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Part 2 Andy arrives Home.

As Andy stepped on the platform he saw Roland Hunter, the son of a neighbour. 

"How are you, Andy?" said Roland, with a cheerful greeting. I am surprised to see you coming home. Surely you are not on holiday?"

"No; I received a telegram. Do you know if anything is wrong at my home?"

"Not so far as I know."

Andy breathed a sigh of relief.

"I am glad of that," he said. "I was afraid some one in the family might be sick."

"I don't think so. I would have heard, living so near."

"Father is well, then?"

"Come to think of it, I heard he had a bad headache."

"At any rate, it isn't anything serious. Are you going home? If you are, I'll walk along with you."

"We can do better than that; I've got uncle's buggy on the other side of the depot. I'll take you, bag and baggage."

A buggy is a little carriage which is pulled by a horse.

"Thank you, Roland. My bag is rather heavy, and as it is a mile to the house, I shall be glad to accept your offer."

"Bundle in, then," said Roland, merrily. "I don't know but I ought to charge you a quarter of a dollar. That's the regular fare by stage coach."

"All right! charge it if you like," rejoined Andy, smiling. "Are your folks all well?"

"Oh, yes, especially Lily. You and she are great friends, I believe."

"Oh, yes," answered Andy, with a smile.

"She thinks a good deal more of you than she does of me."

"Girls don't generally appreciate their brothers, I believe. If I had a sister, I presume she would like you better than me."

Roland dropped Andy at his father's gate. Now Andy's father owned a farm with 50 acres of land. The farm house was a good size. It was home for Andy, his mother and father, and for his little brother Robbie. They had been very happy - up to now.  Andy opened the gate and as he walked up to the front door he wondered whatever could have gone wrong. Andy's mother met him at the door. She smiled at him but Andy could see that she looked worried.

"Then you got my telegram?" she said. "I didn't think you would be here so soon."

"I started at once, mother, for I felt anxious. What has happened? Are you all well?"

"Yes, but we have lost most of our money."

"But how?"

"You remember Nathan Lawrence who is a friend of your father?" 

"Of course I do," said Andy. "He used to visit us often. In fact I used to call him Uncle Nathan but I know that he was not really my Uncle."

"Well Mr Lawrence told your father that he wanted to borrow six thousand dollars from the bank to buy a farm.  The Bank said they would lend him the money if someone guaranteed the loan and your father agreed to do that."

"I don't quite understand ," said Andy.

"What your father was really doing was saying to the bank, 'Please lend Mr Lawrence six thousand dollars and if he does not pay you back then I will pay you the six thousand dollars.'"

"But did something go wrong with Mr Lawrence's farm?" said Andy. The harvests have been very good this year and....."

"Mr Lawrence never bought the farm. He simply took the bank's money and disappeared."

"That means he stole it! "said Andy. "But surely father does not have to pay for that."

"I am afraid he does," said his mother.  "You see your father was really telling the bank that he believed that Mr Lawrence was honest and would pay back the loan. He was also promising that if Mr Lawrence did not pay it back then he would pay it himself."   

"So what is going to happen now.?"

"Well we have three thousand dollars in the bank and we will use that first. We will borrow the other three thousand dollars using the farm as security. "

"Squire Carter says he could probably lend us three thousand dollars but we would have to pay him interest at  6per cent."  Then we would have to pay the loan back and if we could not Squire Carter could take the farm. So that means we would have to pay Squire Carter one hundred and eighty dollars a year."

"Will you still be able to pay my school fees?" said Andy.

Andy's father came into the room. "I am really sorry Andy," he said," but we cannot afford it now. You will have to leave school."  I am extremely sorry because I know you were looking forward to passing your exams and going to college.  It's all my fault because I should not have trusted Mr Lawrence. "

"But father," said Andy, "Mr Lawrence was a good friend and we all liked him. No one would ever have thought that he would do something like this!  If I leave school I can get a job and earn some money.  I will be able to pay you something and this can be the start of my career."

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