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   Chapter 2 HANDS UP!

Frank Merriwell's Bravery By Burt L. Standish Characters: 6947

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:02


"Aw! Thay, weally, this ith verwy impudent, don't yer know!" drawled a languid voice. "What wight have you to cwout yourthelf into a theat bethide a gentleman, thir?"

"I don'd seen der shentleman anyvere," replied a nasal voice, a voice that had the genuine Jewish sound.

"Thir! Do you mean to thay I am no gentleman, thir?"

"Vell, I don'd mean to say nodding aboud id. I don'd vant to hurd your veelings."

"You insulting w'etch!"

"Don'd get excided, mein friendt."

"Will you leave thith theat, thir?"

"Cerdinly I vill-ven I leaf der drain."

"I thall call the conductor!"

"Don'd vaste your preath-peckon to him."

"Thir, I would have you understand that my name ith Cholly Gwayson De Smythe."

"Vell, I vos bleased to meed you. Anypody vould be pleased shust to dake a look ad you."

"Thir!"

"My name vas Solomon Rosenbum, vid the accent on der bum. Shake handts vid yourself."

By this time everybody in the car was staring at the Jew and the dudish fellow beside whom Solomon had taken a seat. The latter was a youth of uncertain age, with an insipid mustache, a sallow face, and spectacles of colored glass, which seemed to indicate that he had weak eyes. He was dressed, as far as possible, in imitation of an English tourist.

The Jew, who had given his name as "Solomon Rosenbum, vid der accent on der bum," was a rather disreputable-looking man of about thirty, having the appearance of the Jew peddler, and carrying a pack, which he had stuffed down between his knees and the back of the next seat, thus completely fencing in Cholly De Smythe.

"Will you wemove yourthelf fwom this theat?" squawked the dude, in a flutter.

"Say, mein friendt, you vas nervous. Now, I dell you vat you do vor dat. Shust dake a pottle of Snyde's Shain-Lighdning Nearf Regulardor. Id vill simbly gost you von tollar a pottle, dree bottles vor dwo tollars. I haf shust dree pottles left. Vill you dake 'em?"

Solomon began to untie his pack.

"Stop it!" squealed Cholly, in terror. "I don't want your nawsty stuff, don't yer know!"

"Berhaps I know petter dan vat you do. I haf studied to pe a horse toctor, und I make a sbecialty uf shack-asses."

"You wude thing!"

The other passengers in the car were enjoying all this, and the laughter that had begun with the first passage between the two now threatened to swell to a tumult.

"Uf one pottle don'd gure you, der dree pottles vill-or kill you, und nopody vill mindt dot."

"Go'way!"

"Vill you half der dree pottles?"

"No, thir!"

"Veil, dake von uf dem ad sefenty-fife cends."

"Get out!"

"I alvays haf von brice vor all uf mine goots, und I nefer make a bractice uf dakin' off a cend; but I see dat you vas on der verge uf nerfus brosdration, und I vant to safe your life, so I vill sell you von pottle vor a hellufer-tollar."

"I don't want it-I won't take the nawsty stuff!"

"Dat vas too sheap at hellufer-tollar, but in your gase I vill make an eggsception, und you may haf von pottle vor a qvarter. Dake id qvick, before I shange my mindt."

"Help! Take the w'etch away!"

"Moses in der pulrushes! Vat you vant? Vas you dryin' to ruin me? Dot medicine gost me ninedy-dree cends a pottle, und I don'd ged a cend discoundt uf I puy dwo pottles. Dake a pottle ad dwenty cends, und I vill go indo pankrupcy."

"Conductaw! Conductaw!" squawked Cholly.

"What is all this noise about?" demanded the conductor, as he came hastily down the aisle and

stood scowling at Cholly.

He had overheard all that passed, and he was enjoying it as much as any of the passengers.

"Conductaw," said the dude, with great dignity, "I wish you to instantly wemove this verwy insolent cwecher. He cwoded in thith theat without awsking leave."

"Have you paid for a whole seat?"

"I have paid one fare, thir, and --"

"So has this gentleman. He is entitled to half of this seat, if he chooses to sit here. Don't bother me again."

The conductor walked away, and Cholly looked at Solomon, faintly gasping:

"Thith gentleman! Gweat Scott!"

Then he seemed to collapse.

Solomon grinned, and lifted his hat to the conductor. Then he turned to Cholly.

"Vill you half a pottle uf der Nearf Regulador ad dwendy cends?"

"Let me out!" gurgled the dude. "I will not stay heaw and be inthulted!"

"Set down," advised the Jew. "You ain'd bought a pottle uf medicine, und I can'd boder to mofe vor you."

Cholly fell back into his seat, giving up the struggle. He turned his head away, and looked out of the window, while Solomon talked to him for ten minutes, without seeming to draw a breath. Cholly, however, could not be induced to purchase a single bottle of the "Nearf Regulador."

All through this, Mr. Walker had not seemed to remove his keen eyes from the face of the boy at his side. The lad apparently enjoyed the affair between the Jew and the dude as much as any one in the car, laughing merrily, and seeming quite at ease.

Somehow, Walker did not seem to be pleased at all. He appeared like a man with a very little sense of humor, or he had so much of grave importance on his mind that he did not observe what was going on behind him.

When Cholly De Smythe had collapsed, and the Jew had ceased to talk, the boy squared about in his seat, and seemed to settle to take things in the most comfortable manner possible. He pulled his hat over his forehead, and continued his perusal of the newspaper.

This did not satisfy his seat mate.

"You seem to be very interested in that paper," said Walker.

"I am," was the curt return, and the boy continued reading.

"You are not much of a talker."

"You are."

"H'm! Ha! I am; I am very sociable."

"So I observed."

"I have been wondering what we would do if a band of robbers was to hold up this train."

"I am sure I cannot tell what I would do. I scarcely think any person can tell what he would do in such a case till he meets the emergency."

"I presume you go armed?"

"In the West-yes."

Walker's thin nose seemed to resemble a wedge which he was driving deeper and deeper with each question.

"Would you mind permitting me to look at your revolver?"

"Yes."

The boy uttered that word, and remained silent, without offering to take the weapon out.

Walker coughed.

"H'm! Ha! I think you misunderstood me."

"I think not."

"I asked you if you would mind letting me look at your revolver."

"And I said I would mind."

"Oh!"

The Jew's voice sounded in Walker's ear.

"I haf a revolfer vat I vill sell you sheep. Id vas a recular taisy, selluf-cocker, und dirty-dwo caliber. Here id vas, meester. Id vas loated, so handle id vid care. Vat you gif vor dat peautiful revolfer, meester?"

Walker took the weapon, glanced into the cylinder, to see that it was actually loaded, and then suddenly thrust it against the head of Frank, crying, sharply:

"Hands up, Black Harry! You are my prisoner!"

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