“Why, I left it out here a little way. When I found that the snow was deep, and my horse slumped in pretty bad, I left him by the side of the road, and walked on to see if I could see any thing of you. I soon found your sleigh, run out of the path, and the horse tied under a tree over the brook. So I knew that you couldn’t be far off.”
“And you did not go any farther.”
“No,” said Rollo; “I thought it would be better for me to stay by the sleigh, and wait for you.”
Jonas asked Rollo a great many questions about all the people at home—his father and mother, and his cousin Lucy; and he said that he was very glad indeed, that Rollo had come to see him.
“Do you have a pretty good time upon the farm?” said Rollo.
“Yes,” said Jonas, “very good indeed. You would like to be here very much.”
“Are there any boys for me to play with?” said Rollo.
“Yes,” said Jonas, “there is Oliver, though he don’t play much. He works nearly all the time. But then there is Josey, though he has gone home now.”
“I saw a boy at the mill,” said Rollo, “when I came along. I verily believe it was Oliver.”
“How big was he?” asked Jonas.
“O, about as big as I am,” said Rollo.
“And what was he doing?” said Jonas.
“O, he was playing about on the rocks, under the falls. But he didn’t seem to have much to do. He stopped and looked at me when I was coming by.”
“Very likely it was he,” said Jonas. “If he had only known who you were, he would have liked very much to have come along with you; and you would have been good company for each other.
“And O, Rollo,” said Jonas again, very eagerly, “there’s somebody you’ll like very much indeed.”
“Who is it?” said Rollo.
“Franco Ney,” said Jonas.
“Franco Ney!” repeated Rollo; “I never heard a boy named Franco before. How old is he?”
“I don’t know,” said Jonas.
“Don’t know? Well, where does he live?—at your house?”
“No,” said Jonas. Jonas was correct in this answer, for Franco was accustomed to live in the barn.
After some other conversation, Rollo, suddenly looking up, said,—
“How far is it, Jonas, from your house to Mr. Ney’s?”
Jonas laughed very heartily at this question, but gave no answer. Rollo could not imagine what he could he laughing at. Jonas, however, would not tell him, but said that he would know all about it, when he should come to see Franco Ney.
“Well,” said Rollo, “I’ll ask him why you wouldn’t tell me where his father lives.”
Very soon Rollo and Jonas arrived at the mill. They found Oliver safe there, waiting for them; and the rolls, too, were ready. As they did not like to tumble the rolls, Oliver rode with Rollo in his sleigh, and Jonas took care of the rolls.
Rollo was greatly astonished, as well as very much pleased, when he came to see Franco Ney.