“Dick!—that means Richard, I suppose,” said the bank officer, who had some difficulty in making out the signature.
“No; Ragged Dick is what folks call me.”
“You don’t look very ragged.”
“No, I’ve left my rags to home. They might get wore out if I used ’em too common.”
“Well, my lad, I’ll make out a book in the name of Dick Hunter, since you seem to prefer Dick to Richard. I hope you will save up your money and deposit more with us.”
Our hero took his bank-book, and gazed on the entry “Five Dollars” with a new sense of importance. He had been accustomed to joke about Erie shares, but now, for the first time, he felt himself a capitalist; on a small scale, to be sure, but still it was no small thing for Dick to have five dollars which he could call his own. He firmly determined that he would lay by every cent he could spare from his earnings towards the fund he hoped to accumulate.
But Dick was too sensible not to know that there was something more than money needed to win a respectable position in the world. He felt that he was very ignorant. Of reading and writing he only knew the rudiments, and that, with a slight acquaintance with arithmetic, was all he did know of books. Dick knew he must study hard, and he dreaded it. He looked upon learning as attended with greater difficulties than it really possesses. But Dick had good pluck. He meant to learn, nevertheless, and resolved to buy a book with his first spare earnings.
When Dick went home at night he locked up his bank-book in one of the drawers of the bureau. It was wonderful how much more independent he felt whenever he reflected upon the contents of that drawer, and with what an important air of joint ownership he regarded the bank building in which his small savings were deposited.
DICK SECURES A TUTOR
The next morning Dick was unusually successful, having plenty to do, and receiving for one job twenty-five cents,—the gentleman refusing to take change. Then flashed upon Dick’s mind the thought that he had not yet returned the change due to the gentleman whose boots he had blacked on the morning of his introduction to the reader.
“What’ll he think of me?” said Dick to himself. “I hope he won’t think I’m mean enough to keep the money.”
Now Dick was scrupulously honest, and though the temptation to be otherwise had often been strong, he had always resisted it. He was not willing on any account to keep money which did not belong to him, and he immediately started for 125 Fulton Street (the address which had been given him) where he found Mr. Greyson’s name on the door of an office on the first floor.
The door being open, Dick walked in.
“Is Mr. Greyson in?” he asked of a clerk who sat on a high stool before a desk.