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|Ragged Dick||Horatio Alger|
|Page 4 of 4||
Approaching the boys, he said in an undertone to Dick, "Give me back that pocket-book, you young rascal!"
"Beg your pardon, mister," said Dick, "but was you addressin' me?"
"Yes, I was."
"'Cause you called me by the wrong name. I've knowed some rascals, but I aint the honor to belong to the family."
He looked significantly at the other as he spoke, which didn't improve the man's temper. Accustomed to swindle others, he did not fancy being practised upon in return.
"Give me back that pocket-book," he repeated in a threatening voice.
"Couldn't do it," said Dick, coolly. "I'm go'n' to restore it to the owner. The contents is so valooable that most likely the loss has made him sick, and he'll be likely to come down liberal to the honest finder."
"You gave me a bogus bill," said the man.
"It's what I use myself," said Dick.
"You've swindled me."
"I thought it was the other way."
"None of your nonsense," said the man angrily. "If you don't give up that pocket-book, I'll call a policeman."
"I wish you would," said Dick. "They'll know most likely whether it's Stewart or Astor that's lost the pocket-book, and I can get 'em to return it."
The "dropper," whose object it was to recover the pocket-book, in order to try the same game on a more satisfactory customer, was irritated by Dick's refusal, and above all by the coolness he displayed. He resolved to make one more attempt.
"Do you want to pass the night in the Tombs?" he asked.
"Thank you for your very obligin' proposal," said Dick; "but it aint convenient to-day. Any other time, when you'd like to have me come and stop with you, I'm agreeable; but my two youngest children is down with the measles, and I expect I'll have to set up all night to take care of 'em. Is the Tombs, in gineral, a pleasant place of residence?"
Dick asked this question with an air of so much earnestness that Frank could scarcely forbear laughing, though it is hardly necessary to say that the dropper was by no means so inclined.
"You'll know sometime," he said, scowling.
"I'll make you a fair offer" said Dick. "If I get more'n fifty dollars as a reward for my honesty, I'll divide with you. But I say, aint it most time to go back to your sick family in Boston?"
Finding that nothing was to be made out of Dick, the man strode away with a muttered curse.
"You were too smart for him, Dick," said Frank.
"Yes," said Dick, "I aint knocked round the city streets all my life for nothin'."
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