“We’ll be there inside of half an hour,” returned Dick, after consulting his watch.
Presently the long train rolled into the city and came to a stop at One Hundred and Twenty-fifth Street. Then they rolled on and on, through the city, past block after block of apartment houses, stores and offices, and private dwellings.
“Talk about a bee hive!” murmured Tom. “You can’t beat New York City, no matter where you go!”
“Well, Chicago is a close second,” answered Dick.
“And St. Louis and Philadelphia, and some other cities,” put in Sam. “Ours is a big country and no mistake.”
The passengers were already getting their belongings together, and in the parlor cars the porters were brushing off the people and, incidentally, pocketing various tips. Then the train rolled into the Grand Central Depot, now called the Grand Central Terminal.
“Last stop!” was the cry, and the boys piled out, each with his suitcase. The sleepy crowd moved along the long platform, in the glare of the electric lights, and through the depot into the busy street.
“Cab!” “Taxi!” “Carry your baggage!” Such were some of the cries which greeted the boys’ ears as they emerged on Forty-second Street. The clang of the street car gongs added to the din, and newsboys were everywhere, crying the latest editions of the afternoon papers.
“I’ll get a taxi to take us down to the hotel,” said Dick, and soon the brothers were in a taxicab, with the suitcases in front, next to the driver. “Outlook Hotel,” he ordered, and away they moved, out of the maze of vehicles, for certain thoroughfares of the metropolis are crowded nearly every hour out of the twenty-four.
“Somebody told me that New York never sleeps, and I guess that is true,” remarked Sam. “It is half-past twelve and look at the people!”
The taxicab turned over into Fifth Avenue and sped down that noted thoroughfare for about ten blocks. Then it made another turn westward and reached Broadway, and almost before they knew it, the boys were at the main entrance to the Outlook Hotel.
Leaving the driver to turn the baggage over to the hotel porters, Dick paid the fellow and hurried into the building, with Tom and Sam at his heels. They found the night clerk and his assistant at the desk.
“I am Richard Rover,” said Dick, to the head clerk.
“Oh, yes, Mr. Rover,” was the answer. “I am glad you have come.”
“Have you any word about my father?” went an Dick, quickly.
“Nothing, Mr. Rover. We have made all sorts of inquiries, but we haven’t learned a single thing, excepting that he walked out of this hotel alone and didn’t come back.”
At the Outlook hotel
The news had not been totally unexpected, yet the three lads felt very much depressed. They had hoped that some sort of word might have been received concerning their father while they were speeding towards New York on the train.