The boots were soon polished in Dick’s best style, which proved very satisfactory, our hero being a proficient in the art.
“I haven’t got any change,” said the young man, fumbling in his pocket, “but here’s a bill you may run somewhere and get changed. I’ll pay you five cents extra for your trouble.”
He handed Dick a two-dollar bill, which our hero took into a store close by.
“Will you please change that, sir?” said Dick, walking up to the counter.
The salesman to whom he proffered it took the bill, and, slightly glancing at it, exclaimed angrily, “Be off, you young vagabond, or I’ll have you arrested.”
“What’s the row?”
“You’ve offered me a counterfeit bill.”
“I didn’t know it,” said Dick.
“Don’t tell me. Be off, or I’ll have you arrested.”
DICK MAKES A PROPOSITION
Though Dick was somewhat startled at discovering that the bill he had offered was counterfeit, he stood his ground bravely.
“Clear out of this shop, you young vagabond,” repeated the clerk.
“Then give me back my bill.”
“That you may pass it again? No, sir, I shall do no such thing.”
“It doesn’t belong to me,” said Dick. “A gentleman that owes me for a shine gave it to me to change.”
“A likely story,” said the clerk; but he seemed a little uneasy.
“I’ll go and call him,” said Dick.
He went out, and found his late customer standing on the Astor House steps.
“Well, youngster, have you brought back my change? You were a precious long time about it. I began to think you had cleared out with the money.”
“That aint my style,” said Dick, proudly.
“Then where’s the change?”
“I haven’t got it.”
“Where’s the bill then?”
“I haven’t got that either.”
“You young rascal!”
“Hold on a minute, mister,” said Dick, “and I’ll tell you all about it. The man what took the bill said it wasn’t good, and kept it.”
“The bill was perfectly good. So he kept it, did he? I’ll go with you to the store, and see whether he won’t give it back to me.”
Dick led the way, and the gentleman followed him into the store. At the reappearance of Dick in such company, the clerk flushed a little, and looked nervous. He fancied that he could browbeat a ragged boot-black, but with a gentleman he saw that it would be a different matter. He did not seem to notice the newcomers, but began to replace some goods on the shelves.
“Now,” said the young man, “point out the clerk that has my money.”
“That’s him,” said Dick, pointing out the clerk.
The gentleman walked up to the counter.
“I will trouble you,” he said a little haughtily, “for a bill which that boy offered you, and which you still hold in your possession.”