Micky Maguire, as the reader will remember, was by no means satisfied with th_ompensation he received from Gilbert for his share in the plot which came s_ear proving disastrous to our friend Dick.
He felt that the book-keeper had acted meanly to him, and he meant to have hi_evenge if a good opportunity should ever offer. He was very much disappointe_o think he must do without the watch which he had set his heart upon. H_ould have felt no particular scruples against stealing it, but that would b_ather dangerous. He began to wish he had kept the pocket-book. Very probabl_t contained more than enough to buy the watch.
But, in spite of his disappointment, he had one satisfaction. He had avenge_imself upon Dick, whom he had long disliked. He knew nothing of Tim Ryan'_estimony, and supposed there was no doubt of Dick's conviction. He would lik_ery well to have been present at the trial; but he had unpleasan_ssociations connected with the court-room at the Tombs, having figured ther_n several occasions in an important but not very enviable capacity.
As he was standing by the park railings, his particular friend and admirer, Limpy Jim, came up.
"Mornin', Jim," said Micky. "What luck?"
"None at all," said Jim. "I haven't had a shine yet, and I'm precious hungry."
"Come and take breakfast with me," said Micky, in an unusual fit o_enerosity; for he was generally more willing to be treated than to treat.
"Have you got stamps enough?"
"Look at this," and Micky displayed the bill which he had received fro_ilbert.
"You're in luck, Micky. Did you make all that by shines?"
"Never mind how I made it. I guess it's good. Come along if you're hungry."
Limpy Jim followed Micky across Printing-House Square to a cheap restaurant o_assau Street, between Ann and Beekman Streets, and they were soon partakin_ith relish of a breakfast which, as they were not very fastidious, prove_bundantly satisfactory.
"I've got some news," said Micky, after he had drained his cup of coffee. "Yo_aven't forgot Ragged Dick, have ye?"
"He's set up for a gentleman. I saw him a week ago strutting round as if h_ived on Fifth Avenue."
"Well, he's set up for something else now."
"What?" asked Jim, amazed.
"He stole an old chap's pocket-book yesterday afternoon, and I seed _oliceman haulin' him off to the p'lice station."
"That's where he gets his good clo'es from?" suggested Jim.
"Most likely. I expect he's on his way to the Island by this time."
"Serve him right for puttin' on airs. He won't pretend to be so much bette_han the rest of us now."
"Wonder what Tom Wilkins'll say? He's a great friend of Dick's."
"He's a sneak," said Micky.
"That's so. I wanted to borrer a shillin' of him last week, and he wouldn'_end it to me."
This Tom Wilkins was a boot-black like the two who were expressing s_nfavorable an opinion of his character. He had a mother and two sister_artially dependent upon him for support, and faithfully carried home all hi_arnings. This accounts for his being unwilling to lend Limpy Jim, who had n_ne to look out for but himself, and never considered it necessary to repa_orrowed money. Tom had reason to feel friendly to Dick, for on severa_ccasions, one of which is mentioned in the first volume of this series, Dic_ad given him help in time of need. He was always ready to defend Dick, whe_eviled by Micky and his followers, and had once or twice been attacked i_onsequence. Limpy Jim was right in supposing that nothing would disturb To_ore than to hear that his friend had got into trouble.
Micky, who was in a generous mood, bought a couple of cheap cigars, of whic_e presented one to his satellite. These were lighted, and both boys, feelin_ore comfortable for the hearty meal of which they had partaken, swaggered ou_nto the street.
They re-entered the park, and began to look out for patrons.
"There's Tom Wilkins now," said Limpy Jim.
Tom was busily engaged in imparting a scientific shine to the boots of an ol_entleman who was sitting on one of the wooden seats to be found in th_eighborhood of the City Hall.
When he had completed his task, and risen from his knees, Limpy Jim advance_owards him, and said, with a sneer, "I've heard fine news about your frien_ick."
"What's that?" asked Tom.
"He's got nabbed by a 'copp.'"
"I don't believe it," said Tom, incredulously.
"Isn't it so, Micky?" said Jim, appealing to his friend.
"Yes, it's true. I seed him hauled off for pickin' an old fellow's pocket i_hatham Street."
"I don't believe it," repeated Tom; but he began to feel a little uneasy. "_aw him and spoke to him yesterday mornin'."
"What if you did? It didn't happen till afternoon."
"Dick wouldn't steal," said Tom, stoutly.
"He'll find it mighty hard work provin' that he didn't," said Micky. "Yo_on't see him for the next three months."
"Why won't I?"
"Because he'll be at the Island. Maybe you'll go there yourself."
"If I do, it'll be for the first time," retorted Tom; "and that's more tha_ither of you can say."
As this happened to be true, it was of course regarded as offensive.
"Shut up, Tom Wilkins!" said Micky, "if you don't want a lickin'."
"None of your impudence!" said Limpy Jim, emboldened by the presence an_upport of Micky, who was taller and stronger than Tom.
"I've only told the truth," said Tom, "and you can't deny it."
"Take that for your impudence!" said Micky, drawing off, and hitting Tom _taggering blow on the side of the head.
Limpy Jim was about to assist Micky, when there was a very unlooked-fo_nterruption. Micky Maguire was seized by the collar, and, turnin_ndignantly, found himself in the grip of a policeman.
"So you are fighting, are you, my fine fellow?" demanded the guardian of th_ublic peace.
"He insulted me," said Micky, doggedly, not attempting resistance, which h_new would be ineffectual. "Didn't he, Jim?"
But Jim had already disappeared. He had a prejudice, easily accounted for, against the metropolitan police, and had as little communication with them a_ossible.
"I don't know anything about that," said the policeman. "All I know is tha_ou're wanted."
"Just for hittin' him? I didn't hurt him any."
"He didn't hurt me much," said Tom, generously, not desiring to see Micky ge_nto trouble on his account.
"He says I didn't hurt him," urged Micky. "Can't you let me go?"
"That isn't what I want you for," said the policeman.
Micky was astonished. The real cause of his arrest never once occurred to him, and he could not understand why he was "wanted."
"What is it, then?" he asked in some surprise. "What 'ave I been doin'?"
"Perhaps you don't remember relieving an old gentleman of his pocket-boo_esterday in Chatham Street."
"Who was it then?"
"Ragged Dick,—the feller that was took at the time. I seed him pick the man'_ocket."
"It seems that you remember something about it."
"But it was Dick that did it. If he says I did it, he lies."
"I've nothing to do with that. You must tell your story to the judge."
"Has he let Dick go?"
Micky received this intelligence with dismay. Somehow it had got out that h_as the real thief, and he began to think that his chance of getting off wa_mall. Just then, while in custody of the policeman, he saw advancing toward_im the man who had inveigled him into the plot,—Gilbert, the book-keeper. Hi_nger against Gilbert overcame his prudence, and he said, "Well, if I did tak_he pocket-book, I was paid for doin' it, and that was the man that hired me."
With some surprise, the policeman listened to this story.
"If you don't believe me, just wait till I speak to him."
"Mr. Gilbert!" called Micky.
Gilbert, who had not till now noticed his confederate, looked up, and, rapidl_nderstanding what had happened, determined upon his course.
"Who speaks to me?" he said, quietly.
"You've got me into trouble, Mr. Gilbert," said Micky, "and I want you to ge_e out of it."
"What does he mean?" asked Gilbert, coolly, addressing the policeman.
"You hired me to steal a man's pocket-book, and I'm took up for it," sai_icky. "I want you to help me, or I'll be sent to the Island."
"The boy must be crazy," said Gilbert, shrugging his shoulders.
"You give me a dollar to do it," said Micky, very much incensed at th_esertion of his confederate.
"Do you know the boy?" asked the policeman respectfully, for he put no fait_n Micky's statement.
"He blacked my boots once," said Gilbert. "That's all I know about him. Wha_s he arrested for?"
"For picking pockets. There was another boy arrested on suspicion, but i_ppeared on trial that he was innocent, and that this boy really took th_allet."
"He looks like a young scamp," said Gilbert, coolly. "I'm much obliged to hi_or introducing my name into the matter. I hope he'll get his desserts."
This was too much for Micky's patience. He assailed Gilbert with such a showe_f oaths that the policeman tightened his grip, and shook him vigorously.
Gilbert shrugged his shoulders, and walked off with apparent unconcern.
"Wait till I get free," said Micky, furiously. "I'll fix him."
In regard to Micky, I have only to say further at this time, that he was a_nce conveyed to the Tombs, summarily tried and convicted, and spent the sam_ight on Blackwell's Island, where we leave him for three months.