“Yes I do.”
“What firm is he working for?”
“For none at all. He is tutor to a young kid.”
“I didn’t know he was scholar enough.”
“Oh yes, he knows Greek and Latin and a lot of other stuff.”
“Who is the boy?”
“I don’t feel at liberty to tell. I don’t think he would care to have you know.”
“I’ll tell you what you can do. Borrow five dollars of him for me.”
“I don’t know about that. If I were to borrow it would be for myself.”
“You can do as you please. If you don’t do something for me I will write to Mr. Goodnow that you are the thief who stole the cloaks and dress patterns.”
“You wouldn’t do that?” exclaimed Jasper in consternation.
“Wouldn’t I? I am desperate enough to do anything.”
After a little further conference Jasper agreed to do what was asked of him. He did not dare to refuse.
Rodney was considerably surprised one evening to receive a call from Jasper in his room. He was alone, as Mike had been detailed about a week ago for night duty. The room looked more attractive than formerly. Rodney had bought a writing desk, which stood in the corner, and had put up three pictures, which, though cheap, were attractive.
“Good evening, Jasper,” he said. “It is quite friendly of you to call.”
“I hadn’t anything else on hand this evening, and thought I would come round see how you were getting along.”
“Take a seat and make yourself at home.”
“Do you object to cigarettes?” asked Jasper, producing one from a case in his pocket.
“I object to smoking them myself, but I don’t want to dictate to my friends.”
“You look quite comfortable here,” continued Jasper in a patronizing tone.
“We try to be comfortable, though our room is not luxurious.”
“Who do you mean by ‘we’? Have you a room mate?”
“Yes. Mike Flynn rooms with me.”
“Who is he—a newsboy?”
“No. He is a telegraph boy.”
“You don’t seem to very particular,” said Jasper, shrugging his shoulders.
“I am very particular.”
“Yet you room with an Irish telegraph boy.”
“He is a nice boy of good habit, and a devoted friend. What could I want more?”
“Oh, well, you have a right to consult your own taste.”
“You have a nice home, no doubt.”
“I live with my uncle. Yes, he has a good house, but I am not so independent as if I had a room outide.”
“How are things going on at the store?”
“About the same as usual. Why don’t you come in some day?”
“For two reasons; I am occupied during the day, and I don’t want to go where I am considered a thief.”
“I wish I was getting your income. It is hard to get along on seven dollars a week.”