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- The Rover Boys in Business - 1/39 -


The Rover Boys In Business

or

The Search for the Missing Bonds

by Arthur M. Winfield, 1915

(Edward Stratemeyer)

INTRODUCTION

My Dear Boys: This book is a complete story in itself, but forms the nineteenth volume in a line issued under the general title of "The Rover Boys Series for Young Americans."

As I have mentioned in several other volumes, this series was started a number of years ago with the publication of "The Rover Boys at School," "On the Ocean," and "In the Jungle." I am happy to say the books were so well liked that they were followed, year after year, by the publication of "The Rover Boys Out West," "On the Great Lakes," "In Camp," "On Land and Sea," "On the River," "On the Plains," "In Southern Waters," "On the Farm," "On Treasure Isle," "At College," "Down East," "In the Air," "In New York," and finally "In Alaska," where we last met the lads.

During all these adventures the Rover boys have been growing older. Dick is now married and conducting his father's business in New York City and elsewhere. 'The fun-loving Tom and his sturdy younger brother, Sam, are at Brill College. The particulars are given of a great baseball game; and then Tom and Sam return home, to he startled by a most unusual message from Dick, calling them to New York immediately. Some bonds of great value have mysteriously disappeared, and unless these are recovered the Rover fortune may be seriously impaired. What the boys did under these circumstances, I will leave the pages which follow to disclose.

Once more thanking my host of young readers for the interest they have taken in my books, I remain,

Affectionately and sincerely yours,

Arthur M. Winfield. _________________________________________________________________

CHAPTER I

AT THE RIVER

"Sam!"

No answer.

"I say, Sam, can't you listen for just a moment?"

"Oh, Tom, please don't bother me now!" and Sam Rover, with a look of worry on his face, glanced up for a moment from his writing-table. "I've got to finish this theme before to-morrow morning."

"Oh, I know! But listen!" And Tom Rover's face showed his earnestness. "Last night it was full moonlight, and to-night it is going to be equally clear. Why can't we get out the auto and pay a visit to Hope? You know we promised the girls that we would be up some afternoon or evening this week."

"Sounds good, Tom, but even if we went after, supper, could we get there in time? You know all visitors have to leave before nine o'clock."

"We can get there if we start as soon as we finish eating. Can't you finish the theme after we get back? Maybe I can help you."

"Help me? On this theme!" Sam grinned broadly. "Tom, you don't know what you are talking about. Do you know what this theme is on?"

"No, but I can help you if I have to."

"This is on 'The Theory Concerning the Evolution of----'"

"That's enough, Sam; don't give me any of it now. Time enough for that when we have to get at it. There goes the supper bell. Now, downstairs with you! and let us get through as soon as possible and be on our way."

"All right, just as you say!" and gathering up a number of sheets of paper, Sam thrust them in the drawer of the writing-table.

"By the way, it's queer we didn't get any letter to-day from Dick," the youngest Rover observed.

At the mention of their brother's name, Tom's face clouded a little.

"It is queer, Sam, and I must say I don't like it. I think this is a case where no news is bad news. I think if everything was going along all right in New York, Dick would surely let us know. I am afraid he is having a good deal of trouble in straightening out Dad's business."

"Just the way I look at it," responded Sam, as the brothers prepared to leave the room.

"One thing is sure, Pelter, Japson & Company certainly did all they could to mix matters up, and I doubt very much if they gave Dad all that was coming to him."

"I believe I made a mistake in coming back to college," pursued Tom, as the two boys walked out into the corridor, where they met several other students on the way to the dining hall. "I think I ought to have given up college and gone to New York City to help Dick straighten out that business tangle. Now that Dad is sick again, the whole responsibility rests on Dick's shoulders, and he ought not to be made to bear it alone."

"Well, if you feel that way, Tom, why don't you break away and go? I think, perhaps, it would be not only a good thing for Dick, but it would, also, be a good thing for you," and, for the moment, Sam looked very seriously at his brother.

Tom reddened a bit, and then put his forefinger to his forehead. "You mean it would help me here?" And then, as Sam nodded, he added: "Oh, don't you worry. I am all right now, my head doesn't bother me a bit. But I do wish I could get just one good chance at Pelter for the crack that rascal gave me on the head with the footstool."

"It certainly was a shame to let him off, Tom, hut you know how father felt about it. He was too sick to be worried by a trial at law and all that."

"Yes, I know, but just the same, some day I am going to square accounts with Mr. Jesse Pelter," and Tom shook his head determinedly.

Passing down the broad stairway of Brill College, the two Rover boys made their way to the dining hall. Here the majority of the students were rapidly assembling for the evening meal, and the lads found themselves among a host of friends.

"Hello, Songbird! How are you this evening?" cried Tom, as he addressed a tall, scholarly-looking individual who wore his hair rather long. "Have you been writing any poetry to-day?"

"Well,-- er-- not exactly, Tom," muttered John Powell, otherwise known as Songbird because of his numerous efforts to compose what he called poetry. "But I have been thinking up a few rhymes."

"When are you going to get out that book of poetry?"

"What book is that, Tom?"

"Why, as if you didn't know! Didn't you tell me that you were going to get up a volume of 'Original International Poems for the Grave and Gay;' five hundred pages, fully illustrated; and bound in full leather, with title in gold, and "Tom, Tom, now please stop your fooling!" pleaded Songbird, his face flushing. "Just because I write a poem now and then doesn't say that I am going to publish a book."

"No, but I'm sure you will some day, and you'll make a fortune out of it-- or fifteen dollars, anyway."

"The same old Tom!" cried a merry voice, and another student clapped the fun-loving Rover on the shoulder. "I do believe you would rather joke than eat!"

"Not on your life, Spud! and I'll prove it to you right now!" and linking his arm through that of Will Jackson, otherwise "Spud," Tom led the way to one of the tables, with Sam and several of the other students following.

"What is on the docket for to-night?" asked Songbird, as he fell to eating.

"Tom and I are going to take a little run in the auto to Hope," answered Sam.

"Oh, I see!" Songbird Powell shut one eye knowingly. "Going up there to see the teachers, I suppose!"

"Sure, that is what they always do!" came from Spud, with a wink.

"Sour grapes, Spud!" laughed Sam. "You would go there yourself if you had half a chance."

"Yes, and Songbird would want to go along, too, if we were bound for the Sanderson cottage," put in Tom. "You see, in Songbird's eyes, Minnie Sanderson is just the nicest girl----"

"Now stop it, Tom, can't you!" pleaded poor Songbird, growing decidedly red in the face. "Miss Sanderson is only a friend of mine, and you know it."

Just at that moment the students at the table were interrupted by the approach of a tall, dudish-looking individual, who wore a reddish-brown suit, cut in the most up-to-date fashion, and who sported patent-leather shoes, and a white carnation in his buttonhole. The newcomer took a vacant chair, sitting down with a flourish.

"I've had a most delightful ramble, don't you know," he lisped, looking around at the others. "I have been through the sylvan woods and by the babbling brook, and have----"


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