“Well, Jonas,” said uncle George, when he got back, “I do not see but that Old Trumpeter is strong enough to carry you yet.”
“O yes, sir,” said Jonas, “he is strong enough to carry half a dozen like me.”
“O, uncle George,” said Rollo, “let him carry me too with Jonas. I can ride behind.”
“Very well; if you want to ride with him a little while, you may, if Jonas is willing.”
Jonas was, and Rollo got out, and climbed up upon a stump, by the side of the road. Jonas drove up to the stump, and Rollo clambered up behind him, with a switch in his hand.
“Now, Jonas,” said he, “whenever you want him to go any faster, you just speak to me, and I will touch him up with my switch.”
Jonas said he would, and they jogged along behind the chaise. Lucy kneeled upon the cushion, and looked out behind, talking with Rollo.
They went on so very quietly for some time, until Jonas said there was a turn in the road on before them, where there was a foot-path that led across a ravine, by a nearer way than the chaise-road, and proposed that Rollo should ask leave for Jonas and himself to go across on horseback, and wait for the chaises, when they should come out on the main road.
So they rode up to the chaise, and Rollo put the question to his uncle George.
His reply was that he could not say any thing about it; Rollo must go and ask his father.
“Would you go?” said Jonas.
“Yes,” said Rollo.
“Well, touch up Old Trumpeter then.”
So Rollo applied his switch, and the horse trotted on fast. Rollo had hard work to hold on, but he clasped his arm tight around Jonas’s waist, and succeeded in keeping his seat.
Rollo’s father and mother were riding some distance before them, but they saw Jonas coming up, and rode slowly, that he might overtake them.
“Well, Rollo,” said his father, “how do you like riding double?”
“Very much,” said Rollo; “and we want you to let Jonas and I cut across by the horse-path through the valley, and wait for you at the mill.”
“Is there a horse-path across here, Jonas?”
“Yes, sir,” said Jonas.
“Is it a good path?”
“It is rather rough, sir, through the woods and bushes; but it is a pretty good road.”
Rollo’s father sat hesitating a moment, and then said—
“You may go, if you choose, but I advise you not to.”
“Why do you advise us not to?” said Rollo.
“Why, you may get into some difficulty, and so we get separated.”
“Yes, but,” said Rollo, “it is not near so far across, and we shall have time to get through to the mill long before you come along.”
“Very well, you may do as you please.”
“Jonas, what would you do? Would you go, or not?”
“I think I would not go, if your father thinks we had better not.”