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"You have just missed the afternoon express," went on Bart. "Yes, Lem Wacker said I would." "What has he got to do with it?" asked Bart. "Why, nothing, I gave him a lift down the road, and he told me that." The driver departed. Bart stood so long looking ruminatively at the trunk that Darry Haven finally nudged his arm. "Hi! come out of it," he called. "What's bothering you, Bart?"

Well, one day at the great fair of the races, my wife saw a large doll in some window of a shop, and said, 'That looks just like our Wacker! So we called him Wackerdoll, but after my wife died I called him Wacker again, because Wackerdoll put me in mind of my poor wife."

"I suppose I might worry it out of Wacker, when he gets his head clear," suggested Green. "I don't believe he would tell you the truth and he might suspect." "Suspect what?" demanded Green keenly. "Never mind, Mr. Green. Can I take a look into the room where they spent the evening?" "Certainly go right in."

He saw Lem Wacker shuffle into view, glance keenly around, fix his eye on Baker, and steal into the room and sit down directly behind that mysterious individual. Bart made a first-class auctioneer everybody said so after the sale was over, and the pleased grins and the good-natured attention of his audience assured the young novice of this as he concluded the introductory speech.

"Shut up!" ordered Lem Wacker recklessly, "you want something and don't know how to get it. I do and will." He snatched at Bart's tightly-buttoned coat and tore it loose, groped inside and drew out a package. "I've got it," he announced. "No! he ripped off the end of the parcel here's a haul." Bart writhed, choked on the loose strangling filaments of cotton, but could not utter a word.

He glanced after the receding train, fancying that Wacker might have got caught under the cars and was being dragged along with them. That roadbed was clear, however. Two hundred feet to the right was a second train. Its forward section was moving off, having just thrown some cars against others stationary on a siding. Bart ran towards these.

He seemed to have met his match in the young express agent, and dared not defy him. Bart found McCarthy, the night watchman, on guard outside, who told him that they had got Lem Wacker clear of the bumpers, had carried him into the express office, made up a rude litter, and had sent for a surgeon. The latter had just concluded his labors as Bart entered.

The young express agent left the Sharp Corner without saying anything further to Silas Green. He had his theory, and his plan. His theory was that Lem Wacker, with a perfect knowledge of the express office situation, had "fixed" the night watchman's lunch, and employed two accomplices to do the rest of the work.

Running things, eh?" "I am for the time being," retorted Bart, cheerfully. "Well," said Wacker, with an ugly sidelong look, "I don't take insolence from anyone with the big head. I reckon ten year's service with the B. & M. entitles a man to know his rights." "Very active service just now, Mr. Wacker?" insinuated Bart pleasantly.

"Then is there anything else I can do for you, or tell you? You seem troubled. They say I'm a crabbed, treacherous old fellow. All the same, I would do a good turn for Robert Stirling's son!" "Thank you," said Bart, feeling easier. "If you will, you might tell me who was with Lem Wacker last night." "Two men don't know them from Adam, never saw them before.