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Munafa ebook

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Words: 13669 in 10 pages

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MR. JONES sat in his office on Pearl Street one of the hottest afternoons in August, eighteen hundred and fifty-eight. His linen coat was thrown on the back of his chair, his vest was loosened from top to bottom, a pitcher of iced water stood convenient to his hand; but he puffed and panted continually.

"This is terrible!" he said to Mr. Follinsby a gentlemen sitting opposite, trying to lose the recollection of his discomfort in the columns of the newspaper, "Terrible! Thermometer ninety-eight in the shade. I pity the horses--"

"A boy to see you, Mr. Jones," said a clerk smiling.

"Ha! A boy is there? Well ask him in. Any body who ventures out in the street under such a sun ought to have important business."

The gentlemen both looked toward the door, and were rather surprised to see a little fellow, not more than twelve years of age, standing there, with his straw hat in his hand. He had on what is called a French shirt of some light material made loose with wide sleeves, to which his pantaloons were attached, and a small ruffled collar round his neck. Before he spoke a word, he took a handkerchief from his pocket, and wiped the perspiration from his forehead, brushing back the heavy mass of curls which had fallen there. The only parts of his countenance which deserve particular notice at this time, were a pair of honest, earnest, blue eyes, which looked straight, without fear or hesitation, into the face of the one he addressed; and a small, well cut mouth, which told, without his speaking, a whole story of the possessor's sweetness of temper, and mirthfulness; and yet the manner of shutting it proved that he had firmness too.

All this, which has taken so long to describe, only cost the two gentlemen one searching glance; then the boy took two or three steps forward, saying in a pleasant, respectful tone--

"I want to see Mr. Jones."

"That is Mr. Jones," remarked Mr. Follinsby, waving his hand toward the gentleman.

"Are you the chairman of the Committee on decorating the St. Stevens' church?"

This question was so wholly unexpected by Mr. Jones, who supposed the boy had come to ask charity; or perhaps to seek a place as errand boy in his store, that for one moment he did not answer, but sat eyeing the lad with a perplexed smile, then he said:

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