Selfish Mr. Bulson, who had shipped the puppy home to his little boy, seemed to have no interest whatsoever in Buster’s welfare.
It was not until the great snow-plow and a special locomotive appeared the next morning, and towed the stalled train on to its destination, and Nan Sherwood and her chum arrived at Tillbury, that Nan learned anything more regarding Mr. Ravell Bulson.
Mr. and Mrs. Sherwood had been more than a little worried by Nan’s delay in getting home and Mr. Sherwood was at the station to meet the train when it finally steamed into Tillbury.
Owneyville, which the girls knew to be Mr. Bulson’s home town, was a station beyond Tillbury, and a much smaller town. The fat man had to change cars, so it was not surprising that he stepped down upon the Tillbury platform just as Nan ran into her father’s arms.
“Oh, Papa Sherwood!” Nan almost sobbed.
“My dear Nancy!” he returned, quite as much moved.
And just then Mr. Bulson appeared beside them. “Well, Sherwood!” the fat man growled, “have you come to your senses yet?”
Robert Sherwood’s face flushed and he urged Nan away along the snowy platform. “I don’t care to talk to you, Bulson,” he said shortly.
“Well, you will talk to me!” exclaimed the angry fat man. “I’ll get you into court where you’ll have to talk.”
Mr. Sherwood kept right on with Nan and Bulson was left fuming and muttering on the platform. Bess had already been put into the family sleigh and was being whisked home. Nan and her father tramped briskly through the snowy streets toward “the little dwelling in amity,” which Nan had not seen since leaving Tillbury for her Uncle Henry Sherwood’s home at Pine Camp, ten months before.
“Oh, dear, Papa Sherwood!” gasped Nan. “What is the matter with that horrid man? He says the most dreadful things about you!”
“What’s that?” demanded her father, quickly. “What do you know about Bulson?”
“More than I really want to know about him,” said Nan, ruefully. She related briefly what had happened a few days before on Pendragon Hill. “And when he called you a rascal, I—oh! I was very, very angry! What did he mean, Papa Sherwood?”
But her father postponed his explanation until later; and it was really from her mother that Nan heard the story of Mr. Sherwood’s trouble with Ravell Bulson. Mrs. Sherwood was very indignant about it, and so, of course, was Nan.
A week or more before, Mr. Sherwood had had business in Chicago, and in returning took the midnight train. The sleeping car was side-tracked at Tillbury and when most of the passengers were gone the man in the berth under Mr. Sherwood’s began to rave about having been robbed. His watch and roll of banknotes had disappeared.
The victim of the robbery was Mr. Ravell Bulson. Mr. Bulson had at once accused the person occupying the berth over his as being the guilty person. Nan’s father had got up early, and had left the sleeping car long before Mr. Bulson discovered his loss.