Page:Buttered Side Down.djvu/40

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"This ain't my notion of a joke," came the terse answer. "We're three hundred short."

The last vestige of Ted Terril's old-time radiance seemed to flicker and die, leaving him ashen and old.

"Short?" he repeated. Then, "My God!" in a strangely colorless voice—"My God!" He looked down at his fingers impersonally, as though they belonged to some one else. Then his hand clutched Jo Haley's arm with the grip of fear. "Jo! Jo! That's the thing that has haunted me day and night, till my nerves are raw. The fear of doing it again. Don't laugh at me, will you? I used to lie awake nights going over that cursed business of the bank—over and over—till the cold sweat would break out all over me. I used to figure it all out again, step by step, until—Jo, could a man steal and not know it? Could thinking of a thing like that drive a man crazy? Because if it could—if it could—then——"

"I don't know," said Jo Haley, "but it sounds darned fishy." He had a hand on Ted's shaking shoulder, and was looking into the white, drawn face. "I had great plans for you, Ted. But Minnie Wenzel's got it all down on slips of