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“And now, Peter, have you any idea what I came for?”

“To tell me this.”

“I am not fool enough to take all this trouble.”

“Then I don’t know.”

“I want money, Peter.”

Peter could not be said to change color, but he grew more ghastly than before, at this demand.

“I have nothing to give you,” he said.

“Tell that to the marines. You must give me another thousand dollars.”

“Another thousand dollars!” exclaimed the old man. “Where do you think I should get it? Did I not impoverish myself in satisfying[281] your last demand, and have I not been obliged to live on bread and water since?”

Randall shrugged his shoulders.

“I dare say you have lived on bread and 长沙桑拿洗浴休闲会所 water, but as to being obliged to, that is nonsense. I ask you again, to give me a thousand dollars. You will have thousands left.”

“I shall be a beggar,” said the old man, passionately.

“A beggar!” returned Randall, laughing scornfully.

“Yes,” said Peter, with energy. “You promised, when I gave you a thousand dollars,”—his voice faltered as he recalled the sacrifice,—”that you would ask no more. Now, you come back for another sum as large, and it is not yet a year. You shall not have it!” he exclaimed, passionately; “not if I had it fifty times over.”

“Bethink you what you are saying, old man,” said Randall, menacingly. “Do you know that I can go to Mrs. Codman and denounce you?”

“You will not,” said Peter, trembling.

“But I will, unless you comply with my demand. Now what do you say? Better be reasonable, and consent, before I compel you.”

[282]

“Never!” exclaimed 长沙桑拿网桑拿论坛 the miser, desperately.

“I will denounce you to the police. Shall I have the money?”

But Peter was no longer to be moved, even by his fears. His love of money overcame every other consideration, and again he exclaimed, “Never!” with all the energy of which he was capable.

“Is this your final answer?”

“It is.”

“Then I will help myself,” said Randall, coolly, leaving his chair, and beginning to lift up the trap-door, beneath which was the miser’s box of treasure.

As soon as Peter fairly

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comprehended his design, and saw the gold coins in the grasp of the purloiner, unable to restrain himself, he threw himself upon the mate with a cry as of a lioness deprived of her young, and grasped the strong man by the throat with fingers, which, though naturally weak, despair and rage made strong. At all events, it was not particularly 长沙桑拿SPA会所 comfortable, and provoked Randall, who seized the old man in his strong arms, and, with a muttered curse, hurled him to the floor, where he lay pale and senseless.