“Yes, the words, ‘it to Cook.’”
“Supposing that Dan Moriarity, whom we now know had some connection with the robbery, had taken the valise, which was sent from St. Louis to Leavenworth, had obeyed the order, for it was evidently an order which was written on the tag, and given ‘it to Cook,’ it would be fair to infer that the Cook mentioned had some hand in the pudding, too, and ought to be pretty flush about this time.”
“No, I don’t mean that the Cook over in the saloon playing poker and the Cook mentioned on the tag are the same person, but we found no Dan Moriarity or Cook in Leavenworth but what was above suspicion, and I think that the men who were smart enough to plan and carry out a robbery such as this was would be shrewd enough to take every possible precaution against discovery. I mean that neither Moriarity or Cook are Leavenworth people, and for all we know to the contrary, may live here in Kansas City.”
As Chip finished speaking, a man appeared in front of the cooper shop, and unlocking the door, entered.
“There is Cook, now,” said Sam, making a movement as if to rise.
With a motion of the hand Chip cautioned him to remain where he was, and with lazy steps, lounged toward the shop.
Capture and rescue.
The White Elephant was a large gambling hall in Kansas City, situated on one of the principal thoroughfares. It was centrally located, and night after night the brilliant lights and crowded tables bore witness to its rushing business.
On this evening the tiger was out with all its claws. Rouge et noir, roulette, faro, keno, and stud-poker were going in full blast. The proprietor, his elegant diamonds flashing in the light, was seated on a raised platform from whence he could survey the entire company—his face, impassive as marble and unreadable as the sphinx, was turned toward the faro lay-out, which this evening appeared to be the center of attraction.
Among the players sat one whose tall form and athletic frame would have been noticeable under any circumstances, but was now more so, as it towered above his fellow-gamesters who crowded around the table.
Before him lay a high pile of chips. He played with the nonchalant air of one who was there merely to pass away a vacant hour, but his stakes were high and he played every shot. His calm, impassioned countenance bore the unmistakable stamp of the professional gambler, and, serene as a quiet mill-pond, he bore his losses or pocketed his winnings with the enviable sang froid which results from a long and intimate acquaintance with the green-baized table.
Every night for a week had this man occupied the same seat, and with careless imperturbability had mulcted the bank of several thousands.
Rieley, the proprietor, himself one of the coolest dare-devil gamblers in the West, had recognized a kindred spirit, but to all advances and efforts to make his acquaintance the stranger had turned a cool shoulder, and his identity was still a matter of conjecture.