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   Chapter 12 SOMETHING UNEXPECTED.

Andy Grant's Pluck By Jr. Horatio Alger Characters: 7296

Updated: 2017-11-30 00:03


"Our separation will only be temporary," continued Mr. Gale, "but I do not wish to leave you unprovided for during my absence, I shall allow you five dollars a week while I am away."

Andy brightened up.

"How kind you are, Mr. Gale!" he said. "I don't think you ought to do this."

Walter Gale smiled.

"I can very well afford it," he said; "so we will regard the matter as settled."

"How soon must you go?"

"I shall start to-morrow-my preparations will be easily made. How would you like to go to New York to see me off?"

"I should be delighted," answered Andy. "I have only been to New York twice in my life."

"Then you will enjoy the day. You can take the afternoon train home."

At the farm, Mr. and Mrs. Grant heard with regret of Mr. Gale's departure, but they were pleased to hear that Andy would be in receipt of an income.

"How will you fill up your time, Andy?" asked his father.

"I have my books, and will keep up my Latin and Greek. I will pay you four dollars a week, and you can hire a boy for that to help you. I think I can spend my time more profitably in studying."

"Do you think Mr. Gale will return?"

"He has promised to do so. I am to see him off to-morrow."

"Are you going to trust that boy alone in New York?" asked his Aunt

Jane, with asperity.

"Why, what could happen to me?" asked Andy, indignantly.

"You might get run over."

"I am not a little boy, Aunt Jane. I can take care of myself."

"You may meet with an accident for all your smartness."

"I think Andy is old enough to take care of himself," said his father, mildly.

"Oh, well! have it your own way. You can't say but I've warned you," and she sniffed severely.

"I wonder what makes Aunt Jane so disagreeable," thought Andy.

"Perhaps you'd like to go and take care of him," suggested Mr. Grant, with a smile. "You are old enough to take care of yourself."

"You needn't twit me with my age, Sterling," said Jane, with an injured sniff.

"I don't. Old age is honorable."

This made matters worse.

"You talk as if I was seventy-five. I don't consider myself an old person."

In spite of the melancholy presentiment of Aunt Jane, Andy set out for New York with Mr. Gale. An hour and a half brought them to the metropolis.

"I should like to show you something of the city, Andy," said his companion, "but I shall have to spend the time in shopping."

"I shall see something of the city if I go about with you."

"That is true."

At one o'clock they went to the Sinclair House, on Broadway, to dine. They selected a table where there was but one other guest, who seemed known to Walter Gale.

"Good-morning, Mr. Flint," said the young man.

"Ah, it's you, Walter, is it?" returned the other, a stout man, whose hair was beginning to grow gray.

"Yes."

"I haven't seen you for a long time. Where have you been?"

"Rusticating in a Connecticut town."

"Is the young man with you a brother? But, no; I remember that you have no brother."

"He isn't related to me, but I think as much of him as if he were. His name is Andrew Grant."

"A good name. Is he attending school?"

"He has recently left school."

"If he were seeking a position I could find a place for him."

"In your own employ?"

"Yes. I have a boy, but I don't find him reliable or faithful. He will leave me on Saturday night."

"Andy," said his friend, "how would you like to enter Mr. Flint's employ?"

"Very much," answered Andy, eagerly.

At the same time he wondered what was the nature of Mr. Flint's business.

"Then after dinner we will walk together to Mr. Flint's store in Union

Square."

"There is my card," said Mr. Flint.

Andy received it and read the name:

F. FLINT,

UNION SQUARE.

JEWELRY.

The two men conversed together, and when dinner was over they walked up Broadway to Fourteenth Street. Turning the left-hand corner, they soon reached a jewelry store of modest appearance, but evidently containing a valuable stock.

A youth with light-brown hair, who seemed to have been born tired, was leaning against the counter. This, doubtless, was the boy who was not satisfactory.

"John," said Mr. Flint, "have you carried the parcel to Forty-eighth

Street?"

"No, sir," answered the boy.

"Why not?"

"I thought it would do just as well after lunch."

"There you are mistaken. Put on your hat at once and go," said his employer, sharply.

"You see," went on Mr. Flint, after the boy had started, "the trouble I have with John. He needs to be looked after continually."

"You won't have that trouble with Andy."

"No, I think not."

Walter Gale accompanied Mr. Flint to the back part of the store, where they held a conversation in a low tone. Presently Walter Gale came back, and signified to Andy that they must be going.

"Mr. Flint will expect you to present yourself for duty on Tuesday morning," he said. "You will reach the store at eight o'clock."

"All right, sir."

On returning to the street, Walter Gale said:

"I propose to take the next train for Philadelphia. You may accompany me to the Cortlandt Street station. Can you find your way from there to the Grand Central Depot?"

"Yes, sir."

"You will get there in time to take the afternoon train back to Arden.

You haven't asked me what salary you are to receive."

"I should like to know, sir."

"Five dollars a week, which is better than is generally paid to a new boy."

"Will it pay my expenses, Mr. Gale?" asked Andy, doubtfully.

"No; but you remember that I promised you five dollars a week. Instead of paying it to you I will give you a note to Mrs. Norris, who keeps a comfortable boarding house on Clinton Place. She knows me well, and will assign you a room, looking to me for payment. That will leave you five dollars a week for your personal expenses, clothing, etc."

"I shall be rich, Mr. Gale, thanks to your kindness."

"Mind, Andy, I am to have you back whenever I want you. Probably I may spend some weeks with my uncle, and during this time you may as well work for Mr. Flint."

"Do you think I shall suit him?" asked Andy, with some anxiety.

"I feel sure of it. You will find him strict in business, but kind and reasonable. I shall expect to hear from you soon after you enter upon your duties. I shall find life pretty dull at my uncle's house, and your letters will bring something of the excitement of the outside world to me."

"I will write you every week, Mr. Gale."

"If it won't be asking too much of you, I shall be glad to have you do so."

Andy crossed the ferry with Mr. Gale, and then returning at once, took the four o'clock train for Arden.

His news created considerable stir at home. All were pleased except Aunt

Jane.

"Brother," she said, "are you going to trust Andy alone in New York?"

"Yes, Jane; he must begin to rely upon himself some time, and he may as well begin now."

"It's temptin' Providence, in my opinion."

"It might be so with some boys, but I have faith in Andy's prudence and good sense."

"He ain't any different from other boys, as you will find."

But in spite of these ominous words Andy made arrangements to leave

Arden on Monday morning. He looked forward eagerly to his new life in

New York.

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