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"All right," said Tom, and he wait
ed for Van Loeuw that night, hoping
aga 'nst hope that the suspicion was
Van Loeuw came into Tom's room
at 8 o'clock and flung himself down
in a chair.
"What did you want to meddle with
the books for?" he began angrily.
"It's no confounded business of
"Perhaps not," admitted Tom, "but
I know it now and I've got to go to
"See here, Tom, old boy," began
Van 'Loeuw, with an affectation of
good fellowship. "I took that money,
if you want to know, and I'm going
to replace every penny of it."
"How?" asked Tom.
"I've invested it in P. & 0. They'll
go up soon "
"They'll never go up, and you
know it, Van Loeuw," answered Tom.
"It's a bankrupt stock."
"I tell you I can pay it back,"
snarled Van Loeuw. "Now, Tom,
what's the sense of making trouble
about a thing that everybody "does?
How do you suppose old Leeson got
his start? It won't be found out for
years, and I can give you five hun
dred to keep your mouth shut"
"No," answered Tom. 'Til have to
go to Leeson unless you do "
Van Loeuw rose up, ashen white.
"My God," he cried, "what will be
come of Mildred? Don't you know
she thinks the world of me?"
Tom sank down again, whiter than
the other man. Yes, he knew she
did. When at last he spoke there
was an air of unusual decision about
"Van Loeuw," he said, "if I take
the blame for this, will you swear
always to run straight in future? It
It doesn t matter to me, you know.
For Miss Leeson's sake "
"You'll say you stole the money?"
cried Van Loeuw, incredulously.
"Tom, I always knew you were as
true as steel. And I'll make it worth
"Good night," said Tom, coldly.
He went into Mr. Leeson's office
the following morning. Van Loeuw
had not appeared at the bank, and
he was forced to close the cage when
he went out. Fortunately, deposi
tors were few in the first hours of
"Ah, Graves, I was going to send
for you," said the bank president,
rising. "We have made an unfortu
nate discovery "
"Yes," answered Tom. "I wish to
inform you, sir, that I have embez
zled $12,000 of the bank's funds."
Leeson did not move a muscle.
"How long has this been going on,
Graves?" he asked quietly.
"Two years, sir," answered Tom.
"I can't keep this matter upon my
conscience any longer and I am ready
to take my punishment."
"How much of this can you re
store?" "Nothing, sir," said Tom, stammer
ing. "How has it gone?"
"Playing the races and wild liv
ing, sir," said Tom, becoming very
much confused as he assumed a char
acter which certainly did not fit him.
The door opened and a woman
came in. Tom started as he saw Mil
dred. This made it doubly hard. But
he was prepared to play his part to
the end now.
"Mildred, will you come here a mo
ment?" asked Mr. Leeson, to Tom's
amazement. "Please sit down. Mr.
Graves has just been informing me
that a serious embezzlement of bank
funds is to be placed to his discredit."
"Papa " began the girl, and Tom
saw that her face was drawn and
white and her eyes red.
"You are sure of your statements,
Graves?" inquired Mr. Leeson, turn
ing to Tom.
"I should hardly have come here if
I were not," answered Tom angrily.
"It is very strange," said the bank
er, shaking his head. "You see, Mr.
Van Loeuw, who is now being sought
for, wrote me a letter informing me
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