“Yes, sir; and this afternoon I received a letter from him.”
“What did he write?” asked Fairfield, in a husky voice; for he was convinced now that Frank spoke the truth.
“He removes you, inclosing a check of three hundred dollars in place of notice, and appoints Mr. Hamlin in your place.”
“Will you read this letter, sir?”
It was enough. Fairfield knew that his management would not stand investigation, and he yielded with a bad grace.
Mr. Hamlin, the next day, to the great joy of the villagers, made known his appointment.
Fairfield left town and drifted to California, where he became an adventurer, living in a miserable and precarious manner. Mr. Hamlin moved into his fine house, and Dick was sent to a school to prepare for college.
The next day Frank started on his return to New York.
AN IMPORTANT DISCOVERY
On his return to New York, Frank had no reason to be dissatisfied with his reception. From Mr. Percival to Freddie, all the family seemed delighted to see him.
“You mustn’t go away again, Frank,” said little Freddie. “I wanted to see you ever so much.”
“And I wanted to see you, Freddie,” said our hero, his heart warming to the little boy.
“You won’t go away again, will you, Frank?”
“Not if I can help it, Freddie.”
“We are all glad to see you back Frank,” said his employer. “But you have justified my opinion of you by your success. Some of my friends ridiculed me for sending a boy on such an important mission, but I don’t believe any of them would have succeeded any better than you, if as well.”
“I am glad you are satisfied with me, sir,” said Frank, very much gratified by the commendation of his employer.
“I feel that you have done a great service, and indeed I don’t know whom I could have sent in your place. However, I am glad to see you back again. I have missed you about my letters, and have postponed answering some till my young secretary returned.”
Frank resumed his regular employment, and three months passed without anything that needs to be recorded.
At the end of that time, Frank received an important letter from Col. Vincent, which gave him much food for thought.
The letter was as follows:
“Dear Frank: For some time past I have been intending to write to you, but I have delayed for no good reason. Now, however, I am led to write by a surprising discovery which has just been made in your old home, which may be of material importance to you.
“When your stepfather went away, he requested me to have an eye to the estate, and order whatever I might think necessary to be done. I am not, as you know, a very cordial friend of Mr. Manning’s, but I have always regarded the property as of right belonging to you—that is, since your mother’s death—and so accepted the commission.