Say, it was worth makin' a way train trip to Tullington, believe me! "I knew," says she. "Oh, I always have known John didn't do it! And now others will know. Oh, I'm glad, so glad!" Even brought a slight dew to them shifty eyes of J. Bayard's, that little scene did.
Then here the other mornin' I gets a long distance call. It's from Steele. "Eh?" says I. "Where the blazes are you?" "Tullington," says he. "Oh!" says I. "Still there, are you? Found Pedders?" "Ye-e-es," says he; "but I am completely at a loss to know what to do for him. I say, McCabe, couldn't you run up here? It's a curious situation, and I well, I need your advice badly.
"I sounded Norris on that point," says Steele; "but he'd never heard of Gordon's having been in Tullington, and was sure Pedders didn't know him." "Then you ain't had a talk with Pedders himself?" says I. "Why, no," says J. Bayard, shruggin' his shoulders scornful. "The poor devil! I didn't see what good it would do an ex-convict, and "
Before he was put away they tried to make him confess, or give 'em some hint as to what he'd done with the bonds. But there was nothin' doin' in that line. He just stood pat and took his medicine. Bein' a quiet prisoner, that gave no trouble and kept his cell tidy, he scaled it down a couple of years. Nobody looked for him to come back to Tullington after he got loose.
When Pedders showed up again all the old stories was hashed over, and the whole of Tullington held its breath watchin' for some sign that he's dug up his hank loot. But it didn't come. Pedders just camped down silent in his old home and let his whiskers grow. Twice a day he made reg'lar trips back and forth from the postoffice, lookin' at nobody, speakin' to nobody. Mrs.
So about three-fifteen that afternoon finds me pilin' off a branch accommodation at Tullington. Mr. Steele is waitin' on the platform to meet me, silk lid and all. "What about Pedders?" says I. "I want you to see him first," says J. Bayard. "On exhibition, is he?" says I. "In a town of this size," says he, "everyone is on exhibition continuously.
They all had it doped out that he'd salted away that hundred and fifty thousand somewhere, and would proceed to dig it up and enjoy it where he wa'n't known. But Pedders fooled 'em again. Straight back from the bars he come, back to Tullington and the little white story-and-a-half cottage on a side street, where Mrs. Pedders and Luella was waitin' for him.
"Who do you pluck this time?" "An enigma, so far as I am concerned," says he. "Listen: 'John Wesley Pedders, in 1894 cashier of the Merchants' Exchange Bank, at Tullington, Connecticut. Ever hear of such a person, Shorty!" "Not me," says I, "nor the place either." "Then it remains to be discovered first," says Steele, "whether for twenty years Pedders has stayed put or not.