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- Walter Sherwood's Probation - 6/38 -
cheap as possible, though I confess I have not hitherto been nearly as economical as I might have been. Now that I know it is necessary, you shall have no reason to complain of me.
"Your affectionate ward, WALTER SHERWOOD."
"What do you think of that, Gates?" asked Walter, giving the letter to his chum to read.
"Excellent! It shows the right spirit."
"I am glad you think so."
"Do you know, Walter, I think I have more occasion for regret than you? I must bid farewell to my room-mate and this pleasant room."
"To your room-mate, yes, but not necessarily to the room."
"I shall have to furnish it in very different style for the present. I am not sure that I can afford a carpet. The luxury of my present surroundings, I am afraid, will spoil me for humble quarters."
"Don't borrow any trouble about that. I shall leave you the furniture as it stands, and when I come back to college, even if we are in different classes, you must take me in again."
"Of course I will agree to an arrangement so much in my favor, but perhaps your guardian will think you had better sell the furniture and realize what you can."
"No, I am sure he won't. There's nothing mean about Doctor Mack. You can take in any one you please in my place, only I am to come back at the end of a year if things turn out well."
"I heartily hope you will come back, and if you will excuse my saying so, with a more earnest spirit, and a determination to do justice to your really excellent talents."
"Good advice! I'll adopt it. I'll begin to do better at once. I was intending to take a drive this evening, but it would cost me two dollars, and I will stay at home and save the money."
"Come with me on a walk, instead."
"We will go to the top of Mount Legar. At sunset there will be a fine view from there."
"I must stop on the way and pay Mr. Daniels what I owe him. He will lose a good deal by my going away."
"True; but his loss will be your gain."
At the outset of their walk the two students called at the hotel, and found Mr. Daniels on the piazza.
"Glad to see you, Mr. Sherwood," said the landlord briskly.
"I think you will be, Mr. Daniels, for I have come to pay your bills."
"Money is always welcome, Mr. Sherwood. You have no idea how much I lose by trusting students. There was Green, of the last graduating class, left college owing me forty-five dollars. He has gone West somewhere, and I never expect to get a cent of my money."
"You came pretty near losing by me, Daniels."
"How is that?" queried the landlord, looking surprised.
"I've lost a lot of money, or my guardian has for me, and I've got to leave college at the end of this term."
"You don't say so!" ejaculated Mr. Daniels regretfully.
"It's all true. My guardian wrote me about it this morning."
"I suppose you're a good deal cut up about it, Mr. Sherwood."
"Well, I was at first, but I may be able to come back after a year or two. I shall go into some business, and meanwhile my guardian will do what he can to recover the money lost. It isn't so bad, after all."
"I shall be sorry to have you go, Mr. Sherwood."
"You will miss my bills, at any rate. I wouldn't have given that supper the other evening if I had known how things stood. I would have put the thirty dollars to better use."
"Well, you've paid up like a gentleman, anyway. I hope you'll come back in a year as rich as ever. You wanted a team to-night, James told me."
"That was before I got my guardian's letter. I shall walk, instead of taking a carriage-ride."
"I will let the account stand, if you wish."
"No. I can't afford to run up any bills. Good night, Mr. Daniels."
"You did right, Walter," said Gates. "It is a bad thing to run up bills."
"Especially when you are poor. It seems odd to be poor."
"I am used to it, Walter. You don't seem very sad over it."
"I am not. That is what puzzles me. I really begin to think I like it."
TRUE FRIEND AND FALSE
A college community is for the most part democratic. A poor student with talent is quite as likely to be a favorite as the heir to a fortune, often more so. But there are always some snobs who care more for dollars than sense. So Walter was destined to find out, for he made no secret of his loss of fortune. Most of his college friends sympathized with him, but there was one who proved unreliable.
This was Harvey Warner, the son of a man who had made a fortune during the Civil War, some said as a sutler. Harvey professed to be very aristocratic, and had paid especial attention to Walter, because he, too, had the reputation of being wealthy. He had invited Walter to pass a couple of weeks at the summer residence of the Warners, near Lake George. This, however, was before he had heard of Walter's loss of fortune. As soon as be learned this, he decided that the invitation must be withdrawn. This would be awkward, as he had been on very intimate terms with our hero, and had been a guest at the banquet.
Not foreseeing the effect of his changed circumstances on the mind of his late friend, Walter, meeting him on the campus the day afterward, called out, familiarly: "How are you, old fellow? Why didn't you come round to my room last evening?"
"I had another engagement, Sherwood," answered Warner, stiffly.
"You ought to give me the preference," said Walter, not observing the other's change of manner.
"Ahem! a man must judge for himself, you know. By the way, is it true that you have lost all your money?"
"I don't know how much I have lost, but I am not coming back to college next year."
"You are in hard luck," said Warner coldly. "By the way, I think we shall have to give up that plan for the summer."
"Why, you know I invited you to visit me at Lake George."
Walter began to comprehend.
"Why, are you not going to be there?" he asked,
"Yes, but the house will be full of other fellows, don't you know."
"So that there will be no room for me," said Walter calmly, looking Warner full in the face.
"Awfully sorry, and all that sort of thing," drawled Warner. "Besides, I suppose you will have to go to work."
"Yes, I expect to go to work--after awhile. Probably I shall take a few weeks for rest. By the way, when did you find out that your home would be full--of other fellows?"
"Got a letter from my sister this morning. Besides--in your changed circumstances, don't you know, you might find it awkward to be living in a style you couldn't keep up."
"Thank you, Warner. You are very considerate. I really didn't give you credit for so much consideration."
"Don't mention it! Of course with your good sense you understand?"
"I think I do."
"And, by the way, I believe you borrowed two dollars of me last week. If it is inconvenient for you to pay the whole at once, you might hand me a dollar."
"And I called that fellow my friend!" said Walter to himself.
"You are very considerate again, but I think I would rather pay the whole at once. Can you change a ten?"
Harvey Warner looked surprised. He had jumped to the conclusion that Walter was the next thing to a pauper, and here he was better supplied with money than himself.
"I am not sure that I have as much money here," he said.
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