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with more. That is just why I should like to go back. I am afraid he will do some harm to Florence. And you would like to be on hand to protect her Yes. Randolph Leslie smiled. You seem to take a great deal of interest in Florence, if I may make as free with her name as you do. Yes; I do, Mr. Leslie. If you were only a little older I might suspect the nature of that interest. I am older than she is. In years, yes. But a young lady of seventeen, brought up as she has been, is older by years than a boy of eighteen. I dont think you need apprehend any harm to Miss Linden, except that Mr. Waring may cheat her out of her rightful share of the inheritance. Is her uncle in good health No, sir; he is a very feeble man. Is he an old man Not so very old. I dont believe he is over sixty. Really Mr. Linden was but fiftyfour, but, being a confirmed invalid, he looked older. Should you say that he was likely to live very long No, answered Dodger. He looks as if you could knock him over with a feather. Besides, Ive heard Florence say that she was afraid her uncle could not live long. Probably Curtis Waring is counting upon this. If he can keep Florence and her uncle apart for a few months, Mr. Linden will die, and he will inherit the whole estate. What is this will he speaks of in the letter you showed me I dont know, sir. Whatever the provisions are, it is evident that he thinks it important to get it into his possession. If favorable to him, he will keep it carefully. If unfavorable, I think a man like him would not hesitate to suppress it. No doubt you are right, sir. I dont know much about wills, said Dodger. No; I suppose not. You never made any, I suppose, remarked the reporter, with a smile. I never had nothing to leave, said Dodger. Anything would be a better expression. As your tutor I feel it incumbent upon me to correct your










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of the vessel when you came on board he asked. I was brought aboard in my sleep. This is curious. It looks to me as if you had a story to tell. Of course, I dont want to be curious, but if there is anyway in which I can help you, by advice, or in any other way, I am quite ready to do so. Dodger paused, but only briefly. This young man looked friendly, and might help him to penetrate the mystery which at present baffled him. At any rate, his experience qualified him to give friendly advice, and of this Dodger felt that he stood in need. I ought to tell you, to begin with, he said, that I am a poor boy, and made my living as best I could, by carrying baggage, selling papers, etc. I dont think any the worse of you for that. Did you live at the lodging houses No; until lately I lived with a man who keeps a saloon on the Bowery, and tended bar for him. What was his name As a reporter I know the Bowery pretty well. Tim Bolton. Tim Bolton I know his place well. I think I must have seen you there. Your face looked familiar to me as soon as I set eyes on you. Very likely. A good many people came into Tims. I couldnt pretend to remember them all. Was Tim a relative of yours I dont believe he was. I always thought that he got hold of me when I was a . I dont remember the time when I wasnt with him. I suppose you have always lived in New York No; I lived for several
is Arthur Grant, and it will be well for you to assume it hereafter. I have entered you in the list of passengers under that name. I thought you had taken the will from my uncles desk, but I am inclined to think you had nothing to do with it. If you know where it is, or whether Bolton has it, I expect you to notify me in return for the I have expended in your behalf. In that case you can write to me, No. Madison Avenue. Curtis Waring. Dodger read the letter over twice, and it puzzled him. He seems from the letter to take an interest in me, he soliloquized. At any rate, he has given me and clothes, and paid my passage to California. What for, I wonder I dont believe it is to get me away from the bad influence of Tim. There must be some other reason. There was another part of the letter with which Dodger did not agree. Curtis asserted positively that he was the nephew of Tim Bolton, while he was positive that there was no relationship between them. In that case Curtis must have been an early acquaintance of Tims. At any rate, he seemed to know about his past life. Dodger now comprehended his present situation fully. He was a passenger on the ship Columbia, and there was no chance of leaving it. He had ascertainel on inquiry that the vessel would not put in anywhere, but would make the long voyage direct. It would be over four months, at any rate, before he could communicate with Florence, and in the meantime, she and Mrs. OKeefe, whom he recognized as a good friend,
to get rid of her. I dont know why he should want to send you to a distance. I suppose there cant be any relationship Is it likely that Ia poor street boyshould be related to a rich man like Mr. Linden It doesnt seem likely, I admit, said Leslie, musingly. Well, I suppose, he continued, after a pause, there is no use in speculating about the matter now. The important point is, what are we to do with ourselves during the four or five months we must spend on shipboard I dont know what I can do, said Dodger. I cant sell papers, and I cant smash baggage. And there appears to be no need of your doing either, as you are provided with board and lodging till we reach shore. That seems strange to me, for Ive always had to hustle for a living. I was about to make a proposal to you. But first let me ask you about your education. I suppose you are not an accomplished scholar Im about as ignorant as they make em, answered Dodger, drolly. Tim was afraid to send me to college, for fear Id get to know too much for my business. Tending bar does not require an acquaintance with Latin and Greek. Would you like to know more I wish I did. Florence was teaching me nights when I was in New York. Now Ive got to give up all that. Not necessarily. Listen to me, Arthur. Before I came to New York to go into journalism, I taught school for two years; and I believe I may say that I was tolerably successful. Suppose I take you as a scholar I should like it very much, Mr. Leslie, but Im afraid I havent got enough to pay you. That is true. You will need all the you have when you land in California. Twentyfive dollars wont go farstill you have all the that is necessary, for I do not intend to charge you anything. You are very kind to me, Mr. Leslie, considerin you dont know me, said Dodger, gratefully. On the contrary, I think I know you very well. But about the
enemy doesnt spend so much upon another as he has. Unless he has object in it, amended Leslie, shrewdly. Do you know of any connection this man has with you No; I never heard of him until I entered his house, and Dodger flushed as he thought that his entrance into the mansion on Madison Avenue had been as a burglar. It seems to me that he knows more about you than you do about him. It also seems to me that he is anxious to get you out of New York, the farther the better. But what harm could I do him in New York asked Dodger, puzzled. That is the question which I cannot answer. You say he was instrumental in getting his Cousin Florence out of the house Yes; he wanted to marry her. And she would not consent No; I think she hates him. How old is she Seventeen. And he He looks about thirtyfive. The difference in years isnt great enough to constitute an obstacle, provided she loved him. I am thirty years old. I am sure Florence would prefer you to Curtis Waring. Dont flatter me. I am vain enough already. The time may come when I may ask your good offices with Miss Linden. What I was about to ask was: Is Miss Linden also entitled to a share in her uncles estate She is just as nearly related to him as Mr. Waring. Then I can understand his wishing
kindnessmy motives are somewhat mixed. I should like to do you a service, but I should also like to find employment for myself that will make the days less monotonous. I have a collection of books in my trunk, enough for our needs, and if you will agree we will commence our studies tomorrow. I should like it very much. Id like to show Florence, when I see her, that I have improved. Till I saw her I didnt care much, but when I talk with her I feel awfully ignorant. In four months a great deal can be accomplished. I dont know how quick you are to learn. After we have had one or two lessons I can judge better. Two days later Mr. Leslie pronounced his opinion, and a favorable one. You have not exaggerated your ignorance, he said to Dodger. You have a great deal to learn, but on the other hand you are quick, have a retentive memory, and are very anxious to learn. I shall make something of you. I learn faster with you than with Florence, said Dodger. Probably she would succeed better with s, but I hold that a male teacher is better for boys. How long are you willing to study every day As long as you think best. Then we will say from two to three hours. I think you have talent for arithmetic. I dont expect to make you fit for a bookkeeper, but I hope to make you equal to most office boys by the time we reach San Francisco. What do you intend to do in California I dont know. I should like to go back to New York, but I shall not have enough. No; twentyfive dollars would go but a little way toward the passage. Evidently Mr. Waring did not intend to have you return, or he would have provided you
would conclude that he was dead. It was very provoking to think that he could not even telegraph, as that would relieve all anxiety, and he felt sure that Florence was enough his friend to feel anxious about him. He had just closed up his valise, when a young man of dark complexion and of an attractive, intellectual expression, entered the cabin. He nodded pleasantly to Dodger, and said: I suppose this is Arthur Grant Yes, sir, answered Dodger, for he had decided to adopt the name. We ought to become close friends, for we are, I believe, the only passengers. Then you are a passenger, too said Dodger, deciding, after a brief scrutiny, that he should like his new acquaintance. Yes. My name is Randolph Leslie. I have been, for the last five years, a reporter on leading New York daily papers, and worked so closely that my health has become somewhat affected. My doctor recommended a sea voyage, and I have arranged for a pretty long one. What papers have you worked for Oh, all the leading onesTribune, World, Herald, and Sunsometimes one, and sometimes another. Your reason for taking this trip can hardly be the same as mine. You dont look as if your health required you to travel. No, answered Dodger, smiling; but I understand that the gentleman who engaged my passage said I was going to sea for my health. If I were as robust as you, I shouldnt give much thought to my health. Do you intend to remain in California I dont know what I do intend, replied Dodger. I didnt know I was going to California at all until I woke up in my stateroom. The young man looked surprised. Didnt you know the destination

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