A Man and His Money eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 158 pages of information about A Man and His Money.

He had to get back to New York at once, and as speedily as possible!  The shining face of a street clock that a short time before he had looked at, admonished him there were no moments to spare, if he would carry out his plan, his headstrong purpose—­to verify or disprove a certain wild theory—­which would take him where, lead to what?  No matter!  Above, between black shadows of tall buildings, he saw a star, bright, beautiful.  Something in him seemed to leap up to it—­to that light as frostily clear as her eyes!  A taxi passed; he hailed it.

“How much to Jersey City?” he asked in feverish tones.

The man approximated a figure; it was large, but Mr. Heatherbloom at once got in.

“All right,” he said.  “Only let her go!  I’ve a train to catch.”

“You don’t want to land us in the police court, do you?” asked the chauffeur.

Mr. Heatherbloom devoutly hoped not.

CHAPTER XI

MISCALCULATIONS

Two days later, on a bright afternoon, a young man stood on the edge of a sea-wall called the Battery.  It was not the Battery, commanding a view of the outgoing and incoming maritime traffic of the continent’s metropolis, but another Battery, overlooking another harbor, or estuary, landlocked save for an entrance about a mile in width.  Behind him lay, not a great, but a little, city; hardly more than a big town; before him a few vessels of moderate tonnage placidly plied the main or swash channels.

The scene was tranquilizing; nevertheless the young man appeared out of harmony with it.  His face wore a feverish flush; his eyes had a restless gleam.  He had only a short time before come to town, entering in unconventional fashion.  As the train had slackened at a siding on the outskirts he had quietly, and unperceived, slipped off the back platform of the rear car; then made his way by devious and little frequented side streets to the sea-front.

There, his eager gaze scanned the craft, moving in the open, or motionless at the distant wharfs.  An expression of acute disappointment passed over his features; his eyes did not find what they sought.  Had that mad flight been for nothing?  Had he but run into a new kind of “pocket” here, all to no purpose?

Mr. Heatherbloom sat down; he was weary and worn.  The dancing sparkles laughed at him; he did not feel like “laughing back”.  Even as he leaned against the parapet a newsboy close at hand called out: 

“All about the mysterious abduction!  One of the miscreants traced to this city!  Superintendent of police warned of his probable arrival!”

The lad looked at Mr. Heatherbloom as he shouted; that gentleman returned his gaze with unflinching stolidness.

“What abduction?” he asked.

“Beautiful New York heiress.”

The voice passed on; the fugitive was once more alone with his thoughts.  If they had been wild, turbulent before, what were they now?  His hands closed; at the moment he did not bemoan his own probable fate, only the fact that the clue bringing him here had been false—­false!

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A Man and His Money from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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