warmth of my enthusiasm for the position fell several degrees. At this writing, 54 years later, these two buildings are still standing, and the Constantine offices are occupied by the sons of the former concern, under the same name of Constantine & Co.
Upon presenting my letter of introduction I was very cordially received by Mr. John Constantine, a gentleman of courtly bearing. I observed his brother Andrew, a man of quite different type, but as I afterward found him, a many of kindly nature. Little did I realize that the short call that morning would mean that I would be in almost daily contact with these good people for forty years.
I was taken across the hall to the office of Rodman and Hepburn to whom I was introduced with the remark that I was the young man his brother-in-law had sent down from Middletown to look after the position of bookkeeper. Mr. Hepburn immediately presented me to the gentleman seated at a nearby desk, Mr. Francis W. Houghton, who took me in hand in a very gentle and pleasant way, and presently asked what salary I wanted. My ideas of salary had advanced a little by this time, and I replied $600.00 a year", which seemed perfectly satisfactory. Mr. Houghton took down one account book after another and showed me the manner in which they were kept, and it suddenly dawned upon me that the place was mine, and that I was expected to start in at once. I explained that I would have to return to Middletown and pack my trunk, and that I would appear at the office for business the following Tuesday morning, as New Year's day, 1871, falling on Sunday was celebrated on Monday. This was perfectly satisfactory to them, and at that point Mr. Hepburn came from the private office and gave me advice and suggestions as to where I could find a convenient boarding place and how to reach it. I was impressed with the kindliness of all those I had met and, expressing my thanks, took leave of them to secure my living quarters.
Acting upon the directions given me I walked up one block to 8th St., and then West, crossing Avenue D, Avenue C, and at Avenue B I came upon Tompkins Park, walking straight across to 8th Street on the opposite side of Avenue A. On this street I secured a single room on the top floor of a brownstone house, located between 2nd and 3rd Avenue. The rate for the room was $3.00 per week. I paid the three dollars and proceeded to cross 3rd Avenue and on 8th Street to 6th Avenue and so on to Hudson Street near Horatio Street to call upon two young men from Middletown, Adam and Henry Beakes; and then after taking lunch I proceeded to the Erie Railroad Station, Ft. of Chambers St.,
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