He was looking about for a pleasant place to lounge, when his attention was drawn to a boy of about his own age, who was sitting on the stone wall under a large tree.
He was rather a slender boy, and had originally been well dressed, but his suit was travel-stained, and covered with dust.
Now, boys have a natural attraction for each other, and Philip determined to introduce himself to the stranger. This he did in boy-fashion, by saying:
“Hello!” said the stranger, looking up.
But he spoke slowly and wearily, and to Philip he seemed out of spirits.
“Do you live in Cranston?” asked Philip, taking a seat beside the other boy, upon the top of the stone wall.
“No; do you?”
“Where do you live?”
“I don’t live anywhere just at present,” answered Philip, with a smile. “I am traveling.”
“So am I,” said the other boy.
“I am traveling to New York,” Philip continued.
“And I am traveling from there,” said his new acquaintance.
Then both boys surveyed each other curiously.
“What’s your name?” asked the stranger.
“Philip Gray. What’s your’s?”
“Mine is Henry Taylor. What have you got there?”
“Do you play on it?”
“Yes; a little.”
“I should think you’d be tired lugging it round.”
“It is about all the property I have,” he said; “so it won’t do for me to get tired of it.”
“You’re richer than I am, then,” said Henry.
“Are you poor, then?” asked Philip, in a tone of sympathy.
“I haven’t got a cent in my pocket, and I haven’t had anything to eat since breakfast.”
“Then I’m glad I met you,” said Philip warmly. “I will see that you have a good supper. How long is it since you left New York?”
“About a week.”
“What made you leave it?”
Henry Taylor hesitated, and finally answered, in a confused tone:
“I’ve run away from home. I wanted to go out West to kill Indians.”
Philip stared at his new acquaintance in astonishment.
The Indian Hunter.
Philip had lived so long in a country village that he had never chanced to read any of those absorbing romances in which one boy, of tender years, proves himself a match for a dozen Indians, more or less, and, therefore, he was very much amazed at Henry Taylor’s avowal that he was going out West to kill Indians.
“What do you want to kill Indians for?” he asked, after an astonished pause.
Now it was Henry’s turn to be astonished.
“Every boy wants to kill Indians,” he answered, looking pityingly at our hero.
“What for? What good will it do?” asked Philip.