“Then I want you to take the money that comes to me by the will—Mr. Manning is to pay it to me on Monday. I don’t need it, and you may.”
Frank shook his head.
“You are very kind, Richard, but I will get along with fifty dollars, unless Mr. Manning supplies me with more. If I really need money at any time, I will think of your offer.”
“That’s something, at any rate,” said Richard. partly reconciled. “You won’t forget it now, Mr. Frank?”
“No, Richard, I promise you.”
Frank left the stable and went thoughtfully into the house.
THE NEW OWNER OF AJAX
Frank and Mark took supper alone, Mr. Manning having left word that he would not return till later in the evening.
After supper, Frank decided to go over to call upon Col. Vincent, the new owner of Ajax. His estate was distant about three-quarters of a mile from the Cedars.
As Frank started, Mark inquired:
“Where are you going, Frank?”
“To see Ajax,” answered our hero.
“Do you mean to make any fuss about him? I wouldn’t advise you to.”
“Thank you for your advice.”
“I wonder what he is going to do?” thought Mark. “Of course he can’t do anything now.”
He did not venture to propose to accompany Frank, knowing that his company would not be acceptable.
“Is Col. Vincent at home?” asked Frank, at the door of a handsome house.
“Yes, Mr. Courtney,” replied the colored servant, pleasantly, for Frank was a favorite among all classes in the neighborhood. “Come right in, sir. De colonel am smoking a cigar on de back piazza.”
Frank followed the servant through the hall which intersected the house, and stepped out on the back piazza.
A stout, elderly gentleman was taking his ease in a large rustic rocking chair.
“Good-evening, Col. Vincent,” our hero said.
“Good-evening, Frank, my boy,” said the colonel, heartily. “Glad to see you. Haven’t you gone back to school?”
“Yes, sir; but I came home to spend Sunday. It doesn’t seem much like home now,” he added, as his lip quivered.
“You have suffered a great loss, my dear boy,” said the colonel, feelingly.
“The greatest, sir. My mother was all I had.”
“I suppose Mr. Manning will keep up the establishment?”
“I suppose so, sir; but it is no longer home to me.”
“Don’t take it too hard, Frank. I was sorry about the will.”
“So was I, sir; because it makes me dependent on a man whom I dislike.”
“Don’t be too prejudiced, Frank. I never took any fancy to your stepfather myself; but then we don’t need to like everybody we associate with.”
“I hear you have bought my horse, Col. Vincent,” said Frank, desiring to change the subject.