“I shall have to make it do with two meals a day,” thought our hero. “Then it will cost me three dollars a day to live, including lodging, and I shall have to be pretty lucky to make that.”
After breakfast Joe walked about the streets, hoping that something would turn up. But his luck did not seem to be so good as the day before. Hour after hour passed and no chance offered itself. As he was walking along feeling somewhat anxious, he met Hogan.
“Lend me a dollar,” said Hogan quickly. “I’m dead broke.”
“Where has all your money gone?” asked Joe,
“Lost it at faro. Lend me a dollar and I’ll win it all back.”
“I have no money to spare,” said Joe decidedly.
“Curse you for a young skinflint!” said Hogan, scowling. “I’ll get even with you yet.”
THE FOILED ASSASSIN
About four o’clock Joe went into a restaurant and got some dinner. In spite of his wish to be economical, his dinner bill amounted to a dollar and a half, and now his cash in hand was reduced to two dollars and a half.
Joe began to feel uneasy.
“This won’t do,” he said to himself. “At this rate I shall soon be penniless. I must get something to do.”
In the evening he strolled down Montgomery Street to Telegraph Hill. It was not a very choice locality, the only buildings being shabby little dens, frequented by a class of social outlaws who kept concealed during the day but came out at night—a class to which the outrages frequent at this time were rightly attributed.
Joe was stumbling along the uneven path, when all at once he found himself confronted by a tall fellow wearing a slouched hat. The man paused in front of him, but did not say a word. Finding that he was not disposed to move aside, Joe stepped aside himself. He did not as yet suspect the fellow’s purpose. He understood it, however, when a heavy hand was laid on his shoulder.
“Quick, boy, your money!” said the ruffian.
Having but two dollars and a half, Joe naturally felt reluctant to part with it, and this gave him the courage to object.
“I’ve got none to spare,” he said and tried to tear himself away.
His resistance led the fellow to suspect that he had a considerable sum with him. Joe felt himself seized and carried into a den close by, which was frequented by thieves and desperate characters.
There was a counter, on which was set a dim oil-lamp. There were a few bottles in sight, and a villainous-looking fellow appeared to preside over the establishment. The latter looked up as Joe was brought in.
“Who have you there?” asked the barkeeper.
“A young cove as don’t want to part with his money.”
“You’d better hand over what you’ve got, young ’un.”
Joe looked from one to the other and thought he had never seen such villainous faces before.