It wanted two hours and a half yet to ten o’clock, and this time to Dick was too precious to be wasted. It was the time of his greatest harvest. He accordingly repaired to his usual place of business, succeeded in obtaining six customers, which yielded him sixty cents. He then went to a restaurant, and got some breakfast. It was now half-past nine, and Dick, feeling that it wouldn’t do to be late, left his box in charge of Johnny Nolan, and made his way to the bank.
The officers had not yet arrived, and Dick lingered on the outside, waiting till they should come. He was not without a little uneasiness, fearing that Travis might be as prompt as himself, and finding him there, might suspect something, and so escape the snare. But, though looking cautiously up and down the street, he could discover no traces of the supposed thief. In due time ten o’clock struck, and immediately afterwards the doors of the bank were thrown open, and our hero entered.
As Dick had been in the habit of making a weekly visit for the last nine months, the cashier had come to know him by sight.
“You’re early, this morning, my lad,” he said, pleasantly. “Have you got some more money to deposit? You’ll be getting rich, soon.”
“I don’t know about that,” said Dick. “My bank-book’s been stole.”
“Stolen!” echoed the cashier. “That’s unfortunate. Not so bad as it might be, though. The thief can’t collect the money.”
“That’s what I came to see about,” said Dick. “I was afraid he might have got it already.”
“He hasn’t been here yet. Even if he had, I remember you, and should have detected him. When was it taken?”
“Yesterday,” said Dick. “I missed it in the evenin’ when I got home.”
“Have you any suspicion as to the person who took it?” asked the cashier.
Dick thereupon told all he knew as to the general character and suspicious conduct of Jim Travis, and the cashier agreed with him that he was probably the thief. Dick also gave his reason for thinking that he would visit the bank that morning, to withdraw the funds.
“Very good,” said the cashier. “We’ll be ready for him. What is the number of your book?”
“No. 5,678,” said Dick.
“Now give me a little description of this Travis whom you suspect.”
Dick accordingly furnished a brief outline sketch of Travis, not particularly complimentary to the latter.
“That will answer. I think I shall know him,” said the cashier. “You may depend upon it that he shall receive no money on your account.”
“Thank you,” said Dick.
Considerably relieved in mind, our hero turned towards the door, thinking that there would be nothing gained by his remaining longer, while he would of course lose time.
He had just reached the doors, which were of glass, when through them he perceived James Travis himself just crossing the street, and apparently coming towards the bank. It would not do, of course, for him to be seen.