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The Telegraph Boy   By: (1832-1899)

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THE TELEGRAPH BOY.

BY HORATIO ALGER, JR.,

AUTHOR OF "RAGGED DICK SERIES," "LUCK AND PLUCK SERIES," "BRAVE AND BOLD SERIES," ETC., ETC.

HORATIO ALGER'S BOOKS FOR BOYS AND GIRLS.

THE JOHN C. WINSTON CO. PHILADELPHIA CHICAGO TORONTO

To THREE YOUNG FRIENDS, LORIN AND BEATRICE BERNHEIMER, AND FLORINE ARNOLD, This Story IS AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED.

PREFACE.

The "Telegraph Boy" completes the series of sketches of street life in New York inaugurated eleven years since by the publication of "Ragged Dick." The author has reason to feel gratified by the warm reception accorded by the public to these pictures of humble life in the great metropolis. He is even more gratified by the assurance that his labors have awakened a philanthropic interest in the children whose struggles and privations he has endeavored faithfully to describe. He feels it his duty to state that there is no way in which these waifs can more effectually be assisted than by contributing to the funds of "The Children's Aid Society," whose wise and comprehensive plans for the benefit of their young wards have already been crowned with abundant success.

The class of boys described in the present volume was called into existence only a few years since, but they are already so numerous that one can scarcely ride down town by any conveyance without having one for a fellow passenger. Most of them reside with their parents and have comfortable homes, but a few, like the hero of this story, are wholly dependent on their own exertions for a livelihood. The variety of errands on which they are employed, and their curious experiences, are by no means exaggerated in the present story. In its preparation the author has been assisted by an excellent sketch published perhaps a year since in the "New York Tribune."

HORATIO ALGER, JR. NEW YORK, Sept. 1, 1879.

THE TELEGRAPH BOY.

CHAPTER I.

A YOUNG CARPET BAGGER.

"Twenty five cents to begin the world with!" reflected Frank Kavanagh, drawing from his vest pocket two ten cent pieces of currency and a nickel. "That isn't much, but it will have to do."

The speaker, a boy of fifteen, was sitting on a bench in City Hall Park. He was apparently about fifteen years old, with a face not handsome, but frank and good humored, and an expression indicating an energetic and hopeful temperament. A small bundle, rolled up in a handkerchief, contained his surplus wardrobe. He had that day arrived in New York by a boat from Hartford, and meant to stay in the city if he could make a living.

Next to him sat a man of thirty five, shabbily dressed, who clearly was not a member of any temperance society, if an inflamed countenance and red nose may be trusted. Frank Kavanagh's display of money attracted his attention, for, small as was the boy's capital, it was greater than his own.

"Been long in the city, Johnny?" he inquired.

"I only arrived to day," answered Frank. "My name isn't Johnny, though."

"It's immaterial. Johnny is a generic term," said the stranger. "I suppose you have come here to make your fortune."

"I shall be satisfied with a living to begin with," said Frank.

"Where did you come from?"

"A few miles from Hartford."

"Got any relations there?"

"Yes, an uncle and aunt."

"I suppose you were sorry to leave them."

"Not much. Uncle is a pretty good man, but he's fond of money, and aunt is about as mean as they make 'em. They got tired of supporting me, and gave me money enough to get to New York."

"I suppose you have some left," said the stranger, persuasively.

"Twenty five cents," answered Frank, laughing. "That isn't a very big capital to start on, is it?"

"Is that all you've got?" asked the shabbily dressed stranger, in a tone of disappointment... Continue reading book >>




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