“I came to sell, not to buy,” said Frank.
“What are you dealing in?” asked the grocer.
“I have several samples of tea,” said our hero. “If you will give me an order, I will have it sent to you to-morrow.”
The grocer found, upon examination, that his stock was getting low, and gave Frank an order, but he was obliged to sell below the regular price, and only cleared three cents a pound. Still, on a sale of twenty-five pounds, this gave him seventy-five cents, which was very encouraging.
Adding up his profits, thus far, Frank found that his commission amounted to a dollar and a quarter, which exceeded his anticipations.
He continued his calls, but sold only one pound besides, at fifty cents, netting him ten cents more.
FRANK MEETS MR. MANNING AND MARK
The next morning Frank resumed his tea agency. As on the day previous, he went to Brooklyn; but, though I should be glad to say that he was more successful than on the first day, truth compels me to state that the day was a comparative failure.
It might be that he was unfortunate in the persons whom he visited, but at all events, at the close of his labors he found that his commissions amounted to less than fifty cents. He contented himself, therefore, with a ten-cent lunch, and crossed Fulton Ferry between three and four o’clock.
“This will never do,” thought Frank, seriously. “I shall have to be economical to make my earnings cover my incidental expenses, while my board and lodging must be defrayed out of the money I have with me.”
Frank was disappointed. It is easy to think of earning one’s living, but not quite so easy to accomplish it. A boy, besides being ignorant of the world, is inexperienced, and so disqualified for many avenues of employment which are open to men. It is generally foolish for a boy to leave a good home and start out for himself, unless the chances are unusually favorable for him. If he does it, however, he should not allow himself to be easily discouraged.
If Frank had given up the business in which he was engaged simply because he had met with one unsuccessful day, I should not have been willing to make him the hero of my story.
“This will never do,” thought Frank. “I must make a greater effort to-morrow.”
The next day his commission amounted to a dollar, and the fourth day to a dollar and twelve cents.
“You are doing well,” said his employer. “You are doing better than the majority of our agents.”
In one way this compliment was satisfactory. In another way it was not encouraging, for it limited his prospects. Frank began to think that he would never be able to make his entire expenses as a tea agent.
I don’t propose to speak in detail of Frank’s daily experiences, but only to make mention of any incidents that play an important part in his history.