And Jack dropped down in that chair, letting his head fall in his hands, while a great joy overspread his face.
CARLO DOES HIS TURN
“Paul, you’re a wizard, I do believe!” said Jack, after a bit, as he looked up at his chum.
“Well, I hardly think so. This thing was easy; and ten to one you’d have thought of it sooner or later. For how could Karl have anything to do with the bad business while he was up at your uncle’s?” laughed the other, with his customary modesty.
“But if not Karl, then who got my old coins?” persisted Jack, smiling now.
“Well, I’m not quite ready to say. I’ve got two ideas I’m chasing after now. Give me just a little more time on that, will you, old fellow?” replied the visitor, as he dropped down on a cot, and let his eyes rove along the exhibit of college colors illuminating the walls.
He drew the little box that held the coins toward him. When Jack was not observing, Paul took the contents out, one by one, and seemed to be examining them closely. He even scratched one with his finger nail, and the result appeared to please him, for he chuckled softly. Evidently he had made a discovery which he deemed important.
Jack, having finished some little task with which he had busied himself, came back to his chum.
“See here, Paul,” he remarked; “I’m not going to ask you to tell me who it is you suspect; but do I know him?”
“Sure,” replied his chum; “and perhaps after we’ve found out the wonderful secret, you may even find it in your heart to look on it as a joke, and forgive him.”
“You don’t say? Perhaps, though, I might hardly feel like forgiving a fellow who would be mean enough to sneak up here so often, and take my old coins. Think of the ugly feelings he’s made me have toward my own brother. I’ll never look Karl in the eye after this without feeling conscience-stricken. I don’t know about forgiving him so easy as all that,” grumbled Jack.
“Oh! well, don’t cross a bridge till you come to it. That’s a good motto for you and for me. Perhaps there are times when I feel the need of it. Perhaps there’s one right now,” and Paul shrugged his shoulders as he spoke, half laughingly.
“There, I knew that something had gone wrong with you lately. I’ve watched you when you thought I wasn’t looking, and I’ve seen you frown. Suppose you take your old chum into your confidence, Paul? What’s happened? Any trouble at home? Are you bothered over the Boy Scout troop we’ve been organizing? Is it about your school affairs?”
Paul shook his head each time the other brought forward a suggestion.
“You’re a most determined fellow, Jack,” he said, good naturedly; “and perhaps I hadn’t ought to speak of such a thing to anybody; but we’ve been chums so long, and misery likes company, you know.”