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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesJoe's Luck; Or, Always Wide Awake - Chapter 22. Checkmated
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Joe's Luck; Or, Always Wide Awake - Chapter 22. Checkmated Post by :waytogo-store Category :Long Stories Author :Horatio Alger Date :May 2012 Read :1790

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Joe's Luck; Or, Always Wide Awake - Chapter 22. Checkmated


Everything looked favorable for their plans. Of course, the restaurant was perfectly dark, and the street was quite deserted.

"How shall we get in?" asked Hogan of his more experienced accomplice.

"No trouble--through the winder."

Rafferty had served an apprenticeship at the burglar's trade, and was not long in opening the front window. He had no light and could not see that Joe had a companion. If he had discovered this, he would have been more cautious.

"Go in and get the money," said he to Hogan.

He thought it possible that Hogan might object, but the latter had a reason for consenting. He thought he might obtain for himself the lion's share of the plunder, while, as to risk, there would be no one but Joe to cope with, and Hogan knew that in physical strength he must be more than a match for a boy of sixteen.

"All right!" said Hogan. "You stay at the window and give the alarm if we are seen."

Rafferty was prompted by a suspicion of Hogan's good faith in the proposal he made to him. His ready compliance lulled this suspicion, and led him to reflect that, perhaps, he could do the work better himself.

"No," said he. "I'll go in and you keep watch at the winder."

"I'm willing to go in," said Hogan, fearing that he would not get his fair share of the plunder.

"You stay where you are, pard!" said Rafferty, in a tone of command. "I'll manage this thing myself."

"Just as you say," said Hogan, slightly disappointed.

Rafferty clambered into the room, making as little noise as possible. He stood still a moment, to accustom his eyes to the darkness. His plan was to discover where Joe lay, wake him up, and force him, by threats of instant death as the penalty for non-compliance, to deliver up all the money he had in the restaurant.

Now, it happened that Joe and his guest slept in opposite corners of the room. Rafferty discovered Joe, but was entirely ignorant of the presence of another person in the apartment.

Joe waked on being rudely shaken.

"Who is it?" he muttered drowsily.

"Never mind who it is!" growled Jack in his ear. "It's a man that'll kill you if you don't give up all the money you've got about you!"

Joe was fully awake now, and realized the situation. He felt thankful that he was not alone, and it instantly flashed upon him that Watson had a revolver. But Watson was asleep. To obtain time to form a plan, he parleyed a little.

"You want my money?" he asked, appearing to be confused.

"Yes--and at once! Refuse, and I will kill you!"

I won't pretend to deny that Joe's heart beat a little quicker than its wont. He was thinking busily. How could he attract Watson's attention?

"It's pretty hard, but I suppose I must," he answered.

"That's the way to talk."

"Let me get up and I'll get it."

Joe spoke so naturally that Rafferty suspected nothing. He permitted our hero to rise, supposing that he was going for the money he demanded.

Joe knew exactly where Watson lay and went over to him. He knelt down and drew out the revolver from beneath his head, at the same time pushing him, in the hope of arousing him. The push was effectual. Watson was a man whose experience at the mines had taught him to rouse at once. He just heard Joe say:


"What are you so long about?" demanded Rafferty suspiciously.

"I've got a revolver," said Joe unexpectedly; "and, if you don't leave the room, I'll fire!"

With an oath, Rafferty, who was no coward, sprang upon Joe, and it would have gone hard with him but for Watson. The latter was now broad awake. He seized Rafferty by the collar, and, dashing him backward upon the floor, threw himself upon him.

"Two can play at that game!" said he. "Light the candle, Joe."

"Help, pard!" called Rafferty.

But Hogan, on whom he called, suspecting how matters stood, was in full flight.

The candle was lighted, and in the struggling ruffian Joe recognized the man who, three months before, had robbed him of his little all.

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