“Thanks,” said Jimmy, “but how do you know that after you pull this job I won’t tip off the police and claim the reward.”
The Lizard grinned his lip grin.
“There ain’t one chance in a million,” he said. “You’d starve to death before you’d do it. And now, what you want is a job. I can probably get you one if you ain’t too particular.”
“I’d do anything,” said Jimmy, “that I could do and still look a policeman in the face.”
“All right,” said the Lizard. “When I come back I’ll bring you a job of some sort. I may be back to-night, and I may not be back again for a month, and in the mean time you got to live.”
He drew a roll of bills from his pocket and commenced to count out several.
“Hold on!” cried Jimmy. “Once again, nothing doing.”
“Forget it,” admonished the Lizard. “I’m just payin’ back the twenty you loaned me.”
“But I didn’t loan it to you,” said Jimmy; “I gave it to you as a reward for finding my watch.”
The Lizard laughed and shoved the money across the table.
“Take it,” he said; “don’t be a damn fool. And now so-long! I may bring you home a job to-night, but if I don’t you’ve got enough to live on for a couple of weeks.”
After the Lizard had gone Jimmy sat looking at the twenty dollars for a long time.
“That fellow may be a thief,” he soliloquized, “but whatever he is he’s white. Just imagine, the only friend I’ve got in Chicago is a safe-blower.”
Harold sits in A game.
When Elizabeth Compton broached to her father the subject of a much-needed rest and a trip to the Orient, he laughed at her. “Why, girl,” he cried, “I was never better in my life! Where in the world did you get this silly idea?”
“Harold noticed it first,” she replied, “and called my attention to it; and now I can see that you really have been failing.”
“Failing!” ejaculated Compton, with a scoff. “Failing nothing! You’re a pair of young idiots. I’m good for twenty years more of hard work, but, as I told Harold, I would like to quit and travel, and I shall do so just as soon as I am convinced that he can take my place.”
“Couldn’t he do it now?” asked the girl.
“No, I am afraid not,” replied Compton. “It is too much to expect of him, but I believe that in another year he will be able to.”
And so Compton put an end to the suggestion that he travel for his health, and that night when Bince called she told him that she had been unable to persuade her father that he needed a rest.
“I am afraid,” he said “that you don’t take it seriously enough yourself, and that you failed to impress upon him the real gravity of his condition. It is really necessary that he go—he must go.”
The girl looked up quickly at the speaker, whose tones seemed unnecessarily vehement.