“I wish I knew where he was likely to be,” said Philip.
“He may go to Knoxville,” suggested the publisher.
“How far is that?”
“What makes you think he will go to Knoxville?” asked the landlord.
“He may think of giving a performance there. It is a pretty large place.”
“But wouldn’t he be afraid to do it, after the pranks he has played here?”
“Perhaps so. At any rate, he is very likely to go there.”
“I will go there and risk it,” said Philip. “He needn’t think he is going to get off so easily, even if it is only a boy he has cheated.”
“That’s the talk, Mr. Gray!” said the landlord. “How are you going?” he asked, a minute later.
“I can walk ten miles well enough,” answered Philip.
He had considerable money now, but he reflected that he should probably need it all, especially if he did not succeed in making the professor refund, and decided that it would be well to continue to practice economy.
“I have no doubt you can,” said the landlord, “but it will be better not to let the professor get too much the start of you. I will myself have a horse harnessed, and take you most of the distance in my buggy.”
“But, Mr. Gates, won’t it be putting you to a great deal of trouble?”
“Not at all. I shall enjoy a ride this morning, and the road to Knoxville is a very pleasant one.”
“Let me pay something for the ride, then.”
“Not a cent. You will need all your money, and I can carry you just as well as not,” said the landlord heartily.
“I am very fortunate in such a kind friend,” said Philip gratefully.
“Oh, it isn’t worth talking about! Here, Jim, go out and harness the horse directly.”
When the horse was brought round, Philip was all ready, and jumped in.
“Would you like to drive, Mr. Gray?” asked the landlord.
“Yes,” answered Philip, with alacrity.
“Take the lines, then,” said the landlord.
Most boys of Philip’s age are fond of driving, and our hero was no exception to the rule, as the landlord supposed.
“You’ll promise not to upset me,” said Mr. Gates, smiling. “I am getting stout, and the consequences might be serious.”
“Oh, I am used to driving,” said Philip, “and I will take care not to tip over.”
The horse was a good one, and to Philip’s satisfaction, went over the road in good style.
Philip enjoyed driving, but, of course, his mind could not help dwelling on the special object of his journey.
“I hope we are on the right track,” he said. “I shouldn’t like to miss the professor.”
“You will soon know, at any rate,” said Gates. “It seems to me,” he continued, “that Riccabocca made a great mistake in running off with that money.”
“He thought it would be safe to cheat a boy.”