Lum was on board with Caleb’s new trade school system, until not only was Caleb’s black smith shop more popular, but Lum had no students. Grandpap enters, but Abner has other things on his mind than the interesting almanac article. Abner tells how upset Lum looked when he left and went home for the day.
Lum has been disappointed before, and for various reasons, surely he’ll pull through this one too. Grandpap has his opening to distract Abner, and lure his interest into the almanac. Athletes had tossed around a 16 pound hammer. Somebody could get hurt doing something like that.
Worry gets the better of Abner, and he starts phoning around to see if anyone has heard from Lum. He hasn’t been seen at the barber shop, or at Luke Spear’s lunch room, or any of his usual haunts. A letter from Lum doesn’t look good. The farewell note describes how Lum thinks he won’t be missed if he never comes back.