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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesThe Young Outlaw; Or, Adrift In The Streets - Chapter 17. Tim Brady
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The Young Outlaw; Or, Adrift In The Streets - Chapter 17. Tim Brady Post by :spinabifidadad Category :Long Stories Author :Horatio Alger Date :May 2012 Read :3426

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The Young Outlaw; Or, Adrift In The Streets - Chapter 17. Tim Brady

CHAPTER XVII. TIM BRADY

An hour passed, and Clarence Brown did not reappear. He had intended to do so, but reflecting that there was no more to be got out of Sam changed his mind.

Sam lay down on the bench for some time, then raised himself to a sitting posture. He did not feel so sick as at first, but his head ached unpleasantly.

"I won't smoke any more," he said to himself. "I didn't think it would make me feel so bad."

I am sorry to say that Sam did not keep the resolution he then made; but at the time when he is first introduced to the reader, in the first chapter, had become a confirmed smoker.

"Why don't Mr. Brown come back?" he thought, after the lapse of an hour.

He waited half an hour longer, when he was brought to the conviction that Brown had played him false, and was not coming back at all. With this conviction his original suspicion revived, and he made up his mind that Brown had robbed him after all.

"I'd like to punch his head," thought Sam, angrily.

It did not occur to him that the deacon, from whom the money was originally taken, had the same right to punch his head. As I have said, Sam's conscience was not sensitive, and self-interest blinded him to the character of his own conduct.

His experience in smoking had given him a distaste for the Park, for this afternoon at least, and he made his way to the horse-cars determined to return. It did make him feel a little forlorn to reflect that he had no place to return to; no home but the streets. He had not yet contracted that vagabond feeling which makes even them seem homelike to the hundreds of homeless children who wander about in them by day and by night.

He was in due time landed at the Astor House. It was about four o'clock in the afternoon, and he had had nothing to eat since breakfast. But for the cigar, he would have had a hearty appetite. As it was, he felt faint, and thought he should relish some tea and toast. He made his way, therefore, to a restaurant in Fulton street, between Broadway and Nassau streets. It was a very respectable place, but at that time in the afternoon there were few at the tables. Sam had forty cents left. He found that this would allow him to buy a cup of tea, a plate of beefsteak, a plate of toast, and a piece of pie. He disposed of them, and going up to the desk paid his bill. Again he found himself penniless.

"I wonder where I am going to sleep," he thought. "I guess I'll ask some boot-blacks where they live. They can't afford to pay much."

The tea made his head feel better; and, though he was penniless, he began to feel more cheerful than an hour before.

He wandered about till he got tired, leaning against a building sometimes. He began to feel lonely. He knew nobody in the great city except Clarence Brown, whom he did not care to meet again, and the boot-black whose acquaintance he had made the day before.

"I wish I had some other boy with me," thought Sam; "somebody I knew. It's awful lonesome."

Sam was social by temperament, and looked about him to see if he could not make some one's acquaintance. Sitting on the same bench with him--for he was in City Hall Park--was a boy of about his own age apparently. To him Sam determined to make friendly overtures.

"What is your name, boy?" asked Sam.

The other boy looked round at him. He was very much freckled, and had a sharp look which made him appear preternaturally old.

"What do you want to know for?" he asked.

"I don't know anybody here. I'd like to get acquainted."

The street boy regarded him attentively to see if he were in earnest, and answered, after a pause, "My name is Tim Brady. What's yours?"

"Sam Barker."

"Where do you live?"

"Nowhere," said Sam. "I haven't got any home, nor any money."

"That's nothing!" said Tim. "No more have I."

"Haven't you?" said Sam, surprised. "Then where are you going to sleep to-night?"

"I know an old wagon, up an alley, where I can sleep like a top."

"Aint you afraid of taking cold, sleeping out of doors?" asked Sam, who, poor as he had always been, had never been without a roof to cover him.

"Take cold!" repeated the boy, scornfully. "I aint a baby. I don't take cold in the summer."

"I shouldn't think you could sleep in a wagon."

"Oh, I can sleep anywhere," said Tim. "It makes no difference to me where I curl up."

"Is there room enough in the wagon for me?" asked Sam.

"Yes, unless some other chap gets ahead of us."

"May I go with you?"

"In course you can."

"Suppose we find somebody else ahead of us."

"Then we'll go somewhere else. There's plenty of places. I say, Johnny, haven't you got no stamps at all?"

"Stamps!"

"Yes, money. Don't you know what stamps is?"

"No. I spent my last cent for supper."

"If you'd got thirty cents we'd go to the theatre."

"What theatre?"

"The Old Bowery."

"Is it good?"

"You bet!"

"Then I wish I had money enough to go. I never went to the theatre in my life."

"You didn't! Where was you raised?" said Tim, contemptuously.

"In the country."

"I thought so."

"They don't have theatres in the country."

"Then I wouldn't live there. It must be awful dull there."

"So it is," said Sam. "That's why I ran away."

"Did you run away?" asked Tim, interested. "Was it from the old man?"

"It was from the man I worked for. He wanted me to work all the time, and I got tired of it."

"What sort of work was it?" asked Tim.

"It was on a farm. I had to hoe potatoes, split wood, and such things."

"I wouldn't like it. It's a good deal more jolly bein' in the city."

"If you've only got money enough to get along," added Sam.

"Oh, you can earn money."

"How?" asked Sam, eagerly.

"Different ways."

"How do you make a livin'?"

"Sometimes I black boots, sometimes I sell papers, then again, I smash baggage."

"What's that?" asked Sam, bewildered.

"Oh, I forgot," exclaimed Tim. "You're from the country. I loaf round the depots and steamboat landin's, and carry carpet-bags and such things for pay."

"Is that smashing baggage?"

"_To be sure."

"I could do that," said Sam, thoughtfully. "Can you make much that way?"

"'Pends on how many jobs you get, and whether the cove's liberal. Wimmen's the wust. They'll beat a chap down to nothin', if they can."

"How much do you get anyway for carrying a bundle?"

"I axes fifty cents, and generally gets a quarter. The wimmen don't want to pay more'n ten cents."

"I guess I'll try it to-morrow, if you'll tell me where to go."

"You can go along of me. I'm goin smashin' myself to-morrer."

"Thank you," said Sam. "I'm glad I met you. You see I don't know much about the city."

"Didn't you bring no money with you?"

"Yes, but it was stolen."

"Was your pockets picked?"

"I'll tell you about it. I was robbed in my sleep."

So Sam told the story of his adventures with Clarence Brown. Tim listened attentively.

"He was smart, he was," said Tim, approvingly.

"He's a rascal," said Sam, hotly, who did not relish hearing his spoiler praised.

"Course he is, but he's smart too. You might a knowed he'd do it."

"How should I know? I thought he was a kind man, that wanted to do me a favor."

Tim burst out laughing.

"Aint you green, though?" he remarked. "Oh my eye, but you're jolly green."

"Am I?" said Sam, rather offended. "Is everybody a thief in New York?"

"Most everybody, if they gets a chance," said Tim, coolly. "Didn't you ever steal yourself?"

Sam colored. He had temporarily forgotten the little adventure that preceded his departure from his country home. After all, why should he be so angry with Clarence Brown for doing the very same thing he had done himself? Why, indeed? But Sam had an answer ready. The deacon did not need the money, while he could not get along very well without it. So it was meaner in Clarence Brown to take all he had, than in him to take what the deacon could so well spare.

I hope my readers understand that this was very flimsy and unsatisfactory reasoning. Stealing is stealing, under whatever circumstances. At any rate Sam found it inconvenient to answer Tim's pointed question.

They talked awhile longer, and then his companion rose from the bench.

"Come along, Johnny," he said. "Let's go to roost."

"All right," said Sam, and the two left the Park.

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