“No,” said she, scornfully. “I wouldn’t carry round such a great wallet as that. Most likely he’s stolen it from somebody else.”
“What a prime detective you’d be!” said Dick. “P’rhaps you know who I took it from.”
“I don’t know but my money’s in it,” said the lady, sharply. “Conductor, will you open that wallet, and see what there is in it?”
“Don’t disturb the valooable papers,” said Dick, in a tone of pretended anxiety.
The contents of the wallet excited some amusement among the passengers.
“There don’t seem to be much money here,” said the conductor, taking out a roll of tissue paper cut out in the shape of bills, and rolled up.
“No,” said Dick. “Didn’t I tell you them were papers of no valoo to anybody but the owner? If the lady’d like to borrow, I won’t charge no interest.”
“Where is my money, then?” said the lady, in some discomfiture. “I shouldn’t wonder if one of the young scamps had thrown it out of the window.”
“You’d better search your pocket once more,” said the gentleman opposite. “I don’t believe either of the boys is in fault. They don’t look to me as if they would steal.”
“Thank you, sir,” said Frank.
The lady followed out the suggestion, and, plunging her hand once more into her pocket, drew out a small porte-monnaie. She hardly knew whether to be glad or sorry at this discovery. It placed her in rather an awkward position after the fuss she had made, and the detention to which she had subjected the passengers, now, as it proved, for nothing.
“Is that the pocket-book you thought stolen?” asked the conductor.
“Yes,” said she, rather confusedly.
“Then you’ve been keeping me waiting all this time for nothing,” he said, sharply. “I wish you’d take care to be sure next time before you make such a disturbance for nothing. I’ve lost five minutes, and shall not be on time.”
“I can’t help it,” was the cross reply; “I didn’t know it was in my pocket.”
“It seems to me you owe an apology to the boys you accused of a theft which they have not committed,” said the gentleman opposite.
“I shan’t apologize to anybody,” said the lady, whose temper was not of the best; “least of all to such whipper-snappers as they are.”
“Thank you, ma’am,” said Dick, comically; “your handsome apology is accepted. It aint of no consequence, only I didn’t like to expose the contents of my valooable pocket-book, for fear it might excite the envy of some of my poor neighbors.”
“You’re a character,” said the gentleman who had already spoken, with a smile.
“A bad character!” muttered the lady.
But it was quite evident that the sympathies of those present were against the lady, and on the side of the boys who had been falsely accused, while Dick’s drollery had created considerable amusement.
The cars had now reached Fifty-ninth Street, the southern boundary of the Park, and here our hero and his companion got off.