Three days later, in the early evening, Loammi Little met Harold in the
“Hi, you boy!” he said, with malicious pleasure; “you lost your place at
my father’s store, didn’t you?”
“Yes,” answered Harold, calmly.
“That will teach you to treat me with respect hereafter.”
“I suppose I am indebted to you for getting me discharged.”
“Yes,” answered Loammi, with a smile.
“Then I want to thank you.”
“To thank me!” exclaimed Loammi, in surprise.
“Yes, for I have now a better place.”
“With Tower, Douglas & Co.”
“Did Scott Walton get it for you?” asked Loammi, quickly.
“Then he had better mind his own business. My father may get him
discharged from his place there.”
“That is more than he can do. Mr. Tower puts great confidence in Scott.”
“Do you know what he pays him?”
“Forty dollars a week.”
“Nonsense!” said Loammi, angrily.
“It is true.”
“Then Mr. Tower is a fool.”
“Why don’t you call and tell him so?”
A really mean person can receive no heavier blow than to find his
malicious attempt to injure another of no avail. This was the case with
When he was forced to believe that Scott really received the high salary
he had contemptuously scoffed at, he became more discontented than ever.
He tried to get his father to increase his allowance, but without
success. He was mortified to find that even Harold vied with him in
“How these beggarly upstarts are coming up!” he said to himself,
bitterly. “It makes me sick.”
But a heavier blow was in store for him. Dull times came in business,
retail trade fell off, and one morning it was announced in the papers
that the great house of Ezra Little had suspended.
Mr. Little made desperate efforts to secure financial assistance, but in
vain. No one liked him, and it looked as if he was irretrievably ruined.
When things looked darkest, a plain-looking old man entered the store,
and asked to see Mr. Little.
“Seth Lawton!” exclaimed the merchant. “I can’t see you. I am very
“I hear you are in trouble,” said Cousin Seth.
“And I suppose you are glad of it,” replied Ezra, bitterly.
“No, I have come to help you,” responded Mr. Lawton.
“You help me!” repeated Ezra, scornfully. “What good will a few hundred
“How much help do you need?”
“With forty thousand dollars I could weather the storm handsomely,”
replied Mr. Little.
“You shall have it, if you will secure me well.”
“Have you got forty thousand dollars? I thought you a poor man.”
“It isn’t the only mistake you have made, Cousin Ezra. At the time you
looked down upon me I was richer than yourself. But I will only help you
“I will agree to any conditions,” said Ezra, his pride humbled. “Only
help me out of my present trouble.”
So the house of Ezra Little was saved, and its head received a lesson.
His pride had had a fall. Those whom he looked down upon proved to
surpass him in the only thing on which he prided himself–the possession
One of Cousin Seth’s conditions was that Loammi should go into his
father’s store, and exchange his elegant leisure for honest work. He
complained a good deal, but Seth Lawton and his father insisted. He may
in time become a useful, hard-working man of business, but he has a good
deal to learn first.
Scott continues to prosper, and next year will become a partner in the
firm of Tower, Douglas & Co. Harold is earning a good salary now, and
his father’s troubles are over. He gets more remunerative work at his
profession, and, with his family, occupies a pleasant home in Bayonne.
Mr. Lawton has leased a handsome house uptown, and Scott lives with him.
He is rich–how rich no one knows–and Scott is generally supposed to be