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- Try and Trust - 1/42 -


TRY AND TRUST

Or, Abner Holden's Bound Boy

BY

HORATIO ALGER, JR. AUTHOR OF "PAUL THE PEDDLER," "FROM FARM BOY TO SENATOR," "SLOW AND SURE," ETC.

THE MERSHON COMPANY RAHWAY, N.J. NEW YORK

TO MY YOUNG FRIEND,

A. FLORIAN HENRIQUES (BOISIE),

THIS VOLUME IS AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED

CONTENTS

I. AROUND THE BREAKFAST TABLE II. INTRODUCING THE HERO III. A COLLISION IV. A DISAGREEABLE SURPRISE V. THE ENVELOPE VI. ON THE WAY VII. A NEW HOME VIII. THE GHOST IN THE ATTIC IX. EXPOSING A FRAUD X. THE CLOUDS GATHER XI. A CRISIS XII. RALPH THE RANGER XIII. A MOMENT OF PERIL XIV. TAKEN PRISONER XV. A FOUR-FOOTED FOE XVI. JUST TOO LATE XVII. NEW ACQUAINTANCES XVIII. A YOUNG ARISTOCRAT XIX. A SUSPICIOUS CHARACTER XX. FACING A BURGLAR XXI. HERBERT'S REWARD XXII. ROBBED IN THE NIGHT XXIII. A BUSINESS CALL XXIV. FINDING A BOARDING PLACE XXV. GETTING A SITUATION XXVI. A FAMILY COUNCIL XXVII. AT THE CONCERT XXVIII. PETER GREENLEAF AGAIN XXIX. SPARRING XXX. AN UNEXPECTED BLOW XXXI. MR. STANTON IS SURPRISED XXXII. RISEN FROM THE DEAD XXXIII. A FRIEND IN NEED XXXIV. CONCLUSION

CHAPTER I

AROUND THE BREAKFAST TABLE

"Well, wife," said Mr. Benjamin Stanton, as he sat down to a late breakfast, "I had a letter from Ohio yesterday."

"From Ohio? Who should write you from Ohio? Anyone I know?"

"My sister, Margaret, you remember, moved out there with her husband ten years ago."

"Oh, it's from her, is it?" said Mrs. Stanton, indifferently.

"No," said her husband with momentary gravity. "It's from a Dr. Kent, who attended her in her last illness. Margaret is dead!"

"Dear me!" returned Mrs. Stanton, uncomfortably; "and I am just out of mourning for my aunt. Do you think it will be necessary for us to go into mourning for your sister?"

"No, I think not," said her husband. "Margaret has lived away from us so long, and people won't know that we have had a death in the family unless we mention it."

"Was that all the letter said--about the death, I mean?"

"Why, no," said Mr. Stanton, with a little frown. "It seems Margaret left a child--a boy of fourteen; and, as she left no property, the doctor suggests that I should send for the boy and assume the care of him."

"Upon my word!" said Mrs. Stanton; "you will find yourself in business if you undertake to provide for all the beggars' brats that apply to you for assistance."

"You must remember that you are speaking of my sister's child," said Mr. Stanton, who, cold and selfish and worldly as he was, had some touch of decency about him, and did not relish the term "beggars' brats," as applied to one so nearly related to him.

"Well, call him what you like," said his wife; "only don't be so foolish as to go spending your money on him when our children need all we have. There's Maria needs a new dress immediately. She says all the girls at Signor Madalini's dancing academy dress elegantly, and she's positively ashamed to appear in any of her present dresses."

"How much will it cost?" asked Mr. Stanton, opening his pocketbook.

"You may hand me seventy-five dollars. I think I can make that do."

Without a word of remonstrance, the money was placed in her hand.

"I want some money, too," said Tom Stanton, who had just disposed of a very hearty meal.

"What do you want it for, Tom?"

"Oh, some of the fellows are getting up a club. It's going to be a select affair, and of course each of us has got to contribute some money. You see, we are going to hire a room, furnish it nicely with a carpet, black walnut furniture, and so on, and that'll cost something."

"Whose idea is it?"

"Well, Sam Paget was the first boy that mentioned it."

"Whose son is he?"

"His father belongs to the firm of Paget, Norwood & Co. He's awful rich."

"Yes, it is one of our first families," said Mr. Stanton, with satisfaction. "Is he a friend of yours, Tom?"

"Oh, yes, we are quit intimate."

"That's right!" said his father, approvingly. "I am glad you choose your friends so well. That's one of the principal reasons I have for sending you to an expensive school, to get you well launched into good society."

"Yes, father, I understand," said Tom. "You won't find me associating with common boys. I hold my head a little too high for that, I can tell you."

"That's right, my boy," said Mr. Stanton, with satisfaction. "And now how much money do you want for this club of yours?"

"Well," said Tom, hesitatingly, "thirty or forty dollars."

"Isn't that considerable?" said his father, surprised at the amount.

"Well, you see, father, I want to contribute as much as any of the boys. It would seem mean if I didn't. There's only a few of us to stand the expense, and we don't want to let in any out of our own set."

"That's true," said Mr. Stanton; "I approve of that. It's all very well to talk about democracy, but I believe in those of the higher orders keeping by themselves."

"Then you'll give the money, father?" said Tom, eagerly.

"Yes, Tom, there's forty dollars. It's more than I ought to spare, but I am determined you shall stand as good a chance as any of your school- fellows. They shan't be able to say that your father stints you in anything that your position requires."

"Thank you, father," said Tom, pocketing the two twenty-dollar bills with great satisfaction.

The fact was that Tom's assessment amounted to only twenty dollars, but he thought it would be a good excuse for getting more out of his father. As to the extra money, Tom felt confident that he could find uses enough for it. He had latterly, though but fourteen years of age, contracted the habit of smoking cigars; a habit which he found rather expensive, especially as he felt bound occasionally to treat his companions. Then he liked, now and then, to drop in and get an ice-cream or some confectionery, and these little expenses counted up.

Mr. Stanton was a vain, worldly man. He was anxious to obtain an entrance into the best society. For this reason, he made it a point to send his children to the most expensive schools; trusting to their forming fashionable acquaintances, through whom his whole family might obtain recognition into those select circles for which he cherished a most undemocratic respect. For this reason it was that, though not naturally liberal, he had opened his purse willingly at the demands of Mrs. Stanton and Tom.

"Well," said Mrs. Stanton, after Tom's little financial affair had been adjusted, "what are you going to write to this doctor? Of course you won't think of sending for your nephew?"

"By no means. He is much better off where he is. I shall write Dr. Kent that he is old enough to earn his own living, and I shall recommend that he be bound out to some farmer or mechanic in the neighborhood. It is an


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