AN IMPUDENT ADVENTURER.
While Rodney was talking with Mike Flynn he was an object of attention to a man who stood near the corner of Barclay Street, and was ostensibly looking in at the window of the drug store. As Rodney turned away he recognized him at once as his enterprising fellow traveler who had taken possession of the casket of jewels.
He did not care to keep up an acquaintance with him, and started to cross the street. But the other came forward smiling, and with a nod said: “I believe you are the young man I met yesterday in the cars and afterwards at Kentville?”
“I just wanted to tell you that I had got back my jewel box, the one for which I mistook yours.”
“Indeed!” said Rodney, who did not believe a word the fellow said.
“Quite an amusing mistake, I made.”
“It might have proved serious to me.”
“Very true, as I shouldn’t have known where to find you to restore your property.”
“I don’t think that would have troubled you much,” thought Rodney. “Where did you find your box?” he asked.
“In the car. That is, the conductor picked it up and left it at the depot for me. Where are you staying here in the city? At the Astor House?”
“No, I have found a boarding house on West Fourteenth Street.”
“If it is a good place, I should like to go there. What is the number?”
“I can’t recall it, though I could find it,” answered Rodney with reserve, for he had no wish to have his railroad acquaintance in the house.
“Is the gentleman who was traveling with you there also?”
“He is a very pleasant gentleman, though he misjudged me. Ha, ha! my friends will be very much amused when I tell them that I was taken for a thief. Why, I venture to say that my box is more valuable than yours.”
“Very likely,” said Rodney coldly. “Good morning.”
“Good morning. I hope we may meet again.”
Rodney nodded, but he could not in sincerity echo the wish.
He was now confronted by a serious problem. He had less than ten dollars in his pocketbook, and this would soon be swallowed up by the necessary expenses of life in a large city. What would he do when that was gone?
It was clear that he must go to work as soon as possible. If his guardian had remained in the city, probably through his influence a situation might have been secured. Now nothing was to be looked for in that quarter.
He bought a morning paper and looked over the Want Column. He found two places within a short distance of the Astor House, and called at each. One was in a railroad office.
“My boy,” said the manager, a pleasant looking man, “the place was taken hours since. You don’t seem to get up very early in the morning.”