“So I might,” said Joe, brightening up.
“It wouldn’t be easy, but you wouldn’t mind that.”
“No; I wouldn’t mind that.”
“Well, if you decide to go, come round and see me to-morrow, and I’ll give you the best advice I can.”
The deacon opposed Joe’s plan, but in vain. Our hero had made up his mind. Finally the old man counted out the money and Joe put it in an old wallet.
The nest thing was to give Major Norton warning.
“Major Norton,” said Joe, “I should like to have you get another boy in my place.”
“What, Joe?” exclaimed the major.
“I am going to leave town.”
“Where are you going?” asked his employer.
“First to New York and afterwards to California.”
“Well, I declare! Is it because you ain’t satisfied with your clothes?”
“No, sir. I don’t see much prospect for me if I stay here and I have heard a good deal about California.”
“But you haven’t got any money.”
“I have almost sixty dollars.”
“Oh, yes; Oscar told me. You’d better stay here.”
“No, sir; I have made up my mind.”
“You’ll come back in a month without a cent.”
“If I do, I’ll go to work again for you.”
Monday morning came. Clad in his Sunday suit of cheap and rough cloth, Joe stood on the platform at the depot. The cars came up, he jumped aboard, and his heart beat with exultation as he reflected that he had taken the first step toward the Land of Gold.
At the commercial hotel.
Joe had never been in New York and when he arrived the bustle and confusion at first bewildered him.
“Have a hack, young man?” inquired a jehu.
“What’ll you charge?”
“A dollar and a half, and half-a-dollar for your baggage.”
“This is all the baggage I have,” said Joe, indicating a bundle tied in a red cotton handkerchief.
“Then, I’ll only charge a dollar and a half,” said the hackman.
“I’ll walk,” said Joe. “I can’t afford to pay a dollar and a half.”
“You can’t walk; it’s too far.”
“How far is it?”
“Ten miles, more or less,” answered the hackman.
“Then I shall save fifteen cents a mile,” said Joe, not much alarmed, for he did not believe the statement.
“If you lose your way, don’t blame me.”
Joe made his way out of the crowd, and paused at the corner of the next street for reflection. Finally he stopped at an apple and peanut stand, and, as a matter of policy, purchased an apple.
“I am from the country,” he said, “and I want to find a cheap hotel. Can you recommend one to me?”
“Yes,” said the peanut merchant. “I know of one where they charge a dollar a day.”
“Is that cheap? What do they charge at the St. Nicholas?”