“I will look over your clothes to-morrow, Frank,” said Mrs. Pomeroy, “and see if they need mending.”
“Then I will start Thursday morning—the day after.”
About four o’clock the next afternoon he was walking up the main street, when just in front of Deacon Pinkerton’s house he saw Tom leaning against a tree.
“How are you Tom?” he said, and was about to pass on.
“Where are you going?” Tom asked abruptly.
“To Mr. Pomeroy’s.”
“How soon are you going to the poorhouse to live?”
“Who told you I was going?”
“Then your father’s mistaken.”
“Ain’t you a pauper?” said Tom, insolently. “You haven’t got any money.”
“I have got hands to earn money, and I am going to try.”
“Anyway, I advise you to resign as captain of the baseball club.”
“Because if you don’t you’ll be kicked out. Do you think the fellows will be willing to have a pauper for their captain?”
“That’s the second time you have called me a pauper. Don’t call me so again.”
“You are a pauper and you know it.”
Frank was not a quarrelsome boy, but this repeated insult was too much for him. He seized Tom by the collar, and tripping him up left him on the ground howling with rage. As valor was not his strong point, he resolved to be revenged upon Frank vicariously. He was unable to report the case to his father till the next morning, as the deacon did not return from a neighboring village, whither he had gone on business, till late, but the result of his communication was a call at Mr. Pomeroy’s from the deacon at nine o’clock the next morning. Had he found Frank, it was his intention, at Tom’s request, to take him at once to the poorhouse. But he was too late. Our hero was already on his way to New York.
FRANK GETS A PLACE
“So this is New York,” said Frank to himself, as he emerged from the railway station and looked about him with interest and curiosity.
“Black yer boots? Shine?” asked a bootblack, seeing our hero standing still.
Frank looked at his shoes. They were dirty, without doubt, but he would not have felt disposed to be so extravagant, considering his limited resources, had he not felt it necessary to obtain some information about the city.
“Yes,” he said, “you may black them.”
The boy was on his knees instantly and at work.
“How much do you make in a day?” asked Frank.
“When it’s a good day I make a dollar.”
“That’s pretty good,” said Frank.
“Can you show me the way to Broadway?”
“Go straight ahead.”
Our hero paid for his shine and started in the direction indicated.
Frank’s plans, so far as he had any, were to get into a store. He knew that Broadway was the principal business street in the city, and this was about all he did know about it.