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|Ragged Dick||Horatio Alger|
Introduces A Victim Of Misplaced Confidence
|Page 2 of 4||
"All right," said Frank. "That will be the best course. I hope," he added, laughing, "our agreeable lady friend won't be there. I don't care about being accused of stealing again."
"She was a tough one," said Dick. "Wouldn't she make a nice wife for a man that likes to live in hot water, and didn't mind bein' scalded two or three times a day?"
"Yes, I think she'd just suit him. Is that the right car, Dick?"
"Yes, jump in, and I'll follow."
The Sixth Avenue is lined with stores, many of them of very good appearance, and would make a very respectable principal street for a good-sized city. But it is only one of several long business streets which run up the island, and illustrate the extent and importance of the city to which they belong.
No incidents worth mentioning took place during their ride down town. In about three-quarters of an hour the boys got out of the car beside the Astor House.
"Are you goin' in now, Frank?" asked Dick.
"That depends upon whether you have anything else to show me."
"Wouldn't you like to go to Wall Street?"
"That's the street where there are so many bankers and brokers,--isn't it?"
"Yes, I s'pose you aint afraid of bulls and bears,--are you?"
"Bulls and bears?" repeated Frank, puzzled.
"What are they?"
"The bulls is what tries to make the stocks go up, and the bears is what try to growl 'em down."
"Oh, I see. Yes, I'd like to go."
Accordingly they walked down on the west side of Broadway as far as Trinity Church, and then, crossing, entered a street not very wide or very long, but of very great importance. The reader would be astonished if he could know the amount of money involved in the transactions which take place in a single day in this street. It would be found that although Broadway is much greater in length, and lined with stores, it stands second to Wall Street in this respect.
"What is that large marble building?" asked Frank, pointing to a massive structure on the corner of Wall and Nassau Streets. It was in the form of a parallelogram, two hundred feet long by ninety wide, and about eighty feet in height, the ascent to the entrance being by eighteen granite steps.
"That's the Custom House," said Dick.
"It looks like pictures I've seen of the Parthenon at Athens," said Frank, meditatively.
"Where's Athens?" asked Dick. "It aint in York State,--is it?"
"Not the Athens I mean, at any rate. It is in Greece, and was a famous city two thousand years ago."
"That's longer than I can remember," said Dick. "I can't remember distinctly more'n about a thousand years."
"What a chap you are, Dick! Do you know if we can go in?"
The boys ascertained, after a little inquiry, that they would be allowed to do so. They accordingly entered the Custom House and made their way up to the roof, from which they had a fine view of the harbor, the wharves crowded with shipping, and the neighboring shores of Long Island and New Jersey. Towards the north they looked down for many miles upon continuous lines of streets, and thousands of roofs, with here and there a church-spire rising above its neighbors. Dick had never before been up there, and he, as well as Frank, was interested in the grand view spread before them.
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