Cyrus Hooper was seventy one, his wife two years younger. During the greater part of their lives they had been well to do, if not prosperous, but now their money was gone, and there was a mortgage on the old home which they could not pay.
“I don’t know whats goin’ to become of us, Nancy,” said Cyrus Hooper. “We’ll have to leave the old home, and when the farm’s been sold there won’t be much left over and above the mortgage which Louis Sheldon holds.”
“Don’t you think the squire will give you a little more time, Cyrus?”
“No; I saw him yesterday, and he’s sot on buyin’ in the farm for himself. He reckons it won’t fetch more’n eighteen hundred dollars.”
“Thats only six hundred over the mortgage.”
“It isn’t that Nancy. There’s about a hundred dollars due in interest. We won’t get more’n five hundred dollars.”
“Surely, Cyrus, the farm is worth three thousand dollars.”
“So it is, Nancy, but that won’t do us any good, as long as no one wants it more’n the squire.”
“I wish Jefferson were at home.”
“What good would it do? I surmise he hasn’t made any money. He never did have much enterprise, that boy.”
“He was allus a good boy, Cyrus.”
“That’s so, Nancy, but he didn’t seem cut out for makin’ money. Still it would do me good to see him. Maybe we might have a home together, and manage to live.”
Just then a neighbor entered.
“Have you heard the news?” she asked.
“No; what is it?”
“Your nephew Jefferson Pettigrew has got back.”
“You don’t mean so. There, Jefferson, that’s one comfort.”
“And they say he has brought home five hundred dollars.”
“That’s more’n I thought he’d bring. Where is he?”
“Over at the tavern. He’s brought a young man with him, leastways a boy, that’s got a lot of money.”
“Yes; he’s from New York, and is a friend of Jefferson’s.”
“Well, I’m glad he’s back. Why didn’t he come here?”
“It’s likely he would if the boy wasn’t with him.”
“Perhaps he heard of my misfortune.”
“I hope it’ll all come right, Mr. Hooper. My, if there ain’t Jefferson comin’ to see you now. I see him through the winder. I guess I’ll be goin’. You’ll want to see him alone.”
THE BOY CAPITALIST.
“How are you, Uncle Cyrus?” said Jefferson Pettigrew heartily, as he clasped his uncle’s toil worn hand. “And Aunt Nancy, too! It pays me for coming all the way from Montana just to see you.”
“I’m glad to see you, Jefferson,” said his uncle. “It seems a long time since you went away. I hope you’ve prospered.”
“Well, uncle, I’ve brought myself back well and hearty, and I’ve got a few hundred dollars.”
“I’m glad to hear it, Jefferson. You’re better off than when you went away.”