“It will be only for one day, or one morning,” said Fosdick.
“I’d do more’n that for the sake of gettin’ a letter from Frank. I’d like to see him.”
The next morning, in accordance with the suggestion of Fosdick, Dick arrayed himself in the long disused Washington coat and Napoleon pants, which he had carefully preserved, for what reason he could hardly explain.
When fairly equipped, Dick surveyed himself in the mirror,—if the little seven-by-nine-inch looking-glass, with which the room was furnished, deserved the name. The result of the survey was not on the whole a pleasing one. To tell the truth, Dick was quite ashamed of his appearance, and, on opening the chamber-door, looked around to see that the coast was clear, not being willing to have any of his fellow-boarders see him in his present attire.
He managed to slip out into the street unobserved, and, after attending to two or three regular customers who came down-town early in the morning, he made his way down Nassau Street to the post-office. He passed along until he came to a compartment on which he read advertised letters, and, stepping up to the little window, said,—
“There’s a letter for me. I saw it advertised in the ‘Sun’ yesterday.”
“What name?” demanded the clerk.
“Ragged Dick,” answered our hero.
“That’s a queer name,” said the clerk, surveying him a little curiously. “Are you Ragged Dick?”
“If you don’t believe me, look at my clo’es,” said Dick.
“That’s pretty good proof, certainly,” said the clerk, laughing. “If that isn’t your name, it deserves to be.”
“I believe in dressin’ up to your name,” said Dick.
“Do you know any one in Barnton, Connecticut?” asked the clerk, who had by this time found the letter.
“Yes,” said Dick. “I know a chap that’s at boardin’-school there.”
“It appears to be in a boy’s hand. I think it must be yours.”
The letter was handed to Dick through the window. He received it eagerly, and drawing back so as not to be in the way of the throng who were constantly applying for letters, or slipping them into the boxes provided for them, hastily opened it, and began to read. As the reader may be interested in the contents of the letter as well as Dick, we transcribe it below.
It was dated Barnton, Conn., and commenced thus,—
“Dear Dick,—You must excuse my addressing this letter to ’Ragged Dick’; but the fact is, I don’t know what your last name is, nor where you live. I am afraid there is not much chance of your getting this letter; but I hope you will. I have thought of you very often, and wondered how you were getting along, and I should have written to you before if I had known where to direct.