“Well, come in at this time to-morrow,” said Mr. Depaw, “and let me know what you have decided to do.”
Archie hurried at once to Mr. Jennings’s office to tell him the good news. He wondered how his friend would take it, but all his fears were soon put at rest. “Archie,” said Mr. Jennings, “this is the best opportunity you can ever have to improve yourself in every way. Mr. Depaw is a man highly respected all over the country, and a man who is known to be extraordinary in many ways. Association with such a man will do more for you than four years in college, and you will make a mistake if you do not accept his offer. Of course we shall all be sorry to lose you here, but, as Mr. Depaw says, you will have some time for writing, and we hope you will always continue to do some work for us.”
Archie could almost have thrown his arms about Mr. Jennings’s neck to hug him for his splendid feeling, and when, a little later, Mr. Van Bunting said practically the same thing, he felt that he had never known two such men. He assured them both that he would never forget them, but would try and spend as much time as possible in the Enterprise office.
The next day he called again on Mr. Depaw, and told him of his decision to accept the place, and the good man seemed overjoyed. “I will see that you never forget it, Archie,” he said. It was arranged for him to begin work the very next day. “You can transfer your things to my house as soon as you like, for your room is waiting for you, and I will begin to-morrow to teach you how to do things.”
And now Archie found it hard to leave the dear little room in the quaint old square, which was looking now just as when he saw it first. The leaves in the trees were turning brown and gold, and Archie realised that he had been away from home more than a year. “Oh, I must go back soon,” he said to himself, “or I shall simply die of homesickness.”
In a couple of days he was installed as a member of the Depaw household, and he soon felt at home there. Every one was very kind to him, he was given a handsome room, and everything seemed almost perfect. One of the best things about it all was that he had access to the fine library, and he longed for the long winter evenings when he could devour the many interesting books he saw there. He was soon initiated into his work, and it was much easier than he had expected. Mr. Depaw, of course, started him very gradually, so that he learned as he went along. Every morning at eight o’clock he was in the library with Mr. Depaw, taking dictation, and receiving instructions for the day. They remained together here until ten o’clock, when Mr. Depaw either walked or drove to his office. Archie always accompanied him, and took charge of some of the mail there, attending to it during the morning. Then at noon he returned to the house, where he spent the afternoon in writing the letters which had been dictated in the morning, and in doing various things for Mr. Depaw. The evenings he always had to himself, and he had no difficulty in finding enough to do at home without going out. He almost invariably passed the evenings in reading, but occasionally he was asked to accompany the family to some musical event at the opera house, for they had soon learned of his love for music.