“I don’t know,” answered the boy. “What name do you like?”
“I think she likes Ben better than any,” said Ben, posing in a very handsome manner.
“Don’t listen to him, he’s always teasing. You want something short and easy to say.”
“What’s the matter with ’Say’?” said Ben. “That’s always easy to remember. I notice that when a man wants to call another on the street he just hollers ‘Say,’ and half a dozen fellows turn around.”
“Then that makes it too common,” decided Stella. “What name would you suggest, Ted? He’s got to have two names.”
“Let us get one of the newspapers to start a voting contest on it.”
“Ben, if you don’t stop your foolishness, I won’t play,” said Stella.
“You name him, Stella,” said Ted. “Anything you say goes.”
“Then we’ll call him Dick, after my father,” said Stella. “He never had a boy, and always wanted one. I’m going to adopt this boy as a brother. His name shall be Dick Fosdick. That sounds funny, doesn’t it, but I didn’t do it on purpose.”
There was a tear in her eye at the thought of her father, and the boys looked rather solemn, for while they hoped for the best, they didn’t as yet know the lad, and perhaps they had saddled themselves with a future regret, but Stella trusted and believed in the little chap, who was very proud that at last he had thrown off and buried forever the name of Scrub.
That evening they took the train for the West, their destination being Green River.
The automobile Ted sent on by express that he might have it not only for use, for he was becoming attached to it, but as a clew to the detection of the express robbers.
Ezra, the life-saving goat.
Ted had engaged several sections on the through sleeping car to North Platte, Nebraska, the old home of Colonel William Cody, known all over the world as “Buffalo Bill.”
But they were to leave the train at Green River, ostensibly to buy cattle for their ranch. This, of course, was to avert suspicion from their real purpose of hunting down the express robbers.
For Mrs. Graham and Stella the stateroom of the car Orizaba had been engaged, and the boys made it a sort of ceremonial chamber.
The car was well filled with other passengers, many of them tourists on the way to Colorado or the Pacific coast, and they were much amused at the free-and-easy spirit with which the boys conducted themselves, and when it became generally known that they were the broncho boys, with Ted Strong at their head, they received a great deal of attention, which was not particularly to Ted’s liking.
As usual, wherever they were, Bud Morgan, Ben Tremont, and Carl Schwartz provided a fund of amusement for everybody.
Little Dick Fosdick had never known such happiness as he was now experiencing. He worshiped Stella, admired Ted, and looked upon Bud as the greatest pal a boy ever had.