“Shall I send the bundle home?” asked the salesman, impressed by the off-hand manner in which Dick drew out the money in payment for the clothes.
“Thank you,” said Dick, “you’re very kind, but I’ll take it home myself, and you can allow me something for my trouble.”
“All right,” said the clerk, laughing; “I’ll allow it on your next purchase.”
Proceeding to their apartment in Mott Street, Fosdick at once tried on his new suit, and it was found to be an excellent fit. Dick surveyed his new friend with much satisfaction.
“You look like a young gentleman of fortun’,” he said, “and do credit to your governor.”
“I suppose that means you, Dick,” said Fosdick, laughing.
“In course it does.”
“You should say of course,” said Fosdick, who, in virtue of his position as Dick’s tutor, ventured to correct his language from time to time.
“How dare you correct your gov’nor?” said Dick, with comic indignation. “‘I’ll cut you off with a shillin’, you young dog,’ as the Markis says to his nephew in the play at the Old Bowery.”
FOSDICK CHANGES HIS BUSINESS
Fosdick did not venture to wear his new clothes while engaged in his business. This he felt would have been wasteful extravagance. About ten o’clock in the morning, when business slackened, he went home, and dressing himself went to a hotel where he could see copies of the “Morning Herald” and “Sun,” and, noting down the places where a boy was wanted, went on a round of applications. But he found it no easy thing to obtain a place. Swarms of boys seemed to be out of employment, and it was not unusual to find from fifty to a hundred applicants for a single place.
There was another difficulty. It was generally desired that the boy wanted should reside with his parents. When Fosdick, on being questioned, revealed the fact of his having no parents, and being a boy of the street, this was generally sufficient of itself to insure a refusal. Merchants were afraid to trust one who had led such a vagabond life. Dick, who was always ready for an emergency, suggested borrowing a white wig, and passing himself off for Fosdick’s father or grandfather. But Henry thought this might be rather a difficult character for our hero to sustain. After fifty applications and as many failures, Fosdick began to get discouraged. There seemed to be no way out of his present business, for which he felt unfitted.
“I don’t know but I shall have to black boots all my life,” he said, one day, despondently, to Dick.
“Keep a stiff upper lip,” said Dick. “By the time you get to be a gray-headed veteran, you may get a chance to run errands for some big firm on the Bowery, which is a very cheerin’ reflection.”
So Dick by his drollery and perpetual good spirits kept up Fosdick’s courage.