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首页 » 儿童英文小说 » Tony The Tramp;Or Right is Might » CHAPTER XXVII BREAKFAST AT THE ST. REGIS
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CHAPTER XXVII BREAKFAST AT THE ST. REGIS
When Tony woke up in the morning, he looked about him with momentary bewilderment, wondering where he was.

George Spencer was already awake.

How did you sleep, Tony?” he asked.

Bully!”

“It must be late. Please look at my watch and tell me what time it is.”

“Half-past eight,” said Tony, complying with his request. “Why, it’s late.”

“Not very. I didn’t get up till ten yesterday. Well, what do you say to getting up and having some breakfast?”

“Am I to breakfast with you, Mr. Spencer?”

“To be sure you are, unless you have another engagement,” added Spencer, jocosely.

If I have it can wait,” said Tony. “How much do they charge here for board, Mr. Spencer?”

“Four or five dollars a day. I really don’t know exactly how much.”

“Four or five dollars a day!” exclaimed Tony, opening his eyes in amazement. “How much I shall cost you!”

“I expect you will cost me a good deal, Tony,” said the young man. “Do you know, I have a great mind to adopt you.”

“Do you really mean it, Mr. Spencer?”

“Yes; why shouldn’t I? I like what I have seen of you, and I have plenty of money.”

“It must be a nice thing to have plenty of money,” said Tony, thoughtfully.

There is danger in it, too, Tony. I am ashamed to tell you how much I have spent in gambling and dissipation.”

“I wouldn’t do it, Mr. Spencer,” said Tony, soberly.

Capital advice, Tony. I am going to keep you with me for fear I might forget, that is, if you think you like me well enough to stay.”

“I am sure to like you, Mr. Spencer, but you may get tired of me.”

“I’ll let you know when I do, Tony. How much income do you think I have?”

“A thousand dollars?” guessed Tony, who considered that this would be a very large income.

Spencer laughed.

It is over ten thousand,” he said.

Ten thousand!” exclaimed Tony. “How can you spend it all?”

“I did spend it all last year, Tony, and got a thousand dollars in debt. I gambled, and most of it went that way. But I’ll leave that off. I shall have you to take up my time now.”

“Did you know that man you played billiards with last night, Mr. Spencer?”

“I made his acquaintance in a gambling house, and I was well punished for keeping company with such a man.”

Tony was now nearly dressed.

You didn’t get your clothing from a fashionable tailor, I should judge,” said his new guardian.

No,” said Tony. “I haven’t been to fashionable tailors much.”

“After breakfast I must go with you and see you properly clothed. If you are to be my ward, I must have your appearance do me credit.”

“How very kind you are to me, Mr. Spencer,” said Tony, gratefully. “I don’t know how to repay you.”

“You’ve done something in that way already.”

“It seems like a dream that a poor boy like me should be adopted by a rich gentleman.”

“It is a dream you won’t wake up from very soon. Now if you are ready we will go down to breakfast.”

Tony hung back.

Won’t you be ashamed to have me seen with you in these clothes?” he asked.

Not a bit. Besides, you will soon be in better trim. Come along, Tony.”

They went down together, and entered the breakfast room. A considerable number of persons were there. Several stared in surprise at Tony as he entered and took his seat. Our hero noticed it, and it made him nervous.

Do you see how they look at me?” he said.

Don’t let it affect your appetite, Tony,” said his friend. “When you appear among them again you will have no reason to feel ashamed.”

A speech which Tony heard from a neighboring table did not serve to reassure him.

An overdressed lady of fifty said to a tall, angular young lady, her daughter:

“Elvira, do you see that very common-looking boy at the next table?”

“Yes, ma.”

“He looks low. He is not as well dressed as our servants. It is very strange they should let him eat at an aristocratic hotel like this.”

“Isn’t he with that gentleman, ma?”

“It looks like it. He may be the gentleman’s servant. I really think it an imposition to bring him here.”

Mr. Spencer smiled.

Don’t mind it, Tony,” he said. “I know those people by sight. They are parvenus. I suppose you don’t understand the word. They are vulgar people who have become rich by a lucky speculation. They will change their tune presently. What will you have for breakfast?”

“There’s such a lot of things,” said Tony. “I don’t know what to choose.”

“You’ll get used to that. I’ll order breakfast for both.”

The waiter appeared, and Mr. Spencer gave the order.

The waiter looked uncomfortable.

Mr. Spencer,” he said, “it’s against the rules for you to bring your servant to the table with you.”

“I have not done so,” said Mr. Spencer, promptly. “This young gentleman is my ward.”

“Oh, excuse me,” said the waiter, confused.

Has anyone prompted you to speak to me about him?”

“Those ladies at the next table.”

“Then those ladies owe an apology to my ward,” said the young man, loud enough for the ladies to hear.

The shot told. The ladies looked confused and embarrassed, and Tony and his guardian quietly finished their breakfast.

There was another lady who noticed Tony, and this was Mrs. Harvey Middleton. She was to sail for England in the afternoon.

As Tony and Mr. Spencer were going out of the breakfast room, they met her entering.

She started at the sight of Tony, and scanned his face eagerly.

Who are you, boy?” she asked, quickly, laying her hand on his arm.

Tony was too surprised to answer, and Mr. Spencer answered for him.

He is my ward, madam,” he answered. “He has been roughing it in the country, which accounts for the state of his wardrobe.”

“Oh, I beg pardon, sir,” said Mrs. Middleton. “I thought his face looked familiar.”

“You see, Tony, that your appearance attracts attention,” said Mr. Spencer, laughing. “Now we’ll go out, and I’ll get you a fit-out.”

They went to a well-known clothier’s, and Mr. Spencer purchased two handsome suits for our hero, one of which he put on at once. At another place a plentiful supply of underclothing was purchased. Next a hat and shoes were procured. Tony’s hair was cut, he took a bath, and in a couple of hours he was transformed into a young gentleman of distinguished appearance.

Really, Tony, I shouldn’t have known you,” said his friend.

I shouldn’t have known myself,” said Tony. “I almost think it must be some other boy. Who’d think I was Tony the Tramp, now?”

“You are not to be a tramp any longer. I have not yet formed my plans for you, but I shall soon. I suppose, Tony, your education has been neglected.”

“I should think it had,” answered Tony. “I’m as ignorant as a horse.”

“Then you ought to learn something.”

“I wish I could.”

“You shall, but, as I said, I must arrange details later.”

About this time Rudolph and Mrs. Middleton were conversing, preparatory to starting for the steamer.

You are sure the boy is dead?” she said.

Sure? I ought to be. Didn’t I see him dead with my own eyes?”

“I saw a boy this morning who looked as, I suppose, the boy would have looked—of the same age, too.”

“Where did you see him?”

“He was with a gentleman, coming out of the breakfast room as I was entering it.”

“It couldn’t have been he,” said Rudolph, positively. “Even if he were alive, he wouldn’t be here. But he’s dead, I tell you. There’s no doubt of it.”

“There are strange resemblances,” said the lady. “But, of course, it couldn’t have been the boy. Indeed the gentleman with him told me that it was his ward.”

Rudolph laughed.

Tony wasn’t likely to have a gentleman for a guardian,” he said.

But Rudolph would have felt less easy in his mind if he had known that the boy whom he supposed dead at the bottom of a well was really in the hotel at that very moment, and, strangely enough, in the adjoining room.



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