"Good God!" he cried, "fancy a bootblack quoting Vergil. You're a strange lad, what age are you?" "Sixteen", I replied. "You don't look it", he said, "but now I must hurry; one of these days we'll have a talk". I smiled,"Thank you, Sir", and away he hastened.
The very next day he was in still greater haste: "I must get down town", he said, "I'm late already; just give me a rub or two", he cried impatiently, "I must catch that train" and he fumbled with some bills in his hand. "It's all right", I said, and smiling added; "Hurry! I'll be here tomorrow". He smiled and went off without paying, taking me at my word.
The next day I strolled down-town early; for Allison had found that a stand and lean-to were to be sold on the corner of 13th Street and Seventh Avenue, and as he was known, he wanted me to go and have a look at the business done from seven to nine. The Dago who wished to sell out and go back to Dalmatia, wanted three hundred dollars for the outfit, asserting that the business brought in four dollars a day. He had not exaggerated unduly, I found, and Allison was hot that we should buy it together and go fifty-fifty. "You'll make five or six dollars a day at it", he said, "if the Dago makes four. It's one of the good pitches and with three dollars a day coming in, you'll soon have a stand of your own".
While we were discussing it, Kendrick came up and took his accustomed seat. "What were you so hot about?" he asked, and as Allison smiled, I told him, "Three dollars a day seems good", he said, "but bootblacking's not your game. How would you like to come to Chicago and have a place as night-clerk