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|Ragged Dick||Horatio Alger|
Dick Receives A Letter
|Page 1 of 4||
It was about a week after Dick's recovery of his bank-book, that Fosdick brought home with him in the evening a copy of the "Daily Sun."
"Would you like to see your name in print, Dick?" he asked.
"Yes," said Dick, who was busy at the wash-stand, endeavoring to efface the marks which his day's work had left upon his hands. "They haven't put me up for mayor, have they? 'Cause if they have, I shan't accept. It would interfere too much with my private business."
"No," said Fosdick, "they haven't put you up for office yet, though that may happen sometime. But if you want to see your name in print, here it is."
Dick was rather incredulous, but, having dried his hands on the towel, took the paper, and following the directions of Fosdick's finger, observed in the list of advertised letters the name of "RAGGED DICK."
"By gracious, so it is," said he. "Do you s'poseit means me?"
"I don't know of any other Ragged Dick,--do you?"
"No," said Dick, reflectively; "it must be me. But I don't know of anybody that would be likely to write to me."
"Perhaps it is Frank Whitney," suggested Fosdick, after a little reflection. "Didn't he promise to write to you?"
"Yes," said Dick, "and he wanted me to write to him."
"Where is he now?"
"He was going to a boarding-school in Connecticut, he said. The name of the town was Barnton."
"Very likely the letter is from him."
"I hope it is. Frank was a tip-top boy, and he was the first that made me ashamed of bein' so ignorant and dirty."
"You had better go to the post-office to-morrow morning, and ask for the letter."
"P'r'aps they won't give it to me."
"Suppose you wear the old clothes you used to a year ago, when Frank first saw you? They won't have any doubt of your being Ragged Dick then."
"I guess I will. I'll be sort of ashamed to be seen in 'em though," said Dick, who had considerable more pride in a neat personal appearance than when we were first introduced to him.
"It will be only for one day, or one morning," said Fosdick.
"I'd do more'n that for the sake of gettin' a letter from Frank. I'd like to see him."
The next morning, in accordance with the suggestion of Fosdick, Dick arrayed himself in the long disused Washington coat and Napoleon pants, which he had carefully preserved, for what reason he could hardly explain.
When fairly equipped, Dick surveyed himself in the mirror,--if the little seven-by-nine-inch looking-glass, with which the room was furnished, deserved the name. The result of the survey was not on the whole a pleasing one. To tell the truth, Dick was quite ashamed of his appearance, and, on opening the chamber-door, looked around to see that the coast was clear, not being willing to have any of his fellow-boarders see him in his present attire.
He managed to slip out into the street unobserved, and, after attending to two or three regular customers who came down-town early in the morning, he made his way down Nassau Street to the post-office. He passed along until he came to a compartment on which he read ADVERTISED LETTERS, and, stepping up to the little window, said,--
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