bosom. Then both laughed rudely, and John was released.
"What shall you do about it, John?" asked Oliver, with di
fficulty refraining from laughing.
"I have cast her off!" he said gloomily, "I will never enter the saloon again."
Oliver would have felt less like laughing had he known that at that very moment Ezekiel Bond, prompted by Mr. Kenyon, was conspiring to get him into trouble.
CHAPTER XVI. THE CONSPIRACY.
O LIVER did not find his work in the
store very laborious. During some parts of the day there was little custom, and therefore little to do. At such times he found John Meadows, though not a refined, at any rate an amusing companion. With his friendly help he soon got a general ide
a of the stock and the prices. He found that the former was generally of an inferior quality, and the customers belonged to the poorer classes. Obtaining a general idea of the receipts, he began to doubt Mr. Kenyon's assurance of the profits of t
he business. He intimated as much to his fellow-clerk.
"The old man sold you," he said. "Bond doesn't take in more than twenty thousand dollars a year, and there isn't more than a tenth profit."
"You are sure of that, John?"
"Then Mr. Kenyon has deceived me. I wonder
"Does he love you very much?"
"Not enough to hurt him," said Oliver, with a smile.
"Then he wanted to get rid of you, and made you think this was a splendid opening."
"I don't know but you are right," returned Oliver thoughtfully. "He