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Adrift in New York: Tom and Florence Braving the World, a novel by Horatio Alger

Chapter 26. Bolton Makes A Discovery

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_ Chapter XXVI. Bolton Makes A Discovery

"I see it all," Bolton said to himself, thoughtfully. "Curtis Waring is afraid of the boy--and of me. He's circumvented me neatly, and the game is his--so far my little plan is dished. I must find out for certain whether he's had anything to do with gettin' Dodger out of the way, and then, Tim Bolton, you must set your wits to work to spoil his little game."

Bolton succeeded in securing the services of a young man who had experience at tending bar, and about eight o'clock, after donning his best attire, he hailed a Fourth Avenue surface car and got aboard.

Getting out at the proper street, he made his way to Madison Avenue, and ascended the steps of John Linden's residence.

The door was opened by Jane, who eyed the visitor with no friendly glance.

"What do you want?" she asked, in a hostile tone.

"Is Mr. Waring at home?"

"I don't know."

"Is Miss Florence at home?"

"Do you know her?" she asked.

"Yes; I am a friend of hers."

Jane evidently thought that Florence must have made some queer friends.

"Have you seen her lately?" she asked eagerly.

"I saw her to-day."

"Is she well?"

"Yes; she is well, but she is in trouble."

"Is she---- Does she need any money?"

"No; it isn't that. The boy Dodger has disappeared, and she is afraid something has happened to him."

"Oh, I am so sorry! He was a good friend of Miss Florence."

"I see you know him. I am trying to help him and her."

"But you asked for Mr. Waring?" said Jane, suspiciously.

"So I did. Shall I tell you why?"

"I wish you would."

"I think he has something to do with gettin' Dodger out of the way, and I'm goin' to try to find out."

"He won't tell you."

"You don't understand. I shall make him think I am on his side. Was he at home last night?"

"He went away at dinner time, and he didn't come home till after twelve. I ought to know, for he forgot his latchkey, and I had to get up and let him in. I won't do it again. I'll let him stay out first."

"I see; he was with Dodger, no doubt. Did you say he was in?"

"No, sir; but he will be in directly. Won't you step into the library?"

"Shall I meet the old gentleman there?" asked Bolton, in a tone of hesitation.

"No. He goes up to his chamber directly after dinner."

"How is he?"

"I think he's failing."

"I hope there is no immediate danger," said Bolton, anxiously.

"No; but he's worrying about Miss Florence. It's my belief that if she were at home, he'd live a good while."

"Doesn't he ask for her?"

"Mr. Curtis tells him she'll come round soon if he'll only be firm. I don't see, for my part, why Mr. Linden wants her to marry such a disagreeable man. There's plenty better husbands she could get. Come in, sir, and I'll tell him as soon as he comes in. Shall you see Miss Florence soon?"

"I think so."

"Then tell her not to give up. Things will come right some time."

"I'll tell her."

Bolton was ushered into the library, where, amid the fashionable furniture he looked quite out of place. He did not feel so, however, for he drew a cigar out of his pocket and, lighting it nonchalantly, leaned back in a luxurious armchair and began to smoke.

"Curtis Waring is well fixed--that's a fact!" he soliloquized. "I suppose he is the master here, for the old man isn't likely to interfere. Still he will like it better when his uncle is out of the way."

He had to wait but fifteen minutes in solitude, for at the end of that time Curtis Waring appeared.

He paused on the threshold, and frowned when he saw who it was that awaited him.

"Jane told me that a gentleman was waiting to see me," he said.

"Well, she was right."

"And you, I suppose, are the gentleman?" said Curtis, in a sneering tone.

"Yes; I am the gentleman," remarked Bolton, coolly.

"I am not in the habit of receiving visits from gentlemen of your class. However, I suppose you have an object in calling."

"It shall go hard with me if I don't pay you for your sneers some day," thought Bolton; but he remained outwardly unruffled.

"Well," he answered, "I can't say that I have any particular business to see you about. I saw your cousin recently."

"Florence?" asked Curtis, eagerly.


"What did she say? Did you speak with her?"

"Yes. She doesn't seem any more willin' to marry you."

Curtis Waring frowned.

"She is a foolish girl," he said. "She doesn't know her own mind."

"She looks to me like a gal that knows her own mind particularly well."

"Pshaw! what can you know about it?"

"Then you really expect to marry her some time, Mr. Waring?"

"Certainly I do."

"And to inherit your uncle's fortune?"

"Of course. Why not?"

"I was thinkin' of the boy."

"The boy is dead----"

"What!" exclaimed Bolton, jumping to his feet in irresistible excitement.

"Don't be a fool. Wait till I finish my sentence. He is dead so far as his prospects are concerned. Who is there that can identify him with the lost child of John Linden?"

"I can."

"Yes; if any one would believe you. However, it is for your interest to keep silent."

"That is just what I want to know. I suppose you can make it for my interest."

"Yes, and will--after I get the property. I don't believe in counting my chickens before they are hatched."

"Of course you know that the boy has left me?" said Bolton.

"Yes," answered Curtis, indifferently. "He is with my cousin, I believe."

"Yes; and through her I can learn where he is, and get hold of him if I desire."

A cynical smile played over the face of Curtis Waring.

"Do you propose to get him back?" he asked, shrugging his shoulders.

"I am right," thought Bolton, shrewdly. "From his manner it is easy to see that Curtis is quite at ease as regards Dodger. He knows where he is!"

"You asked me what business I came about, Mr. Waring," he said, after a pause.


"Of course I am devoted to your interests, but is it quite fair to make me wait till you come into your fortune before allowing me anything?"

"I think so."

"You don't seem to consider that I can bring the boy here and make him known to your uncle as the son he lost so long ago?"

"You are quite sure you can bring the boy here?" asked Curtis.

"Why not? I have only to go to Florence and ask her to send the boy to me."

"You are quite at liberty to do so if you like, Tim Bolton," said Curtis, with a mocking smile. "I am glad, at any rate, that you have shown me what is in your mind. You are very sharp, but you are not quite so sharp as I am."

"I don't understand you."

"Then I will be more explicit. It's out of your power to make use of the boy against me, because----"


"Because he is not in the city."

"Where is he, then?"

"Where you are not likely to find him."

"If you have killed him----" Bolton began, but Curtis interrupted him.

"The boy is safe--I will tell you that much," he said; "but for reasons which you can guess, I think it better that he should be out of New York. When the proper time comes, and all is safe, he may come back, but not in time to help you in your cunning plans, Mr. Tim Bolton."

"Then, I suppose," said Bolton, assuming an air of mortification and discomfiture, "it is no use for me to remain here any longer."

"You are quite right. I wish you a pleasant journey home. Give my love to Florence when you see her."

"That man is a fiend!" soliloquized Bolton, as he walked back, leisurely, to his place of business. "Let me get hold of Dodger and I will foil him yet!" _

Read next: Chapter 27. Dodger Strikes Luck

Read previous: Chapter 25. Finding The Clew

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