A bit of gossip floating his way
from the lips of the chum of Nelly,
who was a friend of his own, urged
him to a certain hopefulness. For
the first time he learned that Nelly,
not believing that Neil cared partic
ularly for her, had been influenced
to accept the attentions of Barr, who
in the eyes of her frivolous mother
was an excellent parti. Too late
Nelly had learned that her finace was
of very common clay, indeed, and
that she had mistaken an impulse
for real heart interest.
At daylight a few mornings later
Neil Hudson was aroused from sleep
by his ladyship, who excitedly an
nounced to him that the publisher of
the Herald was on the phone and
wished to talk to him at once.
"That you, Hudson?" hailed him
as he took up the receiver.
"Get right down to the bank."
"What's the trouble?"
"Burglary nearly murder. A for
tune stolen. Don't let the Beacon
get ahead of you."
Neil hurried on his clothes. Scun
rying people were flocking to the
center of the town. The town mar
shal had sounded the alarm. He had
found Wylie Barr lying bound and
gagged, his clothing torn, a bad
bruise on the face, two bullets in the
woodwork behind him.
Barr, pale and bedraggled, was
telling his story as Neil entered the
bank. He had some extra work to
do and had stayed at the bank until
midnight He was hard at work when
a masked man suddenly appeared.
There was a struggle. The burglar
shot at him twice and then overpow
The vault door was open and the
robber got the cash box. It had been
a day of heavy deposits $40,000 in
cash taken! Then Barr weakly
asked to be taken home, a nervous
The Beacon had an extra out be
fore noon. The Farmers' bank did
not advertise in the Beacon, so the
editor cast a vefl. of suspicion and
mystery over the weak story Barr
had narrated. It was hinted that
Barr had come to the town practical
ly a stranger. There were hints and
On the contrary the Herald praised
"the brave bank cashier" Neil
would have it so, for a purpose. The
article told of his defiance of the
burglar at the risk of death. It re
minded the reader that had vBarr
opened the inner safe, as demanded
by the burglar, $200,000 in valuable
securities would havfr also been
"That was handsome of you, Hud
son," commented Barr a few days
later, when he met him on the street
"The Beacon has discredited me out
of pure malice."
It was the next morning that Barr
started for the city. He seemed grat
ified when he found Neil "acciden
tally" taking the same train.
"You've beep a good friend to me,
Hudson," he said effusively. "I've got
to spend the day going over our af
fairs with our correspondent bank.
Let's have supper together after
Neil acceded. He watched that
correspondent bank all day long un
til Barr left it He trailed Barr, un
suspected, after that and joined him
at the supper. He feigned to partake
liberally of the liquid refreshments.
Barr left him, his head on the table,
Barr had no sooner gotten away
from the place than Neil was after
him. He traced him to a crowded
saloon of the poor type. He saw hfm
join a man with a satchel in a private
compartment at the rear of the bar
room. Then Neil went for the police,
for he recognized the companion of
Barr as Red Leary.
"There is your man," he announced
to the officers five minutes later,
pointing to the escaped convict and
there, too,, was the money in the
satchel stolen from the bank. It was
unfortunate, the police declared, that
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