Lo, Michael (Chapter 3, page 4 of 10)


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Chapter 3

"I'd be glad to help you Harkness," he said at last, "but I've got a private benevolence on my hands just now that is going to take a good deal of money, I'm afraid. You see we've narrowly escaped a tragedy at our house--" and he launched into the story of the shooting, and his own indebtedness to Mikky.

"I see," said the Professor, "you feel that you owe it to that lad to put him in the way of a better life, seeing that he freely gave his life for your child's."

"Exactly!" said Endicott, "and I'd like to adopt him and bring him up as my own, but it doesn't seem feasible. I don't think my wife would feel just as I do about it, and I'm not sure I'd be doing the best after all for the boy. To be taken from one extreme to another might ruin him."

"Well, Endicott, why don't you combine your debt to the child with benevolence and send him down to us for a few years to educate."

Endicott sat up interestedly.

"Could I do that; Would they take so young a child? He can't be over seven."

"Yes, we would take him, I think. He'd be well cared for; and his tuition in the prep department would help the institution along. Every little helps, you know."

Endicott suddenly saw before him the solution of his difficulties. He entered eagerly into the matter, talking over rates, plans and so on. An hour later it was all settled. Mikky was to take a full course with his expenses all prepaid, and a goodly sum placed in the bank for his clothing and spending money. He was to have the best room the school afforded, at the highest price, and was to take music and art and everything else that was offered, for Endicott meant to do the handsome thing by the institution. The failure of the bank of which he was president had in no wise affected his own private fortune.

"If the boy doesn't seem to develop an interest in some of these branches, put some deserving one in his place, and put him at something else," he said. "I want him to have his try at everything, develop the best that is in him. So we'll pay for everything you've got there, and that will help out some other poor boy perhaps, for, of course one boy can't do everything. I'll arrange it with my lawyer that the payments shall be made regularly for the next twelve years, so that if anything happens to me, or if this boy runs away or doesn't turn out worthy, you will keep on getting the money just the same, and some one else can come in on it."

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