the glint upon the rims of the copper shells within the drum showed that it was fully loaded. He quickly restored it to his secret pocket, but not before it had been observed by a working man who had seated himself upon the adjoining bench.
Hullo, mate! said he. You seem heeled and ready.
The young man smiled with an air of embarrassment.
Yes, said he, we need them sometimes in the place I come from.
And where may that be?
Im last from Chicago.
A stranger in these parts?
You may find you need it here, said the workman.
Ah! is that so? The young man seemed interested.
Have you heard nothing of doings hereabouts?
Nothing out of the way.
Why, I thought the country was full of it. Youll hear quick enough. What made you come here?
I heard there was always work for a willing man.
Are you a member of the union?
Then youll get your job, I guess. Have you any friends?
Not yet; but I have the means of making them.
Hows that, then?
I am one of the Eminent Order of Freemen. Theres no town without a lodge, and where there is a lodge Ill find my friends.
The remark had a singular effect upon his companion. He glanced round suspiciously at the others in the car. The miners were still whispering among themselves. The two police officers were dozing. He came across, seated himself close to the young traveller, and held out his hand.
Put it there, he said.
A hand-grip passed between the two.
I see you speak the truth, said the workman. But its well to make certain. He raised his right hand to his right eyebrow. The traveller at once raised his left hand to his left eyebrow.
Dark nights are unpleasant, said the workman.
Yes, for strangers to travel, the other answered.
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