A boy was dispatched to the nearest police office, and Frank was directed to tell his principal that he would not long be delayed.
Naturally, however, the man outside had become suspicious.
“I can’t wait,” he said. “Meet me on the steps of the Astor House at five o’clock with the money. I am obliged to hurry away now to a business appointment.”
Frank could think of no other pretext for delaying him, and was forced to see him hurry away.
He hastened back to the office and gave the alarm.
“He has taken fright,” said Robinson. “I fear we have lost him. Where did he go?”
Frank, however, was too ignorant of city streets to give any accurate information.
The consequence was that when the policeman appeared on the scene, there was no occasion for his services.
“At any rate,” said the broker, “we have secured a little of the plunder. What is your name and address my boy? We may wish to communicate with you.”
Frank gave his name, and added the directions of his boarding house.
“Shall I meet the man at the Astor House?” he inquired, as he was leaving the office.
“To be sure!” said Mr. Jones. “I came near forgetting that. Officer, will you be on hand at the time?”
“Better employ a detective, sir, as my uniform would keep the thief at a distance. I don’t think he’ll appear, at any rate.”
“I do,” said the broker. “He won’t give up the money while he thinks there is a chance of securing it.”
At the hour named, Frank repaired to the Astor House, and took a position on the steps.
He looked about him for his street acquaintance, but could see no one who bore any resemblance to him.
Finally, a man dressed in a gray suit with a pair of green glasses, walked carelessly up to our hero and said, in a low voice:
“Have you got the money?”
Frank looked at him in surprise.
This man had thick, black whiskers, while the man who had employed him had none at all, so far as he could remember. Besides, the green glasses altered him considerably.
To make sure that he was not deceived he inquired:
“You know very well,” said the man, impatiently. “You are the boy whom I employed to sell some bonds this morning.”
“You don’t look like the same man,” said Frank.
“Because of my glasses. I have to wear them at times on account of the weakness of my eyes.”
While he was speaking, a quiet-looking man approached and listened to the conversation.
“Then,” said Frank, “you can tell me how many bonds you handed me.”
“They were two five-twenty government bonds of a hundred dollars each.”
“Then hand me the money and be quick about it, for I have no time to waste! You shall have the dollar I promised you.”