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The Young Bank Messenger By Jr. Horatio Alger Characters: 3459

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:02

Benjamin Bolton sat at his desk in the law office of Albert Norcross, on Nassau Street. He was well, even handsomely dressed, and looked very unlike the shabby tramp who had called months before at the house of Stephen Ray.

He was really a man of ability, and this his employer had found out. He had raised Bolton's salary to a liberal figure, and felt that in securing his services he had made a real acquisition.

Bolton was absorbed in preparation for a case which had been assigned to him, when a boy came to his desk with a card.

Bolton no sooner read the name, "Ernest Ray," than he became eager and excited.

"Tell him to come in," he said.

Ernest, quiet and self-possessed, entered the office and approached the lawyer's desk.

"Are you Mr. Bolton?" he asked

"Yes, and you--"

"I am Ernest Ray."

Benjamin Bolton looked keenly at the boy, admiring his handsome face and manly bearing.

"I see your father's looks in you," he said.

"Then you knew my father?" said Ernest, eagerly.

"Yes. We were young men together."

"I am glad to meet you then."

"You come from California?"


"I judge from your appearance that you have not suffered from poverty."

"I have been fortunate at Oreville. At Oak Forks I lived very humbly with Peter Brant, an old servant of my father."

"Yes, I remember Peter. Is he alive still?"

"No, he died a little less than a year since. Till his death I thought him my uncle, and knew no other relatives. Before he died he told me who I was."

"How did he live?"

"On a small sum left by my father. When he died it was all exhausted except a hundred dollars. I took that and went to California with a man named Luke Robbins, who has proved my fa

ithful friend."

"What were you doing in California? Were you working at the mines?"

"No. I was keeping a store where I sold miners supplies."

"Did it pay you well?"

"I was very well paid for a boy. When I left Oreville I was worth a thousand dollars."

"That is well, but it is only a drop in the bucket compared with the fortune you are entitled to."

"Now held by Mr. Stephen Ray?"

"Yes; he will be surprised to see you here in the East."

"He has seen me," said Ernest, quickly.

"What!" exclaimed the lawyer. "You have not called upon him?"

"No. I met him on the train and afterwards at a Buffalo hotel. My cousin Clarence was with him."

"Did you have any conference with them?"

"I talked with Clarence, not with his father."

"Did you think the father knew you?"

"Yes, but he did not speak to me."

"He told me when I called upon him some time ago that you were dead--that you had died in Georgia."

"What could have been his object?"

"He did not wish me to find you, for I had the proof that the estate was rightfully yours."

"What led you to think I was alive?"

"I cross-examined Clarence, who did not know his father's desire to keep us apart."

"Is the estate a large one?"

"Quarter of a million, at least."

Ernest's eyes opened wide with amazement.

"But I will introduce you to Mr. Norcross, my principal, and we will talk over our plan of operations. You must assert your rights, and demand that your grandfather's will be carried out. Are you content to place yourself in our hands?"

"Entirely so. But I am sorry for Cousin Stephen. It will be a great blow to him."

"Don't waste any pity upon him. He defrauded your father, and meant to defraud you."

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