Bert's Thanksgiving Part 3

Bert's face grew sober in a moment. "That's the question! Why don't I? I'll tell you why I don't. I've got the best mother in the world! What I want more than anything is to be with my mother and my two sisters again, and I am not ashamed to say so. "Bert's eyes grew very tender, and he went on; while his companion across the table watched him with a very gentle, searching look. "I haven't been with her now for two years—hardly at all since father died. Mom couldn't support my sisters and so I said, I'm a boy; I can do something to help. I'll go to work, and maybe help you a little, besides taking care of myself."

"What could you do?" said the little old man.“

"That's it; I was only eleven years old; and what could I do? So I started selling newspapers. I've sold newspapers ever since, and I shall be twelve years old next month."

"You like it?" said the old man.

"It's okay to help make my own living," replied Bert, proudly. "But what I want is, to learn some trade, or regular business, and settle down and make a home for my mother. But there's no use talking about that.""Well I've told you about myself," added Bert; "now suppose you tell me something?"

"About myself?"

"Yes. I think that would go pretty well with the pie."

But the man shook his head. "Life isn't what we think it will be, when we are young. You'll find that out soon enough. I am all alone in the world now; and I am nearly seventy years old."

"It must be so lonely, at your age! What do you do for a living?"

"I have a little place in Devonshire Street. My name is Mr. Crooker. You'll find me up two flights of stairs, back room at the right. Come and see me, and I'll tell you all about my business and perhaps help you get a better job, for I know several business men." And Mr. Crooker wrote his address, with a little stub of a pencil, on a corner of the newspaper which had led to their acquaintance, tore it off carefully, and gave it to Bert.“