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That's jest what I'm doin' when I tend out on fires. Seth Bartlett and Dan Roberts were old friends, having made each other's acquaintance no less than three months previous, when the former, who had Amaheur with Jip Collins on a matter regarding household affairs, was in search of a new roommate. Create a List. Dan laughed loud and long at this Amateur fireman book, and Seth gazed at him in grim silence until the explosion of mirth was somewhat subsided, when he said sharply:. Publisher: New York : E. I tell you what it is, Seth Bartlett, when a man Amateur fireman book to hire a boy, he ain't pickin' out the feller that's failed up two or three times over; but he generally looks for the one what's makin' a go of it, whether it's shinin' or sellin' papers.
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Return to Book Page. An Amateur Fireman by James Otis. I ain't sayin' as how I could run a whole fire, same as some of the chiefs do; but when it comes to drivin' an engine, Dan Roberts, an' doin' it in time to get the first water, or layin' hose, I wouldn't knuckle down to the biggest man in the Department.
It would be a good deal better, an' I ain't the onl I ain't sayin' as how I could run a whole fire, same as some of the chiefs do; but when it comes to drivin' an engine, Dan Roberts, an' doin' it in time to get the first water, or layin' hose, I wouldn't knuckle down to the biggest man in the Department. It would be a good deal better, an' I ain't the only one who says it, if you'd stick right to shinin', an' stop playin' fireman, for that's 'bout the biggest part of the work you do.
I tell you what it is, Seth Bartlett, when a man wants to hire a boy, he ain't pickin' out the feller that's failed up two or three times over; but he generally looks for the one what's makin' a go of it, whether it's shinin' or sellin' papers. Get A Copy. Kindle Edition , pages. Published March 24th first published Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
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Boo rated it liked it. But while the program existed it was a absolute godsend to certain group of young people. The writer, James Otis, was an educator, journalist, and wildly prolific author of children's books, mainly for boys.
Available on Gutenberg. Steven Prange rated it it was amazing Sep 27, Anna H marked it as to-read Feb 01, Stephen Robertson marked it as to-read Nov 06, Krista the Krazy Kataloguer marked it as to-read Jan 21, Tawnya Fugate marked it as to-read Sep 22, Alva marked it as to-read Mar 15, There are no discussion topics on this book yet. About James Otis. James Otis. He used the pen name James Otis. Pen name of James Otis Kaler.
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All rights reserved. For the novel set in Hong Kong, see Stephen Leather. Print version: Otis, James, Authored by many renowned authors of their times, these books are a unique resource of knowledge and enrichment to be cherished forever. APA 6th ed. Works of Joe Hill.
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I ain't sayin' as how I could run a whole fire, same as some of the chiefs do; but when it comes to drivin' an engine, Dan Roberts, an' doin' it in time to get the first water, or layin' hose, I wouldn't knuckle down to the biggest man in the Department.
Now see here, Seth Bartlett, what's the sense of talkin' that way? It would be a good deal better, an' I ain't the only one who says it, if you'd stick right to shinin', an' stop playin' fireman, for that's 'bout the biggest part of the work you do. I tell you what it is, Seth Bartlett, when a man wants to hire a boy, he ain't pickin' out the feller that's failed up two or three times over; but he generally looks for the one what's makin' a go of it, whether it's shinin' or sellin' papers.
I ain't sayin' but you're right, Dan, an' I s'pose it's a good thing for you to keep right on rememberin'; but it's different with me. I don't count on any one man hirin' me when I strike out for somethin' better'n shinin'. What little game have you got? Goin' to run a bank, or keep a hotel, or do somethin' like that?
You think you're funny, but you ain't. I'm goin' into the Fire Department when the right time comes, an' don't you make any mistake about it. Dan laughed loud and long at this announcement, and Seth gazed at him in grim silence until the explosion of mirth was somewhat subsided, when he said sharply:.
I guess trade must have been pretty good with you to-day, else you wouldn't be feelin' so terrible funny. I got stuck on four Heralds this mornin', an' five Expresses to-night. That comes pretty near cleanin' off all the profits, 'cause it's awful dull nowadays in my business, Seth.
Then I can't guess why you got so dreadful silly when I said I was goin' into the Department some day. It would make anybody laugh, Seth, to hear a feller no bigger'n you talk of such things. You must be a man to get that kind of a job. Well, shan't I be in time—and not such a terrible long while either?
I'm fourteen now, leastways, that's the way I figger it out, an' if I could get one of them early spring moustaches like Sim Jepson is raisin', folks would think I was a man when I wasn't only eighteen. Don't you reckon all the firemen were boys once? Yes, Dan replied doubtfully, I s'pose they was, and he added quickly as a sudden thought occurred to him, but they had to know a good deal about the business before they could get a job. Course they did, an' it was a case of learnin'.
That's jest what I'm doin' when I tend out on fires. I'm gettin' posted, an' by an' by when I'm old enough you'll see me in the Department, that's all there is about it. Seth Bartlett and Dan Roberts were old friends, having made each other's acquaintance no less than three months previous, when the former, who had disagreed with Jip Collins on a matter regarding household affairs, was in search of a new roommate.
Seth owned, or believed he did, certain rights in a small shed situate in the rear of Baxter Brothers' carpenter shop, where he made his home. It was a rude affair, originally built for the purpose of sheltering Mr. Baxter's horse and carriage, but afterward used as a storage place for such odds and ends as accumulate in a carpenter's work-shop. Seth had made his home in this shed for nearly a year, having been given permission to sleep there by one of the owners on a certain cold, stormy night, and he was not averse to telling his friends how he worked the snap.
I did start in to live with Jim Wardwell's folks. You see, business was mighty good for a spell, an' I got to feelin' way up toney where nothin' short of a reg'lar room would do me. I paid a dollar a week jest for sleepin' there. Ten big, round plunks for ten weeks, an' then I tumbled to myself! Then I struck this shed, an' I says to myself, says I, 'That's jest my size'; but I knew it wouldn't do to try to bite it out of the carpenter's ear 'less I had a pretty good story to put up.
I waited four whole days till it turned 'round so cold that the hair on your head would freeze, an' long towards the middle of the afternoon it began to snow. Then I said to myself that the time had come when I'd got to make the trade. I crawled into the carpenter's shop an' give him a pretty straight story. Told him how bad business was—Well, he could see for himself nobody would want boots shined in that weather.
He said if I promised him I wouldn't freeze to death, 'cause he didn't want any dead bootblacks on his hands, I could come in for a spell.
An' don't you think I wasn't fixed! All the shavings I wanted for a bed right there on the floor, an' if the boss of the Astor House had got down on his knees beggin' me to come to his hotel to stop, I'd said 'no,' 'cause I couldn't be bothered with the airs they put on down that way.
How long can I stay here? I ain't troublin' my head 'bout that. I don't let the man what owns the place see me any oftener than I can help, an' so long's I keep out of sight there ain't much chance of my bein' fired. Seth's home in which he took so much pride was by no means as uncomfortable as one might suppose. Wardwell's home. Once having taken possession of this abode, Seth set about making an honest penny out of his new possessions by allowing Jip Collins to become his roommate upon the payment of fifteen cents each week, and for several months these two lived in apparent harmony, although Seth afterward said that Jip tired him by finding so much fault with the Fire Department.
Then came the time when the lodger insisted upon the use of candles at night, and in smoking cigarettes inside the apartment, both of which luxuries or pleasures had been expressly forbidden by Mr.
Baxter when he gave the bootblack permission to occupy the premises. Jip had not departed in a friendly manner. He believed he had good cause for grievance against Seth, and on the day he left the lodgings threatened with many a needless word to make it hot for the would-be fireman.
Seth Bartlett was not a general favorite among the merchants in the boot-blacking and newspaper business, owing to the general belief that he put on airs because of his acquaintance with 'Lish Davis, driver of Ninety-four engine, which was stationed near Mr.
Baxter's shed. When trade was dull, instead of joining his brother merchants in pitching pennies or such other games as they might chance to indulge in, Seth spent his time about the engine-house, on the alert for an opportunity to be of benefit to some of the men, hoping thereby to so far earn their favor that he might be looked upon as a welcome visitor. During no less than two months had he thus apparently loitered around, bent on one object, and pursuing that steadily, without having been so fortunate as to attract particular attention.
Then on a certain day, Elisha Davis, the driver, called upon the small workman for a shine. Seth's freckled face was radiant with delight as he entered the engine-house for the first time, and his big brown eyes wandered from the glittering machine, above the pole of which hung the shining harness, to the apparently complicated apparatus of brass and walnut over the house-watchman's desk.
Never before had the bootblack spent so much time over a single pair of boots; he polished them with his brushes until they shone like mirrors, then hardened the gloss with a piece of flannel, and when it seemed as if his work had been done to perfection, blackened the brilliant surface again with the hope of improving what had apparently been a great success.
You're not any too quick about the job; but there ain't a lad around here that could have done it better, 'Lish said approvingly, and would have given the boy a nickel, but that the latter drew back quickly. Of course I take my pay from other folks; but I wouldn't let any fireman put up for a shine.
That's jest the size of it! Seth cried enthusiastically. You do, eh? Now, what's the matter with my doin' a little thing like that? It don't hurt anybody, an' I pick up a good many points. I can take care of myself as well as you, an' if I don't knock 'round when there's a fire, how am I ever goin' to learn the business? You don't want to learn what's a dog's life at the best. Steer clear of it, lad, and put your mind on anything else, for a man don't last long at this kind of work; even if he doesn't get killed offhand, it's only a question of time—and in many cases a precious short time—before a fireman is laid on the shelf, worn out.
Now, clear away from here if you won't take pay for the shine, and remember that I'll have my eye out after this to see you don't get inside the lines. I didn't try to make it fit. If I can scare him out of the notion he's got in his head, it'll show he ain't suited for this kind of a life; but if he sticks at it, I'll believe it's worth while to give him a lift now and then.
He did not cease to spend his spare moments about Ninety-four's house, and after 'Lish Davis had many times threatened the direst punishment if he persisted in such a course, but without effect, the members of the company came to look upon Seth as a boy of pluck, who would one day force his way into the Department.
However, no one of Ninety-four's men had given him an opportunity for doing other than blacking boots, and the boy was entirely ignorant of their friendliness toward him. Such was the general position of affairs on the night when Dan Roberts believed it his duty to mildly reprove Seth for spending so much time in what seemed to be idleness when he should be looking for customers.
After the master of the shed-home had announced so positively that he would be a fireman in due course of time, Dan, remembering how Jip Collins had lost his footing in the household, decided he had done his whole duty in the matter, and straight-way changed the subject of conversation by saying:.
Sam Barney had mighty bad luck to-day. First off, somebody passed a lead dime on him, an' then he lost as many as fifteen cents at one slap. That's what he can't make out. He had the money in the same pocket where he always carries it, when all of a sudden it was gone.
Can't be any of the reg'lar gang, 'cause I don't know a feller what would do a trick like that. Sam's keepin' mighty close about it, an' I wouldn't wonder if he found the whole business out before long.
He comes near to bein' a reg'lar detective, you know. That's the funny part of it, an' the folks what did it must have been mighty slick, 'cause, you see——. Dan was interrupted by the sound of footsteps near at hand, and ever on the alert against possible danger, Seth made his way to the door of the shed as he asked sharply:. It's only me, a familiar voice replied, and he knew that the visitor was none other than the boy of whom he and his lodger had just been speaking.
Dan was tellin' me you'd lost your money. Didn't come up here reckonin' he or I'd got it, did you? I ain't any sich fool as that; but Jip Collins has been makin' a good deal of cheap talk this afternoon, an' I thought perhaps you'd like to know 'bout it. I wouldn't wonder if this time he got right down to business, an' you ought'er keep a pretty sharp lookout, Seth.
These are too snug quarters for you to lose through a feller like Jip. Come inside and set down, Master Bartlett said as his lodger joined him at the door of the shed.
Dan an' me is here alone, an' you won't mind if it's dark, 'cause you see I promised Mr. Baxter straight out an' out that there shouldn't ever be any kind of a light inside. That's one of the things Jip kicked about, you know. Sam Barney promptly accepted the invitation. Being an old friend of Seth's, he was familiar with the household arrangements, and despite the darkness made his way through the shed to the box-like home in one corner, where, after some difficulty, he found a block of wood that served as chair.
I should think it would be kind er lonesome in here nights when it's like this, Sam suggested as he tried in vain to distinguish the form of either of his companions.
Well, it ain't, 'cause Dan an' me don't spend a great deal of time settin' 'round after we once get in. We should have been asleep before this if he hadn't had considerable to say 'bout my tryin' to be a fireman.