Horatio Alger.

Slow and sure, or, From the street to the shop online

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the first time, a question of doubt arose in his mind.
He was called upon to do something which would
injure Paul, whose kindness had produced a strong
impression upon him. Should he do it? This led
him to consider how far he was bound to obey Jack
Morgan. He could not see that he had anything to
be grateful for. If Jack was flush, he received some
slight advantage. On the other hand, he was
expected to give most of his earnings to his guar
dian, when they were living together. While he was
thinking, the man opened his eyes.

" Awake, eh? " he asked.

" Yes," said Julius.

"What time is it?"

" The clock has gone seven."

"I can tell that by my stomach. Tve got a
healthy appetite this morning. Have you got any


" Not a penny, Jack."

" That's bad. Just feel in the pocket of my
breeches ; there they are on the floor. See if you can
find anything."

Julius rose from the pallet, and did as he was

" There's twelve cents," he said.

" Good. We'll divide. We can get a breakfast
at Brady's Free Lunch Saloon. Take six cents of
it. I aint going to get up yet."

" All right," said the boy.

" You must look sharp, and pick up some money
before night, or we shall go to bed hungry. Do you

" Yes, Jack."

" When Marlowe and I get hold of that gold and
plate in Madison Avenue, we'll have a grand blow-
out. You remember what Marlowe told you last

" About the boy that keeps the neck-tie stand near
Day Street?"


" I am to find out all I can about him."


" Yes. See if you can find out if he has any
friends out of the city.'

Julius nodded.

" We want to have the coast clear, so that we can
break in next Monday night. The sooner the better.
Fm dead broke, and so is Marlowe ; but I guess we
can stand it till then."

"All right."

Jack Morgan turned over and composed himself to
sleep again. He had said all he thought necessary,
and had no pressing business to call him up. Julius
opened the door, and went out ; down the rickety
stairs, and out through a narrow covered alley-way to
the street, for the room which Jack Morgan and he
occupied was in a rear tenement house. Several
dirty and unsavory-looking children, — they could not
well be otherwise in such a locality, — barefooted,
and bareheaded, were playing in the court. Julius
passed them by, and sauntered along towards the
City Hall Park. He met several acquaintances,
newsboys and boot-blacks, the former crying the
news, the latter either already employed, or looking
for a job.


"Where are you goin', Julius?" asked a boot-
black of his acquaintance.

" Goin' to get breakfast."

"Got any stamps?

" Sixpence."

" You can't get a square meal for that."

" I'm goin' to ' free-lunch places.' "

" That's good if you're hard up. What are yoo
doin' now ? "

" Nothing much."

" Why don't you black boots? "

" Haven't got any box or brush."

" You can borrow mine, if you'll give me half you

" What are you goin' to do ? "

" I'll try sellin' papers for a change."

" I'll do it," said Julius, promptly, for he saw that
the arrangement would, under the circumstances, be
a good one for him. " Wliere'll I see you to-

" I'll be here at six o'clock."

" All right. Hand over your box."

So the business arrangement was concluded, —


an arrangement not uncommon among street profes-
sionals. It is an illustration, on a small scale, of
the advantage of capital. The lucky possessor of
two or three extra blacking-boxes has it in his power
to derive quite a revenue, enormous, when the amount
of his investment is considered. As a general thing,
such contracts, however burdensome to one party, are
faithfully kept. It might be supposed that boys of
ordinary shrewdness would as soon as possible save
up enough to buy a box and brush of their own ; but
as they only receive half profits, that is not easy
after defraying expenses of lodging and meals.

Julius obtained one job before going to breakfast -
He waited for another, but as none seemed forthcom
ing, he shouldered his box, and walked down Nassau
Street, till he reached a basement over which was the
sign, Free Lunch. He went downstairs, and entered
a dark basement room. On one side was a bar, with
a variety of bottles exposed. At the lower end of
the apartment was a table, containing a couple of
plates of bread and butter, and slices of cold meat.
This was the free lunch, for which no charge waa
made, but it was understood to be free to those only


who had previously ordered and paid for a drink.
Many came in only for the drinks ; so that on the
whole the business was a paying one.

Julius walked up to the bar, and called for a glass
of lager.

" Here, Johnny," said the barkeeper.

While he was drinking, a miserable-looking man,
whose outward appearance seemed to indicate that
Fortune had not smiled upon him lately, sidled in,
and, without coming to the bar, walked up to the
table where the free lunch was spread out.

" What'll you have to drink, my friend?" asked
the barkeeper, pointedly.

The man looked rather abashed, and fumbled in his

" I'm out of money," he stammered

" Then keep away from the lunch, if you please,"
said the proprietor of the establishment. " No
lunch without a drink. That's my rule."

" I'm very hungry," faltered the man, in a weak
voice. " I haven't tasted food for twenty-four hours."

u Why don't you work? "

" I can't get work."


" That's your lookout. My lunch is for those
who drink first."

Julius had listened to this conversation with atten-
tion. He knew what it was to be hungry. More
than once he had gone about with an empty stomach,
and no money to buy food. He saw that the mas
was weak and unnerved by hunger, and he spoke on
the impulse of the moment, placing five cents in hia

" Take that, and buy a drink."

" God bless you ! " uttered the man, seizing *b»

" What'll you have?" asked the bar-keeper.

" Anything the money will buy."

A glass of lager was placed in his hands, and
eagerly quaffed. Then, he went up to the table and
ate almost ravenously, Julius bearing him company.

" God bless you, boy ! " he said. " May you
never know what it is to be hungry, and without a
penny in your pocket ! "

" I've knowed it more'n once," said Julius.

" Have you, — already ? Poor boy I What do you
do for a living' "

118 SLOW and sure; ojj,

" Sometimes one thing — sometimes another," said
Julius. " I'm blackin' boots now."

" So I am relieved by the charity of a boot-black,"
murmured the other, thoughtfully. " The boy has a

" Can't you get nothin' to do ? " asked Julius, out
of curiosity.

" Yes, yes, enough to do, but no money," said the

" Look here," said the barkeeper, " don't you eat
all there is on the table. That won't pay on a five-
cent drink, — that won't."

He had some cause for speaking, for the man, who
was almost famished, had already eaten heartily.
He desisted as he heard these words, and turned to
go out.

" I feel better," be said. " I was very weak when
I came in. Thank you, my boy," and he offered Jus
hand to Julius, which the latter took readily.

" It aint nothin'," he said, modestly.

" To me it is a great deal. I hope we shall meet

Street boy as he was, Julius had found some one


more destitute than himself, and out of his own pov-
erty he had relieved the pressing need of another.
It made him feel lighter-hearted than usual. It was
the consciousness of having done a good action,
which generally brings its own reward, however
trifling it may have been.

Though himself uneducated, he noticed that the
man whom he had relieved used better language than
was common among those with whom he was accus-
tomed to associate, and he wondered how such a man
should have become so poor.

" I don't want to see that man again," said the
barkeeper. " He spends five cents, and eats twenty
cents' worth. If all my customers was like that, I
should soon have to stop business. Do you know

" Never seed him afore," said Julius.

He shouldered his box, and ascended the steps to
the sidewalk above. He resolved to look out for
business for the next two hours, and then go around
to the neck-tie stand of Paul Hoffman.

120 slow and sure; om,



Paul Hoffman was standing beside his stock iB
trade, when all at once he heard the question, so
common in that neighborhood, "Shine yer boots ?"

" I guess not," said Paul, who felt that his income
did not yet warrant a daily outlay of ten cents for
what he could easily do himself.

" I'll shine 'em for nothin'," said the boy.

Such a novel proposition induced Paul to notice
more particularly the boy who made it.

"Why for nothing?" he asked in surprise, not
recognizing Julius.

" You gave me a dinner yesterday," said Julius.

" Are you the boy?" asked Paul, with interest.

" I'm the one," answered Julius. " Will you have
a shine?"

** I don't want any pay for the dinner," said Paul
14 You're welcome to it."


" I'd rather give you a shine," persisted Julius.

" All right," said Paul, pleased by his grateful
spirit, and he put out his foot.

* Won't you let me pay you ? " asked Paul, when
the job was finished, and his boots were resplendent
with a first-class polish.

" No," said Julius, hastily drawing back.

" Thank you, then. Have you had good luck this
morning ? "

" I got four shines," said Julius.

" I once blacked boots myself, for a little while,*
said Paul.

" You're doin' better now."

"Yes, I'm doing better now. So will you some
day, I hope."

"Do you live in a house on Madison Avenue?"
asked Julius, abruptly.

" Yes," said Paul, surprised. " Who told you? "

"You take care of the house for a gentleman as
has gone to Europe, don't you ? "

" How do you know it? " demanded Paul.

" I want to tell you something" said Julius, " only
don't you never let on as I told you."

122 SLOW and sure; ojj,

" All right. Go ahead 1 " said Paul, more ai d
more mystified.

"Aint there some gold and bonds kept in the
house ? "

"Why do you ask?" demanded Paul, eying the
boy with suspicion.

" There's a couple of chaps that's plannin* to rob
the house," said Julius, sinking his voice almost to a
whisper, and looking cautiously about him to guard
against being overheard.

"Who are they? How do you know it?" asked
Paul, startled.

" One is Jack Morgan, the man I live with ; the
other is a friend of his, Tom Marlowe."

"Did you hear them talking about it?"

"Yes; last night."

" Did they tell you about it? "

"They wanted me to find out all about you, if
you'd got any friends in Brooklyn, or anywheres
round. They want to get you off the night they're
flfoin' to break in."

"When is that?"

" Next Monday."


" What made you tell me all this ? "

"'Cause you was good to me, and give me a
dinner when I was hungry."

" Give me your hand," said Paul, his heart warm-
ing towards the boy who exhibited so uncommon a
feeling as gratitude.

" It's dirty," said Julius, showing his hand
stained with blacking.

" Never mind," said Paul, grasping it warmly.
'* You're a good fellow, and I'd rather take your hand
than a good many that's cleaner."

Julius, rough Arab as he was, looked gratified,
and his face brightened. He felt that he was appre-
ciated, and was glad he had revealed the plot.

" Now," said Paul, " you have told me about this
man's plans, are you willing to help me further?
Are you willing to let me know anything more that
you find out about the robbery?"

" Yes, I will," said Julius, unhesitatingly.

" Then I'll depend upon you. What sort of a man
is this that you live with? What's his name?"

" His name is Jack Morgan. He's a bad sort, he
is. He's shut up most of the time."


124 slow and sztme; on,

" What makes you stay with him?"

"I'm used to him. There aint nobody else 1
belong to."

"Is he your father?"

" No, he aint."

" Any relation ? "

" Sometimes he says he's my uncle, but maybe it
aint so, — I dunno."

" Is he a strong man?"

" Yes, he's a hard customer in a fight."

" How about the other man?"

" That's Marlowe. He's the same sort. I like
Jack best."

"Do you think they will try to break in next
Monday night ? "

" If they think you are away."

" What will you tell them? "

"What do you want me to tell them?" asked
Julius, looking at him earnestly.

" I don't know," said Paul, thoughtfully. " If you
should say I was going to be away, they'd want to
know where, and how you found out. They might
suspect something."


" That's so," said Julius.

" Suppose they heard that I would remain in the
nouse, what would they do to prevent it ? "

" They might get you took up on a false charge,
and put in the station-house over night, or maybe
they'd seize you if they got a chance, and lock you
up somewhere."

" How could they have heard that Mr. Talbot left
any valuables in the house? "

Julius shook his head. On that point he could
give no information.

" You may tell them," said Paul, after a moment's
thought, " that I have an aunt, Mrs. Green, living in

" Whereabouts in Brooklyn?"

" No. 116 Third Avenue," said Paul, at a venture.
" Can you remember? "

" Yes."

" They will probably send a message from her late
Monday evening, for me to go over there."

"Will you go?"

" I will leave the house, for they will probably be

126 slow and sueb; OJt,

watching ; but I shall not go far, and I sh&U leave the
house well guarded."

Julius nodded.

" Til tell 'em," he said.

He was about to go when Paul called him back.

"Won't you get yourself into trouble?" he said.
" I should not want to have any harm come to

"They won't know I'm in the game," answered

" Will you come to-morrow, and let me know what
they say ? "

" Yes."

Julius crossed Broadway, and turned into Fulton
Street, leaving Paul full of thought. He felt what a
great advantage it was to be forewarned of the im-
pending danger, since being forewarned was fore-
armed, as, with the help of the police, he could pre-
pare for his burglarious visitors. He saw that the
money he had paid for a dinner for a hungry boy
was likely to prove an excellent investment, and he
determined that this should not be the last favor
Julius received from him.


Meanwhile Julius returned to business. With the
help of his blacking materials, he succeeded in earn-
ing a dollar before the close of the day. Unluckily,
half of this was to be given to the young capitalist
who had supplied him with a box and brush ; but still
fifty cents was more than he would probably have
earned if he had been compelled to depend upon
chance jobs. At six o'clock he met his young em-
ployer, and handed over fifty cents, which the other
pocketed with much satisfaction.

" Do you want to take the box ag'in to-morrow?"
he asked.

" Yes," said Julius.

" All right. You can keep it then. You can take
it home with you, and bring me the stamps to-morrow
night at this same hour."

So the contract was continued, and Julius, having
treated himself to some supper, went home.

Jack Morgan was already there. He looked up as
Julius entered.

" Where'd you get that box? " he asked

" I borrered it."

"Of a boy?"

128 slow and sure; 03,

44 Yes ; I give him half I makes."

44 How much did you make to-day? "

44 Ten shines. That was a dollar."

44 And half of it weni to you ? "

44 Yes, Jack."

44 Where is it?"

44 1 had to get my dinner and supper. There's all
that's left."

He handed Jack ten cents.

44 Why didn't you keep the whole of the money? n
grumbled Jack. 44 You needn't have paid the boy."

44 He'd have licked me."

44 Then I'd lick him."

Julius shook his head.

44 That would be cheatin'," he said. 44 1 wouldn't
want to cheat him when he give me the box."

44 Oh, you're gettin' mighty particular," sneered
Jack, not very well satisfied at having so large a
portion of the boy's earnings diverted from him-

"Ifl had a box and brush of my own, I could
keep all the stamps I made," said Julius.

44 I'm dead broke. I can't give you no money to


buy one. Did you go to see that boy I told yon

"Paul Hoffman?"

" Yes, if that's his name."

"Yes, I went to see him."

"And did you find out anything?" asked Jack,
with eagerness.

" Yes."

" Well, out with it, then. Do*'t let me do all the

" He's got an aunt as lives in Brooklyn."


"No. 116 Third Avenue."

" How did you find out ? "

" I got him to talkin\"

" That's good. And did he suspect you?*

" No," said Julius.

"116 Third Avenue," repeated Jack. " I must put
that down. Did he tell you the name ? "

" Mrs. Green."

" That's good. We'll trump up a message from

her late Monday evening. I wish I knew how things

was arranged in the house."

ISO SLOW and sure; OJt,

" Maybe I could go there," said Julius.

"What, to the house?"

"Yes. I could go there in the evening and ask
him if he'd let me have some old clothes. Maybe
he'd invite me upstairs, and — "

"You could use your eyes. That's a good idea
but I don't believe you'd get a chance to go up."

"Shall I try?"

" Yes, you may try to-morrow night. If we make a
haul, you shall have your share. Halloo, Marlowe ! "

These last words were addressed to Marlowe, who
entered unceremoniously without knocking.

" I'm in luck," said Marlowe. " Here's a fiver,"
and he displayed a five-dollar greenback. " Come
out, and we'll have a jolly supper."

Jack accepted the invitation with alacrity, commu-
nicating to his companion, as they walked along, ta®
information Julius had picked up.




It is not very pleasant to be informed that your
bouse is to be entered by burglars. Still, if such an
event is in prospect, it is well to know it beforehand.
While Paul felt himself fortunate in receiving the
information which Julius gave him, he also felt
anxious. However well he might be prepared to
meet the attack, he did not like to have his mother
and Jimmy in the house when it was made. Burg-
lars in nearly every case are armed, and if brought
to bay would doubtless use their arms, and the
possible result of a chance shot was to be dreaded.
On Monday night, therefore, if that should be the one
decided upon by the burglars, he made up his mind
that his mother and Jimmy should sleep out of the
house. He lost no time in proposing this plan to his

132 SLOW and sure; oa

u Mother," said he, on reaching home, " I have
had some news to-day."

44 Not bad, I hope?" said Mrs. Hoflman.

" I leave you to judge," answered Paul, with a
smile. u We are to have visitors next Monday

" Visitors, Paul ? Who are they ? "

44 Mr. Jack Morgan and Mr. Marlowe."

44 Are they friends of yours? I never heard yoa
mention them."

44 1 never saw them, that I know of."

44 Then why did you invite them here ? "

44 They invited themselves."

44 1 don't understand it, Paul. If you don't know
them, why should they invite themselves here?"

44 Perhaps you'll understand me better, mother,
when I tell you their business."

44 What is it?"

44 They are burglars."

44 Burglars ! " repeated Mrs. Hoflman, turning sud-
denly pale, and sinking back into a chair, for she had
been standing.

44 Yes, mother. Thev have fomvjl cwt- though I


•an't tell how, that there are some bonds and plate
*u the safe upstairs, and that is their reason for

"How did you find out, Paul? What a dreadful
thing ! " gasped Mrs. Hoffman.

" It will be worse for them than for us, I am think-
ing," said Paul. "It was a boy told me, — a boy
thstt lives with them. I'll tell you about it."

He gave his mother an account of what had already
been communicated to him.

" Oh, dear, we shall be murdered in our beds ! n
exclaimed his mother, in dismal accents.

Upon this Jimmy began to cry, but Paul only

" I thought you were braver, Jimmy," he said.
4 If I buy you a pistol, will you promise to use it? "

" I don't know," said Jimmy, dubiously. " I should
be afraid to shoot a great big man. Would he have
a pistol, too ? "

" Probably."

At this Jimmy began to cry again, and Paul
hastened to say, " Don't be afraid ; I don't mean to
have you sleep in the house that night."

134 slo w and sure; OB,

44 Where can we go? "

14 1 think Mrs. Norton will let you stop with her
that night."

44 And you will come too, Paul? " said Mrs. Hoff-

44 An:l let the house be robbed, mother? What
would Mr. Preston think of that?"

46 But you will be killed. What can you do against
such bad men ? "

44 What would you recommend, mother ?" asked

44 You might write a letter to them, telling them
you knew all about their plan, and you would have
them arrested if they came."

44 1 don't think, mother," said Paul, laughing,
44 that that would be the best course. I want to get
them here, and catch them. Then they can be shut
up, and we shall be safe from any further attempts.
I am going to police head-quarters, and they will tell
me what to do. Probably two or three officers will
be concealed in the house, and when the burglars are
fairly in will arrest them."

44 You needn't stay, Paul."


*' It is my duty, mothev. We are left by Mr.
Preston in charge of the house and what it contains
Some of us ought to be here at such a time. I will
take care not to get into danger."

Mrs. Hoffman was a woman and a mother, and it
was with difficulty that Paul could convince her that
it was his duty to remain. At length, however, she
acquiesced, and agreed to go and see Mrs. Norton
the next day, and ask permission to remain with her
on Monday night.

The next day Julius came to Paul's stand.

" Is there any news, Julius? " asked Paul.

" Nothin' much," said Julius. " Jack wants me to
call up to your house, and find out where the gold is

" How does he think you are going to do it, with
out my suspecting ? "

" He told me to go up and ask for some old
clothes. Then if you didn't let me into the house, I
was to ask for something to eat."

"A good plan," said Paul. "When are you
coming ? "

" To-night."


" Very well, I'll be ready for you. Is there any
change in the evening ? "

" No. They're comin' Monday night."

" I'll be ready for them," said Paul.

" What are you goin' to do?" asked Julius, and he
fixed a pair of sharp, black eyes on Paul.

" Can I trust you, Julius ? " demanded Paul, with
a keen glance at the boy.

" Yes," said Julius.

" Then," said Paul, " I mean to have them ar-
rested. They'll walk into a trap."

Julius looked thoughtful.

" Don't you like it, Juliu3 ? "

" I dunno," said Ishe boy, slowly.

"Do you like this man, Morgan?"

" I don't like him. I'm used to him."

" And you don't like the idea of his being arrested
through your means ? "

Julius nodded.

" I know how you feel ; but I don't see how it can
be helped. If he didn't rob us, he would rob some-
body else. Did he ever do any honest work ? "

" Not as I knows on."


" How does he live ? "

" By stealill , and gamblin\"

" I hope he won't teach you to follow his example,

" I don't want to be like him."

"Why not?"

" I want to be respectable, like you."

" You know it's wrong to steal."

" Yes," said Julius, but without any great deptt
of conviction. The fact' was, stealing was too
familiar to his observation to excite in him detesta-
tion or horror. But he was a sharp boy. He knew
that his guardian for the last five years had spent
more than half the time in confinement. Even when
free he lived from hand to mouth. Julius had made
up his mind that it did not pay. He saw that an
honest mechanic got a good deal more comfort and
enjoyment out of life than Jack, and he had a vague
wish to become respectable. This was encouraging,
as far as it went. Higher considerations might come
by and by.

"If you want to be respectable, Julius, Fll help
you," said Paul.

C38 slow and sure; OB,

"Will you?" saidJulius.

" Yes, you are doing me a great favor. I shall be

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