Before dismissing the subject of Travis and his theft, it may be remarked that he was duly tried, and, his guilt being clear, was sent to Blackwell’s Island for nine months. At the end of that time, on his release, he got a chance to work his passage on a ship to San Francisco, where he probably arrived in due time. At any rate, nothing more has been heard of him, and probably his threat of vengence against Dick will never be carried into effect.
Returning to the City Hall Park, Dick soon fell in with Tom Wilkins.
“How are you, Tom?” he said. “How’s your mother?”
“She’s better, Dick, thank you. She felt worried about bein’ turned out into the street; but I gave her that money from you, and now she feels a good deal easier.”
“I’ve got some more for you, Tom,” said Dick, producing a two-dollar bill from his pocket.
“I ought not to take it from you, Dick.”
“Oh, it’s all right, Tom. Don’t be afraid.”
“But you may need it yourself.”
“There’s plenty more where that came from.”
“Any way, one dollar will be enough. With that we can pay the rent.”
“You’ll want the other to buy something to eat.”
“You’re very kind, Dick.”
“I’d ought to be. I’ve only got myself to take care of.”
“Well, I’ll take it for my mother’s sake. When you want anything done just call on Tom Wilkins.”
“All right. Next week, if your mother doesn’t get better, I’ll give you some more.”
Tom thanked our hero very gratefully, and Dick walked away, feeling the self-approval which always accompanies a generous and disinterested action. He was generous by nature, and, before the period at which he is introduced to the reader’s notice, he frequently treated his friends to cigars and oyster-stews. Sometimes he invited them to accompany him to the theatre at his expense. But he never derived from these acts of liberality the same degree of satisfaction as from this timely gift to Tom Wilkins. He felt that his money was well bestowed, and would save an entire family from privation and discomfort. Five dollars would, to be sure, make something of a difference in the mount of his savings. It was more than he was able to save up in a week. But Dick felt fully repaid for what he had done, and he felt prepared to give as much more, if Tom’s mother should continue to be sick, and should appear to him to need it.
Besides all this, Dick felt a justifiable pride in his financial ability to afford so handsome a gift. A year before, however much he might have desired to give, it would have been quite out of his power to give five dollars. His cash balance never reached that amount. It was seldom, indeed, that it equalled one dollar. In more ways than one Dick was beginning to reap the advantage of his self-denial and judicious economy.
It will be remembered that when Mr. Whitney at parting with Dick presented him with five dollars, he told him that he might repay it to some other boy who was struggling upward. Dick thought of this, and it occurred to him that after all he was only paying up an old debt.