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Though Hogan was a scamp in the superlative degree, the burly ruffian who seated himself by his side looked the character much better. He was not a man to beat about the bush. As he expressed it, he wanted to come to business at once.
"What's your game, pard?" he demanded. "Out with it."
Hogan's plan, as the reader has already surmised, was to break into Joe's restaurant and seize whatever money he might be found to have on the premises. He recommended it earnestly, for two reasons. First, a share of the money would be welcome; and, secondly, he would be gratified to revenge himself upon the boy, whom he disliked because he had injured him.
Jack Rafferty listened in silence.
"I don't know about it," he said. "There's a risk."
"I don't see any risk. We two ought to be a match for a boy."
"Of course we are. If we wasn't I'd go hang myself up for a milksop. Are you sure there's no one else with him?"
"Not a soul."
"That's well, so far; but we might be seen from the outside."
"We can keep watch."
"Do you think the boy's got much money about him?"
"Yes; he's making money hand over fist. He's one of those mean chaps that never spend a cent, but lay it all by. Bah!"
So Hogan expressed his contempt for Joe's frugality.
"All the better for us. How much might there be now, do you think?"
"Five hundred dollars, likely."
"That's worth risking something for," said Jack thoughtfully.
"We'll share alike?" inquired Hogan anxiously.
"Depends on how much you help about gettin' the money," said Jack carelessly.
Hogan, who was not very courageous, did not dare push the matter though he would have liked a more definite assurance. However, he had another motive besides the love of money, and was glad to have the cooperation of Rafferty, though secretly afraid of his ruffianly accomplice.
It was agreed to wait till midnight. Till then both men threw themselves down and slept.
As the clock indicated midnight, Rafferty shook Hogan roughly.
The latter sat up and gazed, in terrified bewilderment, at Jack, who was leaning over him, forgetting for the moment the compact into which he had entered.
"What do you want?" he ejaculated.
"It's time we were about our business," growled Jack.
"It's struck twelve."
"All right!" responded Hogan, who began to feel nervous, now that the crisis was at hand.
"Don't sit rubbing your eyes, man, but get up."
"Haven't you got a drop of something to brace me up?" asked Hogan nervously.
"What are you scared of, pard?" asked Rafferty contemptuously.
"Nothing," answered Hogan, "but I feel dry."
"All right. A drop of something will warm us both up."
Jack went behind the counter, and, selecting a bottle of rot-gut whisky, poured out a stiff glassful apiece.
"Drink it, pard," he said.
Hogan did so, nothing loath.
"That's the right sort," he said, smacking his lips. "It's warming to the stomach."
So it was and a frequent indulgence in the vile liquid would probably have burned his stomach and unfitted it for service. But the momentary effect was stimulating, and inspired Hogan with a kind of Dutch courage, which raised him in the opinion of his burly confederate.
"Push ahead, pard," said he. "I'm on hand."
"That's the way to talk," said Rafferty approvingly. "If we're lucky, we'll be richer before morning."
Through the dark streets, unlighted and murky, the two confederates made their stealthy way, and in five minutes stood in front of Joe's restaurant.
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