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Wait and Hope A Plucky Boy's Luck   By: (1832-1899)

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First Page:


or A Plucky Boy's Luck

by Horatio Alger, JR.

New York Book Company

Copyright 1909

Table of Contents

I Ben and His Aunt II Three Situations III At Lovell's Grounds IV The Boys' Race V Ben Wins Again VI Mr. Dobson's Visit VII Ben Gets Employment VIII Deacon Sawyer's Liberality IX Mr. Manning's Proposal X Ben's Journey XI In New York XII An Adventure XIII A Curious Old Lady XIV Prof. Crane, The Phrenologist XV An Old Convert to Phrenology XVI Ben's Loss XVII The Strange Captor XVIII The Envelope XIX The Prize for Scholarship XX Before the Battle XXI Ben Wins at School XXII Sam's Revenge XXIII The Decoy Letter XXIV Ben Arrives in Boston XXV Sam Gives Himself Away XXVI Ben Finds a Boarding Place XXVII Sam Attempts Strategy XXVIII Sam Praises Ben XXIX The Cunard Steamer XXX Sam Is Improved By Adversity XXXI Clouds in the Sky XXXII The Blow Falls XXXIII Ben Receives a Commission XXXIV Solomon Brief XXXV John Tremlett XXXVI A Surprising Discovery XXXVII The Dead Alive XXXVIII Conclusion

Chapter I

Ben and His Aunt

Five o'clock sounded from the church clock, and straightway the streets of Milltown were filled with men, women, and children issuing from the great brick factories huddled together at one end of the town. Among these, two boys waked in company, James Watson and Ben Bradford. They were very nearly of an age, James having just passed his fifteenth birthday, and Ben having nearly attained it.

Both boys looked sober. Why, will appear from their conversation.

"It's rather hard to get out of a job just now," said James. "Why couldn't the superintendent discharge somebody else?"

"I suppose it's all right," said Ben. "We were taken on last, and we haven't as much claim to remain as those that have been in the mill longer."

"I don't believe there was any need of discharging anybody," complained James.

"You know business is very dull," said Ben, who was more considerate, "and I hear they have been losing money."

"Oh, well, they can stand it," said James.

"So can you," said Ben. "Your father is pretty well off, and you won't suffer."

"Oh, I shall have enough to eat, and so on; but I shan't have any spending money, and I can't get a new suit, as I expected to this fall."

"I wish that was all I had to fear," said Ben; "but you know how it is with me. I don't see how Aunt Jane is going to get along without my earnings."

"Oh, you'll get along somehow," said James carelessly, for he did not care enough about other people's prospects to discuss them.

"Yes, I guess so," said Ben, more cheerfully. "There's no use in worrying. Wait and Hope that's my motto."

"You have to wait a thundering long time sometimes," said James. "Well, good night. Come round and see me to morrow. You'll have plenty of time."

"I don't know about that. I must look up something to do."

"I shan't. I am going to wait till the superintendent takes me on again. There's one comfort. I can lie abed as long as I want to. I won't be tied to the factory bell."

The house which James entered was a good sized two story house, with an ample yard, and a garden behind it. His father kept a dry goods store in Milltown, and was generally considered well to do. James entered the mill, not because he was obliged to, but because he wanted to have a supply of money in his pocket. His father allowed him to retain all of his wages, requiring him only to purchase his own clothes. As he was paid five dollars a week, James was able to clothe himself with half his income, and reserve the rest for spending money. He was very fond of amusements, and there was no circus, concert, or other entertainment in Milltown which he did not patronize... Continue reading book >>

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