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   Chapter 24 ANDY MAKES AN INVESTMENT.

Andy Grant's Pluck By Jr. Horatio Alger Characters: 7925

Updated: 2017-11-30 00:03


Andy wrote to his friend, Walter Gale, who, it will be remembered, was watching in Pennsylvania by the bedside of his uncle, giving him an account of his change of business. He received the following reply:

"I felt indignant when I read your news of the conspiracy of Simon Rich, but was pleased that it led to your advantage. I am inclined to think that you will find your new business a better one than the jewelry trade. The latter, if you went in for yourself, would call for a large capital. In the real estate business capital is not so much needed as good judgment and a large lot of acquaintances. I am not personally acquainted with Mr. Crawford, but know him by reputation as an energetic and honorable business man. If you do not find your income adequate, all you have to do is to apply to me. I will send you fifty dollars or more at any time.

"Now, as to the prospects of my return, they are remote. My uncle seems cheered by my presence, and his health has improved. He cannot live more than a year or two at the best, but when I came here it seemed to be only a matter of months. I shall remain while I can do him good.

"When Mr. Flint returns he will do you justice. You can afford to wait, as your income is larger than before. You suggest that I need not continue to pay your board. This, however, I intend to do, and will advise you to lay aside some money every week, and deposit in a savings bank. The habit of saving is excellent, and cannot be formed too early."

"I am lucky to have such a friend," reflected Andy, as he finished reading this letter. "I will try to make myself worthy of such good fortune."

At the end of six months Andy had acquired a large practical acquaintance with the real estate business. He displayed a degree of judgment which surprised Mr. Crawford.

"You seem more like a young man than a boy," he said. "I am not at all sure but I could leave my business in your hands if I wished to be absent."

This compliment pleased Andy. He had also been raised to seven dollars a week, and this he regarded as a practical compliment.

One evening on his return from West Fifty-sixth Street he strayed into the Fifth Avenue Hotel, where he sat down to rest in the reading room.

Two men were sitting near him whose conversation he could not help hearing.

"I own a considerable plot in Tacoma," said one. "I bought it two years since, when I was on my way back from California. I should like to sell the plot if I could get a purchaser."

"If the Northern Pacific Railroad is ever completed, the land will be valuable," replied the other.

"True; but will it ever be completed? That date will be very remote, I fancy."

"I don't think so. I would buy the land myself if I had the money, but just at present I have none to spare. How much did you invest?"

"A thousand dollars."

"You might sell, perhaps, through a real estate agent?"

"The real estate agents here know very little of Western property. I should not know to whom to apply."

Andy thought he saw a chance to procure business for his firm.

"Gentlemen," he said, "will you excuse my saying that I am in a real estate office, and think you can make some satisfactory arrangement with us?"

At the same time he handed the owner of the Tacoma property a card of the firm.

"Crawford!" repeated his friend. "Yes, that is a reputable firm. You cannot do better than adopt the young man's suggestion."

Andy Grant had written his name on the card.

"You are rather young for a real estate agent, Mr. Grant," remarked the lot owner.

Andy smiled.

"I am only a subordinate," he said.

"Has your principal ever dealt in Western property?" asked Mr. Bristol.

"Not to any extent, but I have heard him speak favorably of it."

"I will call at your office to-morrow forenoon, then."

Andy apprised Mr. Crawford of the appointment made.

"I shall be glad to see your acquaintance, Andy," said Mr. Crawford

. "I have advices from a friend of mine in Washington that the railroad is sure to be completed within a short time. This land will be worth buying. Have you any money?"

"I have a hundred dollars in a savings bank," answered Andy.

"Then I will give you a quarter interest in the purchase, and you can give me a note for the balance which at present you are unable to pay. I am sure we shall make a good deal of money within a short time, and I want you to reap some advantage, as it will have come to me through you."

"Thank you, sir. I shall be very glad to have a share in the investment."

About eleven o'clock, James Bristol, who proved to be a resident of Newark, New Jersey, presented himself at the office and was introduced by Andy to Mr. Crawford.

"Andy has told me of your business," said the real estate agent. "You have some property in Tacoma."

"Yes; I was persuaded to invest in some two years since. Now I need the money. Do you think you can find me a customer?"

"What do you ask for it?"

"A thousand dollars-the same price I paid."

"Is it eligibly situated?"

"If the town ever amounts to anything, it will be in the business part."

"How many lots will it divide into?"

"Twenty-five of the usual city dimensions."

"Then I think I will take it off your hands. Part I will reserve for myself, and a part I will allot to a friend."

"Can you pay me cash?"

"Yes. I will make out a check at once."

Mr. Bristol breathed a sigh of satisfaction.

"I don't mind telling you," he said, "that I am very glad to realize on the investment. I have to meet a note for five hundred dollars in three days, and I was at a loss to know how to raise the money."

"Then the transaction will be mutually satisfactory," rejoined Mr.

Crawford.

"Well, Andy," said his employer, when his customer left the office, "we are now Western land owners. I will draw up a note, which I will get you to sign, for a hundred and fifty dollars, and you can assign to me the money in the savings bank. I shall expect interest at the rate of six per cent."

"I shall be very glad to pay it, sir."

It was a satisfaction to Andy to think that he had made an investment which was likely ere many years to make him golden returns. He began to read with interest the accounts of the growth and development of the West, and decided to be unusually economical in the future, so as to be able to pay up the note due to Mr. Crawford, that he might feel that he owned his Western property without incumbrance.

While Andy, as a rule, dressed neatly, there was one respect in which he did not win the approval of his neighbor, Sam Perkins.

"I should think a boy with your income would be more particular about his neckties," said Sam.

"What's the matter with my neckties, Sam? Are they not neat?"

"Yes; but they are plain, such as a Quaker might wear. Why don't you get a showy tie, like mine?"

Andy smiled as he noticed the gorgeous tie which his friend wore.

"I don't like to be showy," he said.

"You'll never attract the attention of the girls with such a plain tie as you wear. Now, when I walked on Fifth Avenue last Sunday afternoon, as many as twenty girls looked admiringly at my tie."

"That would make me feel bashful, Sam."

"Let me bring you one from the store like mine. You shall have it at the wholesale price."

"No; I think not. It wouldn't be as becoming to me as to you. I don't want to be considered a dude."

"I don't mind it. Next week I'm going to buy a pair of patent leathers. They will be really economical, as I shall not have to spend money on shines."

One Saturday afternoon, when Andy was walking through one of the quiet streets west of Bleecker, his attention was drawn to a small boy, apparently about eleven years old, who was quietly crying as he walked along the sidewalk. He had never seen the boy before that he could remember, yet his face wore a familiar expression.

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