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Jack's Ward   By: (1832-1899)

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JACK'S WARD

OR

THE BOY GUARDIAN

BY

HORATIO ALGER, JR.

1910

[Illustration: Jack seized the old man, thrust him through the secret door and locked it.]

BIOGRAPHY AND BIBLIOGRAPHY

Horatio Alger, Jr., an author who lived among and for boys and himself remained a boy in heart and association till death, was born at Revere, Mass., January 13, 1834. He was the son of a clergyman; was graduated at Harvard College in 1852, and at its Divinity School in 1860; and was pastor of the Unitarian Church at Brewster, Mass., in 1862 66.

In the latter year he settled in New York and began drawing public attention to the condition and needs of street boys. He mingled with them, gained their confidence, showed a personal concern in their affairs, and stimulated them to honest and useful living. With his first story he won the hearts of all red blooded boys everywhere, and of the seventy or more that followed over a million copies were sold during the author's lifetime.

In his later life he was in appearance a short, stout, bald headed man, with cordial manners and whimsical views of things that amused all who met him. He died at Natick, Mass., July 18, 1899.

Mr. Alger's stories are as popular now as when first published, because they treat of real live boys who were always up and about just like the boys found everywhere to day. They are pure in tone and inspiring in influence, and many reforms in the juvenile life of New York may be traced to them. Among the best known are:

Strong and Steady; Strive and Succeed; Try and Trust; Bound to Rise; Risen from the Ranks; Herbert Carter's Legacy; Brave and Bold; Jack's Ward; Shifting for Himself; Wait and Hope; Paul the Peddler; Phil the Fiddler; Slow and Sure; Julius the Street Boy; Tom the Bootblack; Struggling Upward; Facing the World; The Cash Boy; Making His Way; Tony the Tramp; Joe's Luck; Do and Dare; Only an Irish Boy; Sink or Swim; A Cousin's Conspiracy; Andy Gordon; Bob Burton; Harry Vane; Hector's Inheritance; Mark Mason's Triumph; Sam's Chance; The Telegraph Boy; The Young Adventurer; The Young Outlaw; The Young Salesman , and Luke Walton .

JACK'S WARD

CHAPTER I

JACK HARDING GETS A JOB

"Look here, boy, can you hold my horse a few minutes?" asked a gentleman, as he jumped from his carriage in one of the lower streets in New York.

The boy addressed was apparently about twelve, with a bright face and laughing eyes, but dressed in clothes of coarse material. This was Jack Harding, who is to be our hero.

"Yes, sir," said Jack, with alacrity, hastening to the horse's head; "I'll hold him as long as you like."

"All right! I'm going in at No. 39; I won't be long."

"That's what I call good luck," said Jack to himself. "No boy wants a job more than I do. Father's out of work, rent's most due, and Aunt Rachel's worrying our lives out with predicting that we'll all be in the poorhouse inside of three months. It's enough to make a fellow feel blue, listenin' to her complainin' and groanin' all the time. Wonder whether she was always so. Mother says she was disappointed in love when she was young. I guess that's the reason."

"Have you set up a carriage, Jack?" asked a boy acquaintance, coming up and recognizing Jack.

"Yes," said Jack, "but it ain't for long. I shall set down again pretty soon."

"I thought your grandmother had left you a fortune, and you had set up a team."

"No such good news. It belongs to a gentleman that's inside."

"Inside the carriage?"

"No, in No. 39."

"How long's he going to stay?"

"I don't know."

"If it was half an hour, we might take a ride, and be back in time."

Jack shook his head.

"That ain't my style," he said. "I'll stay here till he comes out."

"Well, I must be going along. Are you coming to school to morrow?"

"Yes, if I can't get anything to do."

"Are you trying for that?"

"I'd like to get a place. Father's out of work, and anything I can earn comes in handy."

"My father's got plenty of money," said Frank Nelson, complacently... Continue reading book >>




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