Page:To Alaska for Gold.djvu/19

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3
A LETTER FROM THE WEST.

away. The boys had worked hard, early and late, to make both ends meet, and it certainly looked as if they did not deserve the hard luck which had befallen them.

It was supper time, and the pair had just finished a scanty meal of beans, bread, and the remains of a brook trout Randy had been lucky enough to catch before breakfast. Randy threw himself down on the doorstep, while Earl washed and dried the few dishes.

"I wonder if we can't get something out of the lumber company," mused the younger brother, as he gazed meditatively at his boots, which were sadly in need of soling and heeling. "They've lots of timber on hand."

"All covered by a mortgage to some Boston concern," replied Earl. "I asked Squire Dobson about it. He said we shouldn't get a penny."

"Humph!" Randy drew a deep breath. "By the way, has Squire Dobson learned anything about Fred, yet?"

"He's pretty sure Fred ran away to New York."

"I can't understand why he should run away from such a good home, can you? You wouldn't catch me doing it."

"He ran away because he didn't want to finish studying. Fred always was a wild Dick. I shouldn't wonder if he ended up by going out West to hunt Indians." Earl gave a short laugh. "He'll have his