“I’ve got an errand over in town, Hugh, so I’ll break away,” he said hurriedly, though Hugh could easily guess the real reason for his departure. “But I want to tell you I appreciate your kindness, and if in the next hockey match there’s need of a substitute, and you see fit to put me in, why, I’ll work my fingers to the bone to make good, sure I will.”
And Hugh believed it.
WHERE THE SPARKS FLEW
Along about three o’clock that afternoon Hugh, feeling refreshed, made up his mind he would go for a walk. There had been no positive change in the condition of the mother of little Joey. She was coming along nicely, though, Doctor Cadmus assured Mrs. Morgan, and would very likely awaken in her proper senses on the following morning. He was successfully combating the inclination towards fever, he told the good lady, and this gave Hugh’s mother considerable relief.
The boy was a fine little chap. Hugh had already come to feel a deep interest in him, and had played for an hour with Joey.
“Why not take him out with you, Hugh, if, as you say, you’re going for a walk?” asked his mother.
“I’d like to,” the boy said, “if you thought he could stand going such a distance as out to the Cross-roads; for I meant to drop in on Deacon Winslow. He asked me to come and see him, and perhaps stay to supper in the bargain, for he wants to have a good chat with me. And, Mother, I’ve been meaning to get to know that fine old man better; there’s something about him that draws me. He’s got such healthy ideas about everything, and is an entertaining talker when it comes to the habits of animals, and the secrets of all animated nature.”
“Well, I’m sure little Joey would enjoy the walk. He seems fond of being outdoors, and has been shut up here since you brought him home. And if Deacon Winslow urges you both to take supper with him, there’s no reason why you should decline. He may fetch you home in his sleigh, if the child seems tired, and sleepy.”
Hugh decided he would do as his mother suggested.
“Would you like to take a nice long walk out in the country with me, Joey?” he asked the little fellow, who had been hovering near by, and listening to all that was being said.
“I like to walk,” the small chap replied quickly; “but not all day, like mom and me did. Mebbe she’ll be awake when we come back, Hugh?”
Each time he had been allowed in the room to see his mother was when she happened to be in a deep sleep, and her ravings had ceased; so it was natural for Joey to conclude she was only making up for lack of rest.
So, shortly afterwards, the two started forth, the little fellow with his hand in that of Hugh. He had come to feel the utmost confidence in this big boy who, in the time of their distress, had fetched himself and his poor fainting mother to the nice warm house, where they seemed to have the nicest things to eat he could ever remember of seeing.