“On Saturday. We’re goin’ to send him his clothes. Do you want to send him any word or message?”
“No; why should I?”
“I thought you was one of his friends.”
“Yes, I will send him a message,” said Sam. “Just tell him that when he has spent all his money, I’ll give him the place I offered him before he left Hampton.”
“You’re very kind,” said Job, concealing his amusement; “but I don’t think Ben will need to take up with your offer.”
“I think he will,” said Sam.
“I wonder whether Ben is really staying at the Astor House, and paying his expenses there,” he said to himself. “If he is, he’s a fool. I’ve a great mind to ask father if I may go up to New York, and see. Maybe he’s only humbugging his uncle.”
So when Sam got home he preferred a request to visit New York, and obtained permission.
We now return to the Astor House.
Miss Sinclair and Ben went in to supper together. The young lady had scarcely taken her place, and looked around her, when she started, and turned pale.
“Ben,” she said hurriedly, “I must leave the table. Do you see that tall man sitting by the window?”
“Yes, Cousin Ida.”
“It is my guardian. He has not seen me yet, but I must be cautious. Direct a servant to bring me some supper in my room, and come up there yourself when you are through.”
Miss Sinclair left the room, but Ben maintained his place. He took particular notice of the gentleman who had been pointed out to him. He was a tall, slender man, with iron-gray hair, and a stern, unpleasant look. Ben judged that her guardian had not seen Miss Sinclair, for he seemed wholly intent upon his supper.
“I don’t wonder she wanted to run away from him,” thought our hero. Ben smiled as it flashed upon him that this young lady was running away with him.
“I didn’t expect, when I left home, to meet with any such adventure as this,” he said to himself. “But I do mean to help Miss Sinclair all I possibly can. It doesn’t seem quite natural to call her Ida, but I will do as she wants me to.”
Meanwhile Mr. Campbell had made inquiries at the office if a young lady from Albany was staying at the hotel.
“No,” said the clerk.
It will be remembered that Miss Sinclair had registered from Philadelphia, or, rather, Ben had done so for her.
“Have you any young lady here without escort?” asked Mr. Campbell.
“No, sir. There is a young lady from Philadelphia, but she arrived with her cousin, a lad of fifteen or sixteen.”
“That cannot be the one I am in search of,” said the unsuspecting guardian.
Of course, as the reader will readily surmise, Ida Sinclair was not the young lady’s real name, but it is the name by which we shall know her for the present.
After supper Ben went to Miss Sinclair’s room, as directed.