“Oh!” said Ford, “I see: you were afraid they’d forget you. I don’t believe they would.”
“You haven’t pointed out Mrs. Myers’s,” said Dabney. “It must be pretty near breakfast-time. Where is it?”
The Hart boys broke out into a joint giggle of enjoyment as Joe responded,—
“There it is,—right across there, beyond the harness-shop, opposite the other end of the green. Handy in bad weather.”
“It’s a pretty decent-looking house too,” said Ford. “Come on: let’s go over, and let her know we’ve arrived in port.”
“Well, no,” said Joe: “you fellows go over, soon as you please. Fuz and I won’t take our breakfast there this morning.”
“Going somewhere else, eh? Well, we’ll have an eye to your trunks when they come.”
The giggle grew rapidly into a laugh, as Fuz exclaimed,—
“Trunks! why, our baggage’ll go to our boarding-house. We don’t put up with Mother Myers this time: got a new place. Oh, but won’t you fellows just love her and Almira!”
It was all out, that deep secret about their change of boarding-house; and the Hart boys had something to enjoy this time, for Dab and his friends looked at each other for a moment in blank amazement.
“All right, boys,” shouted Ford, at the end of it: “here’s for some breakfast. Good-morning, Joe. Day-day, Fuz. See you again by and by.”
They all followed him, but they could see that there was something more hidden under the mirth of Joe and Fuz as they walked away; and they were hardly out of hearing before Dab Kinzer remarked,—
“Look a’ here, boys, I move we don’t give those two any fun at our expense.”
“How?” asked Ford.
“If there’s any thing at Mrs. Myers’s that we don’t like, we mustn’t let them know it.”
“I’s keep my mouf shet if I foun’ de house was an ole eel-pot,” said Dick emphatically; and Frank and Ford came out even more strongly. They all seemed to feel as if some kind of a trick had been played upon them, to begin with.
However, it served to put them on their guard, and prevented any change of countenance among them when their knock at the front door of that house was answered, and the freckled face of Mrs. Myers beamed out upon them from under its thin, smooth, glistening thatch of carroty hair. She was not a handsome woman, and she had a thin nose, and a narrow mouth, and very pale blue eyes; but she was all one smile of welcome as she stood in that doorway.
“Mrs. Myers?” said Ford, with an extraordinary bow. “We arrived on the morning train. I am Mr. Foster.” And then, with a half turn to the right, he continued, “Mrs. Myers—Mr. Richard Lee, Mr. Dabney Kinzer, Mr. Francis Harley. Our baggage will come over pretty soon.”
“Walk in, young gentlemen, walk in. I’m happy to see you.—Almira? Here they are: put breakfast on the table right away.”
“That isn’t a bad beginning,” thought Dab. “That sounds a good deal like what Ham said of her. She knew we must be hungry.”