James, finding that his crying did no good, gradually became still; and in a few minutes, as he happened to look round, his eye rested on the stone where they had put their half dollars, and he saw that only one of them was there.
“O, Rollo,” said he, “one of our half dollars is gone.”
They went to the stone, and, true enough, one was gone. They looked around, but it was no where to be found. Boys that are out of humor with one another, are never at a loss for subjects of dispute; and Rollo said he believed James had taken it, and James charged it upon Rollo. Then there was a dispute who should have the one that was left. James knew it was his; he said he remembered exactly how his looked; and Rollo knew it was his, for the head and the stars were very bright on his, and they were very bright on this. James, however, had the half dollar, and would not give it up; and so Rollo went to Jonas, and told him that James had got his half dollar.
Jonas came, and heard the whole story from both of the boys. James said he knew the one that was left was his, for he remembered exactly how it looked, and he also remembered exactly the very spot on the stone where he put it down.
James did not mean to tell a lie, but he was a little angry and excited, and when boys are in that state of mind, they are very apt to say they know not what.
Jonas looked at both sides of the half dollar very attentively.
“Which half dollar was it,” said he, “that you tried to get the eagle off of?”
“Mine,” said Rollo; “let me see.”
Jonas held down the half dollar, and showed to Rollo and James the marks and scratches made by the pin; proving that this was Rollo’s half dollar. James looked ashamed and confounded; Jonas just waited to hear what he would say.
James stood still a minute, thinking presently he said,
“Well, Rollo, I suppose my half dollar is lost, but I am glad yours is safe, at any rate.”
“I am sorry yours is lost,” said Rollo, “but then I can give you half of what I buy with mine.”
“Where did you put the half dollars?” said Jonas.
“On that rock,” said Rollo.
They walked along towards the rock. It was by the edge of the water; Jonas thought that as they had been dragging boughs of trees along near the rock, some little branch might have reached over and brushed off one of the pieces of money into the water. So he walked up to it and looked over.
In a minute or two, he pointed down, and the boys looked and saw something bright and glittering on the bottom.
“Is that it?” said James.
“I believe it is,” said Jonas.
Jonas then took off his jacket, rolled up his shirt sleeve, lay down on the rock, and reached his arm down into the water, but it was a little too deep. He could not reach it.