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   Chapter 34 AN IMPORTANT COMMISSION.

Frank and Fearless; or, The Fortunes of Jasper Kent By Jr. Horatio Alger Characters: 3171

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:02


It was nearly a year later, and Jasper Kent still remained in St. Louis, and in the employ of Herman Fitch. He had won his way to the favor of his employer, not alone on account of his personal good qualities, but because in the way of business he manifested an unusual aptitude. For this reason he had already had his pay raised to fifteen dollars a week and was thoroughly trusted, even in matters of importance.

Of this he was about to receive an additional proof.

"Jasper," said Mr. Fitch one day, as our hero entered his counting-room, "how would you like a little journey?"

Jasper's eyes brightened.

"I would like nothing better," he answered, promptly.

"So I supposed. Young men of your age generally like to travel."

"To what place do you wish me to go, may I ask, sir?"

"To Kansas-a small town named Plattville."

"Very well, sir, I will go."

"The business is this: A firm in that town, Watts & Duncan, are considerably indebted to me, and I have doubts as their solvency. In the event of their failure I want to realize as much as possible of my claim. I don't want the other creditors to forestall me."

"Yes, sir; I see."

"It is rather a delicate commission, you perceive. You are to go there and quietly find out what you can of their affairs, and report to me by mail. Then I shall send you instructions how to proceed."

"Very well, sir."

"Some might blame me for sending so young a messenger, but I have two objects in view. A boy of your age will not excite suspicion, and again, I repose great confidence in you."

Jasper was not

a little gratified by this assurance.

"I will try not to disappoint your expectations," he said, earnestly.

"I don't think you will."

"When do you want me to start?"

"To-morrow."

"I'll be ready," said Jasper, briskly.

"You can go a part of the way by rail, but only a part. It is a frontier town, and you may have to ride horseback a part of the way. That I must leave to your judgment."

"All the better," said Jasper.

"I see you don't mind roughing it," said Mr. Fitch.

"No; that's the best part of it."

"Well, you may go home now and make preparations. To-morrow morning come to the office for instructions and money. One thing only I suggest now-take as little baggage as possible. It would only be in your way."

"All right, sir. I've got a small knapsack that will hold all I want to carry."

"Good! Be here to-morrow at nine o'clock."

At the appointed hour Jasper received his instructions and a certain sum of money. He had provided himself with a belt, into which he put the money to guard against possible robbery, carrying only a few dollars in a pocket-book for outward show.

In explanation of these precautions it must be stated that the events which I am describing took place some years since, when Kansas was more sparsely settled and life less secure than at present.

He received his instructions, and set out on his journey, secretly envied by other clerks who had been longer in the office than himself, but who had not been complimented by having a similar trust reposed in them.

We will follow him and see how he fares.

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