Then you ought to learn. I went to school once; but it was too hard work, so i give. Youre lazy, johnny, thats whats the matter. Howd you ever expect to know anything, if you dont try? You can, if you want. Johnny nolan was evidently of a different opinion. He was a good-natured boy, large of his age, with nothing particularly bad about him, but utterly shakespeare lacking in that energy, ambition, and natural sharpness, for which Dick was distinguished. He was not adapted to succeed in the life which circumstances had forced upon him; for in the street-life of the metropolis a boy needs to be on the alert, and have all his wits about him, or he will find himself wholly distanced.
What are you doin down here, dick? Ive been mailin a letter. I mean, who writ the letter? I wrote it myself. Can you write letters? Asked Johnny, in amazement. I didnt know you could essay write.
Praps it would be a good idea for us to open a seleck school here in Mott Street, said Dick, humorously. We could call it Professor Fosdick and Hunters Mott Street Seminary. Boot-blackin taught by Professor Hunter. The evening was so far advanced that Dick decided to postpone copying his letter till the next evening. By this time he had come to have a very fair handwriting, so that when the letter was complete it really looked quite creditable, and no one would have suspected that it was Dicks first attempt in this line. Our hero surveyed it with no little complacency. In fact, he felt rather proud of it, since it reminded him of the great progress he had made. He carried it down to the post-office, and deposited it with his own hands in the proper box. Just on the steps of the building, as he was coming out, he met Johnny nolan, who had been sent on an errand to wall Street by some gentleman, and was just returning.
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I didnt think i could have wrote such a long letter, fosdick said. Written would be more grammatical, dick, suggested his friend. I guess theres plenty of mistakes in it, said Dick. Just look at it, and see. Fosdick took the letter, and read it over carefully.
Yes, there are some mistakes, he said; ppt but it sounds so much like you that I think it would be better to let it go just as. It will be more likely to remind Frank of what you were when he first saw you. Is it good enough to send? Yes; it seems to me to be quite a good letter. It is written just as you talk. Nobody but you could have written such a letter, dick. I think Frank will be amused at your proposal to come up there as teacher.
I should think youd have a bully time at your school. I should like to go out in the boat, or play ball with you. When are you comin to the city? I wish youd write and let me know when you do, and Ill call and see you. Ill leave my business in the hands of my numerous clerks, and go round with you. Theres lots of things you didnt see when you was here before.
Theyre getting on fast at the central Park. It looks better than it did a year ago. I aint much used to writin letters. As this is the first one i ever wrote, i hope youll excuse the mistakes. I hope youll write to me again soon. I cant write so good a letter as you; but, Ill do my best, as the man said when he was asked if he could swim over to Brooklyn backwards. Thank you for all your kindness. Direct your next letter. Your true friend, dick hunter, when Dick had written the last word, he leaned back in his chair, and surveyed the letter with much satisfaction.
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When my hair gets gray, im goin to knock off blackin boots, and go into some light, genteel employment, such as keepin an apple-stand, review or disseminatin pea-nuts among the people. Ive got so as to read pretty well, so my tooter says. Ive been studyin geography and grammar also. Ive made such astonishin progress that I can tell a noun from a conjunction as far away as I can see. Munroe that if he wants an accomplished teacher in his school, he can send for me, and Ill come on by the very next train. Or, if he wants to sell out for a hundred dollars, Ill buy the whole concern, and agree to teach the scholars all i know myself in less than six months. Is teachin as good business, generally speakin, as blackin boots? My private tooter combines both, and is makin a fortun with great rapidity. Hell be as rich save as Astor some time, if he only lives long enough.
Ive give up sleepin in boxes, and old wagons, findin it didnt agree with my constitution. Ive hired a room in Mott Street, and have got a private tooter, who rooms with me and looks movie after my studies in the evenin. Mott Street aint very fashionable; but my manshun on Fifth avenoo isnt finished yet, and Im afraid it wont be till Im a gray-haired veteran. Ive got a hundred dollars towards it, which ive saved up from my earnins. I havent forgot what you and your uncle said to me, and Im tryin to grow up spectable. I havent been to tony pastors, or the Old Bowery, for ever so long. Id rather save up my money to support me in my old age.
may like to read. Here it is, dear frank, i got your letter this mornin, and was very glad to hear you hadnt forgotten Ragged Dick. I aint so ragged as I was. Openwork coats and trowsers has gone out of fashion. I put on the. Washington coat and Napoleon pants to go to the post-office, for fear they wouldnt think i was the boy that was meant. On my way back i received the congratulations of my intimate friend, micky. Maguire, on my improved appearance.
I dont know what to say, said Dick. Get some paper and sit down to it, and youll find enough to say. You can do that this evening instead of studying. If youll look it over afterwards, and shine it up a little. Yes, if it needs it; but I rather think Frank would like it best just as you wrote. Dick decided to adopt Fosdicks suggestion. He had very serious doubts as to his ability to write a letter. Like a good many other boys, he writing looked upon it as a very serious job, not reflecting that, after all, letter-writing is nothing but talking upon paper. Still, in spite of his misgivings, he felt that the letter ought to be answered, and he wished Frank to hear from him.
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Presented by, authorama, public Domain books, when Fosdick reached home in the evening, dick displayed his letter with some pride. Its a nice letter, said Fosdick, after reading it I should like to know Frank. Ill bet you would, said Dick. When are you going to answer it? I dont know, said Dick, dubiously. I never writ japanese a letter. Thats no reason why you shouldnt. Theres always a first time, you know.