It was certainly the fifth time that this question had been asked since breakfast. To the somewhat excited apprehension of Mr. Horner, it seemed the twentieth. For Mr. Horner, though a man of affairs, was a little thrown off his balance, now.
"I don't care where he is," said he. "Let him stay with the newsboys, if he wants to."
The occasion was the filing under sheds, between piles of oranges and cotton bales, newsboys and draymen, of a procession, male and female, old and young, which tumbled out, both hands of everybody full, from carriages on the street, and in disorderly order came in sight of the black hull of the St. Laurent, on the outside of the landing-sheds of the Compagnie Generale Trans-Atlantique. This procession was the Horner family, leaving New York for Havre. Tom was the youngest of this family, and he had now disappeared for the fifth time since breakfast.
"Never fear for Tom," said Philip, who had risen to the emergencies of a departure, and allied himself to the side of authority. "never fear for Tom, I will see to him as soon as I leave mamma's things
in her state-room. This way, mamma. This way, Bessie. Papa, you are quite wrong."
For Phil had been on board three times already with other boys from
Mr. Newell's school, on one pretext or another, and was proud of being the pilot.
Across the gangway, where even the most timid could not tremble; between chattering French bonnes and dirty travelling [sic] pedlars; declining endless invitations to purchase rosebuds, neglecting all overtures from
white-aproned waiters, who wished to take from him his mother's umbrella, camp-stool, novel, Bible, and plaid which, at the last moment, Phil had taken in charge, he threaded the way through the large, dark saloon. He pushed between a box of Apollinaris water and a steward with a tray, carrying champagne; he threw open a state-room door, and said with exultation, "There!" This was the large and spacious apartment of which Mrs. Horner had heard so much. Alas for human expectations and the limitations of language!