Then Ted rose, and told his captive to get up
Slowly he did so, and Ted made him move to the center of the room.
Bud’s golden head appeared around the corner of the doorway.
Ted could just distinguish it.
“Who’s that?” asked Bud.
“It’s Ted. Come in and strike a light. I’ve caught something.”
In a moment a light flared up.
“Jack Farley!” exclaimed Ted, in astonishment.
“Yes, blast you, Jack Farley,” replied the youth.
“Couldn’t keep away, eh?”
“A feller’d think thet once was enough,” said Bud.
“I couldn’t help myself. I had to come,” growled Farley.
“Well, this time you’ll stay. You shan’t abuse our hospitality again. Bud, get a rope and tie our friend. He’s skittish, and is likely to run away if he’s turned loose.”
Farley was soon tied securely.
“Keep an eye on him, Bud,” said Ted. “I want to look over the premises.”
Ted went directly to the corner and pushed back the pivot door, struck a match, and looked into the box.
It was empty.
Then, turning back to Farley, he searched him thoroughly.
There was no money in his pockets.
Ted called up Kit, and the three of them ransacked the living room thoroughly, but not a dollar could be found. “What did you do with the money you stole from that hole?” said Ted, gazing fiercely into Farley’s eyes.
“I haven’t seen a dollar of it,” was the reply.
Ted strong has A theory.
After Farley had been securely locked up in a storeroom without windows, they went to bed, feeling secure that there would be no further attempt to enter the house that night.
At breakfast they discussed the robbery after their guests had left the house.
“I don’t understand what became of the money,” said Ted. “It looks to me like one of those mysterious robberies, and the capture of Farley puts it up to the Riley and Creviss gang. Now that we’ve been touched personally we will take some interest in the gang, and I have a large crayon picture of about a dozen hitherto respectable young fellows learning useful trades in a reformatory institution.”
“But that doesn’t bring back our money, neither does it tell us how it was stolen or what became of it,” said Ben.
“I can’t get a thing out of Farley,” said Ted. “I tackled him this morning as soon as I got up, but he wouldn’t open his mouth. My belief is that he is in deadly fear of some one, probably Skip Riley.”
“Well, we’ve got him where the hair is short, anyway,” said Kit. “He was caught in the act, and will come out of prison an older and a wiser man.”
“What else besides Farley did you see in the room, Ted?” asked Stella.
“I really couldn’t say what it was,” said Ted. “It was dark, and there was only the faintest kind of light outside from the stars. The room was perfectly dark. I was sitting on Farley’s back holding him down. He had thrown the door open, and we were in the doorway, but there was a space between us and the door-jamb.