“I don’t see what difference it makes,” said Henry, looking dissatisfied.
“I won’t argue the point,” answered Philip good-naturedly.
“I wish I was in New York, near a good restaurant,” said Henry, after a pause.
“Oh. I forgot! You are hungry.”
“Awfully. I don’t believe there’s a hotel within two or three miles. I don’t think I can hold out to walk much farther.”
A few rods farther on was a farmhouse standing back from the road, old-fashioned-looking, but of comfortable aspect.
A young girl appeared at the side door and rang a noisy bell with great vigor.
“They’re going to have supper,” said Henry wistfully. “I wish it was a hotel!”
Philip had lived in the country, and understood the hospitable ways of country people.
“Come along, Henry,” he said. “I’ll ask them to sell us some supper. I am sure they will be willing.”
Followed by his new acquaintance, he walked up to the side door and knocked—for there was no bell.
The young girl—probably about Philip’s age—opened the door and regarded them with some surprise.
“Will you be kind enough to tell us if there is any hotel near-by?” he asked.
“There’s one about three miles and a half farther on.”
Henry groaned inwardly.
“I am going to ask you a favor,” said Philip. “My friend and I have traveled a considerable distance, and stand in need of supper. We are willing to pay as much as we should have to at a hotel, if you will let us take supper here.”
“I’ll ask mother,” said the young girl.
And forthwith she disappeared. She came back in company with a stout, motherly-looking woman. Philip repeated his request.
“Why, to be sure,” she said heartily. “We always have enough, and to spare. Come right in, and we’ll have supper as soon as the men-folks come in.”
They entered a neat kitchen, in the middle of which was set out a table, with a savory supper upon it. Henry’s eyes sparkled, and his mouth watered, for the poor boy was almost famished.
“If you want to wash come right in here,” said the farmer’s wife, leading the way into a small room adjoining.
The two boys gladly availed themselves of the permission, though Henry would not have minded sitting right down, dusty as he was. However, he felt better after he had washed his face and bands and wiped them on the long roll towel that hung beside the sink.
They were scarcely through, when their places were taken by the farmer and his son, the latter a tall, sun-burned young man, of about twenty, who had just come in from a distant field. The farmer’s wife soon explained the presence of the two young strangers.
“Sho!” said the farmer. “You’re pretty young to be travelin’. You ain’t in any business, be you?”
Henry was rather ashamed to mention that his business was killing Indians, though, as yet, he had not done anything in that line. He had an idea that he might be laughed at.