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- Bound to Rise - 30/40 -


pass into the box on the table. I may not be able to do it, as the young gentleman is on his guard. However, I will try. Presto, change!"

"It didn't go," said Tom. "I've got it here."

"Have you? Suppose you open your hand."

Tom opened his hand.

"Well, what have you got? Is it the gold piece?"

"No sir," said Tom, astonished; "it's a cent."

"Then, sir, all I can say is, you have treated me badly. In order to prevent my getting the gold piece into the box, you changed it into a cent."

"No, I didn't," said Tom.

"Then perhaps I have succeeded, after all. The fact is, I took out the gold piece and put a penny in its place, so that you might not know the difference. Now here is the key of that box. Will you unlock it?"

Tom unlocked it, only to find another box inside. In fact, it was a perfect nest of boxes. In the very last of all was found the gold coin.

"It's very strange you didn't feel it go out of your hand," said the professor.

"I am afraid you are not quick enough to make a magician. Can you fire a pistol?"

"Yes, sir," said Tom.

"Will any lady lend me a ring?" asked the professor.

One was soon found

"I will load the pistol," said the professor, "and put the ring in with the rest of the charge. It appears to be rather too large. I shall have to hammer it down."

He brought down a hammer heavily upon the ring and soon bent it sufficiently to get it into the pistol.

"Now, sir," he said, "take the pistol, and stand off there. All right, sir. When I give the word, I want you to fire. One, two, three!"

Tom fired, his grandmother uttering a half suppressed shriek at the report. When the smoke cleared away, the professor was holding the ring between his thumb and finger, quite uninjured.

Professor Henderson's attention had been drawn to his companion of the morning. He observed that she had taken off her bonnet. He went up to her, and said, politely, "Madam, will you kindly lend me your bonnet?"

"Massy sakes, what do you want of it?"

"I won't injure it, I assure you."

"You may take it, ef you want to," said the old lady; "but be keerful and don't bend it."

"I will be very careful; but, madam," he said, in seeming surprise, "what have you got in it?"

"Nothing, sir."

"You are mistaken. See there, and there, and there"; and he rapidly drew out three onions, four turnips, and a couple of potatoes. "Really, you must have thought you were going to market."

"They ain't mine," gasped the old lady.

"Then it's very strange how they got into your bonnet. And--let me see--here's an egg, too."

"I never see sich doin's."

"Granny, I guess a hen made her nest in your bonnet," whispered Tom.

The old lady shook her head in helpless amazement.

CHAPTER XXVII

An unexpected payment

A week later Harry reached a brisk manufacturing place which I will call Centreville. He assisted the professor during the afternoon to get ready the hall for his evening performance and, at half past five, took his seat at the supper table in the village hotel.

Just as Harry began to eat, he lifted his eyes, and started in surprise as he recognized, in his opposite neighbor, Luke Harrison, whose abrupt departure without paying his debts the reader will remember. Under the circumstances, it will not be wondered at that our hero's look was not exactly cordial. As for Luke, he was disagreeably startled at Harry's sudden appearance. Not knowing his connection with Professor Henderson, he fancied that our hero was in quest of him and not being skilled in the law, felt a little apprehension as to what course he might take. It was best, he concluded to conciliate him.

"How are you, Walton?" he said.

"I am well," said Harry, coldly.

"How do you happen to be in this neighborhood?"

"On business," said Harry, briefly.

Luke jumped to the conclusion that the business related to him and, conscious of wrong-doing, felt disturbed.

"I'm glad to see you," he said. "It seems pleasant to see an old acquaintance"--he intended to say "friend."

"You left us rather suddenly," said Harry.

"Why, yes," said Luke, hesitating. "I had reasons. I'll tell you about it after supper."

As Harry rose from the table, Luke joined him.

"Come upstairs to my room, Walton," he said, "and have a cigar."

"I'll go upstairs with you; but I don't smoke."

"You'd better learn. It's a great comfort."

"Do you board here?"

"Yes. I found I shouldn't have to pay any more than at a boarding house and the grub's better. Here's my room. Walk in."

He led the way into a small apartment on the top floor.

"This is my den," he said. "There isn't but one chair; but I'll sit on the bed. When did you reach town?"

"About noon"

"Are you going to stop long?" asked Luke.

"I shall stay here till I get through with my errand," answered Harry, shrewdly; for he saw what Luke thought, and it occurred to him that he might turn it to advantage.

Luke looked a little uneasy.

"By the way, Walton," he said, "I believe I owe you a little money."

"Yes. I believe so."

"I'm sorry I can't pay you the whole of it. It costs considerable to live, you know; but I'll pay part."

"Here are five dollars," he said. "I'll pay you the rest as soon as I can--in a week or two."

Harry took the bank note with secret self-congratulation, for he had given up the debt as bad, and never expected to realize a cent of it.

"I am glad to get it," he said. "I have a use for all my money. Are you working in this town?"

"Yes. The shoe business is carried on here considerably. Are you still working for Mr. Leavitt?"

"No; I've left him."

"What are you doing, then?"

"I'm traveling with Professor Henderson."

"What, the magician?"

"Yes."

"And is that what brought you to Centreville?"

"Yes."

Luke whistled.

"I thought--" he began.


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