“Well, he seems just as wild about them as ever, and so I reckon he’ll just keep on bothering us to the end of the chapter. But what are you looking at, Andy?” and Frank also turned his eyes down toward the fringe of quince trees that marked the old lane leading to the barnyard from the road.
“I thought I saw some one coming over there, and if it turned out to be our good friend, the profess, p’raps we’d be wise to skip out before he sighted us, Frank.”
“Here, let’s step back out of sight, anyhow, so as to be ready to slip away if it is our man,” and Frank drew his companion around the corner of the house, from which point they could still keep watch over the lane.
Half a minute later Andy whispered:
“There, I saw him again, Frank, and as sure as anything it must be Casper. He’s a little man, wearing brown glasses to keep the bright sun from his eyes, and yes, he’s carrying a butterfly catcher’s net over his shoulder. Shall we disappear?”
“I think that would be our best move, Andy; and lucky enough we’ve got the chance to slip around here, and get back of the barn before he comes along,” with which the two boys hastened to follow out the plan suggested.
THROWING OFF THE MASK
“Do you think he saw us, Frank?” asked Andy, after they had found a place where they could peep around a corner, without being discovered.
“Well, that’s more than I can say,” the other replied. “We took every precaution, and unless he has mighty sharp eyes he couldn’t have glimpsed us.”
“And you think it’s safe for us to stay here, eh, Frank?”
“Certainly,” replied the other. “We’re in a position to make a move any old way from here. There isn’t one chance in ten of his coming around the corner; and if he does make a show of doing that, why we can be sitting here, playing mumble-de-peg, or something like that, just as if we didn’t care whether school kept or not.”
“Bully for that; who cares for expenses? Look, Frank, I was right, you see, for it was the little profess after all.”
“Yes, sure enough. Careful now, Andy, and don’t let him see you peeping. That’d give the whole thing away quicker than anything else.”
They had both selected positions where they could see without attracting attention. And it was with considerable eagerness that they fastened their eyes on the figure of the small, wiry man who was sauntering along toward the farmhouse, carrying a butterfly-net across one shoulder, while with his other hand he held a queer-shaped black case, which, as Sallie said, contained his more recent captures in the way of beautiful and rare moths and insects.
“That’s his stiff arm, Frank; see how he moves it—the one hanging down, I mean, with black box—good gracious! now, I wonder—”
“H’sh!” whispered Frank, “not so loud; he might hear you.”