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   Chapter 22 JOHN CRANDALL SEEKS TO INJURE ANDY

Andy Grant's Pluck By Jr. Horatio Alger Characters: 7572

Updated: 2017-11-30 00:03


Though Simon Rich had succeeded in reinstating his nephew in the store in place of Andy, he was not altogether happy. John Crandall was naturally lazy and inefficient, and his temporary discharge did not seem to have improved him.

When sent out on errands he loitered, and had more than once put his uncle to considerable inconvenience. He obliged to admit to himself that Andy had been more satisfactory.

In the midst of this experience John preferred a request to have his salary raised a dollar a week.

"You know very well that I have no authority to raise your wages," said his uncle, sharply.

"Why not, Uncle Simon? You have taken me back on your own authority."

"And I begin to think that I have made a great mistake."

"Perhaps you'd like to have the country boy back again?"

"I am not sure but I would. He did not stay away so long on errands as you do."

"I wonder what he is doing?" said John, starting off on a new tack. "I don't suppose he can get a new place."

"If you see him, you might ask him to call," said Simon Rich.

"Why?" asked John, suspiciously.

"I may discharge you and take him back."

"In that case, I will tell Mr. Flint about pawning the watch."

Simon Rich looked at his nephew with anger, mingled with dismay. He began to see, now, that to a certain extent he had put himself in John's power.

"You treacherous young rascal, I have a great mind to wring your neck!" he said, wrathfully.

"Uncle Simon," observed John, significantly, "I guess you'd better not act hastily."

"What a fool I was to put myself in the power of that cub!" soliloquized the head salesman.

John saw the effect of his words and decided to follow them up.

"Don't you think you can raise my wages?" he asked.

"No, I don't. You will be lucky if you stay here till Mr. Flint comes back. After that, I can't protect you. He will probably be angry to see you back here. I shall have to tell him that I took you in temporarily. Now I will give you some advice. If you want to remain here permanently, turn over a new leaf, and work faithfully. In that case I can speak well of you, and Mr. Flint may be induced to retain you."

John began to think that this might be good advice, and for a day or two paid more attention to his duties.

"I wonder I don't see Andy somewhere," he said to himself.

"I am out a good deal, and I ought to meet him. He is probably hunting up positions."

It was not till Tuesday afternoon that he did see him. Andy had been sent to the St. Denis Hotel to meet a customer of the firm. As he came out he fell in with John.

John was the first to see him.

"Hello, Andy!" he exclaimed. "How are you getting along?"

"Pretty well, thank you."

"I suppose you haven't struck a job yet?"

"Oh, yes, I have."

"You have!" ejaculated John, in surprise. "What kind of a job?"

"I am in a large real estate office down town."

"Did they take you without a recommendation?"

"No."

"My uncle wouldn't give you one."

"I wouldn't ask him for one."

"Who did recommend you, then?"

"Mrs. Mason, of West Fifty-sixth Street."

"I know. She is one of our customers."

"Yes."

"Probably she hasn't heard of your being suspected of pawning a watch from our stock."

"You might tell her."

"Perhaps I shall," John said to himself. "What pay do you get?"

"Five dollars a week."

"I didn't think you would get a place."

Andy smiled.

"I presume Mr. Rich did not care to have me get another place."

"He thought you would have to go back to the country."

"I am better off than when I was in the jewelry store," said Andy. "How are you getting along?"

"Oh, first-class."

"I hope you will be able to keep the place."

"I didn't know but you might be wanting to come

back."

"I wouldn't go back if I had the chance."

John was pleased to hear this. He was afraid that Mr. Flint might not be satisfied with his uncle's explanation, and that somehow the truth might come out.

"You must excuse me now," said Andy. "I ought to go back to the office at once."

John returned to the jeweler's full of excitement.

"Whom do you think I met just now, Uncle Simon?" he asked.

"Andy?"

"Yes."

"Did you speak with him?"

"Yes."

"I suppose he is hunting for a place."

"No; he has got one."

"Where is he working?"

"In a real estate office down town. He is getting five dollars a week."

"I didn't think he could get a place without a recommendation."

"He was recommended by one of our customers-Mrs. Mason."

"I see. Well, that is lucky for him."

Simon Rich spoke indifferently. He was rather glad that Andy had found a place, as Mr. Flint would be less likely to find fault with his dismissal.

Not so John. He had never forgiven Andy for superseding him, and he felt aggrieved that he had so soon found employment. Thinking it over, there came to him a mean suggestion. He might be able to get Andy discharged from his present place.

As his uncle seemed indifferent, and might not approve of his contemplated action, he decided to say nothing about it.

That evening, after supper, he made his way up to West Fifty-sixth

Street, and sought out the residence of Mrs. Mason.

He rang the bell.

"Can I see Mrs. Mason?" he asked.

"What name shall I mention?"

"Say it is a boy from Mr. Flint's."

Mrs. Mason received the message in some surprise. What could a boy from

Flint's have to say to her?

However, she entered the parlor, where John Crandall was waiting to see her.

"You are from Mr. Flint's?" she asked.

"Yes, ma'am."

"What business can you have with me? I have bought no jewelry lately."

"I know it, Mrs. Mason. It isn't about jewelry I wish to speak."

"What, then?"

"I met, to-day, a boy who was lately employed by our firm-Andrew

Grant."

"Well?"

"He said you had recommended him to a real estate firm down town."

"I did so."

"Perhaps you didn't know that he had been discharged from our place for dishonesty."

"I begin to understand," thought Mrs. Mason, and she sat down and examined John curiously.

"Did he steal anything?"

"Yes, ma'am," answered John, glibly. "He took a watch-a gold watch out of the case and pawned it."

"That was bad. And you have come up to tell me of it? You are very considerate. Did Mr. Rich send you, or do you come of your own accord?"

"I came of my own accord. I thought you were deceived in the boy."

"What do you think I ought to do?"

"I thought you would take back the recommendation and get the boy discharged."

"Can you wait here half an hour while I consider what is best to be done?"

"Oh, yes, ma'am." ("I guess I've put a spoke in his wheel," thought

John.)

In about half an hour the door opened, and to John's amazement Andy walked in.

"You here!" he gasped.

"Yes; I hear you have been warning Mrs. Mason against me."

"I thought she ought to know that you were sent away from our store in disgrace."

"I have something to say to you," said Andy, quietly. "I have been to the pawnbroker's, and got a description of the boy who pawned the watch!"

John turned pale.

"I see you understand," Andy went on, "who did it. So do I, and so does

Mrs. Mason. You won't make anything by your attempt to injure me.

Good-evening!"

John Crandall left the house without a word. He began to be alarmed.

"Suppose Andy tells Flint," he soliloquized. "No matter; he can't prove it."

But he felt uneasy, nevertheless. He did not say anything to his uncle about his visit.

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