Read Books Online, for Free
|Ragged Dick||Horatio Alger|
|Page 2 of 4||
"Most every day. You'd better come too."
"I can't afford it."
"Well, you'd ought to, then," said Dick. "What do you do I'd like to know?"
"I don't get near as much as you, Dick."
"Well you might if you tried. I keep my eyes open,--that's the way I get jobs. You're lazy, that's what's the matter."
Johnny did not see fit to reply to this charge. Probably he felt the justice of it, and preferred to proceed with the breakfast, which he enjoyed the more as it cost him nothing.
Breakfast over, Dick walked up to the desk, and settled the bill. Then, followed by Johnny, he went out into the street.
"Where are you going, Johnny?"
"Up to Mr. Taylor's, on Spruce Street, to see if he don't want a shine."
"Do you work for him reg'lar?"
"Yes. Him and his partner wants a shine most every day. Where are you goin'?"
"Down front of the Astor House. I guess I'll find some customers there."
At this moment Johnny started, and, dodging into an entry way, hid behind the door, considerably to Dick's surprise.
"What's the matter now?" asked our hero.
"Has he gone?" asked Johnny, his voice betraying anxiety.
"Who gone, I'd like to know?"
"That man in the brown coat."
"What of him. You aint scared of him, are you?"
"Yes, he got me a place once."
"Ever so far off."
"What if he did?"
"I ran away."
"Didn't you like it?"
"No, I had to get up too early. It was on a farm, and I had to get up at five to take care of the cows. I like New York best."
"Didn't they give you enough to eat?"
"Oh, yes, plenty."
"And you had a good bed?"
"Then you'd better have stayed. You don't get either of them here. Where'd you sleep last night?"
"Up an alley in an old wagon."
"You had a better bed than that in the country, didn't you?"
"Yes, it was as soft as--as cotton."
Johnny had once slept on a bale of cotton, the recollection supplying him with a comparison.
"Why didn't you stay?"
"I felt lonely," said Johnny.
Johnny could not exactly explain his feelings, but it is often the case that the young vagabond of the streets, though his food is uncertain, and his bed may be any old wagon or barrel that he is lucky enough to find unoccupied when night sets in, gets so attached to his precarious but independent mode of life, that he feels discontented in any other. He is accustomed to the noise and bustle and ever-varied life of the streets, and in the quiet scenes of the country misses the excitement in the midst of which he has always dwelt.
|Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2002