Luke looked from Coleman to the clerk in some surprise. He saw from their looks that they were discussing some matter which concerned him. "You left some money in my charge yesterday, Mr. Larkin," said the clerk.
"Your friend here claims it. Am I to give it to him?"
Luke's eyes lighted up indignantly.
"What does this mean, Mr. Coleman?" he demanded, sternly.
"It means," answered Coleman, throwing off the mask, "that the money is mine, and that you have no right to it."
If Luke had not witnessed Coleman's search of his pockets during the night, he would have been very much astonished at this brazen statement. As it was, he had already come to the conclusion that his railroad acquaintance was a sharper.
"I will trouble you to prove your claim to it," said Luke, not at all disturbed by Coleman's impudent assertion.
"I gave it to you yesterday to place in the safe. I did not expect you would put it in in your own name," continued Coleman, with brazen hardihood.
"When did you hand it to me?" asked Luke, calmly.
"When we first went up into the room."
This change in his original charge Coleman made in consequence of learning the time of the deposit.
"This is an utter falsehood!" exclaimed Luke, indignantly.
"Take care, young fellow!" blustered Coleman. "Your reputation for honesty isn't of the best. I don't like to expose you, but a boy who has served a three months' term in the penitentiary had better be careful how he acts."
Luke's breath was quite taken away by this unexpected attack. The clerk began to eye him with suspicion, so confident was Coleman's tone.
"Mr. Lawrence," said Luke, for he had learned the clerk's name, "will you allow me a word in private?"
"I object to this," said Coleman, in a blustering tone. "Whatever you have to say you can say before me."
"Yes," answered the clerk, who did not like Coleman's bullying tone, "I will he