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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 416 pages of information about Elsie Venner.
and followed him to the cars when he left, looking over his shoulder when he bought his ticket at the station, and seeing him fairly off without obtruding himself in any offensive way upon his attention.  Mr. Thompson, known in other quarters as Detective Policeman Terry, got very little by his trouble.  Richard Venner did not turn out to be the wife-poisoner, the defaulting cashier, the river-pirate, or the great counterfeiter.  He paid his hotel-bill as a gentleman should always do, if he has the money and can spare it.  The detective had probably overrated his own sagacity when he ventured to suspect Mr. Venner.  He reported to his chief that there was a knowing-looking fellow he had been round after, but he rather guessed he was nothing more than “one o’ them Southern sportsmen.”

The poor fellows at the stable where Dick had left his horse had had trouble enough with him.  One of the ostlers was limping about with a lame leg, and another had lost a mouthful of his coat, which came very near carrying a piece of his shoulder with it.  When Mr. Venner came back for his beast, he was as wild as if he had just been lassoed, screaming, kicking, rolling over to get rid of his saddle, and when his rider was at last mounted, jumping about in a way to dislodge any common horseman.  To all this Dick replied by sticking his long spurs deeper and deeper into his flanks, until the creature found he was mastered, and dashed off as if all the thistles of the Pampas were pricking him.

“One more gallop, Juan?” This was in the last mile of the road before he came to the town which brought him in sight of the mansion-house.  It was in this last gallop that the fiery mustang and his rider flashed by the old Doctor.  Cassia pointed her sharp ears and shied to let them pass.  The Doctor turned and looked through the little round glass in the back of his sulky.

“Dick Turpin, there, will find more than his match!” said the Doctor.

CHAPTER XII.

The Apollinean Institute. (With Extracts from the “Report of the committee.”)

The readers of this narrative will hardly expect any elaborate details of the educational management of the Apollinean Institute.  They cannot be supposed to take the same interest in its affairs as was shown by the Annual Committees who reported upon its condition and prospects.  As these Committees were, however, an important part of the mechanism of the establishment, some general account of their organization and a few extracts from the Report of the one last appointed may not be out of place.

Whether Mr. Silas Peckham had some contrivance for packing his Committees, whether they happened always to be made up of optimists by nature, whether they were cajoled into good-humor by polite attentions, or whether they were always really delighted with the wonderful acquirements of the pupils and the admirable order of the school, it is certain that their Annual Reports were couched in language which might warm the heart of the most cold-blooded and calculating father that ever had a family of daughters to educate.  In fact, these Annual Reports were considered by Mr. Peckham as his most effective advertisements.

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