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Newspaper Page Text
He grew dumpy and dull. The local
physician advised a journey and a
rest. Wayne influenced Mr. Rich to
go to a near city where a friend of
his, a doctor, had a specialist hospi
tal. "He will soon fix you up," assured
Wayne. "Put yourself in his hands
and he will make a new man of you
within a month."
"But business the bank?" ques
tioned the president anxiously.
"Oh, Ralph and I can run things
to perfection," declared Wayne, and
so the banker went away to seek the
recovery of his health, and Wayne
and Ralph conducted the business he
left behind in its usual well-regulated
But one day Wayne called Ralph
into the private room of the absent
proprietor of the institution.
"I've got something to tell you that
is mighty disagreeable, Ralph," he
said, with seeming concern and re
luctancy. "I hope nothing has gone wrong,"
observed Ralph, a trifle startled.
"Just this, Ralph: the one hundred
thousand dollars cash reserve pack
age is missing."
"You alarm me!" gasped Ralph.
"Oh, don't get frightened," said
Wayne. "I am confident it has been
mislaid or deposited in some city bank
by your uncle. See here, now, you
want to keep quiet about this, or well
be in hot water. There is plenty of
cash to meet all demands, unless
there should be a run on the bank.
I'm going to the city .to see Mr. Rich
tonight. I am confident he can ex
But Wayne returned the following
evening with a serious face.
"We are certainly in a bad quan
dary," he reported. "Your uncle is in
a kind of a daze in his present condition.-
Nothing serious, but a phase
of his convalescence, the doctor says.
His memory is bad. He says he put
the reserve fund away, but don't
know where. That mustn't leak out.
He will soon be in his old trim and
we will float along on what cash we
have until then."
Then real alarm came the next
day. Ralph was dumbfounded when
a run started on the institution. In
some way the news leaked out that
the bank was short of funds. All
kinds of evil rumors spread abroad!
Mr. Rich had gone away anticipating
failure! Then had been speculation!
and by eight o'clock the next morn
ing hundreds were grouped about the
front of the institution.
Wayne took the initiative. He put
up a sign stating that the bank would
close until Mr. Rich was able to re
turn and take charge of affairs.
Then there came into the town a
stranger, who took up his quarters
at the local hotel. He gave out that
he Was the representative of a weal
thy brokerage house in the city. He
announced that beginning the next
day he would purchase depositors'
accounts at fifty cents on the dollar.
That night as Ralph was dejectedly
passing the bank he noted a light in
the rear private room. He went to
the door and looked in. It was to
observe Wayne before the open col
lateral safe. The door of one of its
compartments that was generally un
used was open. In his hand Wayne
held a package strangely suggestive
of the reserve fund parcel. He re
placed it, seemed to chuckle, and his
face wore a certain crafty look.
When he had departed Ralph entered
the bank, unlocked the safe "with his
own keys and found the hidden
one hundred thousand dollars.
The truth came to Ralph's mind in
a flash. Dark suspicions were en
hanced, as an hour later, passing
down the street he noticed Wayne
from a shadowed doorway conversing
secretly but animateiy with the
broker from the city.
Then he decided what he would do,
There was a town painter he knew
very well. He gave the man, under
instructions of secrecy, an all-night
When Wayne came down to the,