“I believe that man is crazy!” whispered Whopper. “Maybe he thinks he owns the earth!”
“He is certainly no ghost,” answered Snap. “But if he is crazy, we’ll have to be careful how we approach him. He may try to shoot us.”
“See here, sir!” shouted the doctor’s son, kindly. “Won’t you come and talk with us? We don’t want to hurt you, or take your property away from you.”
“Ha! ha! I know you! You want to rob me of everything!” cried the man in yellow, harshly. They now saw that what looked like horns was simply a yellow cap with two stuffed red appendages on top. The man had his face smeared with yellow clay.
“We’ll not harm you in the least,” said Giant, and now, attracted by something in the strange man’s appearance, he went several steps closer.
When the small youth of the club spoke the man turned to him. A moment later he started and throw up his hands in surprise.
“Who are you, boy? Speak quickly!” he demanded.
“I am Will Caslette.”
“Ha! Where do you come from?”
“I come from Fairview, on the Rocky River.”
“And your—–your mother?” The man in yellow was now greatly agitated.
“My mother is a widow.” Giant had now come closer still and was looking the man over carefully. “What is your name?”
“My name? Ha ha! I have no name. I am a wanderer.”
“But you had a name once—–what was it?”
“My name—–I cannot remember. Yes, I had one once when I was in France fair France the belle of all countries! But the name is gone—–gone like the great history I was writing. Yes, and it will never come back, never!” And the man in yellow threw up his hands despairingly.
“Was not your name Pierre Dunrot?” asked Giant, quickly.
The strange man staggered back as if shot.
“Pierre Dunrot? Pierre Dunrot?” he repeated slowly. “Yes! yes! That was my name! How——how did you know it?”
“Because you are my uncle!” gasped Giant, coming to the strange man’s side. “You are Pierre Dunrot, my long-lost uncle.”
“Yes, my uncle. Do you not remember my mother, Kate Caslette, and do you not remember me—–your little Guillaume, the boy you used to ride on your knee?” went on Giant, earnestly and looking the man straight in the eyes.
“Yes! yes! I remember now!” cried the man, and now his eyes searched the small youth’s face. “You are my little Guillaume indeed!” He took Giant by the hand. “But how is this—–my, mind is in a whirl! I do not understand!” And he gazed from Giant to the others in simple-minded perplexity.
“You ran away from home,” answered Giant. “It was after the storm, when the lightning had burnt up the manuscript of your beloved history—–”
“Yes, yes, yes! My beloved history! That is true! Oh, it was cruel, cruel! After I had worked so many years and so faithfully! My beloved history! It is gone, never to return!”