“All right,” said Dick. “I’d ought to help you. I haven’t got no mother to look out for. I wish I had.”
There was a tinge of sadness in his tone, as he pronounced the last four words; but Dick’s temperament was sanguine, and he never gave way to unavailing sadness. Accordingly he began to whistle as he turned away, only adding, “I’ll see you to-morrow, Tom.”
The three dollars which Dick had handed to Tom Wilkins were his savings for the present week. It was now Thursday afternoon. His rent, which amounted to a dollar, he expected to save out of the earnings of Friday and Saturday. In order to give Tom the additional assistance he had promised, Dick would be obliged to have recourse to his bank-savings. He would not have ventured to trench upon it for any other reason but this. But he felt that it would be selfish to allow Tom and his mother to suffer when he had it in his power to relieve them. But Dick was destined to be surprised, and that in a disagreeable manner, when he reached home.
DICK LOSES HIS BANK-BOOK
It was hinted at the close of the last chapter that Dick was destined to be disagreeably surprised on reaching home.
Having agreed to give further assistance to Tom Wilkins, he was naturally led to go to the drawer where he and Fosdick kept their bank-books. To his surprise and uneasiness the drawer proved to be empty!
“Come here a minute, Fosdick,” he said.
“What’s the matter, Dick?”
“I can’t find my bank-book, nor yours either. What’s ’come of them?”
“I took mine with me this morning, thinking I might want to put in a little more money. I’ve got it in my pocket, now.”
“But where’s mine?” asked Dick, perplexed.
“I don’t know. I saw it in the drawer when I took mine this morning.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, positive, for I looked into it to see how much you had got.”
“Did you lock it again?” asked Dick.
“Yes; didn’t you have to unlock it just now?”
“So I did,” said Dick. “But it’s gone now. Somebody opened it with a key that fitted the lock, and then locked it ag’in.”
“That must have been the way.”
“It’s rather hard on a feller,” said Dick, who, for the first time since we became acquainted with him, began to feel down-hearted.
“Don’t give it up, Dick. You haven’t lost the money, only the bank-book.”
“Aint that the same thing?”
“No. You can go to the bank to-morrow morning, as soon as it opens, and tell them you have lost the book, and ask them not to pay the money to any one except yourself.”
“So I can,” said Dick, brightening up. “That is, if the thief hasn’t been to the bank to-day.”
“If he has, they might detect him by his handwriting.”
“I’d like to get hold of the one that stole it,” said Dick, indignantly. “I’d give him a good lickin’.”