Page:Betty Gordon in Washington.djvu/33

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Betty. And, say, what do you think I heard over in Trowbridge?"

"Don't talk so loud!" cautioned Betty. "What, Bob?"

"Why, the poorhouse farm is this side of the town," said Bob, munching a cracker with liveliest manifestations of appreciation. "Coming back to-night—that's what made me late—Jim Turner, who's poormaster now, called me in. Said he had something to tell me. It seems there was a queer old duffer spent one night there a while back—Jim thought it must have been a month ago. He has a secondhand bookshop in Washington, and he came to the poorhouse to look at some old books they have there—thought they might be valuable. They opened all the records to him, and Jim says he was quite interested when he came to my mother's name. Asked a lot of questions about her and wanted to see me. Jim said he was as queer as could be, and all they could get out of him was that maybe he could tell me something to interest me. He wouldn't give any of the poorhouse authorities an inkling of what he knew, and insisted that he'd have to see me first."

"Where is he?" demanded Betty energetically. "I hope you didn't come away without seeing him, Bob. What's his name? How does he look?"

"His name," said Bob slowly, "is Lockwood