“We’ve got a new clerk, and who do you think it is?”
“Who is it?”
“The adopted son of old Cameron, the sexton.”
“Indeed,” said Mrs. Dawkins. “I really wonder at Mr. Danforth’s bad taste. There are many boys of genteel family, who would have been glad of the chance. This boy is a low fellow of course.”
“Certainly,” said her son, though he was quite aware that this was not true.
“What could have brought the boy to Danforth’s notice?” asked Dawkins, senior.
“I don’t know, I’m sure. The boy has managed to get round him in some way. He is very artful.”
“I really think, husband, that you ought to remonstrate with Mr. Danforth about taking such a low fellow into his counting-room with our George.”
“Pooh!” said Mr. Dawkins, who was a shade more sensible than his wife, “he’d think me a meddler.”
“At any rate, George,” pursued his mother, “there’s one thing that is due to your family and bringing up,—not to associate with this low fellow any more than business requires.”
“I certainly shall not,” said George, promptly.
He was the worthy son of such a mother.
A vulgar relation.
At the end of the first week, Paul received five dollars, the sum which the merchant had agreed to pay him for his services. With this he felt very rich. He hurried home, and displayed to the sexton the crisp bank note which had been given him.
“You will soon be a rich man, Paul,” said Mr. Cameron, with a benevolent smile, returning the bill.
“But I want you to keep it, Uncle Hugh.”
“Shall I put it in the Savings Bank, for you, Paul?”
“I didn’t mean that. You have been supporting me—giving me board and clothes—for three years. It is only right that you should have what I earn.”
“The offer is an honorable one on your part, Paul,” said the sexton; “but I don’t need it. If it will please you, I will take two dollars a week for your board, now, and out of the balance you may clothe yourself, and save what you can.”
This arrangement seemed to be a fair one. Mr. Cameron deposited the five dollar note in his pocket-book, and passed one of three dollars to Paul. This sum our hero deposited the next Monday morning, in a savings bank. He estimated that he could clothe himself comfortably for fifty dollars a year. This would leave him one hundred towards the payment of the debt due to Squire Conant.
“By-and-by my salary will be raised,” thought Paul. “Then I can save more.”
He looked forward with eager anticipation to the time when he should be able to redeem his father’s name, and no one would be entitled to cast reproach upon his memory.