“All right. A drop of something will warm us both up.”
Jack went behind the counter, and, selecting a bottle of rot-gut whisky, poured out a stiff glassful apiece.
“Drink it, pard,” he said.
Hogan did so, nothing loath.
“That’s the right sort,” he said, smacking his lips. “It’s warming to the stomach.”
So it was and a frequent indulgence in the vile liquid would probably have burned his stomach and unfitted it for service. But the momentary effect was stimulating, and inspired Hogan with a kind of Dutch courage, which raised him in the opinion of his burly confederate.
“Push ahead, pard,” said he. “I’m on hand.”
“That’s the way to talk,” said Rafferty approvingly. “If we’re lucky, we’ll be richer before morning.”
Through the dark streets, unlighted and murky, the two confederates made their stealthy way, and in five minutes stood in front of Joe’s restaurant.
Everything looked favorable for their plans. Of course, the restaurant was perfectly dark, and the street was quite deserted.
“How shall we get in?” asked Hogan of his more experienced accomplice.
“No trouble—through the winder.”
Rafferty had served an apprenticeship at the burglar’s trade, and was not long in opening the front window. He had no light and could not see that Joe had a companion. If he had discovered this, he would have been more cautious.
“Go in and get the money,” said he to Hogan.
He thought it possible that Hogan might object, but the latter had a reason for consenting. He thought he might obtain for himself the lion’s share of the plunder, while, as to risk, there would be no one but Joe to cope with, and Hogan knew that in physical strength he must be more than a match for a boy of sixteen.
“All right!” said Hogan. “You stay at the window and give the alarm if we are seen.”
Rafferty was prompted by a suspicion of Hogan’s good faith in the proposal he made to him. His ready compliance lulled this suspicion, and led him to reflect that, perhaps, he could do the work better himself.
“No,” said he. “I’ll go in and you keep watch at the winder.”
“I’m willing to go in,” said Hogan, fearing that he would not get his fair share of the plunder.
“You stay where you are, pard!” said Rafferty, in a tone of command. “I’ll manage this thing myself.”
“Just as you say,” said Hogan, slightly disappointed.
Rafferty clambered into the room, making as little noise as possible. He stood still a moment, to accustom his eyes to the darkness. His plan was to discover where Joe lay, wake him up, and force him, by threats of instant death as the penalty for non-compliance, to deliver up all the money he had in the restaurant.