“Oh! that’s drawing the line pretty tight, Hugh. Lots of players in the baseball world try their level best to get a line on a pitcher who is going to oppose them, and consider it legitimate enough.”
“Well, they are professionals, to begin with,” said the other; “and business is business with them. But, right or wrong, there’s going to be no spying on our part, so long as Mr. Leonard has charge of the athletic end of the game at Scranton. You can depend on that every time.”
“There’s Owen now; he wasn’t at practice this afternoon, I wonder why?” exclaimed Thad, as they sighted another boy coming toward them. “He looks as if he might be bursting with some sort of news, Hugh. Now I wonder what he’s run up against.”
Owen quickly arrived. His face did have an eager look, and his eyes were fairly dancing with some sort of emotion.
“Hugh, I’ve got something to tell you!” he burst out with, at which Thad shot a knowing glance toward his chum, which said as plain as could be: “There, what did I say to you?”
“All right, Owen, relieve yourself of the load right away, before you burst,” Hugh went on to advise, in his pleasant fashion.
“It’s about a certain chap who’s under suspicion right now of having been implicated in that breaking into the Kramer store and robbing it.”
“Tip Slavin, you mean, Owen?” asked Hugh, looking interested at once.
“Yes, no other, Hugh. Well, I’ve discovered beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is the guilty partner of Leon Disney, just as everybody suspected!”
AN ADVENTURE ON THE ROAD
Thad gave utterance to an ejaculation, and then followed it up by saying:
“Well, now, I like that! After all, Hugh, I may not have to bother giving the Chief that tip you mentioned, if Owen here has discovered something big. Tell us about it, Owen, please; since you’ve got us excited by your news.”
“I couldn’t get over to practice this afternoon, Hugh, as of course you noticed,” the other commenced to say. “But it wasn’t any fault of mine, I give you my word. I had to do several things around the house for mother. One of the pipes had frozen and had to be thawed out. Then there were other jobs that kept me busy for an hour. Finally, when I began to hope I might get down a short time before you closed shop, she remembered an errand that would take me out on the road leading to Hobson’s Mill-Pond. I had to go to Farmer Brown’s for some butter and eggs.”
All this was said with such a lugubrious expression that Hugh had to laugh.
“It’s plain to be seen you started on that walk feeling anything but pleased, Owen,” he went on to remark. “Of course you’d much rather have been skating with the balance of the crowd over at our new rink. Well, what happened?”
“Just this, Hugh. I was well out of town, and walking briskly along, thinking of the game we expect to win on Saturday, when someone suddenly turned a bend ahead. I saw that it was a boy who was smoking a cigarette like everything,—yes, Tip Slavin, if you please. He discovered me at about the same second, and, say, you ought to have seen how he flipped that coffin-nail thing from his lips, and came on as bold as anything.”