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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesRandy Of The River: The Adventures Of A Young Deckhand - Chapter 23. The Papers In The Safe
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Randy Of The River: The Adventures Of A Young Deckhand - Chapter 23. The Papers In The Safe Post by :Dstyles Category :Long Stories Author :Horatio Alger Date :May 2012 Read :2184

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Randy Of The River: The Adventures Of A Young Deckhand - Chapter 23. The Papers In The Safe

CHAPTER XXIII. THE PAPERS IN THE SAFE

At Riverport the next day Mr. Bartlett called upon a lawyer with whom he was well acquainted and told to the legal gentleman all that he had learned and proposed to do.

"I wish your assistance, Mr. Soper," he said.

"You shall have it," was the lawyer's prompt answer.

"Can you get an order from the court to open that safe?"

"I believe I can. Come, we will go and see the judge at once."

Fortunately for Mr. Bartlett the judge was easily found, and when the matter was explained he issued the necessary papers and placed them in the hands of one of the constables.

"But how are you going to open the safe if it is locked?" asked the judge. "Constable Carley is not equal to it."

"I have engaged a professional safe opener," answered Mr. Bartlett. "He can do the trick for the constable."

"Very well."

Mr. Bartlett, the lawyer, and the constable waited until the stage came in. The safe opener was one of the passengers and at once joined the crowd and was introduced.

In the meantime Jasper Tuller had also arrived in Riverport. In the morning he lost no time in calling at the iron works.

"I want to see Mr. Bangs," he said, to the clerk who came to wait on him.

"Sorry, sir, but Mr. Bangs went out of town late last night."

"When will he be back?"

"Not until some time this afternoon--possibly not until evening."

"Where did he go? I must communicate with him at once."

"He went to Rochester, but I can't give you the exact address," answered the clerk.

Jasper Tuller groaned in spirit. Could he have telegraphed to Amos Bangs he would have done so, but the telegram would have remained at the office awaiting a call.

"I must make a move on my own account, if I can," he muttered.

He called a carriage and was driven to the Bangs mansion. A servant answered his rather impatient ring at the front door.

"Is anybody at home?" he asked, abruptly.

"Mr. Bangs has gone away, sir."

"I know that," he snapped. "Is Mrs. Bangs at home?"

Now it happened Mrs. Bangs had come home the night before, intending to go away again two days later. But she had given orders that she wished to see no one.

"I--I don't know," said the servant girl. "I can see. What is the name?"

"Jasper Tuller. It is highly important that I see somebody of the family at once," went on the visitor.

Mrs. Bangs was in an upper hallway and overheard the talk. She knew her husband had had some trouble with a book agent over the payment of a bill and took Tuller to be that person.

"A gentleman to see you, Mrs. Bangs," said the maid. "He is very anxious about it."

"I cannot see anybody," returned the fashionable woman, coldly. "Tell him I am not at home."

The girl went down into the hallway, where she had left Jasper Tuller standing.

"Mrs. Bangs is not at home, sir. You will have to call some other time."

"Is Mr. Bangs's son at home?"

"No, sir; he is away for the summer."

"When will Mrs. Bangs be back?"

"I can't say, sir."

"It is too bad. The matter is very important. I came all the way from Springfield to see Mr. Bangs. They told me at the works he had gone to Rochester. I wanted to see him or his wife on business. Have you any idea where I can find Mrs. Bangs?"

The girl hesitated.

"N--no, sir," she faltered.

Mrs. Bangs was listening as before and now realized that something unusual was in the air. She slipped down a back stairs and out of a rear door. Then she came around to the front piazza just as the door opened to let Tuller out.

"Mamie, who is this?" she asked, looking at the servant girl meaningly.

"Are you Mrs. Bangs?" asked Jasper Tuller, quickly, and, as she nodded, he continued: "I am glad you have come. I am Jasper Tuller, one of the stockholders in the iron works. Perhaps you have heard your husband mention my name."

"I have, Mr. Tuller. What can I do for you?"

"I would like to see you in private"--this with a side glance at the servant girl.

"Very well, step into the library, Mr. Tuller," and the fashionable woman led the way to that apartment. Then the door was carefully closed.

"Something is wrong," said the servant girl to herself. "I wonder what it can be?"

She was of a decidedly inquisitive nature and not above playing the eavesdropper. She tiptoed her way to the library door and listened intently, while at the same time applying her eye to the keyhole.

"Now, what is it, Mr. Tuller?" asked Mrs. Bangs, after the door to the library was shut.

"Briefly, it is this," said the visitor. "Your husband has certain papers in his safe--papers which belong to another man,--Philip Bartlett."

"Proceed."

"I warned him to destroy the papers but he has not done so. Now Mr. Bartlett is going to come here, force open your safe, and take the papers away."

"Come here--force our safe!" gasped the fashionable woman. "He dare not do it."

"He is going to do it legally, I presume."

"You mean he will bring an officer of the law here?"

"Yes. If those papers are found it will look black for your husband, for he has no right to have them in his possession."

"Oh, Mr. Tuller, what shall I do?"

"It is easy enough. Open the safe, take out the papers, and put them where they cannot be found."

"Yes, but I do not know how to open the safe!"

"Don't you know the combination? Your husband said something about that, but I felt there must be some mistake."

"I did know the combination once, but I believe I have forgotten it," went on the fashionable woman. She knitted her brows. "Let me see. It was three 9's, I remember--9, 18, and 27."

"Yes! yes! And what else. See if you cannot think. It is so very important--not alone for your husband, but also for myself and others."

"I am trying to think. Let me see--yes, there was a 2 and a 3 and then another 2,--I mean so many times around."

"I believe I understand, Mrs. Bangs. You mean twice around to 9, three times around to 18, twice to 27, and then off at 0."

"Yes, yes, that is it!" burst out the lady of the mansion. "How clever some men are!" and she beamed on her visitor, who chanced to be well dressed and not bad-looking.

"If that is correct, I'll soon have the safe open," said Jasper Tuller, and walked over to where the strong box stood, in a corner of the apartment.

The lady of the mansion hovered near while Jasper Tuller got down on his knees and began to try the combination. He had to work the knob all of a dozen times before the door of the safe came open.

"At last!" he murmured, as the contents of the safe stood revealed.

"Do you see the papers, or rather, do you know them?" asked Mrs. Bangs.

"I will know them--if I can lay eyes on them," was the reply, as Tuller began to rummage around in the safe.

The papers were sorted out in different piles and he went through each pile as rapidly as possible. Presently he found what he wanted.

"Here they are!" he cried in triumph, as he held them up.

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