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|Ragged Dick||Horatio Alger|
Chatham Street And Broadway
|Page 4 of 5||
"Did you ever go in there?"
"Yes," said Dick; "there was a friend of mine, Johnny Mullen, he was a newsboy, got run over by a omnibus as he was crossin' Broadway down near Park Place. He was carried to the Hospital, and me and some of his friends paid his board while he was there. It was only three dollars a week, which was very cheap, considerin' all the care they took of him. I got leave to come and see him while he was here. Everything looked so nice and comfortable, that I thought a little of coaxin' a omnibus driver to run over me, so I might go there too."
"Did your friend have to have his leg cut off?" asked Frank, interested.
"No," said Dick; "though there was a young student there that was very anxious to have it cut off; but it wasn't done, and Johnny is around the streets as well as ever."
While this conversation was going on they reached No. 365, at the corner of Franklin Street.*
* Now the office of the Merchants' Union Express Company.
"That's Taylor's Saloon," said Dick. "When I come into a fortun' I shall take my meals there reg'lar."
"I have heard of it very often," said Frank. "It is said to be very elegant. Suppose we go in and take an ice-cream. It will give us a chance to see it to better advantage."
"Thank you," said Dick; "I think that's the most agreeable way of seein' the place myself."
The boys entered, and found themselves in a spacious and elegant saloon, resplendent with gilding, and adorned on all sides by costly mirrors. They sat down to a small table with a marble top, and Frank gave the order.
"It reminds me of Aladdin's palace," said Frank, looking about him.
"Does it?" said Dick; "he must have had plenty of money."
"He had an old lamp, which he had only to rub, when the Slave of the Lamp would appear, and do whatever he wanted."
"That must have been a valooable lamp. I'd be willin' to give all my Erie shares for it."
There was a tall, gaunt individual at the next table, who apparently heard this last remark of Dick's. Turning towards our hero, he said, "May I inquire, young man, whether you are largely interested in this Erie Railroad?"
"I haven't got no property except what's invested in Erie," said Dick, with a comical side-glance at Frank.
"Indeed! I suppose the investment was made by your guardian."
"No," said Dick; "I manage my property myself."
"And I presume your dividends have not been large?"
"Why, no," said Dick; "you're about right there. They haven't."
"As I supposed. It's poor stock. Now, my young friend, I can recommend a much better investment, which will yield you a large annual income. I am agent of the Excelsior Copper Mining Company, which possesses one of the most productive mines in the world. It's sure to yield fifty per cent. on the investment. Now, all you have to do is to sell out your Erie shares, and invest in our stock, and I'll insure you a fortune in three years. How many shares did you say you had?"
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