A CLEVER MARPLOT
By Victor Redcliffe
(Copyright by W. G. Chapman.)
Bennie, they called him, Bennie
Grove, bright, keen-eyed, good-natured.
'He had come from a city not
a hundred miles from Detroit with
Slews and Wykoff. They had start
ed a five and ten-cent store in an un
heard of out-of-the-way place and
Bennie was placed in charge.
People wondered why Slews and
Wykoff came only occasionally to
the store, which had few customers.
But Bennie kept his own counsel
when curious people tried to fathom
the mystery. Only to one person was
he confidentiaL This was old Dr.
Grimm. The latter had retired from
active practice. He, had time to loaf
and Bennie encouraged him, for
Bennie was lonesome. The good doc
tor got so finally that he would tend
the store while Bennie went three
blocks away for lunch.
"I say, Bennie," he observed one
day, "isn't this a queer crowd you're
"You mean Slews and Wykoff?"
queried Bennie. "Say, doctor, I like
you and I know you're true blue. I
need a friend advice. Yes, sir, to
tell you the truth Slews and Wykoff
are a rum lot They're skeesickses."
"You mean?" queried Dr. Grimm.
"The kind of fellows who, when
they have a fire, lay it to friction,
see the sort where a fellow rubs a
$6,000 policy on a $3,000 house. On
the dead quiet, doctor, they burned
out in business twice before they
came here and busted half a dozen
"Why, then," gasped the astound
ed doctor, "they're firebugs."
"And bankruptcy sharks you've
hit it exactly, doctor."
"And you work for them!"
"That's the nugget of what I want
to explain to you," said Bennie. "You
see, they gave me a job in theii
store before we came here. I thought
they were all right and let them
wheedle my brother into investing
$400 in their business. It was all the
poor fellow 'had, put by to marry a
sweet little girl this fall. Well, they
busted and his money went along
with the rest The rascals!"
"Why do you stay working for ras
cals?" inquired the doctor.
"For two reasons," replied Bennie,
"What are they?"
"First revenge. I'm bound to pay
them off for robbing my brother."
"Next, I'm going to get back that
"I'm Bound to Pay Them Off for
Robbing My Brother."
$400. See if I don't. They don't
come here very often, as you know,
and this store was started to put up
some new swindling scheme. I don't
know what it is, but I'm going to find
out and nip it in the bud."
At that very hour, in a retired cor
ner of a cheap restaurant, Slews and
Wykoff were engaged in a confiden
tial converse. Said tue former:
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