“I shall escape them after all,” he said triumphantly, to himself.
He opened the window, and, with laughing face, nodded to his pursuers.
“We’ve lost him!” said Philip, in a tone of disappointment. “What can we do?”
“Find out where he is going, and telegraph to have him stopped,” said Mr. Gates. “That will put a spoke in his wheel.”
The lost wallet.
Mr. Gates was acquainted with the depot-master, and lost no time in seeking him.
“Too late for the train?” asked the latter, who observed in the landlord evidences of haste.
“Not for the train, but for one of the passengers by the train,” responded the landlord. “Did you take notice of a man dressed in a shabby suit of black, wearing a soft hat and having very long black hair?”
“Where is he going?” asked Mr. Gates eagerly.
“He bought a ticket for Chambersburg.”
“Ha! Well, I want you to telegraph for me to Chambersburg.”
The station-master was also the telegraph-operator, as it chanced.
“Certainly. Just write out your message and I will send it at once.”
Mr. Gates telegraphed to a deputy sheriff at Chambersburg to be at the depot on arrival of the train, and to arrest and detain the professor till he could communicate further with him.
“Now,” said he, turning to Philip, “I think we shall be able to stop the flight of your friend.”
“Don’t call him my friend,” said Philip. “He is anything but a friend.”
“You are right there. Well, I will amend and call him your partner. Now, Mr. de Gray—”
“My name is Gray—not de Gray. The professor put in the ‘de’ because he thought it would sound foreign.”
“I presume you have as much right to the name as he has to the title of professor,” said Gates.
“I don’t doubt it,” returned Philip, smiling.
“Well, as I was about to say, we may as well go back to the hotel, and await the course of events. I think there is some chance of your getting your money back.”
When they reached the hotel, they found a surprise in store for them.
Sam had carried the professor’s wallet to Mr. Perry, and been told by them to wait and hand it in person to Philip and his friend, Mr. Gates, who were then at the depot.
When they arrived, Sam was waiting on the stoop, wallet in hand.
“What have you got there, Sam?” asked Mr. Gates, who often came to Knoxville, and knew the boy. “It’s the wallet of that man you were after,” said Sam.
“How did you get it?” asked Philip eagerly.
“I chased him ’cross lots,” said Sam.
“You didn’t knock him over and take the wallet from him, did you, Sam?” asked Mr. Gates.
“Not so bad as that,” answered Sam, grinning. “You see, he tripped over a big rock, and came down on his hands and knees. The wallet jumped out of his pocket, but he didn’t see it. I picked it up and brought it home.”