Horatio heaved a tremendous sigh, as though quite a weighty load had been taken off his chest.
“You make me feel a heap better, Hugh, when you’re so positive,” he hastened to admit. “I was afraid it might be something even worse than a sprain; but never mind what I thought. The question now is, what ought we do about it?”
“There’s only one thing that can be done,” Hugh told him in his customary straight-from-the-shoulder fashion, “which is for some of his chums to organize a searching party, get the old Kinkaid car out, and go up there to look over that abandoned road from one end to the other. We’ll find K. K., or know the reason why.”
“That sounds good to me, Hugh!” declared Horatio, always ready to follow where a bold leader showed the way; “and perhaps we may have an opportunity to discover whether there is any truth about those queer happenings the farmers keep telling of whenever the old quarry is mentioned in their presence.”
“We’ll not bother our minds about fairy stories,” Hugh assured him. “What we’re meaning to do is to look for a practical explanation of K. K.’s holding out. And, mark my words, the chances are ten to one we’ll find the poor chap groaning alongside that road somewhere. But let’s get busy now, Horatio!”
TO THE RESCUE OF K. K.
Hugh would really have been better satisfied if he could have hurried away without seeing K. K.’s mother. He feared that she might delay progress more or less, and at such a time every minute counted.
But at the same time he realized that the poor lady was in a dreadful state of mind. It was necessary then that he try and soothe her anxiety, for, as Horatio knew very well, Hugh Morgan had a way of making other people feel the utmost confidence in him.
“Well, let’s see K. K.’s mother, Horatio; but we mustn’t waste much time. We’ll have to get her permission to run the car. I only hope there’s a decent supply of gas aboard, or in the garage.”
Accordingly, Horatio led him into another room, where they found Mrs. Kinkaid in a dreadfully nervous condition. She jumped to her feet on discovering that Horatio had another boy with him, and then upon seeing that it was not the one her heart was yearning after she uttered a pitiful wail, and fell back into her chair again.
Hugh wasted no time, but commenced telling her something of what he had heard from Horatio, connected with K. K.’s foolish determination to take in the entire course as though in the race.
“Of a certainty he’s fallen and sprained an ankle somewhere along that cross-country road, Mrs. Kinkaid,” he ended with. “We mean to gather a few of the fellows, and if you’ll give us permission to use your big car we intend to run up there and look that road over from end to end. There is no doubt but what we’ll find K. K. and fetch him back with us. So please try and feel that things will turn out all right. Make up your mind we won’t come back without him, that’s all there is to it.”