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The Big-Town Round-Up by William MacLeod Raine

Suggested Bromfield in a bored voice


It

became apparent at once that Bromfield had called to go riding in the Park with Miss Whitford. That young woman came up to say good-bye to her new acquaintance.

"Will you be here when I get back?"

"Not if our friends outside give me a chance for a getaway," he told her.

Her bright, unflinching eyes looked into his. "You'll come again and let us know how you escaped," she invited.

"I'll ce'tainly do that, Miss Whitford."

"Then we'll look for you Thursday afternoon, say."

"I'll be here."

"If the police don't get you."

"They won't," he promised serenely.

"When you're quite ready, Bee," suggested Bromfield in a bored voice.

She nodded casually and walked out of the room like a young Diana, straight as a dart in her trim slenderness.

Clay slipped out of the house by the back way, cut across to the subway, and took a downtown train. He got out at Forty-Second Street and made his way back to the clothing establishment of I. Bernstein.

That gentleman was in his office in the rear of the store. Lindsay walked back to it, opened and closed the door, locked it, and put the

key in his pocket.

The owner of the place rose in alarm from the stool where he was sitting. "What right do you got to lock that door?" he demanded.

"I don't want to be interrupted while I'm sellin' you this suit, Mr. Bernstein," the cowpuncher told him easily, and he proceeded to unwrap the damp package under his arm. "It's a pippin of a suit. The color won't run or fade, and it's absolutely unshrinkable. You won't often get a chance at a suit like this. Notice the style, the cut, the quality of the goods. And it's only goin' to cost you fifty-five dollars."

The clothing man looked at the misshapen thing with eyes that bulged. "Where is it you been with this suit--in the East River, my friendt?" he wanted to know.

"I took a walk along Riverside Drive. That's all. I got a strong guarantee with this suit when I bought it. I'm goin' to give you the same one I got. It won't shrink or fade and it will wear to beat a 'Pache pup. Oh, you won't make any mistake buyin' this suit."

"You take from me an advice. Unlock that door and get out."

"I can give you better advice than that. Buy this suit right away. You'll find it's a bargain."

The steady eyes of the Westerner daunted the merchant, but he did not intend to give up fifty-five dollars without a murmur.

"If you don't right avay soon open that door I call the police. Then you go to jail, ain't it?"

"How's yore heart, Mr. Bernstein?" asked Clay tenderly.

"What?"

"I'm askin' about yore heart. I don't know as you're hardly strong enough to stand what I'll do to you if you let a single yelp out of you. I kinda hate to hurry yore funeral," he added regretfully, still in his accustomed soft drawl.

The man beside the stool attempted one shout. Instantly Clay filled his mouth with a bunch of suit samples that had been lying on the desk. With one arm he held the struggling little man close to his body. With his foot and the other hand he broke in two a yardstick and fitted the two parts together.


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