On the hunt for a different line of work, Fosdick soon encounters difficulties. All of the jobs he applies for are swamped with applicants. In those cases where he manages to be considered, he is declined because he does not live at home with his parents.
These difficulties would have been far from fictional—and more likely simply familiar—for Alger or his readers, and underscore how hard it was for even hard-workers to lift themselves out of poverty.
Finally, however, Fosdick manages to get an interview for a clerk position at a hat store. He does well for the most part, but things seem at a loss when he’s asked for references. However, at that exact moment, Mr. Greyson enters the store and greets Fosdick happily. Greyson eagerly tells the store’s owner about Fosdick’s attendance at Sunday School and his good character. Impressed, the store owner agrees to hire Fosdick on the spot.
Remember that the expedition that changed Dick’s life—his sight-seeing trip with Frank—began with a quest for a new hat. It’s a handy mile-marker that Fosdick’s apprenticeship isn’t at a low-rent, off-the-rack store like the one that Frank and Dick visited, but rather at a boutique store capable of paying real wages. Again, morality—in this instance, exemplified by religious dedication—helps secure one’s future.