“Very well,” said the old gentleman, “I hope you may never regret it. But we have already hired an office boy. Good morning.”
Archie walked out, more discouraged than ever. Perhaps, after all, a country life was not to be so much despised. This man ought to know what he was talking about. But once outside, in the Broadway crowd, Archie forgot everything about the country, and was lost in the delight of being one of four million.
He now decided to accept the place in the restaurant, if it were not taken, and, fortunately for him, it was not. So he rolled up his sleeves, and began to wash dishes as if he had done nothing else in all his life before.
In the street again—
the police station— visits
the newspaper office,
and is kindly received by the editor.
All day long Archie washed dishes, and before night came he decided that he had never before had such discouraging work. The restaurant was a popular one, and there were very many dishes to be washed, to say nothing of the pots and pans which were always dirty. Archie no sooner finished one sink full of dishes than another large pile was waiting to be put through the same operation, and there was no time at all for looking about him. There was hardly time for eating, even, and at noon he was only able to snatch a few mouthfuls. The work was not interesting, and it was a new sort of labour to Archie, so that altogether he did not get on as well as he might have wished. The cook was constantly nagging him, and telling him to hurry up, and the poor lad tried his best to please him. But somehow everything went wrong, and he was hardly surprised when the proprietor came in at six o’clock with a new man for the place. “Come around in the morning,” he said to Archie, “and I’ll pay your day’s wages.”
So the boy was in the street once more, with no money, and no place to sleep. He wasn’t hungry, that was one thing, for he had been allowed to eat a good meal before leaving the restaurant. But where was he to sleep, and what was he to do on the morrow, when he would surely be hungry? His experience at looking for work had not been encouraging, and he began to have serious doubts as to whether he would ever get a place. Certainly he would starve if he waited around New York long without anything to do.
It was quite dark at seven o’clock, and Archie walked over to the brilliantly lighted street which ran north and south through the city. He had never failed to find something interesting to look at there, and he felt now that he would like to see the bright side of city life, even if he couldn’t enjoy it himself. So all the evening he walked up and down the street, watching the well-dressed crowds hurrying into the theatres and the other almost innumerable places of amusement. He stared in open-mouthed