That afternoon Joe was sent on an errand to a place of business half a mile away. On returning he chanced to stop at a street corner, to watch a number of children who had made a long slide for themselves.
As he stood watching, a man came along bundled up in a great coat and wearing a slouch hat and blue glasses. The man was walking rapidly, as if in a hurry.
“That fellow looks familiar to me,” thought Joe. “Wonder who he can be?”
He watched the stranger cross the street. Then the fellow happened to step on the icy slide and in a twinkling he went down on his back, his hat flying in one direction and a bundle he carried in another.
“Hurrah! Down goes the gent!” sang out a newsboy standing near.
“Come here an’ I’ll pick yer up!” said another street urchin.
“You rascals, you fixed this on purpose so I should fall!” cried the man, starting to get up.
“Can I help you?” questioned Joe, coming up, and then he gave a start, as he recognized the fellow.
It was Pat Malone, alias David Ball, from Montana!
ABOUT SOME MINING SHARES.
“How do you do, Mr. Ball?” said our hero, coolly.
“Eh, what’s that?” questioned Malone, in amazement. Then he recognized Joe, and his face fell.
“I have often wondered what became of you,” went on our hero. “Let me help you up.”
“I—that is—who are you, boy?” demanded Malone, getting to his feet and picking up his hat and his bundle.
“You ought to remember me. I am Joe Bodley. I used to work for Mr. Mallison, at Riverside.”
“Don’t know the man or the place,” said Pat Malone, coolly. “You have made a mistake.”
“Then perhaps I had better call you Malone.”
“Not at all. My name is Fry—John Fry.”
“How often do you change your name, Mr. Fry.”
“Don’t get impudent!”
“I am not impudent,—I am only asking a plain question.”
“I never change my name.”
At that moment Joe saw a policeman on the opposite side of the street and beckoned for the officer to come over.
“Hi! what’s the meaning of this!” ejaculated Pat Malone.
“Officer, I want this man locked up,” said Joe, and caught the rascal by the arm, that he might not run away.
“What’s the charge?” asked the bluecoat.
“He is wanted for swindling.”
“Boy, are you really crazy?”
“No, I am not.”
“Who are you?” asked the policeman, eyeing Joe sharply.
“My name is Joe Bodley. I work at the Grandon House. I will make a charge against this man, and I’ll bring the man who was swindled, too.”
“That’s fair talk,” said the policeman. “I guess you’ll both have to go to the station with me.”
“I’m willing,” said Joe, promptly.