In Luck at Last eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 239 pages of information about In Luck at Last.

“How can I find out?  He won’t tell me any more than you.”

“Or else you must put me in the way of finding out.”  Mr. Joseph lowered his voice to a whisper.  “He keeps the keys on the table before him.  When a customer takes him out here, he leaves the keys behind him.  Do you know the key of the safe?”

“Yes, I know it.”

“What is to prevent a clever, quick-eyed fellow like you, mate, stepping in with a bit of wax—­eh?  While he is talking, you know.  You could rush it in a moment.”

“It’s—­it’s dangerous, Mr. Joseph.”

“So it is—­rather dangerous—­not much.  What of that?”

“I would do anything I could to be of service to you, Mr. Joseph; but that’s not honest, and it’s dangerous.”

“Dangerous!  There’s danger in the briny deep and shipwreck on the blast, if you come to danger.  Do we, therefore, jolly mariners afloat ever think of that?  Never.  As to honesty, don’t make a man sick.”

“Look here, Mr. Joseph.  If you’ll give me a promise in writing, that I’m to have the shop, as soon as you get it, at a fair valuation and easy terms—­say ten per cent down, and—­”

“Stow it, mate; write what you like, and I’ll sign it.  Now about that key?”

“Supposing you was to get a duplicate key, and supposing you was to get into trouble about it, Mr. Joseph, should you—­should you—­I only put it to you—­should you up and round upon the man as got you that key?”

“Foxy, you are as suspicious as a Chinaman.  Well, then, do it this way.  Send it me in a letter, and then who is to know where the letter came from?”

The assistant nodded.

“Then I think I can do the job, though not, perhaps, your way.  But I think I can do it.  I won’t promise for a day or two.”

“There you spoke like an honest pal and a friendly shipmate.  Dangerous!  Of course it is.  When the roaring winds do blow—­Hands upon it, brother.  Foxy, you’ve never done a better day’s work.  You are too crafty for any sailor—­you are, indeed.  Here, just for a little key—­”

“Hush, Mr. Joseph!  Oh, pray—­pray don’t talk so loud!  You don’t know who may be listening.  There’s Mr. Lala Roy.  You never hear him coming.”

“Just for a trifle of a key, you are going to get possession of the best book-shop in all Chelsea.  Well, keep your eyes skinned and the wax ready, will you?  And now, James, I’ll be off.”

“Oh, I say, Mr. Joseph, wait a moment!” James was beginning to realize what he had promised.  “If anything dreadful should come of this?  I don’t know what is in the safe.  There may be money as well as papers.”

“James, do you think I would steal?  Do you mean to insinuate that I am a thief, sir?  Do you dare to suspect that I would take money?”

James certainly looked as if he had thought even that possible.

“I shall open the safe, take out the papers, read them, and put them back just as I found them.  Will that do for you?”

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In Luck at Last from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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