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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesAndy Grant's Pluck - Chapter 21. New Prospects
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Andy Grant's Pluck - Chapter 21. New Prospects Post by :Byron Category :Long Stories Author :Horatio Alger Date :May 2012 Read :2656

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Andy Grant's Pluck - Chapter 21. New Prospects

CHAPTER XXI. NEW PROSPECTS

After Roy, with Andy's assistance, had prepared his lesson in _Caesar_, John Crawford began to converse with him with a view of forming a judgment of his business qualifications.

"Are you especially interested in the jewelry line?" he asked.

"No, sir. It was merely chance that led me to Mr. Flint's store."

"I see you are a Latin scholar. What career did you expect to follow if your father's misfortune had not interrupted your education?"

"I don't think I should care for a profession. I prefer a life of business."

"You have had no special business in view?"

"No, sir. I think I could adapt myself to any that I had an opportunity to follow."

"What pay did you receive from Mr. Flint?"

"Five dollars a week."

"I will tell you why I am inquiring. I am in the real estate business, in rather a large way. I have a boy in the office who is not suited to his position. He is a good scholar, but has no head for business. I have made up my mind to discharge him on Saturday. Would you like his place?"

"Very much, sir."

"I can only offer you five dollars a week, but as soon as you make yourself worth more I will raise you."

"That is quite satisfactory, Mr. Crawford. As soon as Mr. Flint returns I can get a recommendation from him. I am quite sure I shall like your business better."

"My sister's recommendation is sufficient."

"Thank you, John," said Mrs. Mason.

"If you become interested in the business and show an aptitude for it, there will be a chance to rise. It depends upon that. If you only work for the money, you won't rise."

"I understand, Mr. Crawford, and I am satisfied."

"Mother," said Roy, "I wish you would engage Andy to come here evenings and help me with my lessons. I should learn twice as fast. Besides, I should like his company."

Roy was an only child, and it was the desire of his mother's heart that he should acquire a good education. Her means were ample and her disposition generous.

"I don't know but Andy would feel too tired, after being in your uncle's office all day, to teach you in the evening, she said.

"Would you, Andy?" asked Roy.

"No; I should enjoy reviewing my old studies with you."

"Then, I will engage you," said Mrs. Mason. "You can come here at eight every evening."

"I will do so with pleasure."

"And for compensation I will pay you as much as my brother does."

"I wouldn't charge anything for helping Roy," said Andy. "It would only be a pleasure to me."

"Andrew," said Mr. Crawford. "I am afraid you will never make a business man if you are willing to work on those terms. My advice to you is to accept my sister's offer. She can afford to pay you what she offers, and you have your living to make."

"I shall insist upon paying," said Mrs. Mason, "though I appreciate Andy's generous offer."

"Thank you very much. With such an income I shall feel rich."

"I am so glad you are going to help me, Andy," said Roy. "We'll have bully times."

"I don't think Julius Caesar ever made use of such an expression, Roy," said his uncle.

"When do you wish me to come down to business, Mr. Crawford?" asked Andy.

"You may as well come to-morrow, and get broken in before your regular engagement commences."

"I shall be glad to do so."

"For this week you need only stay till three o'clock in the afternoon. There isn't much doing after that."

When Andy went home it will not be wondered at if he was in a state of exhilaration. His discharge from the jeweler's had turned out to his advantage. His income was now ten dollars a week, and he had no board to pay. He certainly ought to lay up money.

He said to himself that now he would not go back to Mr. Flint's even if he had the chance.

When he entered his room he found Sam Perkins waiting for him.

"I have been thinking, Andy," he said, "that I might be able to get you into our store. I will speak to Mr. Chambers to-morrow."

"There is no occasion, Sam, though I thank you for your kind offer; I have a place."

"What, already?" ejaculated Sam, in amazement. "What chance have you had to hunt up a place?"

"The place hunted me up," answered Andy, with a smile. "I met a gentleman at dinner, who offered to take me into his employment."

"What business?"

"Real estate."

"What is the firm?"

"John Crawford & Co."

"I know of the house. The office is on lower Broadway. It is a big firm."

"I am glad of that."

"How much are you to get?"

"Five dollars a week."

"Won't you find it hard to live on that?"

"I have got another place, too."

"What do you mean?"

"I am to help a boy about his Latin in the evening. I shall get five dollars a week for that, too."

"What! ten dollars a week in all?"

"You are right. I give you credit for your mathematical talent."

"Why, Andy, you are born to good luck! I wish I was paid ten dollars a week," said Sam, rather enviously. "But I didn't know you understood Latin."

"You don't know how learned I am," said Andy, smiling.

"When will you get time for your pupil?"

"In the evening."

"I am sorry for that. I sha'n't often meet you if you are to be occupied day and evening, too."

"We shall meet at breakfast and supper. I sha'n't leave here to go uptown till half-past seven."

"But you can't go to the theater."

"I am willing to give that up for five dollars a week."

"So would I be."

"If I hear of any other boy who needs a Latin tutor I will recommend you."

The next morning Andy reported at Mr. Crawford's office. The office he found to be a large one, consisting of three rooms, one of them small, and appropriated to Mr. Crawford's special use.

In the outer rooms were two or three clerks and a boy. The last, James Grey, was a good-natured looking fellow, but he had no force or efficiency. He had already received notice that he was to be discharged on the coming Saturday.

"I suppose you are coming in my place," said he to Andy.

"I suppose so. I am sorry that I shall be throwing you out of a position."

"Oh, you needn't mind. I am to be telephone boy at an uptown hotel. My cousin got the place for me."

"I am glad of that."

"It will be a soft snap, I think."

"What are the hours?"

"I go on at five o'clock in the afternoon, and stay till midnight."

"Will you like that?"

"Oh, well, I can lie abed the next morning till ten or eleven o'clock, and I won't have much to do when I am on duty. I shall buy a lot of dime novels, and that will fill up the time."

"How do you like the real estate business?"

"Oh, so-so. I guess I'll like being a telephone boy better."

"Andrew, you may go round with James, and he will give you a little idea of your duties," said Mr. Crawford. "James, you can go to the post office now."

"All right, sir."

"I hope you will soon get another place."

"I have got one already, sir."

"Indeed! I am very glad."

"I am to be a telephone boy."

"I wish you success."

As they walked to the post office together, James remarked:

"Mr. Crawford is a nice man, but I guess I don't hustle enough for him."

"I think I can hustle," said Andy.

"Then you'll suit him."

On Saturday night, when James was paid his salary, he received five dollars extra as a present. Andy thought this very kind and considerate on the part of his new employer. To his surprise he, too, was paid half a week's salary--something he did not expect.

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