“He says he has to work for a living,” said Oscar, sullenly.
“So may you, some time.”
“I am rich.”
“You may not always be. At any rate, being rich doesn’t insure gentlemanly behavior, as your conduct to-day clearly shows. Herbert, I hope you will excuse my son’s rudeness.”
“Here is my hand, Oscar,” said Herbert, cordially. “Let us be friends.”
Oscar hardly knew how to receive this overture, but he was finally thawed by Herbert’s manner, and they were soon sauntering about on the lawn on the best of terms.
At half-past eleven, after an inviting lunch, the carriage was ordered, and Herbert and Mr. Carroll were driven to the depot, accompanied by Oscar, who went in his mother’s place.
Herbert purchased tickets for both, being intrusted with Mr. Carrol’s pocketbook for that purpose. He found a comfortable seat for the old gentleman, and sat down beside him.
A SUSPICIOUS CHARACTER
I pass over the route pursued by the travelers from Columbus to Wheeling, in West Virginia, as it possesses no special interest.
But after leaving Wheeling there is quite a change. Those of my readers who are familiar with the Baltimore & Ohio Railway will be able to understand the enjoyment which Herbert derived from the bold and romantic scenery visible from the car windows. Mr. Carroll made him take the seat nearest the window, that he might have a better view, and from time to time Herbert described what he saw to his sightless fellow-traveler.
Northwestern Virginia is very mountainous and the construction of a railway through such a region was a triumph of engineering skill. At times the road makes bold curves, so that the traveler, looking from the car window, can see opposite him, across an intervening gulf, the track over which the train was passing five minutes before. At some places the track is laid on a narrow shelf, midway of the mountain, a steep and rugged ascent on one side, a deep ravine on the other, somewhat like the old diligence road over the Alpine Mt. Cenis. Here and there appear small hamlets, consisting of one-story cabins, with the chimney built alongside, instead of rising from the roof in the usual manner.
How long shall we be in reaching Baltimore, Mr. Carroll? “asked Herbert.
“I believe it takes about twenty-six hours,” said the old gentleman. “But I do not mean to go through without stopping.”
“I didn’t know what your plan was,” said Herbert.
“I have been meaning to tell you. Our tickets will allow us to stop anywhere, and resume our journey the next morning, or even stop two or three days, if we like.”
“That is convenient.”
“Yes. If it had been otherwise, I should have purchased the ticket piecemeal. I cannot endure to travel all night. It fatigues me too much.”