“I am satisfied, sir,” said Frank. “It won’t be long before I am earning something.”
“I hope your anticipations may be realized, but it is possible that you may require help.”
“I think not, sir.”
“I will authorize my banker to pay you the same sum—twenty-five dollars—every three months. Of course, it is not enough to support you; but, as you say it is your intention to procure a place—”
“It will probably be enough to make up any deficiency that may exist in your income. I am aware that you do not regard me as—as I would like to have you; but I am resigned to be misunderstood, and I merely call your attention to the fact that I have given you my free permission to carry out your own plans and have given you more assistance than you asked for.”
“That’s true, sir.”
“Should anyone in your hearing condemn me for what I have done, I depend upon your defending me.”
“I will state the facts, sir. I will take the entire responsibility for anything that may result from the step I have taken.”
Mr. Manning looked well pleased. Things were taking the course he desired, and for the paltry sum of one hundred dollars a year, he was getting rid of an obnoxious stepson, while appearing to confer a favor upon him.
“Perhaps you are right, Frank,” said his stepfather, disguising the satisfaction he felt. “If, however, you should find that you have made a mistake, you will do me the justice to remember that I gave you your choice.”
Knowing, as he did, that the offer was not genuine, Frank remained silent. He could not make up his mind to express gratitude, and therefore said nothing.
Here the carriage drove up to the door to convey Frank to the railway station. Mindful of appearance, Mr. Manning accompanied him to the cars, and in presence of several neighbors bade him an effusively affectionate farewell.
So Frank was fairly started on his campaign.
ERASTUS TARBOX, OF NEWARK
Erastus Tarbox kept a dry-goods store in the city of Newark, New Jersey. He was well to do, not so much because of his enterprise and skill as a merchant as because of his extreme poverty. Some people called it parsimony. He only employed two clerks to assist him in his store, and they, as well as the boy who carried out parcels and ran the errands, were paid scarcely more than two-thirds the rates paid in neighboring stores.
Mr. Tarbox prided himself upon his relationship to the Courtneys. They were rich, and riches, in his eyes were a great merit. He often sighed to think that there was no chance for him to benefit by a share of the large property owned by his cousins. Without hope of personal advantage, however, he had always been obsequious to them, and often took occasion to mention them, by way of enhancing his own social credit somewhat.