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After half an hour's conversation with the boy, Mr. Bliss intimate ed that he thought he would do, and told him to go into the printing-office and talk to the foreman. Horace went to the printing office, and there his appearance produced an effect on the tender minds of the three apprentices who were at work therein, which can be much better imagined than described, and which is most vividly remembered by the two who survive. To the foreman Horace addressed himself, regardless certainly, oblivious probably, of the stare and the remarks of the boys. The foreman, at first, was inclined to wonder that Mr. Bliss should, for one moment, think it possible that a boy got up in that style could perform the most ordinary duties of a printer's apprentice. Ten minutes talk with him, however, effected a partial revolution in his mind in the boy's favor, and as he was greatly in want of another apprentice, he was not inclined to be over particular. He tore off a slip of proof-paper, wrote a few words upon it hastily with a pencil, and told the boy to take it to Mr. Bliss. That piece of paper was his fate. The words were: “Guess we'd better try him.” Away went Horace to the garden, and presented his paper. Mr. Bliss, whose curiosity had been excited to a high pitch by the extraordinary contrast between the appearance of the boy and his real quality, now entered into a long conversation with him, questioned him respecting his history, his past employments, his parents, their circumstances, his own intentions and wishes; and the longer he talked, the more his admiration grew. The result was, that he agreed to accept Horace as an apprentice, provided his father would agree to the usual terms; and then, with eager steps, and a light heart, the happy boy took the dusty road that led to his home in Westhaven.

‘You're not going to hire that tow-head, Mr. Bliss, are you?’ asked one of the apprentices at the close of the day. ‘I am,’ was the reply, ‘and if you boys are expecting to get any fun out of him, you'd better get it quick, or you'll be too late. There's something in that tow-head, as you'll find out before you're a week older.’

A day or two after Horace packed up his wardrobe in a small cotton handkerchief. Small as it was, it would have held more; for its proprietor never had more than two shirts, and one change

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Amos Bliss (5)
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