than either Larry or Tom was willing to acknowledge. And they ate their food with greater relish in the certainty that their dream of going to live on a ranch was to come true.
Each was absorbed in his own thoughts when the voice of their father roused them.
"Now that it's decided you are going West," he was saying, "I reckon I'll go over to Olmsted and make sure about our steamer tickets. We won't have any too much time in New York. You boys can go with me if you like."
Glad of the opportunity, the boys finished their dinner quickly and were soon whirling over the hard clay road behind their father's span of spirited horses.
"I've decided to give each of you two hundred and fifty dollars," said Mr. Alden, as though expressing his thoughts out loud.
"Phew! Two hundred and fifty dollars! That's more money than I ever had all at once," exclaimed Tom in delight. "Think of having all that to spend, Larry."
"But you mustn't spend it all," warned their father. "I was going