“I wouldn’t have come at all if I had had to swindle a poor boy out of his money,” said Joe.
Joe walked off without receiving an answer. He took pains to ascertain the name of the man who had defrauded him. He was entered on the passenger-list as Henry Hogan.
THE DETECTED THIEF
“Do you expect to be seasick, Joe?”
“I don’t know, Mr. Folsom. This is the first time I have ever been at sea.”
“I have crossed the Atlantic twice, and been sick each time. I suppose I have a tendency that way.”
“How does it feel?” asked Joe curiously.
“It cannot be described,” he answered.
“Then I would rather remain ignorant,” said Joe.
“You are right. This is a case where ignorance is bliss decidedly.”
Twenty-four hours out Folsom’s anticipations were realized. He experienced nausea and his head swam.
Returning from a walk on deck, Joe found his guardian lying down in the stateroom.
“Is anything the matter, Mr. Folsom?”
“Nothing but what I expected. The demon of the sea has me in his gripe.”
“Can I do anything for you?”
“Nothing at present, Joe. What art can minister to a stomach diseased? I must wait patiently, and it will wear off. Don’t you feel any of the symptoms?”
“Oh, no—I feel bully,” said Joe. “I’ve got a capital appetite.”
“I hope you will be spared. It would be dismal for both of us to be groaning with seasickness.”
“Shall I stay with you?”
“No—go on deck. That is the best way to keep well. My sickness won’t last more than a day or two.”
The young man’s expectations were realized. After forty-eight hours he recovered from his temporary indisposition and reappeared on deck.
He found that his young companion, had made a number of acquaintances, and had become a general favorite through his frank and pleasant manners.
“I think you’ll get on, Joe,” said he. “You make friends easily.”
“I try to do it,” said Joe modestly.
“You are fast getting over your country greenness. Of course you couldn’t help having a share of it, having never lived outside of a small country village.”
“I am glad you think so, Mr. Folsom. I suppose I was very green and I haven’t got over it yet, but in six months I hope to get rid of it wholly.”
“It won’t take six months at the rate you are advancing.”
Day succeeded day and Joe was not sick at all. He carried a good appetite to every meal and entered into the pleasures of sea life with zest. He played shuffle-board on deck, guessed daily the ship’s run, was on the alert for distant sails, and managed in one way or another to while away the time cheerfully.
They had got into the Gulf of Mexico, when, one day, there was an unwonted commotion in the steerage.