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Arrived at his destination Mr. Brown opened a door, and bade Sam enter. It was rather dark, and it was not until his host lighted a candle, that Sam could obtain an idea of the appearance of the room. The ceiling was low, and the furniture scanty. A couple of chairs, a small table, of which the paint was worn off in spots, and a bed in the corner, were the complete outfit of Mr. Brown's home. He set the candle on the table, and remarked apologetically: "I don't live in much style, as you see. The fact is, I am at present in straitened circumstances. When my uncle dies I shall inherit a fortune. Then, when you come to see me, I will entertain you handsomely."
"Is your uncle rich?" asked Sam.
"I should say he was. He's a millionnaire."
"Why don't he do something for you now?"
Mr. Clarence Brown shrugged his shoulders.
"He's a very peculiar manówants to keep every cent as long as he lives. When he's dead it's got to go to his heirs. That's why he lives in a palatial mansion on Madison Avenue, while I, his nephew, occupy a shabby apartment like this."
Sam looked about him, and mentally admitted the justice of the term. It was a shabby apartment, without question. Still, he was to lodge there gratis, and it was not for him to complain.
"By the way," said Mr. Brown, casually, after exploring his pockets apparently without success, "you haven't got a quarter, have you?"
"Yes, I guess so."
"All right; I'll borrow it till to-morrow, if you don't mind."
"Certainly," said Sam, handing over the sum desired.
"I'll go out and get some whiskey. My system requires it. You won't mind being left alone for five minutes."
"Very good. I won't stay long."
Mr. Brown went out, and our hero sat down on the bed to wait for him.
"So this is my first night in the city," he thought. "I expected they had better houses. This room isn't half so nice as I had at the deacon's. But then I haven't got to hoe potatoes. I guess I'll like it when I get used to it. There isn't anybody to order me round here."
Presently Mr. Brown came back. He had a bottle partially full of whiskey with him.
"Sorry to keep you waiting," he said. "Were you lonely?"
"I've got a couple of glasses here somewhere. Oh, here they are. Now we'll see how it tastes."
"Not much for me," said Sam. "I don't think I'll like it."
"It'll be good for your stomach. However, I won't give you much."
He poured out a little in one tumbler for Sam and a considerably larger amount for himself.
"Your health," he said, nodding.
"Thank you," said Sam,
Sam tasted the whiskey, but the taste did not please him. He set down the glass, but his host drained his at a draught.
"Don't you like it?" asked Brown.
"Not very much."
"Don't you care to drink it?"
"I guess not."
"It's a pity it should be wasted."
To prevent this, Mr. Brown emptied Sam's glass also.
"Now, if you are not sleepy, we might have a game of cards," suggested
"I think I'd rather go to bed," said Sam, yawning.
"All right! Go to bed any time. I dare say you are tired. Do you go to sleep easily?"
"In a jiffy."
"Then you won't mind my absence. I've got to make a call on a sick friend, but I shan't be out late. Just make yourself at home, go to sleep, and you'll see me in the morning."
"Thank you, sir."
"Don't bolt the door, as I don't want to wake you up when I come in."
Again Mr. Brown went out, and Sam undressed and got into bed. It was not very comfortable, and the solitary sheet looked as if it had not been changed for three months or more. However, Sam was not fastidious, and he was sleepy. So he closed his eyes, and was soon in the land of dreams.
It was about two hours afterward that Clarence Brown entered the room.
He walked on tiptoe to the bed, and looked at Sam.
"He's fast asleep," he said to himself. "Did he undress? Oh, yes, here are his clothes. I'll take the liberty of examining his pockets, to see whether my trouble is likely to be rewarded."
Brown explored one pocket after the other. He found no pocket-book, for Sam did not possess any. In fact he had never felt the need of one until he appropriated the deacon's money. The balance of this was tucked away in his vest-pocket.
"Six dollars and ten cents," said Brown, after counting it. "It isn't much of a haul, that's a fact. I thought he had twice as much, at the least. Still," he added philosophically, "it's better than nothing. I shall find a use for it without doubt."
He tucked the money away in his own pocket, and sat on the edge of the bedstead in meditation.
"I may as well go to bed," he reflected. "He won't find out his loss in the night, and in the morning I can be off before he is up. Even if I oversleep myself, I can brazen it out. He's only a green country boy. Probably he won't suspect me, and if he does he can prove nothing."
He did not undress, but lay down on the bed dressed as he was. He, too, was soon asleep, and Sam, unconscious of his loss, slept on. So the money was doubly stolen, and the first thief suffered at the hands of a more experienced thief.
The sun had been up nearly three hours the next morning before Clarence Brown awoke. As he opened his eyes, his glance fell on Sam still asleep, and the events of the evening previous came to his mind.
"I must be up, and out of this," he thought, "before the young greenhorn wakes up."
Being already dressed, with the exception of his coat, he had little to do beyond rising. He crept out of the room on tiptoe, and, making his way to a restaurant at a safe distance, sat down and ordered a good breakfast at Sam's expense.
Meanwhile Sam slept on for half an hour more.
Finally he opened his eyes, and, oblivious of his changed circumstances, was surprised that he had not been called earlier. But a single glance about the shabby room recalled to his memory that he was now beyond the deacon's jurisdiction.
"I am in New York," he reflected, with a thrill of joy. "But where is
He looked in vain for his companion, but no suspicion was excited in his mind.
"He didn't want to wake me up," he thought. "I suppose he has gone to his business."
He stretched himself, and lay a little longer. It was a pleasant thought that there was no stern taskmaster to force him up. He might lie as long as he wanted to, till noon, if he chose. Perhaps he might have chosen, but the claims of a healthy appetite asserted themselves, and Sam sprang out of bed.
"I'll have a good breakfast," he said to himself, "and then I must look around and see if I can't find something to do; my money will soon be out."
It was natural that he should have felt for his money, at that moment, but he did not. No suspicion of Mr. Brown's integrity had entered his mind. You see Sam was very unsophisticated at that time, and, though he had himself committed a theft, he did not suspect the honesty of others.
"I suppose I shall have to go without thanking Mr. Brown, as he don't seem to be here," he reflected. "Perhaps I shall see him somewhere about the streets. I've saved a dollar anyway, or at least seventy-five cents," he added, thinking of the quarter he had lent his hospitable entertainer the evening before. "Perhaps he'll let me sleep here again to-night. It'll be a help to me, as long as I haven't got anything to do yet."
Still Sam did not feel for his money, and was happily unconscious of his loss.
He opened his door, and found his way downstairs into the street without difficulty. The halls and staircases looked even more dingy and shabby in the daytime than they had done in the evening. "It isn't a very nice place to live," thought Sam. "However, I suppose Mr. Brown will be rich when his uncle dies. I wish he was rich now; he might give me a place."
"Shine yer boots?" asked a small knight of the brush.
"No," said Sam, who had grown economical; "they don't need it."
He walked on for five minutes or more. Presently he came to an eating-house. He knew it by the printed bills of fare which were placarded outside.
"Now, I'll have some breakfast," he thought, with satisfaction, and he entered confidently.
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