“I should think you might do well, then.”
“Thank you. I appreciate the compliment. What business are you going into, that is, if you are going to the city?”
“I am going to the city, but I have no idea yet what I shall do.”
“Perhaps you may like to become an agent for our lots. I shall be ready to employ you as sub agent if you feel disposed.”
“Thank you, sir. If you will give me your card, I may call upon you.”
The short man drew from his card case a business card. It bore the name
Adin Woods. Royal building. Nassau st. Morton Park Lots.
“Come to see me at any time,” he said, “and we will talk the matter over.”
Here the train boy came along and Rodney bought a copy of Puck, while the agent resumed the perusal of a copy of a magazine. For an hour the cars ran smoothly. Then there was a sudden shock causing all the passengers to start to their feet.
“We’re off the track!” shouted an excitable person in front of Rodney.
The instinct of self preservation is perhaps stronger than any other. Rodney and his seat mate both jumped to their feet and hurried to the door of the car, not knowing what was in store for them.
But fortunately the train had not been going rapidly. It was approaching a station and was “slowing up.” So, though it had really run off the track, there was not likely to be any injury to the passengers.
“We are safe,” said Adin Woods. “The only harm done is the delay. I hope that won’t be long. Suppose we go back to our seat.” They returned to the seat which they had jointly occupied.
Then Rodney made an alarming discovery. “My casket!” he exclaimed. “Where is it?”
“What did you do with it?”
“Left it on the seat.”
“It may have fallen to the floor.”
Rodney searched for it in feverish excitement, but
his search was vain.
The casket had disappeared!
IN PURSUIT OF A THIEF.
“Were the contents of the casket valuable?” asked the land agent.
“Yes; it contained my mother’s jewels, all the more valuable because she is dead,” replied Rodney.
“Were they of much intrinsic worth?”
“They must be worth several hundred dollars at least.”
“Then they must be found,” said Adin Woods energetically. “They have evidently been taken by some passenger during the five minutes we were away from our seat.”
“Were you inquiring about the casket?” asked a lady sitting opposite.
“Yes, madam. Can you give any information about it?”
“Just after you left your seat the man that sat behind you rose and reaching over for it went to the rear end of the car and got out.”
“I wish you had stopped him, madam.”