Page:Ralph on the Railroad.djvu/200

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Gasper Farrington Ralph had not met again.

At the cottage Van led an even, happy existence, making no trouble, being extremely useful and industrious, and daily more and more endearing himself to both Ralph and Mrs. Fairbanks.

With the dog house crowd Ralph had become a general favorite. He had won the regard of those rough and ready fellows, and his loyal adhesion to Griscom in the fire at the shops, his rescue of little Nora Forgan, and his manly, accommodating ways generally, had enforced their respect, and more than one dropped his oaths and coarseness when Ralph approached, and they tipped over the liquor bottle of one of the "extras" who had the temerity to ask Ralph to test its contents.

Altogether, Ralph was going through a happy experience, and every day life and railroading seemed to develop some new charm of novelty and progress.

It was with a proud spirit that he took home his first month's salary, twenty-seven dollars and some odd cents.

Those odd cents, with some added, Ralph stopped near the depot to hand over to little Teddy.

The county farm orphan had been turned loose from custody after a week's imprisonment, with