The policeman ~ above the beat relocated up the avenue impressively. The impressiveness to be habitual and also not for show, for spectators to be few. The time was barely 10 o"clock at night, yet chilly gusts the wind v a taste the 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 also artful movements, turning now and then to cast his watchful eye adown the pacific thoroughfare, the officer, v his stalwart kind and slight swagger, do a fine picture of a guardian of the peace. The vicinity to be one that kept at an early stage hours. Now and then you can see the lamp of a cigar save or of an all-night having lunch counter; yet the majority of the doors belonged to organization places that had long since been closed.
When around midway of a specific block the policeman suddenly slowed his walk. In the doorway that a darkened hardware keep a man leaned, through an unlighted cigar in his mouth. Together the policeman walked up to him the man spoke increase quickly.
"It"s all right, officer," the said, reassuringly. "I"m just waiting because that a friend. It"s an appointment made two decades ago. Sounds a tiny funny come you, doesn"t it? Well, I"ll describe if you"d favor to make specific it"s all straight. About that long earlier there supplied to it is in a restaurant where this keep 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 verified a pale, square-jawed face with to crawl eyes, and also a little white scar near his best eyebrow. His scarfpin was a big diamond, strange set.
"Twenty years earlier to-night," stated the man, "I dined right here at "Big Joe" Brady"s with Jimmy Wells, my ideal chum, and the best chap in the world. He and also I were raised below in new York, just like two brothers, together. I was eighteen and also Jimmy to be twenty. The following morning i was to begin for the West to make my fortune. Friend couldn"t have dragged Jimmy the end of new York; he assumed it was the only place on earth. Well, we agreed the 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 from what street we might have come come. We figured that in 20 years each of united state ought to have actually our destiny resolved and our fortunes made, whatever they were going come be."
"It sound pretty interesting," stated the policeman. "Rather a lengthy time in between meets, though, it appears to me. Haven"t girlfriend heard from her friend due to the fact that you left?"
"Well, yes, for a time us corresponded," said the other. "But after ~ a year or 2 we shed track of every other. Girlfriend see, the West is a pretty huge proposition, and also I kept hustling about over the pretty lively. But I understand Jimmy will satisfy me below if he"s alive, because that he always was the truest, stanchest old chap in the world. He"ll never ever forget. I come a thousand mile to stand in this door to-night, and it"s precious it if mine old companion turns up."
The waiting male pulled the end a handsome watch, the covering of it set with little diamonds.
"Three minute to ten," the announced. "It was precisely ten o"clock as soon as we parted below at the restaurant door."
"Did pretty well the end West, didn"t you?" request the policeman.
"You bet! i hope Jimmy has done fifty percent as well. He to be a type of plodder, though, great fellow as he was. I"ve had actually to contend with some of the sharpest wits walking to get my pile. A man gets in a groove in new York. It takes the West to put a razor-edge on him."
The policeman twirled his club and also took a action or two.
"I"ll it is in on mine way. Hope your friend comes roughly all right. Going to call time on the sharp?"
"I must say not!" claimed the other. "I"ll offer him half an hour in ~ least. If Jimmy is lively on planet he"ll be right here by the time. So long, officer."
"Good-night, sir," claimed the policeman, happen on follow me his beat, do the efforts doors as he went.
There was now a fine, cold drizzle falling, and the wind had actually risen indigenous its uncertain puffs right into a steady blow. The couple of foot passengers astir in that 4 minutes 1 hurried dismally and silently along with coat collars turned high and pocketed hands. And in the door the the hardware save the guy who had come a thousand miles to fill an appointment, uncertain nearly to absurdity, with the friend of his youth, exhilaration his cigar and waited.
About twenty minute he waited, and also then a tall man in a long overcoat, with collar turned approximately his ears, hurried throughout from the opposite next of the street. That went directly to the waiting man.
"Is that you, Bob?" the asked, doubtfully.
"Is that you, Jimmy Wells?" cry the male in the door.
"Bless my heart!" exclaimed the brand-new arrival, grasping both the other"s hands through his own. "It"s Bob, sure as fate. I was certain I"d uncover you here if you were still in existence. Well, well, well! --twenty year is a long time. The old gone, Bob; i wish it had lasted, for this reason we can have had another dinner there. How has the West cure you, old man?"
"Bully; the has offered me everything I asked the for. You"ve adjusted lots, Jimmy. I never thought you were so high by two or three inches."
"Oh, I prospered a bit after ns was twenty."
"Doing fine in new York, Jimmy?"
"Moderately. I have actually a place in among the city departments. Come on, Bob; we"ll go roughly to a ar I recognize of, and also have a an excellent long talk about old times."
The two guys started up the street, eight in arm. The man from the West, his egotism enlarged through success, was start to synopsis the history of his career. The other, submerged in his overcoat, listened through interest.
At the edge stood a drug store, brilliant with electrical lights. When they came right into this glare each of lock turned concurrently to rigid upon the other"s face.
The man from the West quit suddenly and released his arm.
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"You"re no Jimmy Wells," that snapped. "Twenty years is a long time, but not long sufficient to adjust a man"s nose from a roman to a pug."
"It sometimes alters a an excellent man into a poor one, claimed the high man. "You"ve to be under arrest for ten minutes, "Silky" Bob. Chicago think you may have dropped end our means and wires united state she desires to have a chat through you. Going quietly, are you? That"s sensible. Now, prior to we walk on to the terminal here"s a note I was asked come hand you. You may read it right here at the window. It"s native Patrolman Wells."
The male from the West unfolded the small piece of paper handed him. His hand to be steady once he began to read, but it trembled a little by the moment he had actually finished. The note was quite short.