The policeman on the beat moved up the avenue impressively. The impressiveness was habitual and also not for show, for spectators to be few. The moment was proper 10 o"clock at night, but chilly gusts of wind v a taste that rain in them had well nigh depeopled the streets.
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Trying doors together he went, twirling his club with many intricate and artful movements, transforming now and also then to cast his watchful eye adown the pacific thoroughfare, the officer, v his stalwart kind and slim swagger, make a fine picture of a guardian of the peace. The vicinity to be one that kept early hours. Now and also then you might see the lights of a cigar store or of one all-night having lunch counter; but the majority of the doors belonged to business places that had long since been closed.
When around midway of a details block the policeman all of sudden slowed his walk. In the doorway of a darkened hardware keep a male leaned, with an unlighted cigar in his mouth. Together the policeman walked approximately him the guy spoke up quickly.
"It"s every right, officer," that said, reassuringly. "I"m simply waiting for a friend. It"s an meeting made 20 years ago. Sound a little funny to you, doesn"t it? Well, I"ll explain if you"d like to make details it"s all straight. Around that long ago there provided to it is in a restaurant whereby this save stands--"Big Joe" Brady"s restaurant."
"Until 5 years ago," stated the policeman. "It to be torn under then."
The male in the doorway struck a match and lit his cigar. The light confirmed a pale, square-jawed challenge with to crawl eyes, and a tiny white scar close to his right eyebrow. His scarfpin was a huge diamond, weird set.
"Twenty years back to-night," said the man, "I dined here at "Big Joe" Brady"s through Jimmy Wells, my finest chum, and the finest chap in the world. He and I were raised here in new York, similar to two brothers, together. Ns was eighteen and also Jimmy was twenty. The following morning ns was to start for the West to do my fortune. You couldn"t have actually dragged Jimmy out of new York; he believed it to be the only location on earth. Well, we agreed that night that us would accomplish here again exactly twenty years from that date and time, no issue what our problems might it is in or indigenous what distance we could have come come. Us figured the in 20 years each of united state ought to have actually our destiny worked out and our fortunes made, whatever they were going to be."
"It sound pretty interesting," claimed the policeman. "Rather a long time in between meets, though, it appears to me. Haven"t you heard from her friend due to the fact that you left?"
"Well, yes, because that a time us corresponded," said the other. "But ~ a year or two we shed track of each other. You see, the West is a pretty large proposition, and I retained hustling roughly over it pretty lively. Yet I know Jimmy will meet me here if he"s alive, for he always was the truest, stanchest old chap in the world. He"ll never ever forget. I came a thousand miles to was standing in this door to-night, and also it"s worth it if my old companion turns up."
The waiting male pulled out a handsome watch, the sheathe of it collection with little diamonds.
"Three minutes to ten," the announced. "It was specifically ten o"clock when we parted here at the restaurant door."
"Did nice well the end West, didn"t you?" asked the policeman.
"You bet! ns hope Jimmy has actually done fifty percent as well. He to be a sort of plodder, though, good fellow as he was. I"ve had to complete with some of the sharpest wits walking to acquire my pile. A man gets in a groove in new York. That takes the West to put a razor-edge top top him."
The policeman twirled his club and took a step or two.
"I"ll be on mine way. Hope her friend comes approximately all right. Walk to call time on the sharp?"
"I must say not!" stated the other. "I"ll offer him fifty percent an hour at least. If Jimmy is alive on planet he"ll be here by the time. So long, officer."
"Good-night, sir," said the policeman, happen on follow me his beat, do the efforts doors together he went.
There was currently a fine, cold drizzle falling, and the wind had actually risen native its unsure puffs right into a stable blow. The few foot passengers astir in that quarter hurried dismally and also silently together with coat collars turned high and pocketed hands. And in the door that the hardware store the guy who had actually come a thousand mile to to fill an appointment, uncertain almost to absurdity, with the friend of his youth, smoked his cigar and waited.
About twenty minutes he waited, and also then a tall male in a lengthy overcoat, v collar turned approximately his ears, hurried across from the opposite side of the street. The went straight to the wait man.
"Is the you, Bob?" the asked, doubtfully.
"Is the you, Jimmy Wells?" cried the man in the door.
"Bless my heart!" exclaimed the new arrival, grasping both the other"s hands v his own. "It"s Bob, sure as fate. Ns was certain I"d find you right here if you to be still in existence. Well, well, well! --twenty years is a long time. The old gone, Bob; i wish it had lasted, so we might have had another dinner there. How has actually the West treated you, old man?"
"Bully; the has provided me every little thing I asked it for. You"ve changed lots, Jimmy. I never thought you to be so tall by 2 or 3 inches."
"Oh, I thrived a little after i was twenty."
"Doing fine in brand-new York, Jimmy?"
"Moderately. I have actually a place in among the city departments. Come on, Bob; we"ll go around to a location I understand of, and have a an excellent long talk about old times."
The two males started increase the street, eight in arm. The male from the West, his egotism enlarged by success, was beginning to outline the background of his career. The other, submerged in his overcoat, listened v interest.
At the edge stood a medicine store, excellent with electric lights. When they came right into this glare every of them turned all at once to rigid upon the other"s face.
The guy from the West stopped suddenly and released his arm.
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"You"re no Jimmy Wells," that snapped. "Twenty years is a lengthy time, however not long sufficient to readjust a man"s nose from a roman inn to a pug."
"It sometimes changes a great man into a bad one, stated the high man. "You"ve been under arrest because that ten minutes, "Silky" Bob. Chicago think you may have actually dropped end our means and wires united state she wants to have a chat through you. Walk quietly, are you? That"s sensible. Now, prior to we walk on come the terminal here"s a keep in mind I was asked to hand you. You may read it below at the window. It"s from Patrolman Wells."
The man from the West unfolded the little piece of document handed him. His hand to be steady once he started to read, however it trembled a tiny by the moment he had finished. The keep in mind was quite short.