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CHAPTER XXIX TEACHERS AND PUPILS
The excitement following Jean’s encounter brought up no end of surmises for the girls at school. Some said she made up the story, others declared she knew who took her purse, and check, while her friends, of course, were in deepest sympathy. For the shock really took the color from her cheeks, took all her courage, and it was difficult even for Mrs. Pangborn to interest her in anything.

Dorothy tried to show Jean that she bore her no ill feelings, and even brought some books to her room, when she was unable to attend class, but Jean would never make friends with Dorothy.

Then it became noised about that some one had seen Jean leave the post-office, had later seen her talking to the Shebad woman, and to this last fact was finally attributed, in some way, the robbery.

It was one week later, that Jake was at the general store, at Stone Bridge, when a man came216 in and asked the proprietor to cash a check for him.

Jake knew that checks were scarce among men of this type—for the man was none other than the husband of Madam Shebad—so he stepped close to the little office window, and watched while he listened.

“Fine day,” said Jake carelessly.

“Yep,” growled the other, turning his back directly on the Glenwood man.

“Been speculating?” persisted Jake.

“Old woman fell into luck,” replied the other sullenly.

Meanwhile the girl at the desk was scrutinizing the check which was made out to “Cash” so that any one could endorse it.

“You had better wait until Mr. Johnson comes in,” said the young bookkeeper cautiously. “He does not like to cash strange checks.”

“That check’s all right,” insisted the man uneasily. “Wish I had more like it.”

“Let’s see it?” asked Jake, as if to verify the man’s statement that it was all right.

“Oh, I guess I’ll wait,” said the man, folding up the blue slip, and preparing to leave the place.

Jake was disappointed. He wanted to see who had made out that check.

“Here’s Mr. Johnson now,” called the bookkeeper217 before the slouching figure had reached the door.

Jake stepped back and pretended to be in no way interested.

Mr. Johnson, the proprietor of the store, rubbed his glasses on the end of his coat, and took the check as it was offered. He scrutinized the signature.

“The—what’s that?” he asked. “The Marsall Investment Company? What in thunder is that?”

Then Jake almost jumped to the counter where the other man stood.

“Here!” he shouted. “That’s a stolen check! That was stolen from a girl at our school! Johnson, you’re a constable, arrest this man!” and Jake did not wait for anything as slow as the constable to make sure of the prisoner, but, with all his splendid, muscular power he grabbed him, and held him securely as any regular police officer might do.

By this time the other men, who were lounging about the store, realized that something interesting was happening, and they, too, “gave a hand.”

Binns, for that was the name by which the husband of the fortune teller was known, was too ugly to know how to help himself. He growled and squirmed and demanded his freedom, but shuffling of feet, and the use of strong words will218 never help a person in captivity to free himself, and the consequence was that he was taken off to the town lock-up, while Jake, claiming the check, actually took it from Mr. Johnson, and hurried back to Glenwood.

“I did it,” he explained to Mrs. Pangborn, when he had turned the paper over to her—“to save the girl from any of their nonsense about legal stuff. They’ll let the fellow off, but I’ll try to find out about the purse first. He’s got that, somewhere.”

Mrs. Pangborn knew of this man Binns, but had never heard of him attempting robbery before, and it now occurred to her that there was some mystery about the whole affair.

“How could he have known that there was a check in the letter he demanded of Jean?” she thought.

She thanked Jake heartily, but he only laughed, and said it was a pleasure to do anything for the “honor of Glenwood.”

“But,” he cautioned, “I would suggest that you say nothing to the young lady about it, just yet. Wait ’till we find out about that purse.”

Mrs. Pangborn willingly agreed, and, glancing at the check, she instantly thought of Dorothy’s story of the failure of the Marsall firm. How then could they be sending out checks? Why219 should Jean be profiting when Dorothy was evidently losing?

Mrs. Pangborn had already written a letter of sympathy to Major Dale, and expressed the hope that everything would come out well, finally.

In his reply, the Major stated his grave fears—fears that he would not have Dorothy know of. It seemed strange, indeed, that a purely business matter should so affect two of her pupils, but in her hand was the check stolen from Jean, made out by the company, and Dorothy’s fate, as to her very st............
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