The days passed quickly until Wednesday, and the afternoon of that day found Archie in the waiting-room of Mr. Depaw’s office. He had not long to sit there after sending in his card, for the busy man received him as soon as he could get rid of his present visitor. He shook Archie warmly by the hand as he entered, and then, pulling two chairs together, they sat down. “I have been thinking for some time,” said Mr. Depaw, “that I need a sort of private secretary. Of course I have men here at the office who take dictation from me, and who fulfil the duties of a secretary to a certain extent, but I want a young man who can attend somewhat to my personal affairs; I want one whom I can trust, and one who is likely to grow as he works along, so that eventually he may be able to fill any place I may have open for him.” Then he stopped a moment, and Archie felt his heart beating very fast beneath his coat. He waited almost breathlessly to hear what Mr. Depaw would say next.
“Ever since I met you first,” he at last went on, “I have somehow thought that you are the kind of a young fellow I would like. You are ambitious, you are persevering, and you are willing to learn. You say, too, that you know shorthand, and I know that you are a good penman. You have seen quite a little of the world, I am sure, and I think you can prove yourself equal to almost any occasion. The only question is whether you will care to give up reporting for a position of this kind. I can assure you that I will pay you as much as you are earning now, and I shall be glad to offer you a home at my house, because I shall want you at my right hand all the time. Do you think you will care to take the place?”
Archie could hardly speak, it was all so wonderful, but finally he recovered himself sufficiently to explain his hesitancy in accepting the position. “I would like just one day,” he said, “to consult with my friends on the newspaper. You see Mr. Jennings and Mr. Van Bunting have been very good to me, and I shouldn’t care to leave them now if they object very strongly.”
“That’s quite right, quite right,” said Mr. Depaw. “I can appreciate your feelings, and you can tell the editor that you will have some time for writing, and that you will contribute occasional articles to his paper.” Archie was now delighted. “Oh, thank you,” he cried. “I am sure I can come now.”