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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesDo And Dare: A Brave Boy's Fight For Fortune - Chapter 10. An Exciting Scene
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Do And Dare: A Brave Boy's Fight For Fortune - Chapter 10. An Exciting Scene Post by :Jackie_Fowler Category :Long Stories Author :Horatio Alger Date :May 2012 Read :881

Click below to download : Do And Dare: A Brave Boy's Fight For Fortune - Chapter 10. An Exciting Scene (Format : PDF)

Do And Dare: A Brave Boy's Fight For Fortune - Chapter 10. An Exciting Scene

CHAPTER X. AN EXCITING SCENE

"You'd better go upstairs and get that money, or I will go up myself," said the tramp, boldly.

"I will go," said Mrs. Cole, terrified.

It was at this time that Tom Tripp, looking in at the window, got an idea of the situation, but he was unobserved. The river bank was near, and he ran down to it, hoping, but not expecting, to see some one who could interfere with the impudent robber. We have already seen that he was luckier than he anticipated.

Meanwhile Mrs. Cole went upstairs, not knowing how to save the money from being carried away. She wished heartily that her husband had taken it with him. One hundred dollars, as she well knew, would be a serious loss to her husband, who was only moderately well to do. She thought it possible that the tramp might know how large a sum there was in the house, but could not be sure. She resolved, however, to make an effort to save the larger part of the money. From the wallet she took two five-dollar bills, and then, removing it from the drawer, put it between the beds. She lingered as long as she dared, and then went downstairs with the two bills in her hand.

"Well, have you got the money?" growled the tramp.

"Don't take it," she said; "be satisfied with the breakfast I have given you."

"You're a fool!" said the tramp, rudely. "How much have you got there?"

"Ten dollars."

"Ten dollars!" said the tramp, disdainfully. "What do you take me for?"

"It is a large sum of money to me and my husband, sir," said the poor woman, nervously.

"It isn't enough for me! You have got more money in the house. Don't lie to me! You know you have."

"I am not used to be talked to in that way," said Mrs. Cole, forgetting her timidity for the moment.

"I can't help what you are used to; you'd better not trifle with me. Go upstairs and bring down the rest of the money--do you hear?"

"Oh, sir!"

"'Oh, sir!'" repeated the tramp, impatiently. "I can't stay here all day. Are you going to do as I tell you?"

"I suppose I must," said the poor woman.

"That's sensible. You'll find out after a while that nothing is to be gained by trying to fool me. I'll give you just three minutes to find that money and bring it down."

"You'll leave the spoons, then?"

"No; I want them, as I've already told you. Come, two minutes are passed. I don't want to kill you, but--"

Mrs. Cole uttered a shriek of dismay, and turned to obey the command of her unwelcome visitor, when a loud, clear voice was heard from just outside the window.

"Stay where you are, Mrs. Cole! There is help at hand. This ruffian shall not harm you."

It was the voice of George Melville. The tramp turned swiftly and stared in ill-disguised dismay at Melville and Herbert.

"What business is it of yours?" he demanded, in a blustering tone.

"We make it our business to defend this lady from your thievish designs," said Melville.

"You!" exclaimed the tramp, contemptuously. "Why, I could twist either of you round my little finger."

"You'd better not try it!" said Melville, not showing the least trepidation. "Mrs. Cole, has this man anything of yours in his possession?"

"He has my spoons and I have just handed him ten dollars."

George Melville turned to the tramp.

"Be kind enough to lay the spoons on the table," he said, "and give back the ten dollars Mrs. Cole handed you."

"You must think I'm a fool!" said the tramp.

"No; but I think you are a prudent man. If you do as I say we will let you go; if not--"

"Well, if not?" blustered the tramp.

"If not, you may regret it."

All this time George Melville had spoken in his usual tone of voice, and the tramp was puzzled to know whether he had any weapon with him. For himself, he was unarmed, and this made him feel rather ill at ease, notwithstanding his superiority in physical strength. He was rather disposed to think that George Melville had a pistol, for he could not understand how otherwise he should dare to confront a man of twice his size and strength.

"I don't care for the spoons," he said, "but I will take the money."

"No, you will return the money," said Melville, calmly.

"Who will make me?" demanded the tramp, defiantly.

"I will."

"We'll see about that!" said the tramp, desperately, and he sprang towards Melville, who had in the meantime entered the house and stood only six feet distant.

"Stay where you are!" exclaimed Melville, resolutely, and he drew a pistol, which he leveled at his formidable antagonist.

"That settles it, stranger!" said the tramp, "You've got the advantage of me this time. Just wait till we meet again."

"I am willing to wait for some time," said Melville, shrugging his shoulders. "I have no desire to cultivate your acquaintance, my friend."

"There are the spoons!" said the tramp, throwing them down on the table.

"Now for the money!"

The tramp looked at George Melville. Melville still held the pistol in his hand leveled at his breast. The thief was a large man, but he was not a brave one. He cowered before the resolute glance of his small opponent.

"Won't you interfere with me if I give back the money?" he asked.

"No."

"Will you let me go without firing at me?"

"Yes."

"Perhaps you won't keep your agreement," suggested the tramp, nervously.

"I am a man of my word," said Melville, calmly.

His calm, resolute tone, free from all excitement, impressed the tramp with confidence. He drew the notes from his vest pocket, where he had thrust them, and threw them on the table.

"Now, may I go?" he said.

In answer, George Melville, who stood between him and the door, drew aside, still, however, holding the pistol in position, and the tramp passed out, not sorry, it may be said, to get out of range of the weapon.

They watched him striding through the yard, and when he was fairly gone Mrs. Cole said:

"Oh, how can I thank you for saving me from this wretch?"

"I am glad to have been the instrument of deliverance," said Melville, politely.

"It was fortunate you had the pistol with you, Mr. Melville," said Herbert.

"Well, yes, perhaps it was," said Melville, smiling.

"Pray, put it up, Mr. Melville," said the farmer's wife, "it always makes me nervous to see a loaded pistol."

Melville bowed, and put back the pistol in his pocket.

"As your unpleasant visitor has gone," he said, "I may as well relieve your fears by saying that the pistol is not loaded."

"Not loaded!" exclaimed Herbert and Tom Tripp in concert.

"No; it has not been loaded to my knowledge for a year."

"Then how could you stand up against that man?" asked the farmer's wife, in wonder.

"He thought it was loaded!" replied Melville, "and that answered the purpose. I should be very reluctant to use a loaded pistol, for I have a high idea of the sacredness of human life, but I have no objection to playing upon the fears of a man like that."

Melville and Herbert remained at the farmhouse for half an hour, till the return of the farmer, when they resumed their river trip. They returned about noon. When they were walking through the main street, Herbert saw the town constable approaching with the air of a man who had business with him.

"Did you wish to speak to me, Mr. Bruce?" he asked.

"Yes, Herbert. I have a warrant for your arrest."

"For my arrest!" exclaimed Herbert, in amazement. "What for?"

"On complaint of Eben Graham, for abstracting postage stamps and money from the post office last evening."

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