“Can you give us a room?”
“Certainly. Enter your names.”
“Shall we room together?” asked Fairfax, calmly.
Now Andy, though he had had no objection to going to the theater with his present companion, did not care to take a room with a stranger, of whom he knew nothing. He might be a very respectable man, but somehow, Andy did not know why, there was something in his manner which inspired a little repulsion. Besides, he remembered that he had considerable money with him, and that consideration alone rendered it imprudent for him to put himself in the power of a companion. So he said, a little awkwardly:
“I think we’d better take separate rooms.”
“Very well,” said Fairfax, in a tone of indifference, though he really felt very much disappointed. “I thought it might have been a little more sociable to be together.”
Andy did not take the hint, except so far as to say:
“We can take rooms alongside of each other.”
“I can give you adjoining rooms, if you desire,” said the clerk.
Fairfax here entered his name in the hotel register as “Nathaniel Marvin, Portland, Maine,” while Andy put down his real address. His companion’s was, of course, fictitious. He did not venture to give the name of Fairfax, as that might be recognized by Andy as that of the highwayman, with whose little plans he had interfered.
A servant was called, and they went up to their rooms, which, as the clerk had promised, were found to be adjoining. They were precisely alike.
“Very comfortable, Mr. Burke,” said Fairfax, in a tone of apparent satisfaction. “I think we shall have a comfortable night.”
“I guess so,” said Andy.
“Are you going to stay here now?”
“No; I’m going to wash my face, and then take a walk around. I want to see something of the city.”
“I think I’ll lie down awhile; I feel tired. Perhaps we shall meet later. If not, I shall see you in the morning.”
“All right,” said Andy.
In a few minutes he went out.
Fairfax had an object in remaining behind. He wanted to see if there was any way for him to get into Andy’s room during the night, that he might rob him in his sleep. To his great satisfaction, he found that there was a door between the two rooms, for the accommodation of persons in the same party, who wished to be in adjoining apartments. It was, however, locked, but Fairfax was not unprepared for such an emergency. He took a bunch of keys from his pocket, and tried them, one after another, in the lock. There was one that would very nearly fit. For this again, Fairfax was prepared. He took from the same pocket a file, and began patiently to file away the key till it should fit. He tried it several times before he found that it fitted. But at last success crowned his efforts. The door opened.