THE EXCITEMENT GROWS
“Well, what d’ye think of that for news, eh, Frank?” burst out Andy, in his usual impetuous way, after the Bloomsbury Chief of Police had made this startling announcement.
Frank was as a rule much cooler than his cousin. He had undoubtedly been equally astounded to hear of the terrible calamity that had befallen the banking institution, in which most of the leading citizens of the town were financially interested; but he certainly did not show it the same way.
His eyebrows went up to indicate astonishment; and a slight frown settled on his grave face, as he replied to Andy’s question.
“It’s a stunner, just as you say, Andy; but I wish the Chief would tell us a few more details. I think it’s a little queer nobody seemed to have any suspicion of this awful business at the time I left home on horseback, to ride up to the Quackenboss farm, where you had been watching our injured aeroplane all night.”
“Well,” continued the head of the Bloomsbury police force; “that’s because the yeggs worked so neatly they never left a bit of mess around to arouse suspicion; and the first thing that was known of the looting of the bank was when Seth Jarvie, the day watchman, went into the place at seven this morning to relieve Cadger, the night man, and found him lying there, tied up like a bundle of goods, and nearly dead with fright and humiliation.”
“Whew!” was the way Andy relieved his pent-up feelings at this point; while his cousin went on asking questions.
“Then Cadger must have seen the robbers, if they captured him; how about that, Chief?” he demanded, eagerly; for the excitement was beginning to take hold of him.
“That’s right, he did, and was able to give us more or less information,” the police officer continued. “Of course as soon as Jarvie saw what had happened he knew it was a case for me to handle, and so he ran across to Headquarters; and in a jiffy we had thrown a cordon of police around the building to keep out the curious citizens who would have no business inside, and spoil any trace of the rascals.”
“And would you mind telling us what Cadger had to tell, Chief?” asked Frank.
“Not at all, because I’m depending on you boys to help run the thieves down, if you feel like giving the authorities any assistance,” the other replied, craftily.
Frank’s answer was immediate and to the point.
“Of course we’ll do anything that’s in our power, Chief. Both our fathers are interested in that bank; and besides, the good name of the town must suffer if it is wrecked by a wandering band of yeggmen. And we can understand why you should want to capture the thieves, Chief; because that’s a part of your business. Please tell us what the bank watchman had to say.”
“Then I will, and without any frills, if I can make it that way,” returned the other earnestly. “Cadger says he was caught napping, not that he was asleep; but never dreaming of any danger, he stepped over to the door when he heard a knock and a voice said: ’It’s me, Cadger, Mr. Hedden, the cashier; I forgot some important papers, and have gotten out of bed to come back for them. Let me in without attracting any attention, if you can.’”