Between Perry and the robber lay a full thirty feet of floor, and a big table impeded his progress, but it took the boy less than a second to cover the distance, to seize the robber from behind, pinioning his arms, and to bear him heavily back to the floor.
“Wink!” he cried. “Ossie! Come quick! Help here!”
The robber, having uttered a stifled cry of alarm at the instant of the unexpected attack, was now thrashing mightily about on the thick rug.
“Help!” he shouted. “Who are you? Let me go!”
“S-sh!” commanded Perry sternly, as the others plunged to his aid, overturning a chair on the way. “Be quiet! Sit on his legs, Ossie!” Perry was astride the man’s chest, holding his arms to the floor. “Punch him if he makes a noise, Wink!” Perry, breathing hard, surveyed his captive in triumph. “Now then,” he asked, “what have you got to say for yourself? What were you doing at that safe?”
The man glared in silence for an instant. To Wink it seemed that the emotion exhibited on the robber’s countenance was amazement rather than fear.
“Come on,” urged Perry. “What’s the game?”
“Game!” choked the man, finding his voice at last. “Game? You—you young ruffians! You—”
“Cut that out, or I’ll hand you something,” growled Wink. “Answer politely.”
“Let me up!”
“Nothing doing!” answered Perry. “Come across. What’s your name and where do you come from? As you didn’t get anything out of there, maybe we’ll be easy with you if you talk quick.”
“Let me suggest, if I may,” said the man in a strangely quiet and restrained tone, “that you get off my stomach. This conversation can just as well be conducted under more comfortable conditions.”
Perry blinked and Wink viewed the captive doubtfully.
“Promise not to try to run?” demanded Perry.
“I have no intention of running, thanks.” The robber carefully dusted his clothes as he arose and then felt anxiously of a bruised elbow. “Now, if you will inform me what this—this murderous assault means I shall be greatly obliged to you.”