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|Ragged Dick||Horatio Alger|
Nine Months Later
|Page 2 of 4||
"You'll be a rich man some time, Dick," said Henry Fosdick, one evening.
"And live on Fifth Avenoo," said Dick.
"Perhaps so. Stranger things have happened."
"Well," said Dick, "if such a misfortin' should come upon me I should bear it like a man. When you see a Fifth Avenoo manshun for sale for a hundred and seventeen dollars, just let me know and I'll buy it as an investment."
"Two hundred and fifty years ago you might have bought one for that price, probably. Real estate wasn't very high among the Indians."
"Just my luck," said Dick; "I was born too late. I'd orter have been an Indian, and lived in splendor on my present capital."
"I'm afraid you'd have found your present business rather unprofitable at that time."
But Dick had gained something more valuable than money. He had studied regularly every evening, and his improvement had been marvellous. He could now read well, write a fair hand, and had studied arithmetic as far as Interest. Besides this he had obtained some knowledge of grammar and geography. If some of my boy readers, who have been studying for years, and got no farther than this, should think it incredible that Dick, in less than a year, and studying evenings only, should have accomplished it, they must remember that our hero was very much in earnest in his desire to improve. He knew that, in order to grow up respectable, he must be well advanced, and he was willing to work. But then the reader must not forget that Dick was naturally a smart boy. His street education had sharpened his faculties, and taught him to rely upon himself. He knew that it would take him a long time to reach the goal which he had set before him, and he had patience to keep on trying. He knew that he had only himself to depend upon, and he determined to make the most of himself,--a resolution which is the secret of success in nine cases out of ten.
"Dick," said Fosdick, one evening, after they had completed their studies, "I think you'll have to get another teacher soon."
"Why?" asked Dick, in some surprise. "Have you been offered a more loocrative position?"
"No," said Fosdick, "but I find I have taught you all I know myself. You are now as good a scholar as I am."
"Is that true?" said Dick, eagerly, a flush of gratification coloring his brown cheek.
"Yes," said Fosdick. "You've made wonderful progress. I propose, now that evening schools have begun, that we join one, and study together through the winter."
"All right," said Dick. "I'd be willin' to go now; but when I first began to study I was ashamed to have anybody know that I was so ignorant. Do you really mean, Fosdick, that I know as much as you?"
"Yes, Dick, it's true."
"Then I've got you to thank for it," said Dick, earnestly. "You've made me what I am."
"And haven't you paid me, Dick?"
"By payin' the room-rent," said Dick, impulsively. "What's that? It isn't half enough. I wish you'd take half my money; you deserve it."
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