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When Hogan left Joe's presence he was far from feeling as grateful as he ought for the kindness with which our hero had treated him. Instead of feeling thankful for the bountiful supper, he was angry because Joe had not permitted him to remain through the night. Had he obtained this favor, he would have resented the refusal to take him into partnership. There are some men who are always soliciting favors, and demanding them as a right, and Hogan was one of them.
Out in the street he paused a minute, undecided where to go. He had no money, as he had truly said, or he would have been tempted to go to a gambling-house, and risk it on a chance of making more.
"Curse that boy!" he muttered, as he sauntered along in the direction of Telegraph Hill. "Who'd have thought a green country clodhopper would have gone up as he has, while an experienced man of the world like me is out at the elbows and without a cent!"
The more Hogan thought of this, the more indignant he became.
He thrust both hands into his pantaloons pockets, and strode moodily on.
"I say it's a cursed shame!" he muttered. "I never did have any luck, that's a fact. Just see how luck comes to some. With only a dollar or two in his pocket, this Joe got trusted for a first-class passage out here, while I had to come in the steerage. Then, again, he meets some fool, who sets him up in business. Nobody ever offered to set me up in business!" continued Hogan, feeling aggrieved at Fortune for her partiality. "Nobody even offered to give me a start in life. I have to work hard, and that's all the good it does."
The fact was that Hogan had not done a whole day's work for years. But such men are very apt to deceive themselves and possibly he imagined himself a hard-working man.
"It's disgusting to see the airs that boy puts on," he continued to soliloquize. "It's nothing but luck. He can't help getting on, with everybody to help him. Why didn't he let me sleep in his place to-night? It wouldn't have cost him a cent."
Then Hogan drifted off into calculations of how much money Joe was making by his business. He knew the prices charged for meals and that they afforded a large margin of profit.
The more he thought of it, the more impressed he was with the extent of Joe's luck.
"The boy must be making his fortune," he said to himself. "Why, he can't help clearing from one to two hundred dollars a week—perhaps more. It's a money-making business, there's no doubt of it. Why couldn't he take me in as partner? That would set me on my legs again, and in time I'd be rich. I'd make him sell out, and get the whole thing after awhile."
So Hogan persuaded himself into the conviction that Joe ought to have accepted him as partner, though why this should be, since his only claim rested on his successful attempt to defraud him in New York, it would be difficult to conjecture.
Sauntering slowly along, Hogan had reached the corner of Pacific Street, then a dark and suspicious locality in the immediate neighborhood of a number of low public houses of bad reputation. The night was dark, for there was no moon.
Suddenly he felt himself seized in a tight grip, while a low, stern voice in his ear demanded:
"Your money, and be quick about it!"
Hogan was not a brave man, but this demand, in his impecunious condition, instead of terrifying him, struck his sense of humor as an exceedingly good joke.
"You've got the wrong man!" he chuckled.
"Stop your fooling, and hand over your money, quickly!" was the stern rejoinder.
"My dear friend," said Hogan, "if you can find any money about me, it's more than I can do myself."
"Are you on the square?" demanded the other suspiciously.
"Look at me, and see."
The highwayman took him at his word. Lighting a match, he surveyed his captive.
"You don't look wealthy, that's a fact," he admitted. "Where are you going?"
"I don't know. I haven't got any money, nor any place to sleep."
"Then you'd better be leaving this place, or another mistake may be made."
"Stop!" said Hogan, with a sudden thought. "Though I haven't any money, I can tell you where we can both find some."
"Do you mean it?"
"Come in here, then, and come to business."
He led Hogan into a low shanty on Pacific Street, and, bidding him be seated on a broken settee, waited for particulars.
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