MoboReader > Literature > Frank and Fearless; or, The Fortunes of Jasper Kent

   Chapter 24 THE SLEEPING POTION.

Frank and Fearless; or, The Fortunes of Jasper Kent By Jr. Horatio Alger Characters: 4458

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:02


Presently the old man already referred to appeared with the drinks. It Is hardly necessary to say that Jasper was alone in his choice of lemonade. The rest selected stronger liquors.

"Here's to you, Dick," said Jack, tossing off the contents of his glass, "and may you live to treat us many times more!"

"Amen to that!" said Bill.

"Haven't you got anything to say, youngster?" asked Dick, turning to Jasper.

"I wish you a pleasant journey," said Jasper, politely.

"As to that, it depends on my success with my sister."

"When do you leave?"

"To-night, if I can."

"What's all that about, Dick? Are you going to leave us?" asked Bill.

"I'm goin' East for the benefit of my health and my purse," said Dick, with a grin. "Do you wish me success, mates?"

"To be sure. Is it anything we can help you in?"

"No, no. It's my private venture."

"Anything in my line?"

"No; it's a strictly virtuous and honest undertaking. I don't mind giving you a hint of it. I've got a near relative that's come into a fortune. Now I think I ought to come in for a share."

"To be sure!"

"Have another game of euchre, Dick?"

"I don't know-I ought to be going," said the kidnapper, hesitating. "We'll make it poker, and the boy may take a hand."

"No," said Jasper, languidly. "I don't know how to play."

"We'll teach you."

"I don't care about it."

"You look sleepy, lad," said Dick.

"Yes, I feel so. It's strange. I didn't feel so when I came in."

"Oh, don't mind the boy's looks," said Jack. "Lay down on that settee, if you want to, boy."

Jasper felt so heavy and drowsy that he accepted the permission and stretched himself out, closing his eyes.

"Why am I so sleepy?" he thought, languidly. "I never was before, in the middle of the day, except when I was sick."

He listened at first to the conversation between the players, but gradually it sounded only like a confused hum, and at length he could not hear it at all.

He was fast asleep.

When this became clear through his heavy breathing, Dick turned to the younger man, and pointing to Jasper, asked:

"What have you been doing to him?"

"I put a sleeping potion into his drink," answered Jack.

"What for?"

"I

mean to keep him for a while, and that saves a fuss."

"What do you want to do with him?"

"Prevent him from doing mischief."

"There's no need. He can be trusted."

"You can trust him, for you'll be a long way off. He might blow on us any time."

Dick shrugged his shoulders.

"Oh, well, do as you please, but you're over careful. Don't hurt him."

"He'll be all right as long as he behaves himself. It's your deal."

The game was over at last, and Dick arose to go. Jasper was sleeping soundly, and was wholly unconscious of his departure.

"Give me a hand, Bill, and we'll take the boy up stairs," said the younger man.

"What's your plan, Jack?"

"To make him one of us. He'll come to it in time."

There was a windowless room on the second floor, in the centre of the house, wholly dark, except when lighted by gas. It was to this room that our hero was conveyed, and laid upon some bedding in the corner of the room. There was a slide in the partition to admit air, and with it a few faint rays of light. Jasper stirred a little while he was being moved, but the sleeping potion had too much potency to allow him to wake.

"There," said Jack, in a tone of satisfaction, "he's safe now."

"He'll make a fuss when he gets up."

"Let him. He can't get out."

As they went down stairs, Jack called aside Nathan Gibson, the old man who had charge of the house.

"Nathan," said he, "did you see the boy that was with us just now?"

"Yes."

"We've put him in the prison" (for this was the name by which the small dark room was known). "He's not to be let out."

"Good! I understand."

"You may take him some supper at five or six o'clock. Look in before that time to see if he's awake."

"All right!" said the old man, grinning. "What's your game?"

"It's your game as well as mine. The boy ought never to have come here. He may blow on us."

The mean-faced little man looked by turns frightened and fierce.

"I'd slit his throat if he did!" he said.

"No need of that. We'll make him join us."

"That would be the best way; but can you?"

"We can try. Don't forget what I told you."

Nathan nodded.

Still Jasper slept, little suspecting into what a trap he had walked.

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