“The lad will come home with me.”
“Good God, Garry,” thundered Kenny, “I never knew anybody with such an ‘And then?’ sort of mind as you seem to have. There’s an ‘And then?’ doubt after every glorious climax. He’ll be home. That’s sufficient.”
“What about the scrapbook?”
“I’ve already sent it.”
Garry glanced hopelessly at the melee on the floor.
“I suppose,” he said coldly, “that you plan to go sagging along the highway with a suit case in each hand and a bag or two on your back?”
“I plan,” retorted Kenny, “to depart from here with one suit case which will eventually become a knapsack. The problem now is entirely one of elimination. Have you anything to do, Garry?”
“I have,” said Garry distinctly.
Kenny looked hurt.
“I’m sorry,” he said. “Because you’re a jewel at eliminatin’. I mind me of the sketching trip we took together. You did all of the packing then in a marvelous way.”
Hopelessly uncertain what he ought to do, Garry lingered. If by a word he could restrain this madcap penitent from roving off in a fit of sentimentality it must be spoken forcibly and at once.
“Brian,” he said, “will never forgive me.”
“Brian,” said Kenny, “is a jewel for sense. He’ll love you for it.”
Garry flung himself into a chair with a muttered imprecation.
“Now, Kenny,” he said, “I want you to tell me precisely what you plan to do.”
Nothing loathe, Kenny obeyed. He liked to talk. Garry found his plans indefinite and highly romantic. It was plain the notion of footsore penance had taken vigorous hold of his imagination and his love of adventure. Characteristically, since the actor on the highway was himself, he saw no chance of failure. To Garry’s curt “ifs” he turned a deaf ear and sulked.
In the end they quarreled badly. Garry, raging inwardly, went home in despair; and Kenny, after a tumultuous period of indecision, eliminated a floorful of luggage. In the rebound he took less than he should. He was ready to go when the door opened and the head of Sidney Fahr appeared. Instantly his round eyes bulged with inquiry.
“Lord Almighty, Kenny,” he said. “You—you’re not off for anywhere, are you?”
“I am,” said Kenny.
Sid came in and closed the door.
“I—I can’t believe it!” he sputtered.
“Don’t!” said Kenny. He was out of sorts. Garry, talking of honor and letters, had given him a bad interval of indecision and guilt.
“It—it’s amazing!” went on Sid. “You were all right at breakfast—”
Kenny wheeled furiously.
“Sid,” he snorted, “you’re amazed when it rains. You’re amazed when it snows. You’re amazed when the sun’s out and amazed when it isn’t. Thunder-and-turf! you’re always amazed!” Whereupon he stalked out with his suit case and slammed the door.