Andy Gordon - Horatio Alger - ebook
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THE Hamilton Academy, under the charge of Rev. Dr. Euclid, stands on an eminence about ten rods back from the street, in the town of the same name. It is a two-story building, surmounted by a cupola, or belfry, and, being neatly painted brown and well cared for, is, on the whole, an ornament to the village.

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Andy Gordon

The Fortunes of a Young Janitor

By

Horatio Alger

CHAPTER I.THE YOUNG JANITOR.

The Hamilton Academy, under the charge of Rev. Dr. Euclid, stands on an eminence about ten rods back from the street, in the town of the same name. It is a two-story building, surmounted by a cupola, or belfry, and, being neatly painted brown and well cared for, is, on the whole, an ornament to the village.

It was a quarter of nine, when a boy of sixteen, rather showily dressed, ascended the academy hill and entered the front door, which was already open. He swung a small light cane in his hand—rather an unusual article for a schoolboy to carry—and it was clear, from his general appearance and bearing, that he had a high opinion of himself.

“I am early,” he said to himself. “I shall have a chance to look over my Latin before Dr. Euclid comes.”

It may be supposed from this speech that Herbert Ross was an earnest student, but this would be altogether a mistake. The fact is, he had been playing with some companions till a late hour the previous evening, and this had prevented his paying the necessary attention to his lessons in Virgil. As Dr. Euclid was strict in his requirements, and very slow to accept excuses, Herbert, to avoid trouble, wished to have, at any rate, a superficial acquaintance with the lesson.

As he entered the schoolroom he was met by a cloud of dust. A boy of about his own age was sweeping the floor. He had nearly completed his task, and was just about to sweep the pile of accumulated dust into the entry when Herbert Ross presented himself. The boy who was wielding the broom, the young janitor of the academy, being our hero, we may as well stop here and describe him.

His name was Andrew Gordon, commonly changed by his friends to Andy. He was a stout, well-made boy, with a face not exactly handsome, but bold, frank and good-humored; but about the mouth there were lines indicating firmness and resolution. He was evidently a boy who had a respect for himself.

It may be said, further, that Andy received his tuition free and a dollar a week for his services in taking care of the schoolhouse. He was the son of a widow, who was in receipt of a pension of twenty dollars a month from the government, as the widow of an officer who had surrendered his life during the Civil War on the field of Gettysburg. This, with what Andy could earn, was nearly all she and he had to live upon.

It may easily be supposed, therefore, that the dollar a week which Andy received from Dr. Euclid, or, rather, from the trustees of the academy, was an appreciable help in their frugal household.

Herbert Ross was the only son of the village lawyer, a man of private fortune, who lived in a style quite beyond the average mode of living among his neighbors. Herbert was impressed, as many boys are under such circumstances, with an idea of his consequence, and this made itself felt in his intercourse with his school fellows.

In particular he looked down upon Andy Gordon, the first in rank in his class, because he was poor and filled the position of school janitor, which he regarded as menial.

Andy knew very well how his proud classmate regarded him, but it did not materially diminish his happiness or cause him to lose even a minute’s sleep.

“What are you kicking up such a dust for, Andrew Gordon?” asked Herbert, considerably ruffled in temper, for some of the dust had settled upon his clothing.

“I am sweeping the schoolroom, Herbert,” said Andy, “as you see.”

“You needn’t cover me with your confounded dust,” said Herbert, testily.

“I didn’t see you coming in,” said Andy, good-naturedly, “or I would have stopped a minute. The fact is, I am rather late this morning, or my job would be over.”

“I’ll give you a lesson to teach you to be more careful next time,” said Herbert, who was getting more and more ill-natured, and, as is usual with young bullies, got more impudent on account of Andy’s good nature.

As he spoke, he drew back his foot and kicked at the pile of dust which Andy had carefully swept to the doorway, spreading it over a considerable portion of the floor.

Good-humored as he was, Andy’s eye grew stern, and his voice was quick and imperative, as he demanded:

“What did you do that for, Herbert Ross?”

“I told you already,” said Herbert. “I am a gentleman, and I don’t mean to let a servant cover me with dust.”

“I am the janitor of this academy,” said Andy, “and if that is being a servant, then I am one. But there is one thing I tell you, Herbert. I won’t allow any boy, gentleman or not, to interfere with my work.”

“How can you help yourself?” asked Herbert, with a sneer.

“Take this broom and sweep up the pile of dust you have scattered,” said the young janitor.

As he spoke he tendered the broom to Herbert.

“What do you mean?” demanded the young aristocrat, his dark face growing darker still with anger.

“I mean what I say,” responded Andy, resolutely. “You must repair the mischief you have done.”

“Must? You low-lived servant!” Herbert burst forth. “Do you know who you are talking to?”

This was rather ungrammatical, but it is a common mistake, and Herbert was too angry to think of grammar.

“I am talking to a boy who has done a mean action,” retorted Andy. “Take that broom and sweep up the dust you have scattered.”

Herbert by this time was at white heat. He seized the broom which was extended toward him, but instead of using it as he was requested, he brought it down upon Andy’s shoulders.

It was not the handle, but the broom end which touched the young janitor, and he was not hurt; but it is needless to say that he considered himself insulted. Under such circumstances, though far from quarrelsome, it was his habit to act promptly, and he did so now.

First he wrested the broom from Herbert; then he seized that young gentleman around the waist, and, despite his struggles, deposited him forcibly on the floor, which was thick with dust.

“Two can play at your game, Herbert,” he said.

“What do you mean? You low hound!” screamed Herbert, as he rose from the floor.

“I think you can tell, without any explanation,” said Andy, calmly.

Herbert looked as if he would like to annihilate the young janitor, but there was something in the strong grasp which he had just felt which convinced him that Andy was stronger than himself, and he hesitated.

“Do you know that my father is one of the trustees of the academy?” he shouted, shaking his fist. “I’ll get you discharged from your place.”

“You can do what you like,” answered Andy, “but you’d better get out of the way, for I’m going to sweep. I’ll let you off from sweeping up, as you have had a lesson already.”

“You’ll let me off!” exclaimed Herbert, passionately. “You—a servant—give me a lesson! You don’t know your place, you young beggar!”

“No more talk like that, Herbert Ross, for I won’t stand it!” said Andy, firmly.

“I’ll call you what I please!” retorted Herbert.

“If you call me another name, I’ll lay you down in the dirt again!” said Andy.

Just then, at the open door, appeared the tall, dignified figure of Dr. Euclid, who was in time to hear the last words spoken.

“What’s the matter, boys?” he asked, looking keenly from Andy to Herbert.

CHAPTER II.HERBERT CONSIDERS HIMSELF INSULTED.

Both boys were surprised to see Dr. Euclid, for it was ten minutes before his usual hour of coming.

It happened, however, that he had had occasion to go to the post office to deposit an important letter, and as it was so near the hour for commencing school, he had not thought it worth his while to go home again.

“What’s the matter, boys?” repeated the doctor.

Herbert Ross, who was still fuming with anger, saw a chance to get the janitor into trouble, and answered, spitefully:

“That boy has insulted me!”

“How did he insult you?” inquired Dr. Euclid, rather surprised.

“He seized me, when I wasn’t looking, and laid me down on the dirty floor!” exploded Herbert, looking at Andy as if he would like to wither him with a glance.

Dr. Euclid knew something of the character and disposition of Herbert, and reserved his judgment.

“What have you to say to this charge, Andrew?” he asked, mildly.

“It is true,” said Andy—“all except my taking him unawares.”

“What could induce you to make such an assault upon your fellow-student?” said the doctor.

In reply, Andy made a correct statement of the transaction, in mild and temperate language.

“Is this correct, Herbert?” asked the doctor. “Did you interfere with Andrew in the discharge of his duties?”

“I kicked the pile of dirt,” Herbert admitted.

“Why did you do that?”

“Because I wanted to teach him a lesson.”

“What lesson?”

“Not to cover a gentleman with dust when he entered the room,” replied Herbert, in a pompous tone.

“By the word ‘gentleman’ you mean to designate yourself, I presume,” said Dr. Euclid.

Herbert colored, for though the doctor’s words were plain and unemphasized, they seemed to him to imply sarcasm.

“Certainly, sir,” he answered.

“Those who claim to be gentlemen must behave as such,” said Dr. Euclid, calmly. “It is clear that your being covered with dust was accidental, and you had no occasion to resent it.”

“Had he any right to throw me down?” asked Herbert, biting his lips.

“Did you not strike him first?”

“Well, yes.”

“Then it appears to me that you are quits. I don’t approve of fighting, but I hold to the right of self-defense. I don’t think this affair calls for any interference on my part,” and the doctor passed on to his desk.

Herbert Ross was very much mortified. He had confidently expected that Andy would get into trouble, and perhaps receive a punishment, certainly a reprimand, from the preceptor. As it was, he alone had incurred censure.

He nodded his head viciously, reflecting:

“This isn’t the last of it. The doctor is partial to that young beggar, but the doctor isn’t everybody. He’s responsible to the trustees, and my father is the most important one. He’ll find he’s made a mistake.”

Herbert was not at all improved in temper by a sharp reprimand from the doctor, when he came to recite his lesson, on the shabby character of his recitation.

When recess came, he stalked up to Andy, and said, menacingly:

“You look out, Andy Gordon! You’ll get into trouble before you know it!”

“Thank you for telling me!” said Andy, calmly. “What sort of trouble will I get into?”

“You think you’re all right because Dr. Euclid took your part this morning!” continued Herbert, not answering the question; “but that isn’t the end of the matter, by a long shot! The doctor isn’t so great a man as he thinks he is.”

“I never knew that he considered himself a great man,” answered Andy.

“Well, he does. He doesn’t know how to treat a gentleman.”

“Why don’t he?”

“He upholds you in what you did.”

“He thinks it right to act in self-defense.”

“He may have to act in self-defense himself. My father is one of the trustees of this academy.”

“You said that this morning.”

“He can turn the doctor out of office, and put in another teacher,” continued Herbert.

“That isn’t anything to me,” said Andy. “Still, I have one thing to say.”

“What is that?” asked Herbert, suspiciously.

“That he will have a big job on his hands when he undertakes it,” said Andy.

“He can do it,” repeated Herbert, jerking his head emphatically; “but he won’t begin with that.”

“Won’t he?” said Andy, indifferently.

“No; he’ll begin with you. I’m going to tell him to-night all that has happened, and he’ll have you discharged. You can make up your mind to that.”

If Herbert expected to see Andy exhibit fear or alarm, he was not gratified. Our hero, on the other hand, looked provokingly indifferent.

“Don’t you think you could get me off, Herbert?” asked Andy, with a smile, which the young aristocrat did not quite understand.

“If you will beg my pardon before the boys for what you did,” he said, magnanimously, “I won’t do anything about it.”

“That is very kind. I suppose you will be willing to ask my pardon first for striking me with the broom and calling me bad names.”

“No, I won’t. I only did and said what was proper.”

“Then you won’t get any apology out of me,” returned Andy.

“You will lose your place, and have to leave school.”

“I don’t think I shall.”

“My father will have you turned out, and another janitor appointed.”

“The janitor is not appointed by the trustees. Dr. Euclid always appoints the janitor.”

This was news to Herbert. He had rather a vague idea of the powers of the trustees, and fancied that their authority extended to the appointment of so subordinate a person as the janitor.

“It doesn’t make any difference,” he declared, recovering himself. “The doctor will have to dismiss you, whether he wants to or not.”

“You speak very positively,” rejoined Andy, with a contemptuous smile, which Herbert resented.

“You’ll find it’s no laughing matter,” said Herbert, hotly. “For a poor boy, you put on altogether too many airs.”

Andy’s manner changed.

“Herbert Ross,” he said, “I’ve listened to your talk because it amused me, but I’ve heard enough of it. The only boy in school who puts on airs is yourself, and I, for one, don’t mean to stand your impudence. Your father may be a very important person, but you are not. All your talk about Dr. Euclid’s losing his place is ridiculous. You can go and talk to the doctor on the subject if you think it best.”

Here Andy turned on his heel, and called out to Frank Cooper:

“Have a catch, Frank?”

“Yes, Andy.”

The two boys began to throw a ball to each other, by way of improving their practice, for both belonged to a baseball club, and Andy’s special and favorite position was that of catcher.

“You seem to have considerable business with Herbert Ross,” said Frank. “I thought we should have no time for practice.”

Andy smiled.

“Herbert thinks he has business with me,” he said.

“I shouldn’t think it was very pleasant business, by the way he looks,” said Frank.

Andy smiled, but said nothing.

None of the boys had been present when the little difficulty of the morning took place, and he thought it not worth mentioning.

When Herbert left school at the close of the afternoon session, he was fully resolved to make it hot for the young janitor, and for Dr. Euclid, whose censure he had again incurred for a faulty Greek recitation.

CHAPTER III.DR. EUCLID RECEIVES A CALL.

Dr. Euclid lived in a comfortable dwelling-house not far from the Presbyterian Church. His family was small, consisting only of his wife and himself. Having no children, he devoted himself solely to the interests of the academy, of which he had been the principal for a space of fifteen years.

The doctor was an unusually learned man for the preceptor of an academy. He by no means confined his attention to the studies pursued in the institution, but devoted his leisure hours to reading classic authors, such as are read in our best colleges. He had published a carefully annotated edition of Greek tragedy, which had gained him a great deal of credit in the eyes of scholars. Indeed, he had received, only a short time previous, an invitation to the chair of Latin and Greek in a well-known college, and had been strongly tempted to accept, but had finally declined it, not being willing to leave the Hamilton Academy, to which he had become much attached, and his friends and neighbors in the village, by whom he was held in high esteem.

Dr. Euclid was seated in his library, examining a new classical book which had been sent him by the publishers, when the maid-servant opened the door, and said:

“Please, Dr. Euclid, there’s a gentleman wants to see you.”

“Do you know who it is, Mary?” asked the doctor, laying aside his book, with a look of regret.

“I think it’s the lyyer man, sir.”

“Oh, you mean the lawyer,” said Dr. Euclid, smiling.

“That’s what I said, sir.”

“Well, show him up.”

Almost immediately Brandon Ross, Esq., rather a pompous-looking individual, who tried to make himself look taller by brushing up his reddish hair till it stood up like a hedge above his forehead, entered the room.

“Good-evening, Mr. Ross!” said Dr. Euclid, politely.

He wondered why the lawyer had favored him with a call. It did not occur to him that it had any connection with the little difficulty of the morning between Herbert Ross and his young janitor.

“Ahem! Doctor, I am very well,” said the lawyer.

“Take a seat, if you please.”

“Thank you, sir. I can’t stay long. I am occupied with some very important legal business just now.”

Mr. Ross said this with an air of satisfaction. He always represented that he was occupied with important business.

“Then he won’t stay long,” thought the doctor. “Well, I am glad of that, for I want to get back to my book.”

“You probably expected I would call,” Squire Ross began.

“No; I can’t say I did,” answered the doctor, regarding his visitor with surprise.

“Surely, sir, after that outrageous assault upon my son this morning, an assault, sir, committed almost in your very presence, you could hardly suppose I, as Herbert’s father, would remain calmly at home and ignore the affair?”

Mr. Ross said this in the tone in which he usually addressed juries, and he looked to see it produce an effect upon Dr. Euclid. But he was disappointed. An amused smile played over the face of the dignified scholar, as he answered:

“I certainly didn’t connect your visit with the little matter you refer to.”

“Little matter!” repeated the lawyer, indignantly. “Do I understand, Dr. Euclid, that you speak of a ruffianly assault upon my son Herbert as a little matter?”

Dr. Euclid wanted to laugh. He had a vivid sense of the ridiculous, and the lawyer’s way of speaking seemed so disproportioned to the boyish quarrel to which he referred, that it seemed to him rather ludicrous.

“I was not aware, Mr. Ross, that such an assault had been made upon your son,” he replied.

“Surely you know, Dr. Euclid,” said the lawyer, warmly, “that your janitor, Andrew Gordon, had assaulted Herbert?”

“I knew the boys had had a little difficulty,” returned the doctor, quietly. “Your son struck Andrew with a broom. Did he tell you that?”

Mr. Ross was surprised, for Herbert had not told him that.

“It was a proper return for the violent attack which the boy made upon him. I am glad that my son showed proper resentment.”

“I beg your pardon, Mr. Ross, but your son’s attack preceded Andrew’s. It was Andrew who acted in self-defense, or, if you choose to call it so, in retaliation.”

“I presume your account comes from your janitor,” said the lawyer, a little disconcerted.

“On the contrary, it comes from your son. Herbert admitted to me this morning what I have just stated to you.”

“But,” said Ross, after a pause, “Andrew had previously covered him with dust, from malicious motives.”

“I deny the malicious motives,” said the doctor. “Your son entered the schoolroom hurriedly, just as Andrew was sweeping out. Accidentally, his clothes were covered with dust.”

“It suits you to consider it an accident,” said the lawyer, rudely. “I view it in quite a different light. Your janitor is well known to be a rude, ill-mannered boy——”

“Stop there, Mr. Ross!” said Dr. Euclid, in a dignified tone. “I don’t know where you got your information on this subject, but you are entirely mistaken. Andrew is neither rough nor ill-mannered. I considered him very gentlemanly, and, what I consider of quite as much importance, a thoroughly manly boy.”

“Then, sir, I understand that you uphold him in his assault upon my son,” said the lawyer, fiercely.

“I consider,” said the doctor, in a dignified tone, “that he was entirely justified in what he did.”

“Then, sir, allow me to say that I am utterly astounded to hear such sentiments from a man in your position. I do not propose to allow my son to be ill-treated by a boy so much his inferior.”

“If you mean inferior in scholarship,” said the doctor, “you are under a misapprehension. Andrew is in your son’s class in Latin and Greek, but he is quite superior to him in both of these languages.”

This was far from agreeable information for the proud lawyer, though he could not help being aware that his son was not a good scholar.

“I referred to social position,” he said, stiffly.

“Social position doesn’t count for much in America,” said Dr. Euclid, smiling. “Of course, Mr. Ross, you recall Pope’s well-known lines:

 

“ ‘Honor and shame from no condition rise.

Act well your part—there all the honor lies.’ ”

 

“I don’t agree with Pope, then. His lines are foolish. But I won’t waste my time in arguing. I have come here this evening, Dr. Euclid, as one of the trustees of the Hamilton Academy, to insist upon Andrew Gordon’s discharge from the position of janitor.”

“I must decline to comply with your request, Mr. Ross. Andrew is a capable and efficient janitor, and I prefer to retain him.”

“Dr. Euclid, you don’t seem to remember that I am a trustee of the academy!” said the lawyer, pompously.

“Oh, yes, I do! But the trustees have nothing to do with the appointment of a janitor.”

“You will admit, sir, that they have something to do with the appointment of a principal,” said Brandon Ross, significantly.

“Oh, yes!” answered the doctor, smiling.

“And that it is wise for the principal to consult the wishes of those trustees.”

“I presume I understand you, Mr. Ross,” said Dr. Euclid, in a dignified tone, “and I have to reply that you are only one out of six trustees, and, furthermore, that as long as I retain the position which I have held for fifteen years, I shall preserve my independence as a man.”

“Very well, sir! Very well, sir!” exclaimed the lawyer, intensely mortified at the ignominious failure of his trump card, as he had regarded it. “I shall be under the necessity of withdrawing my son from the academy, since he cannot otherwise be secure from such outrages as that of this morning.”

“If your son will respect the rights of others, he will stand in no danger of having his own violated. As to withdrawing him from school, you must do as you please. Such a step will injure him much more than anyone else.”

“I am the best judge of that!” said the lawyer, stiffly. “Good-evening, sir!”

“Good-evening!”

The troublesome visitor went out, and with a sigh of relief, Dr. Euclid returned to his book.

CHAPTER IV.TROUBLE PREPARING FOR ANDY.

When Lawyer Ross returned to his showy dwelling, he found Herbert eagerly waiting to hear an account of his mission.

Herbert was firmly of the opinion that his father and himself were the two most important persons in Hamilton, and he confidently anticipated that Dr. Euclid would be overawed by his father’s visit, and meekly accede to his demand. He thought, with a pleasant sense of triumph, how it would be in his power to “crow over” the janitor, who had so audaciously ventured to lay a finger upon his sacred person.

He looked up eagerly when his father entered the room.

“Well, father, did you see Dr. Euclid?” he asked.

“Yes,” replied the lawyer, in a tone by no means pleasant.

“Did he agree to discharge Andy Gordon?”

“No, he didn’t.”

Herbert looked perplexed.

“Did you ask him to?”

“Yes.”

“Then I don’t understand.”

“There are a good many things you don’t understand,” said his father, giving a kick to the unoffending cat which lay on the rug before the fire, and forcing the astonished animal to vacate her comfortable quarters.

“I should think,” Herbert ventured to say, “that Dr. Euclid wouldn’t dare to disobey you, as you are a trustee.”

“Dr. Euclid is an obstinate fool!” exploded the lawyer.

“It would serve him right if you kicked him out and appointed a new principal,” insinuated Herbert.

Mr. Ross felt in the mood to do as his son advised, but he felt very doubtful of his ability to accomplish the displacement of so popular and highly esteemed a teacher. He was pretty sure that he could not talk over the other trustees to agree to so decided a step, but he was unwilling to confess it, even to his son. Therefore he spoke diplomatically.

“I cannot tell what I may do,” he said. “It will depend upon circumstances. All I can say is that Dr. Euclid will sooner or later be sorry for upholding Andrew Gordon in his lawless acts.”

“Does he uphold him?”

“Yes. He says that Andrew was perfectly justified in what he did.”

“He ought to be ashamed of himself!” said Herbert, provoked.

“He says,” continued Mr. Ross, who took a perverse pleasure in mortifying his son, as he had himself been mortified, “that Andrew is your superior.”

“My superior!” exclaimed Herbert, more than ever exasperated. “That young beggar my superior!”

“He says Andrew is a better scholar than you!”

“Then I don’t want to go to his confounded school any more. He doesn’t seem to know how to treat a gentleman.”

“You needn’t go, Herbert, if you don’t care to,” said his father, more mildly.

“May I leave the academy?” asked Herbert, eagerly.

“Yes. After the course which Dr. Euclid has seen fit to adopt, I shall not force a son of mine to remain under his instruction. I told him so this evening.”

“What did he say to that?” queried Herbert, who could not help thinking that Dr. Euclid would be very sorry to lose a pupil of his social importance.

“He didn’t say much,” said the lawyer, who was not disposed to repeat what the doctor actually did say.

“Then,” said Herbert, “there is no use for me to study my Latin lesson for to-morrow.”

“You may omit it this evening, but of course I cannot have you give up study. I may obtain a private tutor for you, or send you to some school out of town.”

The lawyer hoped that this step, though personally inconvenient, and much more expensive, might injure Dr. Euclid by implying that one of the trustees lacked confidence in him as a teacher.

Herbert left the room, well pleased on the whole with the upshot of the affair.

Half an hour later an old man, Joshua Starr by name, was ushered into the lawyer’s presence. He was a man bordering upon seventy, with pinched and wizened features, which bore the stamp of meanness plainly stamped upon them. By one method and another he had managed to scrape together a considerable property, not wholly in a creditable manner.

He had cheated his own brother out of three thousand dollars, but in a way that did not make him amenable to the law. He had lent money to his neighbors on usurious terms, showing no mercy when they were unable to make payment. Such was the man who came to the squire for help.

“Good-evening, Squire Ross!” he said. “I’ve come to you on a little matter of business.”

“Well, Mr. Starr, state your case.”

“I’ve got a note agin’ a party in town, which I want you to collect.”

“Who is the party, Mr. Starr?”

“Waal, it’s the Widder Gordon.”

Squire Ross pricked up his ears.

“Go on,” he said, beginning to feel interested.

“You see, I’ve got a note agin’ her husband for a hundred dollars, with interest.”

“But her husband is dead.”

“Jes’ so, jes’ so! But he borrowed the money when he was alive, in the year 1862.”

“And now it is 1866.”

“Jes’ so! You see it isn’t outlawed. The note is good.”

“Show me the note.”

The lawyer took and scanned it carefully.

“It was to run for three months,” he said.

“Jes’ so!”

“Why didn’t you present it for payment?”

“I did,” said Starr. “But it wan’t convenient for him to pay it.”

“You don’t usually give so much time to your creditors, Mr. Starr,” said the lawyer, keenly.

“I didn’t want to be hard on him,” whined Starr.

“There’s something under this,” the lawyer thought.

“Have you presented it for payment to the widow?” asked Ross.

“Yes; and what do you think? She says her husband paid it. It’s ridikilus!”

“In that case you would have surrendered the note or given a receipt.”

“Jes’ so, jes’ so!” said Mr. Starr, eagerly. “You understand the case, square. Let her show the receipt, as I’ve got the note.”

“How does she explain your having the note?”

“She says I had mislaid the note, and her husband agreed to take a receipt instead.”

“But she don’t show the receipt.”

“No; that’s where I’ve got her,” chuckled the old man. “I say, square, ain’t my claim good?”

“Certainly, if she can’t show any receipt from you.”

“Then you can collect it for me?”

“I can try; but I don’t suppose she has any property.”

“There’s her furnitoor,” suggested the old man.

“Well, you may leave the note, and I will see what I can do. Good-night!”

“Good-night, square!”

When the lawyer was left alone, there was a look of malicious satisfaction on his face.

“Now, Master Andrew Gordon,” he said to himself, “I think I can make you rue the day when you assaulted my son. But for that, I wouldn’t have meddled in this business, for Starr is an old rascal; but now it suits me to do it. The Widow Gordon and her precious son shall hear from me to-morrow!”

CHAPTER V.A MESSENGER OF BAD TIDINGS.

The next day was Friday—the last day of the school week. Andy went to school as usual, wondering how Herbert would treat him after their little difficulty of the day before; not that he cared particularly, but he felt some curiosity on the subject.