THE YOUNG OUTLAW
Adrift in the Streets.
HORATIO ALGER, JR.,
Cor. Washington and Bromfield Streets,
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1875, by
A. K. Loring,
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington.
Rockwell & Churchill, Printers and Stereotypers,
39 Arch Street, Boston.
MY YOUNG FRIEND,
HARRY L. DE VISSER,
"The Young Outlaw" is the sixth volume of the Tattered Tom Series, and
the twelfth of the stories which are wholly or mainly devoted to
street-life in New York. The story carries its moral with it, and the
writer has little fear that the Young Outlaw will be selected as a
model by the boys who may read his adventures, and be amused by the
scrapes into which he manages to fall. In previous volumes he has
endeavored to show that even a street-boy, by enterprise, industry and
integrity, may hope to become a useful and respected citizen. In the
present narration he aims to exhibit the opposite side of the picture,
and point out the natural consequences of the lack of these
This may be a proper occasion to express gratitude for the very
remarkable favor with which these stories of humble life have been
received throughout the country. The writer is glad to believe that
they have done something to draw attention to a neglected class of
children, whom it is important to elevate and redeem.
NEW YORK, March 25, 1875.
THE YOUNG OUTLAW;
ADRIFT IN THE STREETS.
THE YOUNG OUTLAW.
"Boy, is this Canal Street?"
The speaker was evidently from the country. He was a tall man, with
prominent features, and a face seamed and wrinkled by the passage of
nearly seventy years. He wore a rusty cloak, in the style of thirty
years gone by, and his clothing generally was of a fashion seldom seen
The boy addressed was leaning against a lamppost, with both hands in
his pockets. His clothes were soiled and ragged, a soft hat, which
looked as if it had served in its varied career as a foot-ball, was
thrust carelessly on his head. He looked like a genuine representative
of the "street Arab," with no thought for to-morrow and its needs, and
contented if he could only make sure of a square meal to-day. His face
was dirty, and marked by a mingled expression of fun and impudence;
but the features were not unpleasing, and, had he been clean and
neatly dressed, he would undoubtedly have been considered
He turned quickly on being addressed, and started perceptibly, as his
glance met the inquiring look of the tall, stranger. He seemed at
first disposed to run away, but this intention was succeeded by a
desire to have some fun with the old man.
"Canal Street's about a mile off. I'll show yer the way for ten
"A mile off? That's strange," said the old man, puzzled. "They told me
at the Astor House it was only about ten minutes walk, straight up."
"That's where you got sold, gov'nor. Give me ten cents, and you won't
have no more trouble."
"Are you sure you know Canal Street, yourself?" said the old man,
perplexed. "They'd ought to know at the hotel."
"I'd ought to know too. That's where my store is."
"Your store!" ejaculated the old man, fixing his eyes upon his ragged
companion, who certainly looked very little like a New York merchant.
"In course. Don't I keep a cigar store at No. 95?"
"I hope you don't smoke yourself," said the deacon (for he was a
"Yes, I do. My constitushun requires it."
"My boy, you are doing a lasting injury to your health," said the old
"Oh, I'm tough. I kin stand it. Better give me a dime, and let me show
yer the way."
The deacon was in a hurry to get to Canal Street, and after some
hesitation, for he was fond of money, he drew out ten cents, and
handed it to his ragged companion.
"There, my boy, show me the way. I should think you might have done it
"That aint the way we do business in the city, gov'nor."
"Well, go ahead, I'm in a hurry."
"You needn't be, for this is Canal Street," said the boy, edging off
"Then you've swindled me," said the deacon, wrathfully. "Give me back
that ten cents."
"Not if I know it," said the boy, mockingly. "That aint the way we do
business in the city. I'm goin to buy two five-cent cigars with that
"You said you kept a cigar-store yourself," said the deacon, with
"You mustn't believe all you hear, gov'nor," said the boy, laughing
"Well now, if you aint a bad boy," said the old man.
"What's the odds as long as you're happy?" said the young Arab,
Here was a good chance for a moral lesson, and the deacon felt that it
was his duty to point out to the young reprobate the error of his
"My young friend," he said, "how can you expect to be happy when you
lie and cheat? Such men are never happy."
"Aint they though? You bet I'll be happy when I'm smokin' the two
cigars I'm goin to buy."
"Keep the money, but don't buy the cigars," said the deacon, religion
getting the better of his love of money. "Buy yourself some clothes.
You appear to need them."
"Buy clo'es with ten cents!" repeated the boy, humorously.
"At any rate, devote the money to a useful purpose, and I shall not
mind being cheated out of it. If you keep on this way, you'll end in
"That's comin' it rather strong, gov'nor. Hangin's played out in New
York. I guess I'm all right."
"I'm afraid you're all wrong, my boy. You're travellin' to
"Let's change the subject," said the street boy. "You're gittin'
personal, and I don't like personal remarks. What'll you bet I can't
tell your name?"
"Bet!" ejaculated the deacon, horrified.
"Yes, gov'nor. I'll bet you a quarter I kin tell your name."
"I never bet. It's wicked," said the old man, with emphasis.
"Well, we won't bet, then," said the boy. "Only, if I tell your name
right, you give me ten cents. If I don't get it right, I'll give back
this dime you gave me. Aint that fair?"
The deacon might have been led to suspect that there was not much
difference between the boy's proposal, and the iniquity of a bet, but
his mind was rather possessed by the thought that here was a good
chance to recover the money out of which he had been so adroitly
cheated. Surely there was no wrong in recovering that, as of course he
would do, for how could a ragged street boy tell the name of one who
lived a hundred and fifty miles distant, in a small country town?
"I'll do it," said the deacon.
"You'll give me ten cents if I tell your name?"
"Yes, and you'll give me back the money I give you if you can't
"That's it, gov'nor."
"Then what's my name, my boy?" and the deacon extended his hand in
readiness to receive the forfeit of a wrong answer.
"Deacon John Hopkins," answered the boy, confidently.
The effect on the old man was startling. He was never more surprised
in his life. He stared at the boy open-mouthed, in bewilderment and
"Well, I declare!" he ejaculated. "I never heard of such a thing."
"Aint I right, gov'nor?"
"Yes, my boy, you're right; but how on earth did you find out?"
"Give me the money, and I'll tell you;" and the boy extended his
The deacon drew the money from his vest-pocket, and handed it to the
young Arab, without remonstrance.
"Now tell me, my boy, how you know'd me."
The boy edged off a few feet, then lifted his venerable hat so as to
display the whole of his face.
"I'd ought to know you, deacon," he said; "I'm Sam Barker."
"By gracious, if it aint Sam!" ejaculated the old man. "Hallo! stop, I
But Sam was half-way across the street. The deacon hesitated an
instant, and then dashed after him, his long cloak floating in the
wind, and his hat unconsciously pushed back on the top of his head.
"Stop, you Sam!" he shouted.
But Sam, with his head over his shoulder, already three rods in
advance, grinned provokingly, but appeared to have no intention of
stopping. The deacon was not used to running, nor did he make due
allowance for the difficulty of navigating the crowded streets of the
metropolis. He dashed headlong into an apple-stand, and suffered
disastrous shipwreck. The apple-stand was overturned, the deacon's hat
flew off, and he found himself sprawling on the sidewalk, with apples
rolling in all directions around him, and an angry dame showering
maledictions upon him, and demanding compensation for damages.
The deacon picked himself up, bruised and ashamed, recovered his hat,
which had rolled into a mud-puddle, and was forced to pay the woman a
dollar before he could get away. When this matter was settled, he
looked for Sam, but the boy was out of sight. In fact, he was just
around the corner, laughing as if he would split. He had seen his
pursuer's discomfiture, and regarded it as a huge practical joke.
"I never had such fun in all my life," he ejaculated, with difficulty,
and he went off into a fresh convulsion. "The old feller won't forget
me in a hurry."
SAM'S EARLY LIFE.
Three years before the meeting described in the previous chapter Sam
Barker became an orphan, by the death of his father. The father was an
intemperate man, and no one grieved much for his death. Sam felt
rather relieved than otherwise. He had received many a beating from
his father, in his fits of drunken fury, and had been obliged to
forage for himself for the most part, getting a meal from one
neighbor, a basket of provision from another, and so managed to eke
out a precarious subsistence in the tumble-down shanty which he and
his father occupied.
Mr. Barker left no will, for the good and sufficient reason that he
had no property to dispose of. So, on the day after the funeral, Sam
found himself a candidate for the poorhouse. He was a stout boy of
twelve, strong and sturdy in spite of insufficient food, and certainly
had suffered nothing from luxurious living.
It was a country town in Connecticut, near the Rhode Island border. We
will call it Dudley. The selectmen deliberated what should be done
"There isn't much for a lad like him to do at the poorhouse," said
Major Stebbins. "He'd ought to be set to work. Why don't you take him,
"I do need a boy," said the deacon, "but I'm most afeard to take Sam.
He's a dreadful mischievous boy, I've heerd."
"He's had a bad example in his father," said the major. "You could
train him up the way he'd ought to go."
"Mebbe I could," said the deacon, flattered by this tribute, and
reflecting, moreover, that he could get a good deal of work out of Sam
without being obliged to pay him wages.
"You could train him up to be a respectable man," said the major.
"They wouldn't know what to do with him at the poorhouse."
So the deacon was prevailed upon to take Sam to bring up.
"You're goin to live with me, Samuel," said the deacon, calling the
boy to his side.
"Am I?" asked Sam, surveying the old man attentively.
"Yes; I shall try to make a man of you."
"I'll get to be a man anyway, if I live long enough," said Sam.
"I mean I will make a man of you in a moral sense," explained the
This, however, was above Sam's comprehension.
"What would you like to do when you're a man?" asked the deacon.
"Smoke a pipe," answered Sam, after some reflection.
The deacon held up his hands in horror.
"What a misguided youth!" he exclaimed. "Can you think of nothing
better than to smoke a pipe?"
"Dad liked it," said Sam; "but I guess he liked rum better."
"Your father was a misguided man," said the deacon. "He wasted his
substance in riotous living."
"You'd ought to have seen him when he was tight," said Sam,
confidentially. "Didn't he tear round then? He'd fling sticks of wood
at my head. O jolly! Didn't I run? I used to hide under the bed when I
couldn't run out of doors."
"Your father's dead and gone. I don't want to talk against him, but I
hope you'll grow up a very different man. Do you think you will like
to live with me?"
"I guess so," said Sam. "You live in a good house, where the rain
don't leak through the roof on your head. You'll give me lots to eat,
too; won't you?"
"You shall have enough," said the deacon, cautiously, "but it is bad
to over-eat. Boys ought to be moderate."
"I didn't over-eat to home," said Sam. "I went one day without eatin'
"You shall have enough to eat at my house, but you must render a
"You must pay me for it."
"I can't; I aint got a cent."
"You shall pay me in work. He that does not work shall not eat."
"Have I got to work very hard?" asked Sam, anxiously.
"I will not task you beyond your strength, but I shall expect you to
work faithfully. I work myself. Everybody works in my house."
Sam was occupied for a brief space in considering the great problem
that connects labor and eating. Somehow it didn't seem quite
"I wish I was a pig!" he burst out, rather unexpectedly.
"Why?" demanded the deacon, amazed.
"Pigs have a better time than men and boys. They have all they can
eat, and don't have to work for it nuther."
"I'm surprised at you," said the deacon, shocked. "Pigs are only brute
animals. They have no souls. Would you be willing to give up your
immortal soul for the sake of bein' idle, and doin' no work?"
"I don't know anything bout my immortal soul. What good does it do
me?" inquired Sam.
"I declare! the boy's actilly gropin' in heathen darkness," said the
deacon, beginning to think he had undertaken a tough job.
"What's that?" asked Sam, mystified.
"I haven't time to tell you now, but I must have a long talk with you
some day. You aint had no sort of bringing up. Do you ever read the
"No, but I've read the life of Cap'n Kidd. He was a smart man,
"Captain Kidd, the pirate?" asked the deacon, horrified.
"Yes. Wa'n't he a great man?"
"He calls a pirate a great man!" groaned the deacon.
"I think I'd like to be a pirate," said Sam, admiringly.
"Then you'd die on the gallus!" exclaimed the deacon with energy.
"No, I wouldn't. I wouldn't let 'em catch me," said Sam, confidently.
"I never heerd a boy talk so," said the deacon. "He's as bad as a—a
Deacon Hopkins had no very clear ideas as to the moral or physical
condition of Hottentots, or where they lived, but had a general notion
that they were in a benighted state, and the comparison seemed to him
a good one. Not so to Sam.
"You're calling me names," he said, discontentedly. "You called me a
"I fear you are very much like those poor, benighted creatures,
Samuel," said his new guardian; "but it isn't wholly your fault. You
have never had any religious or moral instruction. This must be
rectified. I shall buy you a catechism this very day."
"Will you?" asked Sam, eagerly, who, it must be explained, had an idea
that a catechism was something good to eat.
"Yes, I'll stop at the store and get one."
They went into Pendleton's store,—a general country variety store, in
which the most dissimilar articles were kept for sale.
"Have you got a catechism?" asked the deacon, entering with Sam at his
"We've got just one left."
"How much is it?"
"I'll take it."
Sam looked on with interest till the clerk produced the article; then
his countenance underwent a change.
"Why, it's a book," he said.
"Of course it is. It is a very good book, from which you will learn
all about your duty, and your religious obligations."
"You needn't buy it. I don't want it," said Sam.
"Don't want the catechism!" said the deacon, not without anger.
"No, it aint any good."
"My boy, I know better what is good for you than you do. I shall buy
you the catechism."
"I'd rather you'd get me that book," said Sam, pointing to a thin
pamphlet copy of "Jack, the Giant-Killer."
But Deacon Hopkins persisted in making the purchase proposed.
"Are there any pictures in it?" asked Sam.
"Then I shan't like it."
"You don't know what is for your good. I hope you will be wiser in
time. But here we are at the house. Come right in, and mind you wipe
This was Sam's first introduction into the Hopkins' household. He
proved a disturbing element, as we shall presently see.
A HARD CASE.
The first meal to which Sam sat down at the deacon's house was supper.
It was only a plain supper,—tea, bread and butter, and apple-pie; but
to Sam, who was not used to regular meals of any kind, it seemed
luxurious. He despatched slice after slice of bread, eating twice as
much as any one else at the table, and after eating his share of the
pie gazed hungrily at the single slice which remained on the plate,
and asked for that also.
Deacon Hopkins thought it was time to interfere.
"You've had one piece a'ready," he said.
"I know it," said Sam; "but I'm hungry."
"I don't see how you can be. You've eat more than any of us."
"It takes a good deal to fill me up," said Sam, frankly.
"The boy'll eat us out of house and home," said Mrs. Hopkins, in
alarm. "You can't have any more. You've had enough."
Sam withdrew his plate. He did not look abashed, for he was never much
inclined that way, nor did his feelings appear to be hurt, for he was
not sensitive; but he took the matter coolly, and pushing back his
chair from the table was about to leave the room.
"Where are you a-goin?" asked his new guardian.
"Stop. I've got something for you to do."
The deacon went to the mantel-piece and took therefrom the catechism.
"You aint had no bringin' up, Samuel," he said. "You don't know
nothin' about your moral and religious obligations. It's my dooty to
make you learn how to walk uprightly."
"I can walk straight now," said Sam.
"I don't mean that—I mean in a moral sense. Come here."
Sam unwillingly drew near the deacon.
"Here, I want you to study the first page of the catechism, and recite
it to me before you go to bed."
Sam took the book, and looked at the first page doubtfully.
"What's the good of it?" he demanded, in a discontented voice.
"What's the good of the catechism?" exclaimed the deacon, shocked.
"It'll l'arn you your duties. It'll benefit your immortal soul."
"I don't care if it will," said Sam, perversely. "What do I care about
my soul? It never did me no good."
"Did you ever see such a heathen, Martha?" said the deacon, in
despair, turning to his wife.
"You'll be sorry you ever took him," said Mrs. Hopkins, shaking her
"Set down in the corner, and l'arn your lesson, Samuel," said the old
Sam looked undecided whether to obey or not, but under the
circumstances he thought it best to obey. He began to read the
catechism, but it did not interest him. His eyes were not long fixed
on the printed page. They moved about the room, following the
movements of Mrs. Hopkins as she cleared off the table. He saw her
take the pie and place it in the closet. His eyes glistened as he
caught sight of an entire pie on the lower shelf, designed, doubtless,
for to-morrow's supper.
"I wish I had it," he thought to himself. "Wouldn't it be jolly?"
Pretty soon the deacon took his hat and cane and went out. Then Mrs.
Hopkins went into the next room, and Sam was left alone. There was a
fine chance to escape, and Sam was not slow in availing himself of it.
He dropped the catechism on the floor, seized his hat, and darted out
of the room, finding his way out of the house through the front door.
He heaved a sigh of relief as he found himself out in the open air.
Catching sight of the deacon in a field to the right, he jumped over a
stone wall to the left, and made for a piece of woods a short distance
It was not Sam's intention to run away. He felt that it would be
foolish to leave a house where he got such good suppers, but he wanted
a couple of hours of freedom. He did not mean to return till it was
too late to study the catechism any longer.
"What's the use of wearin' out a feller's eyes over such stuff?" he
It is not necessary to follow Sam's movements through the evening. At
nine o'clock he opened the front door, and went in, not exactly
abashed, but uncertain how the deacon would receive him.
Deacon Hopkins had his steel-bowed spectacles on, and was engaged in
reading a good book. He looked up sternly as Sam entered.
"Samuel, where have you been?" he asked.
"Out in the woods," said Sam, coolly.
"Didn't I tell you to get your catechism?" demanded the old man,
"So I did," said Sam, without blushing.
"I am afraid you are telling a lie. Mrs. Hopkins said she went out of
the room a minute, and when she came back you were gone. Is that so?"
"Yes, I guess so," said Sam.
"Then how did you have time to l'arn your lesson?"
"It wasn't long," muttered Sam.
"Come here, and I will see if you know anything about it."
The deacon took the book, laid it flat on his lap, and read out the
first question, looking inquiringly at Sam for the answer.
Sam hesitated, and scratched his head. "I give it up," said he.
"Do you think I am askin' conundrums?" said the deacon, sternly.
"No," said Sam, honestly.
"Why don't you know?"
"Because I can't tell."
"Because you didn't study it. Aint you ashamed of your ignorance?"
"What's the use of knowin'?"
"It is very important," said the deacon, impressively. "Now I will ask
you the next question."
Sam broke down, and confessed that he didn't know.
"Then you told me a lie. You said you studied the lesson."
"I didn't understand it."
"Then you should have studied longer. Don't you know it is wicked to
"A feller can't tell the truth all the time," said Sam, as if he were
stating a well-known fact.
"Certainly he can," said the deacon. "I always do."
"Do you?" inquired Sam, regarding the old man with curiosity.
"Of course. It is every one's duty to tell the truth. You ought to die
rather than tell a lie. I have read of a man who was threatened with
death. He might have got off if he had told a lie. But he wouldn't."
"Did he get killed?" asked Sam, with interest.
"Then he must have been a great fool," said Sam, contemptuously. "You
wouldn't catch me makin' such a fool of myself."
"He was a noble man," said the deacon, indignantly. "He laid down his
life for the truth."
"What good did it do?" said Sam.
"I am afraid, Samuel, you are in a very benighted condition. You
appear to have no conceptions of duty."
"I guess I haven't," said Sam. "I dunno what they are."
"It is all the more necessary that you should study your catechism. I
shall expect you to get the same lesson to-morrow evenin'. It's too
late to study now."
"So it is," said Sam, with alacrity.
"I will show you where you are to sleep. You must get up airly to go
to work. I will come and wake you up."
Sam was not overjoyed at this announcement. It did not strike him that
he should enjoy going to work early in the morning. However, he felt
instinctively that it would do no good to argue the matter at present,
and he followed the deacon, upstairs in silence. He was ushered into a
small room partitioned off from the attic.
"You'll sleep there," said the deacon, pointing to a cot-bed in the
corner. "I'll call you at five o'clock to-morrow mornin'."
Sam undressed himself, and got into bed.
"This is jolly," thought he; "a good deal better than at home. If it
warn't for that plaguey catechism, I'd like livin' here fust-rate. I
wish I had another piece of that pie."
In ten minutes Sam was fast asleep; but the deacon was not so
fortunate. He lay awake a long time, wondering in perplexity what he
should do to reform the young outlaw of whom he had taken charge.
"He's a cur'us boy," thought the good man. "Seems to have no more
notion of religion than a Choctaw or a Hottentot. An yet he's been
livin' in a Christian community all his life. I'm afeared he takes
after his father."
SAM FRIGHTENS THE HOUSEHOLD.
Sam usually slept the whole night through; but to-night was an
exception. It might have been because he was in a strange bed, and in
a strange house. At any rate, he woke in time to hear the clock on the
church, of which his guardian was deacon, strike two.
"Where am I?" was his first thought.
He remembered almost immediately, and the thought made him broad
awake. He ought not to have been hungry at that hour, and in fact he
was not, but the thought of the pie forced itself upon his mind, and
he felt a longing for the slice that was left over from supper. Quick
upon this thought came another, "Why couldn't he creep downstairs
softly, and get it? The deacon and his wife were fast asleep, Who
would find him out?"
A boy better brought up than Sam might have reflected that it was
wrong; but, as the deacon said, Sam had no "conceptions of duty," or,
more properly, his conscience was not very active. He got out of bed,
slipped on his stockings, and crept softly downstairs, feeling his
way. It was very dark, for the entries were unlighted, but finally he
reached the kitchen without creating any alarm.
Now for the closet. It was not locked, and Sam opened the door without
"I wish I had a match, so's to see where the pie is," he thought.
He felt around, but the pie must have been placed elsewhere, for he
could not find it. It had really been placed on the highest shelf,
which Sam had not as yet explored. But there are dangers in feeling
around in the dark. Our hero managed to dislodge a pile of plates,
which fell with a crash upon his feet. There was a loud crash of
broken crockery, and the noise was increased by the howls of Sam, who
danced up and down with pain.
The noise reached the chamber where the deacon and his wife were
calmly reposing. Mrs. Hopkins was a light sleeper, and was awakened at
She was startled and terrified, and, sitting up in bed, shook her
husband violently by the shoulder.
"Deacon—Deacon Hopkins!" she exclaimed.
"What's the matter?" asked the deacon, drowsily.
"Matter enough. There's robbers downstairs."
Now the deacon was broad awake.
"Robbers!" he exclaimed. "Pooh! Nonsense! You're dreamin', wife."
Just then there was another racket. Sam, in trying to effect his
escape, tumbled over a chair, and there was a yell of pain.
"Am I dreaming now, deacon?" demanded his wife, triumphantly.
"You're right, wife," said the deacon, turning pale, and trembling.
"It's an awful situation. What shall we do?"
"Do? Go downstairs, and confront the villains!" returned his wife,
"They might shoot me," said her husband, panic-stricken.
"They're—they're said to be very desperate fellows."
"Are you a man, and won't defend your property?" exclaimed his wife,
taunting him, "Do you want me to go down?"
"Perhaps you'd better," said the deacon, accepting the suggestion with
"What!" shrieked Mrs. Hopkins. "You are willing they should shoot
"They wouldn't shoot a woman," said the deacon.
But his wife was not appeased.
Just then the unlucky Sam trod on the tail of the cat, who was quietly
asleep on the hearth. With the instinct of self-defence, she scratched
his leg, which was undefended by the customary clothing, and our hero,
who did not feel at all heroic in the dark, not knowing what had got
hold of him, roared with pain and fright.
"This is terrible!" gasped the deacon. "Martha, is the door locked?"
"Then I'll get up and lock it. O Lord, what will become of us?"
Sam was now ascending the stairs, and, though he tried to walk softly,
the stairs creaked beneath his weight.
"They're comin' upstairs," exclaimed Mrs. Hopkins. "Lock the door
quick, deacon, or we shall be murdered in our bed."
The deacon reached the door in less time than he would have
accomplished the same feat in the daytime, and hurriedly locked it.
"It's locked, Martha," he said, "but they may break it down."
"Or fire through the door—"
"Let's hide under the bed," suggested the heroic deacon.
"Don't speak so loud. They'll hear. I wish it was mornin'."
The deacon stood at the door listening, and made a discovery.
"They're goin up into the garret," he announced. "That's strange—"
"What do they want up there, I wonder?"
"They can't think we've got anything valuable up there."
"Deacon," burst out Mrs. Hopkins, with a sudden idea, "I believe we've
"Fooled! What do you mean?"
"I believe it isn't robbers."
"Not robbers? Why, you told me it was," said her husband, bewildered.
"I believe it's that boy."
"What would he want downstairs?"
"I don't know, but it's him, I'll be bound. Light the lamp, deacon,
and go up and see."
"But it might be robbers," objected the deacon, in alarm. "They might
get hold of me, and kill me."
"I didn't think you were such a coward, Mr. Hopkins," said his wife,
contemptuously. When she indulged in severe sarcasm, she was
accustomed to omit her husband's title.
"I aint a coward, but I don't want to risk my life. It's a clear
flyin' in the face of Providence. You'd ought to see that it is,
Martha," said the deacon, reproachfully.
"I don't see it. I see that you are frightened, that's what I see.
Light the lamp, and I'll go up myself."
"Well, Martha, it's better for you to go. They won't touch a woman."
He lighted the lamp, and his wife departed on her errand. It might
have been an unconscious action on the part of the deacon, but he
locked the door after his wife.
Mrs. Hopkins proceeded to the door of Sam's bed-chamber, and, as the
door was unfastened, she entered. Of course he was still awake, but he
pretended to be asleep.
"Sam," said Mrs. Hopkins.
There was a counterfeited snore.
Sam took no notice.
The lady took him by the shoulder, and shook him with no gentle hand,
so that our hero was compelled to rouse himself.
"What's up?" he asked, rubbing his eyes in apparent surprise.
"I am," said Mrs. Hopkins, shortly, "and you have been."
"I!" protested Sam, innocently. "Why, I was sound asleep when you came
in. I don't know what's been goin on. Is it time to get up?"
"What have you been doing downstairs?" demanded Mrs. Hopkins,
"Who says I've been downstairs?" asked Sam.
"I'm sure you have. I heard you."
"It must have been somebody else."
"There is no one else to go down. Neither the deacon nor myself has
"Likely it's thieves."
But Mrs. Hopkins felt convinced, from Sam's manner, that he was the
offender, and she determined to make him confess it.
"Get up," she said, "and go down with me."
"I'm sleepy," objected Sam.
"So am I, but I mean to find out all about this matter."
Sam jumped out of bed, and unwillingly accompanied Mrs. Hopkins
downstairs. The latter stopped at her own chamber-door, and tried to
"Who's there?" asked the deacon, tremulously.
"I am," said his wife, emphatically.
"So you locked the door on your wife, did you, because you thought
there was danger. It does you great credit, upon my word."
"What have you found out?" asked her husband, evading the reproach.
"Was it Sam that made all the noise?"
"How could I," said Sam, "when I was fast asleep?"
"I'm goin to take him down with me to see what mischief's done," said
Mrs. Hopkins. "Do you want to go too?"
The deacon, after a little hesitation, followed his more courageous
spouse, at a safe distance, however,—and the three entered the
kitchen, which had been the scene of Sam's noisy exploits. It showed
traces of his presence in an overturned chair. Moreover, the
closet-door was wide open, and broken pieces of crockery were
scattered over the floor.
A light dawned upon Mrs. Hopkins. She had solved the mystery!
SAM COMBINES BUSINESS WITH PLEASURE.
"You came down after that pie," she said, turning upon Sam..
"What pie?" asked Sam, looking guilty, however.
"Don't ask me. You know well enough. You couldn't find it in the dark,
and that's the way you came to make such a noise. Ten of my nice
plates broken, too! What do you say to that, Deacon Hopkins?"
"Samuel," said the deacon, "did you do this wicked thing?"
A moment's reflection convinced Sam that it would be idle to deny it
longer. The proofs of his guilt were too strong. He might have plead
in his defence "emotional insanity," but he was not familiar with the
course of justice in New York. He was, however, fertile in expedients,
and thought of the next best thing.
"Mebbe I walked in my sleep," he admitted.
"Did you ever walk in your sleep?" asked the deacon, hastily.
"Lots of times," said Sam.
"It is rather strange you should go to the closet in your sleep," said
Mrs. Hopkins, suspiciously. "I suppose, if you'd found it, you'd have
eaten it in your sleep."
"Likely I should," said Sam. "I was dreamin' of the pie. You know how
to make pie, Mrs. Hopkins; I never tasted so good before."
Mrs. Hopkins was not a soft woman, but she was proud of her cooking,
and accessible to flattery on that subject. Sam could not have
defended himself better.
"That may be," she said, "about your walking in your sleep; but once
is enough. Hereafter I'll lock your door on the outside. I can't be
waked up every night, nor I can't have my plates broken."
"S'pose the house should catch fire," suggested Sam, who didn't fancy
being locked up in his room.
"If it does, I'll come and let you out. The house is safer when you're
safe in bed."
"My wife is right, Samuel," said the deacon, recovering his dignity
now that his fears were removed. "You must be locked in after
Sam did not reply. On the whole, he felt glad to get off so well,
after alarming the house so seriously.
"Do you mean to stay downstairs all night, Deacon Hopkins?" demanded
his wife, with uncalled-for asperity. "If so, I shall leave you to
"I'm ready to go up when you are," said her husband. "I thought you
mightn't feel like stayin' down here alone."
"Much protection you'd be in time of danger, Mr. Hopkins,—you that
locked the door on your wife, because you was afraid!"
"I wasn't thinkin'," stammered the deacon.
"Probably not," said his wife, in an incredulous tone. "Now go up.
It's high time we were all in bed again."
Sam was not called at as early an hour as the deacon intended. The
worthy man, in consequence of his slumbers being interrupted,
overslept himself, and it was seven o'clock when he called Sam.
"Get up, Samuel," he said; "it's dreadful late, and you must be spry,
or you won't catch up with the work."
Work, however, was not prominent in Sam's mind, as his answer showed.
"Is breakfast ready?" he asked, rubbing his eyes.
"It's most ready. Get right up, for it's time to go to work."
"I 'spose we'll have breakfast first," said Sam.
"If it's ready."
Under these circumstances, Sam did not hurry. He did not care to work
before breakfast, nor, for that matter, afterwards, if he could help
it. So he made a leisurely, though not an elaborate toilet, and did
not come down till Mrs. Hopkins called sharply up the attic stairs,
"Come down, you Sam!"
"All right, ma'am, I'm comin'," said Sam, who judged rightly that
breakfast was ready.
"We shan't often let you sleep so late," said Mrs. Hopkins, who sat
behind the waiter. "We were broken of our rest through your cutting up
last night, and so we overslept ourselves."
"It's pretty early," said Sam.
"We'd ought to have been at work in the field an hour ago," said the
At the table Sam found work that suited him better.
"You've got a good appetite," said Mrs. Hopkins, as Sam took the
seventh slice of bread.
"I most generally have," said Sam, with his mouth full.
"That's encouraging, I'm sure," said Mrs. Hopkins, drily.
There was no pie on the table, as Sam noticed, to his regret. However,
he was pretty full when he rose from the table.
"Now, Samuel, you may come along with me," said the deacon, putting on
Sam followed him out to the barn, where, in one corner, were kept the
hoes, rakes, and other farming implements in use.
"Here's a hoe for you," said the deacon.
"What are we going to do?" asked Sam.
"The potatoes need hoeing. Did you ever hoe potatoes?"
"You'll l'arn. It aint hard."
The field was some, little distance from the house,—a two-acre lot
wholly devoted to potatoes.
"I guess we'll begin at the further corner," said the deacon. "Come
When they had reached the part of the field specified, the deacon
"Now," said he, "just see how I do it;" and he carefully hoed around
one of the hills.
"There, you see it's easy."
"I guess I can do it. Are you goin to stay here?"
"No, I've got to go to the village, to the blacksmith's. I'll be back
in about two hours. Jest hoe right along that row, and then come back
again on the next. Do you understand?"
"Yes," said Sam.
"I want you to work as spry as you can, so's to make up for lost
"What time do you have dinner?" asked our hero.
"You aint hungry so quick, be you?"
"No, but I shall be bimeby. I thought I'd like to know when to quit
work, and go to dinner."
"I'll be back before that. You needn't worry about that."
The deacon turned, and directed his steps homeward.
As long as he was in sight Sam worked with tolerable speed. But when
the tall and stooping figure had disappeared from view he rested, and
looked around him.
"It'll be a sight of work to hoe all them potatoes," he said to
himself. "I wonder if the old man expects me to do the whole. It'll be
a tough job."
Sam leisurely hoed another hill.
"It's gettin' hot," he said. "Why don't they have trees to give shade?
Then it would be more comfortable."
He hoed another hill, taking a little longer time.
"I guess there must be a million hills," he reflected, looking around
him thoughtfully. "It'll take me from now till next winter to hoe 'em
At the rate Sam was working, his calculation of the time it would take
him was not far out probably.
He finished another hill.
Just then a cat, out on a morning walk, chanced to pass through the
field a few rods away. Now Sam could never see a cat without wanting
to chase it,—a fact which would have led the cat, had she been aware
of it, to give him a wide berth. But, unluckily, Sam saw her.
"Scat!" he exclaimed, and, grasping his hoe, he ran after puss.
The cat took alarm, and, climbing the wall which separated the
potato-field from the next, sped over it in terror. Sam followed with
whoops and yells, which served to accelerate her speed. Occasionally
he picked up a stone, and threw at her, and once he threw the hoe in
the excitement of his chase. But four legs proved more than a match
for two, and finally he was obliged to give it up, but not till he had
run more than quarter of a mile. He sat down to rest on a rock, and
soon another boy came up, with a fishing-pole over his shoulder.
"What are you doing, Sam?" he asked.
"I've been chasin' a cat," said Sam.
"Didn't catch her, did you?"
"No, hang it."
"Where'd you get that hoe?"
"I'm to work for Deacon Hopkins. He's took me. Where are you goin?"
"I wish I could go."
"So do I. I'd like company."
"Where are you goin to fish?"
"In a brook close by, down at the bottom of this field."
"I'll go and look on a minute or two. I guess there isn't any hurry
about them potatoes."
The minute or two lengthened to an hour and a half, when Sam roused
himself from his idle mood, and shouldering his hoe started for the
field where he had been set to work.
It was full time. The deacon was there before him, surveying with
angry look the half-dozen hills, which were all that his young
assistant had thus far hoed.
"Now there'll be a fuss," thought Sam, and he was not far out in that
SAM'S SUDDEN SICKNESS.
"Where have you been, you young scamp?" demanded the deacon,
"I just went away a minute or two," said Sam, abashed.
"A minute or two!" ejaculated the deacon.
"It may have been more," said Sam. "You see I aint got no watch to
tell time by."
"How comes it that you have only got through six hills all the
morning?" said the deacon, sternly.
"Well, you see, a cat came along—" Sam began to explain.
"What if she did?" interrupted the deacon. "She didn't stop your work,
"Why, I thought I'd chase her out of the field."
"I thought she might scratch up some of the potatoes," said Sam, a
brilliant excuse dawning upon him.
"How long did it take you to chase her out of the field, where she
wasn't doing any harm?"
"I was afraid she'd come back, so I chased her a good ways."
"Did you catch her?"
"No, but I drove her away. I guess she won't come round here again,"
said Sam, in the tone of one who had performed a virtuous action.
"Did you come right back?"
"I sat down to rest. You see I was pretty tired with running so
"If you didn't run any faster than you have worked, a snail would
catch you in half a minute," said the old man, with justifiable
sarcasm. "Samuel, your excuse is good for nothing. I must punish
Sam stood on his guard, prepared to run if the deacon should make
hostile demonstrations. But his guardian was not a man of violence,
and did not propose to inflict blows. He had another punishment in
view suited to Sam's particular case.
"I'll go right to work," said Sam, seeing that no violence was
intended, and hoping to escape the punishment threatened, whatever it
"You'd better," said the deacon.
Our hero (I am afraid he has not manifested any heroic qualities as
yet) went to work with remarkable energy, to the imminent danger of
the potato-tops, which he came near uprooting in several instances.
"Is this fast enough?" he asked.
"It'll do. I'll take the next row, and we'll work along together. Take
care,—I don't want the potatoes dug up."
They kept it up for an hour or more, Sam working more steadily,
probably, than he had ever done before in his life. He began to think
it was no joke, as he walked from hill to hill, keeping up with the
deacon's steady progress.
"There aint much fun about this," he thought. "I don't like workin' on
a farm. It's awful tiresome."
"What's the use of hoein' potatoes?" he asked, after a while. "Won't
they grow just as well without it?"
"No," said the deacon.
"I don't see why not."
"They need to have the earth loosened around them, and heaped up where
it's fallen away."
"It's a lot of trouble," said Sam.
"We must all work," said the deacon, sententiously.
"I wish potatoes growed on trees like apples," said Sam. "They
wouldn't be no trouble then."
"You mustn't question the Almighty's doin's, Samuel," said the deacon,
seriously. "Whatever he does is right."
"I was only wonderin', that was all," said Sam.
"Human wisdom is prone to err," said the old man, indulging in a scrap
of proverbial philosophy.
"What does that mean?" thought Sam, carelessly hitting the deacon's
foot with his descending hoe. Unfortunately, the deacon had corns on
that foot, and the blow cost him a sharp twinge.
"You careless blockhead!" he shrieked, raising the injured foot from
the ground, while a spasm of anguish contracted his features. "Did you
take my foot for a potato-hill?"
"Did I hurt you?" asked Sam, innocently.
"You hurt me like thunder," gasped the deacon, using, in his
excitement, words which in calmer moments he would have avoided.
"I didn't think it was your foot," said Sam.
"I hope you'll be more careful next time; you most killed me."
"I will," said Sam.
"I wonder if it isn't time for dinner," he began to think presently,
but, under the circumstances, thought it best not to refer to the
matter. But at last the welcome sound of the dinner-bell was heard, as
it was vigorously rung at the back door by Mrs. Hopkins.
"That's for dinner, Samuel," said the deacon. "We will go to the
"All right!" said Sam, with alacrity, throwing down the hoe in the
"Pick up that hoe, and carry it with you," said the deacon.
"Then we won't work here any more to-day!" said Sam, brightening up.
"Yes, we will; but it's no way to leave the hoe in the fields. Some
cat might come along and steal it," he added, with unwonted sarcasm.
Sam laughed as he thought of the idea of a cat stealing a hoe, and the
deacon smiled at his own joke.
Dinner was on the table. It was the fashion there to put all on at
once, and Sam, to his great satisfaction, saw on one side a pie like
that which had tempted him the night before. The deacon saw his look,
and it suggested a fitting punishment. But the time was not yet.
Sam did ample justice to the first course of meat and potatoes. When
that was despatched, Mrs. Hopkins began to cut the pie.
The deacon cleared his throat.
"Samuel is to have no pie, Martha," he said.
His wife thought it was for his misdeeds of the night before, and so
"I couldn't help walkin' in my sleep," he said, with a blank look of
"It aint that," said the deacon.
"What is it, then?" asked his wife.
"Samuel ran away from his work this mornin', and was gone nigh on to
two hours," said her husband.
"You are quite right, Deacon Hopkins," said his wife, emphatically.
"He don't deserve any dinner at all."
"Can't I have some pie?" asked Sam, who could not bear to lose so
tempting a portion of the repast.
"No, Samuel. What I say I mean. He that will not work shall not eat."
"I worked hard enough afterwards," muttered Sam.
"After I came back—yes, I know that. You worked well part of the
time, so I gave you part of your dinner. Next time let the cats
"Can I have some more meat, then?" asked Sam.
"Ye-es," said the deacon, hesitating. "You need strength to work this
"I s'pose I get that catechism this afternoon instead of goin to work,"
"That will do after supper, Samuel. All things in their place. The
afternoon is for work; the evening for readin' and study, and
improvin' the mind."
Sam reflected that the deacon was a very obstinate man, and decided
that his arrangements were very foolish. What was the use of living if
you'd got to work all the time? A good many people, older than Sam,
are of the same opinion, and it is not wholly without reason; but
then, it should be borne in mind that Sam was opposed to all work. He
believed in enjoying himself, and the work might take care of itself.
But how could it be avoided?
As Sam was reflecting, a way opened itself. He placed his hand on his
stomach, and began to roll his eyes, groaning meanwhile.
"What's the matter?" asked Mrs. Hopkins.
"I feel sick," said Sam, screwing up his face into strange
"It's very sudden," said Mrs. Hopkins, suspiciously.
"So 'tis," said Sam. "I'm afraid I'm going to be very sick. Can I lay
"What do you think it is, Martha?" asked the deacon, looking
"I know what it is," said his wife, calmly. "I've treated such attacks
before. Yes, you may lay down in your room, and I'll bring you some
tea, as soon as I can make it."
"All right," said Sam, elated at the success of his little trick. It
was very much pleasanter to lie down than to hoe potatoes on a hot
"How easy I took in the old woman!" he thought.
It was not long before he changed his mind, as we shall see in The
SAM MEETS HIS MATCH.
Sam went upstairs with alacrity, and lay down on the bed,—not that he
was particularly tired, but because he found it more agreeable to lie
down than to work in the field.
"I wish I had something to read," he thought,—"some nice dime novel
like 'The Demon of the Danube.' That was splendid. I like it a good
deal better than Dickens. It's more excitin'."
But there was no library in Sam's room, and it was very doubtful
whether there were any dime novels in the house. The deacon belonged
to the old school of moralists, and looked with suspicion upon all
works of fiction, with a very few exceptions, such as Pilgrim's
Progress, and Robinson Crusoe, which, however, he supposed to be true
Soon Sam heard the step of Mrs. Hopkins on the stairs. He immediately
began to twist his features in such a way as to express pain.
Mrs. Hopkins entered the room with a cup of hot liquid in her hand.
"How do you feel?" she asked.
"I feel bad," said Sam.
"Are you in pain?"
"Yes, I've got a good deal of pain."
Sam placed his hand on his stomach, and looked sad.
"Yes, I know exactly what is the matter with you," said the deacon's
"Then you know a good deal," thought Sam, "for I don't know of
anything at all myself."
This was what he thought, but he said, "Do you?"
"Oh, yes; I've had a good deal of experience. I know what is good for
Sam looked curiously at the cup.
"What is it?" he asked.
"It's hot tea; it's very healin'."
Sam supposed it to be ordinary tea, and he had no objection to take
it. But when he put it to his lips there was something about the odor
that did not please him.
"It doesn't smell good," he said, looking up in the face of Mrs.
"Medicine generally doesn't," she said, quietly.
"I thought it was tea," said Sam.
"So it is; it is wormwood-tea."
"I don't think I shall like it," hesitated Sam.
"No matter if you don't, it will do you good," said Mrs. Hopkins.
Sam tasted it, and his face assumed an expression of disgust.
"I can't drink it," he said.
"You must," said Mrs. Hopkins, firmly.
"I guess I'll get well without," said our hero, feeling that he was in
"No, you won't. You're quite unwell. I can see it by your face."
"Can you?" said Sam, beginning to be alarmed about his health.
"You must take this tea," said the lady, firmly.
"I'd rather not."
"That's neither here nor there. The deacon needs you well, so you can
go to work, and this will cure you as quick as anything."
"Suppose it doesn't?" said Sam.
"Then I shall bring you up some castor-oil in two hours."
Castor-oil! This was even worse than wormwood-tea, and Sam's heart
sank within him.
"The old woman's too much for me," he thought, with a sigh.
"Come, take the tea," said Mrs. Hopkins. "I can't wait here all day."
Thus adjured, Sam made a virtue of necessity, and, shutting his eyes,
gulped down the wormwood. He shuddered slightly when it was all done,
and his face was a study.
"Well done!" said Mrs. Hopkins. "It's sure to do you good."
"I think I'd have got well without," said Sam. "I'm afraid it won't
agree with me."
"If it don't," said Mrs. Hopkins, cheerfully, "I'll try some
"I guess I won't need it," said Sam, hastily.
"It was awful," said Sam to himself, as his nurse left him alone. "I'd
rather hoe potatoes than take it again. I never see such a terrible
old woman. She would make me do it, when I wasn't no more sick than
Mrs. Hopkins smiled to herself as she went downstairs.
"Served him right," she said to herself. "I'll l'arn him to be sick.
Guess he won't try it again very soon."
Two hours later Mrs. Hopkins presented herself at Sam's door. He had
been looking out of the window; but he bundled into bed as soon as he
heard her. Appearances must be kept up.
"How do you feel now, Sam?" asked Mrs. Hopkins.
"A good deal better," said Sam, surveying in alarm a cup of some awful
decoction in her hand.
"Do you feel ready to go to work again?"
"Almost," said Sam, hesitating.
"The wormwood-tea did you good, it seems; but you're not quite well
"I'll soon be well," said Sam, hastily.
"I mean you shall be," said his visitor. "I've brought you some more
"Is it tea?"
"I don't need it," said Sam, getting up quickly. "I'm well."
"If you are not well enough to go to work, you must take some oil."
"Yes, I am," said Sam. "I'll go right out into the field."
"I don't want you to go unless you are quite recovered. I'm sure the
oil will bring you 'round."
"I'm all right, now," said Sam, hastily.
"Very well; if you think so, you can go to work."
Rather ruefully Sam made his way to the potato-field, with his hoe on
"Tea and castor-oil are worse than work," he thought. "The old woman's
got the best of me, after all. I wonder whether she knew I was makin'
On this point Sam could not make up his mind. She certainly seemed in
earnest, and never expressed a doubt about his being really sick. But
all the same, she made sickness very disagreeable to him, and he felt
that in future he should not pretend sickness when she was at home. It
made him almost sick to think of the bitter tea he had already drunk,
and the oil would have been even worse.
The deacon looked up as he caught sight of Sam.
"Have you got well?" he asked innocently, for he had not been as
clear-sighted as his wife in regard to the character of Sam's malady.
"Yes," said Sam, "I'm a good deal better, but I don't feel quite so
strong as I did."
"Mebbe it would be well for you to fast a little," said the deacon, in
all sincerity, for fasting was one of his specifics in case of
"No, I don't think it would," said Sam, quickly. "I'll feel better by
"I hope you will," said the deacon.
"I wish I had a piece of pie or somethin' to take the awful taste out
of my mouth," thought Sam. "I can taste that wormwood jist as plain! I
wonder why such things are allowed to grow."
For the rest of the afternoon Sam worked unusually well. He was under
the the deacon's eye, and unable to get away, though he tried at least
once. After they had been at work for about an hour, Sam said
suddenly, "Don't you feel thirsty, Deacon Hopkins?"
"What makes you ask?" said the deacon;
"Because I'd jist as lieves go to the house and get some water," said
Sam, with a very obliging air.
"You're very considerate, Samuel; but I don't think it's healthy to
drink between meals."
"Supposin' you're thirsty," suggested Sam, disappointed.
"It's only fancy. You don't need drink railly. You only think you do,"
said the deacon, and he made some further remarks on the subject to
which Sam listened discontentedly. He began to think his situation a
very hard one.
"It's work—work all the time," he said to himself. "What's the good
of workin' yourself to death? When I'm a man I'll work only when I
Sam did not consider that there might be some difficulty in earning a
living unless he were willing to work for it. The present discomfort
was all he thought of.
At last, much to Sam's joy, the deacon gave the signal to return to
"If you hadn't been sick, we'd have got through more," he said; "but
to-morrow we must make up for lost time."
"I hope it'll rain to-morrow," thought Sam. "We can't work in the
At supper the wormwood seemed to give him additional appetite.
"I'm afraid you'll make yourself sick again, Samuel," said the
"There aint no danger," said Sam, looking alarmed at the suggestion.
"I feel all right now."
"The wormwood did you good," said Mrs. Hopkins, drily.
"I wonder if she means anything," thought Sam
A month passed, a month which it is safe to say was neither
satisfactory to Sam nor his employer. The deacon discovered that the
boy needed constant watching. When he was left to himself, he was sure
to shirk his work, and indulge his natural love of living at ease. His
appetite showed no signs of decrease, and the deacon was led to remark
that "Samuel had the stiddyest appetite of any boy he ever knew. He
never seemed to know when he had eaten enough."
As for Mrs. Hopkins, Sam failed to produce a favorable impression upon
her. He was by no means her ideal of a boy, though it must be added
that this ideal was so high that few living boys could expect to
attain it. He must have an old head on young shoulders, and in fact be
an angel in all respects except the wings. On these Mrs. Hopkins
probably would not insist. Being only a boy, and considerably lazier
and more mischievous than the average, there was not much prospect of
Sam's satisfying her requirements.
"You'd better send him to the poorhouse, deacon." she said more than
once. "He's the most shif'less boy I ever see, and it's awful the
amount he eats."
"I guess I'll try him a leetle longer," said the deacon. "He aint had
no sort of bringin' up, you know."
So at the end of four weeks Sam still continued a member of the
As for Sam, things were not wholly satisfactory to him. In spite of
all his adroit evasions of duty, he found himself obliged to work more
than he found agreeable. He didn't see the fun of trudging after the
deacon up and down the fields in the warm summer days. Even his meals
did not yield unmingled satisfaction, as he had learned from
experience that Mrs. Hopkins did not approve of giving him a second
slice of pie, and in other cases interfered to check the complete
gratification of his appetite, alleging that it wasn't good for boys
to eat too much.
Sam took a different view of the matter, and felt that if he was
willing to take the consequences, he ought to be allowed to eat as
much as he pleased. He was not troubled with the catechism any more.
The deacon found him so stolid and unteachable that he was forced to
give up in despair, and Sam became master of his own time in the
evening. He usually strayed into the village, where he found company
at the village store. Here it was that he met a youth who was destined
to exercise an important influence upon his career. This was Ben
Barker, who had for a few months filled a position in a small retail
store in New York city. Coming home, he found himself a great man.
Country boys have generally a great curiosity about life in the great
cities, and are eager to interview any one who can give them authentic
details concerning it. For this reason Ben found himself much sought
after by the village boys, and gave dazzling descriptions of life in
the metropolis, about which he professed to be fully informed. Among
his interested listeners was Sam, whose travels had been limited by a
very narrow circle, but who, like the majority of boys, was possessed
by a strong desire to see the world.
"I suppose there as many as a thousand houses in New York," he said to
"A thousand!" repeated Ben, in derision. "There's a million!"
"Yes, they reach for miles and miles. There's about twenty thousand
"It must be awfully big. I'd like to go there."
"Oh, you!" said Ben, contemptuously. "It wouldn't do for you to go
"You couldn't get along nohow."
"I'd like to know why not?" said Sam, rather nettled at this
"Oh, you're a country greenhorn. You'd get taken in right and left."
"I don't believe I would," said Sam. "I aint as green as you think."
"You'd better stay with the deacon, and hoe potatoes," said Ben,
disparagingly. "It takes a smart fellow to succeed in New York."
"Is that the reason you had to come home?" retorted Sam.
"I'm going back pretty soon," said Ben. "I shan't stay long in such a
one-horse place as this."
"Is it far to New York?" asked Sam, thoughtfully.
"Over a hundred miles."
"Does it cost much to go there?"
"Three dollars by the cars."
"That isn't so very much."
"No, but you've got to pay your expenses when you get there."
"I could work."
"What could you do? You might, perhaps, black boots in the City Hall
"What pay do boys get for doing that?" asked Sam, seriously.
"Sometimes five cents, sometimes ten."
"I'd like it better than farmin'!"
"It might do for you," said Ben, turning up his nose.
"What were you doing when you were in New York, Ben?"
"I was chief salesman in a dry goods store," said Ben, with an air of
"Was it a good place?"
"Of course it was, or I wouldn't have stayed there."
"What made you leave it?"
"I had so much care and responsibility that the doctor told me I must
have rest. When the boss was away, I run the store all alone."
There was no one to contradict Ben's confident assertions, and though
some doubt was entertained by his listener none was expressed.
Considering Ben's large claims, it was surprising that his services
were not sought by leading New York firms, but, then, merit is not
always appreciated at once. That was Ben's way of accounting for it.
Sam was never tired of asking Ben fresh questions about New York. His
imagination had been inflamed by the glowing descriptions of the
latter, and he was anxious to pass through a similar experience. In
fact, he was slowly making up his mind to leave the deacon, and set
out for the brilliant Paradise which so dazzled his youthful fancy.
There was one drawback, however, and that a serious one,—the lack of
funds. Though the deacon supplied him with board, and would doubtless
keep him in wearing apparel, there was no hint or intimation of any
further compensation for his services, and Sam's whole available money
capital at this moment amounted to only three cents. Now three cents
would purchase three sticks of candy, and Sam intended to appropriate
them in this way, but they formed a slender fund for travelling
expenses; and the worst of it was that Sam knew of no possible way of
increasing them. If his journey depended upon that, it would be
But circumstances favored his bold design, as we shall see.
One evening as Sam was returning from the store, a man from a
neighboring town, who was driving by, reined up his horse, and said,
"You live with Deacon Hopkins, don't you?"
"Are you going home now?"
"Then I'll hand you a note for him. Will you think to give it to
"I would stop myself, but I haven't time this evening."
"All right. I'll give it to him."
"Take good care of it, for there's money in it," said the man, as he
passed it to the boy.
Money in it! This attracted Sam's attention, and excited his
"I wonder how much there is in it," he thought to himself. "I wish it
was mine. I could go to New York to-morrow if I only had it."
With this thought prominent in his mind, Sam entered the house. Mrs.
Hopkins was at the table knitting, but the deacon was not to be seen.
"Where is the deacon?" asked Sam.
"He's gone to bed," said Mrs. Hopkins. "Did you want to see him?"
"No," said Sam, slowly.
"It's time you were abed too, Sam," said the lady. "You're out too
late, as I was tellin' the deacon to-night. Boys like you ought to be
abed at eight o'clock instead of settin' up half the night."
"I guess I'll go to bed now," said Sam, taking a lamp from the table.
"You'd better, and mind you get up early in the mornin'."
Sam did not answer, for he was busy thinking.
He went upstairs, fastened his door inside, and taking out the letter
surveyed the outside critically. The envelope was not very securely
fastened and came open. Sam could not resist the temptation presented,
and drew out the inclosure. His face flushed with excitement, as he
spread out two five-dollar bills on the table before him.
"Ten dollars!" ejaculated Sam. "What a lot of money! If it was only
mine, I'd have enough to go to New York."
SAM TAKES FRENCH LEAVE.
If Sam had been brought up to entertain strict ideas on the subject of
taking the property of others, and appropriating it to his own use,
the temporary possession of the deacon's money would not have exposed
him to temptation. But his conscience had never been awakened to the
iniquity of theft. So when it occurred to him that he had in his
possession money enough to gratify his secret desire, and carry him to
New York, there to enter upon a brilliant career, it did not occur to
him that it would be morally wrong to do so. He did realize the danger
of detection, however, and balanced in his mind whether the risk was
worth incurring. He decided that it was.
"The deacon don't know I've got the money," he reflected. "He won't
find out for a good while; when he does I shall be in New York, where
he won't think of going to find me."
This was the way Sam reasoned, and from his point of view the scheme
looked very plausible. Sam had a shrewd idea that his services were
not sufficiently valuable to the deacon to induce him to make any
extraordinary efforts for his capture. So, on the whole, he made up
his mind to run away.
"Shall I go now, or wait till mornin'?" thought Sam.
He looked out of his window. There was no moon, and the night was
therefore dark. It would not be very agreeable to roam about in the
darkness. Besides, he was liable to lose his way. Again, he felt
sleepy, and the bed looked very inviting.
"I'll wait till mornin'," thought Sam. "I'll start about four, and go
over to Wendell, and take the train for New York. I'll be awful hungry
when I get there. I wish I could wait till after breakfast; but it
Sam was not usually awake at four. Indeed he generally depended on
being waked up by the deacon knocking on his door. But when boys or
men have some pleasure in view it is apt to act upon the mind even
when wrapped in slumber, and produce wakefulness. So Sam woke up about
quarter of four. His plan flashed upon him, and he jumped out of bed.
He dressed quickly, and, taking his shoes in his hand so that he might
make no noise, he crept downstairs, and unlocked the front door, and
then, after shutting it behind him, sat down on the front door-stone
and put on his shoes.
"I guess they didn't hear me," he said to himself. "Now I'll be
The sun had not risen, but it was light with the gray light which
precedes dawn. There was every promise of a fine day, and this helped
to raise Sam's spirits.
"What'll the deacon say when he comes to wake me up?" thought our
hero, though I am almost ashamed to give Sam such a name, for I am
afraid he is acting in a manner very unlike the well-behaved heroes of
most juvenile stories, my own among the number. However, since I have
chosen to write about a "young outlaw," I must describe him as he is,
and warn my boy readers that I by no means recommend them to pattern
Before accompanying Sam on his travels, let us see how the deacon was
affected by his flight.
At five o'clock he went up to Sam's door and knocked.
There was no answer.
The deacon knocked louder.
Still there was no answer.
"How sound the boy sleeps!" muttered the old man, and he applied his
knuckles vigorously to the door. Still without effect. Thereupon he
tried the door, and found that it was unlocked. He opened it, and
walked to the bed, not doubting that he would see Sam fast asleep. But
a surprise awaited him. The bed was empty, though it had evidently
been occupied during the night.
"Bless my soul! the boy's up," ejaculated the deacon.
A wild idea came to him that Sam had voluntarily got up at this early
hour, and gone to work, but he dismissed it at once as absurd. He knew
Sam far too well for that.
Why, then, had he got up? Perhaps he was unwell, and could not sleep.
Not dreaming of his running away, this seemed to the deacon the most
plausible way of accounting for Sam's disappearance, but he decided to
go down and communicate the news to his wife.
"Why were you gone so long, deacon?" asked Mrs. Hopkins. "Couldn't you
wake him up?"
"He wasn't there."
"What do you mean?"
"I mean that Sam's got up already. I couldn't find him."
"Couldn't find him?"
"Had the bed been slept in?"
"Of course. I s'pose he was sick, and couldn't sleep, so he went
"Perhaps he's gone down to the pantry," said Mrs. Hopkins,
suspiciously. "I'll go down and see."
She went downstairs, followed by the deacon. She instituted an
examination, but found Sam guiltless of a fresh attempt upon the
provision department. She went to the front door, and found it
"He's gone out," she said.
"So he has, but I guess he'll be back to breakfast," said the deacon.
"I don't," said the lady.
"Because I think he's run away."
"Run away!" exclaimed the deacon. "Why, I never had a boy run away
"Well, you have now."
"Where would he go? He aint no home. He wouldn't go to the
"Of course not. I never heard of anybody that had a comfortable home
running away to the poorhouse."
"But why should he run away?" argued the deacon.
"Boys often run away," said his wife, sententiously.
"He had no cause."
"Yes, he had. You made him work, and he's lazy, and don't like work.
I'm not surprised at all."
"I s'pose I'd better go after him," said the deacon.
"Don't you stir a step to go, deacon. He aint worth going after. I'm
glad we've got rid of him."
"Well, he didn't do much work," admitted the deacon.
"While he ate enough for two boys. Good riddance to bad rubbish, I
"I don't know how he's goin' to get along. He didn't have no money."
"I don't care how he gets along, as long as he don't come back.
There's plenty of better boys you can get."
Sam would not have felt flattered, if he had heard this final verdict
upon his merits. It must be confessed, however, that it was well
A few days afterwards, the deacon obtained the services of another
boy, whom he found more satisfactory than the runaway, and Sam was no
longer missed. It was not till the tenth day that he learned of the
theft. While riding on that day, he met Mr. Comstock, who had confided
to Sam the money-letter.
"Good-morning, Deacon Hopkins," said he, stopping his horse.
"Good-morning," said the deacon.
"I suppose your boy handed you a letter from me."
"I haven't received any letter," said the deacon, surprised.
"It was early last week that I met a boy who said he lived with you.
As I was in a hurry, I gave him a letter containing ten dollars, which
I asked him to give to you."
"What day was it?" asked the deacon, eagerly.
"Monday. Do you mean to say he didn't give it to you?"
"No; he ran away the next morning, and I haven't seen him since."
"Then he ran away with the money—the young thief! I told him there
was money in it."
"Bless my soul! I didn't think Sam was so bad," ejaculated the
"Didn't you go after him?"
"No; he wasn't very good to work, and I thought I'd let him run. Ef
I'd knowed about the money, I'd have gone after him."
"It isn't too late, now."
"I'll ask my wife what I'd better do."
The deacon conferred with his wife, who was greatly incensed against
Sam, and would have advised pursuit, but they had no clue to his
"He'll come back some time, deacon," said she. "When he does, have him
But years passed, and Sam did not come back, nor did the deacon set
eyes on him for four years, and then under the circumstances recorded
in the first chapter.
SAM'S ADVENTURES AT THE DEPOT.
It was six miles to the station at Wendell, where Sam proposed to take
the cars for New York. He had to travel on an empty stomach, and
naturally got ravenously hungry before he reached his destination.
About half a mile this side of the depot he passed a grocery-store,
and it occurred to him that he might get something to eat there.
Entering he saw a young man in his shirt-sleeves engaged in sweeping.
"Have you got anything good to eat?" asked Sam.
"This aint a hotel," said the young man, taking Sam for a penniless
"I knew that before," said Sam, "but haven't you got some crackers or
something, to stay a feller's stomach?"
"Haven't you had any breakfast?" asked the clerk, curiously.
"Don't they give you breakfast where you live?"
"Not so early in the morning. You see I had to take an early start,
'cause I'm goin' to attend my grandmother's funeral."
This of course was a story trumped up for the occasion.
"We've got some raw potatoes," said the clerk, grinning.
"I've had enough to do with potatoes," said Sam. "Haven't you got some
"Come to think of it, we have. How many will you have?"
"About a dozen."
While they were being put up in a paper bag, the clerk inquired, "How
far off does your grandmother live?"
"About twenty miles from here, on the railroad," answered Sam, who
didn't care to mention that he was bound for New York.
"Warwick, I suppose."
"Yes," said Sam, at a venture. "How soon does the train start?"
"In about half an hour. Hold on, though; that's the New York train,
and don't stop at Warwick."
"I guess I'll be goin," said Sam, hurriedly. "Where's the depot?"
"Half a mile straight ahead, but you needn't hurry. The train for
Warwick don't go till ten."
"Never mind. I want to see the New York train start;" and Sam hurried
off eating crackers as he walked.
"I'm glad the train starts so quick," thought Sam. "I don't want to
wait round here long. I might meet somebody that knows me."
He had no difficulty in finding the depot. It was a plain building,
about twenty by thirty feet, with a piazza on the side towards the
track. He entered, and going up to the ticket-office asked for a
ticket to New York.
"For yourself?" asked the station-master.
"Yes," said Sam.
"How old are you?"
"Then you'll have to pay for a whole ticket. Three dollars."
"All right," said Sam, promptly, and he drew out a five-dollar bill,
receiving in return two dollars and a ticket.
"Do you live in New York, sonny?" asked the station-master.
"No, I'm only goin to see my aunt," answered Sam, with another
"I know something about New York. In what street does your aunt
Sam was posed, for he did not know the name of even one street in the
city he was going to.
"I don't exactly remember," he was forced to admit.
"Then how do you expect to find her if you don't know where she
"Oh, she'll meet me at the depot," said Sam, readily.
"Suppose she don't?"
"I'll find her somehow. But she's sure to meet me."
"Going to stay long in the city?"
"I hope so. Perhaps my aunt'll adopt me. How soon will the train be
"In about fifteen minutes."
Here an old lady came up, and asked for a ticket to New York.
"Three dollars, ma'am."
"Three dollars! Can't you take less?" asked the old lady, fumbling in
her pocket for her purse.
"No ma'am, the price is fixed."
"It's a sight of money. Seems throwed away, too, jest for travellin'.
You haint got anything to show for it. I never was to York in my
"Please hurry, ma'am, there are others waiting."
"Massy sakes, don't be so hasty! There's the money."
"And there's your ticket."
"I wish I know'd somebody goin to New York. I'm afeared to travel
"There's a boy going," said the station-master, pointing to Sam.
"Are you goin to York?" asked the old lady, peering over her
spectacles at Sam.
"Was you ever there afore?"
"Aint your folks afeared to have you go alone?"
"Oh, no, they don't mind."
"I wish you was older, so's you could look after me."
Sam was rather flattered by the idea of having a lady under his
charge, and said, "I'll take care of you, if you want me to."
"Will you? That's a good boy. What's your name?"
"Sam Barker," answered our hero, with some hesitation, not feeling
sure whether it was politic to mention his real name.
"Do you live in New York?"
"No, ma'am; but I'm goin to."
"When will the cars git along?"
"In about ten minutes."
"You'll help me get in, won't you? I've got two bandboxes, and I don't
know how to manage."
"Yes, ma'am, I'll help you. I'm goin out on the platform, but I'll
come in when the cars come along."
Sam went out on the platform, and watched eagerly for the approach of
the cars. Up they came, thundering along the track, and Sam rushed
into the depot in excitement.
"Come along, ma'am," he said. "The cars are here."
The old lady was in a flutter of excitement also. She seized one
bandbox, and Sam the other, and they hurried out on the platform. They
were just climbing up the steps, when the conductor asked, "Where are
"To York, of course."
"Then this isn't the train. It is going in the opposite direction."
"Lawful suz!" ejaculated the old lady in dismay. "What made you tell
me wrong, you bad boy?" and she glared at him reproachfully over her
"How should I know?" said Sam, rather abashed. "I didn't know about no
"You come near makin' me go wrong."
"I can't help it. It would be just as bad for me."
"When does the train go to York, somebody?" asked the old lady,
looking about her in a general way.
"Next train; comes round in about five minutes."
Sam helped the old lady back into the depot, rather ashamed of the
mistake he had made. He saw that she had lost some of her confidence
in him, and it mortified him somewhat.
It was nearly ten minutes afterwards,—for the train was late, before
the right cars came up.
Sam dashed into the depot again, and seized a bandbox.
"Here's the cars. Come along," he said.
"I won't stir a step till I know if it's the right cars," said the old
"Then you may stay here," said Sam. "I'm goin'."
"Don't leave your grandmother," said a gentleman, standing by.
"She isn't my grandmother. Isn't this the train to New York?"
Sam seized the bandbox once more, and this time the old lady followed
They got into the cars without difficulty, and the old lady breathed a
sigh of relief.
Sam took a seat at the window just behind her, and his heart bounded
with exultation as he reflected that in a few hours he would be in the
great city, of which he had such vague and wonderful ideas. The only
drawback to his enjoyment was the loss of his usual morning meal. The
crackers helped to fill him up, but they were a poor substitute for
the warm breakfast to which he had been accustomed at the deacon's.
Still Sam did not wish himself back. Indeed, as he thought of the
deacon's bewilderment on discovering his disappearance, he broke into
an involuntary laugh.
"What are you laffin' at?" asked the old lady, suspiciously.
Sam answered, "I was thinkin' how near we came to bein' carried off to
the wrong place."
"That aint anything to laff at," said the old lady, grimly.
FIRST EXPERIENCES IN THE CITY.
There are few boys who do not enjoy a trip on the railroad, especially
for the first time. The five hours which Sam spent on his journey gave
him unqualified delight. Occasionally his attention was called off
from the scenery by an exclamation from the old lady, who at every
jolt thought the cars were off the track.
Sam liberally patronized the apple and peanut merchant, who about once
an hour walked through the cars. The crackers which he had purchased
at the grocery store had not spoiled his appetite, but rather appeared
to sharpen it. The old lady apparently became hungry also, for she
called the apple vender to her.
"What do you ask for them apples?" she inquired.
"The largest are three cents apiece, the smallest, two cents."
"That's an awful price. They aint worth half that."
"We can't sell 'em for less, and make any profit."
"I'll give you a cent for that one," she continued, pointing to the
largest in the basket.
"That! Why, that's a three-center. Can't take it nohow."
"I'll give you three cents for them two."
"No, ma'am, you may have 'em for five cents."
"Then I won't buy 'em. My darter will give me plenty for nothin'."
"She may, but I can't."
So the old lady heroically put away the temptation, and refused to
All things must have an end, and Sam's journey was at length over. The
cars entered the great depot. Sam hurried out of the cars, never
giving a thought to the old lady, who expected his help in carrying
out her bandboxes. He was eager to make his first acquaintance with
the streets of New York. There was a crowd of hackmen in waiting, all
of whom appeared to Sam to be seeing which could talk fastest.
"Have a carriage, sir? Take you to any hotel."
One of them got hold of Sam by the arms, and attempted to lead him to
"Hold on a minute, mister," said Sam, drawing back. "Where are you
goin' to take me?"
"Anywhere you say. Astor House, St. Nicholas, or any other."
"Is it far?"
"About five miles," said the hackman, glibly.
"How much are you goin to charge?"
"Only three dollars."
"Three dollars!" repeated Sam, in amazement.
He had less than seven dollars now, and, though he was not
particularly provident, he knew that it would never do to spend almost
half his slender stock of money for cab-hire.
"Never mind," said he. "I'll walk."
"You can't; it's too far," said the hackman, eager for a fare.
So Sam walked out of the depot, and walked away. He didn't know
exactly where to go, and thought he would follow a man with a
carpet-bag who appeared to know his way. This man unconsciously guided
him to Broadway. Sam realized, from the stately character of the
buildings, that he was in an important street, and, cutting loose from
his guide, walked down towards the City Hall Park. It seemed to him
like a dream; these beautiful warehouses, showy stores, and the moving
throng, which never seemed to grow less, surprised him also. Though he
knew in advance that New York must be very different from the little
country town which, until now, had been his home, he was not prepared
for so great a difference, and wandered on, his mouth and eyes wide
At last he reached the City Hall Park, and, catching sight of a bench
on which one or two persons were already sitting, Sam, feeling tired
with his walk, entered the Park, and sat down too.
"Black yer boots?" inquired a dirty-faced boy, with a box slung over
Sam looked at his shoes, begrimed with a long country walk, and
"What do you ask?" he said.
"It's worth a quarter to black them shoes," said the boy, swinging
"Then I can't afford it,"
"No," said Sam. "I've got to earn my own living, and I can't afford
it. Is blackin' boots a good business?"
"Some days it is, but if it comes rainy, it isn't. I'll give you a
bully shine for ten cents."
"Will you show me afterwards where I can get some dinner cheap?" asked
Sam, who was still hungry.
"Yes," said the boot-black. "I know a tip-top place."
"Is it far off?"
"Right round in Chatham street—only a minute's walk."
"All right. Go ahead. I'll give you ten cents."
Sam felt that he was paying his money not only for the actual service
done, but for valuable information besides. On the whole, though he
knew he must be economical, it seemed to him a paying investment.
"Did you come from the country?" asked the young knight of the
blacking-brush, while he was vigorously brushing the first shoe.
"Yes," said Sam. "I only got here just now."
"That's what I thought."
"Because you look like a greenhorn."
"Do you mean to insult me?" asked Sam, nettled.
"No," said the other; "only if you've never been here before of course
"I won't be long," said Sam, hastily.
"Course you won't, 'specially if you have me to show you round."
"Have you lived long in New York?" inquired Sam.
"I was born here," said the boy.
"Have you been long blackin' boots?"
"Ever since I was knee-high to a door-step."
"Then you make a living at it?"
"I don't starve. What made you leave the country?"
"I got tired of working on a farm."
"Did you have enough to eat?"
"And a good bed to sleep in?"
"Then you'd ought to have stayed there," said the boot-black.
"I think I shall like the city better," said Sam. "There's a good deal
more goin' on."
"I'd like to try the country. You don't live at the West, do you?"
"Lots of boys goes West. Maybe I'll go there, some time."
"Is it a good place?"
"That's what they say. The boys gets good homes out there on farms."
"Then I don't want to go," said Sam. "I'm tired of farmin'."
By this time the shoes were polished.
"Aint that a bully shine?" asked the boot-black, surveying his work
"Yes," said Sam. "You know how to do it."
"Course I do. Now where's the stamps?"
Sam drew out ten cents, and handed to the boy.
"Now show me where I can get some dinner."
"All right. Come along!" and the boy, slinging his box over his
shoulder, led the way to a small place on Chatham street. It was in a
basement, and did not look over-neat; but Sam was too hungry to be
particular, and the odor of the cooking was very grateful to him.
"I guess I'll get a plate o' meat, too," said the boot-black. "I aint
had anything since breakfast."
They sat down side by side at a table, and Sam looked over the bill of
fare. He finally ordered a plate of roast beef, for ten cents, and his
companion followed his example. The plates were brought, accompanied
by a triangular wedge of bread, and a small amount of mashed potato.
It was not a feast for an epicure, but both Sam and his companion
appeared to enjoy it.
Sam was still hungry.
"They didn't bring much," he said. "I guess I'll have another plate."
"I aint got stamps enough," said his companion.
"If you want another plate, I'll pay for it," said Sam, with a sudden
impulse of generosity.
"Will you? You're a brick!" said the boot-black heartily. "Then I
don't mind. I'll have another."
"Do they have any pie?" asked Sam.
"Course they do."
"Then I'll have a piece afterwards."
He did not offer to treat his companion to pie, for he realized that
his stock of money was not inexhaustible. This did not appear to be
expected, however, and the two parted on very good terms, when the
dinner was over.
Sam continued to walk about in the neighborhood of the City Hall Park,
first in one direction, then in another; but at last he became
fatigued. It had been an unusually exciting day, and he had taken more
exercise than usual, though he had not worked; for his morning walk,
added to his rambles about the city streets, probably amounted to not
less than twelve miles. Then, too, Sam began to realize what older and
more extensive travellers know well, that nothing is more wearisome
So the problem forced itself upon his attention—where was he to
sleep? The bed he slept in the night before was more than a hundred
miles away. It struck Sam as strange, for we must remember how
inexperienced he was, that he must pay for the use of a bed. How much,
he had no idea, but felt that it was time to make some inquiries.
[Illustration of Sam speaking with the room-clerk,]
He went into a hotel on the European system, and asked a man who was
standing at the cigar stand, "What do you charge for sleeping here?"
"Ask of that man at the desk," said the cigar-vender.
Sam followed directions, and, approaching the room-clerk, preferred
the same inquiry.
"One dollar," was the answer.
"One dollar, just for sleeping?" inquired Sam, in surprise, for in his
native village he knew that the school-teacher got boarded for three
dollars a week, board and lodging complete for seven days.
"Those are our terms," said the clerk.
"I don't care about a nice room," said Sam, hoping to secure a
"We charge more for our nice rooms," said the clerk.
"Aint there any cheaper hotels?" asked our hero, rather dismayed at
his sudden discovery of the great cost of living in New York.
"I suppose so," said the clerk, carelessly; but he did not volunteer
any information as to their whereabouts.
Sam walked slowly out of the hotel, quite uncertain where to go, or
what to do. He had money enough to pay for a night's lodging, even at
this high price, but he judged wisely that he could not afford to
spend so large a part of his small stock of money.
"I wonder where the boys sleep that black boots," he thought. "They
can't pay a dollar a night for sleeping."
He looked around for the boy who had guided him to a restaurant, but
could not find him.
It was now eight o'clock, and he begun to think he should have to go
back to the hotel after all, when a shabby-looking man, with watery
eyes and a red nose, accosted him.
"Are you a stranger in the city, my young friend?" he asked.
"Yes," said Sam, rather relieved at the opportunity of speaking to
"So I thought. Where are you boarding?"
"Nowhere," said Sam.
"Where do you sleep to-night?"
"I don't know," said Sam, rather helplessly.
"Why don't you go to a hotel?"
"They charge too much," said Sam.
"Haven't you got money enough to pay for a lodging at a hotel?" asked
the stranger, with rather less interest in his manner.
"Oh, yes," said Sam, "a good deal more than that; but then, I want to
make my money last till I can earn something."
"To be sure, to be sure," answered the stranger, his interest
returning. "You are quite right, my dear friend. I am glad to see that
you are so sensible. Of course you ought not to go to a hotel. They
charge too high altogether."
"But I must sleep somewhere," said Sam, anxiously. "I only got to New
York this morning, and I don't know where to go."
"Of course, of course. I thought you might be in trouble, seeing you
were a stranger. It's lucky you met me."
"Can you tell me of any place to spend the night?" asked Sam,
encouraged by the stranger's manner.
"Yes; I'll let you stay with me, and it shan't cost you a cent."
"Thank you," said Sam, congratulating himself on his good luck in
meeting so benevolent a man. He could not help admitting to himself
that the philanthropist looked shabby, even seedy. He was not the sort
of man from whom he would have expected such kindness, but that made
no difference. The offer was evidently a desirable one, and Sam
accepted it without a moment's hesitation.
"I remember when I came to the city myself," explained the stranger.
"I was worse off than you, for I had no money at all. A kind man gave
me a night's lodging, just as I offer one to you, and I determined
that I would do the same by others when I had a chance."
"You are very kind," said Sam.
"Perhaps you won't say so when you see my room," said the other. "I am
not a rich man."
Glancing at the man's attire, Sam found no difficulty in believing
him. Our hero, though not very observing, was not prepossessed in
favor of the New York tailors by what he saw, for the stranger's coat
was very long, while his pants were very short, and his vest was
considerably too large for him. Instead of a collar and cravat, he
wore a ragged silk handkerchief tied round his throat. His hat was
crumpled and greasy, and the best that could be said of it was, that
it corresponded with the rest of his dress.
"I don't live in a very nice place," said the stranger; "but perhaps
you can put up with it for one night."
"Oh, I don't mind," said Sam, hastily. "I aint used to anything very
"Then it's all right," said the stranger. "Such as it is, you are
welcome. Now, I suppose you are tired."
"Yes, I am," said Sam.
"Then I'll take you to my room at once. We'll go up Centre street."
Sam cheerfully followed his conductor. He felt like a storm-tossed
mariner, who has just found port.
"What is your name?" asked his guide.
"Mine is Clarence Brown."
"Is it?" asked Sam.
He could not help thinking the name too fine for a man of such shabby
appearance, and yet it would be hard, when names are so cheap, if all
the best ones should be bestowed on the wealthy.
"It's a good name, isn't it?" asked the stranger.
"I belong to a good family, though you wouldn't think it to look at me
now," continued his guide. "My father was a wealthy merchant."
"Was he?" asked Sam, curiously.
"Yes, we lived in a splendid mansion, and kept plenty of servants. I
was sent to an expensive school, and I did not dream of coming to
Mr. Brown wiped his eyes with his coat-sleeve, as he thus revived the
memories of his early opulence.
"Did your father lose his money?" asked Sam, getting interested.
"He did indeed," said the stranger, with emotion. "It was in the panic
of 1837. Did you ever hear of it?"
"I guess not," said Sam, who was not very conversant with the
financial history of the country.
"My father became a bankrupt, and soon after died of grief," continued
the stranger. "I was called back from boarding-school, and thrown upon
the cold mercies of the world."
"That was hard on you," said Sam.
"It was, indeed, my young friend. I perceive that you have a
sympathetic heart. You can feel for the woes of others."
"Yes," said Sam, concluding that such an answer was expected.
"I am glad I befriended you. Have you also seen better days?"
"Well, I don't know," said Sam. "It's been pleasant enough to-day."
"I don't mean that. I mean, were you ever rich?"
"Not that I can remember," said Sam.
"Then you don't know what it is to be reduced from affluence to
poverty. It is a bitter experience."
"I should think so," said Sam, who felt a little tired of Clarence
Brown's reminiscences, and wondered how soon they would reach that
Meanwhile they had gone up Centre street, and turned into Leonard
street. It was not an attractive locality, nor were the odors that
reached Sam's nose very savory.
"This is where I live," said Mr. Brown, pausing before a large and
dilapidated-looking tenement house of discolored brick.
"You don't live here alone, do you?" inquired Sam, who was not used to
crowded tenement houses.
"Oh, no, I only occupy an humble room upstairs. Follow me, and I'll
lead you to it."
The staircase was dirty, and in keeping with the external appearance
of the house. The wall paper was torn off in places, and contrasted
very unfavorably with the neat house of Deacon Hopkins. Sam noticed
this, but he was tired and sleepy, and was not disposed to be
over-critical, as he followed Mr. Brown in silence to the fourth
ROBBED IN HIS SLEEP.
Arrived at his destination Mr. Brown opened a door, and bade Sam
enter. It was rather dark, and it was not until his host lighted a
candle, that Sam could obtain an idea of the appearance of the room.
The ceiling was low, and the furniture scanty. A couple of chairs, a
small table, of which the paint was worn off in spots, and a bed in
the corner, were the complete outfit of Mr. Brown's home. He set the
candle on the table, and remarked apologetically: "I don't live in
much style, as you see. The fact is, I am at present in straitened
circumstances. When my uncle dies I shall inherit a fortune. Then,
when you come to see me, I will entertain you handsomely."
"Is your uncle rich?" asked Sam.
"I should say he was. He's a millionnaire."
"Why don't he do something for you now?"
Mr. Clarence Brown shrugged his shoulders.
"He's a very peculiar man—wants to keep every cent as long as he
lives. When he's dead it's got to go to his heirs. That's why he lives
in a palatial mansion on Madison Avenue, while I, his nephew, occupy a
shabby apartment like this."
Sam looked about him, and mentally admitted the justice of the term.
It was a shabby apartment, without question. Still, he was to lodge
there gratis, and it was not for him to complain.
"By the way," said Mr. Brown, casually, after exploring his pockets
apparently without success, "you haven't got a quarter, have you?"
"Yes, I guess so."
"All right; I'll borrow it till to-morrow, if you don't mind."
"Certainly," said Sam, handing over the sum desired.
"I'll go out and get some whiskey. My system requires it. You won't
mind being left alone for five minutes."
"Very good. I won't stay long."
Mr. Brown went out, and our hero sat down on the bed to wait for him.
"So this is my first night in the city," he thought. "I expected they
had better houses. This room isn't half so nice as I had at the
deacon's. But then I haven't got to hoe potatoes. I guess I'll like it
when I get used to it. There isn't anybody to order me round here."
Presently Mr. Brown came back. He had a bottle partially full of
whiskey with him.
"Sorry to keep you waiting," he said. "Were you lonely?"
"I've got a couple of glasses here somewhere. Oh, here they are. Now
we'll see how it tastes."
"Not much for me," said Sam. "I don't think I'll like it."
"It'll be good for your stomach. However, I won't give you much."
He poured out a little in one tumbler for Sam and a considerably
larger amount for himself.
"Your health," he said, nodding.
"Thank you," said Sam,
Sam tasted the whiskey, but the taste did not please him. He set down
the glass, but his host drained his at a draught.
"Don't you like it?" asked Brown.
"Not very much."
"Don't you care to drink it?"
"I guess not."
"It's a pity it should be wasted."
To prevent this, Mr. Brown emptied Sam's glass also.
"Now, if you are not sleepy, we might have a game of cards," suggested
"I think I'd rather go to bed," said Sam, yawning.
"All right! Go to bed any time. I dare say you are tired. Do you go to
"In a jiffy."
"Then you won't mind my absence. I've got to make a call on a sick
friend, but I shan't be out late. Just make yourself at home, go to
sleep, and you'll see me in the morning."
"Thank you, sir."
"Don't bolt the door, as I don't want to wake you up when I come in."
Again Mr. Brown went out, and Sam undressed and got into bed. It was
not very comfortable, and the solitary sheet looked as if it had not
been changed for three months or more. However, Sam was not
fastidious, and he was sleepy. So he closed his eyes, and was soon in
the land of dreams.
It was about two hours afterward that Clarence Brown entered the room.
He walked on tiptoe to the bed, and looked at Sam.
"He's fast asleep," he said to himself. "Did he undress? Oh, yes, here
are his clothes. I'll take the liberty of examining his pockets, to
see whether my trouble is likely to be rewarded."
Brown explored one pocket after the other. He found no pocket-book,
for Sam did not possess any. In fact he had never felt the need of one
until he appropriated the deacon's money. The balance of this was
tucked away in his vest-pocket.
"Six dollars and ten cents," said Brown, after counting it. "It isn't
much of a haul, that's a fact. I thought he had twice as much, at the
least. Still," he added philosophically, "it's better than nothing. I
shall find a use for it without doubt."
He tucked the money away in his own pocket, and sat on the edge of the
bedstead in meditation.
"I may as well go to bed," he reflected. "He won't find out his loss
in the night, and in the morning I can be off before he is up. Even if
I oversleep myself, I can brazen it out. He's only a green country
boy. Probably he won't suspect me, and if he does he can prove
He did not undress, but lay down on the bed dressed as he was. He,
too, was soon asleep, and Sam, unconscious of his loss, slept on. So
the money was doubly stolen, and the first thief suffered at the hands
of a more experienced thief.
The sun had been up nearly three hours the next morning before
Clarence Brown awoke. As he opened his eyes, his glance fell on Sam
still asleep, and the events of the evening previous came to his
"I must be up, and out of this," he thought, "before the young
greenhorn wakes up."
Being already dressed, with the exception of his coat, he had little
to do beyond rising. He crept out of the room on tiptoe, and, making
his way to a restaurant at a safe distance, sat down and ordered a
good breakfast at Sam's expense.
Meanwhile Sam slept on for half an hour more.
Finally he opened his eyes, and, oblivious of his changed
circumstances, was surprised that he had not been called earlier. But
a single glance about the shabby room recalled to his memory that he
was now beyond the deacon's jurisdiction.
"I am in New York," he reflected, with a thrill of joy. "But where is
He looked in vain for his companion, but no suspicion was excited in
"He didn't want to wake me up," he thought. "I suppose he has gone to
He stretched himself, and lay a little longer. It was a pleasant
thought that there was no stern taskmaster to force him up. He might
lie as long as he wanted to, till noon, if he chose. Perhaps he might
have chosen, but the claims of a healthy appetite asserted themselves,
and Sam sprang out of bed.
"I'll have a good breakfast," he said to himself, "and then I must
look around and see if I can't find something to do; my money will
soon be out."
It was natural that he should have felt for his money, at that moment,
but he did not. No suspicion of Mr. Brown's integrity had entered his
mind. You see Sam was very unsophisticated at that time, and, though
he had himself committed a theft, he did not suspect the honesty of
"I suppose I shall have to go without thanking Mr. Brown, as he don't
seem to be here," he reflected. "Perhaps I shall see him somewhere
about the streets. I've saved a dollar anyway, or at least
seventy-five cents," he added, thinking of the quarter he had lent his
hospitable entertainer the evening before. "Perhaps he'll let me sleep
here again to-night. It'll be a help to me, as long as I haven't got
anything to do yet."
Still Sam did not feel for his money, and was happily unconscious of
He opened his door, and found his way downstairs into the street
without difficulty. The halls and staircases looked even more dingy
and shabby in the daytime than they had done in the evening. "It isn't
a very nice place to live," thought Sam. "However, I suppose Mr. Brown
will be rich when his uncle dies. I wish he was rich now; he might
give me a place."
"Shine yer boots?" asked a small knight of the brush.
"No," said Sam, who had grown economical; "they don't need it."
He walked on for five minutes or more. Presently he came to an
eating-house. He knew it by the printed bills of fare which were
"Now, I'll have some breakfast," he thought, with satisfaction, and he
Sam sat down at a table, and took up the bill of fare. A colored
waiter stood by, and awaited his orders.
"Bring me a plate of beefsteak, a cup of coffee, and some
tea-biscuit," said Sam, with the air of a man of fortune.
"All right, sir," said the waiter.
"After all, it's pleasant living in New York," thought Sam, as he
leaned back in his chair, and awaited in pleasant anticipation the
fulfilment of his order. "It's different from livin' at the deacon's.
Here a feller can be independent."
"As long as he has money," Sam should have added; but, like some
business men, he was not aware of his present insolvency. Ignorance is
bliss, sometimes; and it is doubtful whether our hero would have eaten
his breakfast with as good a relish when it came, if he had known that
he had not a cent in his pocket.
Sam was soon served, and he soon made way with the articles he had
ordered. You can't get a very liberal supply of beefsteak for fifteen
cents, which was what Sam was charged for his meat. He felt hungry
still, after he had eaten what was set before him. So he took the bill
of fare once more, and pored over its well-filled columns.
"They must have a tremendous big kitchen to cook so many things," he
thought. "Why, there are as many as a hundred. Let me see—here's
buckwheat cakes, ten cents. I guess I'll have some."
"Anything more, sir?" asked the waiter, approaching to clear away the
"Buckwheat cakes, and another cup of coffee," ordered Sam.
"All right, sir."
"They treat me respectful, here," thought Sam. "What would the deacon
say to hear me called sir? I like it. Folks have better manners in the
city than in the country."
This was rather a hasty conclusion on the part of Sam, and it was not
long before he had occasion enough to change his mind.
He ate the buckwheat cakes with a relish, and felt tolerably
"Anything more, sir?" asked the waiter.
Sam was about to say no, when his eye rested on that portion of the
bill devoted to pastry, and he changed his mind.
"Bring me a piece of mince-pie," he said.
Sam was sensible that he was ordering breakfast beyond his means, but
he vaguely resolved that he would content himself with a small dinner.
He really could not resist the temptation of the pie.
At last it was eaten, and the waiter brought him a ticket, bearing the
price of his breakfast, fifty cents. Now, for the first time, he felt
in his vest-pocket for his money. He felt in vain. Still he did not
suspect his loss.
"I thought I put it in my vest-pocket," he said to himself. "I guess I
made a mistake, and put it in some other."
He felt in another pocket, and still another, till he had explored
every pocket he possessed, and still no money.
Sam turned pale, and his heart gave a sudden thump, as the extent of
his misfortune dawned upon him. It was not alone that he was without
money in a strange city, but he had eaten rather a hearty breakfast,
which he was unable to pay for. What would they think of him? What
would they do to him? He saw it all now. That specious stranger,
Clarence Brown, had robbed him in his sleep. That was why he had
invited him to spend the night in his room without charge. That was
why he had got up so early and stolen out without his knowledge, after
he had purloined all his money.
Sam was not particularly bashful; but he certainly felt something like
it, as he walked up to the cashier's desk. A man stood behind it,
rather stout, and on the whole not benevolent in his looks. There was
no softness about his keen business face. Sam inferred with a sinking
heart that he was not a man likely to sympathize with him in his
misfortunes, or seem to give credence to them.
Sam stood at the counter waiting while the proprietor was making
change for another customer. He was considering what he could best say
to propitiate his creditor.
"Now, then," said the man behind the counter, a little impatiently,
for another had come up behind Sam, "where's your ticket?"
"Here, sir," said Sam, laying it on the counter.
"Fifty cents. Pay quick, and don't keep me waiting."
"I am very sorry, sir," Sam began, faltering, "but—"
"But what!" exclaimed the proprietor, with an ominous scowl.
"I can't pay you now."
"Can't pay me now!" repeated the other, angrily; "what do you mean?"
"I've lost my money," said Sam, feeling more and more uncomfortable.
By this time the patience of the restaurant-keeper was quite gone.
"What business had you to come in here and order an expensive
breakfast when you had no money?" he demanded, furiously.
"I thought I had some money," said Sam, fervently wishing himself back
at the deacon's for the first time since his arrival in the city.
"How could you think you had some when you hadn't any?"
"I had some last night," said Sam, eagerly; "but I slept in Mr.
Brown's room, and he must have robbed me in the night."
"That's a likely story!" sneered the proprietor. "What do you think of
it, Mr. Jones?" he asked, turning to a customer, whom he knew by
Mr. Jones shrugged his shoulders.
"Too thin!" he replied, briefly.
"Of course it is," said the proprietor, angrily. "This boy's evidently
"A what?" inquired Sam, who had not been in the city long enough to
understand the meaning of the term.
"A dead beat; but you don't play any of your games on me, young man.
I've cut my eye-teeth, I have. You don't swindle me out of a
fifty-cent breakfast quite so easily. Here, John, call a policeman."
"Oh, don't call a policeman!" exclaimed Sam, terror-stricken. "It's
true, every word I've told you. I'm from the country. I only got to
the city yesterday, and I've been robbed of all my money, over six
dollars. I hope you'll believe me."
"I don't believe a word you say," said the restaurant-keeper, harshly.
"You are trying to come it over me. I dare say you've been round the
streets half your life."
"I think you are wrong, Mr. Chucks," said another customer, who was
waiting to pay his bill. "He's got a country look about him. He don't
look like one of the regular street boys. Better let him go. I
wouldn't call a policeman."
"I ought to," grumbled the proprietor. "Fancy his impudence in
ordering a fifty-cent breakfast, when he hadn't a cent to pay his
"I wouldn't have come in, if I had known," said Sam.
"Don't tell me," said the man, sharply, "for I don't believe it. Do
you think I can afford to give you breakfast for nothing?"
"I'll pay you as soon as I get some money," said Sam. "Only don't send
me to prison."
"I won't give you in charge this time, though I ought to; but I'll
give you something to settle your breakfast. Here, Peter, you waited
on this young man, didn't you?"
"He hasn't paid for his breakfast, and pretends he hasn't got any
money. Bounce him!"
If Sam was ignorant of the meaning of the word "bounce," he was soon
enlightened. The waiter seized him by the collar, before he knew what
was going to happen, pushed him to the door, and then, lifting his
foot by a well-directed kick, landed him across the sidewalk into the
This proceeding was followed by derisive laughter from the other
waiters who had gathered near the door, and it was echoed by two
street urchins outside, who witnessed Sam's ignominious exit from the
Sam staggered from the force of the bouncing, and felt disgraced and
humiliated to think that the waiter who had been so respectful and
attentive should have inflicted upon him such an indignity, which he
had no power to resent.
"I wish I was back at the deacon's," he thought bitterly.
"How do you feel?" asked one of the boys who had witnessed Sam's
humiliation, not sympathetically, but in a tone of mockery.
"None of your business!" retorted Sam, savagely.
"He feels bad, Mickey," said the other. "He's heard bad news, and
that's what made him in such a hurry."
Here both the boys laughed, and Sam retorted angrily, "I'll make you
feel bad, if you aint careful."
"Hear him talk, Mickey,—aint he smart?"
"I'll make you both smart," said Sam, beginning to roll up his
sleeves; for he was no coward, and the boys were only about his own
"He wants to bounce us, like he was bounced himself," said Pat Riley.
"How did it feel, Johnny?"
Sam gave chase, but his tormentors were better acquainted with the
city than he, and he did not succeed in catching them. Finally he gave
it up, and, sitting down on a convenient door-step, gave himself up to
ANY WAY TO MAKE A LIVING.
Boys who have a good home are apt to undervalue it. They do not
realize the comfort of having their daily wants provided for without
any anxiety on their part. They are apt to fancy that they would like
to go out into the great world to seek their fortunes. Sometimes it
may be necessary and expedient to leave the safe anchorage of home,
and brave the dangers of the unknown sea; but no boy should do this
without his parents' consent, nor then, without making up his mind
that he will need all his courage and all his resolution to obtain
Sam found himself penniless in a great city, and with no way open,
that he could think of, to earn money. Even the business of the
boot-black, humble as it is, required a small capital to buy a brush
and box of blacking. So, too, a newsboy must pay for his papers when
he gets them, unless he is well known. So Sam, sitting on the
door-step, felt that he was in a tight place. Where was he to get his
dinner from? He did not care to repeat his operation of the morning,
for it was not pleasant to be "bounced."
"I wonder if I couldn't get a chance in a store," he thought. "That
wouldn't need any money. There seems to be a lot of stores in the
city. I guess there must be a place for me somewhere."
This thought encouraged Sam. He rose from his lowly seat, and
determined to look about for a place. Presently he came to a
real-estate office. Sam did not understand very well what kind of a
business that was, but on the window a piece of paper was pasted, on
which was written, "A Boy Wanted."
"I guess I'll go in," thought Sam. "Maybe they'll take me."
There were three boys ahead of him; but they were not very
eligible-looking specimens. So they were dismissed with small
ceremony, and Sam was beckoned to the desk.
"I suppose you have come about the place," said a man with black
whiskers, and a pen behind his ear.
"Yes," answered Sam.
"How old are you?"
"Rather young. Still you are large of your age."
"I am pretty strong," said Sam, anxious to succeed in his
"There isn't any work to be done that requires strength," said the
black-whiskered man. "How is your education?"
"Pretty good," said Sam, with hesitation.
"Do you live in the city?"
"With your parents?"
"No, sir. They are dead."
"That is an objection. Perhaps, however, you live with an aunt or
uncle. That will answer as well."
"Yes," said Sam, determined to obviate this objection. "I live with my
"Where does he live?"
"In New York," answered Sam.
"Don't you understand me? I mean to ask the street and number."
Sam was posed. He could not at the moment think of the name of any
street except Broadway. But it would not do to hesitate. So he said
promptly, "He lives at No. 656 Broadway."
"What is his business?" inquired the black-whiskered man.
"He keeps a store," answered Sam, feeling that he was getting deeper
and deeper into the mire.
"What sort of a store?"
"A grocery store."
"What, at 656 Broadway?" demanded the other, in surprise. "I didn't
know there was a grocery store in that neighborhood."
"Oh, murder!" thought Sam. "I'm found out."
He made no answer, because he could not think of any.
"Why don't your father give you a place in his own store?" asked the
real-estate agent, with some suspicion in his tone.
"He's got all the help he wants," said Sam, quickly.
Here another boy entered the office, a boy neatly dressed, and
intelligent in appearance.
"Sit down a moment," said the agent to Sam, "while I speak with this
Sam took a seat, and listened to the conversation with the other boy.
The conclusion of the matter was, that the other boy was engaged and
Sam was obliged to go out to offer his services in some other
"What a lot of lies I had to tell!" he reflected. "What's the use of
their asking so many questions? I don't see. I'll have to try
As Sam was sauntering along he was accosted by a tall man, evidently
from the country.
"Boy, can you direct me to the 'Tribune' office?"
"Yes, sir," said Sam, "but it's some ways from here. It'll be worth
ten cents to lead you there."
The gentleman hesitated.
"Well," he said after a pause, "I'll give it to you."
"Will you give it to me now?" asked Sam.
"I will pay you when you have done your work."
"The reason I asked was, because I showed a man the other day, and
then he wouldn't pay me."
"That was mean," said the stranger. "I hope you don't think I would
serve you so."
"Oh, no, sir. You're a gentleman," said Sam. "You wouldn't cheat a
poor boy that hasn't had any breakfast this mornin'."
"Dear me! you don't say so?" ejaculated the compassionate stranger,
shocked at Sam's fiction. "Here, take this twenty-five cents. Do you
often have to go without your breakfast?"
"Often, sir," said Sam, unblushingly. "It's hard times for poor boys
"There's another quarter," said the stranger, his compassion still
more deeply moved.
Sam did feel some compunction now, for he was about to make a very
poor return for the kindness of his new acquaintance. The fact was, he
had not the slightest idea where the "Tribune" office was, and he had
therefore undertaken what he was unable to perform. But he had gone
too far to recede. Besides, he did not feel prepared to give up the
money which he had obtained through false pretences. So counterfeiting
a confidence which he did not feel he led the way up Centre street,
saying, "This way, sir. I'll lead you right to the office."
"I never was at the office," said the stranger, "though I've been a
subscriber to the weekly 'Tribune' for ten years."
"That's a good while," said Sam.
"It is indeed, my boy. I live in Illinois, more than a thousand miles
from this city. Indeed, I have never been in New York before."
"No; now you, I suppose, my young friend, know your way all about the
"Of course I do," said Sam, in an off-hand manner.
"If I had more time, I would get you to guide me round the city," said
"Wouldn't I lead you a wild-goose chase, old gentleman?" thought Sam.
"You'd be pretty well taken in, I guess."
"I am obliged to go away to-night," continued the old gentleman, "but
I thought I would renew my subscription to the 'Tribune' before I
"All right, sir; it's a nice paper," said Sam, who had never read a
line in the "Tribune."
"So I think. Are we almost at the office?"
"Almost," said Sam. "If you don't mind waiting I'll run over and speak
to my cousin a minute."
There was a boot-black on the opposite side of the street. It struck
Sam, who did not like to deceive so generous a patron, that he could
obtain the information he needed of this boy.
"Can you tell me where the 'Tribune' office is?" he asked hurriedly.
The boot-black had no more scruples about lying than Sam, and
answered, glibly, pointing to the Tombs prison, a little farther on,
"Do you see that big stone buildin'?"
"Yes," said Sam.
"Thank you," said Sam, feeling relieved, and never doubting the
correctness of this statement.
He returned to the stranger, and said, cheerfully, "We're almost
"Is that boy your cousin?" asked his acquaintance.
"Yes," said Sam.
"He blacks boots for a living."
"Does he do well at it?"
"Did you ever black boots?"
"No, sir," answered Sam, telling the truth by way of variety.
"That's the Tribune office," said Sam, a moment later, pointing to the
"Is it?" echoed the stranger, in surprise. "Really, it's a very
"Yes," said Sam, mistaking the word employed, "it's very massy."
"It doesn't look much like a newspaper office."
For the first time Sam began to suspect that he had been deceived, and
he naturally felt in a hurry to get away.
"You go right in," he said, confidently, "and they'll attend to you
inside. Now I'll go and get some breakfast."
"To be sure. You must be hungry."
The stranger walked up the massive steps, and Sam hurried away.
"I wonder what place that is, anyhow," he said to himself. "Now I've
got money enough for dinner."
For a country boy Sam was getting along fast.
SAM MEETS BROWN AND IS UNHAPPY,
Never doubting Sam's assurance, the stranger entered the gloomy
building, the lower part of which is divided into court-rooms. Out of
one of these a man came, to whom he addressed this question: "Where is
"The counting-room!" repeated the man, staring. "There isn't any here,
that I know of."
"I want to subscribe for the weekly edition," explained the man from
"It strikes me you're a weakly edition of a man yourself," thought the
other. "He must be a lunatic," was the next thought. "I may as well
"Go in at that door," he said.
The stranger entered as directed, and at once recognized it as a
"It is very singular that there should be a courtroom in the 'Tribune'
office," he thought. He took a seat, and whispered to a man at his
side: "Can you tell me where the 'Tribune' office is?"
"Printing-house Square," was the whispered reply.
"Not much over a quarter of a mile from here."
"The boy deceived me," thought the stranger indignantly, "and I gave
him fifty cents for doing it. He must be a young rascal."
"What building is this?" he asked, still in a whisper.
"What, the prison!"
"Yes; didn't you know it?" asked the informant, in surprise.
"I am a stranger in the city," said the Illinois man apologetically.
"Did you want to go to the 'Tribune' office?"
"Yes; I wished to subscribe for the paper."
"I am going that way. I will show you if you desire it."
"Thank you. I shall consider it a favor."
So the two retraced their steps, and this time our Illinois friend
found the office of which he was in quest. He came near finding Sam
also, for as he stood in front of French's Hotel, he saw his recent
acquaintance approaching, and quickly dodged inside the hotel till he
had passed. A boot-black to whom he had been speaking followed him in
"I say, what's up, Johnny?" he asked. "Yer didn't see a copp, did
"No, it's that man that just went by."
"He's the man I ran away from," said Sam, not caring to tell the
"What would he do if he should catch you?" asked the boot-black, with
"Lick me," said Sam, laconically.
"Then you did right. Is he going to stay here long?"
"No; he's going away to-day."
"Then you're safe. You'd better go the other way from him."
"So I will," said Sam. "Where's the Park I've heard so much about?"
"Up that way."
"Is it far?"
"Four or five miles."
"It's a long way to walk."
"You can ride for five cents."
"Yes; just go over to the Astor House, and take the Sixth avenue cars,
and they'll take you there."
Sam had intended to spend his entire fifty cents in buying dinner when
the time came, but he thought he would like to see Central Park.
Besides, he would be safe from pursuit, and the punishment which he
felt he deserved. Following the directions of his boy friend, he
entered a Sixth avenue car, and in a little less than an hour was set
down at one of the gates of the Park. He entered with a number of
others, and followed the path that seemed most convenient, coming out
at last at the lake. Until now Sam had thought rather slightingly of
the Park. Green fields were no novelty to him, but he admired the lake
with the boats that plied over its surface filled with lively
passengers. He would have invested ten cents in a passage ticket; but
he felt that if he did this, he must sacrifice a part of his intended
dinner, and Sam was growing prudent. He wandered about the Park two or
three hours, sitting down at times on the benches that are to be found
here and there for the convenience of visitors. He felt ready to go
back; but it was only noon, and he was not sure but he might fall in
with the gentleman from Illinois, whom he had left at the entrance of
He was destined to meet an acquaintance, but this time it was some one
that had cheated him. Looking up from the bench on which he was
seated, he saw his host of the preceding night, Mr. Clarence Brown,
lounging along, smoking a cigar, with a look of placid contentment on
"That cigar was bought with my money," thought Sam, bitterly; and in
this conclusion he was right.
Sam jumped from his seat, and advanced to meet his enemy.
"Look here, Mr. Brown!"
Clarence Brown started as he saw who addressed him, for he was far
from expecting to meet Sam here. He saw from the boy's looks that he
was suspected of robbing him, and decided upon his course.
"Oh, it's you, is it?" he said, smiling. "How do you like the Park?"
"Never mind about that," said Sam, impatiently. "I want my money."
Mr. Brown arched his eyes in surprise.
"Really, my young friend, I don't comprehend you," he said,
withdrawing his cigar from his mouth. "You speak as if I owed you some
"Quit fooling!" said Sam, provoked at the other's coolness. "I want
that money you took from me while I was asleep last night."
"It strikes me you have been dreaming," said Brown, composedly. "I
don't know anything about your money. How much did you have?"
"Nearly seven dollars."
"Are you sure you had it when you went to bed?"
"Yes. I kept it in my vest-pocket."
"That was careless. You should have concealed it somewhere. I would
have kept it for you if you had asked me."
"I dare say you would," said Sam, with withering sarcasm.
"Certainly, I wouldn't refuse so small a favor."
"Are you sure you didn't keep it for me?" said Sam.
"How could I, when you didn't give it to me?" returned the other,
"If you didn't take it," said Sam, rather staggered by the other's
manner, "where did it go to?"
"I don't know, of course; but I shouldn't be surprised if it fell out
of your vest-pocket among the bed-clothes. Did you look?"
"You might have overlooked it."
"Perhaps so," said Sam, thoughtfully.
He began to think he had suspected Mr. Brown unjustly. Otherwise, how
could he be so cool about it?
"I am really sorry for your loss," said Brown, in a tone of sympathy;
"all the more so, because I am hard up myself. I wish I had seven
dollars to lend you."
"I wish you had," muttered Sam. "I can't get along without money."
"Did you have any breakfast?"
Sam did not furnish particulars, not liking to acknowledge the
treatment he had received.
"Oh, you'll get along," said Brown, cheerfully. "Come and lodge with
me again to-night."
"I don't know but what I will," said Sam, reflecting that he had no
money to lose now, as he intended to spend all he had for dinner.
"Sit down and let us have a friendly chat," said Clarence Brown.
"Won't you have a cigar? I've got an extra one."
"I never smoked," said Sam.
"Then it's time you learned. Shall I show you how?"
"Yes," said Sam.
The fact is, our very badly behaved hero had long cherished a desire
to see how it seemed to smoke a cigar; but in the country he had never
had the opportunity. In the city he was master of his own actions, and
it occurred to him that he would never have a better opportunity.
Hence his affirmative answer.
Clarence Brown smiled slightly to himself, for he anticipated fun. He
produced the cigar, lighted it by his own, and gave Sam directions how
to smoke. Sam proved an apt pupil, and was soon puffing away with
conscious pride. He felt himself several years older. But all at once
he turned pale, and drew the cigar from his mouth.
"What's the matter?" asked Brown, demurely.
"I—don't—know," gasped Sam, his eyes rolling; "I—feel—sick."
"Do you? Don't mind it; it'll pass off."
"I think I'm going to die," said Sam, in a hollow voice. "Does smoking
ever kill people?"
"Not often," said Brown, soothingly.
"I think it's goin' to kill me," said Sam, mournfully.
"Lie down on the bench. You'll feel better soon."
Sam lay down on his back, and again he wished himself safely back at
the deacon's. New York seemed to him a very dreadful place. His head
ached; his stomach was out of tune, and he felt very unhappy.
"Lie here a little while, and you'll feel better," said his companion.
"I'll be back soon."
He walked away to indulge in a laugh at his victim's expense, and Sam
was left alone.
An hour passed, and Clarence Brown did not reappear. He had intended
to do so, but reflecting that there was no more to be got out of Sam
changed his mind.
Sam lay down on the bench for some time, then raised himself to a
sitting posture. He did not feel so sick as at first, but his head
"I won't smoke any more," he said to himself. "I didn't think it would
make me feel so bad."
I am sorry to say that Sam did not keep the resolution he then made;
but at the time when he is first introduced to the reader, in the
first chapter, had become a confirmed smoker.
"Why don't Mr. Brown come back?" he thought, after the lapse of an
He waited half an hour longer, when he was brought to the conviction
that Brown had played him false, and was not coming back at all. With
this conviction his original suspicion revived, and he made up his
mind that Brown had robbed him after all.
"I'd like to punch his head," thought Sam, angrily.
It did not occur to him that the deacon, from whom the money was
originally taken, had the same right to punch his head. As I have
said, Sam's conscience was not sensitive, and self-interest blinded
him to the character of his own conduct.
His experience in smoking had given him a distaste for the Park, for
this afternoon at least, and he made his way to the horse-cars
determined to return. It did make him feel a little forlorn to reflect
that he had no place to return to; no home but the streets. He had not
yet contracted that vagabond feeling which makes even them seem
homelike to the hundreds of homeless children who wander about in them
by day and by night.
He was in due time landed at the Astor House. It was about four
o'clock in the afternoon, and he had had nothing to eat since
breakfast. But for the cigar, he would have had a hearty appetite. As
it was, he felt faint, and thought he should relish some tea and
toast. He made his way, therefore, to a restaurant in Fulton street,
between Broadway and Nassau streets. It was a very respectable place,
but at that time in the afternoon there were few at the tables. Sam
had forty cents left. He found that this would allow him to buy a cup
of tea, a plate of beefsteak, a plate of toast, and a piece of pie. He
disposed of them, and going up to the desk paid his bill. Again he
found himself penniless.
"I wonder where I am going to sleep," he thought. "I guess I'll ask
some boot-blacks where they live. They can't afford to pay much."
The tea made his head feel better; and, though he was penniless, he
began to feel more cheerful than an hour before.
He wandered about till he got tired, leaning against a building
sometimes. He began to feel lonely. He knew nobody in the great city
except Clarence Brown, whom he did not care to meet again, and the
boot-black whose acquaintance he had made the day before.
"I wish I had some other boy with me," thought Sam; "somebody I knew.
It's awful lonesome."
Sam was social by temperament, and looked about him to see if he could
not make some one's acquaintance. Sitting on the same bench with
him—for he was in City Hall Park—was a boy of about his own age
apparently. To him Sam determined to make friendly overtures.
"What is your name, boy?" asked Sam.
The other boy looked round at him. He was very much freckled, and had
a sharp look which made him appear preternaturally old.
"What do you want to know for?" he asked.
"I don't know anybody here. I'd like to get acquainted."
The street boy regarded him attentively to see if he were in earnest,
and answered, after a pause, "My name is Tim Brady. What's yours?"
"Where do you live?"
"Nowhere," said Sam. "I haven't got any home, nor any money."
"That's nothing!" said Tim. "No more have I."
"Haven't you?" said Sam, surprised. "Then where are you going to sleep
"I know an old wagon, up an alley, where I can sleep like a top."
"Aint you afraid of taking cold, sleeping out of doors?" asked Sam,
who, poor as he had always been, had never been without a roof to
"Take cold!" repeated the boy, scornfully. "I aint a baby. I don't
take cold in the summer."
"I shouldn't think you could sleep in a wagon."
"Oh, I can sleep anywhere," said Tim. "It makes no difference to me
where I curl up."
"Is there room enough in the wagon for me?" asked Sam.
"Yes, unless some other chap gets ahead of us."
"May I go with you?"
"In course you can."
"Suppose we find somebody else ahead of us."
"Then we'll go somewhere else. There's plenty of places. I say,
Johnny, haven't you got no stamps at all?"
"Yes, money. Don't you know what stamps is?"
"No. I spent my last cent for supper."
"If you'd got thirty cents we'd go to the theatre."
"The Old Bowery."
"Is it good?"
"Then I wish I had money enough to go. I never went to the theatre in
"You didn't! Where was you raised?" said Tim, contemptuously.
"In the country."
"I thought so."
"They don't have theatres in the country."
"Then I wouldn't live there. It must be awful dull there."
"So it is," said Sam. "That's why I ran away."
"Did you run away?" asked Tim, interested. "Was it from the old man?"
"It was from the man I worked for. He wanted me to work all the time,
and I got tired of it."
"What sort of work was it?" asked Tim.
"It was on a farm. I had to hoe potatoes, split wood, and such
"I wouldn't like it. It's a good deal more jolly bein' in the city."
"If you've only got money enough to get along," added Sam.
"Oh, you can earn money."
"How?" asked Sam, eagerly.
"How do you make a livin'?"
"Sometimes I black boots, sometimes I sell papers, then again, I smash
"What's that?" asked Sam, bewildered.
"Oh, I forgot," exclaimed Tim. "You're from the country. I loaf round
the depots and steamboat landin's, and carry carpet-bags and such
things for pay."
"Is that smashing baggage?"
"To be sure."
"I could do that," said Sam, thoughtfully. "Can you make much that
"'Pends on how many jobs you get, and whether the cove's liberal.
Wimmen's the wust. They'll beat a chap down to nothin', if they can."
"How much do you get anyway for carrying a bundle?"
"I axes fifty cents, and generally gets a quarter. The wimmen don't
want to pay more'n ten cents."
"I guess I'll try it to-morrow, if you'll tell me where to go."
"You can go along of me. I'm goin smashin' myself to-morrer."
"Thank you," said Sam. "I'm glad I met you. You see I don't know much
about the city."
"Didn't you bring no money with you?"
"Yes, but it was stolen."
"Was your pockets picked?"
"I'll tell you about it. I was robbed in my sleep."
So Sam told the story of his adventures with Clarence Brown. Tim
"He was smart, he was," said Tim, approvingly.
"He's a rascal," said Sam, hotly, who did not relish hearing his
"Course he is, but he's smart too. You might a knowed he'd do it."
"How should I know? I thought he was a kind man, that wanted to do me
Tim burst out laughing.
"Aint you green, though?" he remarked. "Oh my eye, but you're jolly
"Am I?" said Sam, rather offended. "Is everybody a thief in New
"Most everybody, if they gets a chance," said Tim, coolly. "Didn't you
ever steal yourself?"
Sam colored. He had temporarily forgotten the little adventure that
preceded his departure from his country home. After all, why should he
be so angry with Clarence Brown for doing the very same thing he had
done himself? Why, indeed? But Sam had an answer ready. The deacon did
not need the money, while he could not get along very well without it.
So it was meaner in Clarence Brown to take all he had, than in him to
take what the deacon could so well spare.
I hope my readers understand that this was very flimsy and
unsatisfactory reasoning. Stealing is stealing, under whatever
circumstances. At any rate Sam found it inconvenient to answer Tim's
They talked awhile longer, and then his companion rose from the
"Come along, Johnny," he said. "Let's go to roost."
"All right," said Sam, and the two left the Park.
SAM TURNS IMPOSTOR.
Tim conducted our hero to an alley-way, not far from the North river,
in which an old wagon had come to temporary anchor.
"This is my hotel," he said. "I like it cause it's cheap. They don't
trouble you with no bills here. Tumble in."
Tim, without further ceremony, laid himself down on the floor of the
wagon, and Sam followed his example. There is everything in getting
used to things, and that is where Tim had the advantage. He did not
mind the hardness of his couch, while Sam, who had always been
accustomed to a regular bed, did. He moved from one side to another,
and then lay on his back, seeking sleep in vain.
"What's up?" muttered Tim, sleepily. "Why don't you shut your
"The boards are awful hard," Sam complained.
"It aint nothin' when you're used to it," said Tim. "You go to sleep,
and you won't mind it."
"I wish I could," said Sam, turning again.
Finally he succeeded in getting to sleep, but not till some time after
his companion. He slept pretty well, however, and did not awaken till,
at six o'clock, he was shaken by his companion.
"What's the matter? Where am I?" asked Sam, feeling bewildered at
"Why, here you are, in course," said the matter-of-fact Tim. "Did you
think you was in the station-house?"
"No, I hope not," answered Sam. "What time is it?"
"I don't know. A chap stole my watch in the night. I guess it's after
six. Have you got any stamps?"
"Nor I. We've got to stir round, and earn some breakfast."
"How'll we do it?"
"We'll go down to the pier, and wait for the Boston boat. Maybe we'll
get a chance to smash some baggage."
"I hope so," said Sam, "for I'm hungry."
"I'm troubled that way myself," said Tim. "Come along."
When they reached the pier, they found a number of boys, men, and
hack-drivers already in waiting. They had to wait about half an hour,
when they saw the great steamer slowly approaching the wharf.
Instantly Tim was on the alert.
"When they begin to come ashore, you must go in and try your luck.
Just do as I do."
This Sam resolved to do.
A tall man emerged from the steamer, bearing a heavy carpet-bag.
"Smash yer baggage?" said Tim.
"No, I think not. I can carry it myself."
"I haven't had any breakfast," said Tim, screwing up his freckled
features into an expression of patient suffering.
"Nor I either," said the stranger, smiling.
"You've got money to buy some, and I haven't," said Tim, keeping at
"Well, you may carry it," said the gentleman, good-naturedly.
Tim turned half round, and winked at Sam, as much as to say, "Did you
see how I did it?"
Sam was quick enough to take the hint.
"Smash your carpet-bag?" he asked of a middle-aged lady, imitating as
closely as possible Tim's professional accent.
"What?" asked the lady, startled.
"She don't understand," thought Sam. "Let me carry it for you,
"I do not need it. I am going to take a cab."
"Let me take it to the cab," persisted Sam; but he was forestalled by
a hack-driver who had heard the lady's remark.
"Let me take it, ma'am," he said, thrusting Sam aside. "I've got a
nice carriage just outside. Take you anywhere you want to go."
So the lady was carried away, and Sam had to make a second
application. This time he addressed himself to a gentleman whose
little daughter walked by his side.
"No," said the gentleman; "the carpet-bag is small. I don't need
The smallness of the bag, by the way, was one reason why Sam, who did
not like heavy bundles, wanted to carry it. He felt that it was time
to practise on the stranger's feelings.
"I want to earn some money to buy bread for my mother," he whined, in
a very creditable manner, considering how inexperienced he was.
This attracted the attention of the little girl, who, like most little
girls, had a tender and compassionate heart.
"Is your mother poor?" she asked.
"Very poor," said Sam. "She hasn't got a cent to buy bread for the
"Have you got many brothers and sisters?" asked the little girl, her
voice full of sympathy.
"Five," answered Sam, piteously.
"O papa," said the little girl, "let him take your carpet-bag. Think
of it, his mother hasn't got anything to eat."
"Well, Clara," said her father, indulgently, "I suppose I must gratify
you. Here, boy, take the bag, and carry it carefully."
"All right, sir," said Sam, cheerfully.
"I guess I can get along," he thought, complacently. "That's a good
"When we get to Broadway, we'll take the stage," said the gentleman.
"Take hold of my hand, tight, Clara, while we cross the street."
Clara seemed disposed to be sociable, and entered into conversation
with the young baggage-smasher.
"Are your brothers and sisters younger than you?" she inquired.
"Yes," said Sam.
"How many of them are boys?"
"There's two boys besides me, and three girls," said Sam, readily.
"What are their names?" asked Clara.
"Why," answered Sam, hesitating a little, "there's Tom and Jim and
John, and Sam and Maggie."
"I don't see how that can be," said Clara, puzzled. "Just now; you
said there were three girls and only two boys."
"Did I?" said Sam, rather abashed. "I didn't think what I was
"Isn't your father alive?" asked the little girl.
"No; he's dead."
"And do you have to support the family?"
"Yes; except what mother does."
"What does she do?"
"Oh, she goes out washing."
"Poor boy, I suppose you have a hard time."
"Yes," said Sam; "some days we don't get anything to eat."
"O papa, isn't it dreadful?" said Clara, her warm little heart
throbbing with sympathy.
Her father was less credulous, and he was struck by Sam's hearty
appearance. Certainly he looked very unlike a boy who did not have
enough to eat.
"You don't look as if you suffered much from hunger, my boy," said he,
with a penetrating look.
"I had a good dinner yesterday," said Sam. "A gentleman gave me some
money for showing him the way to the 'Tribune' office."
"One dinner seems to have done you a great deal of good," said the
"It always does me good," said Sam, and here he had no occasion to
tell a falsehood.
"I hope you carried some of the money home to your mother, and
brothers and sisters."
"Yes, I did; I bought some meat, and mother cooked it. We don't often
"Perhaps I am doing the boy injustice," thought Mr. Glenham, for this
was his name.
As for Clara, her childish sympathies were fully aroused.
"Papa," she said, "may I give this poor boy the half dollar Aunt Lucy
"I thought you had arranged some way of spending it, Clara."
"So I had, papa; but I'd rather give it to this poor boy,"
"You may do as you like, my darling," said her father, tenderly.
"Here, poor boy, take this home to your mother," said Clara.
My readers have probably inferred already that Sam was not a boy of
very high principles, but I must do him the justice to say that he
felt ashamed to take the money tendered him by the little girl upon
whom he had imposed by his false story.
"I don't like to take your money," he said, hanging back.
"But I want you to," said Clara, eagerly. "I'd a great deal rather
your mother would have it."
"You may take it," said Mr. Glenham, who was disposed to regard Sam
with greater favor, on account of the reluctance he exhibited to
profit by Clara's compassion.
"Thank you," said Sam, no longer withholding his hand. "You are very
By this time they had reached Broadway, and Sam delivered up the bag.
Mr. Glenham handed him a quarter.
"That is for your trouble," he said.
"Thank you, sir," said Sam.
A Broadway stage came up, and they both were lost to view.
Sam was in good spirits over his good fortune.
"Seventy-five cents!" he said to himself. "That's what I call luck. I
don't believe Tim's done so well. It aint so hard to make your living
in New York, after all. I guess I'll go and get some breakfast."
HOW SAM FARED.
On the strength of his good luck, Sam provided himself with a good
breakfast, which cost him forty cents. He felt pretty sure of earning
something more during the day to add to the remaining thirty-five. But
Fortune is capricious, and our hero found all his offers of service
firmly refused. He tried again to excite compassion by his fictitious
story of a starving family at home; but his appeals were made to the
flinty-hearted or the incredulous. So, about two o'clock, he went to
dinner, and spent the remainder of his money.
Again he spent the night with Tim in the wagon, and again in the
morning he set out to earn his breakfast. But luck was against him.
People insisted on carrying their own carpet-bags, to the great
detriment of the baggage-smashing business. Tim was no luckier than
Sam. About ten o'clock they were walking despondently through a side
street, discussing ways and means.
"I'm awful hungry, Tim," said Sam, mournfully.
"So am I, you bet!"
"I wouldn't mind if I had a couple of apples," said Sam, fixing his
eyes upon an old woman's apple-stand. "Wouldn't she trust?"
"Not much," said Tim. "You try her, if you want to."
"I will," said Sam, desperately.
The two boys approached the apple-stand.
"I say," said Sam to the wrinkled old woman who presided over it, "how
do you sell your apples?"
"A penny a piece," she answered, in a cracked voice. "Is that cheap
enough for ye?"
"I'll take five," said Sam.
The old woman began eagerly to pick out the required number, but
stopped short when he finished the sentence,—"if you'll trust me till
"Is it trust ye?" she ejaculated suspiciously. "No farther than I can
see yer. I'm up to your tricks, you young spalpeen, thryin' to chate a
poor widder out of her money."
"I'll pay you sure," said Sam, "but I haven't earned anything yet
"Then it's I that can't be supportin' a big, strong boy like you. Go
away and come back, whin you've got money."
Here Tim broke in.
"My friend always pays his bills," he said. "You needn't be afraid to
"And who are you?" asked the old woman. "I don't know you, and I can't
take your word. You're tryin' the two of you to swindle a poor
"My father's an alderman," said Tim, giving the wink to Sam.
"Is he now? Thin, let him lind your friend money, and don't ask a poor
woman to trust."
"Well, I would, but he's gone to Washington on business."
"Thin, go after him, and lave me alone. I don't want no spalpeens like
you round my apple-stand."
"Look here, old woman, I'll have you arrested for callin' me names.
Come away, Sam; her apples are rotten anyhow."
The old woman began to berate them soundly, indignant at this attack
upon her wares; and in the midst of it the two boys walked off.
"We didn't make much," said Sam. "I'm awful hungry."
"Take that, then," said Tim, pulling an apple out of his pocket,
Sam opened his eyes.
"How did you get it?" he asked in astonishment.
Tim put his tongue in his cheek.
"I took it when you were talkin' to the ould woman," he answered; "and
So saying he produced a companion apple, and made a vigorous onslaught
upon it, Sam following suit.
"I don't see how you could do it," said Sam, admiringly, "and she
looking on all the time."
"It's easy enough when you know how," said Tim, complacently.
"She'd catch me, sure."
"Likely she would; you aint used to it."
Sam ought to have felt uneasy at appropriating the result of a theft;
but his conscience was an easy one, and he felt hungry. So he made
short work of the apple, and wished for more.
"I wish you'd taken two apiece," he said.
"I couldn't," said Tim. "She'd have seen 'em stickin' out of my
pocket, and called a copp."
"One's better than none; I feel a little better," said Sam,
philosophically. "I 'spose it's stealing, though."
"Oh, what's the odds? She'll never miss 'em. Come along."
In the course of the forenoon Sam managed to earn ten cents, and was
forced to content himself with a very economical dinner. There was a
place on Ann street, where, for this small sum, a plate of meat and a
potato were furnished, but enough only to whet the appetite of a
hearty boy like Sam. A suspicion did enter his mind as he rose from
the table penniless once more, and his appetite still unsatisfied,
that he had bought his liberty dearly, if his affairs did not improve.
In the country he had enough to eat, a good bed to sleep in, and no
care or anxiety, while he was not overworked. Here there was constant
anxiety, and he never knew, when he rose in the morning, where his
dinner was to come from, or whether he would be able to buy one. Still
there was a fascination in the free, lawless life, and if he could
only be sure of making even fifty cents a day he would probably have
It is not necessary to describe Sam's life in detail for the next
month. He and Tim were constant companions; and under Tim's
instruction he was rapidly acquiring the peculiar education of a
street vagabond. Of his employments in that brief period it would be
difficult to give a complete list. At one time he blacked boots for
another boy, to whom he paid half his receipts, in return for the use
of the box and blacking. But Sam was detected by his employer in
rendering a false account, and was thrown upon his own resources
again. It would have been much more to his interest to have a
blacking-brush and box of his own; but whenever Sam had capital enough
he preferred to spend it for a good dinner, so there did not seem much
chance of his getting ahead. He had, before this time, been introduced
to the Newsboys' Lodging House, where he was interrogated about his
past life by the superintendent. Sam was obliged to have recourse to
his imagination in reply, feeling that if he spoke the truth he would
be liable to be returned to his country home.
"Are your parents living?" inquired Mr. O'Connor.
"No," said Sam, telling the truth this time.
"When did they die?"
"Two years ago."
"Did they die in New York?"
"Yes, sir. They died of small-pox," volunteered Sam.
"And have you been supporting yourself since then?"
"How does it happen that you have not been round here before?"
"I was living with my uncle," answered Sam, hesitating.
"Why have you left him?"
"He didn't treat me well."
"Perhaps you didn't behave well."
"Oh, yes, I did."
"What is your uncle's name?"
"Where does he live,—in what street?"
"He's moved away from the city now," said Sam, feeling that he must
put a stop to these inconvenient inquiries.
So Sam was admitted to the privileges of the lodging-house. Now, he
found it much easier to get along. For eighteen cents a day he was
provided with lodging, breakfast and supper, and it was not often that
he could not obtain as much as that. When he could earn enough more to
buy a "square meal" in the middle of the day, and a fifteen-cent
ticket to the pit of the Old Bowery theatre in the evening, he felt
happy. He was fairly adrift in the streets of the great city, and his
future prospects did not look very brilliant. It is hardly necessary
to say that in a moral point of view he had deteriorated rather than
improved. In fact, he was fast developing into a social outlaw, with
no particular scruples against lying or stealing. One thing may be
said in his favor, he never made use of his strength to oppress a
younger boy. On the whole, he was good-natured, and not at all brutal.
He had on one occasion interfered successfully to protect a young boy
from one of greater strength who was beating him. I like to mention
this, because I do not like to have it supposed that Sam was wholly
We will now advance the story some months, and see what they have done
To begin with, they have not improved his wardrobe. When he first came
to the city he was neatly though coarsely dressed; now his clothes
hang in rags about him, and, moreover, they are begrimed with mud and
grease. His straw hat and he have some time since parted company, and
he now wears a greasy article which he picked up at a second-hand
store in Baxter street for twenty-five cents. If Sam were troubled
with vanity, he might feel disturbed by his disreputable condition;
but as he sees plenty of other boys of his own class no better
dressed, he thinks very little about it. Such as they are, his clothes
are getting too small for him, for Sam has grown a couple of inches
since he came to the city.
Such was our hero's appearance when one day he leaned against a
building on Broadway, and looked lazily at the vehicles passing,
wishing vaguely that he had enough money to buy a square meal. A
Broadway stage was passing at the time. A small man, whose wrinkled
face indicated that he was over sixty, attempted to descend from the
stage while in motion. In some way he lost his footing, and, falling,
managed to sprain his ankle, his hat falling off and rolling along on
Sam, who was always on the lookout for chances, here saw an opening.
He dashed forward, lifted the old gentleman to his feet, and ran after
his hat, and restored it.
"Are you hurt?" he asked.
"I think I have sprained my ankle. Help me upstairs to my office,"
said the old man.
He pointed to a staircase leading up from the sidewalk.
"All right," said Sam. "Lean on me."
SAM GETS INTO A NEW BUSINESS.
Sam helped the old man up two flights of stairs.
"Shall we go any farther?" he asked.
"No; that's my office," said his companion, pointing to a door, over
which was the number 10. From his pocket he drew a key, and opened the
door. Sam entered with him. The room was small. One corner was
partitioned off for an inner office. Inside was a chair, something
like a barber's chair, and a table covered with instruments. Sam's
curiosity was aroused. He wondered what sort of business was carried
on here. He also wondered whether he would get anything for his
"If you don't want me any longer I'll go," he said, by way of a
"Stop a minute," said the old man, who had limped to a sofa in the
outer office, and sat down.
"I guess I'll get something," thought Sam, cheerfully complying with
"What do you do for a living?" asked the old man.
"Sometimes I black boots, sometimes I sell papers,—anything that'll
"What are you doing now?"
"Nothing. Business aint good."
"Would you like something to do?"
Sam gave a glance into the office, and answered dubiously, "Yes." He
was not at all clear about the nature of the employment likely to be
"Then I may be able to give you a job. Do you know my business?"
"I'm a corn-doctor—you've heard of Dr. Felix Graham, the celebrated
corn-doctor, haven't you?" said the old man, complacently.
"Yes," said Sam, thinking that this was the answer expected.
"I am Dr. Graham," said the old man, proudly.
"Are you?" said Sam in some curiosity.
"Yes. Now I'll tell you what I want you to do. Go and bring me that
pile of circulars."
He pointed to a pile of papers on the floor in the corner.
Sam brought them as directed.
"Can you read?" asked the doctor.
"Yes, sir, a little."
"Read that circular."
Sam read as follows:
"DR. FELIX GRAHAM,
Corns and bunions cured without pain.
BROADWAY, ROOM 10."
Sam bungled over the word chiropodist, but was put right by the
"I want a boy to stand at the door, and distribute these circulars,"
said Dr. Graham. "Can you do it?"
"Of course I can," said Sam. "What pay will I get?"
"Ten cents a hundred;" said the doctor, "but you mustn't do as my last
"How did he do?" asked Sam.
"He was so anxious to get rid of them that he gave half a dozen away
at a time. I caught him in it. He wanted to earn money too fast."
"He was smart," said Sam, with a grin.
"I don't like that kind of smartness," said the doctor, sharply. "I
want you to serve me faithfully."
"So I will," said Sam.
"You needn't give to everybody. There isn't much use in giving to
"But if you see any one walking as if he had corns, be sure to hand
"Now count off a hundred of the circulars, and go downstairs."
"All right, sir."
This was the first regular employment Sam had obtained, and he felt
rather important. He resolved to acquit himself to the satisfaction of
the doctor. In his zeal he even determined to improve upon his
He had no sooner taken his stand than he saw a gentleman and lady
approaching. They were young, and, being engaged, were indulging in
conversation more interesting to themselves than any one else. The
gentleman had on a pair of tight boots, and from his style of walking
Sam concluded that he was a suitable customer.
"Here, sir," said he, pressing a circular into the young man's gloved
"What's that?" asked the young man. Then, glancing at it, he showed it
with a laugh to the young lady.
"Look here, boy," he said turning to Sam, "what made you give me
"You walked as if you'd got corns," said Sam, honestly. "Walk right
up, and Dr. Graham will cure 'em in a jiffy."
"Perhaps you'll tell me what is to become of this young lady while I
go up, Johnny?"
"Maybe she's got corns too," said Sam. "She can go up too."
Both the lady and gentleman laughed convulsively, considerably to
Sam's surprise, for he was not aware that he had said anything unusual
"Shall we go up, Eliza?" asked the young man.
The only answer was a laugh, and they passed on.
The next one who attracted Sam's attention was an elderly maiden
"Have you got corns, ma'am?" asked Sam, eagerly.
Now it so happened that the lady was a little deaf, and did not
understand Sam's question. Unfortunately for herself, she stopped
short, and inquired, "What did you say?"
"I guess she's hard of hearing," Sam concluded, and raising his voice
loud enough to be heard across the street, he repeated his question:
"HAVE YOU GOT CORNS, MA'AM?"
At the same time he thrust a circular into the hand of the astonished
and mortified lady.
Two school-girls, just behind, heard the question, and laughed
heartily. The offended lady dropped the paper as if it were
contamination, and sailed by, her sallow face red with anger.
"That's funny," thought Sam. "I don't know what's got into all the
people. Seems to me they're ashamed of havin' corns."
The next half-dozen took circulars, mechanically glanced at them, and
dropped them indifferently.
"Guess they aint got corns," thought the observing Sam.
By and by a countryman came along, and into his hand Sam put the
"What's this?" he asked.
"It's corns. Just go upstairs, and the doctor'll cure 'em less'n no
"Wal, I have got two," said the countryman. "They hurt like time too.
What does this doctor charge?"
Sam did not know, but he was not the boy to allow his ignorance to
"Ten cents apiece," he answered.
"That's cheap enough, anyway," said he. "I've got a good mind to go
up. Where is it?"
"Come along. I'll show you," said Sam, promptly.
"I guess I may as well. Are you sure he can cure 'em?"
"I ought to know," said Sam. "I had one about as big as a marble on my
big toe. The doctor, he cured it in a minute."
"You don't say! He must be pooty good."
"You bet! He's the great Dr. Graham. Everybody's heard of him."
By such convincing assurances the man's faith was increased. He
followed Sam into the doctor's office.
"Here," said Sam, "I've brought you a customer, Dr. Graham. I told him
you could cure his corns in a jiffy."
The doctor smiled approvingly.
"You are right there. My friend, sit down in this chair."
"You won't hurt, will you, doctor?" asked the customer, glancing with
a little alarm at the table with its instruments.
"Oh, no, you'll scarcely feel it."
Sam returned to his post, and began to distribute handbills once
About quarter of an hour later he was assailed by an angry voice.
Looking up, he saw the customer he had sent upstairs.
"Look here, boy," he said, angrily; "you told me a lie."
"How did I?" asked Sam.
"You told me the doctor only charged ten cents for each corn.
Jerusalem! he made me fork out a dollar."
Sam was rather surprised himself at the price.
"I guess they was tough ones, mister," he said. "He cured 'em, didn't
"Then it's worth the money. You don't want 'em back, do you?"
"No," admitted the other; "but it's a thunderin' sight to pay;" and he
went off grumbling.
"Don't the doctor make money, though?" thought Sam. "He'd orter give
me a commission on them two dollars."
SAM OBTAINS A PLACE.
Having disposed of his circulars, Sam went up to the office.
"Have you distributed all the circulars?" asked the doctor.
"Well, here's the ten cents I promised you."
Sam took it, but stood his ground.
"I sent you up a customer," he said.
"A patient; yes."
"And you made two dollars out of him."
"Who told you?"
"I charged him my regular price. What of that?" asked the doctor, not
comprehending Sam's meaning.
"He wouldn't have come up if it hadn't been for me. I think I'd ought
to have a commission."
"Oh, that's it," said the doctor. "That doesn't follow. He came up
because of the circular."
"No, he didn't," said Sam. "He came up because I told him what a great
doctor you was."
The doctor thought over Sam's proposal, and, being a sharp man, he
decided that it was for his advantage to secure an alliance with him.
"You are right," he said. "You are entitled to something."
Sam brightened up.
"Here is a quarter in addition to the ten cents I just gave you."
"Thank you, sir," said Sam, gratified.
"Shall I go down, and give away some more circulars?" he asked.
"Yes; I'll give you another hundred. Don't give them away too fast.
It's of no use to give to children."
"All right, sir."
So Sam went down into the street. The first passer-by was a boy of
"Give me one of them papers," he said.
Rather to his surprise Sam did not immediately comply. He first asked
"Have you got a dollar?"
"A dollar! You don't want a dollar for that paper, do you?"
"No; but I aint goin to waste it on you unless you've got a dollar."
"What do I want of a dollar?" asked the boy, surprised.
"To pay for havin' your corn cured."
The boy burst into a laugh.
"I aint got no corns," he said.
"Then go along, and don't bother me. You're no good."
A young dandy advanced, dressed in the height of fashion, swinging a
light cane in his lavender-gloved hand. A rose was in his button-hole,
and he was just in the act of saluting a young lady, when Sam thrust a
circular into his hand.
"Go right upstairs," he said, "and get your corns cured. Only a
The young lady burst into a ringing laugh, and the mortified dandy
reddened with mortification.
"Keep your dirty paper to yourself, boy," he said. "I am not troubled
with those—ah, excrescences."
"I never heard of them things," said Sam. "I said corns."
"Stand out of my way, boy, or I'll cane you," exclaimed the incensed
"Your cane wouldn't hurt," said Sam, regarding the slight stick with
disdain. "Never mind; you needn't go up. I don't believe you've got a
This was rather impudent in Sam, I acknowledge; and the dandy would
have been glad to chastise him.
"Miss Winslow," he said, "I hope you won't mind the rudeness of
"Oh, I don't," said the young lady, merrily; "he amuses me."
"So he does me; ha, ha! very good joke," said the dandy, laughing too,
but not very merrily. "I hope you are quite well to-day."
"Thank you, quite so. But don't let me detain you, if you have an
"I assure you," protested the young man, hurriedly, "that I have no
intention of going up at all."
"Then I must say good-morning, at any rate, as I am out shopping;" and
the young lady passed on.
"I've a great mind to flog you," said the dandy, frowning at Sam. "I
would if you wasn't so dirty. I wouldn't like to soil my hands by
taking hold of you."
"That's lucky for you," said Sam, coolly.
The answer was a withering frown, but Sam was tough, and not easily
"Aint he stuck up, though?" thought he, as the young man left him. "He
don't seem to like me much."
"Have you got any corns, sir?" he asked, thrusting a paper into the
hands of a portly gentleman with a merry face.
The gentleman laughed.
"Really, my boy," he said, "that is a very singular question."
"Is it?" said Sam. "I don't know why."
"Why do you ask?"
"Because Dr. Graham upstairs will cure you before you know it. It's
only a dollar."
"You are sure you are not Dr. Graham, yourself?" said the stout man,
regarding Sam with an amused expression.
"If I was, I'd wear better clothes," said Sam. "He makes lots of
money, the doctor does."
"You'd better learn the business, my young friend."
"I guess I will, if he'll learn me," said Sam. "It'll pay better than
standin' here, givin' away papers."
"Don't that pay?"
"Not very well," said Sam. "I only get ten cents a hundred."
"Can you pay your board out of that?"
"No, but I make commissions, besides," said Sam.
"How is that?" asked the stout gentleman, in some curiosity.
"If you'd gone upstairs, and had two corns cured, the doctor,—he'd
have given me a quarter."
"Would he really?"
"Yes, he would. Hadn't you better go?"
"I have no occasion for Dr. Graham's services, at present," said the
gentleman, laughing, "but still I don't want you to lose by me. Here's
a quarter," producing the same from his vest-pocket, and giving it to
Sam. "Isn't that just as well as if I had gone up?"
"Thank you, sir. You're a gentleman," said Sam. "Do you come by here
His new acquaintance laughed. "Every day," he answered, "but I don't
give away quarters every day. If you expect that, I am afraid I shall
have to walk on the other side of the street. Good-morning, and
success to you."
"Good-mornin'," said Sam.
"Well, here's luck," thought Sam. "I like this business pretty well.
I've made sixty cents already, and the doctor's goin to pay me ten
cents more. That'll buy me a good, square dinner, and take me to the
Old Bowery besides."
So Sam continued distributing his circulars. Some into whose hands
they were thrust did not appear to be suitably grateful; and, though
on the lookout for a customer, he did not succeed in finding any, till
by good luck the last circular was placed in the hands of a man who
was in search of just the relief which it promised.
"Where is Dr. Graham's office?" he inquired.
"Right upstairs, No. 10," said Sam, eagerly. "You just follow me, I'll
"I think I can find it without you," said the other.
"Oh, I can go up just as well as not," said Sam, who had a special
object, as we know, in serving as guide.
"Very well. Go ahead, and I will follow you."
Upstairs went Sam, the new patient following him.
"I've brought another," said Sam, as he burst into the office.
The doctor, though glad of another patient, was rather vexed at the
style of Sam's announcement.
"Very well," he said. "Sit down there, till I have leisure to attend
"All right, sir," said Sam, sitting down on the sofa in the outer
office, and taking up the morning "Herald."
In twenty minutes the patient departed, relieved.
"Now," said Dr. Graham, addressing Sam, "I have something to say to
you. When you bring in a patient again, don't break out as you did
just now: 'I've brought another.' I was very much mortified."
"What shall I say, then?" asked Sam.
"You needn't say anything, except 'This is Dr. Graham, sir.'"
"Very well," said Sam, "I'll remember. How much did you make out of
"Don't speak in that way. My charges were three dollars."
"How much are you going to give me?"
"There's thirty cents."
"I think I'll go and get some dinner, now," said Sam. "Will you want
"I've been thinking," said the doctor, "that I would engage you as my
"What would I have to do?"
"Stay in the office when I am away, and distribute circulars when I
want you to."
"How much will you pay me?"
"Three dollars a week."
"And commissions too?"
"No; we'll say four days without commissions."
"All right, sir. I'll be on hand to-morrow mornin'."
"I've got a place, at last," thought Sam, in exultation. "Now, I'll go
THE YOUNG DOCTOR.
The fact that he had obtained a place gave Sam a new sense of
importance. Having drifted about the city streets for six months,
never knowing in the morning where his meals were to come from during
the day, or whether he was to have any, it was pleasant to think that
he was to have regular wages. He presented himself in good season the
He was waiting outside when the doctor arrived.
"So you are on hand," said Dr. Graham.
"By the way, what is your name?"
"Very well, Sam, come upstairs with me."
Sam followed the doctor to his office.
The doctor surveyed his young assistant with critical eyes.
"Where do you buy your clothes?" he asked.
"I haven't bought any," said Sam. "I brought these from the country."
"They seem to be considerably the worse for wear. In fact, your
appearance doesn't do credit to my establishment."
"I do look rather ragged," said Sam; "but I haven't got enough money
to buy any new clothes."
"I have a son two years older than you. He may have some old clothes
that would suit you. I'll have a bundle made up, and brought down to
the office to-morrow."
"Thank you, sir," said Sam.
The doctor kept his promise, and the next day our hero was enabled to
throw aside his rags, and attire himself in a neat gray suit, which
considerably improved his outward appearance.
"Now," said the doctor, "I would suggest that a little more attention
to washing would be of advantage to you."
"All right, sir; I'll remember."
Sam scrubbed himself to a considerable degree of cleanness, and combed
his hair. The ultimate result was a very creditable-looking office
"Now," said the doctor, "I expect you to be faithful to my
Sam readily promised this. Already he formed glowing anticipations of
learning the business, and succeeding the doctor; or, at any rate,
being admitted to partnership at some future day.
Several weeks passed by. Considering his previous course of life, Sam
acquitted himself very well. He opened the office in the morning,
swept it out, and got it in order before the doctor arrived. During
the day he ran on errands, distributed circulars, in fact made himself
generally useful. The doctor was rather irregular in coming in the
morning, so that Sam was sometimes obliged to wait for him two or
three hours. One morning, when sitting at his ease reading the morning
paper, he was aroused by a knock at the door.
He rose and opened it.
"Is the doctor in?" asked a young man of Irish extraction.
"Hasn't come yet," said Sam. "Would you like to see him?"
"I would thin. He's the man that cures corns, isn't he?"
"Yes," said Sam. "He's the best corn-doctor in the city."
"Thin I've come to the right place, sure."
"Have you got one?"
"I've got a murtherin' big one. It almost kills me."
"Step in and wait for the doctor. He'll be in soon."
"I'm in a great hurry," said the young man. "It's porter I am in a
store down town, and I can't stay long. How much does the doctor
"A dollar for each corn."
"O murder! does he now?"
"Isn't it worth that?"
"It's a mighty big price to pay."
"You see," said Sam, "he's a famous doctor; that's why he charges so
"I don't care for that at all. I'm a poor man, and it's hard on me
payin' that much."
Here an idea struck Sam. He had often witnessed the doctor's
operations, and to his inexperienced mind they seemed easy enough to
perform. Why couldn't he operate a little on his own account before
the doctor came? By so doing he would make a little money, and if
successful he would have a future source of revenue, as patients often
came when he was alone.
"I'm the doctor's assistant," he commenced.
"Are you now? So you're the young doctor?"
"Yes," said Sam.
"Then it's a mighty young doctor ye are."
"I know it," said Sam. "I've learnt the trade of Dr. Graham."
"Do you work at it much?" asked the patient.
"Yes," said Sam, "when the doctor's away. I aint as good as he is,"
he admitted candidly, "and that is why I work cheaper."
"You work cheaper, do yer?"
"Yes," said Sam. "I only charge half price."
"That's fifty cents."
"And do you think you could cure me?"
"Of course I could," said Sam, confidently.
"Then go ahead," said the Irishman, in a fit of reckless confidence
which he was destined to repent.
"Sit down there," said Sam, pointing out the patient's chair.
The patient obeyed.
"Now take off your boots. You don't think I can cut through the boot,
He was obeyed.
Sam began to fumble among the sharp instruments.
"What are you goin to do?" asked the patient, rather alarmed.
"Oh, don't be afraid," said Sam. "You won't feel it."
"Won't feel the knife?"
"No, I'm goin to put on some liquid that'll take away the feeling."
"Shure you ought to know," said the patient, his confidence
"Of course I do," said Sam.
"Now sit still."
[Illustration of Sam and his Patient.]
Thus far Sam was perfectly self-possessed. He went about his
preparations with an air that imposed upon the patient. But the
difficulty was to come.
Things which look easy often are found difficult when attempted. When
Sam began to wield the doctor's instruments he did so awkwardly. He
lacked that delicacy of touch which can only be acquired by practice,
and the result was tragical. The knife slipped, inflicting a deep
gash, and causing a quick flow of blood.
"Oh, murder, I'm kilt!" exclaimed the terrified patient, bounding to
his feet, and rushing frantically round the room. "I'm bladin' to
Sam was almost equally frightened. He stood, with the knife in his
"I'll have you up for murder, I will!" shouted Mr. Dennis O'Brien,
clutching the wounded member. "Oh, why did I ever come to a boy
doctor? Oh, whirra, whirra!"
"I didn't mean to do it," said Sam, frightened.
"You'll be hanged for killin' me, bad 'cess to you. Go for a doctor,
Almost out of his wits Sam was about to obey, when as he opened the
door he confronted his employer. Under ordinary circumstances he would
have been sorry to have him come in so soon. Now he was glad.
"What's the meaning of all this?" asked Dr. Graham, surveying with
astonishment the Irishman prancing around the office, and Sam's scared
"He's kilt me, doctor," said Dennis, groaning.
"The young doctor, shure."
"That's the one," said Mr. O'Brien, pointing to Sam. "He's cut my toe
off, and I'm bladin' to death."
"What does this mean, Sam?" said the doctor, sternly.
"He was in a hurry," stammered Sam, "and I didn't want him to go away,
so I thought I'd try to cure him, but the knife slipped, and—"
"I'll attend to your case afterwards. Sit down, sir."
"Will I die?" asked Dennis, lugubriously.
"No danger, now. You might, if I hadn't come just as I did."
Matters were soon remedied, and Dennis went away relieved, well
satisfied because the doctor declined, under the circumstances, to
receive any fee.
"Now, Sam," said the doctor, after he had gone, "what do you mean by
such work as this?"
"I thought I could do it," said Sam, abashed.
"I ought to turn you away for this."
"It was only a mistake," said Sam.
"It came near being a very serious mistake. What would you have done
if I had not come just as I did?"
"I don't know," said Sam.
"Never touch my instruments again. If you do I shall discharge you at
once; that is, after giving you a sound flogging."
Sam felt that he had got off easily, and determined not to set up
again as doctor on his own account.
SAM FALLS INTO BAD COMPANY.
For a time matters went on smoothly. Sam was abashed by the result of
his experiment, and discouraged from making another. He felt that he
had a good place. Living chiefly at the lodging-house his expenses
were small, and four dollars a week were ample to meet them. There was
one thing he missed, however,—the freedom to roam about the streets
at will. He felt this the more when the pleasant spring weather came
on. There were times when he got sick of the confinement, and longed
to leave the office.
It was a bright morning in May when Dr. Graham called from the inner
"Do you know the way to Brooklyn?"
"I want you to go over there for me."
"All right, sir."
It may be explained that Dr. Graham, on the first of May, had moved
over to Brooklyn, and was occupying a house about a mile from Fulton
"I want you to go to my house," said the doctor, "No. — H—— street,
and carry this letter to my wife."
"I forgot entirely to leave her some money to meet a bill; but if you
go at once it will reach her in time. Stay, I will give you the
address on a card."
"All right, sir."
"Here is a quarter. It will pay your car-fare, and over the ferry both
ways. Now, mind you come back as quick as you can."
This Sam readily promised. He was glad to get away for the morning, as
he calculated that the expedition would take him nearly, or quite,
three hours. He took a car and got out at the Astor House. On his way
down to the ferry he met an old street acquaintance,—Jim Nolan.
"How are you, Sam?" said Jim.
"Tip-top!" answered Sam.
"Where do you keep yourself? Are you blackin' boots, now?"
"No," answered Sam, with rather an important air. "I'm in an office."
"How much do you get?"
"Four dollars a week."
"That's good. How'd you get it?"
"Oh, the doctor took a fancy to me, and asked me to come."
"You're in luck. So you're with a doctor?"
"Yes,—Dr. Graham. He's a corn-doctor."
"Where does he hang out?"
"Do you have much to do?"
"Not very much."
"How do you come down here, then?"
"I'm takin' a letter to Brooklyn for the doctor."
"Yes," said Sam; adding unluckily, "There's money in it."
"Is there?" said Jim, pricking up his ears. "How do you know? Let's
see the letter."
Sam took the letter from his inside coat-pocket, and passed it to
The latter held it up to the light, and tried to look inside. Fortune
favored his efforts. The envelope was imperfectly fastened, and came
"There, Jim," said Sam, "now see what you've done."
"Let's look inside, and see how much money there is," suggested Jim.
"It won't do any harm to look at it," said the tempter.
"That's so," said Sam.
He accordingly drew out the enclosure, and disclosed two ten-dollar
Jim's eyes sparkled with greed.
"Twenty dollars!" he exclaimed. "What a lot of good that would do
Sam's principles were not firm, but he had a good place, and the
temptation was not as strong as in Jim's case; so he answered, "Maybe
it would, but it aint ours."
Jim fastened his little black eyes on Sam cunningly.
"It might be," he answered.
"How could it be?"
"You could keep it."
"The doctor'd find it out."
"Tell him somebody hooked it out of your pocket. He wouldn't know."
Sam shook his head.
"I aint goin to lose a good place just for that," he said.
"Think what a lot of things you could do for ten dollars," urged Jim.
"Twenty, you mean."
"That's ten apiece, isn't it?"
"Oh, you want some, do you?" inquired Sam.
"Yes; I'll take it from you, and then give you back half. So, it'll be
me that stole it. They can't do nothin' to you. Come, I'll go over to
Brooklyn with you, and then you can make up your mind."
On board the boat Jim renewed his persuasions, and finally Sam
"I'm afraid the doctor'll think I took it," he said.
"No matter! He can't prove nothin'."
"We'll find it hard to change the bills."
"No we won't. I'll tell you where to go. Can you play billiards?"
"No; but I'd like to learn."
"I know, and I'll learn you. There's a saloon over in Brooklyn where
we can go and have a game. We'll pay out of one of the bills."
Now Sam had long wanted to learn the game of billiards, and this
seemed a good opportunity. Perhaps this consideration as much as any
determined him to close with his friend's proposal. When, therefore,
they had reached the Brooklyn side, instead of taking the horse-cars
to Dr. Graham's house, Sam followed his companion to a low billiard
saloon not far away.
There were four tables, one of which only was occupied, for it was too
early. On one side of the room was a bar, behind which stood a man in
"Well, boys, what do you want?" he asked.
"We want a table," said Jim. "We're goin to play a game."
The man in the shirt-sleeves produced, from underneath the counter, a
green pasteboard box containing four ivory billiard balls.
"What table will you have?" he asked.
"This one here," said Jim, leading the way to one farthest from the
"Now take a cue, Sam," he said. "We'll have a jolly game."
"You must tell me how to play."
"Oh, I'll learn you."
Jim was not a very skilful player, but he knew something about the
game, and under his instruction Sam made some progress, being able to
make a shot now and then. He was very much pleased with the game, and
determined to devote his spare earnings to this form of recreation
hereafter. When the game was ended, a full hour had passed.
"I didn't think it was so late," said Sam, starting. "I shall have to
"Go and pay for the game first."
"You ought to pay half."
"No; I beat. The one that loses the game has to pay."
"Of course you beat. It was my first game."
"Never mind. You'll soon play as well as I, and then I shall have to
pay half the time."
"Do you think I'll improve?"
"Of course you will. We'll play again to-night."
"No, in New York. I'll show you a good saloon in Chatham street."
Sam stepped up to the counter.
"How much do you want?" he asked.
"It's only twenty-five cents a game," said Jim Nolan.
"Your game was longer than two ordinary ones. I'll call it fifty
Sam produced the ten-dollar bill, and received in return nine dollars
and a half. The clerk was rather surprised at a boy presenting so
large a bill. He suspected that it was not come by honestly; but, as
he argued, that was none of his business. What he cared for most was
to get paid for the billiards. So Sam, who had felt a little uneasy
about offering the money, was more at his ease.
"We had a good game, didn't we?" said Jim.
"Yes," said Sam.
"And you did bully for the first time. I couldn't play so well my
Sam felt flattered by this compliment from his companion.
"Now I must go back," he said.
"I'll go along back with you. But we'll take a drink first. I want to
change my bill too."
"Why didn't you do it in the billiard-saloon? They had a bar there."
"They might suspect something if both of us offered tens. Here's a
place close by. Come in here."
Jim led the way into a drinking-saloon, and Sam followed.
"It's my treat," said Jim. "What'll you have?"
"What are you goin' to take?"
"I'll take one too."
"Two whiskey-punches, and mind you make 'em stiff," said Jim.
He tossed down his glass, but Sam drank more slowly.
Jim paid for the drinks, and they went out into the street.
Sam was not used to liquor, and was more easily affected than most.
When he got out into the street his head spun round, and he staggered.
His companion observed it.
"Why, you don't mean ter say yer tight, Sam?" he said, pausing and
looking at him.
"I don't know what it is," said Sam, "but I feel queer."
"Kinder light in the head, and shaky in the legs?"
"Yes, that's the way I feel."
"Then you're drunk."
"Drunk!" ejaculated Sam, rather frightened, for he was still
unsophisticated compared with his companion.
"Just so. I say, you must be a chicken to get tight on one
whiskey-punch," added Jim, rather contemptuously.
"It was strong," said Sam, by way of apology, leaning against a
lamp-post for support.
"It was stiffish," said Jim. "I always take 'em so."
"And don't you feel it at all?" queried Sam.
"Not a bit," said Jim, decidedly. "I aint a baby."
"Nor I either," said Sam, with a spark of his accustomed spirit. "Only
I aint used to it."
"Why, I could take three glasses, one after the other, without gettin'
tight," said Jim, proudly. "I tell you, I've got a strong stomach."
"I wish I hadn't taken the drink," said Sam. "When will I feel
"In an hour or two."
"I can't go back to the doctor this way. He'll know I've been
drinkin'. I wish I could lie down somewhere."
"I'll tell you what. Come round to the ferry-room. You can sit down
there till you feel better."
"Give me your arm, Jim. I'm light-headed."
With Jim's assistance Sam made his way to Fulton Ferry, but instead of
going over in the next boat he leaned back in his seat in the
waiting-room, and rested. Jim walked about on the pier, his hands in
his pocket, with an independent air. He felt happy and prosperous.
Never before in his life, probably, had he had so much money in his
possession. Some men with a hundred thousand dollars would have felt
poorer than Jim with nine dollars and a half.
By and by Sam felt enough better to start on his homeward journey. Jim
agreed to accompany him as far as the New York side.
"I don't know what the doctor will say when he finds out the money is
gone," said Sam, soberly.
"You just tell him it was stolen from you by a pickpocket."
"Suppose he don't believe it?"
"He can't prove nothin'."
"He might search me."
"So he might," said Jim. "I'll tell you what you'd better do."
"Just give me the money to keep for you. Then if he searches you, he
won't find it."
If Jim expected this suggestion to be adopted, he undervalued Sam's
shrewdness. That young man had not knocked about the streets eight
months for nothing.
"I guess not," said Sam, significantly. "Maybe I wouldn't find it any
easier if you took it."
"You don't call me a thief, do you?" demanded Jim, offended.
"It looks as if we was both thieves," said Sam, candidly.
"You needn't talk so loud," said Jim, hurriedly. "There's no use in
tellin' everybody that I see. I don't want the money, only, if the old
man finds it, don't blame me."
"You needn't be mad, Jim," said Sam. "I'll need the money myself. I
guess I'll have to hide it."
"Do you wear stockin's?" asked Jim.
"Yes; don't you?"
"Not in warm weather. They aint no good. They only get dirty. But if
you wear 'em, that's the place to hide the money."
"I guess you're right," said Sam. "I wouldn't have thought of it.
Where can I do it?"
"Wait till we're on the New York side. You can sit down on one of the
piers and do it. Nobody'll see you."
Sam thought this good advice, and decided to follow it.
"There is some use in stockin's," said Jim, reflectively. "If I was in
your place, I wouldn't know where to stow away the money. Where are
you goin' now?"
"I'll have to go back," said Sam. "I've been a long time already."
"I'm goin to get some dinner," said Jim.
"I haven't got time," said Sam. "Besides, I don't feel so hungry as
usual. I guess it's the drink I took."
"It don't take away my appetite," said his companion, with an air of
Sam took the cars home. Knowing what he did, it was with an
uncomfortable feeling that he ascended the stairs and entered the
presence of Dr. Graham.
The doctor looked angry.
"What made you so long?" he demanded abruptly. "Did you find the
"No," answered Sam, wishing that his embarrassing explanations were
fully over. "No, I didn't."
"You didn't find the house!" exclaimed the doctor, in angry surprise.
"Why didn't you?"
"I thought it wasn't any use," stammered Sam.
"Wasn't any use!" repeated the chiropodist. "Explain yourself, sir, at
"As long as I hadn't got the letter," proceeded Sam.
Now the secret was out.
"What did you do with the letter?" demanded Dr. Graham, suspiciously.
"I lost it."
"Lost it! How could you lose it? Did you know there was money in it?"
said his employer, looking angry and disturbed.
"Yes, sir; you said so."
"Then why were you not careful of it, you young rascal?"
"I was, sir; that is, I tried to be. But it was stolen."
"Who would steal the letter unless he knew that it contained money?"
"That's it, sir. I ought not to have told anybody."
"Sit down, and tell me all about it, or it will be the worse for you,"
said the doctor.
"Now for it!" thought Sam.
"You see, sir," he commenced, "I was in the horse-cars in Brooklyn,
when I saw a boy I knew. We got to talking, and, before I knew it, I
told him that I was carryin' a letter with money in it. I took it out
of my coat-pocket, and showed it to him."
"You had no business to do it," said Dr. Graham. "No one but a fool
would show a money-letter. So the boy stole it, did he?"
"Oh, no," said Sam, hastily. "It wasn't he."
"Who was it, then? Don't be all day telling your story," said the
"There was a young man sitting on the other side of me," said Sam. "He
was well-dressed, and I didn't think he'd do such a thing; but he must
have stole the letter."
"What makes you think so?"
"He got out only two or three minutes afterwards, and it wasn't long
after that that I missed the letter."
"What did you do?"
"I stopped the car, and went back. Jim went back along with me. We
looked all round, tryin' to find the man, but we couldn't."
"Of course you couldn't," growled the doctor. "Did you think he would
stay till you came up?"
"No, sir. That is, I didn't know what to think. I felt so bad about
losing the money," said Sam, artfully.
Now this story was on the whole very well got up. It did not do credit
to Sam's principles, but it did do credit to his powers of invention.
It might be true. There are such men as pickpockets to be found riding
in our city horse-cars, as possibly some of my readers may have
occasion to know. As yet Dr. Graham did not doubt the story of his
young assistant. Sam came very near getting off scot-free.
"But for your carelessness this money would not have been lost," said
his employer. "You ought to make up the loss to me."
"I haven't got any money," said Sam.
A sudden thought came to Dr. Graham. "Empty your pockets," he said.
"How lucky I put the bills in my stocking!" thought Sam.
He turned out his pockets, disclosing fifty cents. It was Friday, and
to-morrow his weekly wages would come due.
"That's all I've got," he said.
"Twenty dollars is five weeks salary," said Dr. Graham. "You ought to
work for me five weeks without pay."
"I'd starve to death," said Sam, in alarm. "I wouldn't be able to buy
anything to eat."
"I can keep back part of your salary, then," said his employer. "It is
only proper that you should suffer for your negligence."
At this moment a friend of the doctor's entered the office.
"What is the matter?" he asked.
Dr. Graham explained briefly.
"Perhaps," said the visitor, "I can throw some light upon your loss."
"I happened to be coming over from Brooklyn an hour since on the same
boat with that young man there," he said, quietly.
Sam turned pale. There was something in the speaker's tone that
BROUGHT TO JUSTICE.
Sam would have been glad to leave the office, but he knew that to ask
would be to subject him to increased suspicion. Besides, the stranger
might not be intending to accuse him.
Dr. Graham's attention was excited, and he asked, "Do you know
anything of this matter, Mr. Clement?"
"Yes, doctor. As I said, I was on board the Brooklyn ferry with this
young man and a friend of his, whom I believe he addressed as Jim. I
heard them talk, being in the next seat, about money, and something
was said about concealment. My curiosity was aroused, and I made up my
mind to follow them after they left the boat."
"He knows all about it," thought Sam. "I wish I hadn't come back."
"Go on," said Dr. Graham, eying Sam sternly as he spoke. "You followed
"Yes. They made their way to the end of a pier, where this young man
of yours slipped off his stockings, and, as well as I could tell, for
I was watching at a distance, concealed some bills in them, and
afterwards drew them on again. It struck me at once that if the money
had been honestly come by, they wouldn't have been so anxious to
"Sam," said the doctor, sternly, "what have you to say to this
"It was my money," stammered Sam.
"What did you put it in your stockings for?"
"Jim told me how dangerous it was to carry it round in my pocket
loose. So, as I hadn't any pocket-book, I put it in my stockings."
"Very probable, indeed. Suppose you take off your stockings."
Sam had decided objections to this; but he saw that it would be of no
use to urge them, and slowly and reluctantly complied.
"Now put in your hand, and take out the money."
Sam did so.
The doctor counted the bills.
"Here are only nine dollars," he said. "Take out the rest."
"There isn't any more," said Sam.
"Don't attempt to deceive me," said his employer, sternly. "It will be
the worse for you if you do."
"There isn't any more," persisted Sam, earnestly. "If you don't
believe it, you may look yourself."
Dr. Graham did so, and found the statement correct.
"There were twenty dollars in the letter," he said, sternly. "What has
become of the other eleven?"
There was no use in persisting in denial further, and Sam made a
virtue of necessity.
"Jim got half the money," he confessed.
"How came he to get half the money? Did you owe it to him?"
For the first time it struck Sam that he had been a fool to give away
ten dollars without adequate return. All that Jim had given him was
bad advice, which is never worth taking.
"I don't know how I came to give it to him," said Sam. "It was he who
wanted me to take the money. I wouldn't have done it but for Jim."
"It strikes me," said Mr. Clement, "that Jim is not a very desirable
companion. So you gave him ten dollars?"
"Did you spend any of the money?" asked Dr. Graham.
"In what way?"
"I went in with Jim, and played a game of billiards."
"Paying for the game with my money?"
"Jim took me into a drinking-place, and treated me to a
"Also with my money, I suppose."
"Yes, sir; he wanted to get the ten-dollar bill changed."
"Was this in Brooklyn or New York?"
"Upon my word, very well planned. So you expected me to believe your
story about having your pocket picked. Did you?"
"A pretty story, Mr. Clement," said the doctor, turning to his friend.
"What would you advise me to do, arrest the boy?"
"Oh, don't," implored Sam, turning pale; "I'll never do it again."
"You won't have the chance," said the doctor, drily.
"If you ask my advice," said Mr. Clement, "I will give it. I suspect
this Jim is the worse boy of the two. Now he's got ten dollars of your
"Do you mean to let him keep it?"
"He's spent part of it by this time."
"You can get the rest back."
"How? I don't know the boy."
"You know his name. The Superintendent of the Newsboys Lodging House
could probably put you on his track. Besides, your boy here can help
"I don't know but you are right."
"Sam," said Mr. Clement, "are you willing to help Dr. Graham get back
"I don't like to get Jim into a scrape," said Sam.
"It seems he's got you into a scrape. It is your only chance of
escaping being sent to Blackwell's Island."
"Will Jim be sent there?"
"That depends on the doctor. If this Jim will give back what he has of
the money you gave him, and agree to give back the rest as soon as he
earns it, I think the doctor will let him off."
"Then I'll do what I can," said Sam.
"As for you," said the doctor, "I shall retain these nine dollars;
also the four I was to have paid you to-morrow. If I get back the full
amount from your confederate, I will pay you the difference. Now how
can you get at this Jim?"
"He'll be somewhere around City Hall Park," said Sam.
"You may go in search of him. Tell him to come to this office with
you. If he don't come he will be arrested, and I will have no mercy
upon him. If you undertake to play me false, the same fate awaits
"Don't be afraid," said Sam. "I'll come back, honor bright!"
"Do you think he will?" asked Dr. Graham, turning to Mr. Clement.
"Yes, for he knows it wouldn't be safe for him to stay away."
"Go away, then, and come back as soon as possible."
Sam made all haste to the City Hall Park, where he expected to find
Jim. He was not disappointed. Jim was sitting on one of the steps of
the City Hall smoking a cigar. He had the air of a gentleman of
leisure and independent income, with no cares to disturb or harass
He did not see Sam till the latter called him by name.
"Where'd you come from, Sam?" he asked, placidly.
"From the office."
"Did the boss make a row about the money?"
"You bet he did!"
"Ho didn't find out, did he?"
"Yes, he did."
Jim looked up now.
"He don't know anything about me does he?" he inquired.
"I had to tell him."
"That's mean!" exclaimed Jim. "You'd ought to be ashamed to tell on a
"I had to. There was a chap—a friend of the doctor's—that was on the
boat, and heard us talkin' about the money. He followed us, and saw me
stuff the money in my stockin'."
Jim indulged in a profane ejaculation.
"What's he goin' to do about it?" he asked.
"He's made me give up the money, and he's sent me for you."
"I won't go," said Jim, hastily.
"You'd better. If you don't, you'll be took up."
"What am I to go to the office for?" asked Jim, rather startled.
"To give up the money."
"I've spent two dollars."
"If you give up what's left, and agree to pay the rest, he'll let you
"Did he say so?"
"Yes, he told me so."
If there had been any hope of escaping with the money, Jim would have
declined calling on Dr. Graham; but of that he knew there was little
chance. Indeed, he was not altogether unknown to the police, having,
on two or three previous occasions, come under their notice. So,
considerably less cheerful than before, he accompanied Sam to the
"Is this the boy?" asked the doctor, surveying Sam's companion
"I am glad to see you, young man," said the doctor, drily. "Suppose we
settle money matters first of all. How much have you left?"
Jim drew out eight dollars in bills.
"So far, so good. You owe me two dollars."
"I won't ask for your note of hand. I'm afraid I couldn't negotiate
it; but I expect you to pay me back the balance by instalments. If
not, I shall know where to lay hold of you."
Jim had nothing to say.
"Now you can go. Sam, you can stay."
"I suppose he's goin' to send me off," thought Sam.
"You may stay till to-morrow night, Sam," said the doctor, "and I will
pay you what balance I owe you. After that, I think we had better part
company. You are a little too enterprising for me."
Sam made no objection. In fact, he had got tired of the confinement,
and thought it would be an agreeable variety to return to his old life
again. The next evening, therefore, he retired from professional life,
and, with a balance of fifty cents in his possession, set up once more
as a street vagabond. When Jim Nolan paid up his indebtedness, he
would be entitled to two dollars more. Until then he was held for the
debt of his confederate.
Sunday is a dull day with the street-boys, whatever their business may
be. The boot-blacks lose least, but if the day be unpropitious their
earnings are small. On such a day the Newsboys Lodge is a great
resource. It supplies all that a boy actually needs—lodging and two
meals—for the small sum of eighteen cents, and in cases of need will
trust boys to that amount.
Sam naturally had recourse to this hold on finding himself out of a
situation. He had enough to pay his expenses, and did not feel
compelled to go to work till Monday. Monday morning, however, the
reduced state of his finances compelled him to look for employment. If
he had had a little capital he might have set up as a newsboy or
boot-black, but five cents can hardly be considered sufficient capital
for either of these lines of business. Credit is the next best thing
to capital, but Sam had no credit. He found that out, after an
ineffectual attempt to borrow money of a boot-black, who, having ten
dollars in a savings-bank, was regarded in his own class with high
respect as a wealthy capitalist. The name of this exceptional young
man was William Clark, better known among the boys as Ready Money
When twelve o'clock came, and Sam had earned nothing, he bethought
himself of Bill, the capitalist.
"Bill," he said, "I want to borrer a dollar."
"You do!" said Bill, sharply. "What for?"
"To set me up in business."
"Haven't you got no stamps?"
"What have you been doin'?"
"I've been in an office."
"Why didn't you stay?"
"The boss thought he wouldn't need me no longer."
"I see," said Bill, nodding. "You got sacked."
"Will you lend me the money?"
"I'd never get it back ag'in."
"Yes, you would."
"I dunno about that. Where'd you get money to pay me back?"
"The boss owes me two dollars."
"Why don't he pay you?"
"One of my friends cheated him out of it, and he won't pay me till
it's paid back."
"May be he won't pay it back."
"Yes, he will. Will you lend me the money?"
"No, I won't. You'd ought to have saved money like I have."
"I'd have had two dollars, if Jim hadn't stolen money."
"That aint my fault. I aint goin' to lose my money for you. You can
save like I do."
Bill was right, no doubt. He was a bee, and Sam was a drone, and the
drones are always ready to avail themselves of the accumulations of
their more industrious brothers.
Sam began to feel hungry. However irregular he might be in other ways,
his appetite was surprisingly regular. He paused in front of a
restaurant, and looked wistfully in at the windows.
"I wish I was a waiter," he thought. "They have all they want to eat
It will be seen that Sam's ambition was not a lofty one. But then he
was practical enough to see that three square meals a day are more to
be desired than empty fame.
As he was standing at the window a man from within came to the door.
Being without a hat, Sam supposed him to be connected with the
restaurant, as, indeed, he was. Sam drew back, supposing that he was
to be sent off. But here he was mistaken.
"Come here, Johnny," said the proprietor, for it was the owner of the
restaurant who addressed our hero.
Sam approached wondering.
"Have you had dinner?"
"No," said Sam, promptly.
"Would you like some?"
Sam's answer, in the affirmative, was equally prompt.
"But you haven't any money, eh?"
"That's so," said Sam. "Wonder how he found out?" he thought.
"We don't give away dinners, but you can earn one," said Mr. Pipkin,
for it was Pipkin's restaurant.
"Do you want me for a waiter?" asked Sam, hopefully.
"No; you wouldn't do. You haven't had experience. I want a boy to
distribute handbills in front of the saloon. Can you do that?"
"Yes, I can," said Sam, eagerly. "I've done that before."
"All right. Come in."
Sam entered. He hoped that a preliminary dinner would be offered him,
but Mr. Pipkin was not in the habit of paying in advance, and,
perhaps, he was right. He brought forward a pile of circulars about
the same size as Dr. Graham's, and handed them to Sam.
"I've just opened a new saloon," he said, "and I want to invite the
patronage of the public. Stand here, and distribute these to the
"All right," said Sam. "When will you give me some dinner?"
"In about an hour. This is the time when people generally dine, and I
want to catch as many as I can."
Sam read one of the circulars rapidly.
This is the way it read:
Unsurpassed for the excellence of cookery, and the
cheapness of prices.
And you will be sure to come again."
"I'm goin' to come once, and I'll call again if they'll let me," said
Sam to himself.
In about an hour he was called in. The customers had thinned out, but
there were a few at the tables. Sam was directed to sit down at a
table in the back part of the room.
"Now, then," said the waiter, "hurry up, young 'un, and tell us what
"Roast turkey and cranberry sauce," ordered Sam.
"All out. Try again," was the laconic reply.
"That's all out too."
Sam looked disappointed.
"Is everything out?"
"No; there's some roast veal, unless you prefer hash."
"I don't like hash," said Sam, decidedly. "Bring on your veal, and
don't forget the potatoes, and some bread and butter."
"You've got a healthy appetite," said the waiter.
"You bet I have, and I've a right to it. I've earned my dinner, and I
The articles he had ordered were brought, and he attacked them with
vigor. Then he called for a second course.
"A piece of mince-pie."
"All out," said the waiter.
"I guess your customers all had healthy appetites to-day," said Sam.
"Bring on something or other, and mind you bring enough of it."
A plate of rice-pudding was set before him, and speedily appropriated.
He tried to get a second plate, but his application was unsuccessful.
He was given to understand that he was entitled to only one plate, and
was forced to rise from the table not wholly satisfied.
Sam did not retain his new position long. A week later he was
dismissed. Though no reason was assigned, the proprietor probably
thought it better to engage a boy with a smaller appetite. But Sam was
by no means discouraged. He was more self-reliant than when nearly a
year before he entered the city, and more confident of rubbing along
somehow. If he could not sell papers, he could black boots. If wholly
without capital, he could haunt the neighborhood of the piers, and
seek employment as a baggage-smasher.
For the next two years it will be unnecessary to detail Sam's
experiences. They did not differ materially from those of other
street-boys,—now a day of plenty, now of want, now a stroke of luck,
which made him feel rich as a millionnaire, now a season of bad
fortune. Day by day, and week by week, his recollections of his
country home became more vague, and he could hardly realize that he
had ever lived anywhere else than in the streets of New York. It was
at this time that the unexpected encounter with Deacon Hopkins brought
back the memories of his early life, and led him to contrast them
curiously with his present experiences. There did not seem much for
Sam to be proud of, ragged vagabond as he was; but for all that he
looked down upon his former self with ineffable contempt.
"What a greenhorn I was when I first came to the city!" he reflected.
"How easy I was took in! I didn't know nothin' about life then. How
sick I was when I smoked my first cigar! Now, I can smoke half a
dozen, one after the other, only I can't raise the stamps to buy 'em.
How I fooled the deacon, though!" and Sam laughed in hearty enjoyment
of the joke. "I wonder what'll he say of me when he gets back."
Sam plunged his hands deep down into his pockets. There was nothing to
hinder, for, as usual, they were empty. He had spent the small amount
obtained from the deacon, and he was just even with the world. He had
neither debts nor assets. He had only daily recurring wants, and these
he was not always able to supply.
It was in the afternoon of the day made memorable by his interview
with the deacon that another adventure befell Sam. As it exhibits him
in a more favorable light than usual, I am glad to chronicle it.
He was lounging about, waiting for something to turn up, when he felt
a little hand slipped into his, and heard a small voice pleading,
"Take me home. I'm lost."
Sam looked down in surprise to find his hand clasped by a little boy,
apparently about four years of age. What attracted him to Sam is
uncertain. Possibly his face seemed familiar to the little boy.
"What's your name, Johnny?" asked Sam, gently.
"My name aint Johnny; it's Bertie," said the little boy.
"What's your other name?"
"Yes. I want to go home."
"So you shall," said Sam, good-naturedly, "if you'll tell me where you
"Don't you know?" asked Bertie.
"I thought you did," said Bertie, disappointed. "I want to go home to
Sam was puzzled.
"How did you come to be lost?" he asked.
"I went out with Marie—that's the nurse—and when she was talking
with another nurse I went to play. Then I couldn't find her, and I'm
"Don't be frightened, Bertie," said Sam, gently; for his heart was
drawn to the little fellow. "I guess I'll find your home. Let me
guess. Do you live in Twentieth street?"
Bertie shook his head.
"Where were you playing?"
"In the Park."
"It must be Union Park," thought Sam.
An idea struck him. He went into a neighboring druggist's, and, asking
for a directory, turned to the list of Daltons. There was only one
living near Union Park; this one lived on Fourteenth street, between
Sixth and Seventh avenues. Sam decided to take the child into this
street, and see if he recognized it. The experiment proved successful.
Arrived in the street the child cried joyfully:—
"This is where I live."
"Can you find the house?"
"Yes; it's right on," said Bertie.
In brief, Sam took Bertie home. He found the family in great distress.
The nurse had returned, and declared incoherently that Master Bertie
had been carried off, and she couldn't find him anywhere. A message
was about to be sent to the police when the young truant was brought
home. The mother clasped him fondly in her arms, and kissed him many
times. Then she bethought herself of Sam.
"How can I thank you," she said gratefully, "for bringing my darling
"Oh, it's nothing," said Sam. "I was afraid at first I couldn't find
where he lived; but he told me his name, and I looked in the
Mrs. Dalton saw that Sam was ragged, and her grateful heart prompted
her to do something for him.
"Have you any place?" she asked.
"No," said Sam.
"Wouldn't you like one?"
"Yes, I should," said Sam, promptly. "It's hard work getting a living
about the streets."
"It must be," said the lady, with sympathy. "Have you no friends?"
"None, except poor boys like I am."
"You have been kind to my dear Bertie, and I want to do something to
show my gratitude. Without you I shudder to think what might have
become of him."
"Nobody'd hurt a little chap like him," said Sam.
"They might steal him," said Mrs. Dalton. "Have you had any dinner?"
"Come into the house. Maggie, see that this boy has a good meal. Take
care of him till Mr. Dalton comes home. Then I will see what can be
done for him."
"All right, mum."
Sam had no objections to this arrangement. He was never at a loss for
an appetite, and the prospect was an attractive one. He made himself
at home in the kitchen, where his rescue of little Bertie and the
evident favor of Mrs. Dalton made him the recipient of much attention.
He felt that he was in luck for once in his life, and was convinced of
it when, on the arrival of Mr. Dalton, he was offered the post of
errand-boy at five dollars a week, with a present of five dollars in
advance. He asked no time for consideration, but accepted at once.
"You may report for service to-morrow morning," said Mr. Dalton.
"There is my business-card. Can you find it?"
"I know where it is," said Sam. "I'll be there." Sam's chance had
come. He was invited to fill an humble but respectable position. Would
he give satisfaction, or drift back after a while to his vagabond
habits? Young outlaw as he had been, was he likely to grow into an
orderly member of society? If any of my readers are curious on this
subject, they are referred to the next volume of this series,
AND HOW HE IMPROVED IT.