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Sam's Chance And How He Improved It   By: (1832-1899)

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First Page:

E text prepared by Gary Sandino from digital material generously made available by Internet Archive (

Note: Images of the original pages are available through Internet Archive American Libraries. See



How He Improved It



Author of "Facing the World," "Cash Boy," "Do and Dare," "Sink or Swim," "Chester Rand," Etc.

New York Hurst & Company Publishers

Chapter Title Page

I. Sam's New Clothes. 5 II. Sam's First Day in Business 13 III. Sam Finds A Room 23 IV. First Lessons 32 V. Sam's Finances 42 VI. Sam's Luck 51 VII. Twenty Five Dollars Reward 60 VIII. An Unexpected Obstacle 69 IX. Restoring the Ring 78 X. Sam's Investment 88 XI. Henry Becomes a Merchant 97 XII. How Sam Succeeded 106 XIII. Henry's Good Fortune 116 XIV. The Savings Bank Book 123 XV. Sam is Found Out 129 XVI. Sam Loses His Place 136 XVII. Tim is Unmasked 146 XVIII. The Fall River Boat 154 XIX. Mutual Confidences 161 XX. Too Late for the Train 165 XXI. Arrived in Boston 172 XXII. First Experiences in Boston 176 XXIII. Sam Finds a Roommate 183 XXIV. An Unpleasant Surprise 191 XXV. In Pursuit of a Place 200 XXVI. Abner Blodgett Again 208 XXVII. Sam is Initiated Into a College Society 216 XXVIII. Brown's Plan 226 XXIX. Arthur Brown 234 XXX. How It was Arranged 242 XXXI. Two Years Later 246 XXXII. Conclusion 251


"Sam's Chance" is a sequel to the "Young Outlaw," and is designed to illustrate the gradual steps by which that young man was induced to give up his bad habits, and deserve that prosperity which he finally attains. The writer confesses to have experienced some embarrassment in writing this story. The story writer always has at command expedients by which the frowns of fortune may be turned into sunshine, and this without violating probability, or, at any rate, possibility; for the careers of many of our most eminent and successful men attest that truth is often times stranger than fiction. But to cure a boy of radical faults is almost as difficult in fiction as in real life. Whether the influences which led to Sam's reformation were adequate to that result, must be decided by the critical reader. The author may, at any rate, venture to congratulate Sam's friends that he is now more worthy of their interest and regard than in the years when he was known as the "Young Outlaw."




"If I'm goin' into a office I'll have to buy some new clo'es," thought Sam Barker.

He was a boy of fifteen, who, for three years, had been drifting about the streets of New York, getting his living as he could; now blacking boots, now selling papers, now carrying bundles "everything by turns, and nothing long." He was not a model boy, as those who have read his early history, in "The Young Outlaw," are aware; but, on the other hand, he was not extremely bad. He liked fun, even if it involved mischief; and he could not be called strictly truthful nor honest. But he would not wantonly injure or tyrannize over a smaller boy, and there was nothing mean or malicious about him... Continue reading book >>

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