Jack and Jill
13. Jack Has a Mystery
"What is the matter? Does your head ache?" asked Jill, one evening in March,
observing that Jack sat with his head in his hands, an attitude which, with him, meant
either pain or perplexity.
"No; but I'm bothered. I want some money, and I don't see how I can earn it," he
answered, tumbling his hair about, and frowning darkly at the fire.
"How much?" and Jill's ready hand went to the pocket where her little purse lay, for she
felt rich with several presents lately made her.
"Two seventy-five. No, thank you, I won't borrow."
"What is it for?"
"Why, I thought you told me everything."
"Sorry, but I can't this time. Don't you worry; I shall think of something."
"Couldn't your mother help?"
"Don't wish to ask her."
"Why! can't she know?"
"How queer! Is it a scrape, Jack?" asked Jill, looking as curious as a magpie.
"It is likely to be, if I can't get out of it this week, somehow."
"Well, I don't see how I can help if I'm not to know anything"; and Jill seemed rather
"You can just stop asking questions, and tell me how a fellow can earn some money.
That would help. I've got one dollar, but I must have some more"; and Jack looked
worried as he fingered the little gold dollar on his watch-guard.
"Oh, do you mean to use that?"
"Yes, I do; a man must pay his debts if he sells all he has to do it," said Jack sternly.