The Errand Boy; or, How Phil Brent Won Success by Horatio Alger, Jr. Chapter 11, 12, 13, 14, 15

”What can I do to bring this about?“

”Do nothing! Stay where you are. Circumstances are working favorably, but you must wait.

There are some drawbacks.“

”What are they?“

”You have two enemies, or rather one, for the other does not count.“

”Is that enemy a man?“

”No, it is a woman.“

”My step-mother!“ ejaculated Phil, with immediate conviction.

”You have guessed aright.“

”And who is the other?“

”A boy.“


”It is the son of the woman whom you call your step-mother.“

”What harm can they do me? I am not afraid of them,“ said Phil, raising his head proudly.

”Do not be too confident! The meanest are capable of harm. Mrs. Brent does not like you because she is a mother.“

”She fears that I will interfere with her son.“

”You are all right.“

”Is there anything more you can tell me?“ asked Phil. ”Have I any other enemies?“

”Yes; there are two more–also a woman and her son.“

”That puzzles me. I can think of no one.“

”They live in the city.“

”I know. It is Mrs. Pitkin, my employer’s wife. Why should she dislike me?“

”There is an old man who likes you. That is the cause.“

”I see. She doesn’t want him to be kind to any one out of the family.“

”That is all I have to tell you,“ said the fortune- teller abruptly. ”You can go.“

”You have told me strange things,“ said Phil.

”Will you tell me how it is you know so much about a stranger?“

”I have nothing more to tell you. You can go!“ said the veiled lady impatiently.

”At least tell me how much I am to pay you.“


”But I thought you received fees.“

”Not from you.“

”Did you not take something from my friend who was in here before me?“


”You told him a good fortune.“

”He is a fool!“ said the fortune-teller contemptuously. ”I saw what he wanted and predicted it.“

She waved her hand, and Phil felt that he had no excuse for remaining longer.

He left the room slowly, and found Mr. Wilbnr anxiously awaiting him.

”What did she tell you, Phil?“ he asked eagerly.

”Did she tell you what sort of a wife you would have?“

”No. I didn’t ask her,“ answered Phil, smiling.

”I should think you’d want to know. What did she tell you, then?“

”She told me quite a number of things about my past life and the events of my childhood.“

”I shouldn’t have cared about that,“ said Wilbur, shrugging his shoulders. ”Why, I know all about that myself. What I want to know about is, whether I am to marry the girl I adore.“

”But you see, Wilbur, I don’t adore anybody. I am not in love as you are.“

”Of course that makes a difference,“ said Wilbur. ”I’m glad I came, Phil. Ain’t you?“

”Yes,“ answered Phil slowly.

”You see, it’s such a satisfaction to know that all is coming right at last. I am to marry her, you know, and although it isn’t till I am twenty- four—-“

”She will be nearly thirty by that time,“ said Phil slyly.

”She won’t look it!“ said Mr. Wilbur, wincing a little. ”When I am thirty I shall be worth twenty thousand dollars.“

”You can’t save it very soon out of six dollars a week.“

”That is true. I feel sure I shall be raised soon. Did the fortune-teller say anythimg about your getting rich?“

”No. I can’t remember that she did. Oh, yes! she said I would make my fortune, but not in the way I expected.“

”That is queer!“ said Mr. Wilbur, interested. ”What could she mean?“

”I suppose she meant that I would not save a competence out of five dollars a week.“

”Maybe so.“

”I have been thinking, Wilbur, you have an advantage over the young lady you are to marry. You know that you are to marry her, but she doesn’t know who is to be her husband.“

”That is true,“ said Wilbur seriously. ”If I can find out her name, I will write her an anonymous letter, asking her to call on the veiled Lady.“

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