## The mysterious millionaire, or, The queerest job on record

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## Material Information

Title:
The mysterious millionaire, or, The queerest job on record
Series Title:
Brave & Bold
Creator:
Matt Royal
Place of Publication:
New York
Publisher:
Street & Smith
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
1 online resource (29 p.) 29 cm.: ;

## Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Dime novels. ( rbgenr )
Detective and mystery fiction ( lcsh )
Genre:
serial ( sobekcm )

## Notes

Original Version:
Volume 1, Number 30

## Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
The University of South Florida Libraries believes that the Item is in the Public Domain under the laws of the United States, but a determination was not made as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. The Item may not be in the Public Domain under the laws of other countries.
Resource Identifier:
028875833 ( ALEPH )
07230932 ( OCLC )
B15-00024 ( USFLDC DOI )
b15.24 ( USFLDC Handle )

## USFLDC Membership

Aggregations:
University of South Florida
Brave and Bold

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serial

Full Text

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LONGER STORIES THAN CONTAINED IN Al'tY FIVE CENT LIBRARY PUBLISHED A DIFFERENT COMPLETE STORY EVERY WEEK T o m wa s ol.Jllg e d to submit, and they carried him to the water' s edge and laid him in the bottom of a small sailboat.

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RAVE-.fl Diffe14ent Complete Story Every Week Iuiuii Wulrly, .By SubscrijtilJM /11.50 per year. Entered according' to Act of Congress in the year IQ. C. STREET & SMITH, 238 William St., N. Y. NO. 30. NEW YORK, July 18, 1903. Five Cents. THE MYSTERIOUS MILLIONAIRE; OR, The Qtteerest Job on Record. By .NCA 'I''I' ROY AL,. "Boyl" "Yes, sir/' CHAPTER I. "Come here. yYhat are you looking for?" "For work, sir." "Work!" "Yes, sir Can you give me something to do?" "I can, indeed Ste p right in here. Be quick!" Young Tom Walcott had good reason to feel surprised He had been four weeks vain \y seeking employment in New York; he had tramp e d the streets till his shoes were almost worn off his feet; he had met with discouragements and rebuffs S\)fficient to knock the hope out of any but the bravest and most persever ing, and now, just when he had about given up the task, just when it seemed impossible for him to find employp.1ent, he heard the cheering news we have recorded. \. It was a singular meeting in more respects than one. Tom was going along Wall Street about dusk in the evening, strutting along moodily with his head cast down and his hands thrust deep in his trousers pockets, when a door of one of the offices in front of him sudd enly opened, and a man thrust his head out. He glanced nervously. up and down and across the street, and was just about to go in again when his eye fell on Tom. He then began the conversation with which our story opens. "Come right in here, boy he said, as he held the office door open. "Come in quick for I'm in a hurry." His manner showed that he was under the influence of strong excitement, though he was not intoxicated as the young pedestrian at first supposed. He was a big, portly man of about fifty-five years of age. His face was clean-shaven and his hair was an iron-gray. He was dressed in the height of fashion. His emotion, the young lad thought, ill became him. He seemed like a man that se ld om emerged fronm an aristocratic impassivity. He closed and locked the door afld led the youth through an office in which there were desks and chairs, to an inner apart ment which was elegantly furnished. "Sit down," he said. taking a chair himself. "What is your name?" "Tom Walcott, sir." do you come from?" "The village hf Irving, Massachusetts." "Stranger here?" "Yes, sir. I'll tell you my whole--" "No, you won't. I'm in too big a hurry. You say you want work?" "Yes, sir." "QJ.Iick, then, get at it. You look like a boy I can trust, and I'll take the risk. Here are five dollars. Put it in your pocket; you'll need it." While the lad stared in absolute bewilderment fingering the bills that represented ten times as much capital as he had had on his person, the gentleman quickly took stock of his prepossessing exterior-the well-chiseled face, frank and fearless in its expres-

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.; 4 BRAVE AND BOLD. "Sit down Tom obeyed, wondering to himself If he was in the company of a madman and resolving to take the first opportunity to get out. Suddenly the man stopped in h l s walk, and, turning to Tom, said: "Are you sure you found the right tree?" "Perfectly sure. The nearest one to the east of the farther end of the Mall." "That's it. Did you sit in the grass as bidden?" I did, for nearly an hour." "And no one came to ygu ?" "No one c a me with i n fifty yards o f me except--" "Except whom?" "A young woman." HA y o ung woman? Go o d heaven s 1 why 'didn't you say so? What did she do? What did she say?" "Nothing. She was some o ne who just happened to come along that way. She nearly stumbled over me in the darkness. She was dressed---'' "Ne ver mind her dress. What did she say? Speak quick l" "Nothing. She pa s sed on, going v ery quickly toward--" "Did s he n o t speak? Did she not s ay something ? "Not a w o rd, 01 ly just when her foot struck me she said--" "VI/hat?" "'Oh, excuse me l' and hurried--" "Ha I thought so. Go on, boy, go on." "That's all, sir." "Ha I she said: Oh, excuse me! Just so. Go on. You followed afterward?" "Yes, perhaps half an hour afterward--" "And found the bench?" "Yes but there was nothing under it." "Nothing I Did you look carefully-did you search the grass?" "Thoroughly." "And did you n o t find s o mething?" "Nothing." "Curse the luck!" "There wa s absolutely n othing under the bench but--' "But what? Speak quick, for mercy's sake. What did you find?" "Only a bit of orange peel." "Ha! Did you pick it up?" "Yes." "An orange peel! Let me see it-let me see it." He had leap e d to hi s f e et and wa s now h o lding out his hands eagerly a s if he wa s to r e c e ive some pre cious jewel. Tom o v e rwhelmed w ith am a zement, and s taring like an owl, drew the ora nge p eel fro m hi s pocket and handed it to the gentleman. latter, fairly wild with ex c it e ment, grasped it, ran to the table and turning on tw o m o re light s sat down to examine the simple object that i ts di s c o verer h a d s o n e arly left behind. fresently he utt e red a cry, of pleasure, wheeled around, and grasping T o m's hand, exclaimed: "Boy, you re a t re as ure Y o u enter my empl o y at once. Here are tw e nty -fiv e d o llar s for y our s ervices t o -night. I wouldn't have lost this for tw ice that s um "Now, young man, y o u can go, but I want t o s e e you agairt to-morrow at nine o clock. Whe re are you staying ? "I ha v e n o ab o de, s ir." "No abode I Ah, 'r for got; y6u said you had been having ill luck. Well, we'll fix th a t all right. You re to enter my employ. I h a ve work for you-g r e at w ork I like you; you appear discreet and hofiest, and reliable, and I think we'll get along; I'll give you an address at which you'll call to-night/' He hastily scribbled a few lines on a paper, and, inclosing it in an envelope, handed it to Tom. "There," he said; "present that at the addrcs.s and you will get board Remain there for the present. They're respectable peo ple, and will take you on my recommendation." "Thank you, sir." "To-mo rrow you must get a new suit. Here," and he forced another bill into Tom's hand. T o m w ent out into the night and made rapidly for the nearest restauratit. For the first time in we e ks h e was going to have a square meal. His spirits had risen with his new success. H e seat e d him se lf a t a t able and gave an order for a meal that, earlier in the day, w o uld have app eared a banquet to him. He in tended to all o w him s elf ab out h a lf an h our for eating, and then start for his new boarding house. There were about twenty other pers o ns seated in the dining room. Presently a gentleman came in and seated himself at the same table with Tom, and directly o pp osit e to him He gave his order to a wait e r, and began to read a newspaper He was a very dark-complexioned, rather good-looking young fellow of about twent y -four years of age, and he was very stylishly, and even a little loudly, dressed. His mustache was oiled and curled in a way that showed he w a s a bit of a dandy He eyed Tom over the t o p of his paper without the latter noticing it, and a peculiar smile played about the corner of his mouth. By and by he spoke, using words that one stranger might address to another without giving offense. "It's not quite so warm to-night." "No." T o m looked up, took him in in a glance and went on eating. "I'll tell you where a man ought to sleep such nights as these." "Where?" "Under 3' bench in Central Park." Tom started and darted a second look at the speaker. There was nothing remarkable in the words, but they touched upon a thought uppermost in bis mind at the moment. He had been mentally reviewing his late adventure in the park. He made no reply, and showed by his manner that he had no desire to carry on a conversation. Presently the stranger spoke again, this time to the waiter: "Bring me a couple of orangas." "Yes, sir." "And look here Jeems." Yes, sir." "Bring them peeled. I have a great antipathy to an orange peel." "Yes, sir said the waiter, and he departed, bowing. Again Tom got a shock. The stranger bad for the second time mCJ;)tioned an object as soci a ted with his late adventure. The m e ntion of any other ob jects in the world wo u ld have passed without Was it chance or design ? Tom concealed his surprise, and for a few moments scrutinized the sharply, taking care to do it furtively. Another p\'!culiar 1 thing now happen ed. The stranger arooe, laid a coin on the table and, seiz ing hi s hat and cane, went off without waiting for the fruit which he h a d o r d e red t o be served. Tom could not refrain from turning a round in bis chair to look at him. He saw the stranger stop t the desk, present his check and a

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-BRA VE AND BOLD. coin, light a dgar, and walk out. Not a remarkable thing ab ou t him Not an action that was not strictly conventional. He did not even look back when he gained the street. The on ly thing was the amazing fact of his having mentioned a ben c h in Central Park and an orange peel. "Wonderful coincidence l" thought Tom, and the matte r then went out of his mind-at least for the tim e When he left the 1estaurant he hurried to the address given h im by his new employer. T h e place was o n Fourth Street. He found it without any diffi c ulty. It was a nice-looking brick building, formerly two resid e nces, o ne of which, as a brass plate on the door showed, was occupied by a phy s ici an. 1 Tom went to the other door and rang the b e ll and presented hi s letter. A stylis h -looking, middle-aged lady appeared,' who l ooke d some what askant at him when she h ad surveye d his extc rior1 and in a rather ascetic voice asked him what he wanted "I want to boa rd here said Tom. "Board here? You I You mu s t go somewhere else, sir." "I have a rec ommendatio n madam-.-" "It makes n o difference. I cannot take any boarders to-night." "Perhaps--" She was about to close the door in his face when he handed her the letter. Her eye caught the handwriting even before she t o uched it. She opened it, glanced over it, and in the twinkli!ilg of an eye h e r whole manner changed. Sh e smi l ed affably on Torn and said: "You mu s t ex<;use me. I didn't know that--" "That's all right, m a'a m," said Tom, good-naturedly, trying to ease her embarrass m e nt. "Come right in. You can board here as l ong as you find it agreeable," said she "Thanks." Tom entered and found the house well and even sumptuously furni shed. It did not take l ong to arrive .at satisf11ctory tenm; they were surprisingly l ow fo.r such a pretentious l;loar
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IO BRAVE AND BOLD. To get work he must go away from home, and, what was terribly hard to bear, he must leave behind him the loved ones de pendent upon him. It would be madness to think of taking them with him, when he had no situation in view, and he could not take them if he wanted to. Poor fellow He had barely enough to take himself, after he had left with them what might support them for a couple of weeks. The leave-taking as a sad one. It almost unmanned him. It would have brought tears from the hardest heart. His gentle mother and his sister Nell sobbed with grief, while his crippled brother Dick was unable to speak. A hurried kiss and warm clasp given to each, and Tom literally tore himself away. Five minutes later he was on the train and making for the great metropolis. Most rural people foolishly think that in the big cities lucrative employment can be had for the asking. Tom partly shared in this delusion, for he had all the vitality and h ope that belongs to youth, and misfortune had not yet tried to crush it out of him. But he had a stronger reason for going to New York. About a year before an uncle of his, who had long lived in the city, wrote him, offering to procure him a good situation if he would go down there. 1Tom, in his then desperate circumstances, hated to leave a cer tainty for an uncertainty, and besides, his mother was very sick. ,He now thought of this uncle and determined to hunt him up. He had carefully preserved his address. He got to New York, and-irony of fate!-found that his uncle had moved away to some town in Nebraska. We know how for weeks Tom tramped the streets of the big city trying to get work that would enable him to send some money home to his mother. ,We know how he met discouragement after discouragement, and failure after failure. He had promised his mother to write to her every second day, and up to the present J;ie had done so. While his letters were not untruthful, they told little of h}s_ sufferings. He could not b
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BRA VF; AND BOLD. 13 "Mackenzie McLeod ? "Yes. ' Mentioned it yourse lf " Y o u lie I You called me M a c b e fore By--" "Hold on." Tom saw that h e had t o yi e ld a supp o sed advantage. He had imagined it would be a benefit to him if his captor s thought he wa s in pos sess i o n of s o me of them But he was determined to surrende r his advantage as spar ingly as pos s ible to pla y upon words, to equivocate, quibble and do anything but actually lie. "Mr. McLe o d, he s aid "I t e ll you exactly when I first learn e d the names of you and Jirn "-this was perf e ctly true; he did not know whether it was und e r the tree, in the boat or in the cartiage-"but I will say this, that up to the time you cap t ured me, I knew anything particularly bad of either of you. "Look her e ; drop that." "Drop what?" "That balderdash. Speak d e finitely or I ll kill you. I feel like killing y o u anyhow." Tom knew differe He believed that so l o ng as he could make beli e ve he was Harry he was safe, unless there was an oth e r explosion of temper "I d on't know much about you at all." "What do y o u know?" ''I'll frtght e n you a bit now thought Tom; aloud he s
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BRA VE AND BOLD, to a 4egree, he descendect and the stand back to its place. dusk of the evening of the same day the window opened and the girl's voice called: "Harry," "Yes," said Torn. "I have thought that matter over, and I'll grant your request if you'll pledge yourself on your honor to do one thing." Tom's heart leaped for very joy. There w
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, r8 BRA VE AND BOLD. CHAPTER xnr. Three months have passed since the events recorded in the last chapter, and great changes have come to some of the of our story. '.fom Walcott h<1s brought his mother, brqther and sistei; to New York. They are all living in humble, but fairly comfortable, rooms on First Avenue. '_l'om ia worki.ng steadil>; pow, and deriving from his work enough, income to keep the family from want. They aFe far from beinlj o .ut 9f debtJ but their circumstances are an improve ment upon what they were in Irving, especially after the. Wendell Mills burned down, and while Tom was tram.Ping the streets. of New York for work. The rea 'der. wiff natu' raliy ask how did this desirable change come about. How did Tom make 'enough to move the family down from Irving? We will explain. when he went back to his boarding house the night he lost .track of the lady, Flo ra, ip Washington Park, he found, to his st'lrprise, tpat M.-s. Moffatt had moved away, and in her was another woman named' Mrs. Fleming: He was more surprised when he found that the was to make no to bim-,-that Moffl).tt had made ar rangements with her succfssor by which Tom was to continue as a boarder as long as he liked, a11d th;,it she Jiad left a letter ''fo be handed to Mr. Walcott when he ccifnes." The big?'es.t -surprise :of rrll \'{ail when th! : s letter. He found 1t to contam fifty 'l!ollars and the {bllowmg : it \ "MY DEAR WALCOTT: I w11-s much th;t )lOU dicl .notr return to me .. tho evening.' you went to Pleasant J;'la.ins, and I (:jl.nnot L1ndersland has siru;e kept you, for,. pf cciurse, I know you are too honest fo lntenlio1rnlly break your word. Your ttip. niust have been' a Sutcess, however, as thLngs turned' out' well." Yol.I will fi'!\d inclo sed .. fifty dol1ar$, which I' deJ Y9\lA.ll accept. t.\m leav ing townfor 1 a few days, apd when: f return I hope tE>.fit:id,..,you Moffatt's,'' : i . ':'1 .,. "-There was no signature, no sup e;scription of any.; k,i.nQ. 1,'o. m que ti _oneq 1Mrs . .J;len:ing . She knew 11othing, she said, al'lout Mrs.' Moffat( or' gentleman. Next morning he .s}rit'tl;irty dollars home to his and honrs an of, business. it., .... ..,. \-.. < . ; . ; : )je boug\1t th, e .. good .. 1wi,\l .. ?f a bQotblack 1, yho a chair a'.ri_d a small at the of <,! hotel on '.h1rd A,ven ue. , .. . :.Jle c .1.uhe . bargain,.. quite aq:identally. f.!:e happened to be the corner11 apd heard the bootblack telling a friend :'' \ 'r I he w1s.hed pe could sell out, as he had something better 111 \ l teiV. Tom was not abov the bootblacking industrv. He had never ldrncd ib feel the in. i:ngnity of laho1r. f. He arran,!l'ed with tlie hotel man to pay a part of the price for lihn and accept his agree rnent to give him a portion of the profits until the business should be entirely his own. was the' fockie'st stroke of his 1 thl!.t eVetling he started for Irving, Massachusetts. He found 11iis .mother, Dick and Nell in dire poverty, but still alive and well. The thirty dollars ar rived about the same thne-he did. 7 ' He unfolded his scheme to his mother, and got her consent' and blessing. " He spent a in .sellfng out all the' 'furniture artd ;tuff they did not rieed, and 'then be rn:oved' tile whole family 't6-New York, renting rdorns, as be en "sa'l'cl,' Avemie. ir Hettciok Die)( busl'neh *ith hifu.'-'Ditk .. ii'-to rrilnd the newsstand, and be himself was to do the more laborious wovlc of shoe-polishing. The morning tqey beg;m business their assets amounted to the following: Newspapers (usele ss after day of issue).................$2.25 Cash on hand . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Total .................... ,. .............. .. $2.60 The plant, consisting of the newsstand and the chajr, with the blacking kit, were still the hotel man's property, Tom having paid but a trifle on them. Dick, the cripple, proved a capital business man. He s.at in his chair and sold his papers and answered questions in a manver that pleased every one with whom he came in contact, He was delighted with his new occupation. It was easy anJ P leasant, and it made him pi;oud to think he was no longer idle, that he could aid Tom to support his mother and Nell. At the end of a week they were four dollars ahead, and at the end of the second week their profits totaled$13.70. They were not becoming Vanderbilts, but they were hopeful of getting out of bitter poverty anq t1ltimately out of debt. Tom's manly, cheerful manner aud Dick's courtesy began to attract the a,tte11iion of gcntkmen who passed Hie corner eYery day., and, littl e by little,.. thesi. 111en got into the habit of purchasing their morning papers from the cripple, and getting tlwir shoes po,lished by Tom. So. that the three months that passed since Tom's last adventure had put him on a better footing with the world. He had the business stand more than half paid for, and the prospects were getting even brighter. And now to answer a question which the reader has been wait-ing to ask: .: .. Walcott, du,ring these three.months, see or hear anything of the people with whom he had been associated in strange adventures? Did he find out the -mystery of the orange peel that he had picked up from under a bench in Central Park? H:tdJte' learned the-mystery of the mysterious errand that brought him to Pleasant Plains)Had he solved the plot of Mac and Jim? "No: I ot ,''f "'> '' From" the night 'foe, c;arriage had off and left him in Wash.ington Park, he had neither seen heard con' cerning his employer, his captors, Jim, Mac' and Wilson, the girl1 flora,' that had a ccornpanie!f him in the c :ir riage, the mus: tached"'young dandy \\'horn had met in the restaurant. The whole thing might have been a dream, so far as proofs were left of these people having existed. They Jived -011ly in Torn'i; memory, and oftentimes he said to himself:. "Either I dreamed the whole of it, or it is the most mysterious series of events I ever heard of." ' H e made several trips ti) Wall and the Taylor House, Jersey City, hoping t&'find some news of his 'late employer; he visited MrS'. Fl ming's boarding house every second day; he watched the papers; he searched and re-searched the city dfrec tory; and he walked around many varts of the city looking for a house with a couchant Hon In front of' it. All in vain. The mystery was deep and dark and beyond his power to fathom. He often thought of the girl, Flora, who to the Jast had mistaken him for a certain Harry Macdonald, and, as her and gentleness came before him, he wondered if she' wa!i rc;a14y

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BRA VE AND BOLD. 19 in the secret of the plot, and how it was she was in the company of villains. As for finding out who Harry Macdonald was, he gave that up as hopeless, when, having looked at the directory, he saw several pages with the name Macdorntld. It seemed as if the whole original clan had settled in New Yark. One morning, after the first great rush of business was over, the majority of their regular customers having gone to their offices and their work, Tom and Dick, as was their wont, sat down to glance over the papers and discuss some of the chief events of the day. Diek was behmd his counter and had a New York World in his hand. Dick had been reading some time, when he suddenly ex-claimed: "Poo r fellow! That's pretty hard." "What's that, Dick?" asked his brother. "It's an exciting piece of news in this morning's papers. They're all full of it. lt'-1 going to be the sensation of the hour, and while it will increase our sales for a while, I feel sorry for the poor fellow that--" "Let us hear it. Who he?" "A young fellow namea Harry Macdonald." '-L "What!" To Dick's absolute amazement, Tom leaped out of his chair, sprang across tht sidewalk, and, reaching over the counter, snatched the paper out of his hand. "Let me see it!" he cried, and, while his face grew deadly pale and his eyes expanded, he hurriedly read the paragraph that had caught his brother's attention. CHAPTER XIV. The newspaper article, which was at that moment being re}d and discussed by thousands on the streets, read as follows: "MYSTERIOUS DISAPPEARANCE. "Is IT A C::ASE OF Fot;L PL.A.Y OR SuxcmE?-CoMMODORE MAcDoN ALD's SoN MISSING. "Young Harry Macdonald, son of Commodore Macdonald, the 'Wall Street King,' has mysteriously disappeared, and grave doubts of l his being alive are entertained. It is fully three months since he was last seen by his friends, but it is only withi.n the last few days that the matter excited comments and fears, a:; his father had been absent from home for same time, and it was supposed that th. e son might tie with him. The father is distracted with grief. He fears that' his son has met with play. He offers a large reward far information that will lead tfr his being found." There was considerably more in the article, but it referred wholly, and in eulogistic terms, to Commodore Macdonald, who was reputed to be a multi-millionaire, and acknowledged to be a gentleman and philanthropist. Tom Walcott was literally shocked when he read .the news. It had a'.deeper effect upon him, th on one else in New York, outside of the father of the unfortunate young man. He uttered an exclamation of norror and sat down in his chair, letting his head rest on his hand. "What's the matter?" asked Dick, in alarm. "Matter,? Oh, :Oick. you don't know anything about it. This is awf.W--" "What's awful?" "This .,. .. '. "About young a_cdonald ?'" .. ... "Yes, yes Oh, dear! oh, dear !" "Why should it excite you, Tom? You don't know the man, do you?" "No. Never saw him, to my knowledge." "Why do you worry over it, then?" "He's gone. He's been captured. The plot has succeeded. Those infernal scoundrels have--" I "Why, what on earth are you talking about, Tom? I don't un derstand you. One would think that---.. What scoundrels are you referring to?" "Oh, Dick, don't bother me! There, that'$a good fellow. Let me think." And Tom did think. For upward of a quarter of an hour he beat his brains and tried to remember little detail& that had be fore to him. Dick watched him, wondering what it all meant. Tom had not confided any of his late adventures to fam i ly, consequently Dick was wholly unprepared for anything ap proaching the nature of a mystery. It was hard for Dick.to as sociate secrecy and mystery with the open-hearted; frank brother that he admired as a chivalrous hero. I After a while Tom jumped out of the chair and said: "Dick, I'm going to leave you for an hour or two. I won't be any longer than I can help. There's a little matter I want to at tend to. Get Micky to watch my chair." Micky Flynn :ivas a boy whom Tom was accustomed to quite frequently to assist him whei:i there was a rush of business, or to do all the shining in case he, Tom, had to abient himself any length of time. For Tom did often emselves, who had even 'the faintest idea of what might have become of Harry Macdonald, and. he 'hid got this knowledge by inference. The infonnation he could give the nwst In their hands it might soon clear t up the ; he wa1 morally bound to tell it. ,:. This is the way it appeared to when .he leaped up ftom, the chair. But a new thought struck h. as he stopped at the corner. fj" ad he a right to tell the police what had happened? Had be not hi s elljp!oyer to keep secret everythipg in cp1; mcc: tion with his 1:11ystc:rios ei:rands to Central Park and Pleasant Plains? And had he i:iot pledged lady, .Flora. to PAGE 21 20 BRA VE. AND BOLD. say nothing about what happened from the time she released him up to the time he parted with her? He could not go back on his sacredly-pledged word. He could not, without perjuring himself, relate his story to the police. He could tell patt of it without breaking any promise; he could relate his capture and imprisonment by Mac and Jim; but that would not do any good. Seeing he was keeping back something the would only susi>ect he had been accessory to the plot. It was a hatd problem for a scrupulously conscientious young fellow to soh-e. The more he studied it the more clearly it pre sented two alternatives to him : He must either tel) everything ot keep his mouth closed and' say nothing. He decided to do the latter. "I'll keep my word, no matter what happened," he said; "and, besides, I'll-" He walked back to the stand ag<\in. "Dick," said he to the lad, who had been watching him for the last five minutes, "do you think you could run the business yourself for a week or so-with Micky to do the shinlhg1" "I guess I could, Tt>m. Why?" Dick's innocent blue eyes were full of wonder as he watched his br9ther, who spoke with affected -indifference. Tom, not able to meet his gaze, carelessly glanced over the World, which he had again picked up. "Well, I can't just te1J you the cause, Dick-at least not yet. I will 'as soon as I can." The eyes of the cri'pple beamed with loving concern for his brother as he said : "You're not going away, are yon, Tom?" "No; I'll be around here off and on, but I want to be free to stay away a while If necessary. I want to be footloose." "Will you tell mother and Nell?" "No, no, Dick. They must know nothing." Just at this moment Tom's eye caught something else in the paper. He saw a name among those registered at the Astor House, and of all the persons he desired to meet it happened to be th! one. "I have a bit of work to accomplish, Dick," he continued, still toying with the paper. "and if you can get along without rue yo'll be assisting me," "T'om.'" "What?" "There's a mystery." "Well, yes, Dtck, there is." "You'll depend on me keepinli:' .quiet if I guess it?'' "Yes." I "You know aomething about this young l\facdonald ?" "l do/' "And you're going to kll the chief?" "No.11 "What then?" "I'm going to clear up the mystery single-handed." "Oh, Tom!" "Honor compels rue to do it. My llps are sealed. Harty Macdonald without :relp." m\1st save CHAPTER XV. Half an hour later Tom walked into the Astor House. After looking about in th. e reading-room and smoking-room, he went up to the desk and looked at the hotel register. Yes, sure enough. there was the name of his late employer, Mr. Hardy, among the late arrivals. He had registered the even ing before. "Strange Ile did not send me word he had returned," thought Tom. "I was at Mrs. Fleming's this morning. Of course, it may be some other Hardy." "Well?" said the clerk, looking up with the peculiar interrogative frown which most of the guild acquire. "I want to see Mr. Hardy, who is staying here. Is he in his room?" "I think so. Your card?" Tom wrote his name on a card and the clerk dispatched a bell boy upstairs with it. Presently the lad returned, and handing the card to the clerk, whispered to him. "Well?" said To1;11. "Not in," said the clerk. Tom wondered why the bell-boy smiltd as he took his seat. Just at this juncture another man stepped up to the desk. Tom was turning away at the time, but he overheard the words addressed to the clerk: "Send my care! up to Mr. Hard)!, please." He could not help turning around to take a look, and what he saw surprised him. The clerk dispatched a bell-boy with the stranger's card, despite the fact that he had, but a moment before, said Mr. Hardy was not in. Was it possible Hard:y refusing Tom an interview? That is / what it meant if he was now in his room. "I'll Just watch this thing and see how it turns out," said Tom to himseJ; and he took a seat a little way off, where he could see all that passed. Neither the bell-boys nor the clerk noticed him, for such func tionarie,s ca11not remain interested jn one individual longer than it takes to receive a tip. Th(' man standing waiting at the desk was well worthy of the study of a physiognotnist, and he Interested Tom very much. He was an aristocratic-looking individual, in spite of the fact that his trousers were. a little frayed and his coat well worn. He was fully sixty years of age, yet as straight as an arrow and as active in appearance as a man of thirty. He was over six feet in height. His hair and must<1che were gray; his eyes were singu larly dark and piercing. There was a certain yputhful, jaunty air about him that would have made most people look at him twice. With his glasses astride his prominent nose, he studied an oil painting on the wall with the air of a con11oisseur till the clerk said: "Mr. Hatdy ls in his room. He will be pleased to you." The jaunty old get man followed the bell-boy to the elevator, and Tom Walcott sat back ln his seat with the feeling of a man who had just got struck with a snow-slide. "Well, this beats the deuce I" he muttered. "Why should Hardy 'be in' to this man attd ignore me? There's some mystery about it." Tom's temper was nsmg. He was not the kind of youth that could meekly bear a snub, even from an employer who had hith erto treated him well. He arose from his seat with a peculiar light flashing in his eyes. PAGE 22 BRA VE AND BOLD. 21 He moved to another part of the room, where he co1\ld watch the elevator without being seen. He had about come to the conclu3ion hi5 employer was one of the plotters, when he saw the elevator descending. The door opened, and out stepped several men. Two of them were together. One was the jaunty old gentle man w'ith the prominent nose, and the other he could not get a good look at. The two walked out to the street door and stood on the steps talking, with their faces tO\vard the street. Tom stepped over to the registry desk and spoke to the clerk. "Who is that man out at the door?" he asked. "\l\Thich of them?" "The one with his hands in his pockets." "That's Mr. Hardy." "Mr. Hardy?" "Yes." "Is that the man oc c upies No. 37 ?" "Yes." Tom went halfway down the hall and sat down to wait till the conversation was through. Presently the two men shook hands, whispered to each o,thei; and separated. The jaunty old man went down into the street. The other turned to come back up the hall: ,,. Tom Walcott to his feet. .1, He could scarcely suppress an exclamation ot astonishment. The man before him was the mustached d andy had last seen coming out of the room in the Taylor House, Jer' sey City! How the mistake had been made was clear in a:n instant. Tom, had been told to inquire for "Mr. Hardy," and this \Vas the man that lJeen occupying the room where he found hisemployer. The latter had only been visiting Hardy. A very natural mistake, and its discovery would have eased Tom's mind considerably for the moment had it n ot oeen for what followed. The. dressy young Hardy was sauntering slowly alo'ng towarO. the desk, when suddenly he caught sight of Tom. Instantly his face became as white as a sheet' 1' He turned quickly around and made for the elevator, trying to act as if he had just remembered something he had forgottei1. But Tom Walcott was too quickfor him :;. be caught up to him at the elevafor door and said: 1. ,. "Mr. Hardy! One moment, pleasei''1 The young dandy turned arourtd and stared with well-feigned surprise. Tom' was compelled to admire the nerve that enabled him to change nis countenance so quickly. "Well?" drawled out Mr. Hardy. "Doli't you remember me?" asked Tom. "Remember you? No, I never saw you in my life before." "I met you at the Taylor House, Jersey City, don't you mind?" "f don't. I'm in a hurry just now, and-.-'/ "I'ii not keep you. I simply want to ask you a question." "Well? Be quick I What is it?" "What is the name of the gentleman who was in. your room the day I "I have told you I never saw you before." "Oh, yes, you did; don't you--" : ' ; "I say no." "It was at the Taylor House, about three months ago. I got a note from my employer telling me to inquire for Mr. Hardy. I met you at the door of the room coming out; don.'t you mind? You went downstairs, and I found my employer in your room.'' "Who is your employer?" "I don't know. That's--" "Well, I'm sure I don't.'' "But--" "Men nowadays generally know who they work for.'' smile was annoying to Tom, who was so desperately amc ious to learn his employer's and recognized this as his only chance. "Mr. Hardy--" "I b I h 4 must e gomg. ave an appomtment. "One moment. Try to think. It's of great importance that I should know the name of the man who vjsite,d you day. You were both together. I met you in a restaurant the .night be fore, and you seemed to know--" "Wh'.lt the deuce are you talking about? Who are you, any how?" "I am Tom Walcott; and I tell you right here you recognized me just now when you saw me." "I'd advise you to take care. This hotel keeps merl who-" He tried to step into the elevator as he spoke, but Tom cleverly got in front of him, managing to do so in a way that appeared accidental. The two stood staring at each other for several trying 'to read what was in the other's mind. "!n 'that moment1 there was generated a reciprocal feeling >0f dislike. In the mind of one it took the form of c,J,eaqly and In honest heart of other it resolved itself merely' into a feeling of avetsio11. But aversion a bad thing to get into the head of Tom Walcott, especially it was 'fith such as he now entertained. It was sure to stir up whai was most dangerous within ' 1 f I . "Look here, Mr. Hardy," said he, "I want lo that name. Now you know it and--" "I lc11ow neither him nor y0U." , "You do.'' 1 "I don't, nor d'on't want to." "You're a liar I" Smash! .'J ', I .... i .. The1 blow struck.Tom fairJy on the nose, and for a moment }le thought the whole top of his head was knocked off. Mr. Har1dy, smiling, calmly stepped onto the "So I've run against a scrapper, have I?" mutt'ered Tom Wal-. Cott, as he wiped the bloocj off his face and looked iJ.t theempty elevator cage through which Mr. Hardy had ju't ascende PAGE 23 I BRA VE AND BOLD. He wheeled around and walked rapidly back toward the Astor House, which he had left only about a quarter of an ho"ur before. ."I'll comer him and make him speak," he thought. "I'll men tion the name Harry Macdonald, and see how he takes it. 'If he do bleach,' as Hamlet says, 'I know my cause.'" He again entered the hotel. He expected to see the clerk smile at him, but that worthy, though he had witnessed the blow, acted as if he had neveT seen him. To the question: "Where is Mr. Hardy?" he calmly answered: "Gone." "Gone I" exclaimed Tom. "He left ten minutes ago." "Where has he gone to ?" ffWe keep a hotel only, my son." This was 110 less a surprise than the one Hardy had already given him, \>Ut he regarded it as throwing a great deal more light on the question. \ It showed clearly that Hardy was frightened, that th?re waii some strong reason for his getting so quickly out of the Questioning failed to elicit any further information from the impassive clerk. He did not know, he said, what train Mr, Hardy was leaving the city by. CHAPTER XVI. Two days later Dick sat down behind the counter of the news stand to re ad. 1t was his favorite way of enjoying himself when he got the chance. He had an active, restless mind, that delighted to be working, and he loved books. They had lately added to their stock a large number of novels and magazines, and Dick was trying to read as many of them as possible before they were sold. At that moment two well-dressed men turned off Broadway and started toward Third Avenue. They kept close ether as they walked, and chatted very confidentially. "Are you sure you'd know him P" said ono. "Positive Don't let that trouble you." "It's astonishing he hasn't talked about it." "Miraculous, if lt'1 true." "Of course it's true. The papers would be full of It if he had." "Unless he had confided It only to the detectives." "Even then it would have raised a row. No, I tell you, we're safe so far; he has held his tongue." "That's no guarantee for the future," said Jim McLeod, for he it was. "We can't go a step further till we feel safe." "And we're in danger as long as he's hanging around loose. It's like sitting on the crater of a volcano." The last speaker was the jaunty old man Tom had seen in the Astor House-Caleb Wilson. "Well, now, Caleb, suppose we find him to-night?"! "Well r' "How are we going about it?" "You leave that to me. Just point him out." "Remember, he's cunning. and will be suspicious." "Ht has never seen me." HNo; but, if you try to persuade him against his will, he'll catch on, and, if he docs, the game is up. He's then sure to blab." "Don't you fear. I'll just bet we have him safe in our clutches before he sleeps to-night." They came to the corner opposite Dick's stand and stood talk lni toicthcr aa arJ two ientlemen miiht who had just met. Nn he comes back. Will he be long?" He's just gone to supper, sir. The moment he comes back I'll get him to take them to--" "No. 29 -Street, Long Island City. Just across Thirty fourth Street Ferry, Hunter's Foint." "That's all right, sir.'' "Here are five dollars, my lad, and I insist upon your brother taking this half-dollar for his kindness in delivering them. Be sure he brings them to-night. I am not likely to be home, but my daughter--" "She will get them, sir. Thank you.'' Di.ck took theaddress, bade the gentleman good-ni!?ht, and be gan to pack up the books. "A nice man," he said to himself, "a thorough gentleman. Wish we had a few more customers like him.'' At this moment the "thorough gentleman" was telling his com panion, Jim, how successful he had been. The two moved away shortly afterward and took an uptown car. Tom and Micky Flynn, who had been off to supper, returned about the same time. The former was much pleased and not a little surprised, to learn that his brother had made such an ex cellent cash sale "You're a splendid business man, Dick," he said. ''I promised you'd deliver them to-night, Tom,'' returned his brother. "He's an awfully nice old man, and I'd like to keep my word with him." "So you shall, Dick. I'll start this moment. I Jtut feel like a walk." "He left a half-dollar for your car and ferry fare. You're to deliver them to his daughter, No.. 11.g Street, Long Island City." "Pshaw 1 that isn't far. Do you want a ramble, Micky?" PAGE 24 BRA VE AND BOLD. was glac;J to be asked to accompany Tom. The two stjirted off, took an "L" train, crossed the Hunter's Poi11t Ferry and arrived in Long I s land City. About twenty minutes later they stopped before a large brick house that was little distance back from the st1eet. It had a vine-covered lattice-work in front of the veranda, anc;l running its whole l e ngth, and in other respects, it presented an old-fash ioned appearance. "That's the right number," said Micky. "See, it's on the little window." The little "{indow to which l\licky referred was over the front door, and was lighted. All the rest of the house was in darkness and gloom. "No w onde r his daughter's an invalid," said Micky, when he had surveyed the "Why don't he get a lamppost in front of the house?" "This is where he lives, anyhow," Tom, little dreaming that the name on the package was a fictitious one. "I wqn't keep you a minute, Micky." "I'll walk ro the corner and wait for you," said his companion. Tom opened the little iron gate and started up the gn1vel path toward the house. He noticed that to hjs right there a larger gate, from which a carriage drive ran past the side of .the house, There wen stone steps down to the basement entrance of the building, and steps up to the veranda, which was about five feet from the ground. Up these steps Tom went. It was so dark that he had diffi culty in finding the do o r bell. He found it at last and gave it a pull. Each side of this was a dark avenue formed by the house and the covered lattice-work, and he thought it must be a 11ice place to i;it on summe1 evenings. Having waited quite a while, he pulled the bell again. He. was about to gp <1rolmd to a side door when he fa11cied he heard steps in the hall inside. Suddenly the door opened and a tall stood before him. Tom could not see hi s face, as the hall was but di1nly lit. "Good-evening," said Tom; "I was told to leave a parcel here -some books." "Ah, yes; you are the young man with the books. This is _very kind of you. Come in "Thank yl:lti," replied Tom, "but I'm in something of a "Ob, just a minitte," said the man; "I think my can give you another ordPr. Step in." The tone of the speaker was so nice, and the prospect of fur ther cash business so pleasing, that Tom expressed a willingness to comply. He not see the gentleman's face in the semi-darkness, the hall light being behin1 him, but he noticed he was quite stooped, as if from great age. The man stepp d back to let him enter, and then proceeded ahead of him mto a room on the right. Tom heard the door close b ehind him, and wondered who closed it. He was the gentlem<1n did not. "Sit down," said the latter; "I was sleeping when you rang and had the lights turned low." Tom seated himself on a sofa, and, as he did so, some one closed the door leading to the hall-the door through which he had entered. He and the gentleman were alone in the semi-dark room. "This is pleasant weather, sir," said Tom. "Very pleasant," was the answer. "We need rain. ':\here now, .. n non h r'lt>r l1f' added, as he touched a match to a couple of jets in a chandelier. The room WEIS lighted up, cccpt ti}at they were covered 011 the with closed shutters. Had it not been for the shutting of the doors, and the fact that he had seen this man talking to Hardy, he would hav e had no cause to feel uneasy. But now-he could not help feeling nervous. He waited fully five minutes, and by that time he was posi tively frightened. He quite distinctly heard footfalls and hushed voices in some other part of the house. He was just about to rise from the sofa when the gentleman reappeared. "Your name i s Walcott, isn't it?" he asked, seating'_ in a chair between Tom and the door "Yes, sir, Tom Walcott," "How long have you been in business?" "About three months." "Have you always lived in New York?" "Only since I began business." "Just so. What were you doing immediately before that, ni:;iy I ask?" Tom thought it was good policy to be frank and civil. He told the man pow he had lived at Irving. "Ever have any strange 11dve11tres in your life?" continued the questioner. "Any narrow esc<1pes ?" Tom laughingly replied that his career had been of Q quite commonplace character. The man's expression changed. His face became stern. "Young man," he said, "I want you to be frank with me. You have a secret on your mind, and I know it. Explain to me how it is th<1t you have kept quiet about it so long.'' "To what secret do you refer, sir ?'1 "The one that occupies your mind the mQst." "Every one has sei:rets." "Not s.uch a one as yours." "You can't expect me to tell you--" "I can. I must know it, and I must know your reason$ for h<1ving kept it." "Are you sure I kept it?" "Yes." "What is the secret?" "Do you want me to tell you?" "I do." The man. arose, with a stern, set face, and threw opep the cur tains through which he had just entered. "Come here,'' he whispered. "Now look there!"

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BRA VE AND BOLD. Hardy got slowly to his feet. The look of surprise on his face made him loo k much m o re frighten e d than he was He tried to draw a revolver from his pocket, but Tom covered him too quickly. "Put up y our hands!" / Hardy raised his hands and Tom took the revolver from his pocket . "Now answer my questions. Who's in this house?" "Only me-not so loud plea se." "Why not so loud? Who's in the house?" "No one. Hush!" "Where is Harry Macdonald?" "I don't know." Tom saw by Hardy's looks that there was some one else in the house who di<;! not. share all his secrets. He wanted to bring matters to a close, so, laying down his revolver behind him, he said: Come, now, fight me this instant. I give you what you don't deserve." Hardy took the chance offered him as being better. than answering questions with a pistol leveled at him He sprang at Tom and received a whack in the face. He staggered, got to his feet again, and the n tried to escape by the door nearest him That aggravated Tom beyond endurance. He pitched in and smashed Hardy right and left, finishing up wit h a blow that caught the hapless dandy on the chin and stretched him out sense less on his back. "Take that, you villain," he said, "and regard the matter as settled by contra account." Two minutes later Hardy was bound hand and foot with cords which Tom ruthlessly cut off from a set of curtains covering an arched doorway leading into the parl o r. He was on his knees, gagging his pri soner with his handkerchief, when a pair .of hands were laid on his shoulder and a voice behind him crie'1 : "What are you doing? Leave that _POOr youth alone." Tom turned at the sound of the voice, and the same instant the grip of the hands pulled him over on his back. He seized the legs of his assailant and wrestled with him, and the next moment the two of them were rolling over each other on the floor. The man was stout and heavy, but not strong. Tom, with his activity and strength, was too much for him. Their struggle knocked down the hall lamp and broke it, and in the darkness the man contrived to shake himself free and get to h'is feet. He made .for the archway and got through between the cur tains Tom followed and clutch e d his coat tails, and for the whole length of a dark room the struggle was continud. Two things militated against Tom's fighting with his usual vigor. One was that his opp onent showed no viciousness what ever. He seemed to be afraid and fought wholly on the def e n sive. He want e d to protect Hardy. The other reason was that the contest was uneven, the stout man now being out of breath and almost helpless ,, Look here," said Tom, at last, catching him by the arms, "if you desisl I'll not hurt you. Don't attem pt to draw a weapon." "I'll not-I-oh, let me go." "Bring me to a room where there's a light." "I'll light the chandelier here if you'll let me: "Be quick, then." Tom released hini and drew his revolver, to be ready to in case of treachery. The man lighted up the chandelier, and then turned with pale and frightened face to look at the man with whom he had struggled in the darkness. "Good heavens! Young Walcott I Is it you?" he cried, and, falling back, he leaned against a chair for support. The revolver dropped from Tom's nerveless hand, for the shock was the greatest he had ever received. He saw before him the last man he expected to find in the rendezvous of a gang of thieves It was the man who had caused him all his trouble-the name less individual for whom he had made such long and diligent search. It was his mysterious employer. CHAPTER XXIII. It was several seconds before either of the two recovered suf ficiently to speak. At last-"Good Heavens I Walcott!" exclaimed his employer, "what are you doing here? What--" "What are you doing h
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, BRA VE A D BOLD. Tom fired up in an instant. "So have 1 been an -employee of yours," he said. "Without even knowing your name I served you, and in your service risked my life a dozm times. It is to serve you I am here. Choose be tween Hardy's word and mine right now!" "Oh; I apologize, Walcott; I didn't mean to imp 'ugn--" "Shish say 110 more." 'fom had Spoken in righteous indignation, fired chiefly by the thought of Hardy's perfidy. At the first word of apology he softened In a few words, quickly uttered, he gave Macdonald an idea of what was taking place. "There'll likely be a struggle now," he said, "and we've simply get to overcome the villains both to insure ou r own safety and rescue my friend." "By force, Walcott?" asked the frightened listener. "By force or stratagem, or both" answered Tom. "All I know is my friend is not going to die while I have strength to fight. Come to the back doqr with me. Quick!" "Are they here yet?" Tom opened the shed door a few inches and looked out. "They are just entering the yard. Now is the great danger." "What?" excltey thete ahead of them. Presently there came a thunderot1s tap on the fro!\t door. "Caleb!" called a voice from without. It wa11 Micky Flynn, who no sooner rllpped and tmt than he made for the back door in l'lceordl'lflte With Torit's directi o ns . Wilson \Vent to the front dour, opened it, anti Instantly Tom darted down the hnll l\nd turned the key in the front door. Then he called out "Mac." and ran quitkly b-ac:k to the kitchen, where he met Micky. Mackenzie McLeod emerged fro,111 the parlor walked down the ha!l;.and received two Mows in the, face as he reached Micky and Tom sprang upon htm, upset him, and, in spite of his struggles, hauled him to the trapdoor leading to the cellftr. At the point of 1.he pistol Mac was forced dowrt the steps, and the door was lowered upon him and fastened. "There," said Micky. "!hat's number pne disposed of. Now for Master Caleb.'' "And we must be quick," said Tom, "for Jim McLeod's almost here." CHAPTER XXIV. Micky had l ocked the back door so that Caleb cbfild Mt to assist his companiort. . A loud knocking on the froni door \Vas now lieard. Mr. Macdonald wa!' standingl shiverif!g in the hall Rflowing what to do. "Open the front door,'' whispered Torn, to hiti't ft'om the kitchen. "and act as if Mthing had happened-quick 1" Macdonald opened the door; caJeb Wilson, pale and panting, rushed in. ''What's the matter? Who locked .the door? Where's Mad" he cried, looking around in bewilderment. Macdonald stammered in reply, and turned to go into the parl or. 1 '. ,. ,t ;, Caleb s t
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