“I’ve seen the place,” nodded Ferrers, “but I never had any money in it.”
“You will have, one of these days,” smiled Tom, taking out a fountain pen and shaking it. Next he drew a small, oblong book from an inside pocket, and commenced writing on one of the pages. This page he tore out and handed Ferrers.
“What’s this?” queried the guide.
“That’s an order on the Dugout City Bank to hand you one thousand dollars.”
Ferrers stared at the piece of paper incredulously.
“What’ll the feller pay me in?” he demanded. “Lead at twelve cents a pound? And say, will he hand me the lead out of an automatic gun?”
“If the paying teller serves you that way,” rejoined Reade, “you’ll have a right to feel peevish about it. But he won’t. Hazelton and I have the money in bank to stand behind that check.”
“You have?” inquired Ferrers, opening his eyes wide. “Fellers at your age have that much money in banks”
“And more, too,” Tom nodded. “Did you think, Jim, that we had never earned any money?”
“Well, I didn’t know that you probably made more’n eighteen or twenty dollars a week,” Ferrers declared.
“We’ve made slightly more than that, with two good railroad jobs behind us,” Tom laughed. “And here’s our firm pass-book at the bank, Jim. You’ll see by it that we have a good deal more than a thousand dollars there. Now, you draw the thousand that the check calls for. When you’re through you may have some money left. If you do, turn the money in at the bank, have it entered on the pass-book and then bring the book to me.”
“I’ll have to think this over,” muttered Ferrers, “and you’d better set down most of it in writing so that I won’t forget.”
The smoke from the cook fire brought Alf Drew in from hiding, his finger-tips stained brown as usual.
“Now, see here, young man,” said Tom gravely, “there is no objection to your taking some of your time off with your ‘makings,’ but Ferrers is going away, and you must stay around more for the next two or three days. Otherwise, there won’t be any meals or any payday coming to you.”
“Is Mr. Ferrers going to Dugout City?” asked Alf, with sudden interest.
“Say, I’ll work mighty hard if you’ll advance me fifty cents and let me get an errand done by Mr. Ferrers.”
“Here’s the money,” smiled Tom, passing over the half dollar.
Alf was in such haste that he forgot to express his thanks. Racing over to Jim the little fellow said something in a very low voice.
“No; I won’t!” roared Ferrers. “Nothing of the sort!”
“Does he want you to get the ‘makings,’ Jim!” called Tom.
“Yes; but I won’t do it,” the guide retorted.
“Please do,” asked Tom.
“What? You ask me to do it, sir? Then all right. I will.”
“What do you want to do that for?” murmured Harry.