“Yes, and probably this Ball, or Malone, has joined them,” put in Andrew Mallison. “Mr. Vane, I am exceedingly sorry for you.”
“I am sorry for myself, but I deserve my loss, for being such a fool,” went on the victim.
“Have you notified the police?” asked Joe.
“Oh, yes, and I have hired a private detective to do what he can, too. But I am afraid my money is gone for good.”
“You might go and reopen the mine, Mr. Vane.”
“Thank you, but I have lost enough already, without throwing good money after bad, as the saying is.”
“It may be that that detective will find the swindlers, sooner or later.”
“Such a thing is, of course, possible, but I am not over sanguine.”
“I am afraid your money is gone for good,” broke in Andrew Mallison. “I wish I could help you, but I don’t see how I can.”
The matter was talked over for a good hour, and all three visited the room Malone had occupied, which had been vacant ever since. But a hunt around revealed nothing of value, and they returned to the office.
“I can do nothing more for you, Mr. Vane,” said Andrew Mallison.
“I wish I could do something,” said Joe. Something about Maurice Vane was very attractive to him.
“If you ever hear of these rascals let me know,” continued the hotel proprietor.
“I will do so,” was the reply.
With that the conversation on the subject closed. Maurice Vane remained at the hotel overnight and left by the early train on the following morning.
OFF FOR THE CITY.
“Joe, our season ends next Saturday.”
“I know it, Mr. Mallison.”
“We are going to close the house on Tuesday. It won’t pay to keep open after our summer boarders leave.”
“I know that, too.”
“Have you any idea what you intend to do?” went on the hotel proprietor. He was standing down by the dock watching Joe clean out one of the boats.
“I’m thinking of going to Philadelphia.”
“On a visit?”
“No, sir, to try my luck.”
“Oh, I see. It’s a big city, my lad.”
“I know it, but, somehow, I feel I might do better there than in such a town as this,—and I am getting tired of hanging around the lake.”
“There is more money in Philadelphia than there is here, that is certain, Joe. But you can’t always get hold of it. The big cities are crowded with people trying to obtain situations.”
“I’m sure I can find something to do, Mr. Mallison. And, by the way, when I leave, will you give me a written recommendation?”
“Certainly. You have done well since you came here. But you had better think twice before going to Philadelphia.”
“I’ve thought it over more than twice. I don’t expect the earth, but I feel that I can get something to do before my money runs out.”