Julius, The Street Boy - Horatio Alger - ebook
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“Where are you goin’, Julius? Where’s yer blackin’ box?” asked Patrick Riley.“I’ve retired from business,” said Julius.“Did yer rich uncle die, and leave yer a fortune?”“No, but he’s goin’ up the river to Sing Sing, for the benefit of his constitushun, and I’m goin’ West fer my health.”“Goin’ West? You’re gassin’.”“No, I ain’t, I’m goin’ in a few days, along of Mr. O’Connor, and a lot of other chaps.”“Is it far out there?” asked Pat.“More’n a hundred miles,” said Julius, whose ideas of geography and distances were rather vague.“Yer don’t mean ter live out there?”“Yes, I do, I’m goin’ on to a farm, or into a store, and grow up respectable.”“Won’t yer miss the city, Julius?”“Likely I will.”“I don’t think I’d like the country,” said Pat, reflectively. “New York’s a bully place. There’s always something goin’ on. I say, did you hear of that murder in Center Street last night?”“No; what was it?”“A feller stabbed a cop that was trottin’ him round to the station house for bein’ tight. There’s always something to make it lively here. In the country there ain’t no murders, nor burglaries, nor nothin’,” concluded Pat, rather contemptuously.

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Table of contents

CHAPTER I.RETIRED FROM BUSINESS.

CHAPTER II.THE “GRAND DUKE’S OPREA HOUSE.”

CHAPTER III.ON THE RAILWAY.

CHAPTER IV.JULIUS DETECTS A PICKPOCKET.

CHAPTER V.JULIUS IS REWARDED.

CHAPTER VI.A NEWSBOY’S LETTER.

CHAPTER VII.BROOKVILLE.

CHAPTER VIII.JULIUS HAS AN ADVENTURE.

CHAPTER IX.THE BEAR AND HIS MASTER.

CHAPTER X.A BOOTBLACK’S SPEECH.

CHAPTER XI.NEW HOMES FOR THE HOMELESS.

CHAPTER XII.JULIUS IN LUCK.

CHAPTER XIII.THE NEW DOLL.

CHAPTER XIV.FIRST LESSONS.

CHAPTER XV.TEMPTATION.

CHAPTER XVI.THE NEW TEACHER.

CHAPTER XVII.A FIRST-CLASS HUMBUG.

CHAPTER XVIII.MR. SLOCUM’S STRATEGY.

CHAPTER XIX.MR. SLOCUM AS AN ORATOR.

CHAPTER XX.MR. SLOCUM’S PANIC.

CHAPTER XXI.A REVOLUTION IN SCHOOL.

CHAPTER XXII.AN INDIAN’S REVENGE.

CHAPTER XXIII.KIDNAPPED.

CHAPTER XXIV.FOUND.

CHAPTER XXV.JULIUS BECOMES A CAPTIVE.

CHAPTER XXVI.THE RESCUE.

CHAPTER XXVII.JULIUS BUYS A HOUSE.

CHAPTER XXVIII.A BUSINESS JOURNEY.

CHAPTER XXIX.MARLOWE.

CHAPTER XXX.CONCLUSION.

CHAPTER I.RETIRED FROM BUSINESS.

“ Where are you goin’, Julius? Where’s yer blackin’ box?” asked Patrick Riley. “ I’ve retired from business,” said Julius. “ Did yer rich uncle die, and leave yer a fortune?” “ No, but he’s goin’ up the river to Sing Sing, for the benefit of his constitushun, and I’m goin’ West fer my health.” “ Goin’ West? You’re gassin’.” “ No, I ain’t, I’m goin’ in a few days, along of Mr. O’Connor, and a lot of other chaps.” “ Is it far out there?” asked Pat. “ More’n a hundred miles,” said Julius, whose ideas of geography and distances were rather vague. “ Yer don’t mean ter live out there?” “ Yes, I do, I’m goin’ on to a farm, or into a store, and grow up respectable.” “ Won’t yer miss the city, Julius?” “ Likely I will.” “ I don’t think I’d like the country,” said Pat, reflectively.{6} “New York’s a bully place. There’s always something goin’ on. I say, did you hear of that murder in Center Street last night?” “ No; what was it?” “ A feller stabbed a cop that was trottin’ him round to the station house for bein’ tight. There’s always something to make it lively here. In the country there ain’t no murders, nor burglaries, nor nothin’,” concluded Pat, rather contemptuously. “ I hope there’s theayters,” said Julius, thoughtfully. “I like to go when there’s a good lively piece.” “ Have you been to our theayter yet, Julius?” “ Your theayter?” “ Yes, me and some of the boys have got up a theayter. We do the pieces and actin’ ourselves.” “ Where is it?” asked Julius, with lively curiosity. “ It’s No. 17 Baxter Street, down in the basement. We call it ‘The Grand Duke’s Oprea House.’ We don’t have to pay no rent. It’s Jim Campara’s place, an’ he’s treasurer, so his father don’t charge nothin’.” “ How long have you been goin’, Pat?” “ Most a month. We play every night.” “ Are you doin’ well? Do you make money?” “ Tiptop. I say, Julius, yer must come to-night. It’s my benefit.” “ Do you get all the money that’s took in?” “ No, half goes for expenses. I get the rest.”{7} “ What do you do?” “ Oh, I play nigger parts, and dance the jigs.” “ What do you charge for a ticket?” “ Five cents admission, and eight cents reserved seats.” “ That’s cheaper’n Tony Pastor’s.” “ Yes; we can’t expect to get so much as Tony, ’cause yer know we ain’t purfessional. We’re amatoors.” “ How much do you get for your valuable services, Pat?” asked Julius, laughing. “ I’ll tell yer the way we do. Jim Campara—he’s the treasurer—keeps all the stamps till the end of the week, and then it is divided between us. Last week I got three dollars.” “ You did! Well, that’s pretty good pay.” “ Well,” said Pat, “there’s some expenses. I have to pay for my wardrobe.” “ What’s that?” “ My stage clo’es. Besides I have to practice dancin’ in the daytime. I ain’t Pat Riley on the stage.” “ What are you, then?” “ My actin’ name is ‘Miles O’Reilly.’” “ What made you change?” “ Yer see it sounds grander than Pat Riley.” “ Who acts besides you?” “ Oh, there’s Dan Conroy, Pete Connors, Teddy Sullivan, Jim McGrath, Dick Burke, Jim Gillispie and Campara.”{8} “ If I was goin’ to stay in the city I’d like to play too,” said Julius. “ Maybe you ain’t got a genius for it,” responded the eminent negro comedian. “Lots of boys wants to come in, but we don’t take none if they can’t act. There was Billy Burke wanted to come; but we tried him, an’ he couldn’t play no more’n a stick. We want fellers that’ll draw. You come round to-night, an’ you’ll see what we can do.” “ I guess I will. What number did you say?” “ No. 17 Baxter Street. Curtain rises at eight o’clock, prompt.” “ I’ll be there. What yer goin’ to play?” “‘ Laughin’ Gas’ and ‘Dick Turpin’ is the principal pieces, but the ‘Mulligan Guards’ is the best. Yer better be on time, for it’s my benefit, and my friends will be out in crowds.”Here’s Pat’s keen eyes detected a gentleman with soiled boots, and he called out, “Shine yer boots, mister?” “ Yes, if you’ll be quick about it.” “ I’ll shine ’em up in half a second, sir.” “ Go ahead!”The gentleman submitted his boots to the professional efforts of Pat, unaware that the young bootblack was the celebrated Miles O’Reilly of the “Grand Duke’s Oprea House.” Probably he had never visited that famous and fashionable place of amusement, or he would{9} have recognized the face of one of the most brilliant stars in the galaxy of talent which nightly appeared upon its humble stage.Julius went on his way, being for a few days a gentleman of leisure. For the benefit of such readers as may not be familiar with the details of his story as told in “Slow and Sure,” it is well to record the fact that he had been brought up by Jack Morgan, a thief and burglar, who, for the last four years, had spent half of his time on Blackwell’s Island. When at liberty, Julius lived with him. When he was in seclusion, Julius looked out for himself, and, being sharp and shrewd, and accustomed to depend upon his own exertions, managed just as well without his guardian as with him. He had no particular reason to like Jack, who merely gave him the liberty of earning his own living, and frequently borrowed his scanty earnings without thinking it necessary to repay them.Some weeks before, Jack, with a friend and confederate, Marlowe, formed a plan for entering a house on Madison Avenue, which, they had reason to believe, contained a considerable amount of plate. The owner was absent in Europe and the house was left during his absence under the care of Paul Hoffman and his mother. Paul, whose early history is recorded in “Paul, the Peddler,” was the proprietor of a street necktie stand, near the Astor House. He had on one occasion shown kindness{10} to Julius, and the latter was grateful. Learning that Jack and Marlowe proposed to enter the house occupied by Paul, he showed his gratitude by giving the young street merchant an intimation of their intentions. Thus, when the attempt was made, Paul was prepared, and the two burglars walked into a trap. Jack was caught on the spot, but Marlowe for the time escaped. Had he left the city at once, he might have escaped wholly. But he was inflamed with bitter anger against the boy Julius, who, as he rightly judged, had betrayed them, and he was determined to be revenged. Following the boy to Staten Island, he overtook him in a lonely place, and but for timely interference might have murdered him, in which case the present volume would never have been written.But Julius was reserved for better things. His dangerous enemy was arrested, and being identified as having been concerned in the Madison Avenue robbery, was tried in due form, and sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment in Sing Sing.I have anticipated matters a little, as at the time the present story opens both he and Jack Morgan were temporarily confined in the Tombs, while awaiting trial.As for Julius, he was rewarded by a gift of fifty dollars, and, by the advice of his new friends, determined to seek a home in the West, going out under the auspices of the Children’s Aid Society. The company of which{11} he was to be one was to start in a few days. Meanwhile Julius decided to enjoy a rest from his usual labors, having an ample supply of money to meet his small expenses. On the whole, he was pleased with the idea of going West. But, apart from this consideration, he felt that his life would not be safe in the city should Jack Morgan or Marlowe succeed in breaking jail, as they had done more than once before. The boy had good reason to apprehend danger, for he well knew their brutal natures, and their unscrupulousness, and that they would stop at no crime in wreaking vengeance upon him. Once out West, however, he would be out of their reach, and it was not likely that they would follow him out there.{12}

CHAPTER II.THE “GRAND DUKE’S OPREA HOUSE.”

Some minutes before eight, Julius reached the “Grand Duke’s Oprea House.” It is very eligibly located on Baxter Street not far from the famous Five Points. Perhaps in consequence of the filthy condition of the streets in the immediate neighborhood, visitors are not expected to appear in full dress, and nothing is more common than for the young gentlemen who patronize it to dispense with coat or vest, or both. As for kid gloves, these are not tolerated at the Oprea House, and a fellow who indulged in them would be regarded as “puttin’ on airs,” and probably be hustled out unceremoniously, as guilty of a gross insult to the rest of the spectators.

The entrance to the Grand Duke theatre is not imposing. In fact, the visitor is obliged to descend a shaky staircase into a cellar about ten feet below the level of the sidewalk.

“ It’s like goin’ down into a coal mine,” remarked Julius to Pat Riley, who was acting as his guide.

“ That’s so,” said Pat; “but we have jolly fun when we get there.”{13}

Reaching the bottom of the flight of steps, Julius found himself confronted by the ticket seller who was looking out of a square hole, over which were marked the prices of admission.

“ That’s where yer pay,” said Pat. “I go in free, coz I’m one of the actors.”

“ Five cents,” said the keeper of the box office.

“ There it is,” said Julius, who had come provided with the right change.

The treasurer pulled a cord connecting with the door of entrance, and Julius entered.

The Oprea House proved to consist of a room twenty feet by thirty, and six and a half feet high. A portion of this was set apart as a stage, in front of which hung a curtain of turkey-red calico, four breadths wide. On one side was a lofty pillar with a scroll, on which was written the ambitious name of this temple of the muses, “Grand Duke’s Oprea House.” In place of the customary footlights was a kerosene lamp, which with the aid of a concave reflector illuminated the room.

“ What do yer think of it, Julius?” asked Pat, with justifiable pride.

“ It’s bully.”

“ Ain’t it? Do yer see that?”

Pat pointed to a large broadside of brown packing paper, on which was rudely scrawled:{14}

“ BENEFITOFMiles O’Reilly,The Great Nigger KomedianANDJig Dancer.”

“ That’s me!” said Pat, with professional pride. “It looks big, don’t it?”

“ Yes,” said Julius, admiringly.

“ There’s lots of chaps would give all they could make on shines in a week, to hev their names put up there,” said Pat, confidentially.

“ I’d like it myself,” said Julius.

“ Ef you wos goin’ to stay in the city, I’d learn you some jigs,” said Pat, “and see what you was made of. It isn’t every feller that can make a good jig dancer.”

“ How are you, Miles?” said a large boy, slapping Pat on the shoulder. “I guess you’ll have a good house.”

“ I hope I will. Dave, this is a friend of mine. He ain’t been to the Oprea House before.”

“ Glad to see yer,” said David Conroy, with dignified affability. “Hope yer’ll get yer money’s worth.”

To this Julius made a suitable reply.

“ Dave is stage manager,” said Pat. “He kin do anything, kin Dave. He painted the sceneries; you’ll see ’em bimeby, and he’s the best actor we’ve got. He’s captain of the Mulligans. There ain’t nothin’ that feller{15} can’t do,” concluded Pat, with unmistakable admiration expressed in his tone.

“ Where do you get your plays from, Pat?”

“ Call me Miles while we are in the Oprea House. That’s my name here.”

“ Miles, then.”

“ Dave fixes ’em up out of plays at the Theatre Comique, and some of the songs we gits from Tony Pastor’s. If there was time I’d take you behind the sceneries. But it’s most time to begin.”

“ Miles O’Reilly is wanted,” was heard from behind the curtain, and the great comedian left our hero and hurried behind the scenes.

By this time the cellar was nearly full of boys, varying in age from five to twenty, who were crowded together in such near proximity as the limited size of the auditorium rendered imperatively necessary. The front row was close up to the curtain, and here Julius was fortunate enough to secure a place.

The stiffness and reserve which characterize the spectators at other theatres was dispensed with at the free and easy “Grand Duke’s Oprea House.” Cheerful and jocose remarks were interchanged, spiced with genial humor, and occasionally tinged with sarcastic remarks of a personal character. But all was taken in good part. At last, however, the patrons became impatient, and calls were heard, such as, “What yer waitin’ fur?” “Hurry{16} up de overture!” “Have yer gone ter sleep behind there?”

At last the manager responded to the flattering impatience of his patrons. The curtain arose and displayed the orchestra consisting of two musicians, a performer on an accordeon and a bone-player. The overture was made up of pieces skillfully selected by the manager to suit the tastes of the audience. Choice gems from “Norma,” “Trovatore,” and “Faust” would not have satisfied the fastidious tastes of the Grand Duke’s patrons. Instead of these, such choice airs as “Squeeze me, Joe,” and “Up in Avenue A,” afforded unmistakable pleasure, and the whole closed with “The Campbells Are Coming,” which was rendered with spirit and general acceptance.

Next came the comedy, “Laughing Gas,” in which the gas is administered to a variety of patients, who are differently affected, one laughing, another dancing, another combative, and so on. The acting was rude, but lively, and the piece was rapturously applauded. In this applause Julius bore his full part. Though he is my hero I have no desire to represent him as more refined or better educated than the majority of his companions. The classic drama or the opera, as brought out at the Academy, would have been far less attractive to him than this rude performance.

He was no less pleased with the next piece, in which{17} two boys, representing Tom King and Dick Turpin, appear on the stage with dark lanterns, and attempt the robbery of a house, but become panic-stricken, and exhibit more alarm than the occupants of the house. This, of course, amuses the spectators.

“ It ’minds me of Jack and Marlowe,” said Julius to his next neighbor, “when they was robbin’ the house on Madison Avenue.”

“ Was you there?” asked the other.

“ No, but I knew all about it. I lived with Jack.”

“ You did!” repeated the other, with something like awe at finding his neighbor to have been intimate with so illustrious a criminal. “How did you like him?”

“ Jack wa’n’t a bad sort,” said Julius, “except when he was sprung. I like him better than Marlowe.”

“ They was took by the cops, wasn’t they?”

“ Yes, they was took,” said Julius, shortly.

His own agency in the affair he didn’t care to mention, chiefly because in the class to which he belonged it was considered a point of honor to make common cause against the cops, that is, against the conviction of those who transgress the laws, and our hero felt that the revelation of his agency in entrapping his associates would not increase his popularity. Nor would he have taken the part he did but for the gratitude he felt to Paul, and the fear that he would suffer harm.

Later in the evening the beneficiary, the great Miles{18} O’Reilly, appeared in a jig, which was very creditably danced. His appearance was the signal for a noisy ovation; due partly to his general popularity, and partly to his position as the beneficiary of the evening.

“ Good for yer, Miles!” expressed the general appreciation of his efforts. Space will not permit us to enlarge on the other features in the programme of the evening. Evidently “The Mulligan Guards” was most popular, being received with tremendous applause. To gratify the curiosity of such of my readers as are not familiar with this celebrated local song, the first verse is here introduced:

“ We crave your condescension,We’ll tell you what we knowOf marching in the Mulligan Guard,From Sligoward below.Our captain’s name was Hussey,A Tipperary man,He carried his sword like a Russian duke,Whenever he took command.

Chorus.

“ We shouldered guns, and marched and marched away,From Baxter Street we marched to Avenue A;With drums and fifes how sweetly they did play,As we marched, marched, marched in the Mulligan Guard.”

The effect of the song is heightened by the marching of the Guards, the roll of the drum, and presenting arms, which the young actors went through very creditably.{19}

At the close, Miles was summoned before the curtain, and a speech was called for. As the recipient of the benefit the eminent actor could not very well decline. He presented himself with a low bow, and said:

“ Boys, I’m glad to welcome yez here this evening. I don’t care so much for the stamps.” (“Oh, no! course yer don’t!” came in ironical accents from some one in the audience.) “That’s so, Jim Blin, and you know it. I’m glad yez like my dancin’! I won’t say no more, ’cause I ain’t used to makin’ speeches, but, with the kind permission of the manager, I’ll give yez anuther jig, and wish you good-night!”

Here the speaker bowed, the music struck up, and, to the satisfaction of all, the beneficiary repeated his performance. Then there was a rush for the door and in five minutes the “Grand Duke’s Oprea House” was silent and deserted.{20}

CHAPTER III.ON THE RAILWAY.

As the time approached for his leaving New York, Julius could not help feeling a little regret. The great city had been a harsh stepmother to him. He had suffered often from cold and hunger, during the years that he had been drifting about her streets, an unconsidered waif in the great sea of life. He had received kindness from few, harshness from many. From the age of five he had been forced to earn his own living, with no one to look out for him except a professional thief. He had seen more of the dark than the bright side of life, but he had not been without his enjoyments. Youth is hopeful and can find enjoyment under the most unpropitious circumstances.

So Julius, as he took his last walk through the streets with which he had for years been familiar, felt sorry that he was to leave them the next day, perhaps, for many years. It is true he hoped to do better at the West, but all his present associations were with Broadway, Chatham Street, and the Bowery, and City Hall Park, and his new life would seem strange at first.

But when all preparations had been made and he found himself seated in the cars, dressed in a new suit, with{21} thirty other boys, under the general charge of Mr. O’Connor, the superintendent of the Newsboys’ Lodging House, he forgot the city, and was exhilarated by the rapid motion of the cars, and the varied panorama through which he was swiftly passing.

“ Ain’t it bully, Teddy?” said he to one of his city acquaintances who occupied the adjoining seat.

“ That’s so, Julius. I never rid in the cars before.”

“ Didn’t you?” said Julius, with complacent superiority. “I have.”

“ Where’d you go?”

“ Well, I went to Newark, and one summer I went to Long Branch—that’s a big watering place, you know. Both places are in New Jersey. I stayed a week at Long Branch.”

“ Did you put up at one of the big hotels?”

“ Yes, I put up at the Continental Hotel.”

“ You’re gassin’!”

“ No, I ain’t.”

“ How much did you pay?”

“ I forgot to ask for the bill,” said Julius.

“ Where’d you sleep?”

“ Oh, I slept in a bathing house, on the beach. It belonged to the hotel.”

“ How’d you like it?”

“ Pretty good, only the tide came up so high that it poured into the bathing house, and gave me a wetting.”{22}

“ Did you get anything to do?”

“ I made a few stamps by blackin’ boots, but the black-boots in the hotel said he’d bounce me for interferin’ with his business. So I thought I’d come back to the city. I didn’t mind much, for there wasn’t much goin’ on in the daytime.”

“ Do you know how long we’ll be travelin’?”

“ Mr. O’Connor told me it would take us two days and nights, and perhaps more. He says it’s more’n a thousand miles.”

“ Suppose’n we don’t like it, and want to come back?”

“ We can’t do it without money.”

“ I haven’t got but a dollar.”

“ I have got forty dollars,” said Julius, complacently.

“ Where’d you get such a pile?” asked Teddy, who regarded forty dollars as quite a fortune.

“ Speculatin’ in real estate,” answered Julius, who did not care to mention exactly how he came by the money.

“ I don’t believe you’ve got so much,” said Teddy, who was under the impression that he was being sold.

“ I’ll show you part of it,” said Julius.

He drew out a pocketbook, and displayed five one-dollar bills, and a small amount of fractional currency.

“ That’s only five dollars.”

“ Mr. O’Connor’s got the rest. He’s goin’ to give it to the man that I’m to live with to take care of for me.{23} I’d rather he’d keep it. I might lose it, or spend it foolish.”

“ Well, you’re in luck. I jist wish I had half as much.”

“ Do you remember Jim Driscoll, that used to sell papers on Nassau Street?”

“ Yes, I knew him; where is he?”

“ He went West about two years ago. He’s doin’ well. Got fifty dollars in the savings bank, and a good home besides.”

“ Who told you?”

“ Mr. O’Connor. He had a letter from him.”

“ Jim can’t write, nor read either. When he was sellin’ papers in Nassau Street, he used to ask what was the news. Sometimes I told him wrong. Once I told him the President was dead, and he didn’t know no better than to believe it. He sold his papers fast, but the last chap got mad and booted him.”

“ Well, Jim can write now. He’s been to school since he was out there.”

“ He can do more’n I can. I can read easy readin’, but I can’t write no more’n a lamp-post.”

“ Nor I,” said Julius, “but I mean to learn. I can’t read much, either.”

“ I say, Julius; won’t it seem odd if we made money, and come to New York and put up at a big hotel, and get our boots blacked, just like the customers we used to have?”{24}

“ That’s what I mean to do, Teddy. I’ve got tired of knockin’ round the streets, as I have ever since I was knee high to a toad.”

“ So have I, Julius. But I expect we’ll have to work hard.”

“ I always did have to work. I’ll be willin’ to work when I’ve got a good home, and feel that I’m gettin’ along.”

The time had come to both of these homeless boys when they had become tired of their vagrant life and Arab-like condition. They had a vague idea of what is meant by respectability, and they began to appreciate its value. They could see that the street life they had been leading must soon terminate, and that it was time to form plans for the future. In a few years they would be men, and lay aside the street employments by which they had gained a scanty and miserable living. When that time came, would they take a respectable place in the ranks of workingmen, or become social outlaws like Jack Morgan and his confederate, Marlowe? Such thoughts had come frequently to Julius of late, and his present state of mind was one of the most encouraging signs of his future good conduct. He was dissatisfied with his past life, and anxious to enter upon a better.

The thirty boys were not all in one car. Mr. O’Connor and the greater part of them were in the car behind.{25} Julius and the others could find no room there, and had come into this car.

After his conversation with Teddy, Julius began to look out of the window. Inexperienced as a traveler, and knowing very little of the country, he saw much that excited his interest, as they sped onward at the rate of thirty miles an hour. He also, with his usual habit of observation, regarded his fellow-passengers with interest. Directly in front of him sat a stout man, plainly dressed, who had become sleepy, and occasionally indulged in a nod, his newspaper having fallen from his hands upon the floor. He was probably more used to traveling than our hero and cared less for the scenery. Julius gave him a casual look, but without much interest, till at a way station a flashily dressed young man entered, and, looking carefully about him, selected the seat beside the stout man though he had his choice of several. Julius started when he saw him, and looked puzzled. He was sure he had seen him before, at Jack Morgan’s room, but there was something unfamiliar in his appearance. Jack’s friend had black hair. This man’s hair was red. A closer look, however, explained this discrepancy. Underneath the edge of the red he caught sight of a few black hairs, which were not entirely concealed. It was clear that he wore a red wig.

“ It is Ned Sanders,” said Julius to himself, “and he’s got a red wig on. What’s he up to, I wonder? I’ll watch him.”{26}

CHAPTER IV.JULIUS DETECTS A PICKPOCKET.

Ned Sanders settled himself into his seat, and looked about him. He did not, however, recognize Julius, for, though he had seen him in calling upon Jack Morgan, he had never taken particular notice of his features, probably regarding him as of little importance. Finally Mr. Sanders devoted special attention to the man at his side. As the latter was sleeping, he was not conscious of the close watch of his companion.

Julius noticed it, however, and, being familiar with the character of Sanders, said to himself: “I know what he’s up to. He wants to pick his pocket.”

From the watch pocket of the stout stranger depended a gold watch chain solid and valuable in appearance, and to it was attached a gold watch.

Sanders took out a newspaper, and held it before him. He appeared to be very much occupied with its contents, but Julius detected a stealthy glance at his companion’s waistcoat.

“ This is gettin’ excitin’,” thought Julius. “He won’t wait long.”

Julius was right. Ned Sanders felt that now was the favorable opportunity to carry out his unlawful purpose,{27} while his neighbor was asleep, as when his nap was over he would more readily detect his intentions.

With his paper still before his face, his hand crept softly to the watch chain, which he gently appropriated, dropping it into his coat pocket. But he was not yet satisfied. He was preparing to relieve the other of his pocketbook also, when Julius thought it was about time to interfere. Rising in his seat, he struck the stout man forcibly on the back. The latter started, and opening his eyes said, “What! Eh, what do you want? Is it morning?”

The pickpocket started also, and looked uneasy, but retained his seat, not suspecting that he had been detected. His uneasiness arose from the fear that his neighbor, on awakening, would immediately miss his watch, which would be awkward and perhaps dangerous for him. He was vexed with Julius, whom he did not yet recognize, for this interference with his plans.

“ Can’t you let the gentleman alone?” he said angrily. “Why do you disturb him?”

“ What’s the matter?” said his victim, in his turn, a little irritated. “What do you mean by thumping my back, boy?”

“ I wanted to ask you what time it is,” said Julius, quietly.

“ Well, that’s cool,” grumbled the stout man. “You{28} wake me up out of a nap to ask me what time of day it is.”

Sanders turned pale when Julius asked this question, for he saw that discovery was imminent. He half arose from his seat, but it occurred to him that that would only fasten suspicion upon him. Moreover the train was going at the rate of twenty-five miles an hour, and, though he might go into another car, he could not escape from the train. He closed his lips tightly, and tried to look calm and indifferent. He had determined to brazen it out.

Notwithstanding his grumbling rejoinder, the stout man felt for his watch. Now it was his turn to start and look dismayed.

“ By jove, it’s gone!” he ejaculated.

“ What’s the matter, sir?” asked Julius.

“ My watch and chain are gone. Do you know anything about them, boy?”

“ I think you had better put that question to the man you’re sittin’ with.”

“ What do you mean by that, you young rascal?” demanded Ned Sanders, pale with passion and dismay. “I think, sir, the boy behind you has taken your watch.”

“ I don’t see how he could do that,” said the other, regarding him suspiciously. “Can you tell me where my watch is sir?”{29}

“ What should I know of your watch? Do you mean to insult me, sir?” blustered the pickpocket.