Dinner was soon ready.
There was some beefsteak and coffee and a whole apple pie. Herbert surveyed the viands with satisfaction, having a decidedly good appetite. He soon found, however, that hungry as he was, he stood a poor chance with Abner Holden; that gentleman, being a very rapid eater, managed to appropriate two-thirds of the beefsteak and three-quarters of the pie. However, the supply being abundant, Herbert succeeded in making a satisfactory repast, and did not grudge the amount which he knew he should have to pay for it before leaving.
“Now,” said Abner Holden, his eyes twinkling at the thought of our hero’s coming discomfiture, “we’ll go and settle our bill.”
“Very well,” said Herbert, quietly.
They entered the public room and advanced to the bar.
“This boy wants to pay for his dinner, Mr. Robinson,” said Abner, significantly.
“How much will it be?” asked Herbert.
Herbert took out of his vest pocket a quarter, a dime and two cents, and handed them over.
To say that Abner Holden looked amazed is not sufficient. He looked disgusted and wronged, and glared at Herbert as if to inquire how he could have the face to outrage his feelings in that way.
“Ho! ho!” laughed the landlord, who, having no interest in the matter, was amused at the course affairs had taken.
Herbert suppressed his desire to laugh, and looked as if he had no knowledge of Mr. Holden’s plans.
“Where did you get that money?” growled Abner, with a scowl.
“Out of my vest pocket,” said Herbert, innocently.
“I know that, of course, but I thought you had only a bill.”
“Oh, I got that changed at the store.”
“How dared you go over there without my permission?” roared Abner.
“I didn’t think it necessary to ask your permission to go across the street.”
“Well, you know it now. Don’t you go there again without my knowledge.”
“Very well, sir.”
“Did you buy anything at the store?” continued Mr. Holden.
“What was it?”
“Some paper and envelopes.”
“Humph!” muttered Abner, discontentedly.
He proceeded to pay his own bill and in a few minutes got into the wagon and drove off rather sulkily. Herbert saw that Mr. Holden was disturbed by the failure of his little plan, and felt amused rather than otherwise. But when he reflected that he was going to live with this man, and be, to a considerable extent under his control, he felt inclined to be sad. One thing he resolved that he would not submit to tyranny. The world was wide, and he felt able to earn his own living. He would give Mr. Holden a trial, and if he treated him with reasonable fairness he would remain with him. But he was not going to be any man’s slave.
Meanwhile they were getting over the road, and a few more hours brought them to their journey’s end.