THE FIRE AT THE HOTEL.
On the day following the scene at the police station Maurice Vane stopped at the Grandon House to interview our hero.
“I must thank you for the interest you have taken in this matter, Joe,” said he. “It is not every lad who would put himself out to such an extent.”
“I wanted to see justice done, Mr. Vane,” answered our hero, modestly.
“Things have taken a sudden change since I saw you last summer,” went on Maurice Vane. “Perhaps it will be as well if I tell my whole story.”
“I’d like first rate to hear it.”
“After I got those shares of stock I felt that I had been swindled, and I was very anxious to get hold of the rascals. But as time went on and I could not locate them I resolved to look into the deal a little more minutely and see if there was any chance of getting my money, or a portion of it, back.”
“I should have done the same.”
“I wrote to a friend out West and he put me in communication with a mining expert who set to work to find out all about the mine. The expert sent me word, late in the fall, that the mine was, in his opinion, located on a vein of gold well worth working.”
“What did you do then?”
“I wanted to go West at once and look into the matter personally, but an aunt died and I had to settle up her estate and see to the care of her two children, and that held me back. Then winter came on, and I knew I’d have to let matters rest until spring.”
“Are you going out there in the spring?”
“Yes,—as early as possible, too.”
“I hope you find the mine a valuable one, Mr. Vane.”
“I place great reliance on what the mining expert said, for he is known as a man who makes no mistakes.”
“Then, if the mine proves of value, you’ll have gotten a cheap piece of property after all.”
“Won’t those swindlers be mad when they hear of this!”
“Most likely, my lad; but they have nobody to blame but themselves. I bought their shares in good faith, while they sold them in bad faith.”
“Is your title perfectly clear now?”
“Then I hope the mine proves to be worth millions.”
“Thank you, my boy.”
“I’d like to own a mine like that myself.”
“Would you? Well, perhaps you will some day.”
“It’s not likely. A hotel boy doesn’t earn enough to buy a mine,” and our hero laughed.
“If I find the mine worth working and open up for business, how would you like to go out there and work for me?”
“I’d like it very much, Mr. Vane.”
“Very well, I’ll bear that in mind,” answered the possessor of the mining shares.
“Why don’t you buy up the rest of the mining shares first?”
“I am going to do so—if I can locate them.”