“Leave that to me, sir. You came down river on the ‘Eb and Flo,’ didn’t you?”
“How did you hear about that?” Donaster quickly queried.
“H’m, don’t ask me how I find out about things. I generally know what’s taking place. Eben Tobin’s quite a lad, eh?”
“He certainly is. You know him, then?”
“Should say so; ever since he was a baby. Guess he has a pretty good idea where that girl is.”
“He told me he didn’t.”
“Ah, he’d tell you that. But just wait till I get hold of him. You didn’t go about it the right way. He’s in a class all by himself, Eben is.”
“And will you see him?” Donaster was all eagerness now.
“But what about that money? I’m hard up. You can’t do much without money these days. It makes people talk when nothing else will. How much can you spare?”
Donaster thought for a few minutes, and his brows wrinkled.
“I’ve only five hundred in the bank,” he at length explained. “You’ll have to wait until to-morrow for any of that.”
“Five hundred! My, that seems a fortune to me. Where did ye get it? Steal it?”
Donaster shot a quick startled look at his companion as if he would read his mind. Then he gave a nervous laugh.
“Never mind where I got it,” he warded. “Don’t ask too many questions.”
Grimsby leaned across the table and looked keenly at his victim.
“I won’t ask any more questions, sir. But I believe you are a bigger rogue than I imagined. It’s even necessary for me to be on my guard. How much money have you on hand now?”
“About fifty dollars.”
“That’s good. I’ll take half, according to our agreement.”
Donaster hesitated for a few seconds, but at length pulled a roll of bills from his pocket and counted out twenty-five dollars.
“Now, make me out a cheque for half of what you have in the bank,” Grimsby ordered as he pocketed the money. “I want to draw it as soon as the bank opens in the morning.”
Donaster at first protested, but Grimsby was firm, and threatened what he would do.
“I shall give you just five minutes to do what I wish,” he told him. “Otherwise, I shall go at once to Mrs. Randall. Make up your mind, and be quick about it.”
Very reluctantly Donaster obeyed, and made out a cheque payable to Gabriel Grimsby. The latter held it in his hand and studied it carefully for a few minutes after he had received it. He smiled as he looked at Donaster. “We are getting along nicely now, are we not? But there is something else I want you to do.”
“For heaven’s sake! what is it?” Donaster angrily and impatiently asked.
“Give me a piece of paper and a pen: I will write it down.”
When these were produced, Grimsby wrote rapidly, Donaster watching him somewhat curiously.
“Listen to this,” he ordered when he had finished.