THE EMPEROR TAKES A HAND
Ned stepped to the window and looked out. The street in front of the hotel was filled from curb to curb with an excited mob.
That the efforts of those below were directed toward the building and its occupants there could be no doubt. Many a shaking fist was thrust up to the lighted panes where Ned stood.
The boy turned to Jimmie, spoke a few words in a whisper, and the little fellow left the room. With him went the interpreter who had been engaged that day.
Shouts, howls and groans of rage now came up from the street, and Ned stepped away from the window. As he did so the prisoner who had been making a partial confession when the uproar came, moved forward, as if to show himself to those below.
Seeing his intention, Ned seized him by the shoulder and hurled him to the back end of the room. The prisoner smiled and again seated himself in the chair he had occupied before.
“Your friends are excited,” Ned said, drawing the curtain at the window.
The other nodded in the direction of the window and smiled.
“My friends?” he asked.
“Why do you attribute this outbreak to me?”
“Because those not in league with you and your cause would hardly threaten American tourists, in the face of the law.”
“American tourists!” snarled the other, and Ned laughed.
Jimmie now came bustling into the room, his eyes staring with excitement. The interpreter was only a trifle less moved by the information which had been gained.
“What is it?” Jack asked.
“He’s crazy with fear again!” Frank put in.
“Say,” Jimmie cried, “you’d all better be gettin’ out of this place. The people out there are goin’ to raid it in a minute!”
The prisoner uttered a defiant laugh and again started for the window. Again Ned forced him back.
“What’s the trouble?” asked Frank.
“Why,” was the reply, “this gink here,” pointing toward the prisoner whose disguise had been removed, “this gazabo hadn’t much confidence in his own ability to win this fight, so he appealed to the revolutionary leaders.”
“That’s fine!” Jack said. “We may have the luck to see a full-fledged revolution doing business.”
“You are quite likely to.”
This from the prisoner, now standing with the others at the back of the room.
“You arranged for this demonstration in case you should be taken?” asked Ned.
The prisoner snarled out some ugly reply.
“You planned this?” demanded Ned, resolved to know the truth.
“Yes,” almost shouted the other, “and you will soon discover that it is something more than a demonstration.”
The interpreter drew Jimmie aside and whispered in his ear. Then the boy turned to Ned.