“When will you come?” asked the lady.
“Now,” replied Frank, promptly.
“Would you mind paying the first week in advance?”
“Not at all. Here is the money.”
And Frank drew a five-dollar bill from his portemonnaie.
“Thank you!” said the boarding-house keeper. “I have lost so much by boarders going away owing me money that I am obliged to ask gentlemen to pay in advance till I am well acquainted with them.”
“That is quite right,” said Frank. “What is your dinner hour?”
“Six o’clock. We have lunch at half-past twelve for the ladies, but if any gentleman happens to be at home at that time, he can go in.”
Frank looked at his watch. It was only eleven o’clock and as so much of the day remained, he decided, as soon as he had unpacked his valise, to go downtown and look for a place without delay.
“I shall not be here at lunch to-day,” he said. “You may expect me at dinner.”
There was a small bureau in the room—a piece of furniture not often found in hall bedrooms.
Frank deposited the contents of the valise in the bureau drawers, and then went downstairs and out into the street.
FRANK SEEKS EMPLOYMENT IN VAIN
It was a bright, pleasant day, and Broadway looked very lively. In spite of his being alone in a strange city, with uncertain prospects, Frank felt in good spirits.
Boys of his age usually like excitement and bustle, and Frank was quick to notice the shifting scenes of the great panorama.
“Here are thousands of people,” he reflected, “all of whom make a living in some way. I don’t see why I can’t succeed as well as they.”
Some of the objects he saw amused him.
In front of him walked an elderly man with a large placard strapped to his back, on which was the advertisement of a “Great Clothing Emporium.”
“I don’t think I should fancy that kind of employment,” thought our hero.
As he was looking in at a shop window, a boy about his own age hailed him.
“I say, Johnny, what’s the price of turnips?”
“Do you want to buy any?” asked Frank quietly.
“Well, I might. Have you got any with you?”
“I am sorry I can’t supply you,” said Frank, coolly. “Up our way we keep our cattle on turnips.”
“You ain’t so green, after all,” said the boy, laughing good-naturedly.
“Thank you for the compliment!”
“I suppose I look countrylike,” thought Frank, “but it won’t last long. I shall get used to city ways.”
Close by he saw in a window the sign:
“Cash boy wanted.”
Frank as not altogether certain about the duties of cash boys nor their rate of compensation, but he made up his mind not to lose sight of any chances, and accordingly stepped into the store.