ARCHIE LONGS FOR A CHANGE IN SURROUNDINGS— A TRIP TO NEW YORK WITH UNCLE HENRY.
The Hut Club went out on a picnic the next Saturday, and had a jolly time. They camped upon an island in the middle of a shallow stream, and while there made coffee and cooked their dinner, having brought most of the necessary apparatus from the Hut. They fished a little, and hunted for turtles in the water, and altogether had a good time, if nothing exciting did occur. It was after nine o’clock at night when they reached town again, footsore and weary, and Archie Dunn had hardly entered the house before he was on the dining-room lounge, half-asleep. His mother seemed to be out, and as he lay there he wondered how long it would be before she came back. Archie truly loved his mother, but of late he had often thought that he would like to leave home and go to the famous city, where he felt sure he could get something to do. But he disliked the idea of leaving his mother.
“I’m getting to be a big boy, now,” he often said to himself, “and it’s time that I began to look out for myself. I’m nearly seventeen, and I think I ought to be earning some money. This thing of belonging to Hut Clubs and spending my time in going to picnics and to circuses ought to stop. It’s all right for boys, but I’m getting to be a man, now.”
All these thoughts were flying through his mind when his mother came in. “Oh, Archie,” she exclaimed, “I’ve been so worried about you. I’ve just been over to Mrs. Sullivan’s to see if Dannie had come home, and whether he had seen you. Wherever have you been?”
“We didn’t think it would take so long to walk home,” said Archie, jumping up from the sofa, “but we were awfully tired, and we didn’t come very fast. I’m so sorry you were worried.
“And I’m as hungry as a bear, mother. Can’t you find me something to eat?”
“Yes, dear,” said Mrs. Dunn, softly, “and when you’ve finished your supper I have something for you. I won’t give it to you now for fear you won’t be able to eat, but as soon as you have finished your meal, you shall have it.”
So Archie was obliged to eat his baked beans and brown bread and drink his milk without knowing what was in store for him, and he hurried as fast as he could, so that he could learn. When he had finished he went into the sitting-room, and found his mother sitting with a letter spread open upon her lap. “Uncle Henry has written me asking if you cannot go with him to New York on Monday, for a couple of days. He is obliged to go down there on business, and says he will be glad to take you along and show you something of the wonderful city, for he knows you won’t be any trouble to him. Now I hardly know what to say, Archie. If I can feel that you are behaving yourself properly, and are doing your best to be as little trouble as possible, I am willing that you shall go.”