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   Chapter 35 THE RETURN OF AN OLD FRIEND.

Andy Grant's Pluck By Jr. Horatio Alger Characters: 6456

Updated: 2017-11-30 00:03


One afternoon Andy was busy writing in the office when he heard himself called by name, and, looking up, saw Walter Gale, who had just entered.

"Mr. Gale!" he exclaimed, joyfully, rising and grasping the hands of his friend.

"So you know me? Upon my word, you have grown so that I find it difficult to recognize you."

"Yes, I believe I have grown taller."

"And more manly. I need not ask if you are well. Your appearance answers that question."

"I was never better."

"And you enjoy your work?"

"Immensely. But when did you reach the city?"

"This morning. As you see, I have lost no time in looking you up."

"Shall you stay here now?"

"Yes," answered Gale, gravely; "my poor uncle is dead. His sickness was a painful one, and he is better off."

"I am glad you are to be in the city. I hope to see you often."

"You will, if I can have my way. I have hired a handsome and roomy flat on Madison Avenue, and I expect you to come and live with me."

"I shall be delighted to do so if you will let me pay my share of the expenses."

"You will pay me with your company. I will receive no other pay. My uncle has left me all his property-at least a hundred thousand dollars-and I was rich before."

"I will certainly accept your offer, since I am sure you will like to have me."

"You were teaching a boy, I believe?"

"Yes; but he is so well advanced now that he does not need my assistance. I am free to accept your kind offer."

"Call upon me this evening, and arrange to move to-morrow. I am very lonely, and want young and cheerful company."

When Andy called upon his friend in the evening he found him sumptuously lodged. The next evening he moved in.

"What news from Arden, Andy?" asked Mr. Gale.

"Nothing much, except that Squire Carter is expecting to foreclose the mortgage on father's farm next week."

"Is that so? We must not permit that."

"No; I have a thousand dollars in bank, and I shall ask Mr. Crawford to-morrow if he will advance me two thousand on some lots I own in Tacoma."

"That will not be necessary. I will myself advance the full amount, and you can pay me whenever you sell your lots."

"That is very kind, Mr. Gale, and relieves me very much."

"Don't overestimate the kindness. I have more money than I know what to do with."

"There are others in the same position who would not help me."

"I am your friend. That makes the difference. When you go to Arden I will go, too. It will be pleasant for me to see the place where I passed so enjoyable a summer and made so good a friend."

"I shall be delighted to have your company, Mr. Gale."

Two evenings later, as Andy was walking up Broadway toward his new home, he saw a familiar figure in front of him-the figure of a boy about his own age. Evidently the boy had been drinking, and could not walk straight.

Once, as he turned half around, Andy, with a start, recognized John Crandall, who had treated him so meanly at Mr. Flint's. He had no reason to like him, but his compassion was aroused.

"John," said Andy, linking his arm in his, "how do you happen to be in this condition?"

"Who are you?" hiccoughed John.

"I am Andy Grant. Don't you know me?"

"Yes, you u

sed to be at Mr. Flint's. Where are you taking me?" he asked, suspiciously.

"To my room. I will take care of you to-night. What are you doing now?"

"I was in a place on Wall Street, but I got bounced yesterday. I took the money they paid me and got drunk."

"That was foolish. Where is your uncle?"

"He has gone to Chicago. I'm awful unlucky, Andy."

"If you will turn over a new leaf and stop drinking I'll see if I can't get you another place."

"Will you?" asked John, hopefully. "Don't you hate me?"

"No."

"I should think you would. I got you out of Flint's."

"You did me a service without intending it."

"You're a good fellow," hiccoughed John. "I'm sorry I treated you so mean."

"I'm not, since it led to my securing my present place. But we must turn down here."

"Where do you live?"

"On Madison Avenue."

"Madison Avenue? You must be a swell."

Andy smiled.

"If you work hard you may become a swell, too."

When they entered the flat, John stared about him in amazement.

"How can you afford to live in such a fine place?" he said.

"Because a friend bears the greater part of the expense. Now, let me help you undress. We have a spare room, and I will let you occupy it. In the morning I will wake you up for breakfast."

John Crandall was soon fast asleep. A few minutes later Mr. Gale came in.

"We have a visitor to-night," said Andy.

"A friend of yours?"

"He may become so, but thus far he has been anything but that."

Andy told the story of John's attempt to injure him.

"And yet you befriend him?"

"Yes. Wouldn't you?"

Walter Gale smiled.

"Tell me your reasons," he said.

"I have no grudge against him. Besides, if we only benefit those whom we like, there isn't much credit in that."

"Exactly. There isn't much credit in my doing you favors."

"Don't think I am ungrateful, Mr. Gale; I appreciate all you have done for me."

"I understand you, Andy, and I like you better for what you have done.

What further plans have you?"

"I should like to get John a place, and give him a chance to redeem himself. He needs a friend badly."

"He shall have one. We will both help him."

When John Crandall awoke the next morning he was himself again. The effects of his intoxication had passed off, and he seemed ashamed of the predicament in which Andy had found him.

"Have you any home, John?" asked Andy.

"No; that is, I have a room, but I spent all the money that was coming to me, and they won't let me stay. I don't know what I shall do," he said, despondently.

"If Mr. Gale and I will find you a new place, will you try to keep it?"

"Yes, I will."

"Then we will stand by you. You can stay here till I come from the office this afternoon, and I will find you a boarding place."

"You are a good fellow, Andy. You are my very best friend."

"I will try to be."

"And I will try to deserve your kindness."

Before the week was out John had a new place on Pearl Street, and was an inmate of the boarding house in Clinton Place, where Andy stayed when he first came to the city.

He really turned over a new leaf, and became a favorite and trusted employee in the Pearl Street store. Andy had saved him.

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