"Sorry for you, sir," said one of the detectives, touching his hat to Mr. Botayne, "but can't help being glad we got a day ahead of you." "What amount of money will buy your prisoner?" demanded the unhappy father. "Beg pardon, sir very sorry, but we'd be compounding felony in that case, you know," replied one of the officers, gazing with genuine pity on the weeping girl.
He read the Bible incessantly, yet offended alike the pious saints and critical sinners by never preaching or exhorting. And out of everything Jim Hockson seemed to extract what it contained of the ideal and the beautiful; and when he saw Millicent Botayne, he straightway adored the first woman he had met who was alike beautiful, intelligent and refined.
"We'd be just as bad then in the eyes of the law as before. Reward, five thousand, bank lose twenty-five thousand thirty thousand, in odd figures, is least we could take. Even that wouldn't be reg'lar; but it would be a safe risk, seeing all the bank cares for's to get its money back." Mr. Botayne groaned.
But, on t'other hand, if they catch him, they'll come back here, an' who knows but what they'll want the old man an' girl as bad as they wanted Tarpaulin? A bird in the hand's worth two in the bush better keep near the ones I got, I reckon. Here they come now!" As Mr. Weasel concluded his dialogue with himself, Mr. Botayne and Millicent approached, in company with the colonel.
"Don't worry," whispered the colonel in Mr. Botayne's ear; "we'll clean out them two fellers, and let Tarpaulin loose again. Ev'ry feller come here for somethin' darn it!" with which sympathizing expression the colonel again retired. "I'll give you as much as the bank offers," said Mr. Botayne. "Very sorry, sir; but can't," replied the detective.
Hope you can buy him clear when you get home, sir?" "I've sacrificed everything to get here I can never clear him," sighed Mr Botayne. "I can!" exclaimed a clear, manly voice. Millicent raised her eyes, and for the first time saw Jim Hockson. She gave him a look in which astonishment, gratitude and fear strove for the mastery, and he gave her a straightforward, honest, respectful look in return.
Jim thought he would read some of these same papers, and unrolled Tarpaulin's blankets to find them, when out fell a picture-case, opening as it fell. Jim was about to close it again, when he suddenly started, and exclaimed: "Millicent Botayne!" He held it under the light, and examined it closely.