The Indian looked on, well pleased to see the justice done to his hospitality. He explained to the boys that he made baskets, caught fish, and sometimes engaged in hunting, managing, in one way and another, to satisfy his simple wants. His name was Winuca, but his white neighbors called him Tom.
When the boys were ready to go, Philip drew from his pocket a jack-knife, nearly new, of which he asked the Indian’s acceptance.
Winuca seemed very much pleased, and shook hands heartily with his young guests, wishing them good-by.
The boys kept on to the hotel, where they spent a few hours, taking dinner there. Their breakfast had been so simple that they had a very good appetite for their midday meal.
“While we are here, Henry, suppose you write to your father and relieve his anxiety?” suggested Philip.
“Why can’t you write?” asked Henry, who cherished the general boyish distaste for letter-writing.
“Because it will be more proper for you to write. I am a stranger to him.”
“You won’t be long, Philip? I shall want you to come and make me a visit.”
“Perhaps you’ll be tired of me before we get to New York,” suggested Philip, with a smile.
“There isn’t much chance of it. I like you better than any boy I know. You’re awful brave, too. You didn’t seem to be at all scared last night when the Indian came in.”
“It was because I felt sure that any Indian to be found about here would be harmless.”
“I wish we could make a journey together some time. I’d like to go West—”
“To kill Indians?”
“No. If they’ll let me alone, I’ll let them alone; but there must be a lot of fun out on the prairies.”
“Well, Henry, go and write your letter, and we can talk about that afterward.”
The letter was written and mailed, and arrived in New York several days before the boys did.
A welcome letter.
Alexander Taylor, a Wall Street broker, sat at breakfast in his fine house on Madison Avenue. His daughter, Jennie, about thirteen years old, was the only other person at the table.
“Papa, have you heard nothing of Henry?” asked the little girl anxiously.
“Only that the boy who got started with him on his foolish tramp got back three days since.”
“Is Tom Murray back, then?”
“Yes; he showed himself more sensible than Henry.”
“Oh, I’m afraid something’s happened to him, papa! Why don’t you advertise for him, or send out a detective, or something?”
“I will tell you, Jennie,” said Mr. Taylor, laying down the morning paper. “I want your brother to stay away long enough to see his folly.”
“But perhaps he may get out of money, and not be able to get anything to eat. You wouldn’t want him to starve, papa?”