When Jack turned away from the entrance
to Central Park, he found much of the Sunday quiet
gone. It was nearly half-past ten o’clock;
the sidewalks were covered with people, and the street
resounded with the rattle of carriage-wheels.
There was some uneasiness in the mind
of the boy from Crofield. The policeman had
impressed upon Jack the idea that he was not at home
in the city, and that he did not seem at home there.
He did not know one church from another, and part
of his uneasiness was about how city people managed
their churches. Perhaps they sold tickets, he
thought; or perhaps you paid at the door; or possibly
it didn’t cost anything, as in Crofield.
“I’ll ask,” he decided,
as he paused in front of what seemed to him a very
imposing church. He stood still, for a moment,
as the steady procession passed him, part of it going
by, but much of it turning into the church.
he said bashfully to four well-dressed men in quick
succession; but not one of them paused to answer him.
Two did not so much as look at him, and the glances
given him by the other two made his cheeks burn he
hardly knew why.
“There’s a man I’ll
try,” thought Jack. “I’m getting
mad!” The man of whom Jack spoke came up the
street. He seemed an unlikely subject.
He was so straight he almost leaned backward; he was
rather slender than thin; and was uncommonly well
dressed. In fact, Jack said to himself:
“He looks as if he had bought the meeting-house,
and was not pleased with his bargain.”
Proud, even haughty, as was the manner
of the stranger, Jack stepped boldly forward and again
“Well, my boy, what is it?”
The response came with a halt and almost a bow.
“If a fellow wished to go to
this church, how would he get in?” asked Jack.
“Do you live in the city?”
There was a frown of stern inquiry on the broad forehead;
but the head was bending farther forward.
“No,” said Jack, “I live in Crofield.”
“Away up on the Cocahutchie River. I came
here early this morning.”
“What’s your name?”
“Come with me, John Ogden. You may have
a seat in my pew. Come.”
Into the church and up the middle
aisle Jack followed his leader, with a sense of awe
almost stifling him; then, too, he felt drowned in
the thunderous flood of music from the organ.
He saw the man stop, open a pew-door, step back,
smile and bow, and then wait until the boy from Crofield
had passed in and taken his seat.
“He’s a gentleman,”
thought Jack, hardly aware that he himself had bowed
low as he went in, and that a smile of grim approval
had followed him.
In the pew behind them sat another
man, as haughty looking, but just now wearing the
same kind of smile as he leaned forward and asked in
an audible whisper:
“General, who’s your friend?”
“Mr. John Ogden, of Crofield,
away up on the Cookyhutchie River. I netted
him at the door,” was the reply, in the same
“Good catch?” asked the other.
“Just as good as I was, Judge,
forty years ago. I’ll tell you how that
was some day.”
“Decidedly raw material, I should say.”
“Well, so was I. I was no more
knowing than he is. I remember what it is to
be far away from home.”
The hoarse, subdued whispers ceased;
the two gentle men looked grim and severe again.
Then there was a grand burst of music from the organ,
the vast congregation stood up, and Jack rose with
He felt solemn enough, there was no
doubt of that; but what he said to himself unconsciously
took this shape:
“Jingo! If this isn’t
the greatest going to church I ever did!
Hear that voice! The organ too what
music! Don’t I wish Molly was here!
I wish all the family were here.”
The service went on and Jack listened
attentively, in spite of a strong tendency in his
eyes to wander among the pillars to the galleries,
up into the lofty vault above him, or around among
the pews full of people. He knew it was a good
sermon and that the music was good, singing and all especially
when the congregation joined in “Old Hundred”
and another old hymn that he knew. Still he had
an increasing sense of being a very small fellow in
a very large place. When he raised his head,
after the benediction, he saw the owner of the pew
turn toward him, bow low, and hold out his hand.
Jack shook hands, of course.
“Good-morning, Mr. Ogden,”
said the gentleman gravely, with almost a frown on
his face, but very politely, and then he turned and
walked out of the pew. Jack also bowed as he
shook hands, and said, “Good-morning.
Thank you, sir. I hope you enjoyed the sermon.”
“General,” said the gentleman
in the pew behind them, “pretty good for raw
material. Keep an eye on him.”
“No, I won’t,” said
the general. “I’ve spoiled four or
five in that very way.”
“Well, I believe you’re
right,” said the judge, after a moment.
“It’s best for that kind of boy to fight
his own battles. I had to.”
“So did I,” said the general,
“and I was well pounded for a while.”
Jack did not hear all of the conversation,
but he had a clear idea that they were talking about
him; and as he walked slowly out of the church, packed
in among the crowd in the aisle, he had a very rosy
Jack had in mind a thought that had
often come to him in the church at Crofield, near
the end of the sermon: he was conscious
that it was dinner-time.
Of course he thought, with a little
homesickness, of the home dinner-table.
“I wish I could sit right down
with them,” he thought, “and tell them
what Sunday is in the city. Then my dinner wouldn’t
cost me a cent there, either. No matter, I’m
here, and now I can begin to make more money right
away. I have five dollars and fifty cents left
Then he thought of the bill of fare
at the Hotel Dantzic, and many of the prices on it,
and remembered Mr. Guilderaufenberg’s instructions
about going to some cheaper place for his meals.
“I didn’t tell him that
I had only nine dollars,” he said to himself,
“but I’ll follow his advice. He’s
Jack had been too proud to explain
how little money he had, but his German friend had
really done well by him in making him take the little
room at the top of the Hotel Dantzic. He had
said to his wife:
“Dot poy! Vell, I see
him again some day. He got a place to shleep,
anyhow, vile he looks around und see de ceety.
No oder poy I efer meets know at de same time so
moch and so leetle.”
With every step from the church door
Jack felt hungrier, but he did not turn his steps
toward the Hotel Dantzic. He walked on down to
the lower part of the city, on the lookout for hotels
and restaurants. It was not long before he came
to a hotel, and then he passed another and another;
and he passed a number of places where the signs told
him of dinners to be had within, but all looked too
“They’re for rich people,”
he said, shaking his head, “like the people
in that church. What stacks of money they must
have? That organ maybe cost more than all the
meeting-houses in Crofield!”
After going a little farther Jack exclaimed;
“I don’t care! I’ve just got
He was getting farther and farther
from the Hotel Dantzic, and suddenly his eyes were
caught by a very taking sign, at the top of some neat
steps leading down into a basement:
“DINNER. ROAST BEEF. TWENTY-FIVE
“That’ll do.” said
Jack eagerly. “I can stand that.
Roost beef alone is forty cents at the Dantzic.”
Down he went and found himself in
a wide comfortable room, containing two long dining
tables, and a number of small oblong tables, and some
round tables, all as neat as wax. It was a very
pleasant place, and a great many other hungry people
were there already.
Jack sat down at one of the small
tables, and a waiter came to him at once.
“Dinner sir? Yessir.
Roast beef, sir? Yessir. Vegetables?
Potatoes? Lima-beans? Sweet corn?”
“Yes, please,” said Jack.
“Beef, potatoes, beans, and corn?” and
the waiter was gone.
It seemed to be a long time before
the beef and vegetables came, but they were not long
in disappearing after they were on the table.
The waiter had other people to serve,
but he was an attentive fellow.
“Pie sir?” he said, naming five kinds
without a pause.
“Custard-pie,” said Jack.
“Coffee, sir? Yessir,” and he darted
“This beats the Hotel Dantzic
all to pieces,” remarked Jack, as he went on
with his pie and coffee; but the waiter was scribbling
something upon a slip of paper, and when it was done
he put it down by Jack’s plate.
“Jingo!” said Jack in
a horrified tone, a moment later. “What’s
this? ’Roast beef, 25; potatoes, 10; Lima-beans,
10; corn, 10; bread, 5; coffee, 10; pie, 10:
$0.80.’ Eighty cents! Jingo!
How like smoke it does cost to live in New York!
This can’t be one of the cheap places Mr. Guilderaufenberg
Jack felt much chagrined, but he finished
his pie and coffee bravely. “It’s
a sell,” he said, “ but then
it was a good dinner!”
He went to the cashier with an effort
to act as if it was an old story to him. He
gave the cashier a dollar, received his change, and
turned away, as the man behind the counter remarked
to a friend at his elbow:
“I knew it. He had the cash. His
face was all right.”
“Clothes will fool anybody,” said the
Jack heard it, and he looked at the men sitting at
“They’re all wearing Sunday
clothes,” he thought, “but some are no
better than mine. But there’s a difference.
I’ve noticed it all along.”
So had others, for Jack had not seen
one in that restaurant who had on at all such a suit
of clothes as had been made for him by the Crofield
“Four dollars and seventy cents
left,” said Jack thoughtfully, as he went up
into the street; and then he turned to go down-town
without any reason for choosing that direction.
An hour later, Mr. Gilderaufenberg
and his wife and their friends were standing near
the front door of the Hotel Dantzic, talking with the
proprietor. Around them lay their baggage, and
in front of the door was a carriage. Evidently
they were going away earlier than they had intended.
“Dot poy!” exclaimed the
broad and bearded German. “He find us not
here ven he come. You pe goot to dot
poy, Mr. Keifelheimer.”
“So!” said the hotel proprietor,
and at once three other voices chimed in with good-bye
messages to Jack Ogden. Mr. Keifelheimer responded:
“I see to him. He will
come to Vashington to see you. So!”
Then they entered the carriage, and away they went.
After walking for a few blocks, Jack
found that he did not know exactly where he was.
But suddenly he exclaimed:
“Why, if there isn’t City
Hall Square! I’ve come all the way down
He had stared at building after building
for a time without thinking much about them, and then
he had begun to read the signs.
“I’ll come down this way
again to-morrow,” he said. “It’s
good there are so many places to work in. I
wish I knew exactly what I would like to do, and which
of them it is best to go to. I know! I
can do as I did in Crofield. I can try one for
a while, and then, if I don’t like it, I can
try another. It is lucky that I know how to do
The confident smile had come back.
He had entirely recovered from the shock of his eighty-cent
expenditure. He had not met many people, all
the way down, and the stores were shut; but for that
very reason he had bad more time to study the signs.
“Very nearly every kind of business
is done on Broadway,” he said, “except
groceries and hardware, but they sell more
clothing than anything else. I’ll look
round everywhere before I settle down; but I must
look out not to spend too much money till I begin to
“It’s not far now,”
he said, a little while after, “to the lower
end of the city and to the Battery. I’ll
take a look at the Battery before I go back to the
Taller and more majestic grew the
buildings as he went on, but he was not now so dazed
and confused as he had been in the morning.
“Here is Trinity Church, again,”
he said. “I remember about that.
And that’s Wall Street. I’ll see
that as I come back; but now I’ll go right along
and see the Battery. Of course there isn’t
any battery there, but Mr. Guilderaufenberg said that
from it I could see the fort on Governor’s Island.”
Jack did not see much of the Battery,
for he followed the left-hand sidewalk at the Bowling
Green, where Broadway turns into Whitehall Street.
He had so long been staring at great buildings whose
very height made him dizzy, that he was glad to see
beside them some which looked small and old.
“I’ll find my way without
asking,” he remarked to himself. “I’m
pretty near the end now. There are some gates,
and one of them is open. I’ll walk right
in behind that carriage. That must be the gate
to the Battery.”
The place he was really looking for
was at some distance to the right, and the carriage
he was following so confidently, had a very different
The wide gateway was guarded by watchful
men, not to mention two policemen, and they would
have caught and stopped any boy who had knowingly
tried to do what Jack did so innocently. Their
backs must have been turned, for the carriage passed
in, and so did Jack, without any one’s trying
to stop him. He was as bold as a lion about it,
because he did not know any better. A number
of people were at the same time crowding through a
narrower gateway at one side, and they may have distracted
the attention of the gatemen.
“I’d just as lief go in
at the wagon-gate,” said Jack, and he did not
notice that each one stopped and paid something before
going through. Jack went on behind the carriage.
The carriage crossed what seemed to Jack a kind of
bridge housed over. Nobody but a boy straight
from Crofield could have gone so far as that without
suspecting something; but the carriage stopped behind
a line of other vehicles, and Jack walked unconcernedly
“Jingo!” he suddenly exclaimed.
“What’s this? I do believe the end
of this street is moving!”
He bounded forward, much startled
by a thing so strange and unaccountable, and in a
moment more he was looking out upon a great expanse
of water, dotted here and there with canal-boats, ships,
“Mister,” he asked excitedly
of a little man leaning against a post, “what’s
“Have ye missed your way and
got onto the wrong ferry-boat?” replied the
little man gleefully. “I did it once myself.
All right, my boy. You’ve got to go to
Staten Island this time. Take it coolly.”
“Ferry-boat?” said Jack.
“Staten Island? I thought it was the end
of the street, going into the Battery!”
“Oh, you’re a greenhorn!”
laughed the little man “Well, it won’t
hurt ye; only there’s no boat back from the
island, on Sunday, till after supper. I’ll
tell ye all about it. Where’d you come
“From Crofield,” said
Jack, “and I got here only this morning.”
The little man eyed him half-suspiciously
for a moment, and then led him to the rail of the
“Look back there,” he
said. “Yonder’s the Battery.
You ought to have kept on. It’s too much
for me how you ever got aboard of this ’ere
boat without knowing it!” And he went on with
a long string of explanations, of which Jack understood
about half, with the help of what he recalled from
his guide-book. All the while, however, they
were having a sail across the beautiful bay, and little
by little Jack made up his mind not to care.
“I’ve made a mistake and
slipped right out of the city,” he said to himself,
“about as soon as I got in! But maybe I
can slip back again this evening.”
“About the greenest bumpkin
I’ve seen for an age,” thought the little
man, as he stood and looked at Jack. “It’ll
take all sorts of blunders to teach him. He
is younger than he looks, too. Anyway, this sail
won’t hurt him a bit.”
That was precisely Jack’s conclusion
long before the swift voyage ended and he walked off
the ferry-boat upon the solid ground of Staten Island.