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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesFame And Fortune; Or, The Progress Of Richard Hunter - Chapter 14. Micky Maguire's Disappointment
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Fame And Fortune; Or, The Progress Of Richard Hunter - Chapter 14. Micky Maguire's Disappointment Post by :mattyk23 Category :Long Stories Author :Horatio Alger Date :May 2012 Read :3044

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Fame And Fortune; Or, The Progress Of Richard Hunter - Chapter 14. Micky Maguire's Disappointment

CHAPTER XIV. MICKY MAGUIRE'S DISAPPOINTMENT

Micky Maguire waited until Dick was actually on the way to the station-house, and then started for Pearl Street to acquaint Gilbert with the success of his machinations. His breast swelled with triumph at the advantage he had gained over his enemy.

"May be he'll keep his 'cheerin' reflections' to himself another time," thought Micky. "He won't have much to say about my going to the Island when he's been there himself. They won't stand none of his airs there, I'm thinkin'."

There was another pleasant aspect to the affair. Micky had not only triumphed over his enemy, but he was going to be paid for it. This was the stipulation between Gilbert and himself. The book-keeper had not promised any definite sum, but Micky, in speculating upon the proper compensation for his service, fixed upon five dollars as about what he ought to receive. Like many others who count their chickens before they are hatched, he had already begun to consider what he would buy with it when he had got it.

Now, only the day previous, Micky had noticed hanging in a window in Chatham Street, a silver watch, and chain attached, which was labelled "GENUINE SILVER, ONLY FIVE DOLLARS." Since Micky had been the possessor of a blue coat with brass buttons, his thoughts had dwelt more than ever before on his personal appearance, and the watch had struck his fancy. He did not reflect much on the probable quality of a silver watch which could be sold for five dollars, and a chain thrown into the bargain. It was a watch, at any rate, and would make a show. Besides, Dick wore a watch, and Micky felt that he did not wish to be outdone. As soon as he received his reward he meant to go and buy it.

It was therefore in a very cheerful frame of mind that Micky walked up in front of Rockwell & Cooper's store, and took his stand, occasionally glancing at the window.

Ten minutes passed away, and still he remained unnoticed. He grew impatient, and determined to enter, making his business an excuse.

Entering, he saw through the open door of the office, the book-keeper, bending over the desk writing.

"Shine yer boots?" he asked.

Gilbert was about to answer angrily in the negative, when looking up he recognized his young confederate. His manner changed, and he said, "Yes, I believe I'll have a shine; but you must be quick about it."

Micky swung his box from his shoulder, and, sinking upon his knees, seized his brush, and went to work scientifically.

"Any news?" asked Gilbert, in a low voice.

"Yes, mister, I've done it," said Micky.

"Have you managed to trap him?"

"Yes, I left him on his way to the station-house."

"How did you manage it?"

"I grabbed an old fellow's wallet, and dropped it into Dick's pocket. He pulled it out, and while he was lookin' at it, up came the 'copp' and nabbed him."

"How about the man from whom the wallet was taken?"

"He came up puffin', and swore Dick was the chap that stole it."

"So he was carried off to the station-house?"

"Yes; he's there safe enough."

"Then we shall have to carry on business without him," said Gilbert, coolly. "I hope he will enjoy himself at his new quarters."

"Maybe they'll send him to the Island," said Micky, beginning his professional operations upon the second boot.

"Very likely," said Gilbert. "I suppose you've been there before this."

"Wot if I have?" said Micky, in rather a surly tone, for he did not relish the allusion.

"No offence," said Gilbert. "I only meant that if you have ever been there, you can judge whether your friend Dick will enjoy it."

"Not a great deal," said Micky; "but you needn't call him my friend. I hate him."

"Your enemy, then. But get through as soon as possible."

Micky struck his brush upon the floor to indicate that the job was finished, and, rising, waited for his fee.

Gilbert took from his pocket ten cents and handed him.

"That's for the shine," he said; "and here's something for the other matter."

So saying, he placed in the hand of the boot-black a bank-note.

Micky glanced at it, and his countenance changed ominously, when he perceived the denomination. It was a one-dollar bill!

"It's one dollar," he said.

"Isn't that enough?"

"No, it isn't," he answered, sullenly. "I might 'ave been nabbed myself. I can't afford to work on no such terms."

Micky was right. It certainly was a very small sum to receive for taking such a risk, apart from all moral considerations, and his dissatisfaction can hardly be wondered at. But Gilbert was not of a generous nature. In fact he was disposed to be mean, and in the present instance he had even expected to get the credit of being generous. A dollar, he thought, must seem an immense sum to a ragged boot-black. But Micky thought differently, and Gilbert felt irritated at his ingratitude.

"It's all you'll get," said he, roughly.

"Then you'd better get somebody else to do your dirty work next time, mister," said Micky, angrily.

"Clear out, you young blackguard!" exclaimed Gilbert, his temper by this time fully aroused. "Clear out, if you don't want to be kicked out!"

"Maybe you'll wish you'd given me more," said Micky, sullenly picking up his box, and leaving the office.

"What's the matter?" asked Mr. Murdock, who happened to come up just as Micky went into the street, and heard the last words of the altercation.

"Oh," said Gilbert, carelessly, "he wasn't satisfied with his pay. I gave him ten cents, but the young rascal wanted more."

As he said this, he turned back to his desk.

"I wonder whether Gilbert's going anywhere," thought the head clerk. "I never knew him so extravagant before. He must be going out this evening."

Just then it occurred to him that Dick had been absent longer than usual, and, as he needed his services, he asked, "Has Richard returned, Mr. Gilbert?"

"I haven't seen him."

"Did he go out at the usual time?"

"Yes."

"What can have detained him?" said Mr. Murdock, thoughtfully.

"He's probably fallen in with some of his old friends, and forgotten all about his duties."

"That is not his way," said Mr. Murdock, quietly, as he walked away. He understood very well Mr. Gilbert's hostility to Dick, and that the latter was not likely to receive a very favorable judgment at his hands.

Five minutes later a boy entered the store, and, looking about him a moment in uncertainty, said, "I want to see Mr. Murdock."

"I am Mr. Murdock," he answered.

"Then this note is for you."

The clerk felt instinctively that the note was from Dick, and, not wishing Gilbert to hear the conversation, motioned the boy to follow him to the back part of the store.

Then he opened and read the note quickly.

"Did Richard Hunter give this to you?" he asked.

"No," said Tim Ryan, for that was his name. "It was the 'copp' that arrested him."

"I suppose a 'copp' is a policeman."

"Yes, sir."

"Were you present when he was arrested?"

"Yes, sir."

"Do you know anything about it?"

"Yes, I seed it all."

"You saw the wallet taken?"

"Yes, sir."

"Did Richard take it?"

"You mean Dick?" said Tim, interrogatively, for Richard was to him a strange name.

"No, he didn't, then. He wouldn't steal. I never know'd him to."

"Then you know Dick?"

"Yes, sir. I've knowed him ever since I was so high," indicating a point about three feet above the floor.

"Then who did take it, if not he?"

"Micky Maguire."

"Who is he?"

"He blacks boots."

"Then how did it happen that he was not arrested?"

"Micky was smart enough to drop the wallet into Dick's pocket as he was standin' before a shop winder. Then he got out of the way, and Dick was nabbed by the 'copp.'"

"Is this Micky of whom you speak a friend of yours?"

"No; he likes to bully small boys."

"Then why didn't you tell the officer he had arrested the wrong boy?"

"I wanted to," said Tim, "for Dick's always been kind to me; but I was afraid Micky would give me a beatin' when he got free. Then there was another reason."

"What was that?"

"It's mean to tell of a fellow."

"Isn't it meaner to let an innocent boy get punished, when you might save him by telling?"

"Maybe it is," said Tim, perplexed.

"My lad," continued Mr. Murdock, "you say Dick has been kind to you. You now have an opportunity to repay all he has ever done, by clearing him from this false charge, which you can easily do."

"I'll do it," said Tim, stoutly. "I don't care if Micky does lick me for it."

"By the way," said Mr. Murdock, with a sudden thought, "what is the appearance of this Micky Maguire?"

"He's rather stout, and has freckles."

"Does he wear a blue coat, with large brass buttons?"

"Yes," said Tim, in surprise. "Do you know him?"

"I have seen him this morning," said Mr. Murdock. "Wait a minute, and I will give you a line to Dick; or rather it will not be necessary. If you can get a chance, let him know that I am going to call on him this afternoon. Will you be at the station-house, or near it, at six o'clock?"

"Yes, sir."

"Then we can arrange about your appearing as a witness at the trial. Here is half a dollar for your trouble in bringing the note."

"I don't want it, sir," said Tim. "I don't want to take anything for doing a good turn to Dick."

"But you have been prevented from earning money. You had better take it."

But Tim, who was a warm-hearted Irish boy, steadfastly refused, and left the store in quest of Henderson's hat and cap store, having also a note to deliver to Fosdick.

"So that was Micky Maguire who was here a little while since," said Mr. Murdock to himself. "It seems singular that immediately after getting Richard into trouble, he should have come here where he was employed. Can it be that Gilbert had a previous acquaintance with him?"

The more Mr. Murdock reflected, the more perplexed he became. It did cross his mind that the two might be in league against Dick; but then, on the other hand, they evidently parted on bad terms, and this seemed to make such a combination improbable. So he gave up puzzling himself about it, reflecting that time would clear up what seemed mysterious about the affair.

Gilbert, on his part, could not help wondering on what errand Tim Ryan came to Mr. Murdock. He suspected he might be a messenger from Dick, but thought it best not to inquire, and Mr. Murdock did not volunteer any information. When the store closed, the head clerk bent his steps towards the station-house.

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