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thought Joe.

It would not do to be bashful. So he went in.

A stout man in an apron was waiting on the guests. Joe concluded
that this must be the proprietor.

"Sit down, boy," said he, "if you want some dinner."

"I've had my dinner," said Joe. "Don't you want that wood outside
sawed and split?"

"Yes."

"Let me do it."

"Go ahead."

There was a saw and saw-horse outside. The work was not new to Joe,
and he went at it vigorously. No bargain had been made, but Joe knew
so little of what would be considered a fair price that in this first
instance he chose to leave it to his employer.

As he was at work Folsom and his friend passed by.

"Have you found a job already?" said Folsom.

"Yes, sir."

"You have kept your promise, Joe. You said you would take the first
job that offered."

"Yes, Mr. Folsom; I meant what I said."

"Come round to the Leidesdorff House this evening and tell me how you
made out."

"Thank you, sir, I will."

"That seems a smart boy," said Carter.

"Yes, he is. Help him along if you have a chance."

"I will. I like his pluck."

"He has no false pride. He is ready to do anything."

"Everybody is here. You know Jim Graves, who used to have his
shingle up as a lawyer on Nassau Street?"

"Yes. Is he here?"

"He has been here three months. What do you think he is doing?"

"I couldn't guess."

"I don't think you could. He has turned drayman." Charles Folsom
gazed at his friend in wonder.

"Turned drayman!" he exclaimed. "Is he reduced to that?"

"Reduced to that! My dear fellow, you don't understand the use of
language. Graves is earning fifteen dollars a day at his business,
and I don't believe he made that in New York in a month."

"Well, it is a strange state of society. Does he mean to be a
drayman all his life?"

"Of course not. A year hence he may be a capitalist, or a lawyer
again. Meanwhile he is saving money."

"He is a sensible man, after all; but, you see, Carter, it takes time
to adjust my ideas to things here. The first surprise was your rough
appearance."

"There is one advantage my rough life has brought me," said Carter.
"It has improved my health. I was given to dyspepsia when I lived in
New York. Now I really believe I could digest a tenpenny nail,
or - an eating-house mince pie, which is more difficult."

"You have steep hills in San Francisco."

"Yes, it is something of a climb to the top of Clay Street Hill.
When you get to the top you get a fine view, though."

Now the hill may be ascended in cars drawn up the steeply graded
sides by an endless rope running just below the surface. No such
arrangement had been thought of then. Folsom gave out when he had
completed half the ascent.

"I'll be satisfied with the prospect from here," he said.

Meanwhile Joe kept steadily at his task.

"It will take me three hours and a half, possibly four," he said to
himself, after a survey of the pile. "I wonder what pay I shall
receive."

While thus employed many persons passed him.

One among them paused and accosted him.

"So you have found work already?" he said.

Looking up, Joe recognized Harry Hogan, the man who had swindled him.
He didn't feel inclined to be very social with this man.

"Yes," said he coldly.

"Rather strange work for a first-class passenger."

He envied Joe because he had traveled first-class, while he had
thought himself fortunate, with the help his dishonesty gave him, in
being able to come by steerage.

"It is very suitable employment for a boy who has no money," said Joe.

"How much are you going to be paid for the job?" asked Hogan, with
sudden interest, for ten dollars constituted his only remaining funds.

If his theft on shipboard had not been detected he would have been
better provided.

"I don't know," said Joe shortly.

"You didn't make any bargain, then?"

"No."

"What are you going to do next?" inquired Hogan.

"I don't know," said Joe.

Hogan finally moved off.

"I hate that boy," he soliloquized. "He puts on airs for a country
boy. So he's getting too proud to talk to me, is he? We'll see, Mr.
Joseph Mason."

Joe kept on till his task was completed, put on his coat and went
into the restaurant.

It was the supper-hour.

"I've finished the job," said Joe, in a businesslike tone.

The German took a look at Joe's work.

"You did it up good," he said. "How much you want?"

"I don't know. What would be a fair price?"

"I will give you some supper and five dollars."

Joe could hardly believe his ears. Five dollars and a supper for
four hours' work! Surely he had come to the Land of Gold in very
truth.

"Will dat do?"

"Oh, yes," said Joe. "I didn't expect so much."

"You shouldn't tell me dat. It isn't business."

Joe pocketed the gold piece which he received with a thrill of
exultation. He had never received so much in value for a week's work
before. Just then a man paid two dollars for a very plain supper.

"That makes my pay seven dollars," said Joe to himself. "If I can
get steady work, I can get rich very quick," he thought.

There was one thing, however, that Joe did not take into account. If
his earnings were likely to be large, his expenses would be large,
too. So he might receive a good deal of money and not lay up a cent.

"Shall you have any more work to do?" asked Joe.

"Not shoost now," answered the German. "You can look round in a
week. Maybe I have some then."




CHAPTER XIII

JOE'S HOTEL

Before going to the Leidesdorff House to call upon his friend Folsom,
Joe thought he would try to make arrangements for the night.

He came to the St. Francis Hotel, on the corner of Dupont and Clay
Streets. There was an outside stair that led to the balcony that ran
all round the second story. The doors of the rooms opened upon this
balcony.

A man came out from the office.

"Can I get lodging here?" asked Joe.

"Yes."

"How much do you charge?"

"Three dollars."

"He must take me for a millionaire," thought Joe.

"I can't afford it," he said.

As Joe descended the stairs he did not feel quite so rich. Six
dollars won't go far when lodging costs three dollars and supper two.

Continuing his wanderings, Joe came to a tent, which seemed to be a
hotel in its way, for it had "Lodgings" inscribed on the canvas in
front.

"What do you charge for lodgings?" Joe inquired.

"A dollar," was the reply.

Looking in, Joe saw that the accommodations were of the plainest.
Thin pallets were spread about without pillows. Joe was not used to
luxury but to sleep here would be roughing it even for him. But he
was prepared to rough it, and concluded that he might as well pass
the night here.

"All right!" said he. "I'll be round by and by."

"Do you want to pay in advance to secure your bed?"

"I guess not; I'll take the risk."

Joe went on to the Leidesdorff Hotel and was cordially received by
Mr. Folsom.

"How much have you earned to-day, Joe?"

"Five dollars and my supper."

"That's good. Is the job finished?"

"Yes, sir."

"And you have nothing in view for to-morrow?"

"No, sir; but I guess I shall run across a job."

"Where are you going to spend the night?"

"In a tent a little way down the street."

"How much will they charge you?"

"One dollar."

"I wish my bed was large enough to hold two; you should be welcome to
a share of it. But they don't provide very wide bedsteads in this
country."

Mr. Folsom's bed was about eighteen inches wide.

"Thank you, sir," said Joe; "I shall do very well in the tent, I am
sure."

"I am thinking of making a trip to the mines with my friend Carter,"
continued Folsom. "Very likely we shall start to-morrow. Do you
want to go with us?"

"I expect to go to the mines," said Joe, "but I think I had better
remain awhile in San Francisco, and lay by a little money. You know
I am in debt."

"In debt?"

"Yes, for my passage. I should like to pay that off."

"There is no hurry about it, Joe."

"I'd like to get it off my mind, Mr. Folsom."

About nine o'clock Joe left the hotel and sought the tent where he
proposed to pass the night. He was required to pay in advance, and
willingly did so.




CHAPTER XIV

JOE'S SECOND DAY

Joe woke up at seven o'clock the next morning. Though his bed was
hard, he slept well, for he was fatigued. He stretched himself and
sat up on his pallet. It is needless to say that he had not
undressed. Three or four men were lying near him, all fast asleep
except one, and that one he recognized as Henry Hogan.

"Halloo!" said Hogan. "You here?"

"Yes," said Joe, not overpleased at the meeting.

"We seem to keep together," said Hogan, with a grin.

"So it seems," said Joe coldly.

Hogan, however, seemed disposed to be friendly.

"Pretty rough accommodations for the money."

"It doesn't make so much difference where money is earned easily."

"How much money did you make yesterday?"

Joe's first thought was to tell him it was none of his business, but
he thought better of it.

"I made seven dollars," said he, rather proudly.

"Pretty good, but I beat you," said Hogan.

"How much did you make?"

"I'll show you."

Hogan showed five half-eagles.

"I made it in ten minutes," he said.

Joe was decidedly mystified.

"You are fooling me," he said.

"No, I am not. I made it at the gaming-table."

"Oh!" said Joe, a little startled, for he had been brought up to
think gambling wicked.

"Better come and try your luck with me," said Hogan. "It is easier
and quicker than sawing wood."

"Perhaps it is," said Joe, "but I'd rather saw wood."

"I suspect you are a young Puritan."

"Perhaps I am," said Joe. "At any rate, I don't mean to gamble."

"Just as you like. I can't afford to be so particular."

"You don't seem to be very particular," said Joe.

"What do you mean?" inquired Hogan suspiciously.

"You know well enough," said Joe. "You know the way you had of
getting money in New York. You know the way you tried to get it on
board the steamer."

"Look here, young fellow," said Hogan menacingly, "I've heard enough
of this. You won't find it safe to run against me. I'm a tough
customer, you'll find."

"I don't doubt it," said Joe.

"Then just be careful, will you? I ain't going to have you slander
me and prejudice people against me, and I mean to protect myself. Do
you understand me?"

"I think I do, Mr. Hogan, but I don't feel particularly alarmed."

Joe got up and went out in search of breakfast. Be thought of the
place where he took supper but was deterred from going there by the
high prices.

"I suppose I shall have to pay a dollar for my breakfast," he
thought, "but I can't afford to pay two. My capital is reduced to
five dollars and I may not be able to get anything to do to-day."

Joe finally succeeded in finding a humble place where for a dollar he
obtained a cup of coffee, a plate of cold meat, and as much bread as
he could eat.

"I shall have to make it do with two meals a day," thought our hero.
"Then it will cost me three dollars a day to live, including lodging,
and I shall have to be pretty lucky to make that."

After breakfast Joe walked about the streets, hoping that something
would turn up. But his luck did not seem to be so good as the day
before. Hour after hour passed and no chance offered itself. As he
was walking along feeling somewhat anxious, he met Hogan.

"Lend me a dollar," said Hogan quickly. "I'm dead broke."

"Where has all your money gone?" asked Joe,

"Lost it at faro. Lend me a dollar and I'll win it all back."

"I have no money to spare," said Joe decidedly.

"Curse you for a young skinflint!" said Hogan, scowling. "I'll get
even with you yet."




CHAPTER XV

THE FOILED ASSASSIN

About four o'clock Joe went into a restaurant and got some dinner.
In spite of his wish to be economical, his dinner bill amounted to a
dollar and a half, and now his cash in hand was reduced to two
dollars and a half.

Joe began to feel uneasy.

"This won't do," he said to himself. "At this rate I shall soon be
penniless. I must get something to do."

In the evening he strolled down Montgomery Street to Telegraph Hill.
It was not a very choice locality, the only buildings being shabby
little dens, frequented by a class of social outlaws who kept
concealed during the day but came out at night - a class to which the
outrages frequent at this time were rightly attributed.

Joe was stumbling along the uneven path, when all at once he found
himself confronted by a tall fellow wearing a slouched hat. The man
paused in front of him, but did not say a word. Finding that he was
not disposed to move aside, Joe stepped aside himself. He did not as
yet suspect the fellow's purpose. He understood it, however, when a
heavy hand was laid on his shoulder.

"Quick, boy, your money!" said the ruffian.

Having but two dollars and a half, Joe naturally felt reluctant to
part with it, and this gave him the courage to object.

"I've got none to spare," he said and tried to tear himself away.

His resistance led the fellow to suspect that he had a considerable
sum with him. Joe felt himself seized and carried into a den close
by, which was frequented by thieves and desperate characters.

There was a counter, on which was set a dim oil-lamp. There were a
few bottles in sight, and a villainous-looking fellow appeared to
preside over the establishment. The latter looked up as Joe was
brought in.

"Who have you there?" asked the barkeeper.

"A young cove as don't want to part with his money."

"You'd better hand over what you've got, young 'un."

Joe looked from one to the other and thought he had never seen such
villainous faces before.

"What are you lookin' at?" demanded his captor suspiciously, "You
want to know us again, do you? Maybe you'd like to get us hauled up,
would you?"

"I don't want ever to set eyes on you again."

"That's the way to talk. As soon as our business is over, there
ain't no occasion for our meetin' again. Don't you go to point us
out, or - - "

He didn't finish the sentence, but whipped out a long knife, which
made any further remarks unnecessary.

Under the circumstances, resistance would be madness and Joe drew out
his money.

"Is that all you've got?" demanded the thief.

"Every cent," said Joe. "It won't leave me anything to pay for my
night's lodging."

"Then you can sleep out. I've done it many a time. But I'll take
the liberty of searching you, and seeing if you tell the truth or
not."

"Just as you like," said Joe.

Joe was searched, but no more money was found.

"The boy's told the truth," said his captor. "Two dollars and a half
is a pretty small haul."

"I am sorry, gentlemen, that I haven't anything more. It isn't my
fault, for I've tried hard to get something to do to-day, and
couldn't."

"You're a cool customer," said the barkeeper.

"I expect to be to-night, for I shall have to sleep out."

"You can go," said his captor, as he opened the door of the den; "and
don't come round here again, unless you've got more money with you."

"I don't think I shall," said Joe.

When Joe found himself penniless, he really felt less anxious than
when he had at least money enough to pay for lodging and breakfast.
Having lost everything, any turn of fortune must be for the better.

"Something has got to turn up pretty quick," thought Joe. "It's just
as well I didn't get a job to-day. I should only have had more money
to lose."

He had not walked a hundred feet when his attention was called to the
figure of a gentleman walking some rods in front of him. He saw it
but indistinctly, and would not have given it a second thought had he
not seen that the person, whoever he might be, was stealthily
followed by a man who in general appearance resembled the rascal who
had robbed him of his money. The pursuer carried in his hand a
canvas bag filled with sand. This, though Joe did not know it, was a
dangerous weapon in the hands of a lawless human. Brought down
heavily upon the head of an unlucky traveler, it often produced
instant death, without leaving any outward marks that would indicate
death from violence.

Though Joe didn't comprehend the use of the sand-bag, his own recent
experience and the stealthy movement of the man behind convinced him
that mischief was intended. He would have been excusable if, being
but a boy and no match for an able-bodied ruffian, he had got out of
the way. But Joe had more courage than falls to the share of most
boys of sixteen. He felt a chivalrous desire to rescue the
unsuspecting stranger from the peril that menaced him.

Joe, too, imitating the stealthy motion of the pursuer, swiftly
gained upon him, overtaking him just as he had the sand-bag poised
aloft, ready to be brought down upon the head of the traveler.

With a cry, Joe rushed upon the would-be assassin, causing him to
stumble and fall, while the gentleman in front turned round in
amazement.

Joe sprang to his side.

"Have you a pistol?" he said quickly.

Scarcely knowing what he did, the gentleman drew out a pistol and put
it in Joe's hand. Joe cocked it, and stood facing the ruffian.

The desperado was on his feet, fury in his looks and a curse upon his
lips. He swung the sand-bag aloft.

"Curse you!" he said. "I'll make you pay for this!"

"One step forward," said Joe, in a clear, distinct voice, which
betrayed not a particle of fear, "and I will put a bullet through
your brain!"

The assassin stepped back. He was a coward, who attacked from
behind. He looked in the boy's resolute face, and he saw he was in
earnest.

"Put down that weapon, you whipper-snapper!"

"Not much!" answered Joe.

"I've a great mind to kill you!"

"I've no doubt of it," said our hero; "but you'd better not attack
me. I am armed, and I will fire if you make it necessary. Now, turn
round and leave us."

"Will you promise not to shoot?"

"Yes, if you go off quietly."

The order was obeyed, but not very willingly.

When the highwayman had moved off, Joe said:

"Now, sir, we'd better be moving, and pretty quickly, or the fellow
may return, with some of his friends, and overpower us. Where are
you stopping?"

"At the Waverly House."

"That is near-by. We will go there at once."

They soon reached the hotel, a large wooden building on the north
side of Pacific Street.

Joe was about to bid his acquaintance good night but the latter
detained him.

"Come in, my boy," he said. "You have done me a great service. I
must know more of you."

CHAPTER XVI

JOE'S NEW FRIEND

"Come up to my room," said the stranger.

He obtained a candle at the office, gas not being used in San
Francisco at that time, and led the way to a small chamber on the
second floor.

"Now, sit down, my boy, and tell me your name."

"Joseph Mason."

"How long have you been here?"

"Less than a week."

"I only arrived yesterday. But for your help, my residence might
have been a brief one."

"I am glad I have been able to be of service to you."

"You were a friend in need, and a friend in need is a friend indeed.
It is only fair that I should be a friend to you. It's a poor rule
that doesn't work both ways."

Joe was favorably impressed with the speaker's appearance. He was a
man of middle height, rather stout, with a florid complexion, and an
open, friendly face.

"Thank you, sir," he said, "I need a friend, and shall be glad of
your friendship."

"Then here's my hand. Take it, and let us ratify our friendship."

Joe took the proffered hand and shook it cordially.

"My name is George Morgan," said the stranger. "I came from
Philadelphia. Now we know each other. Where are you staying?"

Joe's face flushed and he looked embarrassed.

"Just before I came up with you," he answered, thinking frankness
best, "I was robbed of two dollars and a half, all the money I had in
this world. I shall have to stop in the streets to-night."

"Not if I know it," said Morgan emphatically. "This bed isn't very
large, but you are welcome to a share of it. To-morrow we will form
our plans."

"Shan't I inconvenience you, sir?" asked Joe.

"Not a bit," answered Morgan heartily.

"Then I will stay, sir, and thank you. After the adventure I have
had to-night, I shouldn't enjoy being out in the streets."

"Tell me how you came to be robbed. Was it by the same man who made
the attack upon me?"

"No, sir. I wish it had been, as then I should feel even with him.
It was a man that looked very much like him, though."

Joe gave an account of the robbery, to which his new friend listened
with attention.

"Evidently," he said, "the street we were in is not a very safe one.
Have you had any supper?"

"Oh, yes, sir. Luckily, I got that and paid for it before I had my
money taken."

"Good. Now, as I am tired, I will go to bed, and you can follow when
you feel inclined."

"I will go now, sir. I have been walking the streets all day, in
search of work, and, though I found none, I am tired, all the same."

They woke up at seven o'clock.

"How did you rest, Joe?" asked George Morgan.

"Very well, sir."

"Do you feel ready for breakfast?"

"As soon as I can earn money enough to pay for it."

"Don't trouble yourself about that. You are going to breakfast with
me."

"You are very kind, Mr. Morgan, but I wish you had some work for me
to do, so that I could pay you."

"That may come after awhile. It might not be safe to delay your
breakfast till you could pay for it. Remember, you have done me a
great service, which fifty breakfasts couldn't pay for."

"Don't think of that, Mr. Morgan," said Joe modestly. "Anybody would
do what I did."

"I am not sure whether everybody would have the courage. But you
must leave me to show my appreciation of your services in my own way."

They took breakfast in the hotel and walked out.

Though it was early, the town was already astir. People got up early
in those days. Building was going on here and there. Draymen were
piloting heavy loads through the streets - rough enough in general
appearance, but drawn from very unlikely social grades.

"By Jove!" said Morgan, in surprise, his glance resting on a young
man of twenty-five, who was in command of a dray. "Do you hear that
drayman?"

"Is he a foreigner?" asked Joe. "I don't understand what he is
saying."

"He is talking to his horse in Greek, quoting from Homer. Look here,
my friend!" he said, hailing the drayman.

"What is it, sir?" said the young man courteously.

"Didn't I hear you quoting Greek just now?"

"Yes, sir."

"How happens it that a classical scholar like you finds himself in
such a position?"

The young man smiled.

"How much do you think I am earning?"

"I can't guess. I am a stranger in this city."

"Twenty dollars a day."

"Capital! I don't feel as much surprised as I did. Are you a
college graduate?"

"Yes, sir. I was graduated at Yale. Then I studied law and three
months since I came out here. It takes time to get into practise at
home and I had no resources to fall back upon. I raised money enough
to bring me to California and came near starving the first week I was
here. I couldn't wait to get professional work, but I had an offer
to drive a dray. I am a farmer's son and was accustomed to hard work
as a boy. I accepted the offer and here I am. I can lay up half my
earnings and am quite satisfied."

"But you won't be a drayman all your life?"

"Oh, no, sir. But I may as well keep at it till I can get into
something more to my taste."

And the young lawyer drove off.

"It's a queer country," said Morgan. "It's hard to gauge a man by
his occupation here, I see."

"I wish I could get a dray to drive," said Joe.

"You are not old enough or strong enough yet. I am looking for some
business myself, Joe, but I can't at all tell what I shall drift
into. At home I was a dry-goods merchant. My partner and I
disagreed and I sold out to him. I drew ten thousand dollars out of
the concern, invested four-fifths of it, and have come out here with
the remainder, to see what I can do."

"Ten thousand dollars! What a rich man you must be!" said Joe.

"In your eyes, my boy. As you get older, you will find that it will
not seem so large to you. At any rate, I hope to increase it
considerably."

They were walking on Kearny Street, near California Street, when
Joe's attention was drawn, to a sign:

THIS RESTAURANT FOR SALE

It was a one-story building, of small dimensions, not fashionable,


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