“No, that is not the difficulty. It would not be worth your acceptance.”
“May I inquire what are the duties, sir?”
“We want a boy to open the door to customers, and this would not be worth your accepting.”
“No, sir. Thank you for explaining it to me.”
The gentleman was favorably impressed by Frank’s polite and gentlemanly manners.
“I wish I had a place for you,” he said. “Have you ever had any experience in our line of business?”
“No, sir; I have very little experience of any kind. I have acted for a short time as agent for a tea company.”
“You may leave your name if you like, and I will communicate with you if I have a vacancy which you can fill.”
Frank thanked the polite proprietor and walked out of the store.
Though this is a story written for boys, it may be read by some business men, who will allow me to suggest that a refusal kindly and considerately expressed loses half its bitterness, and often inspires hope, instead of discouragement.
Frank proceeded to the office of the tea company and formally resigned his agency. He was told that he could resume it whenever he pleased.
Leaving the store, he walked down Broadway in the direction of Wall Street.
He passed an elderly man, with stooping shoulders and a gait which showed that he was accustomed to live in the country.
He was looking about him in rather an undecided way. His glance happened to rest on Frank, and, after a little hesitation, he addressed him.
“Boy,” he said, “do you live around here?”
“I live in the city; sir.”
“Then I guess you can tell me what I want to know.”
“I will if I can, sir,” said Frank, politely.
“Whereabouts is Wall Street?”
“Close by, sir. I am going that way, and will be happy to show you.”
Frank had no idea his compliance with the stranger’s request was likely to have an important effect up his fortunes.
FRANK HEARS SOMETHING TO HIS ADVANTAGE
“My name,” said the stranger, “is Peters—Jonathan Peters, of Craneville, Onondaga County. I am a farmer, and don’t know much about New York. I’ve got a few hundred dollars that I want to put into government bonds.”
“All right,” said Frank, “there won’t be any difficulty about it.”
“I’ve heerd there are a good many swindlers in New York,” continued Mr. Peters. “The squire—Squire Jackson, of our village—perhaps you may have heard of him?”
“I don’t think I have, Mr. Peters.”
“Well, the squire told me I’d better take good keer of my money, as there were plenty of rascals here who would try to cheat me out of it.”
“That is true, Mr. Peters. Only yesterday I was robbed of thirty-five dollars by a man who boarded in the same house.”