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|Ragged Dick||Horatio Alger|
Fosdick Changes His Business
|Page 3 of 4||
"Are your parents living?"
"Only my mother. My father is dead. He was a gentleman," he added, complacently.
"Oh, was he?" said the shop-keeper. "Do you live in the city?"
"Yes, sir. In Clinton Place."
"Have you ever been in a situation before?"
"Yes, sir," said Roswell, a little reluctantly.
"Where was it?"
"In an office on Dey Street."
"How long were you there?"
"It seems to me that was a short time. Why did you not stay longer?"
"Because," said Roswell, loftily, "the man wanted me to get to the office at eight o'clock, and make the fire. I'm a gentleman's son, and am not used to such dirty work."
"Indeed!" said the shop-keeper. "Well, young gentleman, you may step aside a few minutes. I will speak with some of the other boys before making my selection."
Several other boys were called in and questioned. Roswell stood by and listened with an air of complacency. He could not help thinking his chances the best. "The man can see I'm a gentleman, and will do credit to his store," he thought.
At length it came to Fosdick's turn. He entered with no very sanguine anticipations of success. Unlike Roswell, he set a very low estimate upon his qualifications when compared with those of other applicants. But his modest bearing, and quiet, gentlemanly manner, entirely free from pretension, prepossessed the shop-keeper, who was a sensible man, in his favor.
"Do you reside in the city?" he asked.
"Yes, sir," said Henry.
"What is your age?"
"Have you ever been in any situation?"
"I should like to see a specimen of your handwriting. Here, take the pen and write your name."
Henry Fosdick had a very handsome handwriting for a boy of his age, while Roswell, who had submitted to the same test, could do little more than scrawl.
"Do you reside with your parents?"
"No, sir, they are dead."
"Where do you live, then?"
"In Mott Street."
Roswell curled his lip when this name was pronounced, for Mott Street, as my New York readers know, is in the immediate neighborhood of the Five-Points, and very far from a fashionable locality.
"Have you any testimonials to present?" asked Mr. Henderson, for that was his name.
Fosdick hesitated. This was the question which he had foreseen would give him trouble.
But at this moment it happened most opportunely that Mr. Greyson entered the shop with the intention of buying a hat.
"Yes," said Fosdick, promptly; "I will refer to this gentleman."
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