“Have you carried Frank Fowler to the poorhouse?” asked Tom Pinkerton, eagerly, on his father’s return.
“No,” said the deacon, “he is going to make a visit at Mr. Pomeroy’s first.”
“I shouldn’t think you would have let him make a visit,” said Tom, discontentedly. “I should think you would have taken him to the poorhouse right off.”
“I feel it my duty to save the town unnecessary expense,” said Deacon Pinkerton.
So Tom was compelled to rest satisfied with his father’s assurance that the removal was only deferred.
Meanwhile Frank and Grace received a cordial welcome at the house of Mr. Pomeroy. Sam and Frank were intimate friends, and our hero had been in the habit of calling frequently, and it seemed homelike.
“I wish you could stay with us all the time, Frank—you and Grace,” said Sam one evening.
“We should all like it,” said Mr. Pomeroy, “but we cannot always have what we want. If I had it in my power to offer Frank any employment which it would be worth his while to follow, it might do. But he has got his way to make in the world. Have you formed any plans yet, Frank?”
“That is what I want to consult you about, Mr. Pomeroy.”
“I will give you the best advice I can, Frank. I suppose you do not mean to stay in the village.”
“No, sir. There is nothing for me to do here. I must go somewhere where I can make a living for Grace and myself.”
“You’ve got a hard row to hoe, Frank,” said Mr. Pomeroy, thoughtfully. “Have you decided where to go?”
“Yes, sir. I shall go to New York.”
“What! To the city?”
“Yes, sir. I’ll get something to do, no matter what it is.”
“But how are you going to live in the meantime?”
“I’ve got a little money.”
“That won’t last long.”
“I know it, but I shall soon get work, if it is only to black boots in the streets.”
“With that spirit, Frank, you will stand a fair chance to succeed. What do you mean to do with Grace?”
“I will take her with me.”
“I can think of a better plan. Leave her here till you have found something to do. Then send for her.”
“But if I leave her here Deacon Pinkerton will want to put her in the poorhouse. I can’t bear to have Grace go there.”
“She need not. She can stay here with me for three months.”
“Will you let me pay her board?”
“I can afford to give her board for three months.”
“You are very kind, Mr. Pomeroy, but it wouldn’t be right for me to accept your kindness. It is my duty to take care of Grace.”
“I honor your independence, Frank. It shall be as you say. When you are able—mind, not till then—you may pay me at the rate of two dollars a week for Grace’s board.”
“Then,” said Frank, “if you are willing to board Grace for a while, I think I had better go to the city at once.”