cannot do the work, it would be useless your attempting it: but if you can, we will engage you."

"I shall only be too happy to stay, sir."

"Very well," said Mr. Preen, ringing his bell for the managing-clerk. "And you shall then have an answer."

Charles was put to work by Mr. Stroud: who came and looked at him three or four times whilst he was doing the copying. He wrote slowly: the result of his extra care, his intensely earnest wish to succeed: but his writing was good and clear.

"I shall write quickly enough in a day or two, when I am used to it," he said, looking up: and there was hope in his face as well as his tone.

Mr. Preen chanced to be standing by. The writing would do, he decided; and Mr. Stroud was told to engage him. To begin with, his salary was to be fifteen shillings a-week: in a short time—as soon, indeed, as his suiting them was assured—it would be raised to

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