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|Ragged Dick||Horatio Alger|
Chatham Street And Broadway
|Page 2 of 5||
"Step in and see the articles," said the man, persuasively. "You needn't buy, you know."
"Are all the articles worth more'n a dollar?" asked Dick.
"Yes," said the other, "and some worth a great deal more."
"Such as what?"
"Well, there's a silver pitcher worth twenty dollars."
"And you sell it for a dollar. That's very kind of you," said Dick, innocently.
"Walk in, and you'll understand it."
"No, I guess not," said Dick. "My servants is so dishonest that I wouldn't like to trust 'em with a silver pitcher. Come along, Frank. I hope you'll succeed in your charitable enterprise of supplyin' the public with silver pitchers at nineteen dollars less than they are worth."
"How does he manage, Dick?" asked Frank, as they went on.
"All his articles are numbered, and he makes you pay a dollar, and then shakes some dice, and whatever the figgers come to, is the number of the article you draw. Most of 'em aint worth sixpence."
A hat and cap store being close at hand, Dick and Frank went in. For seventy-five cents, which Frank insisted on paying, Dick succeeded in getting quite a neat-looking cap, which corresponded much better with his appearance than the one he had on. The last, not being considered worth keeping, Dick dropped on the sidewalk, from which, on looking back, he saw it picked up by a brother boot-black who appeared to consider it better than his own.
They retraced their steps and went up Chambers Street to Broadway. At the corner of Broadway and Chambers Street is a large white marble warehouse, which attracted Frank's attention.
"What building is that?" he asked, with interest.
"That belongs to my friend A. T. Stewart," said Dick. "It's the biggest store on Broadway.* If I ever retire from boot-blackin', and go into mercantile pursuits, I may buy him out, or build another store that'll take the shine off this one."
* Mr. Stewart's Tenth Street store was not open at the time Dick spoke.
"Were you ever in the store?" asked Frank.
"No," said Dick; "but I'm intimate with one of Stewart's partners. He is a cash boy, and does nothing but take money all day."
"A very agreeable employment," said Frank, laughing.
"Yes," said Dick, "I'd like to be in it."
The boys crossed to the West side of Broadway, and walked slowly up the street. To Frank it was a very interesting spectacle. Accustomed to the quiet of the country, there was something fascinating in the crowds of people thronging the sidewalks, and the great variety of vehicles constantly passing and repassing in the street. Then again the shop-windows with their multifarious contents interested and amused him, and he was constantly checking Dick to look in at some well-stocked window.
"I don't see how so many shopkeepers can find people enough to buy of them," he said. "We haven't got but two stores in our village, and Broadway seems to be full of them."
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