Jack’s Ward, Horatio Alger Jr.
Jack’s Ward
Horatio Alger Jr.
5:44 h Children Lvl 5.26
Horatio Alger Jr. was an American writer of young adult novels about impoverished boys and their rise from humble backgrounds to lives of middle-class security and comfort through good works. Jack's Ward, or The Boy Guardian, published in 1875, was Second volume in the Brave and Bold Series, reworking of Timothy Crump's Ward. Alger's writings were characterized by the "rags-to-riches" narrative, which had a formative effect on the United States during the Gilded Age.

Jack’s Ward
or
The Boy Guardian

by
Horatio Alger, Jr


Chapter I
Jack Harding Gets a Job

“Look here, boy, can you hold my horse a few minutes?” asked a gentleman, as he jumped from his carriage in one of the lower streets in New York.

The boy addressed was apparently about twelve, with a bright face and laughing eyes, but dressed in clothes of coarse material. This was Jack Harding, who is to be our hero.

“Yes, sir,” said Jack, with alacrity, hastening to the horse’s head; “I’ll hold him as long as you like.”

“All right! I’m going in at No. 39; I won’t be long.”

“That’s what I call good luck,” said Jack to himself. “No boy wants a job more than I do. Father’s out of work, rent’s most due, and Aunt Rachel’s worrying our lives out with predicting that we’ll all be in the poorhouse inside of three months. It’s enough to make a fellow feel blue, listenin’ to her complainin’ and groanin’ all the time. Wonder whether she was always so. Mother says she was disappointed in love when she was young. I guess that’s the reason.”

“Have you set up a carriage, Jack?” asked a boy acquaintance, coming up and recognizing Jack.

“Yes,” said Jack, “but it ain’t for long. I shall set down again pretty soon.”

“I thought your grandmother had left you a fortune, and you had set up a team.”

“No such good news. It belongs to a gentleman that’s inside.”

“Inside the carriage?”

“No, in No. 39.”

“How long’s he going to stay?”

“I don’t know.”

“If it was half an hour, we might take a ride, and be back in time.”

Jack shook his head.

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