“Limpy Jim?” said Frank, interrogatively.
“Yes, he’s lame; that’s what makes us call him Limpy Jim.”
“I suppose you lost?”
“Yes, I lost every penny, and had to sleep out, cos I hadn’t a cent to pay for lodgin’. ’Twas a awful cold night, and I got most froze.”
“Wouldn’t Jim let you have any of the money he had won to pay for a lodging?”
“No; I axed him for five cents, but he wouldn’t let me have it.”
“Can you get lodging for five cents?” asked Frank, in surprise.
“Yes,” said Dick, “but not at the Fifth Avenue Hotel. That’s it right out there.”
They had reached the junction of Broadway and of Fifth Avenue. Before them was a beautiful park of ten acres. On the left-hand side was a large marble building, presenting a fine appearance with its extensive white front. This was the building at which Dick pointed.
“Is that the Fifth Avenue Hotel?” asked Frank. “I’ve heard of it often. My Uncle William always stops there when he comes to New York.”
“I once slept on the outside of it,” said Dick. “They was very reasonable in their charges, and told me I might come again.”
“Perhaps sometime you’ll be able to sleep inside,” said Frank.
“I guess that’ll be when Queen Victoria goes to the Five Points to live.”
“It looks like a palace,” said Frank. “The queen needn’t be ashamed to live in such a beautiful building as that.”
Though Frank did not know it, one of the queen’s palaces is far from being as fine a looking building as the Fifth Avenue Hotel. St. James’ Palace is a very ugly-looking brick structure, and appears much more like a factory than like the home of royalty. There are few hotels in the world as fine-looking as this democratic institution.
At that moment a gentleman passed them on the sidewalk, who looked back at Dick, as if his face seemed familiar.
“I know that man,” said Dick, after he had passed. “He’s one of my customers.”
“What is his name?”
“I don’t know.”
“He looked back as if he thought he knew you.”
“He would have knowed me at once if it hadn’t been for my new clothes,” said Dick. “I don’t look much like Ragged Dick now.”
“I suppose your face looked familiar.”
“All but the dirt,” said Dick, laughing. “I don’t always have the chance of washing my face and hands in the Astor House.”
“You told me,” said Frank, “that there was a place where you could get lodging for five cents. Where’s that?”
“It’s the News-boys’ Lodgin’ House, on Fulton Street,” said Dick, “up over the ‘Sun’ office. It’s a good place. I don’t know what us boys would do without it. They give you supper for six cents, and a bed for five cents more.”
“I suppose some boys don’t even have the five cents to pay,—do they?”