“That’s good of you,” assented our hero. “I think it would be best if I went alone. I’ll tell you later what I find out. I think I’ll go now. It isn’t too late.”
“It’s after hours,” said Bert.
“Well, I’ll take a chance,” decided Tom, and putting on his hat and coat he prepared to leave the dormitory, first having ascertained that the coast was clear.
Tom was half way down the corridor of the building where he and his chums roomed, and he was thinking of what might come from his prospective interview with the druggist, when, as he turned a dark corner, he ran full tilt into someone who was coming with some speed in the other direction.
“Wha—what’s the matter! Who—who are you?” gasped Tom, when he had recovered his breath.
“I—I—who are you?” came the quick retort, and the voice was suspicious. Whoever it was evidently was not going to be caught by a prowling monitor.
“George Abbot!” gasped Tom, as he recognized the voice of his chum. “What in the world is the rush? What’s the hurry?”
“News! I’ve got great news!” cried George. “Cats! But you knocked the wind out of me all right. I—I was coming fast myself, I guess. Where are you going?”
“Out,” replied Tom briefly. “But what’s the news?”
“Better not go,” advised George, speaking more composedly now. “There’s been a lot of fellows cutting for it to-night, and just before I came in a bunch was rounded up by the proctor, and rushed to Merry’s office. I just escaped. Don’t you take a chance, Tom.”
“No, I guess I’d better not. But was that the news you had to tell me. If it is, why——”
“It isn’t that,” cried George. “It’s great. Sam Heller was just brought across the campus by old Farmer Appleby. He had him by the collar.”
“Who had who by the collar?” demanded Tom, much excited now. “Did Sam have------”
“No, it was the other way around. Appleby had Sam, and he was making all sorts of threats.”
“Who was; Sam?”
“No, the old farmer. Can’t you understand? He had Sam, and he was begging to be let go.”
“Say, George,” advised Tom. “Calm down and tell me the whole thing. There may be something big in this. I guess I won’t go out to-night after all,” and, grasping the human question box by the arm, Tom led him back toward the room of the chums.
“Hello! What’s up?”
“What’s the excitement, Tom?”
Thus his two chums greeted our hero when he entered with the human interrogation mark in tow.
“Something doing,” responded Tom briefly.
“Did you trace the empty bottle so soon?” asked Jack.
“No, I didn’t have time. But George here—out with it! Tell ’em what you told me.”