“He’s gone off t’ school at Milldam an’ is workin’ like a beaver. He was purty rambunctious ’til you broke him to lead.”
They rode then to the foot of the hill in silence.
“Seems so everything was changed,” Tunk added as he left the cutter. “Ez Tower has crossed the Fadden bridge. Team run away an’ snaked him over. They say he don’t speak to his hosses now.”
Trove went on thoughtfully. Some of Tunk Hosely’s talk had been as bread for his hunger, as a harvest, indeed, giving both seed and sustenance. More clearly than ever he saw before him the great field of life where was work and the joy of doing it. For a time he would be a teacher, but first there were other things to do.
The Return of Thurst Tilly
Trove sat in council with Mary and Theron Allen. He was now in debt to the doctor; he needed money, also, for clothing and boots and an enterprise all had been discussing.
“I’ll give you three hundred dollars for the mare,” said Allen.
Trove sat in thoughtful silence, and, presently, Allen went out of doors. The woman got her savings and brought them to her son.
“There is twenty-three dollars, an’ it may help you,” she whispered.
“No, mother; I can’t take it,” said the young man. “I owe you more now than I can ever pay. I shall have to sell the mare. It’s a great trial to me, but—but I suppose honour is better than horses.”
“Well, I’ve a surprise for you,” said she, bringing a roll of cloth from the bedroom. “Those two old maids spun the wool, and I wove it, and, see, it’s all been fulled.”
“You’re as good as gold, mother, and so are they. It’s grand to wear in the country, but I’m going away and ought to have an extra good suit. I’d like to look as fine as any of the village boys, and they don’t wear homespun. But I’ll have plenty of use for it.”
Next day he walked to Jericho Mills and paid the doctor. He went on to Milldam, buying there a handsome new outfit of clothing. Then he called to see the President of the bank—that one which had set the dogs of the law on him.
“You know I put three thousand dollars in the bank of Hillsborough,” said Trove, when he sat facing the official. “I took the money there, believing it to be mine. If, however, it is yours, I wish to turn it over to you.”
“It is not our money,” said the President. “That bundle was sent here, and we investigated every bill—a great task, for there were some three hundred of them. Many are old bills and two the issue of banks gone out of business. It’s all a very curious problem. They would not have received this money, but they knew of the robbery and suspected you at once. Now we believe absolutely in your honour.”
“I shall put that beyond all question,” said Trove, rising.