“Wait a moment, until I examine the receipt.” He read it over, and then, pushing it towards Bland, said,—
“Write ‘In full of all demands.’” A growl was the oral response. Bland took the pen again, and wrote as directed.
“Take my advice, young man, and adopt a safer and more honorable business,” said Mr. Phillips, as he gave him the twenty-dollar bill.
“Keep your advice for them that ask it!” was flung back in his face. A look of hate and revenge burned in the fellow’s eyes. After glaring at Mr. Phillips and Martin in a threatening way for several moments, he left more hurriedly than he had entered.
“And take my advice,” said the officer, laying his hand on Martin’s arm,—he spoke in a warning tone,—“and keep out of that man’s way. He’ll never forgive you. I know him and his prowling gang, and they are a set of as hardened and dangerous villains as can be found in the city. You are ‘spotted’ by them from this day, and they number a dozen at least. So, if you would be safe, avoid their haunts. Give drinking saloons and billiard rooms a wide berth. One experience like this should last you a life-time.”
Thus Martin escaped from his dangerous entanglement, but never again to hold the unwavering confidence of his employer. Mr. Phillips pitied, but could not trust him fully. A year afterwards came troublesome times, losses in business, and depression in trade. Every man had to retrench. Thousands of clerks lost their places, and anxiety and distress were on every hand. Mr. Phillips, like others, had to reduce expenses, and, in reducing, the lot to go fell upon Martin Green. He had been very circumspect, had kept away from the old places where danger lurked, had devoted himself with renewed assiduity to his employer’s interests; but, for all this, doubts were forever arising in the mind of Mr. Phillips, and when the question, “Who shall go?” came up, the decision was against Martin. We pity him, but cannot blame his employer.
All the village was getting out with Andy Lovell, the shoemaker; and yet Andy Lovell’s shoes fitted so neatly, and wore so long, that the village people could ill afford to break with him. The work made by Tompkins was strong enough, but Tompkins was no artist in leather. Lyon’s fit was good, and his shoes neat in appearance, but they had no wear in them. So Andy Lovell had the run of work, and in a few years laid by enough to make him feel independent. Now this feeling of independence is differently based with different men. Some must have hundreds of thousands of dollars for it to rest upon, while others find tens of thousands sufficient. A few drop below the tens, and count by units. Of this last number was Andy Lovell, the shoemaker.