Dave stepped to the railing and called down. “I’m Mr. Sanders. Who wants me?”
A man near the desk waved a paper and shouted: “Hello, Dave! News for you, son. I’ll come up.” The speaker was Crawford.
He shook hands with Dave and with West while he ejaculated his news in jets. “I got it, son. Got it right here. Came back with the Governor this mo’nin’. Called together Pardon Board. Here ’t is. Clean bill of health, son. Resolutions of regret for miscarriage of justice. Big story front page’s afternoon’s papers.”
Dave smiled sardonically. “You’re just a few hours late, Mr. Crawford. Graham turned us down cold this morning because I’m a penitentiary bird.”
“He did?” Crawford began to boil inside. “Well, he can go right plumb to Yuma. Anybody so small as that—”
“Hold yore hawsses, Em,” said West, smiling.
“Graham didn’t know the facts. If you was a capitalist an’ thinkin’ of loanin’ big money to a man you found out had been in prison for manslaughter and that he had since been accused of robbin’ a stage an’ killing the driver—”
“He was in a hurry,” explained Dave. “Going East to-morrow. Some one must have got at him after I saw him. He’d made up his mind when I went back to-day.”
“Well, Horace Graham ain’t one of those who won’t change his views for heaven, hell, and high water. All we’ve got to do is to get to him and make him see the light,” said West.
“When are we going to do all that?” asked Sanders. “He’s busy every minute of the time till he starts. He won’t give us an appointment.”
“He’ll see me. We’re old friends,” predicted West confidently.
Crestfallen, he met the two officers of the Jackpot Company three hours later. “Couldn’t get to him. Sent word out he was sorry, an’ how was Mrs. West an’ the children, but he was in conference an’ couldn’t break away.”
Dave nodded. He had expected this and prepared for it. “I’ve found out he’s going on the eight o’clock flyer. You going to be busy to-morrow, Mr. West?”
“No. I got business at the stockyards, but I can put it off.”
“Then I’ll get tickets for Omaha on the flyer. Graham will take his private car. We’ll break in and put this up to him. He was friendly to our proposition before he got the wrong slant on it. If he’s open-minded, as Mr. West says he is—”
Crawford slapped an open hand on his thigh. “Say, you get the best ideas, son. We’ll do just that.”
“I’ll check up and make sure Graham’s going on the flyer,” said the young man. “If we fall down we’ll lose only a day. Come back when we meet the night train. I reckon we won’t have to get tickets clear through to Omaha.”
“Fine and dandy,” agreed West. “We’ll sure see Graham if we have to bust the door of his car.”