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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 268 pages of information about Under the Andes.

“Billy,” said I, “there’s the deuce to pay.  You’re an old friend of mine, and you possess a share of discretion, and you’ve got to help me.  Le Mire is gone.  I must find her.”

“Find Le Mire?” He stared at me in amazement.  “What for?”

“Because my brother Harry is with her.”

Then I explained in as few words as possible, and I ended, I think, with something like this: 

“You know, Billy, there are very few things in the world I consider of any value.  She can have the lad’s money, and, if necessary, my own into the bargain.  But the name of Lamar must remain clean; and I tell you there is more than a name in danger.  Whoever that woman touches she kills.  And Harry is only a boy.”

Billy helped me, as I knew he would; nor did he insist on unnecessary details.  I didn’t need his assistance in the search, for I felt that I could accomplish that as well alone.

But it was certainly known that Harry had been calling on Le Mire at her hotel; conjectures were sure to be made, leading to the assertions of busy tongues; and it was the part of my friend to counteract and smother the inevitable gossip.  This he promised to do; and I knew Billy.  As for finding Harry, it was too late to do anything that night, and I went home and to bed.

The next morning I began by calling at her hotel.  But though the manager of the theater had gotten no information from them, he had pumped them dry.  They knew nothing.

I dared not go to the police, and probably they would have been unable to give me any assistance if I had sought it.  The only other possible source of information I disliked to use; but after racking my brain for the better part of the day I decided that there was nothing else for it, and started on a round of the ticket offices of the railroads and steamship companies.

I had immediate success.  My first call was at the office where Harry and I were accustomed to arrange our transportation.  As I entered the head clerk—­or whatever they call him—­advanced to greet me with a smile.

“Yes,” said he in response to my question; “Mr. Lamar got his tickets from me.  Let’s see—­Thursday, wasn’t it?  No, Friday.  That’s right—­Friday.”

“Tickets!” I muttered to myself.  And in my preoccupation I really neglected to listen to him.  Then aloud:  “Where were the—­ tickets for?”

“Denver.”

“For Friday’s train?”

“Yes.  The Western Express.”

That was all I wanted to know.  I hurried home, procured a couple of hastily packed bags, and took the afternoon train for the West.

Chapter III.

A modern Marana.

My journey westward was an eventful one; but this is not a “History of Tom Jones,” and I shall refrain from detail.  Denver I reached at last, after a week’s stop-over in Kansas City.  It was a delightful adventure—­but it had nothing to do with the story.

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