While thus employed many persons passed him.
One among them paused and accosted him.
“So you have found work already?” he said.
Looking up, Joe recognized Harry Hogan, the man who had swindled him. He didn’t feel inclined to be very social with this man.
“Yes,” said he coldly.
“Rather strange work for a first-class passenger.”
He envied Joe because he had traveled first-class, while he had thought himself fortunate, with the help his dishonesty gave him, in being able to come by steerage.
“It is very suitable employment for a boy who has no money,” said Joe.
“How much are you going to be paid for the job?” asked Hogan, with sudden interest, for ten dollars constituted his only remaining funds.
If his theft on shipboard had not been detected he would have been better provided.
“I don’t know,” said Joe shortly.
“You didn’t make any bargain, then?”
“What are you going to do next?” inquired Hogan.
“I don’t know,” said Joe.
Hogan finally moved off.
“I hate that boy,” he soliloquized. “He puts on airs for a country boy. So he’s getting too proud to talk to me, is he? We’ll see, Mr. Joseph Mason.”
Joe kept on till his task was completed, put on his coat and went into the restaurant.
It was the supper-hour.
“I’ve finished the job,” said Joe, in a businesslike tone.
The German took a look at Joe’s work.
“You did it up good,” he said. “How much you want?”
“I don’t know. What would be a fair price?”
“I will give you some supper and five dollars.”
Joe could hardly believe his ears. Five dollars and a supper for four hours’ work! Surely he had come to the Land of Gold in very truth.
“Will dat do?”
“Oh, yes,” said Joe. “I didn’t expect so much.”
“You shouldn’t tell me dat. It isn’t business.”
Joe pocketed the gold piece which he received with a thrill of exultation. He had never received so much in value for a week’s work before. Just then a man paid two dollars for a very plain supper.
“That makes my pay seven dollars,” said Joe to himself. “If I can get steady work, I can get rich very quick,” he thought.
There was one thing, however, that Joe did not take into account. If his earnings were likely to be large, his expenses would be large, too. So he might receive a good deal of money and not lay up a cent.
“Shall you have any more work to do?” asked Joe.
“Not shoost now,” answered the German. “You can look round in a week. Maybe I have some then.”
Before going to the Leidesdorff House to call upon his friend Folsom, Joe thought he would try to make arrangements for the night.