Archie, too, felt homesick at having to leave, and they went to bed very early, apparently feeling that the best thing under such circumstances was to be asleep. And when morning came they both felt somewhat better, for Archie arose filled with hope for the future, and more anxious than ever to reach home. Bill Hickson, too, was not loath to return to the United States, even though he had no relatives waiting there to welcome him. The poor fellow had been through a great deal while in the Philippines, and his constitution was almost wrecked by the constant strain to which he was subjected. He had never fully recovered from his accident of several weeks before, and he felt that he needed a rest from the constant excitement and worry of life in the army. He was tired, too, of being a spy. He had never relished the work, but he had realised how necessary it was for the Americans to have some one to follow up Aguinaldo and let the general know of his movements. “They’ll be a long time catching him now,” he said, time and again, to Archie. “He’s a much shrewder man than they think, and he knows his Philippine Islands like a book. He can go from one place to another without the Americans ever knowing where he disappeared to, and without some one to follow him they will never be able to learn anything of his movements.”
Bill had received nearly two hundred dollars in back pay, so he felt quite rich, and Archie told him that if he should happen to run out, and need more money, he would be very glad to furnish it to him, For Archie was now determined to take Bill Hickson to New York, and introduce him to Mr. Van Bunting, feeling sure that the wise editor would thank him for bringing to his attention a man at once so interesting and so worthy as this hero of the war had proved himself to be. But for the present Bill would discuss nothing of the kind. He was thoroughly content to sit beside Archie on the warm steamer deck, and watch the ever varied surface of the Indian Ocean.
HONG KONG— A HAPPY TIME IN TOKIO— HONOLULU AGAIN— ARRIVAL IN SAN FRANCISCO, AND A GREAT RECEPTION BY THE PRESS— ARCHIE AND BILL ARRIVE IN NEW YORK, AND ARE THE HEROES OF THE HOUR.
After a short and pleasant voyage they reached Hong Kong, and Archie found this city to be much more interesting than he had expected to find it. It was charming, he thought, to run across a place which combined the conveniences of England and America with the picturesque oddities of China and Japan, and he enjoyed himself to the utmost during the two days they spent there. Bill Hickson enjoyed the place, too, and they would both have liked to remain longer had it been possible for them to do so, but they were anxious to see something of Japan before sailing for San Francisco, and their steamer was due to leave Yokohama in eleven days.