“Well, I hope Lorry won’t think that he has to go. Some of the boys in town are talking about it.”
“It’s in the air,” said Shoop.
“And his father will need him now. Could you spare him, if Jim finds he can’t get along alone?”
“I don’t know,” laughed Bud. “I reckon I need somebody to look after them campers up to my old place.”
“Oh, I forgot to tell you; the folks that were here last summer stopped by on their way to Jason. Mrs. Weston and her girl. They said they were going to visit Mr. Bronson.”
“H’m! Then I reckon I got to keep Lorry. Don’t know what three females would do with just Bronson for comp’ny. He’s a-tickin’ at that writin’ machine of his most all day, and sometimes nights. It must be like livin’ in a cave.”
“But Dorothy hasn’t,” said Lorry.
“That’s right! My, but that little gal has built up wonderful since she’s been up there! Did you see my watch?”
“Some style to that!” And Shoop displayed the new watch with pride. “And here’s the name of the lady what give it to me.”
Lorry’s mother examined the watch, and handed it to Lorry, to whom the news of the gift was a surprise.
“But she didn’t give him a watch,” said Shoop, chuckling.
* * * * *
Up in their room that night, Lorry helped Bud out of his coat. Shoop’s arm was stiff and sore.
“And your mother would think it was a mighty queer business, if she knowed this,” said Bud, “or who that number thirty-eight was down there.”
“You sure made a good bluff, Bud.”
“Mebby. But I was scared to death. When I was talkin’ about Sterling so free and easy, and your maw mighty near ketched me that time, my arm was itchin’ like hell-fire, and I dassen scratch it. I never knowed a fella’s conscience could get to workin’ around his system like that. Now, if it was my laig, I could ‘a’ scratched it with my other foot under the table. Say, but you sure showed red in your face when your maw said them Weston folks was up to the camp.”
“Oh, I don’t know.”
“Well, I do. Here, hook onto your Uncle Bud’s boot. I’m set: go ahead and pull. You can’t do nothin’ but shake the buildin’. Say, what does Bronson call his gal ‘Peter Pan’ for?”
“Why, it’s a kind of foreign name,” flashed Lorry. “And it sounds all right when you say it right. You said it like the ‘pan’ was settin’ a mile off.”
“Well, you needn’t to get mad.”
In the Hills
Lorry’s return to the mountains was somewhat of a disappointment to his expectations. Dorothy had greeted him quite casually and naturally enough, in that she knew nothing of his recent venture. He was again introduced to Mrs. Weston and her daughter. For the first time Dorothy heard of the automobile accident and Lorry’s share in the subsequent proceedings. She asked Lorry why he had not told her that he knew the Westons. He had no reply save “Oh, I don’t know,” which rather piqued Dorothy. He was usually definite and frank.