小说搜索     点击排行榜   最新入库
首页 » 儿童英文小说 » Tony The Tramp;Or Right is Might » CHAPTER IX THE FACE AT THE WINDOW
选择底色: 选择字号:【大】【中】【小】
CHAPTER IX THE FACE AT THE WINDOW
Tony was not only cook and housekeeper, but he was sick nurse as well. Nor were his duties easy. The main difficulty was about getting money to buy what was absolutely necessary. This was very irritating, especially since Tony knew about Ben’s hidden treasure.

One morning Tony went to Ben for money, saying:

“There isn’t a scrap of food in the house except a little tea.”

“You can make some tea. That will do,” said Ben.

It may do for you, but it won’t for me.”

“It costs a sight to support two people.”

“I don’t know about that. I’ve only spent two dollars in six days. You don’t call that much, do you?”

“Two dollars!” ejaculated the old man, terrified. “Oh, it’s too much. I am ruined!”

“Are you?” said Tony coolly. “Then all I can say is, you’re easily ruined. I want half a dollar.”

“I shan’t give it to you,” snarled Ben.

Do you mean to starve?”

“I won’t part with all I have. You are robbing me.”

“That won’t make much difference, as you’ll be dead in three days,” said Tony.

What?” almost shrieked Ben, in dismay. “Who told you so? The doctor?”

“No.”

“You ain’t goin’ to murder me, are you?”

“No; you are going to murder yourself.”

“What do you mean?” demanded Ben peevishly.

You’re not willing to buy anything to eat,” explained Tony, “and you can’t live above three days on nothing.”

“Is that all? What made you frighten me so?”

“I only told you the truth. Are you going to give me the money?”

“Perhaps you’ll tell me where I’m going to get so much money?” said Ben, in the same tone.

I will tell you if you want me to,” answered Tony.

Where?” asked Ben eagerly.

Under the floor,” returned Tony composedly.

What!” screamed Ben, in consternation.

“Just where I said. There’s plenty of money under that plank.”

“Who told you?” groaned the old man, livid with terror. “Have—have you taken any?”

“Not a dollar. It’s all there.”

“Have you been spying when I was asleep?”

“No, I haven’t. That ain’t my style.”

“How could you find out, then?”

“I’ll tell you. The first night I was here, you got up in your sleep and took up the board. Then you drew out two bags of gold pieces and counted them.”

“Oh, I’m ruined! I’m undone!” lamented Ben.

I don’t see how you are.”

“I shall be robbed. There’s only a little there—only a few dollars to bury me.”

“I guess you mean to have a tall funeral,” said Tony coolly. “There’s a thousand dollars there.”

“No, no, only fifty,” answered the old man.

There’s no use talking, I know better. If you don’t believe it, suppose I count the pieces.”

“No, no!”

“Just as you say. As it is, you’ve got plenty of money, and I know it, and if you ain’t willing to use some of it, I’ll go off and leave you alone.”

“Don’t go,” said Ben hastily. “You’re a good boy. You wouldn’t rob a poor old man, would you?”

“Nor a rich old man either, but I don’t mean to starve. So give me fifty cents and I’ll get some fresh bread and butter, and tea and sugar.”

“No matter about the butter. It costs too much.”

“I want butter myself. My constitution requires it,” said Tony. “You needn’t eat it if you don’t want to.”

Ben groaned again, but he produced the money required, and Tony soon returned from the grocery store with small supplies of the articles he had named.

“Now we’ll have some breakfast,” said Tony cheerfully. “Don’t you feel hungry?”

“A—a little,” acknowledged Ben reluctantly. “I wish I wasn’t. It costs so much to live.”

“I don’t think it costs you much,” said Tony. “This morning I’m going to give you a boiled egg.”

“I can’t afford it,” groaned the old man.

You may as well eat it, as it’s here.”

“How much did you pay?”

“Three cents for two.”

Ben groaned again, but when breakfast was ready he showed an unusually good appetite, and did not refrain from partaking of the egg, expensive as it was.

Dr. Compton came in the next morning, and pronounced the old man better and stronger.

Shall I be able to get up soon, doctor?” asked Ben.

In a day or two, I think.”

Ben heaved a sigh of relief.

I’m glad of it,” he said. “I can’t afford to be sick.”

“Has it cost you much?” asked the doctor, amused.

It costs a sight to live. He eats a good deal.”

“He’s a growing boy; but he’s worth all he costs you. You’d better ask him to stay with you a few weeks.”

“No, no; I can’t afford it,” said Ben hastily. “He’s a good boy; but he’s very hearty—very hearty.”

“Don’t vex him, doctor,” said our hero. “I’m tired of staying here. I want to get out on the road again.”

Ben looked relieved.

Right, boy,” he said—“you’re right. It’s a dull place. You’ll be better off to go.”

“You have been lucky to have him here during your sickness,” said the doctor. “Without his care, or that of some one else, you would probably have died.”

“But I won’t die now?” asked old Ben anxiously.

Not at present, I hope. But you must live better than you have been accustomed to do.”

“I shall be glad to get away,” said Tony hurriedly, to the doctor, outside of the house. “I’m used to tramping, and I can’t stand it much longer. There’s one thing I want to tell you before I go.”

“Go on, my boy.”

“I am afraid the old man will be robbed sometime.”

“Is there anything to steal?”

Tony, in a low tone, imparted to Dr. Compton the discovery he had made of the miser’s hoards.

I suspected as much,” said the doctor. “I will do what I can to induce Ben to have the gold moved to a place of safety, but I don’t feel confident of my ability to do it. Such men generally like to have their hoards within their own reach.”

Two nights later Tony awoke shortly after midnight. It was a bright, moonlight night, as on the first night he slept there. Again he saw Ben crouched on the floor, engaged in counting his hoards. The old man had recovered enough strength to get out of bed without assistance. This time, he was broad awake.

Tony was not the only witness of the spectacle. Casting his eyes toward the window, he was startled by seeing a dark, sinister face pressed against the pane, almost devouring the old man and his gold.

It was the face of Rudolph, the tramp!


欢迎访问英文小说网http://novel.tingroom.com

©英文小说网 2005-2010

有任何问题,请给我们留言,管理员邮箱:tinglishi@gmail.com  站长QQ :点击发送消息和我们联系56065533

鲁ICP备05031204号