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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesJoe The Hotel Boy; Or Winning Out By Pluck - Chapter 14. A Scene On The Train
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Joe The Hotel Boy; Or Winning Out By Pluck - Chapter 14. A Scene On The Train Post by :lavallee Category :Long Stories Author :Horatio Alger Date :May 2012 Read :1891

Click below to download : Joe The Hotel Boy; Or Winning Out By Pluck - Chapter 14. A Scene On The Train (Format : PDF)

Joe The Hotel Boy; Or Winning Out By Pluck - Chapter 14. A Scene On The Train

CHAPTER XIV. A SCENE ON THE TRAIN

The slick-looking individual had listened attentively to all that passed between our hero and the farmer.

He waited until the latter had procured his drink of water and then rushed up with a smile on his face.

"I declare!" he exclaimed. "How do you do?" And he extended his hand.

"How do you do?" repeated the farmer, shaking hands slowly. He felt much perplexed, for he could not remember having met the other man before.

"How are matters up on the farm?" went on the stranger.

"Thank you, very good."

"I--er--I don't think you remember me, Mr. Bean," went on the slick-looking individual.

"Well, somehow I think I know your face," answered the old farmer, lamely. He did not wish to appear wanting in politeness.

"You ought to remember me. I spent some time in Haydown Center year before last, selling machines."

"Oh, you had them patent reapers, is that it?"

"You've struck it."

"I remember you now. You're a nephew of Judge Davis."

"Exactly."

"O' course! O' course! But I can't remember your name nohow."

"It's Davis, too--Henry Davis."

"Oh, yes. I'm glad to meet you, Mr. Davis."

"I saw you in the seat with that boy," went on the man we shall call Henry Davis. "I thought I knew you from the start, but I wasn't dead sure. Going to Philadelphia with us?"

"Yes, sir."

"Good enough. Mr. Bean, won't you smoke with me? I was just going into the smoker."

"Thanks, but I--er--I don't smoke much."

"Just one mild cigar. That won't hurt you, I'm sure. I love to meet old friends," continued Henry Davis.

In the end the old farmer was persuaded to walk into the smoking car and here the slick-looking individual found a corner seat where they would be undisturbed.

"I expect to spend a week or more in Philadelphia, Mr. Bean," said the stranger; "if I can be of service to you during that time, command me."

"Well, perhaps ye can be of service to me. Do ye know many folks in the city?"

"Oh, yes, a great many. Some are business friends and some are folks in high society."

"I don't care for no high society. But I've got to collect six hundred dollars an' I want somebody to identify me."

"Oh, I can do that easily, Mr. Bean."

"Kin ye?" The farmer grew interested at once. "If ye kin I'll be much obliged to ye."

"Where must you be identified?"

"Down to the office of Barwell & Cameron, on Broad street. Do ye know 'em?"

"I know of them, and I can find somebody who does know them, so there will not be the least trouble."

"It's a load off my mind," said Josiah Bean, with a sigh. "Ye see, the money is comin' to my wife. She writ to 'em that I was comin' to collect an' they writ back it would be all right, only I would have to be identified. Jest as if everybody in Haydown Center don't know I'm Josiah Bean an' a piller in the Union Church down there, an' a cousin to Jedge Bean o' Lassindale."

"Well, they have to be mighty particular when they pay out any money in the city. There are so many sharpers around."

"I ain't no sharper."

"To be sure you are not, and neither am I. But I once had trouble getting money."

"Is thet so?"

"Yes. But after I proved who I was the folks were pretty well ashamed of themselves," went on Henry Davis, smoothly.

So the talk ran on and at the end of half an hour the old farmer and the slick-looking individual were on exceedingly friendly terms. Henry Davis asked much about the old man and gathered in a good stock of information.

When Philadelphia was gained it was dark, and coming out of the big railroad station Joe at first knew not which way to turn. The noise and the crowd of people confused him.

"Have a cab? Carriage?" bawled the hackmen.

"Paper!" yelled a newsboy. "All the evenin' papers!"

"Smash yer baggage!" called out a luggage boy, not near as tall as our hero.

Looking ahead, Joe saw Josiah Bean and the slick-looking individual moving down the street and without realizing it, our hero began to follow the pair.

"He must be some friend," said our hero to himself.

He wondered where they were going and his curiosity getting the better of him he continued to follow them for half a dozen blocks. At last they came to a halt in front of a building displaying the sign:

JOHNSON'S QUAKER HOTEL

MODERATE TERMS FOR ALL.

"This hotel is all right and the prices are right, too," Joe heard the slick-looking man tell the old farmer.

"Then thet suits me," answered Josiah Bean. "I'll go in an' git a room fer the night."

"I think I might as well do the same," said Henry Davis. "I don't care to go away over to my boarding house at Fairmount Park."

The pair walked into the hotel, and Joe saw them register and pass down the corridor in the company of a bell boy. Then our hero entered the place.

"Can I get a room here for the night?" he asked of the clerk behind the desk.

"Certainly."

"What is the charge?"

"Seventy-five cents."

"That suits me."

The register was shoved forward and Joe wrote down his name. Then he was shown to a small room on the third floor. The building was but four stories high.

Joe was tired and soon went to bed. In the next room he heard a murmur of voices and made out that the old farmer and his friend were talking earnestly.

"They must be very friendly," was his comment, and thinking the matter over he fell asleep.

Bright and early in the morning our hero arose, dressed himself, and went below. He had breakfast in the restaurant attached to the hotel and was just finishing up when the old farmer and the slick-looking individual came in.

"Hullo!" cried Josiah Bean. "What are you doin' here?"

"I got a room overnight," answered our hero.

"We're stopping here, too. This is my friend, Mr. Henry Davis."

"Good morning," said the slick-looking man. He did not seem to fancy meeting Joe.

They sat down close at hand and, while eating, the farmer asked Joe half a dozen questions.

He spoke about his own business until Henry Davis nudged him in the side.

"I wouldn't tell that boy too much," he said in a low tone.

"Oh, he's all right," answered the old farmer.

Joe heard the slick-looking individual's words and they made his face burn. He looked at the man narrowly and made up his mind he was not a fellow to be desired for an acquaintance.

Having finished, our hero paid his bill and left the restaurant. He scarcely knew which way to turn, but resolved to look over the newspapers first and see if any positions were offered.

While in the reading room he saw Josiah Bean and his acquaintance leave the hotel and walk in the direction of Broad street.

A little later Joe took from the paper he was reading the addresses of several people who wanted help, and then he, too, left the hotel.

The first place he called at was a florist's establishment, but the pay was so small he declined the position.

"I could not live on three dollars per week," he said.

"That is all we care to pay," answered the proprietor, coldly. "It is more than other establishments pay."

"Then I pity those who work at the other places," returned Joe, and walked out.

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