Bound to Rise

by Horatio Alger

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Chapter XVI. Asking a Favor

There was one other tailor in the village, James Hayden, and to him Luke Harrison determined to transfer his custom, hoping to be allowed to run up a bill with him. He did not like his style of cut as well as Merrill's, but from the latter he was cut off unless he would pay the old bill, and this would be inconvenient.

He strolled into James Hayden's shop and asked to look at some cloth for pants.

Hayden was a shrewd man and, knowing that Luke was a customer of his neighbor, suspected the reason of his transfer. However, he showed the cloth, and, a selection having been made, measured him.

"When will you have them done?" asked Luke.

"In three days."

"I want them by that time sure."

"Of course you pay cash."

"Why," said Luke, hesitating, "I suppose you won't mind giving me a month's credit."

Mr. Hayden shook his head.

"I couldn't do it. My goods are already paid for and I have to pay for the work. I must have cash."

"Merrill always trusted me," pleaded Luke.

"Then why did you leave him?"

"Why," said Luke, a little taken aback, "he didn't cut the last clothes exactly to suit me."

"Didn't suit you? I thought you young people preferred his cut to mine. I am old-fashioned. Hadn't you better go back to Merrill?"

"I've got tired of him," said Luke. "I'll get a pair of pants of you, and see how I like them."

"I'll make them but I can't trust."

"All right. I'll bring the money," said Luke, who yet thought that he might get off by paying part down when he took the pants.

"The old fellow's deuced disobliging," said he o Frank Heath, when they got into the street.

"I don't know as I blame him," said Frank.

"I wish Merrill wasn't so stiff about it. He's terribly afraid of losing his bill."

"That's where he's right," said Frank, laughing. "I'd be the same if I were in his place."

"Do you always pay your bills right off?" said Luke.

"Yes, I do. I don't pretend to be a model boy. I'm afraid I keep bad company," he continued, "but I don't owe a cent to anybody except for board and that I pay up at the end of every week."

Luke dropped the subject, not finding it to his taste.

On Saturday night he went round to the tailor's.

"Have you got my pants done, Mr. Hayden?"

"Yes--here they are."

"Let me see," he said, "how much are they?"

"Nine dollars."

"I'll pay you three dollars to-night and the rest at the end of next week," he said.

"Very well; then you may have them at the end of next week."

"Why not now? They are done, ain't they?"

"Yes," said Mr. Hayden; "but not paid for."

"Didn't I tell you I'd pay three dollars now?"

"Our terms are cash down."

"You ain't afraid of me, are you?" blustered Luke.

"You understood when you ordered the pants that they were to be paid for when they were taken."

"I hate to see people so afraid of losing their money."

"Do you? Was that why you left Merrill?"

Luke colored. He suspected that the fact of his unpaid bill at the other tailor's was known to Mr. Hayden.

"I've a great mind to leave them on your hands."

"I prefer to keep them on my hands, rather than to let them go out of the shop without being paid for."

"Frank," said Luke, turning to his companion, "lend me five dollars, can't you?"

"I'm the wrong fellow to ask," said he; "I've got to pay my board and another bill to-night."

"Oh, let your bills wait."

"And lend you the money? Thank you, I ain't so green. When should I get the money again?"

"Next week."

"In a horn. No; I want to wear the pants to-morrow. I'm going out to ride."

"I don't see, unless you fork over the spondulies."

"I can't. I haven't got enough money."

"See Harry Walton."

"I don't believe he has got any. He bought a lot of clothes last week. They must have cost a pile."

"Can't help it. I saw him open his pocketbook last night and in it was a roll of bills."

Turning to the tailor, Luke said: "Just lay aside the pants and I'll come back for them pretty soon."

Mr. Hayden smiled to himself.

"There's nothing like fetching up these fellows with a round turn," he said. "'No money, no clothes'--that's my motto. Merrill told me all about that little bill that sent Luke Harrison over here. He don't run up any bill with me, if I know myself."

Luke went round to the village store. Harry Walton usually spent a part of every evening in instructive reading and study; but after a hard day's work he felt it necessary to pass an hour or so in the open air, so he came down to the center of center of the village.

"Hello, Walton!" said Luke, accosting him with unusual cordiality. "You are just the fellow I want to see."

"Am I?" inquired Harry in surprise, for there was no particular friendship or intimacy between them.

"Yes; I'm going to ask a little favor of you--a mere trifle. Lend me five or ten dollars for a week. Five will do it, you can't spare more."

Harry shook his head.

"I can't do that, Luke."

"Why not? Haven't you got as much?"

"Yes, I've got it."

"Then why won't you lend it to me?"

"I have little money and I can't run any risk."

"Do you think I won't pay you back?"

"Why do you need to borrow of me? You get much higher wages than I do."

"I want to pay a bill to-night. I didn't think you'd be so unaccommodating."

"I shouldn't be willing to lend to anyone," said Harry.

"The money isn't mine. I am going to send it home."

"A great sight you are!" sneered Luke. "I wanted to see just how mean you were. You've got the money in your pocket but you won't lend it."

This taunt did not particularly disturb Harry. There is a large class like Luke, who offended at being refused a loan, though quite aware that they are never likely to repay it. My young readers will be sure to meet specimens of this class, against whom the only protection is a very firm and decided "No."

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