Forgot your password?  

Resources for students & teachers

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 141 pages of information about Ragged Dick, Or, Street Life in New York with the Boot-Blacks.

“Do you reside in the city?” he asked.

“Yes, sir,” said Henry.

“What is your age?”

“Twelve.”

“Have you ever been in any situation?”

“No, sir.”

“I should like to see a specimen of your handwriting. 
Here, take the pen and write your name.”

Henry Fosdick had a very handsome handwriting for a boy of his age, while Roswell, who had submitted to the same test, could do little more than scrawl.

“Do you reside with your parents?”

“No, sir, they are dead.”

“Where do you live, then?”

“In Mott Street.”

Roswell curled his lip when this name was pronounced, for Mott Street, as my New York readers know, is in the immediate neighborhood of the Five-Points, and very far from a fashionable locality.

“Have you any testimonials to present?” asked Mr. Henderson, for that was his name.

Fosdick hesitated.  This was the question which he had foreseen would give him trouble.

But at this moment it happened most opportunely that Mr. Greyson entered the shop with the intention of buying a hat.

“Yes,” said Fosdick, promptly; “I will refer to this gentleman.”

“How do you do, Fosdick?” asked Mr. Greyson, noticing him for the first time.  “How do you happen to be here?”

“I am applying for a place, sir,” said Fosdick.  “May I refer the gentleman to you?”

“Certainly, I shall be glad to speak a good word for you.  Mr. Henderson, this is a member of my Sunday-school class, of whose good qualities and good abilities I can speak confidently.”

“That will be sufficient,” said the shop-keeper, who knew Mr. Greyson’s high character and position.  “He could have no better recommendation.  You may come to the store to-morrow morning at half past seven o’clock.  The pay will be three dollars a week for the first six months.  If I am satisfied with you, I shall then raise it to five dollars.”

The other boys looked disappointed, but none more so than Roswell Crawford.  He would have cared less if any one else had obtained the situation; but for a boy who lived in Mott Street to be preferred to him, a gentleman’s son, he considered indeed humiliating.  In a spirit of petty spite, he was tempted to say,

“He’s a boot-black.  Ask him if he isn’t.”

“He’s an honest and intelligent lad,” said Mr. Greyson.  “As for you, young man, I only hope you have one-half his good qualities.”

Roswell Crawford left the store in disgust, and the other unsuccessful applicants with him.

“What luck, Fosdick?” asked Dick, eagerly, as his friend came out of the store.

“I’ve got the place,” said Fosdick, in accents of satisfaction; “but it was only because Mr. Greyson spoke up for me.”

“He’s a trump,” said Dick, enthusiastically.

The gentleman, so denominated, came out before the boys went away, and spoke with them kindly.

Follow Us on Facebook