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   Chapter 28 No.28

What Might Have Been Expected By Frank Richard Stockton Characters: 3089

Updated: 2017-11-30 00:04

A Meeting.

About a week after the dissolution of the Crooked Creek Company, Harry was riding over from Hetertown, and had nearly reached the creek on his way home, when he met George Purvis.

This was their first meeting since their fight, for George had been away on a visit to some relatives in Richmond.

When Harry saw George riding slowly toward him, he felt very much embarrassed, and very much annoyed because he was embarrassed.

How should he meet George? What should he say; or should he say anything?

He did not want to appear anxious to "make up" with him, nor did he want to seem as if he bore malice toward him. If he only knew how George felt about it!

As it was, he wished he had stopped somewhere on the road. He had thought of stopping at the mill-why had he not? That would just have given George time to pass.

Both boys appeared to be riding as slowly as their horses would consent to go, and yet when they met, Harry had not half made up his mind what he would say, or how he should say it, or whether it would be better or not to say anything.

"Hello, George!" said he, quite unpremeditatedly.

"Hello!" said George, reining in his horse "Where are you going?"

"Going home," said Harry, also stopping in the road.

Thus the quarrel came to an end.

"So you've sold the telegraph?" said George.

"Yes," said Harry. "And I think we made a pretty good bargain. I didn't think we'd do so well when we started."

"No, it didn't look like it," said George; "but those mica men mayn't find it su

ch a good bargain for them."

"Why?" asked Harry.

"Well, suppose some of the people who own the land that the line's on, don't want these strangers to have a telegraph on their farms. What's to hinder them ordering them off?"

"They wouldn't do that," said Harry. "None of the people about here would be so mean. They'd know that it might upset our bargain. There isn't a man who would do it."

"All right," said George. "I hope they won't. But how are you going to keep the old woman now?"

"How?" said Harry. "Why, we can keep her easy enough. We got three hundred and fifty dollars from the Mica Company."

"And how much is her share?"

"Over two hundred and sixty," answered Harry.

"Is that all?" said George. "That won't give her much income. The interest on it will only be about fifteen dollars a year, and she can't live on that."

"But we didn't think of using only the interest," said Harry.

"So you're going to break in on the principal, are you? That's a poor way of doing."

"Oh, we'll get along well enough," said Harry. "Two hundred and sixty dollars is a good deal of money. Good-by! I must get on. Come up, Selim!"

"Good-by!" said George; and he spurred up his horse and rode off gayly.

But not so Harry. He was quite depressed in spirits by George's remarks. He wished he had not met him, and he determined that he would not bother his head by looking at the matter as George did. It was ridiculous.

But the more he thought of it, the more sorry he felt that he had met George Purvis.

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