When the meal was over the two tin cans were washed at a spring of water, and as it was now quite dark, they all sat close to the fire, in order to see. Some one produced a pack of dirty cards, and they began a game of some kind. Archie was asked to join, but he told them he didn’t know anything about card-playing. The poor lad was beginning to wish he had never left home, and felt more miserable than at any other period of the journey. He walked over to a corner of the ruins where the light from the fire did not penetrate, and, once there, he sat down and sobbed bitterly for a time. When he had finished crying it seemed impossible for him to sleep. The scene about the fire fascinated him. The men were seated in every sort of picturesque attitude, and as the flickering light fell upon their dark faces it wasn’t hard for the poor lad to imagine that he had fallen among a crowd of brigands. He watched them as they played until he could see no longer, and then he fell into a sound sleep.
When Archie woke it was still dark, but the moon was shining brightly overhead, making everything as light as day. He rubbed his eyes and sat up, and it was some time before he could realise where he was. Then, as he saw the tramps lying about the ground, he remembered his adventures of the night before, and, horrified that he had allowed himself to sleep, he hastily jumped up, and determined to get away from the ruins as quickly as possible. The tramps were all sleeping soundly, and the only noises to be heard were the sound of their breathing and the blood-curdling hoot of some owl perched on the pillars of the old portico. The boy picked his way carefully between the bodies of the sleeping men, and in a minute stood once more on the grand flight of steps outside. He was trembling for fear some tramp would awake and prevent his going, and when a bat brushed him in its flight he almost screamed with terror. Far out beyond the trees and the shrubby he could see the road glistening in the moonlight, and he made his way as rapidly as possible out of the grounds, and was once more on his way to the city.
It was lonesome work, walking along a country road at night, and Archie remembered with longing his cosy bed at home. The feeling of homesickness kept growing within him, despite his efforts to down it, and when at last the glorious autumn sun rose over the eastern horizon he was miserable with longing for mother and for home. But he was too proud to even think of turning back. He must reach the city at all hazards, homesick or not.
Archie did not think of breakfast this morning. His experience of the night before seemed to have taken away his appetite entirely, and his only thought was to walk as fast as possible, so that he could reach the city soon. About nine o’clock he entered the outskirts of a busy town, and while there he observed that the railroad going to the city passed through the place. All at once a new idea occurred to