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Newspaper Page Text
curtly and, without another word,
opened the door of the cage, passed
out and let it slide to behind him.
Stevens watched him with a rather
grim smile as he disappeared.
The bank was closed to the public.
Stevens remained alone in the teller's
cage. One by one the clerks and as
sistants went out. Presently nobody
was left in the bank except the
watchman, Wrigley, the cashier, and
himself. Then Stevens hastily trans
ferred five packages of ten hundred
dollar bills apiece to his coat pocket,
finished his work and took the
money to the safe.
Wrigley joined him. Stevens' pre
tense of counting it was not elabor
ate. Wrigley had taken off his
glasses-and was thinking of his home.
Presently the safe door slammed and,
with, a courteous "good-bye," Stevens
found himself in the street.
He jumped aboard a car and de
sended half a mile away, at the fur
nished room house in which his new
home 'Was to be. He had already
transferred his baggage to the rail
road station by cab, and had had it
expressed thence a few days later.
He had left no clue behind him.
That evening for the first time in
months he had dinner at a restau
rant. He smoked a cigar, strolled
about town and finally went home
and to bed. Not until next morning
did he open the packages of bills.
When he did so he saw to his hor
ror that they were valueless. Every
one except the top bill In each pack
age was a Confederate greenback.
Instead of the five thousand dollars
which he had imagined was in his
possession he had just five hundred
barely enough to pay the doctor's
Stevens was paralyzed with dis
may. His coup was useless, and he
had spent about twenty dollars mov
ing and on the dinner of the preced
ing evening. There was only one
course now to go back and smug
gle the money into the drawer again,
this time not under the listless watch
ing of Wrigley, but "under the eagle
glances of Waterbury.
A wave of disgust and utter self
contempt passed over Stevens. Fate
had dealt him the worst, because the
most unexpected, blow. Well, he
would go back on the following
morning; he could somehow contrive
to replace the money; at the worst
suspicion need not fall upon him,
and when the money was found the
matter would cease to be of pressing
Stevens spent a miserable night
Remorse, disgust, self-loathing, and a
vast pity for nis helplessness to make
Mary's life happy struggled within
him. When at last he reached the
bank it was to find the officers gath
ered together in .groups, eagerly dis
"You've, heard the news, Stevens?"
inquired Wrigley. t ?
"No," answered Stevens.
"Waterbury's dead." -.
The room seemed to swim round
Stevens. He Bardthe old man's
voice continuing, as it far away.
"Yes," he -was. killed in the wreck
on the Southern & Eastern this morn
ing. He was thenf' four hundred
miles away from New York, and
his clothes were stuffed with bills ag
gregating twelve thousand dollars.
We've searched the safe and find he
had filled it with Confederate bills,
with a single good one on top of each
package. They're counting up the
Stevens staggered into his cage.
"Mr. Harrison wants to see you,"
announced a boy presently.
Stevens went Into the president's
office as If he were drunk.
"Ah, Mr. Stevens, this is a very un
fortunate occurrence' said the presi
dent. "You have heard of it,, pf
course. Unfortunately there seems
to be no room for doubt as to Mr.
Waterbury's purpose, and, more hap
pily, I don't think Tve shall be the
losers, as we should "have been but
for that unfortunate wreck. Well,
Mr. Stevens, we are going" to ask you.