“Then probably you will stay away a long time.”
“I am afraid so.”
“Well, ta, ta! Come along, Philip.”
As Rodney followed with his eye the figure of his complacent successor he felt that his fate was indeed a hard one.
A RICH FIND.
As Jasper and his companion moved away, Carton said, “I’m sorry for that poor duffer, Jasper.”
“Why should you be sorry?” asked Jasper, frowning.
“Because he has lost a good place and good prospects, and all for no fault of his own.”
“You are getting sentimental, Philip,” sneered Jasper.
“No, but I am showing a little humanity. He has lost all this through you——”
“Through us, you mean.”
“Well, through us. We have made him the scapegoat for our sins.”
“Oh well, he is making a living.”
“A pretty poor one. I don’t think you would like to be reduced to selling papers.”
“His case and mine are different.”
“I begin to think also that we have made a mistake in getting him discharged so soon.”
“We can’t take anything more.”
“Because there will be no one to lay the blame upon. He is out of the store.”
“That is true. I didn’t think of that. But I invited him to come around and call. If he should, and something else should be missing it would be laid to him.”
“I don’t believe he will call. I am terribly hard up, and our source of income has failed us. Haven’t you got a dollar or two to spare?”
“No,” answered Jasper coldly. “I only get seven dollars a week.”
“But you have nearly all that. You only have to hand in two dollars a week to your uncle.”
“Look here, Philip Carton, I hope you don’t expect to live off me. I have all I can do to take care of myself.”
Carton looked at Jasper in anger and mortification.
“I begin to understand how good a friend you are,” he said.
“I am not fool enough to pinch myself to keep you,” said Jasper bluntly. “You are a man of twenty five and I am only a boy. You ought to be able to take care of yourself.”
“Just give me a dollar, or lend it Jasper, and I will risk it at play. I may rise from the table with a hundred. If I do I will pay you handsomely for the loan.”
“I couldn’t do it, Mr. Carton. I have only two dollars in my pocket, and I have none to spare.”
“Humph! what is that?”
Philip Carton’s eyes were fixed upon the sidewalk. There was a flimsy piece of paper fluttering about impelled by the wind. He stooped and picked it up.
“It is a five dollar bill,” he exclaimed in exultation. “My luck has come back.”
Jasper changed his tone at once. Now Philip was the better off of the two.
“That is luck!” he said. “Shall we go into Delmonico’s, and have an ice?”