ALWAYS WIDE AWAKE
Horatio Alger, Jr.
“Tony the tramp,” “Slow
and sure,” “The cash
“Making his way,” “Jack’s ward,” “Do and dare,”
“Facing the world,” “Strong and steady,”
“Strive and succeed,” Etc.
THE NEW YORK BOOK COMPANY
“Come here, you Joe, and be quick about it!”
The boy addressed, a stout boy of fifteen, with an honest, sun-browned face, looked calmly at the speaker.
“What’s wanted?” he asked.
“Brush me off, and don’t be all day about it!” said Oscar Norton impatiently.
Joe’s blue eyes flashed indignantly at the tone of the other.
“You can brush yourself off,” he answered independently.
“What do you mean by your impudence?” demanded Oscar angrily. “Have you turned lazy all at once?”
“No,” said Joe firmly, “but I don’t choose to be ordered round by you.”
“What’s up, I wonder? Ain’t you our servant?”
“I am not your servant, though your father is my employer.”
“Then you are bound to obey me—his son.”
“I don’t see it.”
“Then you’d better, if you know what’s best for yourself. Are you going to brush me off?”
“Look out! I can get my father to turn you off.”
“You may try if you want to.”
Oscar, much incensed, went to his father to report Joe’s insubordination. While he is absent, a few words of explanation will enlighten the reader as to Joe’s history and present position.
Joe Mason was alone in the world. A year previous he had lost his father, his only remaining parent, and when the father’s affairs were settled and funeral expenses paid there was found to be just five dollars left, which was expended for clothing for Joe.
In this emergency Major Norton, a farmer and capitalist, offered to provide Joe with board and clothes and three months’ schooling in the year in return for his services. As nothing else offered, Joe accepted, but would not bind himself for any length of time. He was free to go whenever he pleased.