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Harper's Young People, December 23, 1879   By:

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[Illustration: HARPER'S




Tuesday, December 23, 1879. Copyright, 1879, by HARPER & BROTHERS. $1.50 per Year, in Advance.


[Begun in No. 1 of HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE, November 4.]



The bright rays of the morning sun filled the room when Walter awoke from his long and refreshing sleep, to gaze in astonishment at the rich and beautiful furniture that adorned the apartment. Silk curtains, mirrors that reached to the ceiling, beautiful carpets, attractive pictures in gilt frames all was new and dazzling to the unsophisticated mountain youth. He was still gazing in wonder at all these glories, when Mr. Seymour, who had slept in the next room, suddenly opened the door.

"Jump up, Walter," said he. "Breakfast is ready, and my friend wants to speak to you; so be as quick as you can."

"I shall be ready in a few minutes, sir," he replied, as, springing out of bed, he washed and dressed himself, and respectfully greeted the two gentlemen, who sat enjoying their coffee in an adjoining room.

At Mr. Seymour's invitation Walter helped himself to breakfast; and when he had finished his meal, looked up inquiringly at the stranger.

"Well, then, Walter," said he, in a kindly tone, "tell me in the first place what you intend to do, now that you have got your money back?"

"Oh, that is very easily answered, sir," replied Walter. "I shall buckle the belt round my waist again, and return home to day."

"I thought that was your intention, Watty," said Mr. Seymour; "but it would be much safer and far easier to send the money through the post. You will then have no further risk of being robbed, and Mr. Frieshardt will be sure to get it in a day or two. As regards yourself "

Mr. Seymour hesitated, and his friend took up the conversation. "Yes, Walter, you must stay here for the present," said he, "and not dream of leaving me at least for a long time."

Walter was taken aback. What could the stranger mean? Unable to comprehend the motive of such a remark, he looked in confusion first at one, then at the other, and was greeted only with a hearty laugh.

"I am very much obliged to you for suggesting how I should send the money home," said the lad; "and it was certainly very strange that Mr. Frieshardt did not think of that, for it would have saved all this trouble with Seppi. But what, sir, am I to do here? What is there to prevent my returning home?"

"A proposal that my friend Mr. Lafond has to make to you," replied Mr. Seymour. "My friend is in want of an active and trustworthy servant, and thinks that you would suit him well. I think you should take the situation, Walter, for you will be looked upon rather as a confidential attendant than as a servant, and you will be well paid into the bargain. In a few years you will have earned money enough to provide comfortably for your father in his old age."

The last words decided Walter. If he could only relieve his father's declining years from care and anxiety, he was content to give up his home for a time, and therefore agreed to accept the proposal. The contract was soon arranged, and Walter entered upon his new duties the same day. He wrote a long letter to his father, explaining the reason of his remaining in Paris, and comforting him with the assurance that when he returned home he would bring plenty of money with him. By the same post he sent a bank draft to Farmer Frieshardt equivalent to the value of the cattle money; and a few days after removed into Mr. Lafond's splendidly furnished mansion. Mr. Seymour did not accompany his friend, having to leave Paris to continue his travels.

Thus Walter, who had suddenly risen from the position of a poor drover to that of the principal servant and favorite of a rich young Parisian, found no reason to regret the change that he had made... Continue reading book >>

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