“We shall visit England, France, the Rhine, Switzerland, and perhaps Italy.”
“I hope you will enjoy it.”
“Thank you; I think we shall.”
Frank checked a sigh. It was certainly tantalizing. If he could travel with congenial friends, he felt that he would very much enjoy such a trip; but with Mark in the party there would be little pleasure for him.
“We are staying at the St. Nicholas Hotel,” said Mr. Manning. “I would invite you to come and dine with us, but I have an engagement first, and don’t know when we shall dine.”
“Thank you, all the same,” said Frank.
They had reached the New York side, and were walking toward Broadway. It was necessary for Frank to go to the tea store, and he took leave of his stepfather and Mark, again wishing them a pleasant voyage.
“I hate that boy!” said Mark, as they walked away.
“You should not indulge in any such disagreeable feelings, Mark,” said his father.
“Don’t you hate him?”
“One would think by your soft manner that you loved him,” said Mark, who was not noted for the respect with which he treated his father.
“Really, Mark, I am shocked by your strange words.”
“What made you invite him to go to Europe with us?”
“I knew he would not go.”
“He might have accepted, and then we should have been in a pretty pickle.”
“Mark,” said his father, rather irritated, “will you be kind enough to leave me to manage my own affairs? I believe I have succeeded pretty well so far.”
“Yes, you have,” Mark admitted. “All the same, we’d better keep clear of Frank till we get safely off on the steamer.”
A DISCOURAGING DAY
The next day was indeed a trying one and one of many experiences for Frank.
The first lady did not buy any tea, to be sure, but seemed sorry that she was already supplied, and questioned Frank as to what success he was meeting with.
When twelve o’clock came, Frank had not sold a single pound. Even if he earned nothing however, he had an appetite and must buy lunch.
He entered a small oyster saloon, and went up to the proprietor.
“Can I sell you some tea?” he asked.
“No, I guess not. I get my tea in Harlem.”
“Take a couple of pounds,” said Frank, “and I will take part of the pay in lunch.”
“That is business,” said the other. “Let me look at your tea.”
Frank showed him his samples.
“Who employs you?’
“The Great Pekin Tea Company.”
“They have a good name. Yes, I will try a couple of pounds at fifty cents.”
This, of course, came to a dollar, and Frank’s profit on the sale amounted to twenty cents. This was precisely the cost of the lunch which he ordered, so that he felt well satisfied with the arrangement.