Of course, Mr. Potter had only a moustache and no beard, but aside from that Larry was positive that, lying on the bed in front of him, was Grace’s father.
A TERRIBLE MISTAKE
How Larry wished the patient would awaken so he could question him! But the invalid showed no signs of it, and was in a deep slumber.
“That will do him more good than medicine,” said the nurse. “He will probably sleep for several hours.”
“Several hours,” repeated Larry in dismay.
“Yes, they often do.”
“Then there is no use in me waiting,” he said. “I’ll come back again. When I do I may bring his daughter with me.”
“I hope you do,” the nurse replied. “I have felt so sorry for the poor man. He seemed to have no friends ever since he has been here. Who is he?”
“I don’t want to say for sure, until I get his daughter to identify him,” Larry said, for he did not want the story to get out before the Leader had a chance to print it.
He decided he would go to the Potter house and see if Grace had returned yet in response to the telegram sent by the detective. He felt sure she would start immediately on receipt of the message.
In this he was correct, for when he got to the millionaire’s home Grace herself answered his ring.
“Oh, Larry! Tell me quick!” she exclaimed. “Where is he? Is he badly hurt? What is the matter? Do you think it is really he?”
“I hope so,” Larry said. “Where is your mother?”
“She stayed in Lakewood. I didn’t tell her anything about it, for fear it would prove a disappointment. The telegram from the detective came to me and I made up my mind to come home alone and clear matters up before I told mother. She needs a rest, as she is very nervous.
“But now I am here, you must take me to the hospital at once. The telegram said he was in a hospital. How did it happen? Is he badly hurt?”
“I think he is almost well.”
“But how did they discover him? Who did it? How did it come about?”
“It will take some time to answer all the questions,” replied Larry with a smile. “I’ll tell you all I can on the way to the hospital. My mysterious friend, Mah Retto, it seems, has turned out to be your father.”
“Then he was the one I saw in front of the house that night, and I thought it was father,” said Grace. “His smooth-shaven face deceived me, but I was sure I could not mistake his figure.”
“There have been a good many surprises in this case,” Larry admitted. “I’ve often been fooled myself.”
“Let’s hurry to the hospital,” suggested Grace. “I’d rather go with you than with that detective. He is to be here at eleven o’clock, and it’s only ten now. Let’s hurry away.”
Larry agreed, and they left the house. Grace explained that she had caught the first express out of Lakewood that morning and had been home only half an hour when Larry called.