golden opinions of me from a dozen visitors. "You have a dandy night-clerk," he was told; "Spares no pains . . . pleasant manners . . . knows everything . . . "some" clerk; yes, sir!"
My experience in Chicago assured me that if one does his very best, he comes to success in business in a comparatively short time; so few do all they can. Going to bed at six, I was up every day ato'clock for dinner as it was called and after dinner I got into the habit of going the billiard-room at one end of which was a large bar. By five o'clock or so, the billiard-room was crowded and there was no one to superintend things, so I spoke to Mr. Kendrick about it and took the job on my own shoulders. I had little to do but induce newcomers to await their turn patiently and to mollify old customers who expected to find tables waiting for them. The result of a little courtesy and smiling promises was so marked that at the end of the very first month the bookkeeper, a man named Curtis, told me with a grin that I was to get sixty dollars a month and not forty dollars as I had supposed. Needless to say the extra pay simply quickened my desire to make myself useful. But now I found the way up barred by two superiors, the bookkeeper was one and the steward, a dry taciturn Westerner named Payne was the other. Payne bought everything and had control of the dining-room and waiters while Curtis ruled the office and the bell-boys. I was really under Curtis; but my control of the billiard-room gave me a sort of independent position.
I soon made friends with Curtis; got into the habit of dining with him and when he found that my handwriting was very good, he gave me the day-book to keep and in a couple of months had taught me bookkeeping while entrusting me with a good deal