“I prefer to leave that to you, sir.”
“Then we will say fifteen dollars a week—today is Thursday. Will you present yourself here next Monday morning?”
“If you would like an advance of salary, you need only say so.”
“Thank you, sir, but I am fairly provided with money for the present.”
“Then nothing more need be said. As I am to meet a gentleman at the Union League Club tonight, I will bid you good evening, and expect to see you on Monday.”
Rodney rose and Mr. Sargent accompanied him to the door, shaking hands with him courteously by way of farewell.
Rodney emerged into the street in a state of joyous excitement. Twenty five dollars in his pocket, and fifteen dollars a week! He could hardly credit his good fortune.
Mike Flynn was overjoyed to hear of Rodney’s good fortune.
“Fifteen dollars a week!” he repeated. “Why you will be rich.”
“Not exactly that, Mike, but it will make me comfortable. By the way, as I have so much more than you, it will only be fair for me to pay the whole rent.”
“No, Rodney, you mustn’t do that.”
“I shall insist upon it, Mike. You would do the same in my place.”
“Yes I would.”
“So you can’t object to my doing it.”
“You are very kind to me, Rodney,” said Mike, who had the warm heart of his race. “It isn’t every boy brought up like you who would be willing to room with a bootblack.”
“But you are not a bootblack now. You are a telegraph boy.”
“There are plenty that mind me when I blacked boots down in front of the Astor House.”
“You are just as good a boy for all that. How much did you make last week?”
“Four dollars salary, and a dollar and a half in extra tips.”
“Hereafter you must save your rent money for clothes. We must have you looking respectable.”
“Won’t you adopt me, Rodney?” asked Mike with a laughing face.
“That’s a good idea. Perhaps I will. In that case you must obey all my orders. In the first place, what are you most in want in the way of clothing?”
“I haven’t got but two shirts.”
“That is hardly enough for a gentleman of your social position. Anything else.”
“I’m short on collars and socks.”
“Then we’ll go out shopping. I’ll buy you a supply of each.”
“But you haven’t begun to work yet.”
“No, but Mrs. Harvey made me a present of twenty five dollars. We’ll go to some of the big stores on Sixth Avenue where we can get furnishing goods cheap.”
Rodney carried out his purpose, and at the cost of four dollars supplied his room mate with all he needed for the present.
“See what it is to be rich, Mike,” he said. “It seems odd for me to be buying clothes for my adopted son.”