Page:Betty Gordon in Washington.djvu/45

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35
AT THE VENDUE

girl, fascinated, lingered till the last item was checked off. Then, with a start, Bob heard a farmer announce that It was half past five.

"Oh dear!" sighed Betty nervously, "you ought to be milking this minute. Oh, Bob, let's not go home! Couldn't we stay overnight with Doctor Guerin?"

"Now don't you be afraid, there won't anything happen to scare you," responded Bob soothingly. It must be confessed that the knowledge of the little sum of money tucked away under the rosebush gave him a bolder outlook on the future.

Hiram Keppler, who owned the farm just beyond the Peabody place, gave them a lift as far as their lane, and as they hurried down the road Betty tried her best to master her dread of the coming interview. She had not a doubt but that Bob's absence would have been noticed. Looking ahead fearfully, she saw a sight that confirmed her worst forebodings.

Joseph Peabody stood at the barnyard gate, a horsewhip in his hand.