"Guardley and I are going to try our luck in the West. Say, I heard you boys were bound for Alaska. Is that true?"
"It costs a heap to go there—didn't know you had so much money," put in Guardley, with a smile that neither Earl nor Randy appreciated.
"And I didn't know you had any money for a Western trip," returned the older brother, rather sharply.
"Oh, Tom here is seeing me through," answered Guardley; but both Randy and Earl noted that he appeared somewhat confused for the moment.
"Guardley has done me several good turns, and it wouldn't be fair for me to turn my back on him," finished Tom Roland. "We are going right through to San Francisco. How about yourselves?"
"We stop off at New York," said Randy.
"It's a pity we can't travel together—" began Roland, when Earl cut him short.
"Roland, did you pick up a letter belonging to me?" asked the boy.
The man's eyes dropped, but only for the fraction of a second. "A letter belonging to you?" he repeated. "No. Where did you lose it?"
"Somewhere around Basco. Did you see it, Guardley?"
The second man shook his head. "Was it important?" he asked.