New York was as delightful as ever. It was now the last of April, and the trees were all green with fresh leaves, and the numerous little parks scattered over the city were looking their very best. The asphalt pavements looked clean and elegant when Archie thought of some other streets he had seen, and the tall office buildings lifted their ornate domes and cupolas into a sky of clear blue. “Surely,” he thought to himself, “this is the most charming city in all the world.” Fifth Avenue, with its crowds of fashionable folk, and its throng of vehicles, was a delight of which he never tired, and when he went into the Bowery, just to see how things were looking now, he found it quite as interesting and as dirty as in the fall.
But the first place he visited was the dear little square away down-town, where he had lived during those few happy days spent in New York. It, too, looked the same, only the flowers and grass were fresher now, and the fountain seemed to flow more joyously, now that spring was here. The house where he had lodged was as clean as ever, and Archie at once decided to engage a room here, where he could have his New York home. So he called upon the motherly landlady, and was glad to learn that the room he had first was still vacant, and that he could take possession at once.
As before, when he came to this house, Archie was almost out of clothing, so he went out and fitted himself with everything he needed. And this time he felt able to buy the best to be had, for he thought he had now earned the privilege to dress well if he liked. And then, when he had everything he needed to wear, he went out and bought many pretty things for his room, for he felt that he would like to have it just as cosy and home-like as possible. He wasn’t able to do much at it this first night, but in the succeeding days he furnished the place in a charming way, so that the landlady said it was the “handsomest room in the house, sir.” The dear old lady could hardly understand this great change in her lodger’s circumstances. She worried about it very often, and discussed the question with many of the neighbours. “He come here last fall looking mighty poor-like, but, lawsy me, he’s as fine now as any man on the avenue.” And she never did understand it until one day she learned that her lodger was the “very young man who had been to the war in the Philippines, and writ about his battles in the Enterprise.”