“I wish he wasn’t so ragged and dirty,” said Frank, who felt a little shy about being seen with such a companion.
“I’m afraid you haven’t washed your face this morning,” said Mr. Whitney, for that was the gentleman’s name.
“They didn’t have no wash-bowls at the hotel where I stopped,” said Dick.
“What hotel did you stop at?”
“The Box Hotel.”
“The Box Hotel?”
“Yes, sir, I slept in a box on Spruce Street.”
Frank surveyed Dick curiously.
“How did you like it?” he asked.
“I slept bully.”
“Suppose it had rained.”
“Then I’d have wet my best clothes,” said Dick.
“Are these all the clothes you have?”
Mr. Whitney spoke a few words to Frank, who seemed pleased with the suggestion.
“Follow me, my lad,” he said.
Dick in some surprise obeyed orders, following Mr. Whitney and Frank into the hotel, past the office, to the foot of the staircase. Here a servant of the hotel stopped Dick, but Mr. Whitney explained that he had something for him to do, and he was allowed to proceed.
They entered a long entry, and finally paused before a door. This being opened a pleasant chamber was disclosed.
“Come in, my lad,” said Mr. Whitney.
Dick and Frank entered.
DICK’S NEW SUIT
“Now,” said Mr. Whitney to Dick, “my nephew here is on his way to a boarding-school. He has a suit of clothes in his trunk about half worn. He is willing to give them to you. I think they will look better than those you have on.”
Dick was so astonished that he hardly knew what to say. Presents were something that he knew very little about, never having received any to his knowledge. That so large a gift should be made to him by a stranger seemed very wonderful.
The clothes were brought out, and turned out to be a neat gray suit.
“Before you put them on, my lad, you must wash yourself. Clean clothes and a dirty skin don’t go very well together. Frank, you may attend to him. I am obliged to go at once. Have you got as much money as you require?”
“One more word, my lad,” said Mr. Whitney, addressing Dick; “I may be rash in trusting a boy of whom I know nothing, but I like your looks, and I think you will prove a proper guide for my nephew.”
“Yes, I will, sir,” said Dick, earnestly. “Honor bright!”
“Very well. A pleasant time to you.”
The process of cleansing commenced. To tell the truth Dick needed it, and the sensation of cleanliness he found both new and pleasant. Frank added to his gift a shirt, stockings, and an old pair of shoes. “I am sorry I haven’t any cap,” said he.
“I’ve got one,” said Dick.
“It isn’t so new as it might be,” said Frank, surveying an old felt hat, which had once been black, but was now dingy, with a large hole in the top and a portion of the rim torn off.