He was off now, and would not show up until night, for the farm was one of vast dimensions, and covered miles of territory.
“But we have a boarder,” said Sallie, as they sat down at the table. “Sometimes he’s here to meals, and again he gets so far away chasing his butterflies that he just carries what he calls a snack in his pocket. Such a queer little man he is too, with his brown glasses on, and always running this way and that with his little net in which he captures the butterflies that come to the thistles on our old barren fields. Perhaps he’ll turn up while you’re here. I’d like you to meet Professor Whitesides, who is from a big college, he tells us, and spending his vacation in the way he likes. Sometimes I think he’s a little off up here,” and she touched her head as she said this, “and that perhaps he got hurt worse than he thinks, the time he met with the accident that crippled his arm.”
Somehow Andy looked up when he heard about that broken arm to find his cousin giving him the wink, while his eyebrows were elevated in a suggestive way, just as much as to say:
“Now, here’s something mighty interesting already that would pay us to look into; because we know of another fellow who is troubled with a crippled arm and his name happens to be Casper Blue!”
THE BUTTERFLY COLLECTOR
The dinner passed off without the odd little professor showing up, although Sallie said it was nothing unusual for him, and that he was liable to appear at any time, carrying his little white hand-net, and a small handbag in which he claimed to keep the trophies of the chase that had been run down during his last campaign.
Frank wanted to get a chance to confer with his chum, and as soon as he could conveniently withdraw from the table, giving Andy a nod, he went out on the porch where he could look down the lane that led to the poor road, which in turn, after many trials and tribulations merged into the main pike.
Andy joined him there a minute later, with a question in his eye.
“Professor Whitesides!” was what Frank remarked.
“And a butterfly collector at that!” Andy went on to say, with cutting sarcasm.
“That sounds pretty rich, to me,” his cousin continued. “I wonder, now, could it be possible that the other man we’ve heard of lately, Casper Blue, is playing a smart trick on these honest people, who would never dream that he could be anything else than he claimed.”
“It would give him a splendid chance to wander around just whenever and wherever he wanted to go, and nobody to ask questions. Then, when he got hungry, why, he could drop in at the farm. Perhaps he don’t like camping out as well as the other fellow; perhaps his health is too delicate to stand roughing it. Or he might have any one of a dozen other reasons for carrying on this way; always providing that this is Casper Blue.”