By Garrett P. (Putman) Serviss
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Extra resources for A Columbus of Space
The child obeyed, but continued to ply his questions, so that his mother again reprimanded him. "You must remember that Baron von Sternfeldt is his own master and can do as he likes. " Admirable, thought Otto, she had included herself in the company, so that the reproach to her child became an indirect compliment to himself. Our huntsman was again on the alert. He was indeed in luck to have thus easily found the spoor! With bright eyes, with a flush which brought the bloom on to his cheeks, he now talked easily and wittily.
Eager to carry out his mission worthily, the boy bustled along - to the inconvenience and surprise of other visitors. He was keen on showing how smart a messenger he could be, and took no notice of their exasperated stares. The porter informed him that Count Grundheim had not yet arrived, and that, indeed, the gentleman's coming had not, so far, ever been announced. Edgar returned on winged feet, bringing the tidings - but the lounge was empty, the baron was nowhere to be found. No answer came to a knock at his friend's door.
What means could he employ to show his regard? He was tormented by the recognition of his immaturity. How rotten to be nothing more than a kid of twelve! Never had he so yearned to be grown up, to be big and strong, to be a real man. These uneasy musings were interwoven with premonitions of an awakening manhood, rosy dreams which passed gradually into the realm of sleep. But even as he slept, a contented smile played about his lips .... Tomorrow he would see his friend again.... Had they not fixed it up for a walk together?