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Making His Way; Or, Frank Courtney's Struggle Upward

Making His Way; Or, Frank Courtney's Struggle Upward

Author:Jr. Horatio Alger


Two boys were walking in the campus of the Bridgeville Academy. They were apparently of about the same age--somewhere from fifteen to sixteen--but there was a considerable difference in their attire...
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  Two boys were walking in the campus of the Bridgeville Academy. Theywere apparently of about the same age--somewhere from fifteen tosixteen--but there was a considerable difference in their attire.

  Herbert Grant was neatly but coarsely dressed, and his shoes were ofcowhide, but his face indicated a frank, sincere nature, and wasexpressive of intelligence.

  His companion was dressed in a suit of fine cloth, his linen was of thefinest, his shoes were calfskin, and he had the indefinable air of a boywho had been reared in luxury.

  He had not the broad, open face of his friend--for the two boys wereclose friends--but his features were finely chiseled, indicating a shareof pride, and a bold, self-reliant nature.

  He, too, was an attractive boy, and in spite of his pride possessed awarm, affectionate heart and sterling qualities, likely to endear him tothose who could read and understand him.

  His name was Frank Courtney, and he is the hero of my story.

  "Have you written your Latin exercises, Frank?" asked Herbert.

  "Yes; I finished them an hour ago."

  "I was going to ask you to write them with me. It is pleasanter tostudy in company."

  "Provided you have the right sort of company," rejoined Frank.

  "Am I the right sort of company?" inquired Herbert, with a smile.

  "You hardly need to ask that, Herbert. Are we not always together? If Idid not like your company, I should not seek it so persistently. I don'tcare to boast, but I have plenty of offers of companionship which Idon't care to accept. There is Bob Stickney, for instance, who is alwaysinviting me to his room; but you know what he is--a lazy fellow, whocares more to have a good time than to study. Then there is JamesCameron, a conceited, empty-headed fellow, who is very disagreeable tome."

  "You don't mention your stepbrother, Mark Manning."

  "For two reasons--he doesn't care for my company, and of all the boys Idislike him the most."

  "I don't like him myself. But why do you dislike him so much?"

  "Because he is a sneak--a crafty, deceitful fellow, always scheming forhis own interest. He hates me, but he doesn't dare to show it. Hisfather is my mother's husband, but the property is hers, and will bemine. He thinks he may some day be dependent on me, and he conceals hisdislike in order to stand the better chance by and by. Heaven grant thatit may be long before my dear mother is called away!"

  "How did she happen to marry again, Frank?"

  "I can hardly tell. It was a great grief to me. Mr. Manning was apenniless lawyer, who ingratiated himself with my mother, andpersecuted her till she consented to marry him. He is very soft-spoken,and very plausible, and he managed to make mother--who has been aninvalid for years--think that it would be the best thing for her todelegate her cares to him, and provide me with a second father."

  Frank did not like his stepfather, he did not trust him.

  "Your stepbrother, Mark Manning, enjoys the same advantages as yourself,does he not?" inquired Herbert.


  "Then his father's marriage proved a good thing for him."

  "That is true. When he first came to the house he was poorly dressed,and had evidently been used to living in a poor way. He was at onceprovided with a complete outfit as good as my own, and from that time asmuch has been spent on him as on me. Don't think that I am mean enoughto grudge him any part of the money expended upon him. If he were likeyou, I could like him, and enjoy his society; but he is just another ashis father."

  Here Herbert's attention was drawn to a boy who was approaching with ayellow envelope in his hand.

  "Frank," he said, suddenly, "there's Mark Manning. He looks as if he hadsomething to say to you. He has either a letter or a telegram in hishand."