your board as
long as we suit each other.”

“I’ve got work sooner than I expected,” thought Tony.

The hostler set him to work in the barn, and, though he was new to the
work, he quickly understood what was wanted, and did it.

“You work twice as fast as Sam,” said the hostler.

“Won’t Sam be mad when he finds I have taken his place?” asked Tony.

“Probably he will, but it’s his own fault.”

“Not if he’s sick.”

“He’s no more sick than I am.”

“Well, I am glad he left a vacancy for me,” said Tony.

“Where did you work last?” asked the hostler.


“Never worked? Then how did you live?”

“I traveled with my guardian.”

“Were you rich?” asked James.

“No; I just went round and lived as I could. I didn’t like it, but I
couldn’t help it. I had to go where Rudolph chose to lead me.”

“Where is he now?”

“I don’t know. I got tired of being a tramp, and ran away from him.”

“You did right,” said James, who was a steady man, and looked forward
to a snug home of his own ere long. “All the same, Mr. Porter wouldn’t
have taken you if he had known you were a tramp.”

“I hope you won’t tell him, then.”

“No; I won’t tell him. I want you to stay here.”

Tony was assigned to a room in the attic. There were two beds in this
chamber, one being occupied by James. He slept soundly, and was up
betimes in the morning. After breakfast Mr. Bickford, the tin peddler,
made ready to start.

“Good-by, Tony,” he said, in a friendly manner, “I’m glad you’ve got a

“I wouldn’t have got it if I hadn’t you to refer to.”

“The landlord didn’t ask how long I’d known you,” said Bickford,
smiling. “Good luck to you.”

As the peddler drove away, Tony noticed a big, overgrown boy, who was
just entering the hotel yard.

“That’s Sam,” said the hostler. “He don’t know he’s lost his place.”

Sam was about two inches taller than Tony, red-haired, and freckled,
with a big frame, loosely put together. He was a born bully, and many
were the tricks he had played on smaller boys in the village.

Sam strutted into the yard with the air of a proprietor. He took no
particular notice of Tony, but accosted James. The latter made a
signal to Tony to be silent.

“Well, have you just got along?” asked the hostler.

“Ye-es,” drawled Sam.

“What made you go home yesterday afternoon?”

“I didn’t feel well,” said Sam nonchalantly.

“Do you think Mr. Porter can afford to pay you wages, and let you go
home three times a week in the middle of the afternoon?”

“I couldn’t work when I was sick of course.”

“I suppose you have come to work this morning?”

“Ye-es, but I can’t work very hard—I ain’t quite got over my

“Then you’ll be glad to hear that you won’t have to work at all.”

“Ain’t there anything to do?” asked Sam.

“Yes, there’s plenty to do, but your services ain’t required. You’re

“What!” exclaimed Sam.

“Mr. Porter’s got tired of your delicate health. It interferes too
much with business. He’s got a tougher boy to take your place.”

“Where is he?” demanded Sam.

“There,” answered the hostler, pointing out our hero, who stood
quietly listening to the conversation.

Sam regarded Tony with a contemptuous scowl.

“Who are you?” he demanded roughly.

“Your successor,” answered Tony coolly.

“What business had you to take my place?”

“The landlord hired me.”

“I don’t care if he did. He hired me first.”

“Then you’d better go to him and complain about it. It’s none of my

“It’s my business,” said Sam, with emphasis.

“Just as you like.”

“Will you give up the place?”

“No,” said Tony. “You must think I’m a fool. What should I give it up

“Because it belongs to me.”

“I don’t see that. I suppose Mr. Porter has a right to hire anybody he

“He had no right to give you my place.”

“That’s his business. What shall I do next, James?”

“Go and shake down some hay for the horses.”

Sam walked off deeply incensed, muttering threats of vengeance against

Three days later a boy entered the stable, and, calling for Tony,
presented the following missive:

     “If you ain’t a coward, meet me to-morrow night at seven
     o’clock, back of the schoolhouse, and we’ll settle, by
     fighting, which shall have the place, you or I? If you get
     licked you must clear out and leave it to me.”

          “SAM PAYSON.”

Tony showed the note to the hostler.

“Well, Tony, what are you going to do about it?”

“I’ll be on hand,” said Tony, promptly.



Sam Payson felt perfectly safe in challenging Tony to single combat.
He had seen that he was two inches shorter and probably twenty pounds
lighter. But appearances were deceitful, and he had no idea that Tony
had received special training which he lacked.

In the course of his wanderings Tony had attracted the attention of a

“I’ll tell you what, Rudolph,” said the pugilist, “you can make
something of that boy?”

“How?” asked the tramp.

“I’ll teach him to box, and you can get an engagement for him in a

“Do it if you like,” said the tramp.

So Tony received a gratuitous course of lessons in boxing, which were
at last interrupted by a little difficulty between his teacher and the
officers of the law, resulting in the temporary confinement of the
former. The lessons were never resumed, but they had gone so far that
Tony was a skillful boxer for a boy.

He, too, had measured Sam and felt quite sure of being able to conquer
him, and that with ease. He did not, however, mention the grounds of
his confidence to James, when the latter expressed some apprehension
that he would find Sam too much for him.

“Don’t be alarmed, James,” said Tony quietly.

“He’s bigger than you,” said James doubtfully.

“I know that, but he’s clumsy.”

“He’s slow, but he’s pretty strong.”

“So am I.”

“You’ve got pluck, and you deserve to win, Tony.”

“I mean to,” answered Tony. “Come along and see that it’s all fair.”

“I will if I can get away. Will you give up your place if you are

“Yes,” replied Tony. “I’ll give up my place and leave the village.”

“I don’t believe Mr. Porter will take Sam back.”

“I see you are expecting I will be whipped,” said Tony, laughing; “but
you’re mistaken. Sam isn’t able to do it.”

Meanwhile Sam had made known the duel which was about to take place.
He confidently anticipated victory, and wanted the village boys to be
witnesses of the manner in which he was going to polish off the

“I’ll learn him to cut me out of my place,” he said boastfully: “I’ll
learn him to mind his own business.”

“Will you get your place again if you lick him?” asked one of his

“Of course, I will.”

“Suppose he won’t give it up?”

“Then I’ll lick him every day till he’s glad to clear out. All you
boys know I don’t stand no nonsense.”

The result of Sam’s boastful talk was that about a hundred boys
collected behind the schoolhouse.

Many of them who had suffered from Sam’s bullying disposition would
have been glad to see him worsted, but none anticipated it.

Nothing was known of Tony except that he was considerably smaller and
lighter, and probably weaker.

Tony tried to be on hand at the time appointed, but he had more than
usual to do, and it was five minutes past seven before he entered the

There had been various speculations as to the cause of his delay.

“He won’t come,” said Sam, with a sneer.

“What’ll you do if he don’t come?” asked John Nolan.

“What will I do? I’ll pitch into him wherever I see him.”

“There he comes!” shouted a small boy.

All eyes were turned upon Tony, as he entered the field, with James at
his side.

“I’m sorry to have kept you waiting, boys,” said our hero politely.

“We concluded you’d backed out,” said Sam.

“That isn’t my style,” returned Tony, with a quiet smile. “I had more
to do than usual to-night.”

“You’ve still more to do,” said Sam jeeringly. “I pity you.”

“Do you? You’re very kind,” said Tony, unmoved.

“Oh, don’t thank me too soon.”

“Then I won’t. When are the exercises to commence?”

“He takes it cool,” said Nolan.

“Oh, it’s only show off,” said Sam. “You’ll see how he’ll wilt down
when I get hold of him.”

The two boys stripped off coat and vest and faced each other. Tony was
wary and looked into the eyes of his adversary, showing no disposition
to begin.

Sam swung heavily with his right. With scarcely an effort, Tony
blocked the blow and returned it quick as lightning, striking Sam full
in the nose.

Sam was not only maddened but disagreeably surprised, especially when
he discovered that blood was trickling from the injured organ. He was
still more incensed by the murmur of applause which followed from the
crowd of boys.

He breathed an audible curse, and losing all prudence began to swing
at Tony with each fist in rapid succession, with the intention of
overpowering him. But unfortunately for him this exposed him to
attack, and a couple of heavy blows in his face warned him that this
was too dangerous.

Tony stood upright, as cool and collected as at first. He had warded
off every blow of his adversary.

There was a murmur of surprise among the boys. They had come to see
Tony used up, and all the using up proved to be from the other side.
James was as much delighted as surprised. He could not repress
clapping his hands and was quickly imitated by the boys.

“Tony knows how to take care of himself,” he thought. “That’s why he
took matters so coolly.”

Sam felt humiliated and maddened. He regretted now that he had
undertaken a task which seemed every moment more formidable. What! was
it possible that he, Sam Payson, the crack fighter of the village, was
being ignominiously whipped, and that by a smaller boy? He felt that
if he permitted this, his prestige would be forever gone, and with it
the influence which he so much prized. He must make one desperate

“If I can only get hold of him,” he thought. “I can shake the life out
of him.”

He tried to grasp Tony round the body intending to throw him; but our
hero was too quick for him, and showered the blows upon him with such
rapidity that, blinded and overwhelmed, Sam himself staggered and fell
on his back.

Instead of following up the victory, Tony drew off and let his
adversary rise. Sam renewed the attack so wildly that in two minutes
he was again lying flat.

“That’s enough, Sam! You’re whipped!” shouted the boys.

He got up sullenly, and, in a voice nearly choked with rage, said:

“I’ll be even with you yet, see if I don’t.”

“Hurrah for the stranger!” shouted the boys, enthusiastically, as they
crowded around our hero.

“Boys,” said Tony modestly, “I’m much obliged to you for your
congratulations. Was it a fair fight?”

“Yes, yes!”

“Then it’s all right. Don’t say anything to him about it. He feels
bad, as I should in his place. I haven’t any ill will toward him, and
I hope he hasn’t toward me.”

This speech made Tony a still greater favorite, and the boys, making a
rush, took him on their shoulders, and bore him in triumph to the inn.
Poor Sam slunk home, suffering keener mortification than he had ever
before experienced in his life.



Leaving Tony for a short time, we must return to Rudolph, whom we left
in charge of a self-constituted body of police on his way to the

When first arrested Rudolph was disposed to be violent and abusive.
His disappointment was keen, for he was just congratulating himself on
the possession of the miser’s gold. Five minutes later, and he would
probably have been able to make good his escape. Mingled with his
disappointment was a feeling of intense hostility against Tony for his
part in defeating his plans.

“I’ll be revenged upon him yet,” he muttered.

They reached the lockup and he was led in. A small oil lamp was
lighted and set on the floor.

“Where are the handcuffs?” asked one of the captors.

“I don’t know. They haven’t been needed for so long that they have
been mislaid.”

“They won’t be needed now. The man can’t get out.”

Rudolph’s face betrayed satisfaction.

“There’s your bed,” said Moses Hunt, who had Rudolph by the arm,
pointing to a rude cot.

Rudolph threw himself upon it.

“I’m dead tired,” he said, and closed his eyes.

The door was locked and Rudolph was left alone.

When five minutes had elapsed—time enough for his captors to get
away—he got up.

“I must get away from this if I can,” thought the tramp, “and before
morning. I am glad they didn’t put on handcuffs. Let me see, how shall
I manage it?”

He looked about him thoughtfully.

It was a basement room, lighted only by windows three feet wide and a
foot high.

“I should like to set fire to the building, and burn it up,” thought
the tramp. “That would cost them something. But it wouldn’t be safe.
Like as not I would be burned up myself, or at any rate be taken again
in getting away. No, no! that won’t do. I wonder if I can’t get
through one of those windows?”

He stood on the chair, and as the room was low-ceiled he found he
could easily reach the windows.

He shook them and found to his joy that it would be a comparatively
easy thing to remove one of them.

“What fools they are!” he muttered contemptuously. “Did they really
expect to keep me here?”

He removed the window, and by great effort succeeded in raising
himself so that he might have a chance of drawing himself through the
aperture. It did not prove so easy as he expected. He did, however,
succeed at length, and drew a long breath of satisfaction as he found
himself once more in the possession of his liberty.

“I’m a free man once more,” he said. “What next?”

He would have been glad to return to the miser’s house and possess
himself of some of his gold, but the faint gray of dawn was already
perceptible, and there was too much risk attending it.

Moreover, prudence dictated his putting as great a distance as
possible between himself and the village.

The hundred miles intervening between New York and that place he got
over in his usual way, begging a meal at one house and a night’s
lodging at another. He was never at a loss for a plausible story. At
one place, where he was evidently looked upon with suspicion, he said:

“I ain’t used to beggin’. I’m a poor, hard-workin’ man, but I’ve heard
that my poor daughter is sick in New York, and I want to get to her.”

“What took her to New York?” asked the farmer whom he addressed.

“She went to take a place in a store.”

“I’m sorry for you,” said the farmer’s wife, sympathizingly. “Ephraim,
can’t we help along this poor man?”

“If we can believe him. There’s many impostors about.”

“I hope you don’t take me for one,” said Rudolph meekly. “Poor Jane;
what would she think if she knew her poor father was so

“Poor man! I believe you,” said the farmer’s wife. “You shall sleep in
Jonathan’s bed. He’s away now.”

So Rudolph was provided with two abundant meals and a comfortable bed.
The farmer’s wife never doubted his story, though she could not help
feeling that his looks were not prepossessing.

A few days later he was in New York. As a general thing he shunned the
city, for he was already known to the police, and he felt that
watchful eyes would be upon him as soon as it was known that he was
back again.

On the second day he strolled into a low drinking place in the lower
part of the city.

A man in shirt sleeves, and with an unhealthy complexion, was mixing
drinks behind the bar.

“Hello, Rudolph! Back again?” was his salutation.

“Yes,” said the tramp, throwing himself down in a seat.

“Where have you been?”

“Tramping round the country.”

“Where’s the boy you used to have with you?”

“Run away; curse him!”

“Got tired of your company, eh?”

“He wants to be honest and respectable.”

“And he thought he could learn better under another teacher, did he?”
said the bartender, with a laugh.

“Yes, I suppose so. I’d like to wring his neck.”

“You’re no friend to the honest and respectable, then.”

“No, I’m not.”

“Then, there’s no love lost, for they don’t seem to fancy you. What’ll
you have to drink?”

“I’ve got no money.”

“I’ll trust. You’ll have some sometime.”

“Give me some whisky, then,” said the tramp.

The whisky was placed in his hands. He gulped it down, and breathed a
sigh of satisfaction.

Then resuming his seat, he took up a morning paper. At first he read
it listlessly, but soon his face assumed a look of eager interest.

This was the paragraph that arrested his attention:

     “Should this meet the eye of Rudolph Rugg, who left England
     in the fall of 1887, he is requested to communicate with
     Jacob Morris, attorney at law, Room 1,503, No. —— Nassau

Rudolph rose hurriedly.

“Going?” asked the bartender.

“Yes; I’ll be back again soon.”



When Rudolph reached the sidewalk he stopped to reflect on the meaning
of the advertisement.

“Perhaps it’s a trap,” he thought. “Perhaps after so many years they
want to punish me. Shall I go?”

His hesitation was only temporary.

Ten minutes’ walk brought him to Nassau street. He ascended to the
proper floor, opened the door of No. 1,503, and found himself in a
lawyer’s office. A tall man of forty was seated at a desk.

“Well,” he said, “what can I do for you, sir?”

The address was not very cordial, for Rudolph did not have the look of
one likely to be a profitable client.

“Are you Mr. Jacob Morris, attorney-at-law?”

“That is my name.”

“I am Rudolph Rugg.”

“Rudolph Rugg!” exclaimed the lawyer briskly, jumping from his chair.
“You don’t say so. I am very glad to see you. Take a chair, please.”

Reassured by this reception, Rudolph took the seat indicated.

“So you saw my advertisement?”

“Yes, sir. I only saw it this morning.”

“It has been inserted for the last two weeks, daily. How happens it
that you did not see it sooner?”

“I have been away from the city. It was only an accident that I
happened to see it to-day.”

“A lucky accident, Mr. Rugg.”

“I hope it is, sir, for I’ve been out of luck. What is the business,

“My business has been to find you.”

“What for?”

“For a client of mine—an English lady.”

“A lady?” ejaculated the tramp.


“Who is it?”

“I suppose I am at liberty to tell. The lady is Mrs. Harvey Middleton,
of Middleton Hall, England.”

A peculiar expression swept over Rudolph’s face, but he only said:

“I have heard the name of Harvey Middleton. Is—is the lady in New

“Yes; she is staying at the St. Regis Hotel.”

“And she wants to find me?”

“Yes. She authorized me to seek you out.”

“Well,” said Rudolph, “what next?”

“I shall at once send a messenger to Mrs. Middleton, and await her
orders. You will stay here.”

He went to the door, and called “John” in a loud voice.

“Look here,” said Rudolph, suspiciously. “Just tell me one thing.
There ain’t any trap, is there?”

“Trap, my good friend? What can you mean?”

“You ain’t sending for the police?”

“To be sure not. Besides, why should a gentleman like you fear the

“Oh, that’s all gammon. I do fear the police uncommon. But if you tell
me it’s all on the square, I’ll believe you.”

“On my honor, then, it’s all on the square, as you call it. No harm
whatever is designed you. Indeed, I have reason to think that you will
make considerable money out of it. Now, hark ye, my friend, a word in
confidence. We can do each other good.”

“Can we?” asked the tramp.

“Yes, and I’ll tell you how. This lady, Mrs. Middleton, appears to be

“She is rich.”

“So much the better for us. I mean to give her the idea that I have
been at great trouble and expense in finding you.”

“I see,” said Rudolph, smiling. “You mean to charge it in the bill?”

“Of course, I shall represent that I sent out messengers in search of
you, and you were found by one of them.”

       *     *     *     *     *

In a private parlor at the St. Regis sat a lady of middle age. She had
a haughty face, and stern, compressed lips. She was one to repel
rather than to attract. She had a note before her, which she threw
down with an exclamation of impatience.

“So he has heard nothing yet. For three weeks I have been wasting my
time at this hotel, depending on this lawyer, and he has done
absolutely nothing.”

At this moment a light knock was heard at the door.

“Enter,” said the lady.

“A note for Mrs. Middleton,” announced a servant.

She took the missive and hastily opened it. It read thus:

     “MY DEAR MADAM: At last, after unwearied exertions, I have
     succeeded. The man, Rudolph Rugg, has been found by one of
     my messengers, and is at this moment in my office, ready to
     obey your summons. Shall I send him to you?”

         Yours respectfully,
             “JACOB MORRIS.”

     “P.S.—I assured you at the outset that if he were living I
     would find him. I am sure you will appreciate my exertions
     in your behalf.”

“That means a larger bill,” thought the lady. “However, I am willing
to pay handsomely. The man is found, and he can doubtless produce the

“Wait!” she said, in an imperious tone, to the servant, who was about
to withdraw. “There is an answer.”

She hastily penciled the following note:

     “I am very glad you have found Rudolph Rugg. I wish to speak
     to him at once. Send him here directly.”

“Short and not sweet!” commented the lawyer, when it was placed in his
hands. “She says nothing about the compensation.”

“Is it about me?” asked the tramp.

“Yes; it is from Mrs. Middleton. She wants you to come to the hotel at
once. But, my friend, I would advise you, since you are about to call
upon a lady, to put on a better suit of clothes.”

“How am I to do it,” he demanded roughly, “when these are all the
clothes I have?”

The lawyer whistled.

“A pretty-looking figure to call upon a lady at a fashionable hotel!”
he thought.

“You must go as you are,” he said. “Wait a minute.”

He took a blank card and wrote upon it the name:


“When you reach the hotel,” he said, “inquire for Mrs. Middleton and
send that card up to her.”

“Very well, sir.”

The tramp started, his mind busily occupied.

“What does she want with me? She wasn’t Mrs. Middleton when I knew
her, she was Miss Vincent, the governess. I suppose she’s a great lady
now. So she got Mr. Harvey to marry her. That ain’t surprisin’. She
looked like a schemer even then, and I was a fool not to see what she
was at. Likely she was up to the other thing. Well, I shall soon



“You want to see Mrs. Middleton?” demanded the hotel clerk, surveying
Mr. Rugg’s exterior.

“Yes,” said the tramp.

“I don’t think she’ll see one of your sort.”

“That’s where you’re mistaken, young feller.”

“You’re a strange visitor for a lady.”

“What if I am? There’s my card.”

The clerk took the card, and looked at it doubtfully. Then summoning
an attendant, he said:

“Take this up to 57.”

Presently the servant returned.

“The gentleman is to go up,” he said.

Rudolph looked at the clerk triumphantly.

“What did I tell you?” he said.

“Show the gentleman up,” said the clerk, purposely emphasizing the

As Rudolph entered the handsome parlor occupied by Mrs. Middleton, she

“Take a seat, sir.” Then to the attendant: “You may go. You are
Rudolph Rugg?” she commenced when they were alone.

“Yes, ma’am,” he answered; “and you are Miss Vincent, the governess. I
haven’t forgotten you.”

“I am Mrs. Harvey Middleton,” she said haughtily.

“Excuse me, ma’am. I hadn’t heard as you had changed your condition.
You was the governess when I knowed you.”

“You never knew me,” she said.

“Well, I knowed Mr. Harvey, at any rate.”

“That is not to the purpose. Do you know why I have sought you out?”

“I couldn’t guess, ma’am,” said Rudolph cunningly.

He could guess, but he wanted to force her to speak out.

“Where is the boy? Is he living?”

“What boy?” asked Rudolph vacantly.

“You know very well. Anthony Middleton, my husband’s cousin, whom you
stole away when he was scarcely more than an infant.”

“Can you prove what you say, Miss Vincent—I mean Mrs. Middleton?”

“Yes. It is idle to beat about the bush. My husband has told me all.”

“Then he has told you that he hired me to carry the boy off, in order
that he might inherit the estate?”

“Yes, he told me that,” she answered composedly.

“Well, I didn’t think he’d own up to that.”

“My husband and I had no secrets.”

“What does he want of the boy now?” asked Rudolph.

“It is I that want to find the boy.”

“Without his knowledge?”

“If you refer to my husband, he is dead.”

“Well, I didn’t expect that. Who has got the estate?”

“I have.”

The tramp whistled. Here was a poor governess, who had succeeded in
life with a vengeance. When he knew her she was not worth fifty pounds
in the world. Now she was mistress of a fine English estate, with a
rental of two thousand pounds.

“Wasn’t there no heirs?” he asked.

“Only this boy.”

“And if this boy was alive, would the estate be his?”

The lady paused, meanwhile fixing her eyes steadily upon the man
before her. Then she approached him and placed her jeweled hand on his

“Rudolph Rugg,” she said, “do you want to be comfortable for life?”

“Yes, ma’am, that’s exactly what I do want.”

“It will come to you now if you say the word,” she said.

“I’ll say it quick enough. Tell me what you want.”

“You talk like a sensible man. But first tell me, is the boy living?”

“He is alive and well.”

“When did you see him last?”

“Last week.”

“Very well, you know where he is. That is important. Now, in order
that you may understand what service I want of you, I must tell you a
little of my circumstances. I told you that my husband left me the

“Yes, ma’am.”

“But only in trust.”

“For the boy?” asked the tramp, in excitement.


“Well, I’ll be blowed.”

“What excites you, Mr. Rugg?”

“To think that Tony the Tramp should be the owner of a splendid estate
in old Hingland.”

“I am the owner,” said the lady, frowning.

“But you’re only takin’ care of it for him.”

“I don’t mean that he shall ever know it.”

Rudolph whistled.

“My husband secured the inheritance, as you are aware, through the
disappearance of his young cousin.”

“And mighty well he managed it.”

“But after he was given over by the doctors, he became a prey to
superstitious fears, the result of his weakness, and at times
experienced great regret for the hand he had in the abduction of the

“You surprise me, ma’am. He wasn’t that sort when I knew him.”

“No; he was then bold and resolute. Ill health and the approach of
death made him superstitious.”

“You ain’t that way, ma’am, I take it.”

“No; I have a stronger will and greater resolution.”

Her face did not belie her words. There was a cold look in her light
gray eyes, and a firmness in her closely pressed lips, which made it
clear that she was not likely to be affected by ordinary weakness. She
was intensely selfish, and thoroughly unscrupulous as to the means
which she employed to carry out her selfish ends.

“So you’re afraid the boy’ll turn up, ma’am?”


“Then why do you look for him?”

“I want to guard against his ever turning up.”

“He don’t know about the property.”

“But he might have learned, or you might. My husband, with the idea of
reparation, left the property to me, in trust, but if it should ever
be fully ascertained that the boy had died, then it was to be mine

“I begin to see what you’re driving at, ma’am.”

“You say the boy is alive?”

“Stout and hearty, ma’am. He’s been under my care ever since he was a
young un, ma’am, and I’ve treated him like he was my own.”


“Yes, ma’am. I’m poor, but I’ve always shared my crust with him,
givin’ him the biggest half.”

“Very kind, I’m sure,” said the lady, sarcastically. “I suppose you’re
very fond of him.”

“Of course I am,” said Rudolph. “But,” he added, after a slight pause,
“there’s one thing I like better.”

“What is that?”


“Good! I see we understand one another.”

“That’s so, ma’am. You needn’t be afraid to say anything to me.
Business is business.”



“It appears to me, Mr. Rugg, that you have not prospered,” said the

“That’s where you’re right, ma’am.”

“I am sorry for that.”

“So am I,” said the tramp, adding, with a cunning look, “but times
will be better now.”

“Why will they be better?” asked Mrs. Middleton.

“Tony won’t see me want when he comes into two thousand a year.”

“Who said he was coming into it?”

“You said he was the heir.”

“He hasn’t got the estate, and I don’t mean he shall have it.”

“How will you prevent that, ma’am?”

Mrs. Middleton again put her hand on the man’s tattered coat sleeve,
and, in a voice scarcely above a whisper, said:

“Mr. Rugg, you must prevent it.”

“How can I prevent it?” asked the tramp, with an assumption of

Mrs. Middleton said, with slow significance:

“This boy is in my way. Don’t you think he might manage to get sick
and die?”

“Perhaps he might,” said Rudolph, who did not appear to be shocked at
the suggestion.

“Couldn’t you manage it?” she asked.

“I might,” he answered shrewdly, “if it was going to do me any good.”

“Then the only question is as to pay,” she continued.

“That’s about it, ma’am. It’s a big risk. I might get caught and then
money wouldn’t do me much good.”

“Nothing venture, nothing have. You don’t want to be a pauper all your

“No, I don’t,” answered the tramp, with energy. “I’m tired of tramping
round the country, sleeping in barns and under haystacks, and picking
up meals where I can.”

“Do as I wish and you need never suffer such privations again,” said
the tempter.

“How much will you give me?” asked Rudolph.

“Five hundred dollars down, and five hundred dollars income as long as
you live.”

This was good fortune of which Rudolph had not dreamed, but he
understood how to make the most of the situation.

“It is not enough,” he said, shaking his head.

“Not enough!” exclaimed Mrs. Middleton. “Why, it seems to me very
liberal. You can live comfortably all your life just for doing one

“A thing which may bring me to the gallows. It’s all very well to
talk, but I can’t risk my neck for that.”

The lady was not surprised. She had expected that she would be
compelled to drive a bargain, and she had named a sum less than she
was willing to pay.

“You see,” continued Rudolph, “it’s going to be a great thing for you.
You’ll be sure of a big estate and an income of two thousand
pounds—that’s ten thousand dollars—a year, and it’ll be me that
gives it to you.”

“You overestimate your service, Mr. Rugg,” she said, coldly. “If I
decline to proceed further the estate will be mine.”

“Not if I bring on the boy, and say he’s the real heir.”

“I shall deny it,” said the lady, composedly, “and challenge you to
the proof.”

“Then I’ll prove it.”

“Who will believe you?” asked Mrs. Middleton, quietly.

“Why shouldn’t they?”

“You are a tramp, and a discreditable person. I suppose the boy is one
of the same sort.”

“No, he isn’t. I don’t like him overmuch, but he’s a handsome chap,
looks the gentleman every inch.”

“I should charge you with conspiracy, Mr. Rugg. You’d find it uphill
work fighting me, without influence and without money.”

“Then, if there ain’t no danger from me or the boy, why do you want me
to put him out of the way?”

Mrs. Middleton hesitated.

“I may as well tell you,” she said. “I take it for granted you will
keep the matter secret.”

“Of course I will.”

“Then it is this: I married Mr. Harvey Middleton to secure a home and
a position. I didn’t love him.”

“Quite right, ma’am.”

“He had no reason to complain of me, and when he died he left me in
charge of the estate.”

“For the boy?”

“Yes, for the boy, and this has given me trouble.”

“He hasn’t never troubled you.”

“Not yet, and but for one thing I would not have come to America in
search of him.”

“What is that?”

“I want to marry again.”

The tramp whistled.

Mrs. Middleton frowned, but went on:

“This time I love the man I want to marry. He is from an excellent
family, but he is a younger son, and has little or nothing himself. If
the estate were mine absolutely, there would be no opposition on the
part of his family, but with the knowledge that the boy may turn up at
any time nothing will be done.”

“I see,” said the tramp, nodding.

“But for this I would never have stirred in the matter at all. I did
not think it probable that the boy would ever hear of his

“He don’t even know who he is,” said Rudolph.

“You never told him, then?” said the lady.

“No. What was the good?”

“There was no good, and you did wisely. Now I have told you how
matters stand, and I renew the offer which I made a few minutes

“It is too little,” said the tramp, shaking his head.

“Tell me what you expect.”

“I want just double what you offered me, ma’am.”

“Why, that’s extortion.”

“That’s as you choose to consider it, ma’am.”

“Suppose I refuse?”

“Then I’ll go and see a lawyer.”

“Even if you succeeded, and got the boy in possession, do you think he
would give you any more than I?”

This was a consideration which had not occurred to the tramp. He asked
himself, moreover, did he really wish Tony to come into such a piece
of good fortune, after the boy had been instrumental in having him
arrested. No, anything but that!

“I’ll tell you what I’ll do, ma’am,” he said. “I’ll say eight hundred
dollars down, and the same every year.”

To this sum Mrs. Middleton finally agreed.

“You say you know where the boy is?” she asked.

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Then there need be no delay.”

“Only a little. But I shall want some money.”

Mrs. Middleton took out her purse.

“Here are a hundred dollars,” she said. “The rest shall be paid you
when you have earned it.”

Rudolph went downstairs, thinking:

“That woman’s a devil if ever there was one. How coolly she hires me
to kill the boy. I don’t half like the job. It’s too risky. But
there’s money in it, and I can’t refuse. The first thing is to find



The tramp decided that the best way to find Tony would be to return to
that part of the country where he had lost him, and make inquiries for
a boy of his description. He could do it comfortably now, being
provided with funds, thanks to Mrs. Middleton.

But there was a difficulty which gave him uneasiness. He was liable to
be arrested.

“I must disguise myself,” thought Rudolph.

It was not the first time in his varied experience that he had felt
the need of a disguise, and he knew just where to go to find one. In
the lower part of the city there was a shop well provided with such
articles as he required. He lost no time in seeking it out.

“What can I do for you, Mr. Rugg?” asked the old man who kept the

“I want a disguise.”

“Then you’ve come to the right shop. What will you be—a sailor, a
Quaker, a——”

“Hold, there,” said Rudolph. “You’ve named the very thing.”


“A Quaker. Can you make me a good Broadbrim?”

“Yea, verily,” answered the old man, laughing. “I can suit thee to a

“Do so, then.”

From out of a pile of costumes the old man drew a suit of drab and a
broad-brimmed hat.

“How will that do?” he asked.

“First tell me the price.”

“Thirty dollars.”

“Thirty dollars!” exclaimed the tramp, aghast. “Do you think I’m made
of money?”

“Look at the quality, my good friend.”

“Why, I may not want the things for more than a week.”

“Then I’ll tell you what I’ll do. If you only use them a week, you
shall bring them back, and I will pay you back twenty-five dollars;
that is,” the old man added, cautiously, “if you don’t hurt ’em too

“That’s better,” said Rudolph. “I’ll try them on.”

He went into an inner room provided for the purpose, and soon came out
entirely transformed. In addition to the drab suit, a gray wig had
been supplied.

The old man laughed heartily.

“How does thee like it?” he asked.

“Capital,” said Rudolph. “Would you know me?”

“I wouldn’t dream it was you. But, Mr. Rugg, there’s one thing you
mustn’t forget.”

“What’s that?”

“To use the Quaker lingo. Just now you said, ‘Would you know me?’ That
isn’t right.”

“What should I say?”

“Would thee know me?”

“All right. There’s your money.”

“There you are again. You must say thy money.”

“I see you know all about it. You’ve been a Quaker yourself, haven’t

“Not I; but I was brought up in Philadelphia, and I have seen plenty
of the old fellows. Now, don’t forget how to talk. Where are you

“Into the country on a little expedition,” said Rudolph.

“Well, good luck to you.”

“I wish thee good luck, too,” said the tramp.

“Ha! ha! you’ve got it; you’ll do.”

The tramp emerged into the street, a very fair representative of a
sedate Quaker. He soon attracted the attention of some street boys,
who, not suspecting his genuineness, thought him fair game.

“How are you, old Broadbrim?” said one.

Rudolph didn’t resent this.

“You’d make a good scarecrow,” said another.

Still the tramp kept his temper.

A third boy fired a half-eaten apple at him.

This was too much for the newly converted disciple of William Penn.

“Just let me catch you, you little rascal, and I’ll give you the worst
licking you ever had.”

The boys stared open mouthed at such language.

“He’s a fighting Quaker,” said the first one. “Keep out of his way.”

“If thee don’t, thee’ll catch it,” said Rudolph, fortunately
remembering how he must talk.

He had thought of pursuing the disturbers of his peace, but motives of
prudence prevented him.



Four days afterward Rudolph arrived in the town where Tony was
employed. He had not been drawn thither by any clew, but by pure

He put up for the night at the hotel where our hero had found work. He
enrolled himself on the register as “Obadiah Latham, Philadelphia.”

“Can thee give me a room, friend?” he inquired.

“Certainly, sir,” was the polite reply. “Here, Henry, show this
gentleman up to No. 6. No. 6 is one of our best rooms, Mr. Latham.”

“I thank thee,” said the tramp.

“The Quakers are always polite,” said the bookkeeper. “They are good
pay, too, and never give any trouble. I wish we had more of them stop

“If all your customers were of that description, your bar wouldn’t pay
very well.”

“That is true.”

But later in the evening the speaker was obliged to change his

The Quaker came to the bar and asked:

“Will thee give me a glass of brandy?”

“Sir!” said the barkeeper, astounded.

“A glass of brandy!” repeated Rudolph, irritably.

“I beg pardon, sir, but I was surprised. I did not know that gentlemen
of your faith ever drank liquor.”

“Thee is right,” said the tramp, recollecting himself. “It is only for
my health. Thee may make it strong, so that I may feel better soon.”

Rudolph drained the glass, and then, after a little hesitation, he

“I feel better. Will thee mix me another glass, and a little

A stronger glass was given him.

The barkeeper looked at him shrewdly.

“Quaker as he is, he is evidently used to brandy,” he said to himself.
“If he wasn’t, those two glasses would have upset him.”

But Rudolph did not appear to be upset.

He put his broad-brimmed hat more firmly on his head, and went
outside. He decided to take a walk about the village. He little
suspected that Tony was in the stable yard in the rear of the hotel.

He walked on for perhaps a quarter of a mile, and then leaned against
a fence to rest. As he stood here two boys passed him slowly,
conversing as they walked.

“I was surprised, Sam, at Tony Rugg’s licking you,” said the first.

“He couldn’t do it again,” said Sam, sullenly.

Rudolph’s attention was at once drawn.

“Boys,” he asked, “did thee mention the name of Tony Rugg?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Does thee know such a boy?”

“Yes, sir. He is working at the hotel. He got my place away from me,”
said Sam. “Do you know him?”

“I once knew such a boy.”

Rudolph was very much elated at what he had heard.

“Well, good luck has come to me at last,” he said to himself. “The
young scoundrel, is found, and now I must consider how to get him into
my hands once more.”

The Quaker, to designate him according to his present appearance, at
once made his way back to the hotel.

“There can’t be two Tony Ruggs in this world,” he said to himself. “I
am sure this is the boy.”

On reaching the hotel he sauntered out to the stable yard in the rear
of the house. His eyes lighted with pleasure, for he at once caught
sight of Tony, standing beside James, the hostler.

“There comes old Broadbrim,” said James, in a low voice. “The
barkeeper told me he took two stiff horns of brandy. He’s a queer sort
of Quaker.”

Tony gave a glance at the tramp but entertained no suspicion of his
not being what he represented. Rudolph came nearer. His disguise had
been so successful that he felt perfectly safe from discovery.

“Does thee keep many horses?” he asked.

“Yes, sir; we have twelve.”

“That is a large number. Yea, verily, it is.”

“Well, it is. There’s a good deal of carting to do for the hotel;
besides Mr. Porter keeps a livery stable. Was you ever this way
before?” asked James.

“Nay, verily.”

“Are you going away to-morrow morning?”

“Nay, friend, I think I shall tarry a day or two. Is that lad thy

“Tony, he asks if you are my son,” said James, laughing. “No, his name
is Tony Rugg, while mine is James Woodley.”

“Anthony, was thee born in this town?” asked the tramp, boldly defying

“No, sir,” answered Tony. “I only came here a few weeks ago.”

“I’d like to choke the boy. I can hardly keep my hands off him,”
thought Rudolph. “But I’d better be going. He is looking at me

“Good-night,” he said, and the two responded civilly.

“Well, Tony, what do you think of Broadbrim?”

“I don’t know, there’s something in his voice that sounds familiar to

“Perhaps you may have met him somewhere.”

“No; I never met any Quaker before.”

“Well, there’s stranger likenesses sometimes. Did I ever tell you my
adventure out in Maine?”

“No, what was it?”

“I went down East to see a sister of mine that is married down near
Augusta. When, as I was goin’ through Portland, a woman came up and
made a great ado about my deserting her. She took me for her husband,
and came near having me arrested for desertion. You see, I and her
husband was alike as two peas, that’s what some of her neighbors

“How did you get off?”

“Luckily I had documents in my pocket showing who I was. Besides, my
brother-in-law happened to be in the city, and he identified me.”

Rudolph sat in the public room of the hotel for a time, and then he
went up to his room, partly to be out of the way of possible
recognition, partly to think how he could manage to get Tony into his
clutches once more.

He had a back room, the window of which looked out upon the stable
yard. He seated himself at this window, and could easily see and hear
all that passed there.

Tony and the hostler were lounging about, the latter smoking a clay
pipe, their work being done for the day.

“Tony,” said the hostler, “I almost forgot to tell you you’re to go to
Thornton to-morrow.”

“What for?”

“There’s a top-buggy Mr. Porter has sold to a man there. You’re to
take it over, and lead the horse back.”

“All right. I’d just as leave go as stay here. Can I find the road

“There’s no trouble about that. Part of it runs through the
woods—about a mile, I should say.”

“Did Mr. Porter say when he wanted me to start?”

“About nine o’clock; by that time you’ll be through with your chores.”

Rudolph heard this conversation with pleasure.

“It’s the chance I was waiting for,” he said to himself. “I’ll lie in
wait for him as he comes back.”



Rudolph took care to breakfast in good season the next morning. He
felt that this day was to make his fortune. The deed which would
entitle him to a life support was to be perpetrated on that day. He
shuddered a little when he reflected that a life must be sacrificed,
and that the life of the boy who had been for years under his
guardianship, who had slept at his side, and borne with him the perils
and privations of his adventurous career. He was a reckless man, but
he had never before shed blood, or at any rate taken the life of a
human being.

“What’s the odds?” he said to himself. “The boy’s got to die some time
or other, and his dying now will make me comfortable for life. No more
hungry tramps for me. I’ll settle down and be respectable. Eight
hundred dollars a year will relieve me from all care.”

At a few minutes after nine Tony set out on his journey. It never
occurred to him that the old Quaker in suit of sober drab, who sat on
the piazza and saw him depart, was a man who cherished sinister
designs upon him. In fact, he had forgotten all about him, and was
intent upon his journey alone.

“Take care of yourself, Tony,” said James.

“Oh, yes, I’ll do that,” said Tony, little dreaming how necessary the
admonition was likely to prove.

“I may as well be starting, too,” thought Rudolph.

About two miles on began the woods. They extended for nearly a mile on
either side of the road.

“I’ll explore a little,” thought Rudolph. “I shall have plenty of time
before the boy comes back.”

Some forty rods from the road on the right-hand side the tramp
discovered a ruined hut, which had once belonged to a recluse who had
for years lived apart from his kind. This had now fallen into decay.

The general appearance of the building satisfied Rudolph that it was

A rod to the east there was a well, open to the view; the curb having
decayed, and being in a ruined condition, Rudolph looked down into it,
and judged that it might be about twenty feet deep.

A diabolical suggestion came to him. If he could only lure Tony to
this well and dispose of him forever.

“I’ll do it,” he muttered to himself.

Meantime, Tony drove rapidly to Thornton and sought the purchaser of
the buggy. There was a delay of half an hour in finding him, but at
last his business was done, and he set out for home.

It was not quite so amusing leading the horse as sitting in a buggy
and driving him. But all our pleasures have to be paid for, and Tony
was ready to pay the price for this one. After all, he reflected, it
was quite as amusing as working about the stable yard, especially
after it occurred to him to mount the animal.

Everything went smoothly till he entered the woody part of the road.

“Now I shall be home soon,” he said to himself. “But, hello! who’s
that?” as a figure stepped out from the side of the road. “Oh, it’s
the Quaker. I wonder what brought him here?”

“Friend, is thee in a hurry?” asked the impostor.

“I suppose I ought to get back as soon as I can,” said Tony. “Why,
what’s up?”

“Thee is the boy from the hotel, is thee not?”

“Well, what do you want of me?”

“There’s a man in the woods that has fallen down a well, and I fear he
is badly hurt.”

“How did you find him?”

“I was walking for amusement when I heard groans, and, looking down, I
could see the poor man.”

Tony never thought of doubting this statement, and said, in a tone of
genuine sympathy: “Poor fellow!”

“Will thee go with me and help get him out?”

“Yes,” said Tony, readily, “I’ll do it. Never mind if I am a little
late. Where shall I put the horse?”

“Lead him into the woods, and tie him to a tree.”

“All right. I guess that will be the best way.”

The horse was disposed of as had been suggested and the two set out on
what Tony supposed to be their charitable errand.

“I don’t see what made you go into the woods?” said our hero, a little

“I was brought up in the woods, my young friend. It reminds me of the
time when I was a boy like thee.”

“Oh, that’s it. Well, it was lucky for the man—that is, if we can get
him out. Did you speak to him?”

“Yea, verily.”

“And did he answer?”

“He groaned. I think he was insensible. I saw that I should need help,
and I came to the road again. Luckily thee came by.”

“Had you been waiting long?”

“Only five minutes,” answered Rudolph.

In reality he had been compelled to wait nearly an hour, much to his
disgust. In fact, he had been led to fear that there might be some
other road by which one could return from Thornton, and that Tony had
taken it. Should this be the case, his elaborate trap would be

They had come quite near the ruined dwelling, and already the curb of
the well was visible.

“Is that the well?” asked Tony.

“Yes,” answered the Quaker.

“Let us hurry, then,” said Tony.

But the time had come when Tony was to have revealed to him the real
character of his companion. A branch, which hung unusually low,
knocked off the hat and wig of the pseudo Quaker, and Tony was
petrified with dismay when he saw revealed the black, cropped head and
sinister face of Rudolph, the tramp.

“Rudolph!” he exclaimed, stopping short in his amazement.

“Yes,” said the tramp, avowing himself, now that he saw disguise was
useless; “it’s Rudolph. At last I have you, you young scamp!” and he
seized the boy’s arms as in the grip of a vise.

Tony tried to shake off the grip, but what could a boy do against an
athletic man?

“It’s no use,” said the tramp, between his teeth. “I’ve got you, and I
don’t mean to let you go.”

“What do you mean to do, Rudolph?” asked Tony, uneasily.

“What do I mean to do? I mean to make you repent of what you’ve done
to me, you young whelp.”

“What have I done?”

“What haven’t you done? You betrayed me, and sold me to my enemies.
That’s what you’ve done.”

“I’ve only done what I was obliged to do. I don’t want to do you any
more harm. Let me go, and I won’t meddle with you any more, nor say a
word about you at the hotel.”

“Really,” said Rudolph, with a disagreeable sneer, “I feel very much
obliged to you. You are very kind, upon my soul. So you won’t tell at
the hotel that the Quaker gentleman is only a tramp, after all.”

“No, I will say nothing about you.”

“I don’t think you are to be trusted, boy.”

“Did you ever know me to tell a lie, Rudolph?” asked Tony, proudly. “I
don’t pretend to be a model boy, but there’s one thing I won’t do, and
that is lie.”

“I think I had better make sure that you don’t say anything about me,”
said the tramp, significantly.

“How?” asked Tony.

“I don’t mean to let you go back to the hotel at all.”

“But I must go back. I must carry the horse back.”

“That’s of no importance.”

“Yes, it is,” persisted Tony, anxiously. “They will think I have
stolen it.”

“Let them think so.”

“But I don’t want them to think me a thief.”

“I can’t help it.”

“What are you going to do with me? Where are we going?”

“Before I tell you that I will tell you something more. You have often
asked me who you were.”

“You always told me I was your son.”

“It was not true,” said Rudolph, calmly. “You are not related to me.”

“I felt sure of it.”

“Oh, you did!” sneered the tramp. “You are glad that you are not my

“Who am I?”

“I will tell you this much, that you are the heir to a fortune.”

“I—the heir to a fortune!” exclaimed Tony, in natural excitement.

“Yes; and I could help you to secure it, if I pleased.”

Tony knew not what to say or to think. Was it possible that he—Tony
the Tramp—was a gentleman’s son, and heir to a fortune? It was almost
incredible. Moreover, what was the object of Rudolph in imparting this
secret, and at this time, when he sought revenge upon him?

“Is this true?” he asked.

“Perfectly true.”

“And you know my real name and family?”

“Yes, I do.”

“Oh, Rudolph, tell me who I am,” Tony said, imploringly. “Help me to
the fortune which you say I am entitled to, and I will take care that
you are rewarded.”

Rudolph surveyed the boy, whom he still held in a firm grasp, and
watched his excitement with malicious satisfaction.

“There’s one objection to my doing that, boy,” he said.

“What is that?”

“I’ll tell you,” he hissed, as his grip grew tighter, and his dark
face grew darker yet with passion, “I hate you!”

This he uttered with such intensity that Tony, brave as he was, was
startled and dismayed.

“Then why did you tell me?” he asked.

“That you might know what you are going to lose—that you might repent
betraying me,” answered Rudolph, rapidly. “You ask what I am going to
do with you? I am going to throw you down that well, and leave you
there—to die!”

Then commenced a struggle between the man and boy. Tony knew what he
had to expect, and he fought for dear life. Rudolph found that he had
undertaken no light task, but he, too, was desperate. He succeeded at
last in dragging Tony to the well curb, and raising him in his sinewy
arms, he let him fall.

Then, without waiting to look down, he hurried out of the wood with
all speed. He reached the hotel, settled his bill, and paid to have
himself carried over to the nearest railroad station.

Not until he was fairly seated in the train, and was rushing through
the country at the rate of forty miles an hour, did he pause to
congratulate himself.

“Now for an easy life!” he ejaculated. “My fortune is made! I shall
never have to work any more.”



On reaching New York, Rudolph made his way at once to the shop from
which he had obtained his Quaker dress.

“Has thee come back?” asked the old man, in a jocular tone.

“Yea, verily,” answered Rudolph.

“How do you like being a Quaker?”

“I’ve had enough of it. I want you to take them back. You promised to
return me twenty-five dollars.”

“Let me look at them,” said the old man, cautiously. “They’ve seen
hard usage,” he said. “Look at that rip, and that spot.”

“Humbug!” answered Rudolph. “There’s nothing but what you can set
straight in half an hour, and five dollars is handsome pay for that.”

But the old man stood out for seven, and finally the tramp, though
grumbling much, was obliged to come to his terms.

“Where have you been?” asked the old man, whose curiosity was aroused
as to what prompted Rudolph to obtain the disguise.

“That’s my business,” said Rudolph, who had his reasons for secrecy,
as we know.

“I meant no offense—I only wondered if you left the city.”

“Yes, I’ve been into New Jersey,” answered the tramp, who thought it
politic to put the costumer on the wrong scent. “You see, I’ve got an
old uncle—a Quaker—living there. The old man’s got plenty of money,
and I thought if I could only make him think me a good Quaker, I
should stand a good chance of being remembered in his will.”

“I see—a capital idea. Did it work?”

“I can’t tell yet. He gave me four dollars and his blessing for the
present,” said Rudolph, carelessly.

“That’s a lie, every word of it!” said the old man to himself, after
the tramp went out. “You must try to fix up a more probable story next
time, Mr. Rudolph. He’s been up to some mischief, probably. However,
it’s none of my business. I’ve made seven dollars out of him, and that
pays me well—yes, it pays me well.”

When Rudolph left the costumer’s, it occurred to him that the tramp’s
dress which he had resumed had better be changed, partly because he
thought it probable that a journey lay before him. He sought out a
large readymade clothing establishment on Broadway, and with the money
which had been returned to him obtained a respectable-looking suit,
which quite improved his appearance. He regarded his reflection in a
long mirror with considerable satisfaction. He felt that he would now
be taken for a respectable citizen, and that in discarding his old
dress he had removed all vestiges of the tramp. In this, however, he
was not wholly right. His face and general expression he could not
change. A careful observer could read in them something of the life he
had led. Still, he was changed for the better, and it pleased him.

“Now,” he reflected, “I had better go and see Mrs. Harvey Middleton. I
have done the work, and I shall claim the reward.”

He hurried to the St. Regis, and, experienced now in the ways of
obtaining access to a guest, he wrote his name on a card and sent it

“The lady will see you,” was the answer brought back by the servant.

“Of course she will,” thought Rudolph. “She’ll want to know whether
it’s all settled, and she has no further cause for fear.”

Mrs. Middleton looked up as he entered.

“Sit down, Mr. Rugg,” she said, politely.

Her manner was cool and composed; but when the servant had left the
room, she rose from her chair, and in a tone which showed the anxiety
which she had till then repressed, she asked, abruptly: “Well, Mr.
Rugg, have you any news for me?”

“Yes, ma’am, I have,” he answered, deliberately.

“What is it? Don’t keep me in suspense,” she said, impatiently.

“The job’s done,” said Rudolph, briefly.

“You mean that the boy——”

“Accidentally fell down a well and was killed,” said the visitor,
finishing the sentence.

“Horrible!” murmured the lady.

“Wasn’t it?” said Rudolph, with a grin. “He must have been very

Mrs. Middleton did not immediately speak. Though she was responsible
for this crime, having instigated it, she was really shocked when it
was brought home to her.

“You are sure he is dead?” she said, after a pause.

“When a chap pitches head first down a well thirty feet deep, there
isn’t much hope for him, is there?”

“No, I suppose not. Where did this accident happen?” asked the lady.

“That ain’t important,” answered Rudolph. “It’s happened—that’s all
you need to know. Tony won’t never come after that estate of his.”

“It would have done him little good. He was not fitted by education to
assume it.”

“No; but he might have been educated. But that’s all over now. It’s
yours. Nobody can take it from you.”

“True!” said Mrs. Middleton, and a look of pleasure succeeded the
momentary horror. “You will be ready to testify that the boy is dead?”

“There won’t be any danger, will there? They won’t ask too many

“As to that, I think we had better decide what we will say. It won’t
be necessary to say how the boy died.”

“Won’t it?”

“No. Indeed, it will be better to give a different account.”

“Will that do just as well?”

“Yes. You can say, for instance, that he died of smallpox, while under
your care in St. Louis, or any other place.”

“And that I tended him to the last with the affection of a father,”
added Rudolph, grinning.

“To be sure. You must settle upon all the details of the story, so as
not to be caught in any discrepancies.”

“What’s that?” asked the tramp, rather mystified.

“Your story must hang together. It mustn’t contradict itself.”

“To be sure. How long are you going to stay in New York?”

“There is no further occasion for my staying here. I shall sail for
England in a week.”

“Will it be all right about the money?” asked Rudolph, anxiously.


“How am I to be sure of that?”

“The word of a lady, sir,” said Mrs. Middleton, haughtily, “ought to
be sufficient for you.”

“That’s all very well, but suppose you should get tired of paying me
the money?”

“Then you could make it very disagreeable for me by telling all you
know about the boy. However, there will be no occasion for that. I
shall keep my promise. Will you be willing to sail for England next

“Do you mean that I am to go with you?”

“I mean that you are to go. Your testimony must be given on the other
side, in order to make clear my title to the estate.”

“I see, ma’am. If I’d known that, I wouldn’t have had no fears about
the money.”

“You need have none, Mr. Rugg,” said Mrs. Middleton, coldly. “The fact
is, we are necessary to each other. Each can promote the interests of
the other.”

“That’s so, ma’am. Let’s shake hands on that,” said Rudolph, advancing
with outstretched hand.

“No, thank you,” said Mrs. Middleton, coldly. “You forget yourself,
sir. Do not forget that I am a lady, and that you are——”

“We are equal, ma’am, in this matter,” said Rudolph offended. “You
needn’t shrink from shaking hands with me.”

“That is not in the agreement,” said Mrs. Middleton, haughtily. “I
shall do what I have agreed, but except so far as it is necessary in
the way of business, I wish you to keep yourself away from me. We
belong to different grades in society.”

“Why didn’t you say that the other day, ma’am?” said Rudolph,

“Because I didn’t suppose it to be necessary. You did not offer to
shake hands with me then. Besides, at that time you had not——”

“Pushed the boy down the well, if that’s what you mean,” said Rudolph,

“Hush! Don’t refer to that. I advise you this for your own sake.”

“And for the sake of somebody else.”

“Mr. Rugg, all this discussion is idle. It can do no good. For
whatever service you have rendered, you shall be well paid. That you
understand. But it is best that we should know as little of each other
henceforth as possible. It might excite suspicion, as you can

“Perhaps you are right, ma’am,” said Rudolph, slowly.

“Call here day after to-morrow, and I will let you know by what
steamer I take passage for England, that you may obtain a ticket. Good

Rudolph left the lady’s presence not wholly pleased.

“Why wouldn’t she take my hand?” he muttered to himself. “She’s as
deep in it as I am.”



We must now return to our young hero, who was certainly in a critical
position. Though strong for his age, the reader will hardly be
surprised that he should have been overpowered by a man like Rudolph.

When the false Quaker’s hat and wig were taken off, though he was at
first surprised, he for the first time understood why the man’s face
and voice had seemed familiar to him from the time they first met.

He struggled in vain against the fate in store for him. He felt that
with him it was to be a matter of life and death, and, taken by
surprise though he was, he was on the alert to save his life if he

The well curb was partially destroyed, as we have said, but the rope
still hung from it. At the instant of his fall, Tony managed while in
transit to grasp the rope by one hand. He swung violently from one
side to the other, and slipped a few feet downward. This Rudolph did
not see, for as soon as he had hurled the boy into the well, he
hurried away.

Tony waited for the rope to become steady before attempting to ascend
hand over hand. Unfortunately for his purpose, the rope was rotten,
and broke just above where he grasped it, precipitating him to the
bottom of the well. But he was already so far from the opening that
his fall was not over ten feet. Luckily, also, the water was not over
two feet in depth. Therefore, though he was jarred and startled by the
sudden descent, he was not injured.

“Well,” thought Tony, “I’m as low as I can get—that’s one comfort.
Now is there any chance of my setting out?”

He looked up, and it gave him a peculiar sensation to see the blue sky
from the place where he stood. He feared that Rudolph was still at
hand, and would resist any efforts he might make to get out of the

“If he don’t interfere, I’m bound to get out,” he said to himself,

His feet were wet, of course, and this was far from comfortable.

He made a brief examination of the situation, and then decided upon
his plan. The well, like most in the country, was made of a wall of
stones, piled one upon another. In parts it looked rather loose, and
Tony shuddered as he thought of the possibility of the walls falling,
and his being buried in the ruins.

“It would be all up with me then,” he thought. “I must get out of this
as soon as I can. If I can only climb up as far as the rope, I can

This, in fact, seemed to be his only chance. Using the wall as a
ladder, he began cautiously to ascend. More than once he came near
falling a second time, but by great exertion he finally reached the
rope. He did not dare to trust to it entirely, but contrived to ascend
as before, clinging to the rope with his hands. He was in constant
fear that it would break a second time, but the strain upon it was not
so great, and finally, much to his delight, he reached the top.

He breathed a deep sigh of relief when he found himself once more on
_terra firma_. He looked about him cautiously, under the apprehension
that Rudolph might be near by, and ready to attack him again. But, as
we know, his fears were groundless.

“He made sure that I was disposed of,” thought Tony. “What could have
induced him to attempt my life? Can it be true, as he said, that I am
heir to a fortune? Why couldn’t he tell me? I would have paid him well
for the information when I got my money. Then he said he knew who I
was—I care more for that than for the money.”

But Tony could not dwell upon these thoughts. The claims of duty were
paramount. He must seek the horse, and go back to the hotel. He had
been detained already for nearly three-quarters of an hour, and they
would be wondering what had become of him.

He made his way as quickly as possible to where he had tied the horse.
But he looked for him in vain. He had been untied and led
away—perhaps stolen. Tony felt assured that the horse, of himself,
could not leave the spot.

“It must be Rudolph,” he said to himself. “He has made off with the
horse. Now I am in a precious scrape. What will Mr. Porter say to me?”

Tony was in error, as we know, in concluding that Rudolph had carried
away the horse. The tramp had no use for him. Besides, he knew that
such a proceeding would have exposed him to suspicion, which it was
very important for him to avoid.

Who, then, had taken the horse? That is a question which we are able
to answer, though Tony could not.

Fifteen minutes before Sam Payson, whose place Tony had taken, with a
companion, Ben Hardy, while wandering through the woods, had espied a

“Hello!” said Ben. “Here’s a horse!”

“So it is!” said Sam. “It’s rather odd that he should be tied here.”

“I wonder whose it is?”

Sam had been examining him carefully, and had recognized him.

“It’s Mr. Porter’s Bill. Don’t you see that white spot? That’s the way
I know him. I have harnessed that horse fifty times.”

“But how did he come here? That’s the question.”

“I’ll tell you,” said Sam. “I was at the hotel this morning, and heard
that that boy Tony was to go over to Thornton with him.”

“That don’t explain why he is tied here, does it?”

“Tony must have tied him while he was taking a tramp in the woods.
Wouldn’t Porter be mad if he knew it?”

“I shouldn’t wonder if Tony would get bounced.”

“Nor I. I’ll tell you what, Ben, I’ve a grand mind to untie the horse
and take him back myself.”

“What’s the good? It would be an awful job. We came out here to have
some fun,” grumbled Ben.

“This would be fun to me. I’ll get Tony into trouble, and very likely
get back the place he cheated me out of. I guess it’ll pay.”

“All right, Sam. I didn’t think of that. I’d like to see how Tony
looks when he comes back and finds the horse gone.”

“It’ll serve him right,” said Sam. “What business had he to interfere
with me, I’d like to know?”

“If you’re going to do it, you’d better hurry up. He may get back any

“That’s so. Here goes, then.”

In a trice Bill was untied, and Sam, taking the halter, led him away.
When Tony came up he was not in sight.

Though Tony felt convinced that Rudolph had carried away the horse, he
felt it to be his duty to look about for him. There was a bare chance
that he might find him somewhere in the wood. In this way he lost
considerable time. Had he started for the hotel immediately, he would
very likely have overtaken the two boys.

Sam kept on his way, and finally arrived at the hotel.

As he led the horse into the stable yard, James, the hostler,
exclaimed, in surprise:

“How came you by that horse, Sam Payson?”

“Is that the way you thank me for bringing him back?” asked Sam.

“He left the stable under the charge of Tony Rugg this morning.”

“Pretty care he takes of him, then!”

“What do you mean? Where did you find him?”

“Down in the woods.”

“What woods?”

“Between here and Thornton.”

“Wasn’t Tony with him?”


“Are you sure of that? Are you sure you two boys didn’t attack Tony
and take the horse away?” demanded James, suspiciously.

“No, we didn’t. If you don’t believe me, you may ask Ben.”

“How was it, Ben?” he asked.

“Just as Sam has said. We found the horse alone in the woods. We
thought he might be stolen, and we brought him home. It was a good
deal of trouble, for it’s full two miles.”

James looked from one to the other in perplexity.

“I don’t understand it at all,” he said. “It don’t look like Tony to
neglect his duty that way.”

“You’ve got too high an opinion of that boy entirely,” said Sam,

Just then the landlord passed through the yard.

“What’s all this?” he asked.

The matter was explained to him.

“Send Tony to me as soon as he comes back,” he said, with a frown of
displeasure. “This must be looked into.”

“He’ll give Tony fits!” said Sam, gleefully.

“You know how it is yourself, Sam,” said James.

“I never ran off and left the horse in the woods,” retorted Sam.



Presently Tony came into the yard. He was looking very sober. He had
lost the horse, and he didn’t know how to excuse himself. He didn’t
feel that he had been to blame, but he suspected that he should be
blamed, nevertheless.

“What did you do with the horse, Tony?” asked James.

“He was stolen from me,” answered Tony.

“How could that be?”

“I expect it was the Quaker.”

“The Quaker?” repeated James, in amazement. “Are you sure you’re not
crazy—or drunk?”

“Neither one,” said Tony. “It’s a long story, and——”

“You must tell it to Mr. Porter, then. He wants to see you right off.
But I’ll tell you for your information that the horse is here.”

“Is here? Who brought him?”

“Sam Payson brought him a short time since.”

“Sam Payson! Where did he say he found him?”

“In the woods.”

“Then he might have left it there,” said Tony, indignantly. “What
business had he to untie him, and give me all this trouble?”

“You can speak to Mr. Porter about that.”

“Where is he?”

“In the office.”

Tony entered the office.

Mr. Porter regarded him with a frown.

“How is this, Tony?” he began. “You leave my horse in the woods to be
brought home by another boy. He might have been stolen, do you know

“I’ve been deceived and led into a trap,” said Tony.

“What on earth do you mean? Who has deceived and trapped you?”

“The Quaker, who was stopping here. Has he come back?”

“He has settled his bill and left the hotel. What cock-and-bull story
is this you have hatched up?”

“It is a true story, Mr. Porter. This man was not a Quaker at all. He
was a tramp.”

“Take care what you say, Tony. Do you take me for a fool?”

“He is a man I used to know. When I was coming home he was waiting for
me in the woods, only I didn’t know who he really was. He told me
there was a man who had fallen into a well in the woods, and he wanted
my help to get him out. So I tied the horse and went with him. I
wouldn’t have left him but for that story of the man in the well.”

“Go on,” said the landlord. “I warn you I don’t believe a word of this
wonderful story of yours.”

“I can’t help it,” said Tony, desperately. “It’s true.”

“Go on, and I’ll give you my opinion of it afterward.”

“Just before we got to the well, a branch took off his hat and wig,
and I saw that he was no Quaker, but my enemy, Rudolph Rugg.”

“Rudolph Rugg! A very good name for a romance.”

Tony proceeded:

“Then I tried to get away, but it was too late. The man seized me and
threw me down the well. But first he told me that he knew who I was,
and that I was heir to a large fortune.”

“Indeed! How happens it that you are not at the bottom of the well

“I got out.”

“So I see. But how?”

“I climbed up by the stones till I reached the rope, and then I found
it easy. I hurried to where I had left the horse, but he was gone. I
supposed that the Quaker had taken him, but James tells me Sam Payson
found him and brought him back.”

“Look here, boy,” said the landlord, sternly, “do you expect me to
believe this romance of yours?”

“I don’t know whether you will or not, sir. All I can say is that it
is the exact truth.”

“I cannot keep you in my employ any longer. I have been deceived in
you, and should no longer trust you. You certainly have mistaken your
vocation. You are not fit to be a stableboy.”

“I should like to know what I am fit for?” said Tony, despondently.

“I will tell you, then. Judging from the story you have told me, I
should think you might succeed very well in writing dime novels. I
don’t know whether it pays, but you can try it.”

“Sometime you will find out that I have told the truth,” said Tony.

“Perhaps so, but I doubt it.”

“When do you want me to go?”

“You can stay till to-morrow morning. Wait a minute. Here is a
five-dollar bill. That is a fair price for the time you have been with

As Tony was going out he came near having a collision with Sam Payson.

Sam looked at him inquiringly.

“Have you been bounced?” he asked.

“Yes,” said Tony. “It was your fault. What made you take that horse?”

“I was afraid Mr. Porter might lose him. Is he in?”

“Yes. You can apply for my place, if you want to.”

“I mean to.”

Sam went in, and addressed the landlord.

“I brought your horse back,” he said.

“Thank you. Here’s two dollars for your trouble.”

Sam tucked it away with an air of satisfaction.

“Tony tells me he is going away.”

“Yes. He don’t suit me.”

“Wouldn’t I suit you?” asked Sam, in an ingratiating tone.

“No; I’ve tried you, and you won’t suit,” was the unexpected reply.

“But I brought back the horse,” pleaded Sam, crestfallen.

“I’ve paid you for that,” said the landlord. “Didn’t I pay you

“Yes, sir; but I thought you’d take me back again.”

“I know you too well, Sam Payson, to try any such experiment. The
Widow Clark told me yesterday that she wanted to get her boy into a
place, and I am going to offer it to him.”

“He don’t know anything about horses,” said Sam.

“He will soon learn. He is a good boy, and industrious. I am sure he
will suit me better than you.”

“I wish I hadn’t brought back his old horse,” muttered Sam, as he left
the office and went back into the yard. He hoped to triumph over Tony,
by telling that he had taken his place, but the opportunity was not
allowed him.

“Well, Sam, are you going to take my place?” asked Tony.

“No, I’m not,” said Sam.

“Didn’t you ask for it?”

“The old man had promised it to another boy,” said Sam, sourly.

“He’s been pretty quick about it, then,” said James.

“A boy that don’t know the first thing about horses,” grumbled Sam.

“Who is it?”

“Joe Clark.”

“He’s a good boy; I’m glad he’s coming, though I’m sorry to lose

“Thank you, James,” said Tony. “I’d like to stay, but I can’t blame
Mr. Porter for not believing my story. It was a strange one, but it’s
true, for all that.”

James shrugged his shoulders.

“Then you believe you’re heir to a fortune, as he told you?”

“Yes; he had no reason to tell me a lie.”

“What’s that?” asked Sam.

“The Quaker gentleman who was here told Tony that he was heir to a
large fortune.”

“Ho! ho!” laughed Sam, boisterously. “That’s a likely story, that is!”

“Why isn’t it?” asked Tony, frowning.

“You heir to a fortune—a clodhopper like you! Oh, I shall split!”
said Sam, giving way to another burst of merriment.

“I am no more a clodhopper than you are,” said Tony, “and I advise you
not to laugh too much, or I may make you laugh on the other side of
your mouth.”

“It’ll take more than you do to do it!” said Sam, defiantly.

“I have done it already, Sam Payson, and I’m ready to try it again
before I leave town.”

“I wouldn’t dirty my hands with you!” said Sam, scornfully.

“You’d better not!”

When Sam had gone, Tony turned to James.

“I wonder whether I shall ever see you again, James?” he said,

“I hope so, Tony. I’m sorry you’re going; but you couldn’t expect Mr.
Porter to swallow such a tough story as that.”

“Then you don’t believe it, James? I’ll come back some day just to
prove to you that it is true.”

“Come back, at any rate; I shall be glad to see you. When do you go?”

“To-morrow morning.”

“Where shall you go first?”

“To New York; but I’ll help you till I go.”

So Tony did his work as usual for the remainder of the day. He felt
rather sober. Just as he had found a home, his evil genius, in the
character of Rudolph, had appeared and deprived him of it.



Though Tony was out of a place, he was considerably better off than he
had ever been. He had five dollars in his pocket for the first time in
his life. A few weeks ago he would have considered himself rich with
this amount, and would have been in high spirits. But now he took a
different view of life. He had known what it was to have a settled
home, and to earn an honest living, and he had learned to like it. But
fortune was against him, and he must go.

“Good-by, James,” he said, soberly, to the hostler, the next morning.

“Good-by, Tony, and good luck,” said the kind-hearted hostler.

“I hope I shall have good luck, but I don’t expect it,” said Tony.

“Pooh, nonsense! You’re young, and the world is before you.”

“That’s so, James, but so far the world has been against me.”

“Come here a minute, Tony,” said James, lowering his voice.

As Tony approached, he thrust a bank-note hastily into his hand.

“Take it,” he said, quickly. “I don’t need it, and you may.”

Tony looked at the bill, and found it was a ten-dollar note.

“You’re very kind, James,” he said, touched by a kindness to which he
was unaccustomed, “but I can’t take it.”

“Why not? I sha’n’t need it.”

“Nor I, James. I’ve got some money. It isn’t much, but I’m used to
roughing it. I’ve done it all my life. I always come down on my feet
like a cat.”

“But you may get hard up.”

“If I do, I’ll let you know.”

“Will you promise that?”

“Honor bright.”

So James took back the money reluctantly, and Tony bade him good-by.

It was a rainy day when Tony arrived in New York. The stores were
deserted, and the clerks lounged idly behind the counters. Only those
who were actually obliged to be out appeared in the streets. If Tony’s
hopes had been high, they would have been lowered by the dreary
weather. He wandered aimlessly about the streets, having no care about
his luggage, for he had brought none, looking about him listlessly. He
found himself after a while in the lower part of Broadway, near where
most of the European steamer lines have their offices.

All at once Tony saw a figure that attracted his eager attention.

It was Rudolph Rugg, his old comrade, and now bitter enemy.

“Where is he going?” thought Tony.

This question was soon solved.

Rudolph entered the office of the Cunard line of steamers.

“What can he want there?” thought Tony. “I’ll watch him.”

He took a position near by, yet far enough off to avoid discovery, and
waited patiently for Rudolph to reappear. He waited about fifteen
minutes. Then he saw the tramp come out with a paper in his hand,
which he appeared to regard with satisfaction. He turned and went up

As soon as he thought it safe, Tony crossed the street and entered the
office. He made his way up to the counter, and inquired the price of
passage. The rates were given him.

“Can you tell me,” he asked, carelessly, “if a Mr. Rugg is going
across on one of your steamers?”

“Mr. Rugg? Why, it is the man who just left the office.”

“Did he buy a passage ticket?”


“When does he sail?”

“On Saturday.”

“And where does he go?”

“To Liverpool, of course. Can I sell you a ticket?”

“I haven’t decided,” said Tony.

“If you go, you will find it for your advantage to go by our line.”

“I’ll go by your line, if I go at all,” said Tony. “I wonder whether
he’d be so polite if he knew I had but three dollars and a quarter in
my pocket,” said our hero to himself.

Then he began to wonder how it happened that Rudolph was going. First,
it was a mystery where he could have obtained the money necessary for
the purchase of a ticket. Next, what could be his reason for leaving

“Probably he has picked somebody’s pocket,” thought Tony.

That disposed of the difficulty, but, as we know, Tony was mistaken.
It was money that he had received for a worse deed, but Tony never
thought of connecting the state of Rudolph’s purse with the attempt
that had been made upon his own life.

When Tony came to think of it, he felt glad that Rudolph was going
abroad. He felt that his own life would be safer with an ocean flowing
between him and the man who latterly had exhibited such an intense
hatred for him. As to his motive, why perhaps he thought that he would
be safer in London than in New York.

Tony bethought himself of securing a temporary home. He was not a
stranger in New York, and knew exactly where to go. There was a house
not far from Greenwich street, where he had lodged more than once
before, and where he was known. It was far from a fashionable place,
but the charge was small, and that was a necessary consideration with

He rang the bell, and the proprietor, a hard-favored woman of fifty,
came to open it.

“How do you do, Mrs. Blodgett?” said Tony.

“Why, it’s Tony,” said the woman, not unkindly. “Where have you been
this long time?”

“In the country,” answered our hero.

“And where is your father?”

“Do you mean the man I used to be with?”

“Yes. He was your father, wasn’t he?”

“No. He was no relation of mine,” said Tony, hastily. “We used to go
together, that is all.”

“Where is he?”

“I don’t know exactly. We had a falling out, and we’ve parted.”

“Well, Tony, what can I do for you?”

“Have you got any cheap room to let, Mrs. Blodgett?”

“I’ve got a room in the attic. It’s small, but if it’ll suit you, you
can have it for a dollar a week.”

“It’s just the thing,” said Tony, in a tone of satisfaction. “Can I go
right up?”

“Yes, if you want to. I generally want a week’s pay in advance, but
you’ve been here before——”

“No matter for that. Here’s the money,” said Tony.

“I’ll show you the way up.”

“All right. I guess I’ll lie down a while. I’ve been about the streets
all day, and am pretty tired.”

The room was hardly large enough to swing a cat in, and the furniture
was shabby and well-worn; but Tony was not particular. He threw
himself on the bed, and soon fell asleep.

How long he slept he did not know, but when he woke up the room was
quite dark. He stretched, and did not immediately remember where he
was; but it flashed upon him directly.

“I wonder what time it is?” he asked himself. “I must have slept a
long time. I feel as fresh as a lark. I’ll get up and take a tramp.”

When he went downstairs he found that it was already ten o’clock.

“I feel as fresh as if it were morning,” thought Tony. “I’ll go out on
Broadway and watch some of the theaters when the people come out.”

Ten o’clock seems late in the country; it is the usual hour for
retiring for many families; but in the city it is quite different.
There are still many to be seen in the streets, and for many it is the
commencement of a season of festivity.

Tony walked for half an hour. He was so thoroughly rested that he felt
no fatigue. Presently he stepped into a crowded billiard room, and,
seating himself, began to watch a game between a young man of
twenty-five and a man probably fifteen years his senior. The first was
evidently a gentleman by birth and education; his dress and manners
evinced this. The other looked like an adventurer, though he was well

“Come, let us play for the drinks,” said the elder.

“I’ve drank enough,” said the young man.

“Nonsense. You can stand a little more.”

“Just as you say.”

The game terminated in favor of the elder, and the drinks were

This went on for some time. The young man was evidently affected.
Finally he threw down his cue, and said:

“I won’t play again!”

“Why not?”

“My hand is unsteady. I have drank too much.”

“I’ve drank as much as you, but I’m all right.”

“You can stand more than I. I’ll settle for the drinks and games and
go home.”

“Sha’n’t I see you home?” asked the elder.

“I don’t want to trouble you.”

“No trouble at all.”

The young man paid at the bar, displaying a well-filled pocketbook.
There was something in his companion’s expression which made Tony
suspicious. He formed a sudden resolve.

“I’ll follow them,” he said, and when they left the room he was close
behind them.



The young man leaned on the arm of his companion. He was affected by
the potations in which he had indulged, and was sensible of his

“I ought not to have drank so much,” he said, in unsteady accents.

“Pooh! it’s nothing,” said the other, lightly. “Where are you

“St. Regis.”

“We’d better walk. It will do you good to walk.”

“Just as you say.”

“Of course I would only advise you for your good.”

“I know it; but, old fellow, why did you make me drink so much?”

“I thought you could stand it better. I’m as cool as a cucumber.”

He pressed the young man’s arm, and led him into a side street.

“What’s that for? This ain’t the way to the St. Regis.”

“I know it.”

“Why don’t we go up Broadway?”

“You are not fit to go in yet. You need a longer walk, so that your
condition will not be noticed when you go in.”

“Go along, old fellow. You’re right.”

Still Tony kept behind. All seemed right enough, but somehow he could
not help feeling suspicious of the older man.

“I’ll watch him,” he thought, “and if he attempts any mischief, I’ll

The two men walked in a westerly direction, crossing several streets.

“Look here,” said the young man, “we’d better turn back.”

Now was the time.

The other looked swiftly around, but did not notice Tony, who was
tracking him in the darkness.

“Give me your pocketbook and watch at once!” he whispered.

“What!” exclaimed the young man, startled, and trying to release his

“Give me your watch and money at once, or I’ll blow your brains out!”

“Look here, you’re only trying to play a joke on me.”

“You’re mistaken. I’m a desperate man. I will do as I say.”

“Then you’re a villain,” said the young man, with spirit. “You’ve made
me drunk in order to rob me.”

“Precisely. Your money or your life. That’s about what I mean.”

“I’ll call the police.”

“If you do it will be your last word. Now, make up your mind!”

The young man, instead of complying, endeavored to break away, but in
his intoxication he had lost half his strength, and was no match for
the other.

“You fool, your blood be on your own hands!” said his companion, and
he drew a pistol from his side pocket.

An instant and he would have fired, but Tony was on the alert. He
sprang forward, seized the would-be murderer by the arm, and the
pistol went off, but the bullet struck a brick wall on the opposite
side of the street.

“Police!” shouted Tony, at the top of his lungs.

“Confusion!” exclaimed the villain. “I must be getting out of this!”

He turned to fly, but Tony seized him by the coat, and he struggled
fiercely, but in vain.

“Let go, you young scoundrel!” he shouted, “or I’ll shoot you!”

“With an unloaded pistol?” asked Tony. “That don’t scare much!”

A quick step was heard, and a policeman turned the corner.

“What’s the matter?” he asked.

“I charge this man with an attempt at murder,” said Tony.

“The boy is right,” said the young man.

“They are both lying!” said the adventurer, furiously. “It’s a plot
against me.”

“I know you, Bill Jones!” said the policeman, after a careful scrutiny
of the man’s features. “You’re a hard ticket. Come along with me. You
two must go with me to prefer your charge.”

“Let me have your arm, my boy,” said the young man. “I’m ashamed to
own that I need your help. It is the last time I will allow liquor to
get the better of me.”

“I guess you’re about right there,” said Tony. “You’ve had a narrow

“I owe my life to you,” said the young man, warmly. “How did you
happen to come up just in the nick of time?”

“I suspected the man meant you no good. I followed you from the
billiard saloon where I saw you playing.”

“You were sharper than I. I never suspected harm. You have done me the
greatest possible service.”

“Curse the young brat!” muttered the man in custody. “I’d like a good
chance to wring your neck!”

“I’ve no doubt of it,” said Tony. “I’ll keep out of your way.”

The station house was not far off. The party entered. The charge was
formally made, and Tony and the young man went out.

“Won’t your father and mother feel anxious about your being out so
late?” asked George Spencer, for this was the young man’s name.

“I don’t think they will,” answered Tony. “I haven’t got any, for that

“Who do you live with, then?”

“I take care of myself.”

“Have you no one belonging to you?”

“Not one.”

“Are you poor?” asked Spencer, for the first time taking notice of
Tony’s rather shabby apparel.

“Oh, no!” said our hero. “I’ve got a little over two dollars in my

“Is that all?”

“Yes, and it’s a good deal more than I generally have.”

“You don’t say so. How do you make your living?”

“Any way I can—any way that’s honest.”

“And don’t you ever get discouraged—down in the mouth?”

“Not often,” answered Tony. “I’ve always got along, and I guess
something will turn up for me. But there’s one thing I am sorry for.”

“What’s that?”

“I would like to get some sort of an education. I don’t know much.”

“Can’t you read?”

“A little, and write a little. I mostly picked it up myself.”

The young man whistled.

“Have you any place to sleep to-night?”

“I’ve hired an attic room for a week.”

“What do you pay?”

“A dollar a week.”

“Of course it is a poor room?”

“Yes; but it’s all I can expect, and better than I often have. Why,
I’ve slept in barns and under haystacks plenty of times.”

“What is your name?”

“Tony Rugg.”

“Well, Tony, you must come and stop with me to-night.”

“With you?”

“Yes, at the St. Regis Hotel. You can help me get there, and share my

Tony hesitated.

“Do you mean it?” he asked.

“Why shouldn’t I?”

“Because you are a gentleman, and I—do you know what they call me?”


“Tony the Tramp.”

“It is your misfortune, and not your fault. I repeat my invitation.
Will you come?”

“I will,” answered Tony.

He saw that the young man was in earnest, and he no longer persisted
in his refusal.

“To-morrow morning I will talk with you further about your affairs. I
want to do something for you.”

“You are very kind.”

“I ought to be. Haven’t you saved my life? But there is the hotel.”

Tony and his new friend entered the great hotel. It was brilliantly
lighted, though it was now nearly midnight.

Mr. Spencer went up to the desk.

“My key,” he said. “No. 169.”

“Here it is, sir.”

“This young man will share my room. I will enter his name.”

The clerk looked at Tony in surprise. He looked rather shabby for a
guest of the great caravansary.

“Has he luggage?” asked the clerk.

“None to-night. I will pay his bill.”

“All right, sir.”

They got into the elevator, and presently came to a stop. Mr. Spencer
opened the door of No. 169.

It was a good-sized and handsomely furnished chamber, containing two

“You will sleep in that bed, Tony,” said Spencer. “I feel dead tired.
Will you help me off with my coat?”

Scarcely was the young man in bed than he fell asleep. Tony lay awake
some time, thinking of his strange adventure.

“It’s the first time in my life,” he said to himself, “when I’ve had
two beds—one here and the other at my lodgings. What would Rudolph
say if he knew I was stopping at a fashionable hotel, instead of being
at the bottom of the well where he threw me?”



When Tony woke up in the morning, he looked about him with momentary
bewilderment, wondering where he was.

George Spencer was already awake.

“How did you sleep, Tony?” he asked.


“It must be late. Please look at my watch and tell me what time it

“Half-past eight,” said Tony, complying with his request. “Why, it’s

“Not very. I didn’t get up till ten yesterday. Well, what do you say
to getting up and having some breakfast?”

“Am I to breakfast with you, Mr. Spencer?”

“To be sure you are, unless you have another engagement,” added
Spencer, jocosely.

“If I have it can wait,” said Tony. “How much do they charge here for
board, Mr. Spencer?”

“Four or five dollars a day. I really don’t know exactly how much.”

“Four or five dollars a day!” exclaimed Tony, opening his eyes in
amazement. “How much I shall cost you!”

“I expect you will cost me a good deal, Tony,” said the young man. “Do
you know, I have a great mind to adopt you.”

“Do you really mean it, Mr. Spencer?”

“Yes; why shouldn’t I? I like what I have seen of you, and I have
plenty of money.”

“It must be a nice thing to have plenty of money,” said Tony,

“There is danger in it, too, Tony. I am ashamed to tell you how much I
have spent in gambling and dissipation.”

“I wouldn’t do it, Mr. Spencer,” said Tony, soberly.

“Capital advice, Tony. I am going to keep you with me for fear I might
forget, that is, if you think you like me well enough to stay.”

“I am sure to like you, Mr. Spencer, but you may get tired of me.”

“I’ll let you know when I do, Tony. How much income do you think I

“A thousand dollars?” guessed Tony, who considered that this would be
a very large income.

Spencer laughed.

“It is over ten thousand,” he said.

“Ten thousand!” exclaimed Tony. “How can you spend it all?”

“I did spend it all last year, Tony, and got a thousand dollars in
debt. I gambled, and most of it went that way. But I’ll leave that
off. I shall have you to take up my time now.”

“Did you know that man you played billiards with last night, Mr.

“I made his acquaintance in a gambling house, and I was well punished
for keeping company with such a man.”

Tony was now nearly dressed.

“You didn’t get your clothing from a fashionable tailor, I should
judge,” said his new guardian.

“No,” said Tony. “I haven’t been to fashionable tailors much.”

“After breakfast I must go with you and see you properly clothed. If
you are to be my ward, I must have your appearance do me credit.”

“How very kind you are to me, Mr. Spencer,” said Tony, gratefully. “I
don’t know how to repay you.”

“You’ve done something in that way already.”

“It seems like a dream that a poor boy like me should be adopted by a
rich gentleman.”

“It is a dream you won’t wake up from very soon. Now if you are ready
we will go down to breakfast.”

Tony hung back.

“Won’t you be ashamed to have me seen with you in these clothes?” he

“Not a bit. Besides, you will soon be in better trim. Come along,

They went down together, and entered the breakfast room. A
considerable number of persons were there. Several stared in surprise
at Tony as he entered and took his seat. Our hero noticed it, and it
made him nervous.

“Do you see how they look at me?” he said.

“Don’t let it affect your appetite, Tony,” said his friend. “When you
appear among them again you will have no reason to feel ashamed.”

A speech which Tony heard from a neighboring table did not serve to
reassure him.

An overdressed lady of fifty said to a tall, angular young lady, her

“Elvira, do you see that very common-looking boy at the next table?”

“Yes, ma.”

“He looks low. He is not as well dressed as our servants. It is very
strange they should let him eat at an aristocratic hotel like this.”

“Isn’t he with that gentleman, ma?”

“It looks like it. He may be the gentleman’s servant. I really think
it an imposition to bring him here.”

Mr. Spencer smiled.

“Don’t mind it, Tony,” he said. “I know those people by sight. They
are parvenus. I suppose you don’t understand the word. They are vulgar
people who have become rich by a lucky speculation. They will change
their tune presently. What will you have for breakfast?”

“There’s such a lot of things,” said Tony. “I don’t know what to

“You’ll get used to that. I’ll order breakfast for both.”

The waiter appeared, and Mr. Spencer gave the order.

The waiter looked uncomfortable.

“Mr. Spencer,” he said, “it’s against the rules for you to bring your
servant to the table with you.”

“I have not done so,” said Mr. Spencer, promptly. “This young
gentleman is my ward.”

“Oh, excuse me,” said the waiter, confused.

“Has anyone prompted you to speak to me about him?”

“Those ladies at the next table.”

“Then those ladies owe an apology to my ward,” said the young man,
loud enough for the ladies to hear.

The shot told. The ladies looked confused and embarrassed, and Tony
and his guardian quietly finished their breakfast.

There was another lady who noticed Tony, and this was Mrs. Harvey
Middleton. She was to sail for England in the afternoon.

As Tony and Mr. Spencer were going out of the breakfast room, they met
her entering.

She started at the sight of Tony, and scanned his face eagerly.

“Who are you, boy?” she asked, quickly, laying her hand on his arm.

Tony was too surprised to answer, and Mr. Spencer answered for him.

“He is my ward, madam,” he answered. “He has been roughing it in the
country, which accounts for the state of his wardrobe.”

“Oh, I beg pardon, sir,” said Mrs. Middleton. “I thought his face
looked familiar.”

“You see, Tony, that your appearance attracts attention,” said Mr.
Spencer, laughing. “Now we’ll go out, and I’ll get you a fit-out.”

They went to a well-known clothier’s, and Mr. Spencer purchased two
handsome suits for our hero, one of which he put on at once. At
another place a plentiful supply of underclothing was purchased. Next
a hat and shoes were procured. Tony’s hair was cut, he took a bath,
and in a couple of hours he was transformed into a young gentleman of
distinguished appearance.

“Really, Tony, I shouldn’t have known you,” said his friend.

“I shouldn’t have known myself,” said Tony. “I almost think it must be
some other boy. Who’d think I was Tony the Tramp, now?”

“You are not to be a tramp any longer. I have not yet formed my plans
for you, but I shall soon. I suppose, Tony, your education has been

“I should think it had,” answered Tony. “I’m as ignorant as a horse.”

“Then you ought to learn something.”

“I wish I could.”

“You shall, but, as I said, I must arrange details later.”

       *     *     *     *     *

About this time Rudolph and Mrs. Middleton were conversing,
preparatory to starting for the steamer.

“You are sure the boy is dead?” she said.

“Sure? I ought to be. Didn’t I see him dead with my own eyes?”

“I saw a boy this morning who looked as, I suppose, the boy would have
looked—of the same age, too.”

“Where did you see him?”

“He was with a gentleman, coming out of the breakfast room as I was
entering it.”

“It couldn’t have been he,” said Rudolph, positively. “Even if he were
alive, he wouldn’t be here. But he’s dead, I tell you. There’s no
doubt of it.”

“There are strange resemblances,” said the lady. “But, of course, it
couldn’t have been the boy. Indeed the gentleman with him told me that
it was his ward.”

Rudolph laughed.

“Tony wasn’t likely to have a gentleman for a guardian,” he said.

But Rudolph would have felt less easy in his mind if he had known that
the boy whom he supposed dead at the bottom of a well was really in
the hotel at that very moment, and, strangely enough, in the adjoining



“Now, Tony,” said George Spencer, after dinner, “I want to tell you
what plans I have formed for you and myself. I have got tired of hotel
life, and want a home. I shall seek a couple of handsomely furnished
rooms uptown, make it social and pleasant with books and pictures, and
we will settle down and enjoy ourselves.”

“I am afraid you will get tired of me, Mr. Spencer,” said Tony,
modestly. “I am too ignorant to be much company for you.”

“Ignorance, like poverty, can be remedied,” said the young man. “I
shall obtain a private tutor for you, and expect you to spend some
hours daily in learning.” Tony’s face lighted up.

“That is just what I would like,” he said.

“You would like it better than going to school?”

“Yes, for at school I should be obliged to go into a class with much
younger boys.”

“While with a tutor you can go on as fast as you please.”

“Yes, sir.”

“To-night we both need a little recreation. Suppose we go to Wallack’s
Theater. Have you ever been there?”

“Yes, sir; but I didn’t take a reserved seat.”

“I suppose not.”

“I sat in the upper gallery.”

“To-night you shall be fashionable. Have you a pair of kid gloves?”

“The last pair I had is worn out,” said Tony, laughing.

“Then you must have another pair. We will get a pair on our way

It was already time to start.

At half-past eight Tony found himself occupying an orchestra chair
near the stage, his hands encased in a pair of gloves of faultless
fit, and looking enough like a young patrician to pass muster among
his fashionable neighbors.

“How does it seem, Tony?” asked Spencer, smiling.

“Tiptop,” answered Tony; “but how queer kid gloves feel! I never had a
pair on in my life before.”

“There are the two ladies who found fault with your appearance at the
breakfast table this morning.”

“They are looking at me through an opera glass.”

“Wondering if you can be the same boy. I have no doubt they are
puzzled to account for your transformation.”

Mr. Spencer was right. The two ladies were at the same moment
exchanging remarks about our hero.

“Goodness! Elvira, there is that boy that was at breakfast this
morning at the hotel.”

“The boy that was so shabbily dressed, mamma? Where?”

“Just to the left. He isn’t shabby now. See how he is togged out. Who
would have thought it?”

“It’s queer, isn’t it?”

“I think we must have been mistaken about him. He looks like a young
gentleman now. But why should he have worn such clothes before?”

“I can’t tell, I am sure.”

“That’s a nice-looking young man, Elvira. I wish he would take a fancy
to you.”

“La, mamma! How you talk!” said Elvira, bridling and smiling.

“Depend upon it, Tony, those ladies will be polite to you if they get
a chance,” said Spencer, laughing.

“It makes a great deal of difference how a feller is dressed,” said

“You are right, Tony; but don’t say feller. Remember, you are
fashionable now.”

“There’s a gentleman in front that I know,” said Tony, suddenly.


“The man with a partly bald head.”

“How do you know him?”

“He was staying two or three days at the country hotel where I was a

“Do you think he would know you now?”

“May I see?”

“Yes, but don’t let him find you out. It won’t do in society to let it
be known that you were ever a stableboy.”

“All right.”

Tony leaned over, and, addressing the gentleman, said:

“Would you be kind enough to lend me your program a minute, sir?”

“Certainly,” was the reply. Then, looking at Tony: “Your face looks
very familiar. Where have I seen you before?”

“Perhaps at the St. Regis, sir,” said Tony; “I am stopping there.”

“No; I never go to the St. Regis. Bless me! you’re the very image of a
boy I have seen somewhere.”

“Am I?” said Tony. “I hope he was a good-looking boy.”

“He was; but he was not dressed like you. In fact—I remember now—he
was employed as stableboy in a country hotel.”

“A stableboy!” exclaimed Tony, with comic horror. “I hope you don’t
think I am the boy.”

“Of course not. But really the resemblance is wonderful.”

“Mr. Spencer,” said Tony, “this gentleman has met a stableboy who
looks like me.”

“I really beg your pardon,” said the gentleman; “I meant no offense.”

“My ward would not think of taking offense,” said Mr. Spencer,

Tony smiled to himself; he had a strong sense of humor, and was much

It is needless to say that he enjoyed the performance—all the more so
from his luxurious seat and nearness to the stage.

“It’s a good deal better than sitting in the gallery,” he said, in a
whisper, to his companion.

“I should think so. I never sat up there, Tony.”

“And I never sat anywhere else.”

As they were leaving the theater they found themselves close to the
ladies whom they had noticed at breakfast.

Elvira chanced to drop her handkerchief, probably intentionally.

Tony stooped and picked it up. Though he had led the life of a tramp,
he had the instincts of a gentleman.

“Thank you, young gentleman,” said Elvira. “You are very polite.”

“Oh, don’t mention it!” said Tony.

“Really, mamma, he is a born gentleman,” said Elvira, later, to her
mother. “How could we make such a mistake?”

“His clothes were certainly very shabby, my dear.”

“Very likely he had been out hunting or something. We must not judge
so hastily next time.”

The ladies were foiled in their intentions of cultivating the
acquaintance of Tony and his guardian, as two days later they left the
hotel and installed themselves in an elegant boarding house on Madison

“Now,” said Mr. Spencer, “we must go to work.”

“I must,” said Tony.

“And I, too,” said Spencer.

“What can you have to do?”

“I have received a proposal to invest a part of my money—only
one-fourth—in a business downtown, and shall accept. I don’t need to
increase my income, but I think I shall be less likely to yield to
temptation if I have some fixed employment. I shall be so situated
that I can do as much or as little as I please. As to yourself I have
put an advertisement in a morning paper for a teacher, and expect some
applicants this morning. I want you to choose for yourself.”

“I am afraid I shan’t be a very good judge of teachers. Shall I
examine them, to see if they know enough?”

“I think, from what you say of your ignorance, that any of them will
know enough to teach you for the present. The main thing is to select
one who knows how to teach, and whom you will like.”

“I wish you were a teacher, Mr. Spencer.”


“Because then I should have a teacher whom I liked.”

“Thank you, Tony,” said the young man, evidently gratified. “The
liking is mutual. I think myself fortunate in having you for my

“The luck is on my side, Mr. Spencer. What would I be but for you? I
wouldn’t be a tramp any more, for I am tired enough of that, but I
should have to earn my living as a newsboy or a bootblack, and have no
chance of getting an education.”

So the relations between Tony and his new friend became daily more
close, until Mr. Spencer came to regard him as a young brother, in
whose progress he was warmly interested.

A tutor was selected, and Tony began to study. His ambition was
roused. He realized for the first time how ignorant he was, and it is
not too much to say that he learned in one month as much as most boys
learn in three. He got rid of the uncouth expressions which he had
acquired in early life, and adapted his manners to the new position
which he found himself occupying in society. Mr. Spencer, too, was
benefited by his new friend. He gave up drink and dissipation, and
contented himself with pleasures in which he could invite Tony to

Meanwhile Mrs. Harvey Middleton and Rudolph had arrived in England,
and we must leave our hero for a time and join them.



When Mrs. Harvey Middleton reached England she delayed but a day in
London to attend to necessary business. This business was solely
connected with her mission to America. Rudolph Rugg accompanied her to
the chambers of a well-known lawyer, and testified to having had the
charge of Tony, closing with the description of his death. Of course
nothing was said of the well, or about his having thrown him in, for
Rudolph was not a fool. The details of a probable story had been got
up by Mrs. Middleton and Rugg in concert. According to them and the
written testimony, Tony had been run over by a train on the Erie
Railway, and a newspaper paragraph describing such an accident to an
unknown boy was produced in corroboration.

It was an ingenious fabrication, and Mrs. Middleton plumed herself
upon it.

“Poor boy!” she said, with a hypocritical sigh, “his was a sad fate.”

“It was, indeed,” said the lawyer; “but,” he added, dryly, “you have
no cause to regret it, since it secures you the estate.”

“Don’t mention it, Mr. Brief. It is sad to profit by such a tragedy.”

“You don’t take a business view of it, madam. Such things happen, and
if we can’t prevent them, we may as well profit by them.”

“Of course I shall not refuse what has fallen in my way,” said Mrs.
Middleton; “but I had formed the plan, if I found the boy alive, of
bringing him home and educating him for his position. He would not
have let me want.”

“Don’t she do it well, though?” thought Rudolph, who heard all this
with a cynical admiration for the ex-governess. “If I was a gentleman
I’d make up to her, and make her Mrs. Rugg if she’d say the word.”

“You think this man’s evidence will substantiate my claim to the
estate?” she asked, after a pause.

“I should say there was no doubt on that point, unless, of course, his
evidence is impeached or contradicted.”

“That is hardly likely, Mr. Brief. The poor man suffered much at the
death of the boy, to whom he was ardently attached.”

“So you loved the boy, Mr. Rugg?” said the lawyer.

“Oh, uncommon!” answered Rudolph. “He was my pet, and the apple of my
eye. We were always together, Tony and I.”

“And I suppose he loved you?”

“He couldn’t bear me out of his sight. He looked upon me as a father,

“If he’d come into the estate he would probably have provided for
you,” suggested the lawyer, watching him keenly.

“It’s likely, sir. I wish he had.”

“So it is a personal loss to you—the death of the boy?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Mrs. Middleton probably will not forget your services to the boy.”

“No, sir. I shall, of course, do something for Mr. Rugg, though,
perhaps, not as much as my poor cousin would have done. Mr. Rugg, will
you see me to my carriage?”

“Certainly, ma’am.”

Mrs. Middleton was anxious to go away. The conversation had taken a
turn which she did not like. It almost seemed as if the lawyer were
trying to find out something and she thought it best to get Rudolph
away from the influence, lest Mr. Brief might catechise him and draw
out something to her disadvantage.

“Mr. Rugg,” she said, as they were going downstairs, “I advise you not
to go near Mr. Brief again.”

“Why not, ma’am?”

“These lawyers are crafty. Before you knew what he was after he would
extract the secret from you, and there would be trouble for both of

“Do you think so, ma’am? I didn’t see nothing of it.”

“I think he suspects something. That matters nothing, if it does not
go beyond suspicion. Unless he can impeach your testimony or draw you
into contradictions we are safe, and you are sure of an income for

“You needn’t be afraid for me, ma’am. We’re in the same boat.”

She frowned a little at the familiar tone in which he spoke. It was as
if he put himself on an equality with her. But it was true,
nevertheless, and it was unpleasant for her to think of.

Was there nothing else that was unpleasant? Did she not think of the
poor boy, who, as she thought, was killed, and at her instigation?
Yes, she thought of him, but as much as she could, she kept the
subject away from her thoughts.

“He’s better off,” she said to herself. “He didn’t know anything of
the property, and he wasn’t fit to possess it. All the troubles of
life are over for him.”

“What are your plans, Mr. Rugg?” she asked.

“I have a mind to go down to Middleton Hall with you, ma’am. I used to
live there years ago, and I might find some of my old cronies.”

“For that very reason you must not go,” she said, hastily. “They would
be asking you all sorts of questions, and you’d be letting out

“They wouldn’t get nothing out of me.”

“If you made no answer it would be as bad. They would suspect you.”

“And you, too.”


“It’s rather hard, Mrs. Middleton, I can’t see my old friends.”

“You can make new ones. A man with money can always find friends.”

“That’s true, ma’am,” said Rudolph, brightening up. “Then you
recommend me to stay in London.”

“In London or anywhere else that you like better. Only don’t come
within twenty miles of Middleton Hall.”

“Well, ma’am, you’re wiser than I am, and you know better what it’s
best to do.”

“Of course I do. You are safe in being guided by me.”

“But about the money, ma’am. How am I to get that if I don’t see you?”

“Once a quarter I will pay in forty pounds to your account at any bank
you choose. You can let me know.”

“All right, ma’am. It’s strange to me to think of having a bank

“It need not be strange henceforth. And now, Mr. Rugg, we must part. I
must hasten down to Middleton Hall to look after the estate. I have
been absent from it now for nearly three months.”

“I suppose you are in a hurry to see your young man?” said Rudolph,
with a grin.

“Mr. Rugg,” said the lady, haughtily, “I beg you will make no
reference to my private affairs. You speak as if I were a nursery

“I beg your pardon, ma’am. No offense was meant.”

“Then none is taken. But remember my caution.”

She stepped into the hansom which was waiting for her, and Rudolph
remained standing on the sidewalk.

“She’s puttin’ on airs,” said the tramp, frowning. “She forgets all
about her bein’ a governess once without five pounds in the world. She
acts as if she was a lady born. I don’t like it. She may try her airs
on others, but not on Rudolph Rugg. He knows a little too much about
you, Mrs. Harvey Middleton. Rich as you are, you’re in his power, and
if he was so inclined, he could bring you down from your high place,
so he could.”

But Rudolph’s anger was only transient. He was too astute not to
understand clearly that he could not harm Mrs. Middleton without
harming himself quite as much. As things stood, he was securely
provided for. No more tramping about the country for him in all
weathers. He had enough to lodge and feed him, and provide all the
beer and tobacco he could use. This was certainly a comfortable
reflection. So he sought out a comfortable lodging and installed
himself before night, determined to get what enjoyment he could out of
London, and the income he had so foully won.

And Mrs. Middleton, she, too, congratulated herself.

She leaned back in the cab and gave herself up to joyful anticipations
of future happiness and security.

“Thank Heaven! I have got rid of that low fellow,” she ejaculated,
inwardly. “I never want to see the brute again. He was necessary to my
purpose, and I employed him, but I should be glad if he would get
drowned, or be run over, or end his miserable life in some way, so
that I might never see or hear of him again.”

But the thought of Rudolph did not long trouble her. She thought
rather of handsome Capt. Lovell, whom she loved, and to marry whom she
had committed this crime, and the hard woman’s face softened, and a
smile crept over her face.

“I shall soon see him, my Gregory!” she murmured. “He will soon be
mine, and I shall be repaid for my long, wearisome journey.”



A carriage drove rapidly up the avenue leading to Middleton Hall.

The Hall was not large, but was handsome and well-proportioned, and
looked singularly attractive, its gray walls forming a harmonious
contrast with the bright green ivy that partially covered them, and
the broad, smooth lawn that stretched out in front.

Mrs. Middleton regarded her home with unmingled satisfaction. It was
to be her home now as long as she lived. Now that the boy was dead, no
one could wrest it from her. She would live there, but not in solitary
grandeur. The news of her success would bring Capt. Gregory Lovell to
her side, and their marriage would follow as soon as decency would
permit. If afterward he should desire to have the name of the
residence changed to Lovell Hall, Mrs. Middleton decided that she
would not object. Why should she? She had no superstitious love for
her present name, while Lovell had for her the charm which love always
gives to the name of the loved one.

The housekeeper, stout and matronly, received her mistress at the

“Welcome home, Mrs. Middleton,” she said. “How long it seems since you
went away!”

“How do you do, Sarah?” said her mistress, graciously. “I can assure
you I am glad to be back.”

“You will find everything in order, mum, I hope and believe,” said
Sarah. “We expected to see you sooner.”

“I hoped to be back sooner, but the business detained me longer than I

“And how did you succeed, mum, if I may be so bold?” inquired the
housekeeper, curiously.

“As I expected, Sarah. I found that the poor boy was dead.”

“Indeed, mum!”

“I hoped to bring him back with me, according to my poor husband’s
desire, but it was ordered otherwise by an inscrutable Providence.”

Sarah coughed.

“It is very sad,” she said, but she looked curiously at her mistress.

She knew very well that this sad news rejoiced the heart of Mrs.
Middleton, and the latter knew that she could not for a moment impose
upon her clear-sighted housekeeper. But the farce must be kept up for
the sake of appearances.

“Come up to my chamber with me, Sarah. I want to ask you what has been
going on since I was away. Have you heard from Lady Lovell’s family?
Are they all well?”

Lady Lovell was the mother of Capt. Gregory Lovell, and the question
was earnestly put.

“They are all well except the captain,” answered Sarah.

“Is he sick?” demanded her mistress, turning upon her swiftly.

“No, mum; I only meant to say the captain was gone away.”

“Gone away! When? Where?”

“He’s ordered to India, I believe, mum. He went away a month ago.”

Mrs. Middleton sank into her chair quite overcome. Her joy was
clouded, for the reward of her long and toilsome journey was snatched
from her.

“Did he not leave any message?” she asked. “Did he not call before he
went away?”

“Yes, mum. He left a note.”

“Give it to me quick. Why did you not mention it before?”

“It’s the first chance I got, mum. The letter is in my own chamber. I
took the best care of it. I will get it directly.”

“Do go, Sarah.”

Mrs. Middleton awaited the return of Sarah with nervous impatience.
Perhaps the captain had thrown her over after all, and, loving him as
she did, this would have torn the heart of the intriguing woman, who,
cold and selfish as she was so far as others were concerned, really
loved the handsome captain.

Sarah speedily reappeared with the letter.

“Here it is, mum,” she said. “I have taken the best care of it.”

Mrs. Middleton tore it open with nervous haste. This is the way it

     “MY DEAR JANE: I am about to set out for India—not
     willingly, but my regiment is ordered there, and I must obey
     or quit the service. This, as you well know, I cannot do;
     for, apart from my official pay, I have but a paltry two
     hundred pounds a year, and that is barely enough to pay my
     tailor’s bill. I am sorry to go away in your absence. If I
     were only sure you would bring home good news, I could
     afford to sell my commission and wait. But it is so
     uncertain that I cannot take the risk.

     “I need not say, my dear Jane, how anxious I am to have all
     the impediments to our union removed. I am compelled to be
     mercenary. It is, alas! necessary for me, as a younger son,
     to marry a woman with money. I shall be happy indeed if
     interest and love go hand in hand, as they will if your
     absolute claim to your late husband’s estate is proved
     beyond a doubt. I append my India address, and shall
     anxiously expect a communication from you on your return. If
     you have been successful, I will arrange to return at once,
     and our union can be solemnized without delay. Once more,

         “Your devoted
              “GREGORY LOVELL.”

Mrs. Middleton, after reading this letter, breathed a sigh of relief.
He was still hers, and she had only to call him back. There would be a
vexatious delay, but that must be submitted to. She had feared to lose
him, and this apprehension, at least, might be laid aside.

To some the letter would have seemed too mercenary. Even Mrs.
Middleton could not help suspecting that, between love and interest,
the latter was far the most powerful in the mind of Capt. Lovell. But
she purposely closed her eyes to this unpleasant suspicion. She was in
love with the handsome captain, and it was the great object of her
life to become his wife. She decided to answer the letter immediately.

Her desk was at hand, and she opened it at once, and wrote a brief
letter to her absent lover.

     “DEAR GREGORY: I have just returned. I am deeply
     disappointed to find you absent; for, my darling, I have
     succeeded. I have legal proof—proof that cannot be
     disputed—that the boy, my husband’s cousin, is dead. The
     poor boy was accidentally killed. I have the sworn affidavit
     of the man who took him to America, and who was his constant
     companion there.

     “It is a sad fate for the poor boy. I sincerely deplore his
     tragical end—he was run over by a train—yet—is it
     wicked?—my grief is mitigated by the thought that it
     removes every obstacle to our union. I do not for an instant
     charge you with interested motives. I am sure of your love,
     but I also comprehend the necessities of your position. You
     have been brought up as a gentleman, and you have the tastes
     of a gentleman. You cannot surrender your social position.
     It is necessary that, if you marry, you should have an
     adequate income to live upon. My darling Gregory, I am proud
     and happy in the thought that I can make you such. You know
     my estate. The rental is two thousand pounds, and that is
     enough to maintain our social rank. Come home, then, as soon
     as you receive this letter. I am awaiting you impatiently,
     and can hardly reconcile myself to the delay that must be.
     Make it as short as possible, and let me hear from you at

         “Your own
             “JANE MIDDLETON.”

There was unexpected delay in the reception of this letter. It was
three months before it came into the hands of Capt. Lovell. When at
length it was received, he read it with a mixture of emotions.

“Decidedly,” he said, removing the cigar from his mouth, “the old girl
is fond of me. I wish I were fond of her, for I suppose I must marry
her. It will be rather a bad pill to swallow, but it is well gilded.
Two thousand pounds a year are not to be thrown away by a fellow in my
straits. The prospect might be brighter, but I suppose I have no right
to complain. It will make me comfortable for life. I must take care to
have the estate settled upon me, and then the sooner the old girl dies
the better.”

So Capt. Lovell wrote at once, saying that he would return home as
soon as he could make arrangements for doing so—that every day would
seem a month till he could once more embrace his dear Jane. The letter
was signed, “Your devoted Gregory.”

Mrs. Middleton read it with unfeigned delight. Her plans had
succeeded, and the reward would soon be hers.

But there was fresh delay. Arrangements to return could not be made so
easily as Capt. Lovell anticipated. It was seven months from the day
that Mrs. Middleton reached England when Capt. Lovell was driven to
his hotel in London. Meanwhile events had occurred which were to have
an effect upon Mrs. Middleton’s plans.



“Tony,” said George Spencer, one evening, “you have been making
wonderful progress in your studies. In six months you have
accomplished as much as I did at boarding school in two years, when at
your age.”

“Do you really mean it, Mr. Spencer?” said Tony, gratified.

“I am quite in earnest.”

“I am very glad of it,” said Tony. “When I began I was almost
discouraged. I was so much behind boys of my age.”

“And now your attainments raise you above the average. Your tutor told
me so yesterday, when I made inquiries.”

“I am rejoiced to hear it, Mr. Spencer. I was very much ashamed of
myself at first, and did not like to speak before your friends for
fear they would find out what sort of a life I had led. That is what
made me work so hard.”

“Well, Tony, you may congratulate yourself on having succeeded. I
think you can venture now to take a little vacation.”

“A vacation! I don’t need one.”

“Suppose it were spent in Europe?”

“What!” exclaimed Tony, eagerly, “you don’t think of our going

“Yes. The house with which I am connected wants me to go abroad on
business. If I go you may go with me if you would like it.”

“Like it!” exclaimed Tony, impetuously. “There is nothing I would like

“So I supposed,” said George Spencer, smiling. “I may as well tell you
that our passage is taken for next Wednesday, by the _Coronia_.”

“And this is Friday evening. How soon it seems!”

“There won’t be much preparation to make—merely packing your trunk.”

“Mr. Spencer,” said Tony, “I want to ask a favor.”

“What is it?”

“I have told you about being employed at a country hotel, just before
I came to the city and found you.”


“I would like to go back there for a day, just to see how all my old
friends are.”

“You don’t mean to apply again for your old place?”

“Not unless you turn me off, and I have to find work somewhere.”

“Turn you off, Tony! Why, I shouldn’t know how to get along without
you. You are like a younger brother to me,” said the young man,

“Thank you, Mr. Spencer. You seem like an older brother to me.
Sometimes I can hardly believe that I was once a tramp.”

“It was your misfortune, Tony, not your fault. So you want to go back
and view your former home?”

“Yes, Mr. Spencer.”

“Then you had better start to-morrow morning, so as to be back in good
time to prepare for the journey.”

“Do you know, Mr. Spencer,” said Tony, “I’ve got an idea. I’ll go back
wearing the same clothes I had on when I left there.”

“Have you got them still?”

“Yes, I laid them away, just to remind me of my old life. I’ll take my
other clothes and after a while I can put them on.”

“What is your idea in doing this, Tony?” asked the young man.

“I want to give them a surprise.”

“Very well, do as you please. Only don’t stay away too long.”

       *     *     *     *     *

Tony proceeded to carry out the plan he had proposed.

He traveled by rail to a village near by, and then with his bundle
suspended to a stick, took up his march to the tavern.

He entered the familiar stable yard. All looked as it did the day he
left. There was only one person in the yard, and that one Tony
recognized at once as his old enemy, Sam Payson, who appeared to be
filling his old position, as stableboy.

“Hello, Sam!” said Tony, whose entrance had not been observed.

Sam looked up and whistled.

“What! have you come back?” he said, not appearing overjoyed at the
sight of Tony.

“Yes, Sam,” said Tony.

“Where have you been all the time?”

“In New York part of the time.”

“What have you been doing for a living?”

“Well, I lived with a gentleman there.”

“What did you do—black his boots?”

“Not exactly.”

“Did he turn you off?”

“No; but he’s going to Europe next Wednesday.”

“So you’re out of a place?”

“I have no employment.”

“What made you come back here?” demanded Sam, suspiciously.

“I thought I’d like to see you all again.”

“That don’t go down,” said Sam, roughly. “I know well enough what
you’re after.”

“What am I after?”

“You’re after my place. You’re hoping Mr. Porter will take you on
again. But it’s no use. There ain’t any chance for you.”

“How long have you been back again, Sam?”

“Three months, and I am goin’ to stay, too. You got me turned off
once, but you can’t do it again.”

“I don’t want to.”

“Oh, no, I presume not,” sneered Sam. “Of course, you don’t. You’ve
got on the same clothes you wore away, haven’t you?”

“Yes, it’s the same suit, but I’ve got some more things in my bundle.”

“I guess you haven’t made your fortune, by the looks.”

“The fact is, Sam, I haven’t earned much since I went away.”

“I knew you wouldn’t. You ain’t so smart as people think.”

“I didn’t know anybody thought me smart.”

“James, the hostler, is always talking you up to me, but I guess I can
rub along as well as you.”

“You talk as if I was your enemy, Sam, instead of your friend.”

“I don’t want such a friend. You’re after my place, in spite of all
you say.”

Just then James, the hostler, came out of the stable.

“What! is it you, Tony?” he asked, cordially.

“Yes, James; I hope you’re well.”

“Tiptop; and how are you?” asked the hostler, examining Tony,

“I’m well.”

“Have you been doing well?”

“I haven’t wanted for anything. I’ve been with a gentleman in New

Here Mr. Porter appeared on the scene.

He, too, recognized Tony.

“What! back again, Tony?” he said.

“I thought I’d just look in, sir.”

“Do you want a place?”

“What sort of a place?”

“Your old place.”

Sam heard this, and looked the picture of dismay. He took it for
granted that Tony would accept at once, and privately determined that
if he did he would give him a flogging, if it were a possible thing.

He was both relieved and surprised when Tony answered:

“I am much obliged to you, Mr. Porter, but I wouldn’t like to cut out
Sam. Besides, I have a place engaged in New York.”

“I would rather have you than Sam, any day.”

“Thank you, sir, but I’ve made an engagement, and can’t break it.”

“How long are you going to stay here?”

“If you’ve a spare room, I’ll stay over till to-morrow.”

“All right. Go into the office, and they’ll give you one.”

“I say, Tony,” said Sam, after the landlord had gone, “you’re a better
fellow than I thought you were. I thought you’d take my place when it
was offered you.”

“You see you were mistaken, Sam. I’ll see you again.”

Tony went into the hotel—went up to a small chamber that had been
assigned him, changed his clothes for a handsome suit in his bundle,
took a handsome gold watch and chain from his pocket and displayed
them on his vest, and then came down again.

As he entered the yard again, Sam stared in amazement.

“It can’t be you, Tony!” he said. “Where’d you get them clothes? and
that watch?”

“I came by them honestly, Sam.”

“But I can’t understand it,” said Sam, scratching his head. “Ain’t you
poor, and out of work?”

“I’m out of work, but not poor. I’ve been adopted by a rich gentleman,
and am going to sail for Europe on Wednesday.”

“Cracky! who ever heard the like? Wouldn’t he adopt me, too?”

“I believe there is no vacancy,” said Tony, smiling.

“Was that the reason you wouldn’t take my place?”

“One reason.”

“James!” called Sam, “just look at Tony, now.”

James stared, and when explanation was made, heartily congratulated
our hero.

“Sam,” said Tony, producing a couple of showy neckties, “to prove to
you that I am not your enemy, I have brought you these.”

“They’re stunning!” exclaimed the enraptured Sam. “I always thought
you was a good fellow, Tony. Are they really for me?”

“To be sure they are, but I’m afraid, Sam, you didn’t always think
quite so well of me.”

“Well, I do now. You’re a trump.”

“And, James, I’ve brought you a present, too.” Here Tony produced a
handsome silver watch with a silver chain appended. “It’s to remember
me by.”

“I’d remember you without it, Tony, but I’m very much obliged to you.
It’s a real beauty.”

When the landlord was told of Tony’s good fortune, he was as much
surprised as the rest. Our hero was at once changed to the handsomest
room in the hotel, and was made quite a lion during the remainder of
his stay.

There is something in success after all.

“Good-by, Tony,” said Sam, heartily, when our hero left the next day.
“You’re a gentleman, and I always said so.”

“Thank you, Sam. Good luck to you!” responded Tony, smiling.

“I’m a much finer fellow than when I was a tramp,” he said to himself.
“Sam says so, and he ought to know. I suppose it’s the way of the
world. And now for Europe!”



Two weeks later Tony and his friend were guests at a popular London
hotel, not far from Charing Cross.

“We will postpone business till we have seen a little of London,” said
George Spencer. “Luckily my business is not of a pressing character,
and it can wait.”

“You have been in London before, Mr. Spencer,” said Tony. “I am afraid
you will find it a bore going round with me.”

“Not at all. I spent a week here when a boy of twelve, and saw nothing
thoroughly, so I am at your disposal. Where shall we go first?”

“I should like to see Buckingham Palace, where the king lives.”

“He doesn’t live there much. However, we’ll go to see it, but we’ll
take the Parliament House and Westminster Abbey on the way.”

In accordance with this program they walked—for the distance was but
small—to Westminster Abbey. It would be out of place for me to
describe here that wonderful church where so much of the rank and
talent of past ages lies buried. It is enough to say that Tony enjoyed
it highly. He afterward visited the Parliament House. This occupied
another hour. When they came out Mr. Spencer said:

“Tony, I have got to go to my banker’s. Do you care to come?”

“No, thank you, Mr. Spencer, I would rather walk round by myself.”

“Very well, Tony, just as you please. Only don’t get lost.”

“I’ll take care of that; I’m used to cities.”

“You are not used to London. It is one of the blindest cities in the
world; it is a complete labyrinth.”

“I don’t mean to get lost. You’ll find me at the hotel at four

“Very well. That will be early enough.”

So George Spencer went his way, and Tony set out upon his rambles.

He found plenty to amuse him in the various buildings and sights of
the great metropolis. But after a while he began to wonder where he
was. He had strayed into a narrow street, scarcely more than a lane,
with a row of tumble-down dwellings on either side.

“There’s nothing worth seeing here,” said our hero. “I’ll inquire my
way to Charing Cross.”

He went into a small beer house, and preferred his request.

“Charing Cross!” repeated the publican. “It’s a good ways from ’ere.”

“How far?” asked Tony.

“A mile easy, and there’s no end of turns.”

“Just start me, then,” said Tony, “and I’ll reach there. Which way is

“Turn to the left when you go out of this shop.”

“All right, and thank you.”

Tony noticed that there were three or four men seated at tables in the
back part of the shop, but he had not the curiosity to look at them.
If he had, he would have been startled, for among these men was
Rudolph Rugg, more disreputable than ever in appearance, for he had
been drinking deeply for the last six months. He stared at Tony as one
dazed, for he supposed him dead long ago at the bottom of a well,
three thousand miles away.

“What’s the matter, Rugg?” asked his companion. “You look as if you’d
seen a ghost.”

“So I have,” muttered Rugg, starting for the door.

“Where are you going?”

“I’ve got a headache,” said Rudolph.

“You’ve left your drink.”

“I don’t want it.”

“What’s come over him?” said his late companion, in surprise.

“No matter. He’ll be back soon.”

Rudolph swiftly followed Tony. He wanted to find out whether it was
really the boy whom he had sought to murder or not. Then, what did his
appearance in London mean? Was he possibly in search of him—Rugg? It
was wonderful, certainly. How had he obtained the means of coming to
England?—as a gentleman, too, for Rudolph had not failed to notice
his rich clothes. Had he obtained rich and powerful friends, and was
he in search of the inheritance that had been wrongfully kept from

Rudolph asked himself all these questions, but he could not answer

“If I could only ask him,” he thought, “but that wouldn’t be safe.”

By this time he had come in sight of Tony, who was walking along
slowly, not feeling in any particular hurry.

An idea struck Rudolph.

A boy who had been employed in begging was standing on the sidewalk.

“Gi’ me a penny, sir,” he said.

Rudolph paused.

“Walk along with me, and I’ll show you how you can earn half a crown,”
he said.

“Will you?” said the boy, his face brightening.

“Yes, I will, and you won’t find it hard work, either.”

“Go ahead, guv’nor.”

“Do you see that boy ahead?”

“That young gentleman?”

“Yes,” said Rudolph.

“I see him.”

“I want you to manage to get him up to my room; it’s No. 7 ——
street, top floor, just at the head of the stairs.”

“Shall I tell him you want to see him?”

“No, he wouldn’t come. Tell him your poor grandfather is sick in
bed—anything you like, only get him to come.”

“S’posin’ he won’t come?”

“Then follow him, and find out where he is staying. Do you

“Yes, guv’nor. I’ll bring him.”

“Go ahead, and I’ll hurry round to the room. I’ll be in bed.”

“All right.”

The boy was a sharp specimen of the juvenile London beggar. He was up
to the usual tricks of his class, and quite competent to the task
which Rudolph had engaged him to perform.

He came up to Tony, and then began to whimper.

“What’s the matter, Johnny?” said Tony, addressing him by the usual
New York name for an unknown boy.

“Oh, my poor grandfather is so sick!” said the boy.

“What’s the matter with him?”

“I don’t know. I guess he’s goin’ to die.”

“Why don’t you send for a doctor?”

“He wouldn’t come—we’re so poor.”

“Do you live near here?”

“Oh, yes, sir; only a little way.”

“I want to go to Charing Cross—is it much out of the way?”

“No, sir; it’s right on the way there.”

“Then, if you’ll show me the way to Charing Cross afterward, I will go
round with you and look at your grandfather. Perhaps I can do
something for him.”

“Oh, sir, how kind you are! I know’d you was a gentleman when I fust
saw you.”

“When was your grandfather taken sick?”

“Two days ago,” said the boy.

“Is he in bed?”

“Yes, sir. Leastways, he was when I came out. We didn’t have no

“I am sorry for that. Don’t you want to buy something to take to him?”

“If you’ll give me a shillin’, sir, I’ll ask him what he can eat. Sick
folks can’t eat the same things as the rest of us.”

“To be sure. You are right. Well, here’s a shilling.”

“The boy little thinks that I have known many a time what it is to be
without breakfast, or money to buy any,” thought Tony. “I’ll do
something for the poor man, if only to show how grateful I am for my
own good fortune.”

He followed the boy for about ten minutes, until they reached rather a
shabby building. This was No. 7.

“Come right up after me,” said the boy.

The two went up till they reached the room indicated by Rudolph. The
boy pushed the door open.

A sound of groaning proceeded from the bed.

“Grandfather, I’ve brought a kind young gentleman,” said the boy.

“Come here,” muttered the person in bed.

Tony came up to the bed.

In an instant Rudolph had thrown off the clothes, and had him seized
by the arm.

“There’s your money, boy. Go!” he said to the other, flinging a half

“I’ve got you at last!” he shouted. “Now, you young villain, I’ll get
even with you!”

His face was almost fiendish with rage, as he uttered these words.



To say that Tony was not startled would not be true. Without a
moment’s warning he found himself in the power of his old
enemy—completely in his power, knowing, too, the desperate character
of the man which would let him stick at nothing.

Rudolph enjoyed his evident surprise.

“I’ve been waiting for this,” he said. “It’s a great joy to me to have
you here in my power.”

By this time Tony had collected himself, and had become composed.

“Rudolph,” he said, “what makes you hate me so?”

“Haven’t you tried to injure me—didn’t you get me arrested? Do you
forget that night in the old miser’s hut?”

“No, I don’t forget it, but you forced me to act as I did. But even if
I did injure you, you took your revenge.”

“When, and how?”

“When you threw me into the well. How could you do such a dark deed?
What had I done that you should seek to murder me?”

“How did you get out?” asked Rudolph, giving way to curiosity.

“I climbed out.”


“By means of the wall that lined the well. Finally I got hold of the

“So that was the way, was it? I ought to have made surer of your

“How could you do that?”

“By throwing some rocks down on you,” answered the tramp, with a
malignant frown.

“I am glad I have not such a wicked disposition as you, Rudolph,” said
Tony, looking at him fixedly.

“Take care how you insult me, boy!” said Rudolph, angrily.

“I have no wish to insult you. Now tell me why you have lured me here?
I suppose you hired the boy.”

“I did, and he did the work well,” said the tramp, triumphantly.

“Well, now, I am here, what do you want of me?”

“First, tell me how you happen to be in London? Did you know I was

“I knew you crossed the Atlantic.”


“I saw you buy your ticket.”

“What!” exclaimed the tramp, in surprise. “Did you reach New York so

“Yes. I lost my situation at the inn, for they did not believe my
story about having been thrown down the well by a Quaker.” Rudolph

“It was a good disguise,” he said. “So they discharged you? That was

“I did not think so at the time, but it proved to be the luckiest
thing that could happen to me.”

“How was that?”

“It led me to go to New York. There I found a rich and generous
friend. I have been with him ever since.”

“As a servant?”

“No; as his adopted brother. He supplied me with teachers, and in
little more than six months I have acquired as much as most boys do in
two or three years.”

“So you have gone in for education, have you?” said Rudolph, sneering.

“Yes. Could I go in for anything better?”

“And you consider yourself a young gentleman now, do you?”

“That is the rank I hold in society,” said Tony, calmly.

“And you forget that you were once Tony the Tramp?”

“No, Rudolph, I have not forgotten that. It was not my fault, and I am
not ashamed of it. But I should be ashamed if I had not left that kind
of life as soon as I was able.”

“By Heaven, you shall go back to it!” said Rudolph, malignantly.

“I never will,” answered Tony, gently, but firmly.

“I will force you to it.”

“Neither you nor anyone else can force me to it. I will black boots in
the streets first.”

“That will suit me just as well,” said the tramp, laughing
maliciously. “You have grown too proud. I want to lower your pride,
young popinjay!”

“I am not afraid of anything you can do to me, Rudolph,” said Tony,

“Suppose I choose to kill you?”

“You won’t dare do it. We are not in the woods now.”

Tony had hit the truth. Rudolph did not dare to kill him, though he
would have been glad to. But he knew that he would himself be
arrested, and he had more to live for now than formerly. He had an
income, and comfortably provided for, and he did not choose to give up
this comfortable and independent life.

“No,” he said, “I won’t kill you; but I will be revenged for all that.
First I will keep you from that generous friend of yours.”

“What will he think has become of me?” thought Tony, uneasily.

A thought came to him. He would appeal to the man’s love of money.

“Rudolph,” he said, “I am afraid my friend will be uneasy about me. If
you will let me go I will give you ten pounds that I have in my

“I don’t believe you have so much money,” said Rudolph, cunningly.

Tony fell into the snare unsuspectingly. He drew out his pocketbook
and displayed two five-pound notes on the Bank of England.

Rudolph quickly snatched them from him.

“They are mine already,” he said, with a mocking laugh.

“So I see,” said Tony, coolly; “but I was about to offer you fifty
pounds besides.”

“Have you the money in your pocketbook?”

“No, I haven’t, but I could get it from Mr. Spencer?”

“It don’t go down, Tony,” said Rudolph, shaking his head. “I am not so
much in need of money as to pay so dearly for it. Listen to me. If you
have been lucky, so have I. I have an income, safe and sure, of one
hundred and fifty pounds.”

“You have!” exclaimed Tony, surprised.


“Do you hold any position?”

“No; I merely promise to keep my mouth shut.”

“Is it about me?”

“Yes. The long and the short of it is that there is an English estate,
bringing in two thousand pounds rental, that of right belongs to you.”

“To me—an estate of two thousand pounds a year!” exclaimed Tony, in

“Yes; the party who owns it pays me an income as hush money. I have
only to say the word, and the estate will be yours, Tony.”

“Say the word, Rudolph, and you shall have the same income,” entreated
Tony. “It isn’t the money I so much care for, but I want to know who I
am. I want to be restored to my rightful place in society. Is my
mother living?”


“Nor my father?”


Tony looked sober.

“Then I should not care so much for the money. Still, it ought to be

“Of course it ought,” said Rudolph, gloating over the boy’s emotion.

“You shall lose nothing by telling me—by becoming my friend. I will
never refer to the past—never speak of what happened in America.”

“No doubt,” sneered Rudolph, “but it can’t be.”

“Why can’t it be?”

“Because I hate you!” hissed the tramp, with a baleful look. “Not
another word. It’s no use. I shall lock you up here for the present,
while I am out. When I come back I will let you know what I am going
to do to you.”

He left the room, locking the door behind him.

Tony sat down to reflect upon the strange position in which he was



When Rudolph left Tony imprisoned he began to think over the situation
with regard to his own interest.

He was already dissatisfied with the income he received from Mrs.
Middleton; though at the time it seemed to him large, he found that he
could easily spend more. He did not have expensive lodgings—in fact,
they were plain, and quite within his means, but he drank and gambled,
and both these amusements were expensive. He had already made up his
mind to ask for a larger income, and Tony’s offer stimulated him to
ask at once.

“If Mrs. Middleton won’t, the boy will,” he said to himself.

Mrs. Middleton was in London. In fact, at that moment she was
_tête-à-tête_ with Capt. Lovell, to whom she had been formally
betrothed. He had satisfied himself that the prospects were all right,
and then had renewed his offer. The marriage was to take place in a
month, and Mrs. Middleton was in town to make suitable preparations
for it. She was perfectly happy, for she was about to marry a man she

As for Capt. Lovell, he was well enough contented. He did not care a
farthing for the lady as regards love, but he was decidedly in love
with her property.

“It will make me comfortable for life,” he said, with a shrug of the
shoulders, “and after marriage, I can pay as little attention to Mrs.
Lovell as I choose. She must be content with marrying my name.”

The widow had taken handsome apartments at a West End boarding house;
there she received callers.

Capt. Lovell was lounging in an easy-chair looking rather bored. His
fiancée was inspecting an array of dry goods which had been sent in
from a fancy London shop.

“Don’t you think this silk elegant, Gregory?” she asked, displaying a

“Oh, ah, yes, I suppose so,” he answered, with a yawn.

“I would like to have your taste, Gregory.”

“I have no taste, my dear Mrs. Middleton, about such matters.”

“Don’t you think it will become me?”

“Why, to be sure; everything becomes you, you know.”

She laughed.

“Would a yellow turban become me?” she asked.

“Well, perhaps not,” he said; “but of course you know best.”

“How little you men know about a lady’s dress!”

“I should think so. The fact is, my dear Mrs. Middleton, that part of
my education was neglected.”

“When I am your wife, Gregory, I shall always appeal to your taste.”

“Will you?” he said, rather frightened. “’Pon my honor, I hope you
won’t, now.”

“And I shall expect you to consult me about your wardrobe.”

“What! about my trousers and coats? Really, that’s very amusing, ’pon
my honor it is.”

“Don’t you think I feel an interest in how my dear Gregory is

“I don’t know, I’m sure.”

“But I do, and shall I tell you why?”

“If you want to.”

“Because I love you,” she said, softly, and she rose from her chair,
and crossing, laid her hand affectionately on his shoulder.

He shrank, just the least in the world, and felt annoyed, but didn’t
like to say so. She might be angry, and though he did not love her, he
did want to marry her, and so escape from his money troubles.

“Of course, I’m ever so much obliged to you,” he said, “and all that
sort of thing.”

“And you love me, Gregory, don’t you?” she asked, tenderly.

“Deuce take her, I wish she’d stop,” he said to himself. “She makes me
awful uncomfortable.”

“Don’t you love me, Gregory?”

“If I didn’t love you, do you think I would have asked you to become
Mrs. Lovell?” he said, evading the question.

“To be sure, Gregory,” she replied, trying to look satisfied.

“And now I really must go—I must, ’pon honor!” he said, rising.

“You have been here so short a time,” she pleaded.

“But I promised to be at the club. I’m to meet a fellow officer, and
it’s the hour now.”

“Then I must let you go. But you’ll come again soon?”

“Yes, ’pon honor!” and the captain kissed his hand to his fiancée.

“I wonder if he really loves me?” she said to herself, wistfully.

At this moment the servant entered.

“Please, ma’am, there is a rough-looking man below who says he wants
to see you. His name is Rugg.”

“Admit him,” said Mrs. Middleton, looking annoyed.

“Why are you here, Mr. Rugg?” demanded Mrs. Middleton, coolly.

“On business,” said the tramp, throwing himself, uninvited, upon the
same chair from which Capt. Lovell had just risen.

Mrs. Middleton flushed with anger, but she did not dare to treat his
insolence as it deserved.

“What business can you have with me?” she asked, coldly.

“It’s about the allowance.”

“It was paid punctually, was it not?”


“Then you can have no business with me. Have I not told you that you
are not to call upon me at any time? My agent attends to that.”

“I want the allowance raised,” said Rudolph, abruptly.


“Yes, you must double it.”

Mrs. Middleton was now really angry.

“I never heard such insolence,” she said. “You have taken your trouble
for nothing. I shall not give you a pound more.”

“You’d better, Mrs. Middleton,” said Rudolph, “or I may tell all I

“You would only ruin yourself, and lose your entire income.”

“I should ruin you, too.”

“Not at all. No one would believe you against me. Besides, are you
ready to be tried for murder?”

“Who has committed murder?”

“You have.”

“Prove it.”

“Didn’t you kill the boy?”


“You swore to me he was dead.”

“Suppose he didn’t die.”

“You are wasting your time, Mr. Rugg,” said Mrs. Middleton, coldly.
“Of course I understand your motives. You have been extravagant, and
wasted your money, hoping to get more out of me. But it is useless.”

“You’ll be sorry for this, ma’am,” said Rugg, angrily.

“I don’t think I shall. Before doing anything that you will be sorry
for, consider that to a man in your position the income I give you is
very liberal.”

“Liberal! It isn’t one-tenth of what you get.”

“Very true, but the case is different.”

“You may believe me or not, but the boy is alive, and I know where he

Mrs. Middleton did not believe one word of what he said. She was
convinced that Tony had been killed by the man before her, and was
indignant at the trick which she thought he was trying to play upon
her. She felt that if she yielded to his importunity, it would only be
the beginning of a series of demands. She had courage and firmness,
and she decided to discourage him once for all in his exactions.

“I don’t believe you,” she said, “and I am not afraid.”

“Then you won’t increase my income?” he said.

“No, I will not. Neither now nor at any other time will I do it. What
I have agreed to do I will do, but I will not give you a penny more.
Do you understand me, Mr. Rugg?”

“I believe I do,” said Rudolph, rising, “and I tell you you’ll be
sorry for what you are saying.”

“I will take the risk,” she said, contemptuously.

Rudolph’s face was distorted with passion as he left the room.

“I hate her more than the boy,” he muttered. “He shall have the



When Tony found himself left a prisoner in his enemy’s room, he did
not immediately make an effort to escape. In fact, he didn’t feel
particularly alarmed.

“I am in a large city, and there are other lodgers in this building.
There can be no danger. I will wait a while and think over what
Rudolph has told me. Can it be true that I am heir to a large estate
in England, and that he can restore me to it if he will? He can have
no motive in deceiving me. It must be true.”

Tony felt that he would give a great deal to know more. Where was this
estate, and who now held it? It occurred to him that somewhere about
the room he might find some clew to the mystery. He immediately began
to explore it.

Rudolph was not a literary man. He had neither books nor papers, whose
telltale testimony might convict him. In fact, the best of his
personal possessions was very small. A few clothes were lying about
the room. Tony decided to examine the pockets of these, in the hope of
discovering something in his interest. Finally he found in the pocket
of a shooting coat a small memorandum book, in which a few entries,
chiefly of bets, had been made. In these Tony felt no interest, and he
was about to throw down the book when his eye caught this entry:

     “Dead broke. Must write to Mrs. Middleton for more money.”

Tony’s heart beat rapidly.

This must be the person from whom Rudolph received his income, and, by
consequence, the person who was in fraudulent possession of the estate
that was rightfully his.

Mrs. Middleton!

“I wish I knew where she lives,” thought our hero. “No doubt there are
hundreds of the name in England.”

This might be, but, probably, there was but one Mrs. Middleton in
possession of an estate worth two thousand pounds rental.

“I am on the track,” thought Tony. “Now let me get away, and consult
George Spencer.”

It was easier said than done. The door was locked, and it was too
strong to break down.

“There must be somebody in the room below,” thought Tony. “I’ll pound
till they hear me.”

He jumped up and down with such force that it did attract attention in
the room below. Presently he heard a querulous voice at the keyhole:

“What’s the matter? Are you mad?”

“No, but I’m locked in,” said Tony. “Can’t you let me out?”

“I have no key to the door, but the landlady has.”

“Won’t you please ask her to let me out? I’ll be ever so much

“Stop pounding, then.”

“I will.”

Scarcely two minutes had elapsed when a key was heard in the lock, and
the door was opened.

“How came you here, sir?” asked the landlady—a short, stout

“The gentleman locked me in—in a joke,” said Tony.

“Maybe you’re a burglar,” said the landlady, eyeing him doubtfully.

Tony laughed.

“Do I look like it?” he asked.

“Well, no,” the landlady admitted, “but appearances are deceitful.”

“Not with me, I assure you. I am really sorry to put you to so much
trouble to let me out. Won’t you accept of this?” and Tony produced a
half sovereign.

“Really, sir, I see that you are quite the gentleman,” said the
landlady, pocketing the piece with avidity. “Can’t I do anything for

“Only if you’d be kind enough to give this to the gentleman when he

Tony hastily wrote a line on a card, and gave it to the now complacent

Fifteen minutes after Tony’s departure Rudolph returned.

He sprang upstairs, only to find the room empty and the bird flown.

“What’s come of the boy?” he exclaimed, in dismay. “How did he get

He summoned the landlady quickly.

“Do you know anything of the boy that was in my room, Mrs. Jones?”

“Yes, Mr. Rugg, I let him out. He said you locked him in for fun.”

“Humph! What else did he say?”

“He left this card for you.”

Rugg seized it hastily, and read with startled eyes:

     “I am at Morley’s. Come and see me soon, or I will go to
     Mrs. Middleton.

“Confusion! where did the boy find out?” thought the tramp. “I must do
something, or I am ruined.”

It was a mystery to him how Tony had learned so much, and he naturally
concluded that he knew a good deal more. He felt that no time was to
be lost, and started at once for Morley’s. Inquiring for Tony, he was
at once admitted to the presence of Tony and George Spencer.

“So you got my card?” said Tony.

“Yes. What do you know about Mrs. Middleton?” demanded Rudolph.

“That she possesses the estate which ought to be mine. That’s about
it, isn’t it?”

“Yes,” said Rudolph; “but you can’t get it without me.”

“Why not?”

“I was the man that was hired to abduct you when you was a boy.”

“Can you prove that?” asked Spencer.

“I can.”

“Will your story be believed?”

“Yes. The tenantry will remember me. I was one of them at the time.”

“Are you ready to help my young friend here to recover his rights?”
asked Spencer.

“This morning I said no. Now I say yes, if he’ll do the fair thing by

A conference was entered into, and a bargain was finally made. Rudolph
was to receive two hundred pounds a year as a reward for his services,
if successful.

When this arrangement had been completed, an appointment was made for
the next morning, at which hour a lawyer of repute was also present.
After listening attentively to Rudolph’s statement, he said,

“Your young friend has a strong case, but I advise you to see Mrs.
Middleton privately. It may not be necessary to bring the matter into
court, and this would be preferable, as it would avoid scandal.”

“I put myself in your hands,” said Tony, promptly.

“Mrs. Harvey Middleton is in London,” said the lawyer. “I will call
this afternoon.”



Mrs. Harvey Middleton sat in her boudoir, trying to read a novel. But
it failed to interest her. She felt uneasy, she scarcely knew why. The
evening previous she had been at the Haymarket Theater, and had been
struck by a boy’s face. Ten feet from her sat Tony, with his friend,
George Spencer. He looked wonderfully like his father as she
remembered him, and she was startled. She did not know Tony, but
Rugg’s angry warning struck her.

“Was he right? Can this be the boy I have so much reason to dread?”
she asked herself.

She was thinking of this when the servant entered the room with a

“C. Barry,” she repeated, “wishes to see Mrs. Middleton on business of
the greatest importance.”

“Ask him to come up,” she said, uneasily.

It was the lawyer, as the reader may have suspected.

“Mrs. Middleton,” he said, with a bow. “I must apologize for my

“You say your business is important?” said the lady.

“It is—of the first importance.”

“Explain yourself, I beg.”

“I appear before you, madam, in behalf of your late husband’s cousin,
Anthony Middleton, who is the heir of the estate which you hold in

It was out now, and Mrs. Middleton was at bay.

“There is no such person,” she said. “The boy you refer to is dead.”

“What proof have you of his decease?”

“I have the sworn statement of the man who saw him die.”

“And this man’s name?”

“Is Rudolph Rugg.”

“I thought so. Mr. Rugg swore falsely. He is ready to contradict his
former statement.”

“He has been tampered with!” exclaimed Mrs. Middleton, pale with

“That may be,” said the lawyer; but he added, significantly: “Not by

“The boy is an impostor,” said Mrs. Middleton, hotly. “I will not
surrender the estate.”

“I feel for your disappointment, madam; but I think you are hasty.”

“Who will believe the statement of a common tramp?”

“You relied upon it before, madam. But we have other evidence,”
continued the lawyer.

“What other evidence?”

“The striking resemblance of my young friend to the family.”

“Was—was he at the Haymarket Theater last evening?” asked the lady.

“He was. Did you see him?”

“I saw the boy I suppose you mean. He had a slight resemblance to Mr.

“He is his image.”

“Suppose—suppose this story to be true, what do you offer me?” asked
Mrs. Middleton, sullenly.

“An income of three hundred pounds from the estate,” said the lawyer.
“If the matter comes to court, this Rugg, I am bound to tell you, has
an ugly story to tell, in which you are implicated.”

Mrs. Middleton knew well enough what it meant. If the conspiracy
should be disclosed, she would be ostracized socially. She rapidly
made up her mind.

“Mr. Barry,” she said, “I will accept your terms, on a single

“Name it, madam.”

“That you will give me six weeks’ undisturbed possession of the
estate, keeping this matter secret meanwhile.”

“If I knew your motive I might consent.”

“I will tell you in confidence. Within that time I am to be married.
The abrupt disclosure of this matter might break off the marriage.”

“May I ask the name of the bridegroom?”

“Capt. Gregory Lovell.”

The lawyer smiled. He knew of Capt. Lovell, and owed him a grudge. He
suspected that the captain was mercenary in his wooing, and he thought
that it would be a fitting revenge to let matters go on.

“I consent, upon my own responsibility,” he said.

“Thank you,” said Mrs. Middleton, with real gratitude.

She would not lose the man she loved after all.

A month later the marriage of Capt. Gregory Lovell, of her majesty’s
service, and Mrs. Harvey Middleton, of Middleton Hall, was celebrated.
There was a long paragraph in the morning _Post_, and Mrs. Lovell was

When, a week later, at Paris, the gallant captain was informed of the
trick that had been played upon him, there was a terrible scene. He
cursed his wife, and threatened to leave her.

“But, Gregory, I have three hundred pounds income,” she pleaded. “We
can live abroad.”

“And I have sold myself for that paltry sum!” he said, bitterly.

But he concluded to make the best of a bad bargain. Between them they
had an income of five hundred pounds, and on this they made shift
abroad, where living is cheap. But the marriage was not happy. He was
brutal at times, and his wife realized sadly that he had never loved
her. But she has all the happiness she deserves, and so has he.

Rudolph drank himself to death in six months. So the income which he
was to receive made but a slight draft upon the Middleton estate.

And Tony! No longer Tony the Tramp, but the Hon. Anthony Middleton, of
Middleton Hall—he has just completed a course at Oxford, and is now
the possessor of an education which will help fit him for the
responsibilities he is to assume. His frank, off-hand manner makes him
an immense favorite with the circle to which he now belongs. He says
little of his early history, and it is seldom thought of now. He has
made a promise to his good friend, George Spencer, to visit the United
States this year, and will doubtless do so. He means at that time to
visit once more the scenes with which he became familiar when he was
only Tony the Tramp.


The Famous Alger Stories for Boys

Give your boy all he wants of the ALGER BOOKS. They are always
unusually interesting, and in a quiet way convey lessons of pluck,
perseverance, and manly independence.


_The following books are ready for delivery_:

   1. Strong and Steady
   2. Strive and Succeed
   3. Try and Trust
   4. Bound to Rise
   5. Risen From the Ranks
   6. Herbert Carter’s Legacy
   7. Brave and Bold
   8. Jack’s Ward
   9. Shifting for Himself
  10. Wait and Hope
  11. Paul the Peddler
  12. Phil the Fiddler
  13. Slow and Sure
  14. Julius the Street Boy
  15. Tom the Bootblack
  16. Struggling Upward
  17. Facing the World
  18. The Cash Boy
  19. Making His Way
  20. Tony the Tramp
  21. Joe’s Luck
  22. Do and Dare
  23. Only an Irish Boy
  24. Sink or Swim

The ALGER BOOKS have held the foremost place in juvenile fiction for
forty years, and they are read to-day with the same avidity as they
were a generation ago—and they will continue to be read with equal
interest so long as boys are boys.

There are several editions of these stories, but none of them are
equal to this new edition from new plates for general excellence, at
the lowest price for which a well-made cloth bound book has ever been
offered by any publisher.


Transcriber’s Note:

Words and phrases in italics are surrounded by underscores, _like
this_. Dialect, obsolete and alternative spellings were not changed.
Obvious printing errors, such as backwards, upside down, or partially
printed letters, were corrected. Final stops missing at the end of
sentences were added. Missing or unprinted quotation marks were added
where appropriate.

The following items were changed:

    ‘boldy’ to ‘boldly’ …answered Tony boldly.…
    ‘waitng’ to ‘waiting’ …chance I was waiting for,…
    ‘eying’ to ‘eyeing’ …said the landlady, eyeing him…

Two words, missing from a damaged page, were added using text from an
earlier edition of the book on file at the Library of Congress,
Washington, D.C.

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