“I see. You own the boat, eh?”
“You ought to be able to make a fair living, taking out summer boarders.”
“I suppose so, but that won’t give me anything to do this winter.”
“Well, perhaps something else will turn up by that time.” Andrew Mallison drew out a fat wallet. “I want to reward you for saving Mabel.”
He drew out two ten-dollar bills and held them towards our hero. But Joe shook his head and drew back.
“Thank you very much, Mr. Mallison, but I don’t want any reward.”
“But you have earned it fairly, my lad.”
“I won’t touch it. If you want to help me you can throw some odd rowing jobs from the hotel in my way.”
“Then you won’t really touch the money?”
“How would you like to work for the hotel regularly?”
“I’d like it first-rate if it paid.”
“I can guarantee you regular work so long as the summer season lasts.”
“And what would it pay?”
“At least a dollar a day, and your board.”
“Then I’ll accept and with thanks for your kindness.”
“When can you come?”
“I’m here already.”
“That means that you can stay from now on?”
“I don’t suppose you want the job of hauling somebody from the lake every day,” said Andrew Mallison, with a smile.
“Not unless I was dressed for it, Mr. Mallison. Still, it has been the means of getting me a good position.”
“I shall feel safe in sending out parties with you for I know you will do your best to keep them from harm.”
“I’ll certainly do that, I can promise you.”
“To-morrow you can take out two old ladies who wish to be rowed around the whole lake and shown every point of interest. Of course you know all the points.”
“Yes, sir, I know every foot of ground around the lake, and I know the mountains, too.”
“Then there will be no difficulty in keeping you busy. I am glad to take you on. I am short one man—or will be by to-night. I am going to let Sam Cullum go, for he drinks too much.”
“Well, you won’t have any trouble with me on that score.”
“Don’t you drink?”
“Not a drop, sir.”
“I am glad to hear it, and it is to your credit,” concluded the hotel proprietor.
BLOWS AND KIND DEEDS.
Several days passed and Joe went out half a dozen times on the lake with parties from the hotel. All whom he served were pleased with him and treated him so nicely that, for the time being, his past troubles were forgotten.
At the beginning of the week Ned Talmadge came to see him.
“I am going away to join the folks out West,” said Ned.
“I hope you will have a good time,” answered our hero.