He went to bed early, for tomorrow was to be the beginning of a new life for him.
A STRANGE DISAPPEARANCE.
When it was generally known in the school that Rodney was to leave because he had lost his property much sympathy was felt and expressed for him.
Though he had received more than ordinary attention from the principal on account of his pecuniary position and expectations, this had not impaired his popularity. He never put on any airs and was on as cordial relations with the poorest student as with the richest.
“I’m awfully sorry you’re going, Rodney,” said more than one. “Is it really true that you have lost your property?”
“Yes, it is true.”
“Do you feel bad about it?”
“I feel sorry, but not discouraged.”
“I say, Rodney,” said Ernest Rayner, in a low voice, calling Rodney aside, “are you very short of money?”
“I haven’t much left, Ernest.”
“Because I received five dollars last week as a birthday present. I haven’t spent any of it. You can have it as well as not.”
Rodney was much moved. “My dear Ernest,” he said, putting his arm caressingly around the neck of the smaller boy, “you are a true friend. I won’t forget your generous offer, though I don’t need to accept it.”
“But are you sure you have money enough?” asked Ernest.
“Yes, I have enough for the present. By the time I need more I shall have earned it.”
There was one boy, already introduced, John Bundy, who did not share in the general feeling of sympathy for Rodney. This was John Bundy.
He felt that Rodney’s departure would leave him the star pupil and give him the chief social position in school. As to scholarship he was not ambitious to stand high in that.
“I say, Ropes,” he said complacently, “I’m to have your room after you’re gone.”
“I congratulate you,” returned Rodney. “It is an excellent room.”
“Yes, I s’pose it’ll make you feel bad. Where are you going?”
“I hope you will enjoy it as much as I have done.”
“Oh yes, I guess there’s no doubt of that. I’m going to get pa to send me some nice pictures to hang on the wall. When you come back here on a visit you’ll see how nice it looks.”
“I think it will be a good while before I come here on a visit.”
“Yes. I s’pose it’ll make you feel bad. Where are you going?”
“To the City of New York.”
“You’ll have to live in a small hall bedroom there.”
“Why will I?”
“Because you are poor, and it costs a good deal of money to live in New York. It’ll be a great come down.”
“It will indeed, but if I can earn enough to support me in plain style I won’t complain. I suppose you’ll call and see me when you come to New York?”
“Perhaps so, if you don’t live in a tenement house. Pa objects to my going to tenement houses. There’s no knowing what disease there may be in them.”