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SAVED FROM THE TRAMP.
GRANT THORNTON'S AMBITION.
HORATIO ALGER, JR.,
Author of "RAGGED DICK," "TATTERED TOM," "LUCK AND
PLUCK,/ ETC., ETC.
HENRY T. COATES & CO.
FAMOUS ALGER BOOKS.
RAGGED DICK SERIES. By HORATIO ALGER,JR. 6 vols. 12mo. Cloth.
RAGGED DICK. ROUGH AND READY.
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JULIUS. SAM'S CHANCE.
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DO AND DARE. HELPING HIMSELF.
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DIGGING FOR GOLD. FACING THE WORLD. IN A NEW WORLD.
Other Volumes in Preparation.
COPYRIGHT, 1886, BY PORTER & COATES.
HELPING G HIMSELF-
GRANT THORNTON'S AMBITION.
TIHE MINISTER'S SON.
WISH we were not so terribly poor,
L Grant," said Mrs. Thornton, in a dis
'' Is there any thing new that makes you say
so, mother ?" answered the boy of fifteen, whom
Nothing new, only the same old trouble.
Here is a note from Mr. Tudor, the store-
"Let me see it, mother."
Grant took a yellow envelope from his
mother's hand, and drew out the inclosure, a
6 HELPING HIMSELF.
half sheet of coarse letter paper, which con-
tained the following lines:
JULY 7, 1857.
REVEREND JOHN THORNTON :
DEAR SIR-Inclosed you will find a bill for groceries
and other goods furnished to you in the last six months,
amounting to sixty-seven dollars and thirty-four cents
($67.34). It ought to have been paid before. How you, a
minister of the Gospel, can justify yourself in using
goods which you don't pay for, I can't understand. If I
remember rightly, the Bible says, Owe no man any
thing." As I suppose you recognize the Bible as an au-
thority, I expect you to pay up promptly, and oblige,
Grant looked vexed and indignant. "I
think that is an impudent letter, mother,"
It is right that the man should have his
That is true, but he might have asked for
it civilly, without taunting my poor father with
his inability to pay. He would pay if he
"Heaven knows he would, Grant! said his
"I would like to give Mr. Tudor a piece of
THE MINISTER'S SON. 7
"I would rather pay his bill. No, Grant,
though he is neither kind nor considerate, we
must admit that his claim is a just one. If I
only knew where to turn for money "
"Have you shown the bill to father ?" asked
No; you know how unpractical your father
is. It would only annoy and make him anxious,
and he would not know what to do. Your
poor father has no business faculty."
"He is a very learned man," said Grant
"Yes, he graduated very high at college,
and is widely respected by his fellow-ministers,
but he has no aptitude for business."
You have, mother. If you had been a
man, you would have done better than he.
Without your good management we should
have been a good deal worse off than we are.
It is the only thing that has kept our heads
"I am glad you think so, Grant. I have
done the best I could, but no management will
pay bills without money."
It was quite true that the minister's wife was
8 HELPING HIMSELF.
a woman of excellent practical sense, who had
known how to make his small salary go very
far. In this respect she differed widely from
her learned husband, who in matters of busi-
ness was scarcely more than a child. But, as
she intimated with truth, there was something
better than management, and that was ready
"'To support a family on six hundred dollars
a year is very hard, Grant, when there are three
children," resumed his mother.
"I can't understand why a man like father
can't command a better salary," said Grant.
" There's Rev. Mr. Stentor, in Waverley, gets
fifteen hundred dollars' salary, and I am
sure he can't compare with father in abil-
True, Grant, but your father is modest,
and not given to blowing his own trumpet,
while Mr. Stentor, from all I can hear, has a
very high opinion of himself."
He has a loud voice, and thrashes round in
his pulpit, as if he were a-prophet," said
Grant, not quite knowing how to finish his
THE MINISTER'S SON. 9
"Your father never was a man to push him-
self forward. He is very modest."
I suppose that is not the only bill that we
owe," said Grant.
"No, our unpaid bills must amount to at
least two hundred dollars more," answered his
Two hundred and sixty-seven dollars seemed
to him an immense sum, and so it was, to a
poor minister with a family of three children
and a salary of only six hundred dollars. Where
to obtain so large a sum neither Grant nor his
mother could possibly imagine. Even if there
were any one to borrow it from, there seemed
no chance to pay back so considerable a sum.
Mother and son looked at each other in per-
plexity. Finally, Grant broke the silence.
Mother," he said, "one thing seems pretty
clear. I must go to work. I am fifteen, well
and strong, and I ought to be earning my own
But your father has set his heart upon
your going to college, Grant."
"And I should like to go, too; but if I did it
10 HELPING HIMSELF.
would be years before I could be any thing but
an expense and a burden, and that would make
"You are almost ready for college, Grant,
are you not ? "
Very nearly. I could get ready for the
September examination. I have only to review
Homer, and brush up my Latin."
"And your Uncle Godfrey is ready to help
"That gives me an idea, mother. It would
cost Uncle Godfrey as much as nine hundred
dollars a year over and above all the help I
could get from the college funds, and perhaps
from teaching school this winter. Now, if he
would allow me that sum for a single year and
let me go to work, I could pay up all father's
debts, and give him a new start. It would save
Uncle Godfrey nine hundred dollars."
"He has set his heart on your going to
college. I don't think he would agree to help
you at all if you disappoint him."
At any rate I could try the experiment.
Something has got to be done, mother."
"Yes, Grant, there is no doubt of that. Mr.
THE MINISTER'S SON. 11
Tudor is evidently in earnest. If we don't pay
him, I think it very likely he will refuse to let
us have any thing more on credit. And you
know there is no other grocery store in the
SHave you any money to pay him on account,
mother ? "
"I have eight dollars."
Let me have that, and go over and see what
I can do with him. We can't get along with-
out groceries. By the way, mother, doesn't
the parish owe father any thing ? "
They are about sixty dollars in arrears on
"And the treasurer is Deacon Gridley ?"
"Then I'll tell you what I will do. I'll first
go over to the deacon's and try to collect some-
thing. Afterward I will call on Mr. Tudor."
"It is your father's place to do it, but he has
no business faculty, and could not accomplish
any thing. Go then, Grant, but remember one
"What is that, mother ? "
"You have a quick temper, my son. Don't
12 HELPING HIMSELF.
allow yourself to speak hastily or disrespect-
fully, even if you are disappointed. Mr.
Tudor's bill is a just one, and he ought to have
"I'll do the best I can, mother."
GRANT MAKES TWO BUSINESS CALLS.
DEACON GRIDLEY had a small farm, and
farming was his chief occupation, but he
had a few thousand dollars laid away in stocks
and bonds, and, being a thrifty man, not to say
mean, he managed to save up nearly all the
interest, which he added to his original accu-
mulation. He always coveted financial trusts,
and so it came about that he was parish treas-
urer. It was often convenient for him to keep
in his hands, for a month at a time, money thus
collected which ought to have been paid over
at once to the minister, but the deacon was a
thoroughly selfish man, and cared little how
pressed for money Mr. Thornton might be, as
long as he himself derived some benefit from
holding on to the parish funds.
The deacon was mowing the front yard of his
house when Grant came up to his front gate.
14 HELPING HIMSELF.
"Good morning, Deacon Gridley," said the
Mornin', Grant," answered the deacon.
SHow's your folks ?"
"Pretty well in health," returned Grant,
coming to business at once, "but rather short
Ministers most gen'ally are," said Deacon
"I should think they might be, with the
small salaries they get," said Grant, indig-
Some of 'em do get poorly paid," replied
the deacon; "but I call six hundred dollars a
pooty fair income."
"It might be for a single man; but when a
minister has a wife and three children, like my
father, it's pretty hard scratching."
"Some folks ain't got faculty," said the
deacon, adding complacently, "it never cost me
nigh on to six hundred dollars a year to live."
The deacon had the reputation of living very
penuriously, and Abram Fish, who once worked
for him and boarded in the family, said he was
half starved there.
GRANT MAKES TWO BUSINESS CALLS. 15
"You get your milk and vegetables off the
farm," said Grant, who felt the comparison was
not a fair one. "That makes a great deal of
"It makes some difference, the deacon ad-
mitted, but not as much as the difference in
our expenses. I didn't spend more' n hundred
dollars cash last year."
This excessive frugality may have been the
reason why Mrs. Deacon Gridley was always so
shabbily dressed. The poor woman had not
had a new bonnet for five years, as every lady
in the parish well knew.
"Ministers have some expenses that other
people don't," persisted Grant.
"What kind of expenses, I'd like to know ?"
"They have to buy books and magazines,
and entertain missionaries, and hire teams to go
"That's something," admitted the deacon.
" Maybe it amounts to twenty or thirty dollars
More likely a hundred," said Grant.
That would be awful extravagant-sinful
waste. If I was a minister, I' d be more keerful."
16 ITELPING HIMSELF.
"Well, Deacon Gridley, I don't want to
argue with you. I came to see if you hadn't
collected some money for father. Mr. Tudor
has sent in his bill, and he wants to be paid."
"How much is it? "
Sixty-seven dollars and thirty-four cents."
You don't tell me !" said the deacon, scan-
dalized. You folks must be terrible extrav-
Grant hardly knew whether to be more vexed
If wanting to have enough to eat is extrav-
agant," he said, then we are."
"You must live on the fat of the land,
We haven't any of us got the gout, nor are
likely to have," answered Grant, provoked.
" But let us come back to business. Have you
got any money for father ? "
Now it so happened that Deacon Gridley had
fifty dollars collected, but he thought he knew
where he could let it out for one per cent.
for a month, and he did not like to lose the
"I'm sorry to d.isapp'int you, Grant," he an-
GRANT MAKES TWO BUSINESS CALLS. 17
swered, "but folks are slow about payin' up,
"Haven't you got any money collected ?"
asked Grant, desperately.
I'll tell you what I'll do," said the deacon,
with a bright idea. I've got fifty dollars of
my own-say for a month, till I can make col-
"That would be very kind," said Grant,
feeling that he had done the deacon an injustice.
"Of course," the deacon resumed, hastily,
I should have to charge interest. In fact, I
was goin' to lend out the money to a neighbor
for a month at one per cent.; but I'd just as
lieve let your father have it at that price."
Isn't that more than legal interest ? asked
Well, you see, money is worth good interest
nowadays. Ef your father don't want it, no
matter. I can let the other man have it."
Grant rapidly calculated that the interest
would only amount to fifty cents, and money
must be had.
"I think father '11 agree to your terms," he
said. "I'll let you know this afternoon."
18 HELPING HIMSELF.
"All right, Grant. It don't make a mite of
difference to me, but if your. father wants the
money he'll have to speak for it to-day."
I'll see that the matter is attended to," said
Grant, and he went on his way, pleased with
the prospect of obtaining money for their im-
poverished household, even on such hard terms.
Next he made his way to Mr. Tudor's store.
It was one of those country variety stores
where almost every thing in the way of house
supplies can be obtained, from groceries to dry
Mr. Tudor was a small man, with a parch-
ment skin and insignificant features. He was
in the act of weighing out a quantity of sugar
for a customer when Grant entered.
Grant waited till the shopkeeper was at
"Did you want to see me, Grant?" said
Yes, Mr. Tudor. You sent over a bill to
our house this morning."
And you've come to pay it ? That's right.
Money's tight, and I've got bills to pay in the
GRANT MAKES TWO BUSINESS CALLS. 19
"I've got a little money for you on account,"
said Grant, watching Tudor s face anx-
How much ? asked the storekeeper, his
"Eight dollars ejaculated Tudor, indig-
nantly. "Only eight dollars out of sixty-
seven That's a regular imposition, and I
don't care ef your father is a minister, I stick
to my words."
Grant was angry, but he remembered his
mother's injunction to restrain his temper.
"We'd like to pay the whole, Mr. Tudor, if
we had the money, and-"
"Do you think I can trust the whole neigh-
borhood, and only get one dollar in ten of what' s
due me ?." spluttered Mr. Tudor. "Ministers
ought to set a better example."
"Ministers ought to get better pay," said
There's plenty don't get as much as your
father. When do you expect to pay the rest,
I'd like to know ? I s'pose you expect me to go
on trustin', and mebbe six months from now
20 HELPING HIMSELF.
you'll pay me another eight dollars," said the
storekeeper, with withering sarcasm.
"I was going to tell you, if you hadn't in-
terrupted me," said Grant, "that we should
probably have some more money for you to-
"How much ?"
"Twenty-five dollars," answered the boy,
knowing that part of the money borrowed must
go in other quarters. "Will that be satisfac-
tory ? "
"That's more like !" said Tudor, calming
down. "Ef you'll pay that I'll give you a
leetle more time on the rest. Do you want
any thing this morning' I' ve got some prime
butter just come in."
I'll call for some articles this afternoon,
Mr. Tudor. Here are the eight dollars. Please
credit us with that sum."
"Well, I've accomplished something," said
Grant to himself, as he plodded homeward.
GRANT WALKS TO SOMERSET.
G EODFREY THORNTON, Grant's uncle,
lived in the neighboring town of Somerset.
He was an old bachelor, three years older than
his brother, the minister, and followed the pro-
fession of a lawyer. His business was not large,
but his habits were frugal, and he had managed
to save up ten thousand dollars. Grant had
always been a favorite with him, and having no
son of his own he had formed the plan of send-
ing him to college. He was ambitious that he
should be a professional man.
It might have been supposed that he would
have felt disposed to assist his brother, whose
scanty salary he knew was inadequate to the
needs of a family. But Godfrey Thornton was
an obstinate man, and chose to give assistance
in his own way, and no other. It would be a
very handsome thing, he thought, to give his
22 HELPING HIMSELF.
nephew a college education. And so, indeed,
it would. But he forget one thing. In families
of limited means, when a boy reaches the age
of fifteen or sixteen he is very properly ex-
pected to earn something toward the family
income, and this Grant could not do while pre-
paring for college. If his uncle could have
made up his mind to give his brother a small
sum annually to make up for this, all would
have been well. Not that this idea had sug-
gested itself to the Rev. John Thornton. He
felt grateful for his brother's intentions toward
Grant, and had bright hopes of his boy's future.
But, in truth, pecuniary troubles affected him
less than his wife. She was the manager,
and it was for her to contrive and be anx-
After Grant had arranged the matters referred
to in the preceding chapter, he told his mother
that he proposed to go to Somerset to call on
"No, Grant, I don't object, though I should
be sorry to have you lose the chance of an edu-
"I have a very fair education already,
GRANT WALKS TO SOMERSET. 23
mother. Of course I should like to go to col-
lege, but I can't bear to have you and father
struggling with poverty. If I become a busi-
ness man, I may have a better chance to help
you. At any rate, I can help you sooner. If I
can only induce Uncle Godfrey to give you the
sum my education would cost him, I shall feel
You can make the attempt, my son, but I
have doubts about your success."
Grant, however, was more hopeful. He didn't
see why his uncle should object, and it would
cost him no more money. It seemed to him
very plain sailing, and he set out to walk to
Somerset, full of courage and hope.
It was a pretty direct road, and the distance
-five miles-was not formidable to a strong-
limbed boy like Grant. In an hour and a half
he entered the village, and soon reached the
small one-story building which served his uncle
as an office.
Entering, he saw his uncle busy with some
papers at his desk.
The old lawyer raised his eyes as the door
24 HELPING HIMSELF.
So it's you, Grant, is it ? he said. "No-
body sick at home, ehZ "
"No, Uncle Godfrey, we are all well."
"I was afraid some one might be sick, from
your coming over. However, I suppose you
have some errand in Somerset."
"My only errand is to call upon you, uncle."
"I suppose I am to consider that a compli-
ment," said the old bachelor, not ill-pleased.
" Well, and when are you going to be ready
for college e "
I can be ready to enter in September," re-
That is good. All you will have to do will
be to present yourself for examination. I shall
see you through, as I have promised."
"You are very kind, Uncle Godfrey," said
Grant; and then he hesitated.
"It's Thornton family pride, Grant. I want
my nephew to be somebody. I want you to be
a professional man, and take a prominent place
in the world."
"Can't I be somebody without becoming a
professional man, or-"
Or what ? asked his uncle abruptly.
GRANT WALKS TO SOMERSET. 25
"Getting a college education ?" continued
"What does this mean?" asked the old
lawyer, knitting his brow. "You're not get-
ting off the notion of going to college, I
"I should like to go to college, uncle."
"I'm glad to hear that," said Godfrey Thorn-
ton, relieved. "I thought you might want to
grow up a dunce, and become a brick-layer or
something of that kind."
Somehow Grant's task began to seem more
difficult than he had anticipated.
"But," continued Grant, summoning up his
courage, "I am afraid it will be rather sel-
I can't say I understand you, Grant. As
long as I am willing to pay your college bills, I
don't see why there is any thing selfish in your
accepting my offer."
I mean as regards father and mother."
Don't I take you off their hands ? What
do you mean ? "
"I mean this, Uncle Godfrey," said Grant,
boldly, I ought to be at work earning money
26 HELPING HIMSELF.
to keep them. Father's income is very small,
You don't mean to say you want to give up
going to college ?" said Godfrey Thornton,
"I think I ought to, uncle."
Why ? "
"So that I can find work and help father
along. You see, I should be four years in col-
lege, and three years studying a profession, and
all that time my brother and sister would be
growing older and more expensive, and father
would be getting into debt."
Uncle Godfrey's brow wore a perceptible
"Tell me who has put this idea into your
head ?" he said. "I am sure it isn't your
No one put it into my head, Uncle God-
frey. It's my own idea."
Humph old heads don't grow on young
shoulders, evidently. You are a foolish boy,
Grant. With a liberal education you can do
something for your family."
"But it is so long to wait," objected Grant.
GRANT WALKS TO SOMERSET. 27
"It will be a great disappointment to me to
have you give up going to college, but of course
I can't force you to go," said his uncle, coldly.
" It will save me three hundred dollars a year
for four years-I may say for seven, however.
You will be throwing away a grand opportu-
Don't think I undervalue the advantage of
a college training, uncle," said Grant, eagerly.
"It isn't that. It's because I thought I might
help father. In fact, I-wanted to make a
proposal to you."
What is it ? "
You say it will cost three hundred dollars
a year to keep me in college ?"
W' ell? "
"Would you be willing to give father two
hundred a year for the next four years, and let
me take care of myself in some business
So this is your proposal, is it ?"
All I have got to say is, that you have got
uncommon assurance. You propose to defeat
my cherished plan, and want me to pay two
28 HELPING HIMSELF.
hundred dollars a year in acknowledgment of
I am sorry you look upon it in that light,
"I distinctly decline your proposal. If you
refuse to go to college, I wash my hands of you
and your family. Do you understand that ? "
"Yes, Uncle Godfrey," answered Grant,
"Go home, and think over the matter. My
offer still holds good. You can present your-
self at college in September, and, if you are
admitted, notify me."
The lawyer turned back to his writing, and
Grant understood that the interview was
In sadness he started on his return walk from
Somerset. He had accomplished nothing ex-
cept to make his uncle angry. He could not
make up his mind what to do.
He had walked about four miles when his
attention was sharply drawn by a cry of terror.
Looking up quickly, he saw a girl of fourteen
flying along the road pursued by a drunken
man armed with a big club. They were not
GRANT WALKS TO SOMERSET. 29
more than thirty feet apart, and the situation
Grant was no coward, and he instantly re-
solved to rescue the girl if it were a possible
A TIMELY RESCUE.
" TWILL save her if I an," said Grant to
The task, however, was not an easy one.
The drunken man was tall and strongly made,
and his condition did not appear to interfere
with his locomotion. He was evidently half
crazed with drink, and his pursuit of the young
girl rose probably from a blind impulse; but it
was likely to be none the less serious for her.
Grant saw at once that he was far from being a
match for the drunkard in physical strength.
If he had been timid, a regard for his personal
safety would have led him to keep aloof. But
he would have despised himself if he had not
done what he could for the girl-stranger
though she was-who was in such peril.
It chanced that Grant had cut a stout stick
A TIMELY RESCUE. 31
to help him on his way. This suggested his
plan of campaign. He ran sideways toward
the pursuer, and thrust his stick between his
legs, tripping him up. The man fell violently
forward, and lay as if stunned, breathing
heavily. Grant was alarmed at first, fearing
that he might be seriously hurt, but a glance
assured him that his stupor was chiefly the
result of his potations.
Then he hurried to overtake the girl, who,
seeing what had taken place, had paused in her
Don't be frightened !" said Grant. The
man can't get up at present. I will see you
home if you will tell me where you live."
"I am boarding at Mrs. Granger's, quarter
of a mile back, mamma and I," answered the
girl, the color, temporarily banished by fright,
returning to her cheeks.
Where did you fall in with this man ?"
"I was taking a walk," answered the girl,
Sand overtook him. I did not take much
notice of him at first, and was not aware of his
condition till he began to run after me. Then
32 HELPING HIMSELF.
I was almost frightened to death, and I don't
think I ever ran so fast in my life."
You were in serious danger. He was fast
"I saw that he was, and I believe I should
have dropped if you had not come up and
saved me. How brave you were "
Grant colored with pleasure, though he dis-
claimed the praise.
Oh, it was nothing! he said, modestly.
"But we had better start at once, for he may
Oh, let us go then!" exclaimed the girl
in terror, and, hardly knowing what she did,
she seized Grant's arm. "See, he is beginning
to stir. Do come quickly !"
Clinging to Grant's arm, the two hastened
away, leaving the inebriate on the ground.
Grant now had leisure to view more closely
the girl he had rescued. She was a very
pretty girl, a year or two younger than him-
self, with a bright, vivacious manner, and
her young rescuer thought her very attrac.
Do you live 'round here ? she asked.
A TIMELY RESCUE. 33
"I live in Colebrook, the village close by. I
was walking from Somerset."
I should like to know the name of one who
has done me so great a service."
"We will exchange names, if you like,"
said Grant, smiling. "My name is Grant
Thornton. I am the son of Rev. John Thorn-
ton, who is minister in Colebrook."
So you are a ministers' son. I have always
heard that minister's sons are apt to be wild,"
said the girl, smiling mischievously.
"I am an exception," said Grant, demurely.
"I am ready to believe it," returned his
companion. "My name is Carrie Clifton;
my mother is a minister's daughter, so I have
a right to think well of ministers' families."
"How long have you been boarding in this
neighborhood, Miss Carrie "
Only a week. I am afraid I shan't dare to
stay here any longer."
It is not often you would meet with such
an adventure as this. I hope you won't allow
it to frighten you away."
"Do you know that drunken man ? Does he
live near by ? "
34 HELPING HIMSELF.
"I think he is a stranger-a tramp. I never
saw him before, and-I know almost everybody
who lives about here."
"I am glad he doesn't live here."
"He will probably push on his way and not
come this way again during the summer."
"I hope you are right. He might try to re-
venge himself on you for tripping him up."
"I don't think he saw me to recognize me.
He was so drunk that he didn't know what he
was about. When he gets over his intoxica-
tion he probably won't remember any thing
that has happened."
By this time they had reached the gate of
the farm-house where Carrie was boarding, and
Grant prepared to leave her.
I think you are safe now," he said.
"Oh, but I shan't let you go yet said the
girl. You must come in and see mother."
Grant hesitated, but he felt that he should
like to meet the mother of a young lady who
seemed to him so attractive, and he allowed
himself to be led into the yard. Mrs. Clifton
was sitting in a rustic chair under a tree behind
the house. There Grant and his companion
A TIMELY RESCUE. 35
found her. Carrie poured forth her story
impetuously, and then drawing Grant forward,
indicated him as her rescuer.
Her mother listened with natural alarm,
shuddering at the peril from which her daugh-
ter had so happily escaped.
I can not tell how grateful I am to you for
the service you have done my daughter," she
said, warmly. "You are a very brave boy.
There is not one in ten who would have had
the courage to act as you did."
"You praise me more than I deserve, Mrs.
Clifton. I saw the man was drunk, and I did
not really run much risk in what I did. I am
very thankful that I was able to be of service
to Miss Carrie."
It is most fortunate that you were at hand.
My daughter might have been killed."
"What do you think, mother? He is a
minister's son," said Carrie, vivaciously.
That certainly is no objection in my eyes,"
said Mrs. Clifton, smiling, "for I am a minister' s
daughter. Where does your father preach ? "
His church is only a mile distant, in Lhe
36j HELPING HIMSELF.
"I shall hear him, then, next Sunday. Last
Sunday Carrie and I were both tired, and
remained at home, but I have always been
accustomed to go to church somewhere."
"Papa will be here next Sunday," said
Carrie. "He can only come Saturday night
on account of his business."
Does he do business in New York ? asked
"Yes, his store is on Broadway."
"We live on Madison Avenue, and when-
ever you are in the city we shall be very glad
to have you call," said Mrs. Clifton, gra-
"Thank you; I should like to call very
much," answered Grant, who was quite sincere
in what he said. "But I don't often go to
"Perhaps you will get a place there some
time," suggested Carrie.
"I should like to," replied Grant.
"Then your father does not propose to send
you to college ?" It was Mrs. Clifton who
He wishes me to go, but I think I ought to
A TIMELY RESCUE. 37
go to work to help him. He has two other
children besides me."
Is either one a girl ?" asked Carrie.
"Yes, I have a sister of thirteen, named
"'I wish you would bring her here to see me,"
said Carrie. I haven't got acquainted with
any girls yet."
Mrs. Clifton seconded the invitation, and
Grant promised that he would do so. In fact,
he was pleased at the opportunity it would
give him of improving his acquaintance with
the young lady from New York. He returned
home very well pleased with his trip to Som-
erset, though he had failed in the object of
MRS. THORNTON' S PEARLS.
T HE next Sunday Mrs. Clifton and her
daughter appeared at church, and
Grant had the pleasure of greeting them. He
was invited with his sister to take supper with
them on the next Monday afternoon, and
accepted the invitation. About sunset he met
his new friends walking, with the addition of
the husband and father, who, coming Saturday
evening from New York, had felt too fatigued
to attend church. Mr. Clifton, to whom he
was introduced, was a portly man in middle
life, who received Grant quite graciously, and
made for himself acknowledgment of the
service which our hero had rendered his
"If I ever have the opportunity of doing you
a favor, Master Thornton, you may call upon
me with confidence," he said.
MRS. THORNTON'S PEARLS. 39
Grant thanked him, and was better pleased
than if he had received an immediate gift.
Meanwhile Deacon Gridley kept his promise,
and advanced the minister fifty dollars,
deducting a month's interest. Even with this
deduction Mrs. Thornton was very glad to
obtain the money. Part of it was paid on
account to Mr. Tudor, and silenced his impor-
tunities for a time. As to his own plans, there
was nothing for Grant to do except to continue
his studies, as he might enter college after
If any employment should offer of a remuner-
ative character, he felt that it would be his duty
to accept it in spite of his uncle's objections;
but such chances were not very likely to hap-
pen while he remained in the country, for
Three weeks passed, and again not only Mr.
Tudor but another creditor began to be trouble-
How soon is your father going to pay up
his bill? asked Tudor, when Grant called at
the store for a gallon of molasses.
Very soon, I hope," faltered Grant.
40 HELPING HIMSELF.
"I hope so too," answered the grocer,
"Only three weeks ago I paid you thirty-
three dollars," said Grant.
"And you have been increasing the balance
ever since," said Tudor, frowning.
If father could get his salary regularly-"
That's his affair, not mine," rejoined the
grocer. "I have to pay my bills regular, and
I can't afford to wait months for my pay."
Grant looked uncomfortable, but did not
know what to say.
The short and the long of it is, that after
this week your father must either pay up his
bill, or pay cash for what articles he gets here-
"Very well," said Grant, coldly. He was
too proud to remonstrate. Moreover, though
he felt angry, he was constrained to admit that
the grocer had some reason for his course.
Something must be done," he said to him-
self, but he was not wise enough to decide what
that something should be.
Though he regretted to pain his mother, he
MRS. THORNTON'S PEARLS. 41
felt obliged to report to her what the grocer
"Don't be troubled, mother," he said, as he
noticed the shade of anxiety which came over
her face. Something will turn up."
Mrs. Thornton shook her head.
"It isn't safe to trust to that, Grant," she
said ; "we must help ourselves."
"I wish I knew how," said Grant, perplexed.
"I am afraid I shall have to make a sacri-
fice," said Mrs. Thornton, not addressing
Grant, but rather in soliloquy.
Grant looked at his mother in surprise.
What sacrifice could she refer to ? Did she
mean that they must move into a smaller
house, and retrench generally ? That was all
that occurred to him.
"We might, perhaps, move into a smaller
house, mother," said he, "but we have none
too much room here, and the difference in rent
wouldn't be much."
"I didn't mean that, Grant. Listen, and I
will tell you what I do mean. You know that
I was named after a rich lady, the friend of my
42 HELPING HIMSELF.
"I have heard you say so."
"When she died, she left me by will a pearl
necklace and pearl bracelets, both of very
I have never seen you wear them, mother."
"No; I have not thought they would be
suitable for the wife of a poor minister. My
wearing them would excite unfavorable com-
ment in the parish."
"Idon't see whose business it would be,"
said Grant, indignantly.
"At any rate, just or not, I knew what
would be said," Mrs. Thornton replied.
How is it you have never shown the pearl
ornaments to me, mother ? "
"You were only five years old when they
came to me, and I laid them away at once, and
have seldom thought of them since. I have
been thinking that, as they are of no use
to me, I should be justified in selling them
for what I can get, and appropriating
the proceeds toward paying your father's
"How much do you think they are worth,
MRS. THORNTON S PEARLS. 43
"A lady to whom I showed them once said
they must have cost five hundred dollars or
"Do you mind showing them to me,
mother ?" he asked.
Mrs. Thornton went up-stairs, and brought
down the pearl necklace and bracelets. They
were very handsome and Grant gazed at them
I wonder what the ladies would say if you
should wear them to the sewing circle," he
They would think I was going over to the
vanities of this world," responded his mother,
smiling. "They can be of no possible
use to me now, or hereafter, and I believe
it will be the best thing I can do to sell them."
Where can you sell them ? No one here
can afford to buy them."
They must be sold in New York, and I
must depend upon you to attend to the busi-
ness for me."
"Can you trust me, mother? Wouldn't
44 HELPING HIMSELF.
"Your father has no head for business,
Grant. He is a learned man, and knows a great
deal about books, but of practical matter he
knows very little. You are only a boy, but
you are a very sensible and trustworthy boy,
and I shall have to depend upon you."
I will do the best I can, mother. Only tell
me what you want me to do."
I wish you to take these pearls, and go to
New York. You can find a purchaser there,
if anywhere. I suppose it will be best to take
them to some jewelry store, and drive the best
bargain you can."
When do you wish me to go, mother ?"
"There can be no advantage in delay. If
to-morrow is pleasant, you may as well go then."
"Shall you tell father your plan ?"
"No, Grant, it might make him feel bad to
think I was compelled to make a sacrifice,
which after all is very little of a sacrifice to
me. Years since I decided to trouble him as
little as possible with matters of business. It
could do no good, and, by making him
anxious, unfitted him for his professional
MRS. THORNTON'S PEARLS. 45
Mrs. Thornton's course may not be consid-
ered wise by some, but she knew her husband's
peculiar mental constitution, and her object at
least was praiseworthy, to screen him from
undue anxiety, though it involved an extra
share for herself.
The next morning Grant took an early
breakfast, and walked briskly toward the
depot to take the first train for New York.
The fare would be a dollar and a quarter
each way, for the distance was fifty miles, and
this both he and his mother felt to be a large
outlay. If, however, he succeeded in his errand
it would be wisely spent, and this was their
At the depot Grant found Tom Calder, a
youth of eighteen, who had the reputation of
being wild, and had been suspected of dis-
honesty. He had been employed in the city,
so that Grant was not surprised to meet him
at the depot.
"Hello, Grant! where are you bound ?" he
"I am going to New York."
What for "
46 HELPING HIMSELF.
"A little business," Grant answered eva-
sively. Tom was the last person he felt
inclined to take into his confidence.
Goin' to try to get a place ? "
"If any good chance offers I shall accept
it-that is, if father and mother are willing."
"Let's take a seat together-that's what I'm
going for myself."
GRANT GETS INTO UNEXPECTED TROUBLE.
T OM CALDER was not the companion
Grant would have chosen, but there
seemed no good excuse for declining his com-
pany. He belonged to a rather disreputable
family living in the borders of the village. If
this had been all, it would not have been fair
to object to him, but Tom himself bore not a
very high reputation. He had been suspected
more than once of stealing from his school com-
panions, and when employed for a time by
Mr. Tudor, in the village store, the latter
began to miss money from the till; but Tom
was so sly that he had been unable to bring
the theft home to him. However, he thought
it best to dispense with his services.
"4 What kind of a situation are you goin' to
try for asked Tom, when they were fairly
on their way.
48 HELPING HIMSELF.
"I don't know. They say that beggars
mustn't be choosers."
"I want to get into a broker's office if I
can," said Tom.
"Do you consider that a very good busi-
ness asked Grant.
I should say so," responded Tom, emphat-
"Do they pay high wages ? "
"Not extra, but a feller can get points, and
make something out of the market."
"What's that ? asked Grant, puzzled.
"Oh, I forgot. You ain't used to the city,"
responded Tom, complacently. "I mean, you
find out when a stock is going up, and you buy
for a rise."
"But doesn't that take considerable
money?" asked Grant, wondering how Tom
could raise money to buy stocks.
"Oh, you can go to the bucket-shops,"
"But what have bucket-shops to do with
stocks?" asked Grant, more than ever puz-
Tom burst into a loud laugh.
GRANT GETS INTO TROUBLE. 49
"Ain't you jolly green, though !" he said.
Grant was rather nettled at this.
"I don't see how I could be expected to
understand such talk," he said, with some
"That's where it is-you can't," said Tom.
"It's all like A, B, C, to me, and I forgot that
you didn't know any thing about Wall Street.
A bucket-shop is where you can buy stock in
small lots, putting down a dollar a share as
margin. If stocks go up, you sell out
on the rise, and get back your dollar minus
Suppose they go down ?"
Then you lose what you put up."
"Isn't it rather risky ? "
"Of course there's some risk, bit if you
have a good point there isn't much."
This was Tom Calder's view of the matter.
As a matter of fact, the great majority of
those who visit the bucket-shops lose all they
put in, and are likely sooner or later to get
into difficulty; so that many employers will
at once discharge a clerk or boy known to
speculate in this way.
50 HELPING HIMSELF.
"If I had any money I'd buy some stock
to-day, that is, as soon as I get to the city,"
continued Tom. "You couldn't lend me five
dollars, could you ?"
"No, I couldn't," answered Grant, shortly.
"I'd give you half the profits."
"I haven't got the money," Grant ex-
"That's a pity. The fact is, I'm rather
short. However, I know plenty of fellows in
the city, and I guess I can raise a tenner or
"Then your credit must be better in New
York than in Colebrook," thought Grant, but
he forebore to say so.
Grant was rather glad the little package of
pearls was in the pocket farthest away from
Tom, for his opinion of his companion's hon-
esty was not the highest.
When half an hour had passed, Tom vacated
"I'm going into the smoking car," he said,
"to have a smoke. Won't you come with
"No, thank you. I don't smoke."
GRANT GETS INTO TROUBLE. 51
"Then it's time you began. I've got a cigar-
ette for you, if you'll try it."
"Much obliged, but I am better off without
You'll soon get over that little boy feel-
ing. Why, boys in the city of half your size
"I am sorry to hear it."
"Well, ta, ta I'll be back soon."
Grant was not sorry to have Tom leave him.
He didn't enjoy his company, and besides he
foresaw that it would be rather embarrassing if
Tom should take a fancy to remain with him
in the city. He didn't care to have any one,
certainly not Tom, learn on what errand he
had come to the city.
Two minutes had scarcely elapsed after Tom
vacated his seat, when a pleasant-looking gen-
tleman of middle age, who had been sitting
just behind them, rose and took the seat beside
"I will sit with you if you don't object,"
"I should be glad of your company," said
62 HELPING HIMSELF.
You live in the country, I infer ?"
"I overheard your conversation with the
young man who has just left you. I suspect
you are not very much alike."
"I hope not, sir. Perhaps Tom would say
the same, for he thinks me green."
"There is such a thing as knowing too
much-that isn't desirable to know. So you
don't smoke ?"
"I wish more boys of your age could say as
much. Do I understand that you are going to
the city in search of employment ? "
"That is not my chief errand," answered
Grant, with some hesitation. "Still, if I could
hear of a good chance, I might induce my
parents to let me accept it."
Where do you live, my young friend ? "
In Colebrook. My father is the minister
"That ought to be a recommendation, for it
is to be supposed you have been carefully
trained. Some of our most successful business
men have been ministers' sons."
GRANT GETS INTO TROUBLE. 53
"Are you in business in New York, sir ?"
asked Grant, thinking he had a right by this
time to ask a question.
"Yes, here is my card."
Taking the card, Grant learned that his com-
panion was Mr. Henry Reynolds and was a
broker, with an office in New Street.
"I see you are a broker, sir," said Grant.
"Tom Calder wants to get a place in a broker' s
"I should prefer that he would try some
other broker," said Mr. Reynolds, smiling.
"I don't want a boy who deals with the
At this point Tom re-entered the car, having
finished his cigarette. Observing that his
place had been taken, he sat down at a little
"When you get ready to take a place," said
the broker, "call at my office, and though I
won't promise to give you a place, I shall feel
well disposed to if I can make room for you."
"Thank you, sir," said Grant, gratefully,
"I hope if I ever do enter your employment,
I shall merit your confidence."
54 HELPING HIMSELF.
"I have good hopes of it. By the way, you
may as well give me your name."
I am Grant Thornton, of Colebrook," said
Mr. Reynolds entered the name in a little
pocket diary, and left the seat, which Tom
Calder immediately took.
"Who's that old codger ?" he asked.
"The gentleman who has just left me is a
New York business man."
"You got pretty thick with him, eh ?"
"We talked a little."
Grant took care not to mention that Mr.
Reynolds was a broker, as he knew that Tom
would press for an introduction in that case.
When they reached New York, Tom showed
a disposition to remain with Grant, but the
latter said, "We'd better separate, and we
can meet again after we have attended to our
A meeting place was agreed upon, and Tom
went his way.
Now came the difficult part of Grant's task.
Where should he go to dispose of his pearls ?
He walked along undecided, till he came to a
large jewelry store. It struck him that this
GRANT GETS INTO TROUBLE. 55
would be a good place for his purpose, and he
"What can I do for you, young man?"
asked a man of thirty behind the counter.
"I have some pearl ornaments I would like
to sell," said Grant.
"Indeed !" said the clerk, fixing a suspicious
glance upon Grant, "let me see them."
Grant took out the necklace and bracelets,
and passed them over. No sooner had he
done so, than a showily dressed lady advanced
to the place where he was standing, and held
out her hand for the ornaments, exclaiming:
" I forbid you to buy those articles, sir. They
are mine. The boy stole them from me, and I
have followed him here, suspecting that he
intended to dispose of them."
"That is false! exclaimed Grant, indig-
nantly. "I never saw that woman before in
So you are a liar as well as a thief !" said
the woman. "You will please give me those
pearls, sir. "
The clerk looked at the two contestants in
indecision. He was disposed to believe the
MRS. SIMPSON COMES TO GRIEF.
S URELY I have a right to my own prop-
erty," said the showily dressed lady in
a tone of authority, which quite imposed upon
the weak-minded salesman.
"I dare say you are right, ma'am," said he,
"Of course I am," said she.
"If you give her those pearls, which belong
to my mother, I will have you arrested," said
Grant, plucking up spirit.
"Hoity-toity said the lady, contemptu-
ously. "I hope you won't pay any regard to
what that young thief says."
The clerk looked undecided. He beckoned
an older salesman, and laid the matter before
him. The latter looked searchingly at the two.
Grant was flushed and excited, and the lady
had a brazen front.
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RIHs. SIMPSON CLATMS THF: PEARL NICRLAC~.
MRS. SIMPSON COMES TO GRIEF. 57
"Do you claim these pearls, madam?" he
"I do," she answered promptly.
How did you come by them ? "
"They were a wedding present from my
"'May I ask your name ? "
The lady hesitated a moment, then answered:
Where do you live ?"
There was another slight hesitation. Then
came the answer:
"No.-176 Madison Avenue."
Now Madison Avenue is a fashionable street,
and the name produced an impression on the
"I think the pearls belong to the lady," he
"I have some further questions to ask,"
returned the elder salesman in a low voice.
"Do you know this boy whom you charge
with stealing your property ? "
"Yes," answered the lady, to Grant's
exceeding surprise; he is a poor boy whom
I have employed to do errands."
58 HELPING HIMSELF.
"Has he had the run of your house ? "
"Yes, that's the way of it. He must have
managed to find his way to the second floor,
and opened the bureau drawer where I kept the
"'What have you to say to this ? asked the
"Please ask the lady my name," suggested
"Don't you know your own name ?"
demanded the lady, sharply.
Yes, but I don't think you do."
"Can you answer the boy's question, Mrs.
Simpson ? "
Of course I can. His name is John Cava-
nagh, and the very suit he has on I gave
Grant was thunderstruck at the lady's
brazen front. She was outwardly a fine lady,
but he began to suspect that she was an im-
"I am getting tired of this," said the so-
called Mrs. Simpson, impatiently. "Will
you, or will you not, restore my pearls ? "
When we are satisfied that they belong to
MRS. SIMPSON COMES TO GRIEF. 59
you, madam," said the elder salesman, coolly.
"I don't feel like taking the responsibility,
but will send for my employer, and leave the
matter to him to decide."
"I hope I won't have long to wait, sir."
I will send at once."
"It's a pretty state of things when a lady
has her own property kept from her," said
Mrs. Simpson, while the elder clerk was at the
other end of the store, giving some instructions
to a boy.
"'I don' t in the least doubt your claim to the
articles, Mrs. Simpson," said the first sales-
man, obsequiously. Come, boy, you'd bet-
ter own up that you have stolen the articles,
and the lady will probably let you off this time."
"Yes, I will let him off this time," chimed
in the lady. "I don't want to send him to
"If you can prove that I am a thief, I am
willing to go," said Grant, hotly.
By this time the elder salesman had come
''Is your name John Cavanagh, my boy "
60 HELPING HIMSELF.
Did you ever see this lady before ?"
The lady threw up her hands in feigned
"I wouldn't have believed the boy would lie
so!" she said.
"What is your name ? "
"My name is Grant Thornton. I live in
Colebrook, and my father is Rev. John Thorn-
I know there is such a minister there. To
whom do these pearls belong ? "
"To my mother."
"A likely story that a country minister's
wife should own such valuable pearls! said
Mrs. Simpson, in a tone of sarcasm.
"How do you account for it ?" asked the
They were given my mother years since, by
a rich lady who was a good friend of
hers. She has never had occasion to wear
Mrs. Simpson smiled significantly.
"The boy has learned his story," she said.
MRS. SIMPSON COMES TO GRIEF. 61
"I did not give you credit for such an imagina-
tion, John Cavanagh !"
"My name is Grant Thornton, madam," said
our hero, gravely.
Five minutes later two men entered the
store. One was a policeman, the other the
head of the firm. When Grant's eye fell on
the policeman he felt nervous, but when he
glanced at the gentleman his face lighted up
"Why, it's Mr. Clifton !" he said.
Grant Thornton !" said the jeweler, in sur-
prise. "Why, I thought-"
"You will do me justice, Mr. Clifton," said
Grant; and thereupon he related the circum-
stances already known to the reader.
When Mrs. Simpson found that the boy
whom she had selected as an easy victim was
known to the proprietor of the place, she
became nervous, and only thought of es-
"It is possible that I am mistaken," she
said. Let me look at the pearls again."
They were held up for her inspection.
"They are very like mine," she said, after a
62 HELPING HIMSELF.
brief glance ; "but I see there is a slight differ-
"How about the boy, madam ?" asked the
"'He is the very image of my errand boy; but
if Mr. Clifton knows him, I must be mistaken.
I am sorry to have given you so much trouble.
I have an engagement to meet, and must
"Stop, madam said Mr. Clifton, sternly,
interposing an obstacle to her departure, "we
can't spare you yet."
I really must go, sir. I give up all claim
to the pearls."
"That is not sufficient. You have laid
claim to them, knowing that they were not
yours. Officer, have you ever seen this woman
"Yes, sir, I know her well."
How dare you insult me?" demanded
Mrs. Simpson; but there was a tremor in her
"I give her in charge for an attempted
swindle," said Mr. Clifton.
You will have to come with me, madam,"
MRS. SIMPSON COMES TO GRIEF. 63
said the policeman. "You may as well go
Well, the game is up !" said the woman,
with a careless laugh.
It came near succeeding, though."
"Now, my boy," said the jeweler, "I will
attend to your business. You want to sell
these pearls ? "
Yes, sir ; they are of no use to mother, and
she needs the money."
At what do you value them ?"
I leave that to you, sir. I shall be satisfied
with what you think them worth."
The jeweler examined them attentively.
After his examination was concluded, he said:
"I am willing to give four hundred dollars for
them. Of course they cost more, but I shall
have to re-set them."
"That is more than I expected," said Grant,
joyfully. "It will pay all our debts, and give
us a little fund to help us in future."
Do you wish the money now ? There might
be some risk in a boy like you carrying so
much with you."
What would you advise, Mr. Clifton ?"
64 HELPING HIMSELF.
That you take perhaps a hundred dollars,
and let me bring the balance next Saturday
night, when I come to pass.Sunday at Cole-
Thank you, sir; if it won't be too much
trouble for you."
GRANT TAKES A DECISIVE STEP.
G RANT came home a messenger of good
tidings, as his beaming face plainly
showed. His mother could hardly believe in
her good fortune, when Grant informed her
that he had sold the pearls for four hundred
"Why, that will pay up all your father's
debts," she said, and we shall once more feel
And with a good reserve fund besides," sug-
On Saturday evening he called on Mr. Clif-
ton, and received the balance of the purchase
money. On Monday, with a little list of cred-
itors, and his pocket full of money, he made
a round of calls, and paid up everybody, includ-
ing Mr. Tudor.
"I told you the bill would be paid, Mr.
Tudor," he said quietly, to the grocer.
66 HELPING HIMSELF.
You mustn't feel hard to me on account of
my pressing you, Grant," said the grocer, well
pleased, in a conciliatory tone. "You see I
needed money to pay my bills."
"You seemed to think my father didn't
mean to pay you," said Grant, who could not
so easily get over what he had considered
unfriendly conduct on the part of Mr. Tudor.
"No, I didn't. Of course I knew he was
honest, but all the same I needed the money.
I wish all my customers was as honest as your
With this Grant thought it best to be con-
tented. The time might come again when
they would require the forbearance of the gro-
cer; but he did not mean that it should be so if
he could help it. For he was more than ever
resolved to give up the project of going to col-
lege. The one hundred and fifty dollars which
remained after paying the debts would tide
them over a year, but his college course would
occupy four; and then there would be three
years more of study to fit him for entering a
profession, and so there would be plenty of
time for the old difficulties to return. If the
GRANT TAKES A DECISIVE STEP. 67
parish would increase his father's salary by
even a hundred dollars, they might get along;
but there was such a self-complacent feeling in
the village that Mr. Thornton was liberally
paid, that he well knew there was no chance
Upon this subject he had more than one
earnest conversation with his mother.
I should be sorry to have you leave home,"
she said ; "but I acknowledge the force of your
I shouldn't be happy at college, mother,"
responded Grant, "if I thought you were
pinched at home."
If you were our only child, Grant, it would
"That is true; but there are Frank and
Mary who would suffer. If I go to work I
shall soon be able to help you take care of
"'You are a good and unselfish boy, Grant,"
said his mother.
"I don't know about that, mother; I am
consulting my own happiness as well as
68 HELPING HIMSELF.
Yet you would like to go to college ?"
If we had plenty of money, not otherwise.
I don't want to enjoy advantages at the expense
of you all."
"Your Uncle Godfrey will be very angry,"
said Mrs. Thornton, thoughtfully.
I suppose he will, and I shall be sorry for
it. I am grateful to him for his good inten-
tions toward me, and I have no right to expect
that he will feel as I do about the matter. If
he is angry I shall be sorry, but I don't think
it ought to influence me."
"You must do as you decide to be best,
Grant. It is you who are most interested.
But suppose you make up your mind to enter
upon a business career, what chance have you
of obtaining a place ? "
"I shall call upon Mr. Reynolds, and see if
he has any place for me."
Who is Mr. Reynolds ?" asked his mother
in some surprise.
I forgot that I didn't tell you of the gentle-
man whose acquaintance I made on my way
up to the city. He is a Wall Street broker.
His attention was drawn to me by something
GRANT TAKES A DECISIVE STEP. 69
that he heard, and he offered to help me, if he
could, to get employment."
"It would cost something to go to New
York, and after all there is no certainty that
he could help you," said Mrs. Thornton cau-
That is true, mother, but I think he would
do something for me."
However, Grant received a summons to New
York on other business. Mrs. Simpson, as she
called herself, though she had no right to the
name, was brought up for trial, and Grant was
needed as a witness. Of course his expenses
were to be paid. He resolved to take this
opportunity to call at the office of Mr. Rey-
I do not propose to speak of Mrs. Simpson's
trial. I will merely say that she was found
guilty of the charge upon which she had been
indicted, and was sentenced to a term of impris-
When Grant was released from his duties as
witness, he made his way to Wall Street, or
rather New Street, which branches out from
the great financial thoroughfare, and had no
70 HELPING HIMSELF.
difficulty in finding the office of Mr. Rey-
Can I see Mr. Reynolds ?" he asked, of a
young man who was writing at a desk.
"Have you come to deliver stock ? If so, I
will take charge of it."
'No," answered Grant; "I wish to see him
"He is at the Stock Exchange just at pres-
ent. If you will take a seat, he will be back
in twenty minutes, probably."
Grant sat down, and in less than the time
mentioned, Mr. Reynolds entered the office.
The broker, who had a good memory for faces,
at once recognized our hero.
Ha, my young friend from the country !"
he said ; would you like to see me ? "
"When you are at leisure, sir," answered
Grant, well pleased at the prompt recogni-
"You will not have to wait long. Amuse
yourself as well as you can for a few min-
Promptness was the rule in Mr. Reynolds's
office. Another characteristic of the broker
GRAN TAKE A DECISIVE STEP. 71
was, that he was just as polite to a boy as to
his best customer. This is, I am quite aware,
an unusual trait, and, therefore, the more to
be appreciated when we meet with it.
Presently Mr. Reynolds appeared at the
door of his inner office, and beckoned to Grant
"Take a seat, my young friend," he said;
"and now let me know what I can do for
When I met you in the cars," said Grant,
"you invited me, if I ever wanted a position,
to call upon you, and you would see if you
could help me."
Very true, I did. Have you made up your
mind to seek a place ?"
Are your parents willing you should come
to New York? "
"Yes, sir. That is, my mother is willing,
and my father will agree to whatever she
decides to be best."
So far so good. I wouldn't engage any boy
who came against his parents' wishes. Now
let me tell you that you have come at a very
72 HELPING HIMSELF.
favorable time. I have had in my employ for
two years the son of an old friend, who has
suited me in every respect; but now he is to go
abroad with his father for a year, and I must
supply his place. You shall have the place if
you want it."
"Nothing would suit me better," said Grant
joyfully. Do you think I would be compe-
tent to fulfill the duties ?"
"Harry Becker does not leave me for two
weeks. He will initiate you into your duties,
and if you are as quick as I think you are at
learning, that will be sufficient."
When shall I come, sir ?V"
"Next Monday morning. It is now Thurs-
day, and that will give you time to remove to
Perhaps I had better come Saturday, so as
to get settled in a boarding-house before going
to work. Could you recommend some mod-
erate priced boarding-place, Mr. Reynolds?"
"For the first week you may come to my
house as my guest. That will give you a
chance to look about you. I live at 58 West
3-th Street. You had better take it down on
GRANT TAKES A DECISIVE STEP. 73
paper. You can come any time on Monday.
That will give you a chance to spend Sunday
at home, and you need not go to work till
Grant expressed his gratitude in suitable
terms, and left the office elated at his good
fortune. A surprise awaited him. At the
junction of Wall and New Streets he came
suddenly upon a large-sized boot-black, whose
face looked familiar.
"Tom Calder !" he exclaimed. "Is that
UNCLE GODFREY WASHES HIS HANDS OF GRANT.
WHEN Tom Calder turned round and saw
who had addressed him, he turned red
with mortification, and he tried to hide his
blacking-box. He was terribly mortified to
have it known that he had been forced into
such a business. If Tom had nothing worse to
be ashamed of he need not have blushed, but
he was suffering from false shame.
When did you come to the city ? he stam-
"Only this morning."
"I suppose you are surprised to see me in
this business," said Tom awkwardly.
There is nothing to be ashamed of," said
Grant. "It is an honest business."
"It's an awful come down for me," said
Tom, uncomfortably. "The fact is, I've had
UNCLE GODFREY AND GRANT. 75
"I am sorry to hear that," said Grant.
"I expected a place in Wall Street, but I
came just too late, and things are awful
dull anyway. Then I was robbed of my
How much? asked Grant, curiously, for
he didn't believe a word of it.
"Eight dollars and thirty-three cents,"
replied Tom, glibly.
"I thought you were too smart to be
robbed," said Grant, slyly. "If it had been a
green boy from the country like me, now, it
wouldn't have been surprising."
I was asleep when I was robbed," explained
Tom, hurriedly. A fellow got into my room
in the night, and picked my pocket. I couldn't
help that, now, could I?"
"I suppose not."
"So I had to get something to do, or go
back to Colebrook. I say, Grant-"
Don't you tell any of the fellers at home
what business I'm in, that's a good feller."
"I won't if you don't want me to," said
76 HELPING HIMSELF.
You see it's only a few days, till I can get
something else to do."
It's a great deal better blacking boots than
being idle, in my opinion," said Grant.
"That's the way I look at it. But you
didn't tell me what you came to the city
for ? "
"I'm coming here for good," announced
You haven't got a place, have you ?" ejacu-
lated Tom, in surprise.
Yes, I am to enter the office of Mr. Rey-
nolds, a stock broker. There is his sign."
You don't say so! Why, that's just the
sort of a place I wanted. How did you get the
chance ? "
"I got acquainted with Mr. Reynolds on
board the cars that day we came to New York
And you asked him for the place ?"
I asked him this morning."
"You might have given me the chance,"
grumbled Tom, enviously. "You knew it was
the sort of a place I was after."
I don't think I was called upon to do that,"
UNCLE GODFREY AND GRANT. 77
said Grant smiling. "Besides, he wouldn't
have accepted you."
"Why not? Ain't I as smart as you, I'd
like to know ?" retorted Tom Calder angrily.
"He heard us talking in the cars, and didn't
like what you said."
What did I say ? '
He doesn't approve of boys smoking cigar-
ettes and going to bucket-shops. You spoke
"How did he hear? "
"He was sitting just behind us."
Was it that old chap that was sitting' with
you when I came back from the smoking-
Just my luck !" said Tom, ruefully.
When are you goin' to work ?" asked Tom,
after a pause.
Where are you going to board ? We might
take a room together, you know. It would be
kind of social, as we both come from the same
It did not occur to Grant that the arrange-
73 I HELPING HIMSELF.
ment would suit him at all, but he did not
think it necessary to say so. He only said:
"I am going to Mr. Reynolds's house, just at
"You don't say so! Why, he's taken a
regular fancy to you."
"If he has, I hope he won't get over it."
"I suppose he lives in a handsome brown-
stone house up-town."
"Very likely ; I've never seen the house."
"Well, some folks has luck, but I ain't one
of'em," grumbled Tom.
"Your luck is coming, I hope, Tom."
"I wish it would come pretty soon, then; I
say, suppose your folks won't let you take the
place ?" he asked suddenly, brightening up.
"They won't oppose it."
"I thought they wanted you to go to college."
"I can't afford it. It would take too long
before I could earn any thing, and I ought to be
helping the family."
"I'm goin' to look out for number one,"
said Tom, shrugging his shoulders. "That's
all I can do."
Tom's mother was a hard-working woman,
UNCLE GODFREY AND GRANT. 79
and had taken in washing for years. But for
her the family would often have lacked for
food. His father was a lazy, intemperate man,
who had no pride of manhood, and cared
only for himself. In this respect Tom was like
him, though the son had not as yet become
"I don't think there is any chance of my
giving up the place," answered Grant. "If
I do, I will mention your name."
"That's a good fellow."
Grant did not volunteer to recommend Tom,
for he could not have done so with a clear con-
science. This omission, however, Tom did not
"Well, Tom, I must be going. Good-by,
and good luck !"
Grant went home with a cheerful face, and
announced his good luck to his mother.
"I am glad you are going to your employer's
house," she said. "I wish you could remain
So do I, mother ; but I hope at any rate to
get a comfortable boarding-place. Tom Cal-
der wants to room with me."
80 HELPING HIMSELF.
"I hope you won't think of it," said Mrs.
Not for a moment. I wish Tom well, but
I shouldn't like to be too intimate with him.
And now, mother, I think I ought to write to
Uncle Godfrey, and tell him what I have
"That will be proper, Grant."
Grant wrote the following letter, and mailed
it at once:
DEAR UNCLE GODFREY: I am afraid you won't like
what I have to tell you, but I think it is my duty to the
family to give up the college course you so kindly
offered me, in view of father's small salary and narrow
means. I have been offered a place in the office of a
stock broker in New York, and have accepted it. I enter
upon my duties next Monday morning. I hope to
come near paying my own way, and before very long to
help father. I know you will be disappointed, Uncle
Godfrey, and I hope you won't think I don't appreciate
your kind offer, but I think it would be selfish in me
to accept it. Please to forgive me, and believe me to
be Your affectionate nephew,
In twenty-four hours an answer came to
this letter. It ran thus:
NEPHEW GRANT: I would not have believed you
would act so foolishly and ungratefully. It is not often
that such an offer as mine is made to a boy. I did
UNCLE GODFREY AND GRANT. 81
think you were sensible enough to understand the
advantages of a professional education. I hoped you
would do credit to the name of Thornton, and keep up
the family reputation as a man of learning and a gentle-
man. But you have a foolish fancy for going into a
broker's office, and I suppose you must be gratified.
But you needn't think I will renew my offer. I wash
my hands of you from this time forth, and leave you to
your own foolish course. The time will come when you
will see your folly. GODFREY THORNTON.
Grant sighed as he finished reading this mis-
sive. He felt that his uncle had done him
injustice. It was no foolish fancy, but a con-
scientious sense of duty, which had led him to
sacrifice his educational prospects.
On Monday morning he took the earliest
train for New York.
A DAY IN WALL STREET.
G RANT went at once on his arrival in the
city to Mr. Reynolds's office. He had in
his hand a well-worn valise containing his
small stock of clothing. The broker was just
leaving the office for the Stock Exchange as
"So you are punctual," he said, smiling.
"Yes, sir, I am always on time."
That is an excellent habit. Here, Harry."
In answer to this summons, Harry Becker, a
boy two years older and correspondingly larger
than Grant, came forward. He was a pleasant-
looking boy, and surveyed Grant with a
"Harry," said Mr. Reynolds, "this is your
successor. Do me the favor of initiating him
into his duties, so that when you leave me he
will be qualified to take your place."
A DAY IN WALL STREET. 83
"All right, sir!
The broker hurried over to the Exchange,
and the two boys were left together.
What is your name ? asked the city boy.
"Mine is Harry Becker. Are you accustomed
to the city ?"
"No, I am afraid you will find me very
green," answered Grant.
You are not the boy to remain so long,"
said Harry, scrutinizing him attentively.
I hope not. You are going to Europe, Mr.
Reynolds tells me? "
Yes, the governor is going to take me."
The governor ? "
"My father, I mean," said Harry, smiling.
"I suppose you are not sorry to go ?"
"Oh, no; I expect to have a tip-top time.
How would you like it ? "
"Very much, if I could afford it, but at pres-
ent I would rather fill your place in the office.
I am the son of a poor country minister, and
must earn my own living."
How did you get in with Mr. Reynolds ? "
84 HELPING HIMSELF.
Grant told him. "Is he easy to get along
with ? he inquired, a little anxiously.
"He is very kind and considerate. Still he
is staunch, and expects a boy to serve him
He has a right to expect that."
"As I am to break you in, you had better
go about with me everywhere. First, we will
go to the post-office."
The two boys walked to Nassau Street, where
the New York Post-Office was then located.
Harry pointed out the box belonging to the
firm, and producing a key opened it, and took
out half a dozen letters.
"There may be some stock orders in these
letters," he said, "we will go back to the
office, give them to Mr. Clark to open, and
then you can go with me to the Stock
Ten minutes later they entered the large
room used by the brokers as an Exchange.
Grant looked about him in undisguised aston-
ishment. It seemed like a Pandemonium.
The room was full of men, shouting, gesticulat-
ing, and acting like crazy men. The floor was
A DAY IN WALL STREET. 85
littered with fragments of paper, and on a
raised dais were the officers of the Exchange,
the chief among them, the chairman, calling
rapidly the names of a long list of stocks.
Each name was followed by a confused shouting,
which Grant learned afterward to be bids for
the stock named. There were several groups of
brokers, each apparently interested in some
leading security. In each of the galleries, one
at each end, overlooking the stock room,
curious spectators were watching what was
Harry Becker was amused at Grant's look of
surprise and bewilderment.
"You'll get used to it in time," he said.
"Stay-there is Mr. Reynolds. I must speak
Mr. Reynolds stood near a placard on which
in prominent letters was inscribed Erie. Harry
handed him a paper, which he took, glanced
at quickly, and then resumed his bidding.
He has just bought 1000 Erie," said Harry
aside to Grant.
S1000 ? "
Yes, a thousand shares, at fifty-five."
86 HELPING HIMSELF.
"Fifty-five dollars ?"
"Why, that will make fifty-five thousand
dollars !" ejaculated Grant, in wonder.
"Yes, that is one of the orders I brought
over just now."
A man must have a great deal of capital
to carry on this business, if that is only an item
of a single day's business."
Yes, but not so much as you may imagine.
I can't explain now, but you'll understand
better as you go on. Now we'll go back and
see if there's any thing to do in the office."
Not long afterward Harry had to come back
to the Exchange again, and Grant came with
him. He found something new to surprise
A tall man of dignified presence was walking
across the floor, when a fellow-member with a
sly stroke sent his tall hat spinning across the
floor. When the victim turned the mischief-
maker was intent upon his memorandum book,
and the tall man's suspicions fell upon a
short, stout young man beside him. With a
vigorous sweep he knocked the young man's
A DAY IN WALL STREET. 87
hat off, saying, "It's a poor rule that don't
work both ways."
This led to a little scrimmage, in which a
dozen were involved. The brokers, staid, mid-
dle-aged men, most of them, seemed like a
pack of school boys at recess. Grant sur-
veyed the scene with undisguised astonish-
"What does it mean, Harry? he asked.
Oh, that's a very common occurrence,"
said Harry, smiling.
"I never saw grown men acting so. Won't
there be a fight ? "
Oh, it's all fun. The brokers are unlike
any other class of men in business hours,"
explained Harry. "It's one of the customs of
Just then, to his astonishment, Grant saw
his employer, Mr. Reynolds, pursuing his hat,
which was rolling over the floor. He was
about to run to his assistance, but Harry
"No interference is allowed," he said.
"Leave them to their fun. I used to think it
strange myself, when I first came into the
88 HELPING HIMSELF.
Exchange, but I am used to it now. Now we
may as well go back to the office."
There is no occasion to follow the boys
through the day's routine. Grant found his
companion very obliging, and very ready to
give him the information he needed. Many
boys would have been supercilious and
perhaps been disposed to play tricks on a
country boy, but Harry was not one of
them. He took a friendly interest in Grant,
answered all his questions, and did his best to
qualify him for the position he was to assume.
Before the office closed, Grant and his new
friend went to the bank to make a deposit of
money and checks. The deposit amounted
to about twenty thousand dollars.
"There must be plenty of money in New
York," said Grant. Why, up in Colebrook,
if a man were worth twenty thousand dollars
he would be considered a rich man."
It takes a good deal more than that to
make a man rich in New York. In the stock
business a man is likely to do a larger business
in proportion to his capital than in the mercan-
A DAY, IN WALL STREET. 89
On their way back from the bank, Grant
came face to face with Tom Calder. Tom was
busily engaged in talking to a companion,
some years older than himself, and didn't
observe Grant. Grant was by no means
prepossessed in favor of this young man,
whose red and mottled face, and bold glance
made him look far from respectable.
"Do you know those fellows?" asked
"The youngest one is from Colebrook."
He is in bad company. I hope he is not an
intimate friend of yours ? "
"Far from it! Still, I know him, and am
sorry to see him with such a companion."
At four o' clock Mr. Reynolds proposed to
go home. He beckoned to Grant to accompany
GRANT MAKES A FRIEND.
HAT do you think of your first day
in Wall Street?" asked Mr. Rey-
I have found it very interesting," answered
Do you think you shall like the business ?"
"Yes, sir, I think so."
"Better than if you had been able to carry
out your original plan, and go to college ?"
"Yes, sir, under the circumstances, for I
have a better prospect of helping the family."
"That feeling does you credit. Have you
any brothers and sisters ? "
"One of each, sir."
"I have but one boy, now nine years old. I
am sorry to say he is not strong in body,
though very bright and quick mentally. I
GRANT MAKES A FRIEND. 91
wish he were more fond of play and would
spend less time in reading and study."
"I don't think that is a common complaint
among boys, sir."
"No, I judge not from my own remem-
brance and observation. My wife is dead, and
I am such a busy man that I am not able to
give my boy as much attention as I wish I
could. My boy's health is the more important
to me because I have no other child."
Grant's interest was excited, and he looked
forward to meeting his employer's son, not
without eagerness. He had not long to wait.
The little fellow was in the street in front of
the house when his father reached home. He
was a slender, old-fashioned boy in appearance,
who looked as if he had been in the habit of,
keeping company with grown people. His
frame was small, but his head was large. He
was pale, and would have been plain, but for a
pair of large, dark eyes, lighting up his face.
"Welcome home, papa !" he said, running
up to meet Mr. Reynolds.
The broker stooped over and kissed his son.
Then he said: "I have brought you some
92 HELPING HIMSELF.
company, Herbert. This is Grant Thornton,
the boy I spoke to you about."
"I am glad to make your acquaintance,"
said the boy, with old-fashioned courtesy,
offering his hand.
And I am glad to meet you, Herbert,"
responded Grant, pleasantly.
The little boy looked up earnestly in the face
of his father's office boy.
I think I shall like you," he said.
Mr. Reynolds looked pleased, and so did
"I am sure we shall be very good friends,"
said our hero.
Herbert," said his father, "will you show
Grant the room he is to occupy ? "
It is next to mine, isn't it, papa ?"
"Yes, my son."
Come with me," said Herbert, putting his
hand in Grant's. I will show you the way."
Grant, who was only accustomed to the plain
homes in his native village, was impressed by
the evidence of wealth and luxury observable
in the house of the stock broker. The room
assigned to him was small, but it was very
GRANT MAKES A FRIEND. 93
handsomely furnished, and he almost felt out
of place in it. But it was not many days, to
anticipate matters a little, before he felt quite
Herbert took Grant afterward into his own
See my books he said, leading the way
to a book-case, containing perhaps a hundred
volumes, the majority of a juvenile character,
but some suited to more mature tastes.
Do you like reading ? asked Grant.
I have read all the books you see here,"
answered Herbert, "and some of papa's
besides. I like to read better than to play."
"But you ought to spend some of your time
in play, or you will not grow up healthy."
"That is what papa says. I try to play
some, but I don't care much about it."
Grant was no longer surprised at the little
boy's delicacy. It was clear that he needed
more amusement and more exercise. Per-
haps," he thought, "I can induce Herbert to
When do you take dinner ?" he asked.
"At half past six. There is plenty of time."
94 HELPING HIMSELF.
"'Then suppose we take a little walk together.
We shall both have a better appetite."
I should like to," replied Herbert, "that
is, with you. I don't like to walk alone."
How far is Central Park from here ?"
"A little over a mile."
I have never seen it. Would you mind
walking as far as that ?"
So the two boys walked out together. They
were soon engaged in an animated conversa-
tion, consisting, for the most part, of questions
proposed by Grant, and answers given by
Not far from the park they came to a vacant
lot where some boys were playing ball.
Now, if we only had a ball, Herbert," said
Grant, we might have a little amusement."
"I've got a ball in my pocket, but 1 don't
use it much."
Let me see it."
Herbert produced the ball, which proved to
be an expensive one, better than any Grant
had ever owned.
There, Herbert, stand here, and I will
GRANT MAKES A FRIEND. 95
place myself about fifty feet away. Now
throw it to me, no matter how swiftly."
They were soon engaged in throwing the
ball to each other. Grant was a good ball-
player, and he soon interested the little boy in
the sport. Our hero was pleased to see Her-
bert's quiet, listless manner exchanged for the
animation which seemed better suited to a
"You are improving, Herbert," he said
after a while. "You would make a good
player in time."
"'I never liked it before," said the little boy.
"I never knew there was so much fun in play-
We shall have to try it every day. I sup-
pose it is about time to go home to supper."
And we haven't been to Central Park after
"That will do for another day. Are boys
allowed to play ball in the park? "
Two afternoons in the week, I believe, but
I never played there."
We shall have to try it some day."
I should like to play-with you."
96 HELPING HIMSELF.
They reached home in full time for dinner.
At the dinner table Mr. Reynolds was struck
by the unusually bright and animated face of
his son, and his good appetite.
What have you been doing to make you
so hungry, Herbert ?" he asked.
"I took a walk with Grant, and we had a
fine game of ball."
"I am glad to hear it," said the broker,
much pleased. "If you want to become stout
and strong like Grant, that is the best thing
for you to do."
"I never liked playing ball before, papa."
That is a compliment to you, Grant," said
the broker, smiling.
"I think," he said to the prim, elderly lady
who presided over the household, acting as
housekeeper, Herbert will be the better for
having a boy in the house."
"I don't know about that," said Mrs. Esta-
brook, stiffly. When he came into the house
he had mud on his clothes. He never did that
till this boy came."
I won't complain of that, if his health is