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   Chapter 36 SAD FOREBODINGS.

Andy Grant's Pluck By Jr. Horatio Alger Characters: 4344

Updated: 2017-11-30 00:03


The day which had been so eagerly awaited by Squire Carter dawned at last. The mortgage on Sterling Grant's farm was due, and he intended to foreclose. There was a gentleman from the city who had taken a fancy to the farm and had offered him eight thousand dollars for it. The squire hoped to obtain it by foreclosure at less than five thousand. This would be taking advantage of the farmer; but, as the squire said to himself, complacently, "Business is business!" These words are used as an excuse for a great many mean acts.

At supper time, the evening before, Sterling Grant looked sad and troubled.

"Wife," he said, "I am afraid we shall have to bid good-by to the old farm to-morrow."

"Do you really think the squire will foreclose, Sterling?"

"I know he will. I called on him to-day, and begged and pleaded with him to extend the mortgage another year, but it was all in vain."

"I don't see how people can be so hard-hearted," said Mrs. Grant, indignantly.

"It's the squire's nature. He says that business is business."

"I thought perhaps Andy might do something. He has five hundred dollars, and maybe a little more."

"It would do no good, wife. I hinted that I might be able to pay a part of the mortgage, but the squire wouldn't hear of it. He said the whole or none."

"I am sure Andy would help us if he could."

"I know that, but the mortgage is for three thousand dollars. It is quite beyond his ability to lift."

"I am afraid you are right, Sterling," said his wife, with a sigh. "I thought perhaps Andy would be here by this time."

"It would do no good to come unless he brought the money with him."

"He may come yet by the seven o'clock train."

"We had better not count on that, or we shall only be the more disappointed."

"What shall you do, Sterling, if the squire takes the farm?"

"There will be some money left, but I am afraid not much."

"Isn't the place worth six thousand dollars?"

"Yes but it won't fetch that at a forced sale. The squire told me this afternoon that it wasn't worth more than fifteen hundred dollars over and above the face of the mortgage."

"It would be wicked to sell for t

hat."

"We must be content with what we can get."

After supper the farmer took his hat, and walked slowly and soberly about the farm. He felt that it was his farewell. Till now it had been his. To-morrow it would pass from his possession.

"It is hard," he sighed, "but it can't be helped. At any rate, we won't starve."

There was a small house, with half an acre of land attached on the outskirts of the village, which he could get at a moderate rental. He had inquired about it, and had made up his mind to secure it.

"But it is humble," objected his wife.

"We must not be proud, wife," he said. We can make it look homelike with our furniture in it."

"But what will you do for an income, Sterling?"

"I can work out by the day. Perhaps the man who buys our farm-I hear the squire has got a purchaser for it-will employ me."

"To work out by the day at your age, Sterling!" said his wife, indignantly.

"It will be hard, but if it is necessary I can do it."

"But I want to help, Sterling. I can get sewing to do."

"No, no; I won't consent to that."

"Then I won't consent to your working by the day."

"Well, we won't discuss it to-night. We will let the future take care of itself."

Just then the noise of wheels was heard, and a buggy stopped at the door.

"I do believe it's Andy!" exclaimed Mrs. Grant, joyfully.

It was Andy. A minute later, he was in the house.

"I am late," he said. "I lost the regular train, and had to get off at Stacy, six miles away; but I got a man from the stable to bring me over."

"I am glad to see you, Andy," said his mother.

"And so am I," added Sterling Grant, "though it is a sad time."

"Why a sad time, father?"

"The squire will foreclose to-morrow."

"No, he won't foreclose, father. I will stop it."

"But how can you prevent it, my son?"

"By paying the three thousand dollars, father."

"Have you got the money?" asked his father, incredulously.

"Yes."

"But how-?"

"Don't ask me any questions, father. Be satisfied with the knowledge that I have got it."

"Heaven be praised!" said the farmer, fervently.

"I don't think Squire Carter will say that."

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