Peter had gone looking for his friend, Franklin who had runaway from the orphanage. But, Peter didn’t know is way around the city and had encountered a vagrant that threatened to send him to the mills. Along the way he lost his shadow, MacFie that helped him escape. Alone and cold he found himself disoriented. Defeated, he sat down on the steps of a building and waited for MacFie. Just when he thought he wouldn’t be found, a friendly stranger approached him and now the stranger was taking him home. In most circumstances, Peter would have retreated from the stranger, however, there was something benevolent about him. He trusted him like a friend.
“So tell me, why are you roaming the city streets this time of the night?” the stranger inquired Peter.
“I was searching for my friend, Franklin,” Peter told him.
“Why would you’re friend be doing out here?”
“He ran away.”
“Ah–that would explain it,” he said. “So you came looking for him?”
“Did you find him?”
“No, I didn’t sir.”
“Where do you think you’re friend went?”
“I don’t know.”
“Did he live with you at the orphanage?”
“Wasn’t he happy there?”
“I don’t know, sir. I -I didn’t ask him.”
“He must have had his reasons,” he nodded. “I’m sure he’ll return.”
“Of course,” he said. “It was brave of you to have gone searching for him.”
“But, sir,” Peter bashfully said. “I couldn’t find him. I didn’t know where to look.”
“He can’ be lost forever.”
“Do you believe that, sir?”
“Of course,” he said. “You’ve got to believe something good will happen.”
They came to a stop in front of the orphanage’s large wrought iron gates.
“Well, here we are,” the stranger said.
That was a short walk, thought Peter.
“Nothings too far away,” the stranger smiled at him. “Well, you better go in.”
“And don’t you worry about your friend. He wouldn’t have wandered too far.”
Peter nodded and slowly walked to the gates. He turned around to thank the friendly stranger, but he had vanished into the night. Some people come and go so quickly, thought Peter. He pushed open the gates and slipped back into the orphanage. He quietly tipped toe to his room and laid down on his bed. Tomorrow he will tell Father Clery that Franklyn was missing. He yawned a few times and quickly fell asleep. He hand’t been aware that MacFie had returned to his side.