“Yes. Have you any idea who wrote it?”
“I feel quite sure that it was a boy about two years older than myself, Jasper Redwood.”
“Is he related to the man of the same name whom he mentions?”
“Yes, he is his nephew.”
“Has he any particular reason for disliking you, Rodney?”
“Yes, sir. He came round to my room Wednesday evening, and asked me to lend him ten dollars.”
“I presume you refused.”
“Yes, sir. He is not in need. He succeeded to my place, and he has a home at the house of his uncle.”
“He appears to be a very mean boy. Anonymous letters are always cowardly, and generally malicious. This seems to be no exception to the general rule.”
“I hope it won’t affect your feelings towards me, Mr. Sargent.”
“Don’t trouble yourself about that Rodney. I am not so easily prejudiced against one of whom I have a good opinion.”
“I suppose this is Jasper’s revenge,” thought Rodney.
RODNEY LOSES HIS PUPIL.
Jasper had little doubt that his letter would lead to Rodney’s loss of position. It was certainly a mean thing to plot another’s downfall, but Jasper was quite capable of it. Had he secured the loan he asked he would have been willing to leave Rodney alone, but it would only have been the first of a series of similar applications.
It was several days before Jasper had an opportunity of learning whether his malicious plan had succeeded or not. On Sunday forenoon he met Rodney on Fifth Avenue just as the church services were over. He crossed the street and accosted the boy he had tried to injure.
“Good morning, Ropes,” he said, examining Rodney’s face curiously to see whether it indicated trouble of any kind.
“Good morning!” responded Rodney coolly.
“How are you getting along in your place?”
“Very well, thank you.”
“Shall I find you at your pupil’s house if I call there some afternoon?”
“Yes, unless I am out walking with Arthur.”
“I wonder whether he’s bluffing,” thought Jasper. “I daresay he wouldn’t tell me if he had been discharged. He takes it pretty coolly.”
“How long do you think your engagement will last?” he asked.
“I don’t know. I never had a talk with Mr. Sargent on that point.”
“Do you still give satisfaction?”
Rodney penetrated Jasper’s motives for asking all these questions, and was amused.
“I presume if I fail to satisfy Mr. Sargent he will tell me so.”
“It would be a nice thing if you could stay there three or four years.”
“Yes: but I don’t anticipate it. When Arthur get a little older he will be sent to school.”
“What will you do then?”
“I haven’t got so far as that.”
“I can’t get anything out of him,” said Jasper to himself. “I shouldn’t be a bit surprised if he were already discharged.”