Robert Coverdale's Struggle Part 57
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"You'll repent this impudence, Bob Coverdale!"
"How am I impudent?"
"To talk of my being in the poorhouse!"
"You spoke of Aunt Jane going to the poorhouse."
"That's a different matter."
"At any rate, she won't go!" said Robert decidedly.
"Won't? We'll see about that. How are you going to help it?"
"By paying the mortgage," answered Robert quietly.
"You can't do it," said Mr. Jones, his jaw drooping.
"You are mistaken, Mr. Jones. If you'll write a receipt, I am ready to pay it now--principal and interest."
Robert drew out a roll of bills from the pocket of his ragged vest and began to count them.
"Where did you get this money?" ejaculated the landlord.
"I must decline telling you, Mr. Jones. It's good money, as you can see.
I think you'll have to tell Frank Shelton he can't have the house unless he wants to hire of my aunt."
Nahum Jones hated to take the money that was offered him, but there was no loophole to escape. The good bargain was slipping from his grasp. The triumphant look faded from his face, and he looked exceedingly ill at ease.
"I'll come up with you for this, Bob Coverdale!" he muttered angrily.
"For what? Paying you money, Mr. Jones?"
"You know what I mean."
"Yes, I do know what you mean," returned the boy gravely. "This money is in payment for liquor furnished to my poor uncle--liquor which broke up the happiness of his home and finally led to his death. You laid a plot to deprive my aunt, whom you had so much injured, of her home, but you have been defeated. We don't care to have anything more to do with you."
There is no need of recording the landlord's ill-natured answer. He was angry and humiliated, and, when he got home, snapped up Mrs. Jones when she began to make inquiries about the new property. He felt the worse because he had been defeated by a boy.
HOW IT ENDED
"Robert," said Gilbert Huet later in the day, "next week Julian and I go to Boston, where we shall try to make a home for ourselves."
Robert looked sober.
"I shall feel very lonely without you," he said.
"You are to go, too, Robert," said Julian quickly.
"If you will. Julian wants your society, and so do I."
Robert's face flushed with eager delight.
"But my aunt?" he said.
"I have been speaking to your aunt. In fact, I invited her to accompany us, but she says she is used to Cook's Harbor and cannot leave it."
"I don't like to leave her alone."
"Then I'll tell you what you can do. I understand that young Frank Shelton is seeking for a home where he can take his promised wife. I advise you to enlarge the cottage, putting on another story and perhaps an L also. This will give you plenty of room for your aunt and the young couple, who will be company for her."
"Yes," said Mrs. Trafton, "I always liked Frank Shelton and his wife that is to be. The arrangement will be very agreeable to me."
"But," objected Robert, "how can I build an addition to the house? I have no money."
"I beg your pardon," said Mr. Huet, smiling, "but I don't think a young gentleman worth ten thousand dollars can truthfully say he has no money.
I hope, Robert, you are not growing mean."
"Ten thousand dollars!" ejaculated Robert, his eyes wide open with amazement.
"I don't understand you, Mr. Huet."
"Then perhaps you will understand this."
Mr. Huet handed Robert a slip of paper, which proved to be a check on the Merchants' Bank, of Boston, for the sum of ten thousand dollars, payable to Robert Coverdale or order. It was signed by Gilbert Huet.
"You see, you are rich, Robert," said Julian, smiling with joy at his friend's good fortune.
"Oh, Mr. Huet, I don't deserve this," said Robert, his heart full.
"You must let me judge of that, my dear boy. Say no more or you will be depreciating Julian's value. You have restored him to me, and I consider him worth much more than ten thousand dollars."
Of course, Robert joyfully accepted the munificent gift so cordially offered. By Mr. Huet's advice, he invested the money in good dividend-paying securities and monthly sent his aunt twenty-five dollars, which, with the rent, made her quite easy in her circumstances.
The additions were made to the cottage, and Frank Shelton and his wife were glad to hire the house, thus providing Mrs. Trafton with society as well as adding to her income.
As for Robert, henceforth he shared in all the educational advantages which Julian enjoyed.
Mr. Huet took a house, engaged an excellent housekeeper and at length enjoyed a home.
One letter he wrote to Charles Waldo--a scathing letter denouncing him for his infamous conduct and threatening severe punishment if he ever again conspired against his happiness. Mr. Waldo did not answer the letter for very shame. What excuse or apology could he possibly offer?
Robert Coverdale's Struggle Part 57
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Robert Coverdale's Struggle Part 57 summary
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