The man stopped and looked down at the boy. “Now, see here, my friend,” said he. “Honest, now, no dodging. Never mind if you do like things. Honest—you can’t cheat me, you know—”
The boy looked back at him with eyes of profound simplicity and faith. “I know it,” he replied.
“Well, then, now you tell me, honest, if you do stay and have dinner with me won’t your folks, your mother and your sisters, worry?”
The boy’s face, which had been rather anxious, cleared at once. “Oh no, sir!” he replied. “Amy never worries, and Ina and Charlotte won’t.”
“Who is Amy?”
“Amy? Why, Amy is my mother, of course.”
“And you are sure she won’t worry?”
“Oh no, sir.” The boy fairly laughed at the idea. His honesty in this at least seemed unmistakable.
“Well, then,” said Anderson, “come along and have dinner with me.”
The boy fairly leaped with delight as, still clinging to the man’s hand, he passed up the little walk to the Anderson house. He could smell the roast lamb and the green pease.
Arthur Carroll went on business to the City every morning. He brought up to the station in the smart trap, the liveried coachman, with the mute majesty of his kind, throned upon the front seat. Sometimes one of Carroll’s daughters, as delicately gay as a flower in her light daintiness of summer attire, was with him. Often the boy, with his outlook of innocent impudence, sat beside the coachman. Carroll himself was always irreproachably clad in the very latest of the prevailing style. Had he not been such a masterly figure of a man, he would have been open to the charge of dandyism. He was always gloved; he even wore a flower in the lapel of his gray coat. He carried always, whatever the state of the weather, an eminent umbrella with a carved-ivory handle. He equipped himself with as many newspapers from the stand as would an editor of a daily paper. The other men drew conclusions that it was highly necessary for him to study the state of the market and glean the truth from the various reports.
One morning Henry Lee was also journeying to the City on the eight-o’clock train. He held a $2500 position in a publisher’s office, and felt himself as good as any man in Banbridge, with the possible exception of this new-comer, and he accosted him with regard to his sheaf of newspapers.
“Going to have all the news there is?” he inquired, jocularly.
Carroll looked up and smiled and nodded. “Well, yes,” he replied. “I find this my only way—read them all and strike an average. There is generally a kernel of truth in each.”
“That’s so,” said Lee.
Carroll glanced speculatively at the ostentatiously squared shoulders of the other man as he passed through the car.
When the train reached Jersey City, Carroll, leaving his newspapers fluttering about the seat he had occupied, passed off the train and walked with his air of careless purpose along the platform.