It became manifest that the gaunt young man, whose name, it seemed, was Laurier, was a leader both by position and natural aptitude.
Laurier was not only a masterful person and a wealthy property owner and employer--he was president, Bert learnt with awe, of the Tanooda Canning Corporation--but he was popular and skilful in the arts of popularity.
"That's right, said Laurier. "I remember a page about it in the Sunday American.
Laurier. Look 'ere--I want--about that Butteridge machine--."
Laurier, sitting on an adjacent table, with a magnificent gesture, arrested the discourse of the flat-voiced man.
They would all no doubt have been eager to hear Bert's story over again, but it was it this point that Laurier showed his quality.
"Logan," said Laurier, disregarding that feeble inqniry, "you must help us in this."
It seemed only a matter of a few minutes before Bert and Laurier and the storekeeper were examining a number of bicycles that were stowed in the hinder room of the store.
"No, sir!" said Laurier. "We shall have to ride some days, sure!"
Mostly he rode, rode with Laurier's back inexorably ahead, through a land like a larger England, with bigger hills and wider valleys, larger fields, wider roads, fewer hedges, and wooden houses with commodious piazzas.
Neither Bert nor Laurier made any reply, and presently, after a little skilful expectoration, the young gentleman was attracted by the appearance of two of his friends down the road and shuffled off, whooping weirdly....