Jimmie Dale hurried now, making his way to the nearest subway station, and took a downtown train. “There should be no danger,” the Tocsin had written. His eyes darkened with a flash of passion. Danger! Danger was a small, pitiful factor now! He had been too late through no fault either of his or the Tocsin’s—but he still knew where the pendant was, or would be! Time was counting again; he was afraid now only that he might be too late a second time. Old Attic would not let any grass grow under his feet in disposing of the diamonds through one of the many channels at his command, and once they had passed out of that scoundrel’s hands they were as good as hopelessly lost. Also there was Thorold to reckon with. Thorold would naturally get the pendant first, then turn it over to Jake Kisnieff. Had Thorold already done so? It depended, of course, on when the theft had been committed. That snatch of conversation—“the light ... when we were at dinner”—came back to him. His brows gathered. He crouched a little in his seat, staring abstractedly at the black tunnel walls without. Station after station was passed. Jimmie Dale’s hand, resting on the window sill, was so tightly clenched that it seemed the skin must crack across the knuckles.

But he was smiling when he left the subway—only it was that same merciless smile once more. It was not alone the mere act of robbery that fanned his anger to a white heat. Again and again, he was picturing in his mind that fine old gray-haired couple; again and again he saw the old colonel bend and lift that sweet face to his, and saw them look into each other’s eyes. There was something holy, something reverent in that love which the years had ripened and mellowed with tenderness; something that was profound, that made of this night’s work a sacrilege in touching them—and that poor jewel, clung to all too obviously through adversity for its past associations, was probably the last real thing of intrinsic value they possessed!

“I am not sure,” muttered Jimmie Dale—he was fingering the automatic in his pocket, “I am not sure that I can trust myself to-night!”

Ten minutes’ walk from the subway brought him before a dingy and dilapidated three-story tenement on the East Side. The Nest, they called it in the underworld; and worthily so, for its roof sheltered more of the cheaper and petty class of criminals probably than any other single dwelling in New York—the steerers, the hangers-on, the stalls, those of the lesser breed of vultures, and the more vicious therefore, who at best made but a precarious livelihood from their iniquitous pursuits.

One of Jimmie Dale’s shoulders was hunched forward, giving a crude and ill-fitting set to his fashionably tailored, Fifth Avenue coat; he staggered slightly, and the flap of his collar protruded, while his tie, pulled out, sprawled over his vest; also his slouch hat, badly crushed and looking as though it had rolled in the mire of the street, was tilted forward at an unhappy angle until it was balanced on the bridge of his nose. Men, women, and children passed him by—for the street was crowded—paying him not the slightest attention. He lurched in through the front door of the tenement, swayed up against the hallway inside—and stood there, still swaying a little.

It was dark here, and the atmosphere was musty and fetid; a murmur pervaded the place as of voices behind many closed doors, but apart from that the tenement might have been empty and deserted for all the signs of life it evidenced. And then the spot where Jimmie Dale had stood was vacant, and he was along the narrow hallway without a sound, and, opening a door at the rear, stood peering out. After a moment, he closed the door again without fastening it; and, back once more toward the front of the hallway, began to creep silently up the stairs.

He reached the top landing. Old Attic had two miserable rooms here, where he conducted his even more miserable business! Jimmie Dale dropped on his knees before the door that faced the head of the stairs, and placed his ear to the panel. Noiselessly he tried the door. It was locked. He was smiling that merciless smile again in the darkness, as his deft, slim fingers worked at the keyhole. He was not too late this time! Old Jake was there, and—yes, Thorold, too. They were even now haggling over the pendant—he could hear them quite distinctly now with the door open a crack.

He pushed the door open a little wider, but very slowly, scarcely an inch at a time. He was in luck again! They were in the inner room. He opened the door still a little wider, stepped softly over the threshold, and closed the door behind him.

Save for a dim light that filtered out through the half open door of the inner room, it was dark here. Slowly, with that almost uncanny, silent tread that he had acquired on the creaky, rickety stairs of the old Sanctuary, Jimmie Dale began to move forward, the weight of his body wholly and firmly on one foot before the other was lifted from the floor; and, as he advanced, the black silk mask, from a pocket in the leather girdle, was drawn over his face.

He could see them now quite plainly—the twisted, crunched-up form of old Jake, with his tawny-bearded face, and narrow, shifting little black eyes; the smooth-shaven, suave, oily, cunning countenance of Thorold, the super-crook. Both were sitting at a table in the miserly appointed room, whose only other articles of furniture were a cheap iron bed and a few chairs. Old Jake was whining; Thorold’s voice held an angry rasp.

“Four thousand, you cursed miser, and not a cent less,” Thorold was saying.

“Three,” whined the other. “You ain’t splitting fair. I got to take the stones out of their setting, and sell ‘em for what I can get. Stolen stuff’s got to go cheap. You know that.”

“It’s worth ten or twelve, and you’ll get at least eight for it,” growled Thorold. “That’s four apiece—and I’ve got to split mine again with the guy that pinched it. Hurry up, d’yer hear—I’ve got a date with him in half an hour over in my office.”

“Ha, ha!” cackled old Jake. “Are you trying to be funny? All the thief gets out of it from you won’t make much of a hole in your share!”

“That’s my business!” snapped Thorold. “You come across!”

“Three!” whined old Jake again.

“Four!” Thorold flung back angrily.

“Well, let’s have a look at it then; I ain’t seen it for years,” grumbled old Jake. “I ain’t trying to do you. We went into this thing so’s we’d each get the same out of it; but I tell you it ain’t easy to shove big stones when there’ll be a police description out against them, and there ain’t no big prices for ‘em, either.”

Thorold reached into his pocket—and even in the dull light of the single gas-jet that alone illuminated the room, Jimmie Dale caught the fire and flash of the magnificent stones in the pendant that swung to and fro now, as the man held it up.

Old Jake, his hand trembling with eagerness, snatched at it, and, as Thorold laughed shortly, dove his fingers into a greasy vest pocket, and produced a jeweller’s magnifying glass, which he screwed into his eye.

“One of these has got a flaw, and it’s cloudy,” he mumbled.

“Never mind about the flaw! Flash your wad!” invited Thorold, with a thin smile.

Jimmie Dale’s hand slipped under his vest to a pocket in the leather girdle, and from the thin metal case, with the aid of the tiny tweezers, lifted out a gray seal, and laid it lightly on the inside edge of his left-hand sleeve. He replaced the metal case with his right hand, and with his right hand drew his automatic from his pocket. He crept forward again, inch by inch toward the door of the inner room.

Old Jake laid the pendant on the table, and from some mysterious recess in his clothing pulled out a huge roll of banknotes.

“I’ll make it three and a half until I see what I can get for it. That’s all I’ve got here, anyway.” He began to count the money, laying it bill by bill on the table. “If I get more than seven, I’ll split the difference even. That’s fair. That’s the way it’s been ever since we started this. I don’t know exactly what I can get for this, and—”

And then Jimmie Dale was in the room, his automatic covering the two men.

“Don’t move please, gentlemen!” he said quietly, as he stepped to the table. His eyes behind the mask travelled from the diamond pendant to the pile of banknotes, and from the banknotes to the two men, whose faces had gone suddenly white, and who now sat rigidly in their chairs, as though turned to stone. “I appear to be in luck to-night!” His lips, just showing beneath the mask, parted in a hard smile. “I was passing by, and—” His left hand reached out, swept up the money and the diamond pendant—and in their place, fluttering from his sleeve, a gray seal fell upon the table.

There was a sharp, quick cry from Thorold—and the muzzle of Jimmie Dale’s automatic swung like a flash to a level with the man’s eyes. Old Jake had crumpled up now in his chair, and was glaring wildly at the little diamond-shaped piece of paper; he licked his lips with his tongue, there was fear in his eyes.

“The Gray Seal! The Gray Seal!” he muttered hoarsely.

“I appear to be in luck to-night!” said Jimmie Dale again. “And”—he put the money and the diamond pendant coolly in his pocket—“it would be too bad if I didn’t play it up, wouldn’t it? It doesn’t often come as easy as this. Amazing carelessness to leave that outside door unlocked! But, as I was saying, with such a lavish display of opulence on the table, one is almost led to hope that there might be more where that came from. Now—”

“I haven’t got any more—not another cent! Honest, I haven’t!” old Jake cried hysterically. “I swear to God, I haven’t, and—”

“You hold your tongue!” There was a sudden snarl in Jimmie Dale’s low tones. The man’s voice was rising dangerously loud. “I’ll attend to you in a moment!” He swung on Thorold again; and, with his pistol pressed close against the man, felt deftly and swiftly over the other in search of weapons. He laughed tersely, finding none. “Empty your pockets out on the table!” he ordered curtly.

The man hesitated.

Jimmie Dale smiled—unpleasantly.

Thorold swept a bead of sweat from his forehead. His lips were working nervously. All suavity and polish were gone now; there were only viciousness and fear, each struggling with the other for the mastery in the man’s smug face.

“Damn you, you blasted snitch!” he burst out furiously. “We’ll get you down here some day, and—”

“Some day, perhaps,” said Jimmie Dale softly. “But to-night—did I explain that I was in a hurry—Thorold! Every pocket inside out, please!”

Thorold’s hand went reluctantly to his pockets. He began with the inside pocket of his coat, laying a pile of letters and papers on the table.

“Anything there you want?” he sneered.

“Go on!” prompted Jimmie Dale.

From vest pockets came a varied assortment of articles—watch, cigars, a cigar-cutter, a silver-mounted pencil, and a fountain pen. The man’s hands travelled to his outside coat pockets.

“The inside pocket of the vest, Thorold,” suggested Jimmie Dale coldly.

With a malicious snort, Thorold unbuttoned his vest, and turned the pocket out. There was nothing in it.

Jimmie Dale nodded complacently.

“My mistake, Thorold,” he murmured apologetically. “Go on!”

The man continued to denude himself of his effects, but with increasing savagery and reluctance. There was silence in the room—and then suddenly, so faint as to be almost inaudible, there was a soft pat upon the floor. Jimmie Dale did not turn his head.

“I think you dropped something, Jake,” he observed pleasantly. “Now take your foot off it, and put it on the table!”

A miserable smile twisting his lips, old Jake stooped, picked up a roll of bills, and, mumbling and crooning to himself, laid it on the table. Jimmie Dale immediately transferred it to his pocket.

“Yes,” he said, “I certainly seem to be in luck tonight! That all you got, Thorold?” He reached forward, and possessed himself of a well-filled wallet that Thorold had added to the heterogeneous collection in front of him.

Thorold’s face was black with fury.

“There’s the watch, you cheap poke-getter!” he choked. “Don’t forget to frisk that while you’re at it!”

Jimmie Dale examined the collection with a sort of imperturbable appraisement.

“No,” he said judicially. “You can keep your watch, Thorold; I haven’t got the same lay as our friend Jake here, and that sort of thing is too hard to get rid of to make it worth while. I’ll take these, and that’s all.” He whipped the pile of letters and papers into his pocket. “You see, with a man of your profession, there is always the chance of there being something valuable amongst—”

Jimmie Dale never finished the sentence. With a sudden, low, tigerish cry, Thorold heaved the end of the table upward between himself and Jimmie Dale—and, quick as a cat, as Jimmie Dale staggered backward, leaped from behind it.

“Get him, Jake! Get him, Jake!” he cried. “He won’t dare to fire in here for the noise. Get him, you fool, he—”

But Jimmie Dale was the quicker of the two. A vicious left full on the point of Thorold’s jaw stopped the man’s rush—but only for the fraction of a second. Thorold, recovering instantly, flung his body forward, and his arms wrapped themselves around Jimmie Dale’s neck. And now, old Jake, screeching like a madman, was circling around them, snatching, clawing, striking at Jimmie Dale’s face and head.

Thorold was a powerful man; and at the first tight-locked grip, as they swayed together, trained athlete though he was himself, Jimmie Dale realised that he had met his match. Again and again, with all his strength he tried to throw the other from him. Around and around the room they staggered and lurched—and around and around them followed the wizened, twisted form of old Jake, like a hovering hawk, darting in at every opportunity for a blow, shrieking, yelling, cursing with infuriated abandon. And then from below, a greater peril still, came the opening and shutting of doors, voices calling—the tenement, at the racket, like a hive of hornets disturbed, was beginning to stir into life. If they caught him there! If they caught the Gray Seal there! It brought a desperate strength to Jimmie Dale. He had heard too often that slogan of the underworld—death to the Gray Seal!

He tore one of Thorold’s arms free from his neck—they were cheek to cheek—Thorold was snarling out a torrent of blasphemy with gasping breath—he wrenched himself free still—and then, their two hands outstretched and clasped together as though in some grim devil’s waltz, they reeled toward the bed at the far end of the room, and smashed into a chair. And, as they lost their balance, Jimmie Dale, gathering all his strength for the one supreme effort, hurled the other from him. There was a crash that shook the floor, as Thorold, hurtling backwards, struck his head with terrific force against the iron bedstead, and dropped like a log.

Jimmie Dale was on his feet again in an instant—but not before old Jake had run, yelling madly, from the room. A glance Jimmie Dale gave at Thorold, who lay limp and motionless, a crimson stream beginning to trickle over temple and cheek; then, with a bound, he reached the gas-jet, and turned out the light.

Old Jake’s voice screamed from the hallway without:

“Help! The Gray Seal! The Gray Seal! Help! Help! Quick! The Gray Seal!”

The staircase creaked under the rush of feet; yells began to well up from below. Jimmie Dale darted into the outer room, and crouched down beside the doorway.

“Death to the Gray Seal!” The whole building, in a pandemonium of hellish glee, seemed to echo and reecho the shout.

Jimmie Dale was deadly calm now, as his fingers closed around his automatic—and, deadly cool, the keen, alert, active brain was at work. It was black about him, pitch black, there were no lights in the hallway—yes, a dull glimmer now—a door farther along had opened—but dark enough in here where he waited. There was a chance—with the odds heavily against him—but it was the only way.

They were on the landing outside now; and now, old Jake shouting excitedly amongst them, a dozen forms swept through the doorway, and scuffing, stamping, yelling, made for the inner room—and Jimmie Dale slipped out into the hall. His lips pressed tightly together. That had been as he had expected, but the danger still lay before him—in the three flights of stairs. Some one was coming up now, more than one, the stragglers—but there would be stragglers until the last occupant of the tenement was aroused. He dared not wait. In a minute more, in less than a minute, they would have lighted the gas again in there and found him gone.

He jumped for the head of the stairs—a dark form loomed up before him. Jimmie Dale launched himself full at the other. There was a cry of surprise, an oath, the man pitched sideways, and Jimmie Dale sprang by. A yell went up from the man behind him; it was echoed by a wild chorus from above, as of wolves robbed of their prey; it was re-echoed by shouts from the stairways and halls below—and with his left hand on the banisters to guide him, taking the stairs four and five at a time, Jimmie Dale went down—and now, aiming at the ground, his revolver spat and barked a vicious warning, cutting lurid flashes through the murk ahead of him.

Doors that were open along the hallways shut with a hurried bang; dark forms, like rats running for their holes, scuttled to safety; women screamed and shrieked; children whimpered. On Jimmie Dale ran. For the second time he crashed into a form, and won by. They were firing at him from above now—but by guesswork—firing down the stair well. The pound of feet racing down the stairs came from behind him—two flights behind him—he calculated he had that much start. He gained the entrance hallway where all was dark, leaped for the front door, opened it, pulled it shut with a violent slam—and, whirling instantly, running swiftly and silently back along the hall, he reached the rear door that he had left unfastened, darted out, and a moment later, swinging himself over a high, backyard fence, dropped down into the lane beyond. Whipping off his mask, he ran on like a hare until he approached the lane’s intersection with a cross street. And here, well back from the street, he paused to regain his breath and rearrange his dishevelled attire; then, edging forward, he peered cautiously up and down—and smiled grimly—and stepped out on the street. He was a good block away from the tenement.

From the direction of the Nest came sounds of disorder and riot. A patrolman’s whistle rang out shrilly. It had been as close a call perhaps as the Gray Seal had ever known—but, at that, the night’s work was not ended! There was still the actual thief. Thorold had said he was to meet the man in his, Thorold’s, office in half an hour to split their ill-gotten gains. Jimmie Dale’s jaw squared. The thief! His hand at his side clenched suddenly. Would it be only the thief, or would he have to reckon with Thorold again as well? Could Thorold keep the appointment? It was a question of how badly Thorold was hurt, and that he did not know.

Jimmie Dale walked on another block, still another, then turned so as to bring him into, but well up, the street on which the tenement was situated. From here, far down the ill-lighted street, he could see a mob gathered outside the Nest. And then, as he stood hesitant, there came the strident clang of a bell, the beat of hoofs, and he caught the name of the hospital on the side of an ambulance as it tore by—and, at that, he swung suddenly about, and, making his way across to Broadway, boarded an uptown car.

Twenty minutes later, he closed the door of a telephone booth in a saloon on lower Sixth Avenue behind him, and consulting the directory for the number, called the hospital.

“This is police headquarters speaking,” said Jimmie Dale coolly. “What’s the condition of that tenement case with the broken head?”

“Hold the wire a minute,” came the answer; and then, presently: “Not serious; but still unconscious.”

“Thank you,” said Jimmie Dale.

He hung up the receiver, and made his way out to the street. The coast was clear then, as far as Thorold was concerned. Jimmie Dale walked on halfway up the block, and turned into the lighted hallway of a small building whose second floor, above a millinery establishment, was rented out for offices. It was here that Thorold maintained what he called his “office.” Mounting the stairs and emerging upon a narrow corridor, that was lighted at one end by a single incandescent, Jimmie Dale halted before a door that bore the legend: HENRY THOROLD—AGENT. Jimmie Dale’s lips twisted into grim lines. Agent—of what? He glanced quickly up and down the corridor, slipped his little steel instrument into the lock, and opened the door.

He stepped inside, closing the door without re-locking it; and, using his flashlight now, moved forward, and entered a sort of inner office that was partitioned off from the rest of the room. There was a flat-topped desk here, a swivel chair, an armchair, a rather good drawing or two on the walls, and a soft yielding carpet underfoot. Thorold was far too clever to overdo anything—it was simply businesslike, with an air of modest success about it.

Jimmie Dale appropriated the swivel chair behind the desk. Half an hour from the time he had left the tenement! He should not have long to wait, for he had used up nearly, if not quite, all of that time already, and the thief would certainly have every incentive to be punctual. He laid his flashlight, turned on, upon the desk, and, taking his automatic from his pocket, examined it. There were still two cartridges remaining in the magazine. He slipped the weapon into the side pocket of his coat, and began to sort over the papers and letters he had taken from Thorold. He opened one—a letter—glanced at its contents—and nodded. It was the one to which the Tocsin had referred. He returned the others to his pocket, began to read the one in his hand and suddenly, leaning forward, snapped out his light. Was that a step coming up the stairs?

He listened now intently. Yes, it was coming nearer. He laid down the letter on the desk, and put on his mask. Still nearer came the step. It had halted now before the door. And now the hall door opened and closed. Jimmie Dale sat motionless, except that his hand crept to his coat pocket, and from his coat pocket to the desk again. The door closed softly—a man had entered the outer room—and certainly a man who was no stranger to the place, for he was moving unerringly in the darkness toward the partition door. The man was in the inner office now, passing the desk, so close that Jimmie Dale could have reached out and touched him. There was a soft, rubbing sound as the man’s hand felt along the wall for the electric light switch, a click, the room was suddenly flooded with light; and, with a low cry, blinking there in the glare, staring at Jimmie Dale’s masked face—stood Colonel Milford.

And then the old gentleman swayed, and caught at the back of the armchair for support—upon the desk lay the diamond pendant, glittering under the light.

“My God!” he whispered. “What does this mean?”

“It means, colonel,” said Jimmie Dale softly, “that Thorold couldn’t come, that old Jake found one of the diamonds cloudy and with a flaw, and that the deal fell through—and it means, colonel, that you will never be called upon to steal Mrs. Milford’s diamonds again; there is a letter here that—”

“The letter!” The old gentleman was staggering toward the desk. He reached out his hand for the letter, hesitated as though he were afraid that Jimmie Dale was only tantalising him, would never let him have it—and then with a little cry of wondrous gladness, he snatched it to him.

“I’d destroy that if I were you,” suggested Jimmie Dale quietly. “I don’t imagine that Thorold or old Jake will ever bother you again, but there are lots of ‘Thorolds’ in New York.” He motioned toward the pendant. “That is yours, too, colonel.”

The old gentleman was fingering the letter over and over, as though to assure himself that it was actually in his possession; and into his blue eyes, as they travelled back and forth from the pendant to Jimmie Dale, there crept a half wondering, half wistful light.

“I do not know why you have done this for me, or who you are, sir,” he said brokenly. “But at least I understand that in some strange way you have stepped in between me and—and those men. You—you know the story, then?”

“Only partially,” said Jimmie Dale with a smile, as he shook his head. “But you need not—”

“I would wish to thank you, sir.” The old Southerner was stately now in his emotion. “I can never do so adequately. You are at least entitled to my confidence.” His face grew a little whiter; he drew himself up as though to meet a blow. “My boy, my son, sir, stole a large sum of money from the bank where he was employed in New Orleans. He was not suspected; and indeed, as far as the bank is concerned, the matter remains a mystery to this day. Shortly afterwards the Spanish war broke out. My son was an officer in a local regiment. He obtained an appointment for the front.” The old gentleman paused; then he stood erect, head back, at salute, like the gallant old soldier that he was. “My son, sir, was a thief; but he redeemed himself, and he redeemed his name—he fell at the head of his company, leading his men.”

Jimmie Dale’s eyes had grown suddenly moist.

“I understand,” he said simply.

“He wrote this letter to me, making a full confession of his guilt; and gave it to me, telling me not to open it unless he should not come back.” The colonel’s voice broke; then, with an effort, steadied again. “It would have killed his mother, sir. It strained our resources most severely to pay back the money to the bank, and I lied to her, sir—I told her that our investments were proving unfortunate. Two years ago I completed the final payment without the bank ever having found out where the money came from; and then we moved up here to New York. You see, sir, it was a little difficult to maintain our former position in Louisiana, and amongst strangers less would be expected of us. And then, sir, shortly after that, I do not know how, this letter was stolen, and for two years Thorold has held it over my head, threatening to make it public if I refused his demands; I gave him all the money I could get. I have thought sometimes, sir, that I should put a revolver in my pocket and come down here and shoot him like a dog—but then, sir, the story, I was afraid, would come out. Yesterday he made a final demand for five thousand dollars. I did not have the money. He suggested Mrs. Milford’s pendant there. He promised to return the letter, and any sum above the five thousand that he could get for the diamonds. I knew he was lying about the money; but I believed he would return the letter, knowing that I now had nothing left. That is why I am here to-night.”

Again the old gentleman paused. It was very still in the room. Jimmie Dale had taken the thin metal case from his leather girdle and was fingering it abstractedly. And then the colonel spoke again:

“And so,” he said slowly, “I stole the pendant this afternoon, and pretended to-night that it was done at dinner-time, and—and pretended, too, to make the discovery of the theft myself. You see, sir, it was not only the old name that would be smirched—there was the boy to think of, and he had redeemed himself. And Mrs. Milford would have wanted me to do that, to take a thousand of her jewels, if she had had them, if she had known—but, you see, sir, she could not know without it breaking her heart—I think the dearest thing in life to her is the boy’s memory.”

Outside on Sixth Avenue an elevated train roared and thundered by—it seemed strangely extraneous and incongruous.

“And now, sir”—the old gentleman’s voice seemed tired, a little weary—“though you give me back the pendant, I do not see how I can return it to my wife. It was part of the agreement that I should notify the police—it made it impossible for me to inform against Thorold, for—for I was the thief.”

Jimmie Dale nodded. “I was thinking of that,” he said.

He opened the metal case; and, while the old gentleman watched in amazement and growing consternation, he lifted out a gray paper seal with his tweezers, moistened the adhesive side with the tip of his tongue, and pressed the seal firmly with his coat sleeve over the central cluster of the pendant.

The old gentleman tried twice to speak before a word would come.

“You! You—the Gray Seal!” he stammered at last. “But only to-night I was reading in the papers, and they said you were a murderer, an ogre of hell, and—”

“And now, possibly,” interrupted Jimmie Dale whimsically, “though circumstances will force you to keep your opinion to yourself, you may have an idea that, as between you and the papers, you are the better informed. Well, at least, the Gray Seal’s shoulders are broad! You need not worry about Thorold or old Jake; I took pains to make them aware that the Gray Seal—quite inadvertently, of course—had taken a passing fancy to the pendant. You have only to wrap it up, and send it by mail to yourself; and when it arrives”—he laughed softly, as he stood up—“notify the police again. Let them do the theorising—it is one of their cherished amusements! And, oh, by the way, colonel, have you any idea how much Thorold and his precious friend Kisnieff have blackmailed you out of in the last two years?”

“I did not have very much left when I came to New York,” said the colonel, in a stunned way, still staring at the gray paper seal. “Between four and five thousand dollars.”

“That’s too bad,” murmured Jimmie Dale. He took the banknotes from his pocket, and laid them on the desk. “I am afraid it is not quite all here—but I can assure you it is all they had.”

He held out his hand.

“But you’re not going! You’re not going that way!” cried the colonel, and his eyes filled suddenly. “How am I to repay you, how am I to—”

“Very easily,” smiled Jimmie Dale; “and, to use your own expression, very adequately—by remaining here, say, three minutes after I have left.” He caught the colonel’s hand in his and wrung it hard—and then, with a “Goodnight!” flung over his shoulder, Jimmie Dale was gone.

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