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had spent the better part-gX,fcis work
ing years. And as he sat oh his stool
thoughts came to his mind that he
had never known before.
The safe in Campion's office was an
old one. On Saturday nights it con
tained never less than five or six
thousand dollars, which came in dur
ing the afternoon, after banking
hours. Campion and Rothway alone
were supposed to know the combin
ation. No one was aware that Jen
nings had the combination also. It
had not been changed since the old
days, when Jennings was the confi
dant of his employers. What if Jen
nings should take the money, which
he could fairly claim, as the reward
of 20 years' underpaid services, and
take Mary away with him somewhere
where they could establish them
selves in life?
Jennings was often the last to leave
the office. Like most underpaid
drudges, he shouldered two men's
work. Three or four times a week
he had to call old Sykes, the night
watchman, to let him out at 10 or 11
It would be the simplest matter to
slip the key of Campion's office from
its hook in the- night watchman's lit
tle office, open the safe with the old
combination and retire with his booty.
The idea became an obsession' and he
resolved to put it into execution on
the last Saturday of the month.
Everything favored his plan. Cam
pion had gone away into the country.
At 6 o'clock Jennings went out
among the other bookkeepers and
clerks, but as soon as 'the last had
departed he turned and made his way
back, secreting himself in a corner
of the " stenographers' room, where
half-blind' old Sykes would never see
him. He heard Sykes tramping about
the floor, i
Midnight arrived before he crept
out toward the watehman's ' office.
The key to Campion's room hung by
the door. Old Sykes would sit, dream
ing of ,the past, behind a half parti
tion of wood, far hours ata time. In
I his stockinged feet Jennings crept'
up, abstracted the key and fled.
He put on his boots again and crept
cautiously toward Campion's office.
He thought he heard a sligh tnoise
within and hesitated, but it was notj
repeated, and, cautiously turning the
key in the door, Jennings entered.
A man in a black mask was kneeP
ing in front of the safe, counting a;
pile of bills.
At the sight Jenings' scheme of
theft was all forgotten. He remem-J-bered
only his long service with the
firm, his watchdog trust and obe-i
dience. And this burglar was about tot
With a shout Jennings leaped at the
fellow, who, taken off hiB guard, .
staggered back under the other man's
impetus. Then, seeing that Jennings
was unarmed, he sprang at him in
turn, wielding a formidable iron jim
my with which he must have, pried
open the window that gave on the
Jennings evaded the blow and
caught the fejlow's arm. They wres
tled to and fromF Jennings calling for
help loudly. His strength was out
classed 'by that of the other, for 20
years of office work does not make
for muscularity. He knew that once
he lost his hold on the burglar's arm
the jimmy wquld descend.
The burglar fought in silence, but
in desperation, too. Jennings heard
the quick tramp of old Sykes' feet
outsfde. He put forth all his strength
to throw the other to the floor. But
he lost his grasp and the jimmy,
raised, descended with fearful force
upbn his s,kulL
The last thing Jennings remem
bered was seeing Sykes at the door,
a pistol in his hand. The last thing
he .heard was the discharge of the
When he opened his eyes, to fibd
himself in his bed at home, and his
wife beside him, Jennings' first
thought was of the affray.
"The got him?" he demanded feebly.