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Newspaper Page Text
' sleep. His worked -up mind Lad lost
Its balance. Now its rational process
es weakened. He sawin the writing
of the letter an amazing piece of ef
frontery. He was Jn a wild perspira
tion through anxiety. He marveled
how he had over Lad the audacity to
leave that letter.
"I'll get it back. It'? the wrong
way. I've made a dreadful mistake !"
he fumed and fussed, and he got up
and dressed himself.
The disordered light in which Hoyt
now viewed the' circumstances made
him eagerly anxious to recover the
letter. He nurried along the silent
street, almost utterly "deserted. As
he neared a vacant lot next to the
home of Eva he dodged from bush to
As he stole in and out among the
shrubbery on the side lawn of the
house he stumbled over a bundle ly
ing on the ground with a'force that
sent it hurtling in among some thick
shrubs out of sight
"A bundle of washing," he decided,
and paid no more attention to it ex
cept to recognize that the'bundle had
something hard wrapped up inside of
it "Clothespins, I suppose," he so
liliquized. "Now for the letter box
and the letter itself. I shall feel re
lieved when I get it back in my pos
session once more. Eva would just
have laughed at me. I'll stop making
a ninny of myself. She'd never have
Hoyt ascended the steps and
reached the letter box. He strove to
lift its cover. It was in vain.
"Locked!" he muttered. "Letter
still In? Yes. That's lucky," for,
shifting the outside plate, he could
see a white object beyond. "Well,
I've just got to get back that letter!
My combination tool knife it's all
right," and he drew the article from
his pocket and opened its screwdriver
"There's no other way," decided
Hoyt, and he proceeded to unscrew
top and bottom fastenings of the let
ter box He would have to carry it
away with him to break it open, but
in his Ipresent desperate mood he
heeded no destruction.
The box rattled as he stole down
the steps. Hoyt uttered a low chuckle
of exultation. Then suddenly two
figures dashed from the shadows.
"He's a'daring fellow, coming back
a second time," spoke a gruff voice;
"but we've got him!"
"Here, unhand me!" ordered Hoyt,
struggling in the firm grip of two
pairs of stout hands.
"You keep quiet, or I'll give you a
stunner!" growled the other of his
captors. "Jim, ring the bell and tell
Mr. Walters we've found one of the
"Burglar? I'm no burglar!" shout
ed Hoyt "What does all this mean?"
"What does that mean?" demand
ed his captor, kicking aside the mail
box which Hoyt had dropped.
His comrade had rung the bell. In
a few minutes Mr. Walters came to
the door, his wife behind him', Eva a
shrinking third, all in attire hurried
"Mr. Walters," the man said, "we
haven't got a clew to the men who
broke in here nor the stuff they took,
but we just got this fellow on the
porch there, stealing your letter box;
"Why!" exclaimed Eva, as the
porch light was turned on, "it's Mr.
"I declare!" exclaimed the as
tounded Mrs. Walters.
Just then Hoyt began to gather his
wits, recognizing the two men as vil
lage officers. There had been a bur
glary earlier in the' evening, it seem
ed, and he had come around at a
moment when the officers were
prowling in the vicinity.
"Why, here's a mystery," observed
Mr. Walters, picking up the mail box.
"I don't understand why Mr. Hoyt
should steal a mail box. Ah, there's
a letter in it"
"Yes, sir. It's mine. I I left it by
mistake", sir. Please restore it to