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Having disposed of his circulars, Sam went up to the office.
"Have you distributed all the circulars?" asked the doctor.
"Well, here's the ten cents I promised you."
Sam took it, but stood his ground.
"I sent you up a customer," he said.
"A patient; yes."
"And you made two dollars out of him."
"Who told you?"
"I charged him my regular price. What of that?" asked the doctor, not comprehending Sam's meaning.
"He wouldn't have come up if it hadn't been for me. I think I'd ought to have a commission."
"Oh, that's it," said the doctor. "That doesn't follow. He came up because of the circular."
"No, he didn't," said Sam. "He came up because I told him what a great doctor you was."
The doctor thought over Sam's proposal, and, being a sharp man, he decided that it was for his advantage to secure an alliance with him.
"You are right," he said. "You are entitled to something."
Sam brightened up.
"Here is a quarter in addition to the ten cents I just gave you."
"Thank you, sir," said Sam, gratified.
"Shall I go down, and give away some more circulars?" he asked.
"Yes; I'll give you another hundred. Don't give them away too fast.
It's of no use to give to children."
"All right, sir."
So Sam went down into the street. The first passer-by was a boy of twelve.
"Give me one of them papers," he said.
Rather to his surprise Sam did not immediately comply. He first asked a question.
"Have you got a dollar?"
"A dollar! You don't want a dollar for that paper, do you?"
"No; but I aint goin to waste it on you unless you've got a dollar."
"What do I want of a dollar?" asked the boy, surprised.
"To pay for havin' your corn cured."
The boy burst into a laugh.
"I aint got no corns," he said.
"Then go along, and don't bother me. You're no good."
A young dandy advanced, dressed in the height of fashion, swinging a light cane in his lavender-gloved hand. A rose was in his button-hole, and he was just in the act of saluting a young lady, when Sam thrust a circular into his hand.
"Go right upstairs," he said, "and get your corns cured. Only a dollar."
The young lady burst into a ringing laugh, and the mortified dandy reddened with mortification.
"Keep your dirty paper to yourself, boy," he said. "I am not troubled with those—ah, excrescences."
"I never heard of them things," said Sam. "I said corns."
"Stand out of my way, boy, or I'll cane you," exclaimed the incensed fop.
"Your cane wouldn't hurt," said Sam, regarding the slight stick with disdain. "Never mind; you needn't go up. I don't believe you've got a dollar."
This was rather impudent in Sam, I acknowledge; and the dandy would have been glad to chastise him.
"Miss Winslow," he said, "I hope you won't mind the rudeness of this—ah, ragamuffin."
"Oh, I don't," said the young lady, merrily; "he amuses me."
"So he does me; ha, ha! very good joke," said the dandy, laughing too, but not very merrily. "I hope you are quite well to-day."
"Thank you, quite so. But don't let me detain you, if you have an engagement upstairs."
"I assure you," protested the young man, hurriedly, "that I have no intention of going up at all."
"Then I must say good-morning, at any rate, as I am out shopping;" and the young lady passed on.
"I've a great mind to flog you," said the dandy, frowning at Sam. "I would if you wasn't so dirty. I wouldn't like to soil my hands by taking hold of you."
"That's lucky for you," said Sam, coolly.
The answer was a withering frown, but Sam was tough, and not easily withered.
"Aint he stuck up, though?" thought he, as the young man left him. "He don't seem to like me much."
"Have you got any corns, sir?" he asked, thrusting a paper into the hands of a portly gentleman with a merry face.
The gentleman laughed.
"Really, my boy," he said, "that is a very singular question."
"Is it?" said Sam. "I don't know why."
"Why do you ask?"
"Because Dr. Graham upstairs will cure you before you know it. It's only a dollar."
"You are sure you are not Dr. Graham, yourself?" said the stout man, regarding Sam with an amused expression.
"If I was, I'd wear better clothes," said Sam. "He makes lots of money, the doctor does."
"You'd better learn the business, my young friend."
"I guess I will, if he'll learn me," said Sam. "It'll pay better than standin' here, givin' away papers."
"Don't that pay?"
"Not very well," said Sam. "I only get ten cents a hundred."
"Can you pay your board out of that?"
"No, but I make commissions, besides," said Sam.
"How is that?" asked the stout gentleman, in some curiosity.
"If you'd gone upstairs, and had two corns cured, the doctor,—he'd have given me a quarter."
"Would he really?"
"Yes, he would. Hadn't you better go?"
"I have no occasion for Dr. Graham's services, at present," said the gentleman, laughing, "but still I don't want you to lose by me. Here's a quarter," producing the same from his vest-pocket, and giving it to Sam. "Isn't that just as well as if I had gone up?"
"Thank you, sir. You're a gentleman," said Sam. "Do you come by here often?"
His new acquaintance laughed. "Every day," he answered, "but I don't give away quarters every day. If you expect that, I am afraid I shall have to walk on the other side of the street. Good-morning, and success to you."
"Good-mornin'," said Sam.
"Well, here's luck," thought Sam. "I like this business pretty well.
I've made sixty cents already, and the doctor's goin to pay me ten
cents more. That'll buy me a good, square dinner, and take me to the
Old Bowery besides."
So Sam continued distributing his circulars. Some into whose hands they were thrust did not appear to be suitably grateful; and, though on the lookout for a customer, he did not succeed in finding any, till by good luck the last circular was placed in the hands of a man who was in search of just the relief which it promised.
"Where is Dr. Graham's office?" he inquired.
"Right upstairs, No. 10," said Sam, eagerly. "You just follow me, I'll show you."
"I think I can find it without you," said the other.
"Oh, I can go up just as well as not," said Sam, who had a special object, as we know, in serving as guide.
"Very well. Go ahead, and I will follow you."
Upstairs went Sam, the new patient following him.
"I've brought another," said Sam, as he burst into the office.
The doctor, though glad of another patient, was rather vexed at the style of Sam's announcement.
"Very well," he said. "Sit down there, till I have leisure to attend to you."
"All right, sir," said Sam, sitting down on the sofa in the outer office, and taking up the morning "Herald."
In twenty minutes the patient departed, relieved.
"Now," said Dr. Graham, addressing Sam, "I have something to say to you. When you bring in a patient again, don't break out as you did just now: 'I've brought another.' I was very much mortified."
"What shall I say, then?" asked Sam.
"You needn't say anything, except 'This is Dr. Graham, sir.'"
"Very well," said Sam, "I'll remember. How much did you make out of him?"
"Don't speak in that way. My charges were three dollars."
"How much are you going to give me?"
"There's thirty cents."
"I think I'll go and get some dinner, now," said Sam. "Will you want me to-morrow?"
"I've been thinking," said the doctor, "that I would engage you as my office-boy."
"What would I have to do?"
"Stay in the office when I am away, and distribute circulars when I want you to."
"How much will you pay me?"
"Three dollars a week."
"And commissions too?"
"No; we'll say four days without commissions."
"All right, sir. I'll be on hand to-morrow mornin'."
"I've got a place, at last," thought Sam, in exultation. "Now, I'll go to dinner."
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