Trick for Trick
by Radnor M. Coote
How the new recruit to the detective force got in bad on his first
THE gray-haired inspector of police looked at the young recruit to
the force with all the intensity that long experience had given him.
“I hope that you realize the importance of the assignment I have just
given you,” he said.
“I certainly do, sir,” replied Jordan, with a fearless look.
“Then take a few clothes,” continued the inspector, “And follow the
only clue we are able to give you. Go to the city which I have told you
about; investigate all the financiers, and see if by any chance the
bonds which were stolen from the bank in the city have been negotiated.
They may have been hidden somewhere; nobody knows anything about them,
except that probably the thief is the cleverest we have known in a good
The young man, with a tact far beyond his years, said nothing, but
left the office, followed by a satisfied look from the inspector.
“He'll do,” said the latter to himself. “No swelled head about that
But within the breast of the young detective were far different
“If I can only find the man who stole those bonds,” he thought,
“there will be no stopping me until I reach the front rank of the
He had been assigned to the case so late in the morning that he
appreciated the necessity of haste, and it took him but a very few
minutes to reach his apartment, gather together a few necessary
articles of wearing apparel, and take the car for the station.
Once there, he threw down his suitcase, bought his ticket for the one
city where there seemed to be any possibility of finding the thief,
grabbed his bag once more, and boarded the train just as it was moving
out of the shed. “At least I have been expeditious so far,” he told
The young man had traveled very little, and so had never realized how
companionable were the occupants of smoking-cars-especially three young
men, sitting near him, who seemed to be anxious to discuss the coming
election and the results to the working men of the country.
With the realization that he carried in his mind the most important
financial secret which had stirred up the stock market during the past
ten years, Jordan remained very quiet, only responding to the questions
which it would have been rude for him to refuse to answer.
At length, having reached his destination.
Jordan said good night to his traveling friends, and, picking up his
suit-case, prepared to leave the train.
“You getting off here?” said one of the three. “So are we. Where do
With a feeling that it would be unwise to give the slightest
information to any one, no matter how friendly, Jordan replied that he
had not yet made up his mind.
The young man's reply seemed to interest his companions, and they had
no sooner alighted from the train than Jordan felt a pair of strong
arms about his neck, and heard the remark:
“Come, give it up, kid; we've got you.”
Jordan's astonishment was about as real as that of the stray cur dog
when some stranger gives him a gentle pat instead of the kick he
“What are you talking about?” he demanded.
“Ah, say,” replied one of the three, “don't you suppose we know
you've got those bonds in that suit-case of yours?”
Jordan laughed, with his superior knowledge.
“You're certainly mistaken,” he said; and then, with a reticence
which would not be expected of him, he refrained from remarking that
he, and he alone, had been put on the very case they were talking
“It's easily proven,” continued the other. “Look in your bag.”
Again Jordan laughed.
“Certainly,” he replied.
Two of the three casually took hold of Jordan's arms, while the third
opened the suit-case. There, bold and blatant in their green strength,
were disclosed two hundred thousand dollars' worth of negotiable bonds.
This time it was the friendly trio who laughed, while Jordan stood
transfixed by the horror of the situation.
“The very bonds I have been sent to find,” he reflected: “found in my
And then his natural ingenuity, the quality which had secured for him
his present job, began to suggest possibilities to him. But a few
moments elapsed, during which the friendly trio were congratulating
themselves on their easy capture, before a plan of campaign had mapped
itself out in the mind of the young detective.
“I guess I was pretty easy,” he said aloud; “but, you see, I thought
I could get away with the stuff. Won't you kids divide, and let's all
have a good time?”
The righteous indignation expressed by each of the three detectives
was wonderful to behold.
The spokesman of the party drew himself up to his full height and
spoke to Jordan with all the dignity of a really great man.
“The inspector told us he had sent you on this case,” he said, “and
that he was a little afraid that if you should happen to catch the
thief the temptation to compromise with him would be too great for you
to withstand. For that reason he delegated us to follow you and see
that you kept straight. And what a mighty lucky thing it was that he
Jordan cast a casual glance about the station, as though seeking a
means of escape, when one of his new acquaintances turned and grabbed
him roughly by the arm.
“Here, none of that,” he said. “We've got you. kid, and we mean to
keep you safe.”
“All right,” again laughed the young man. “Only I thought I saw a pal
who may have some of the bonds. You don't know how many bonds were
lost, do you?”
He felt fairly confident in making this remark, as he knew that the
inspector had given him all the data the force possessed concerning the
There was a hasty consultation among the three friends, and then a
laughing remark that they did not care what Jordan did so long as they
had him safe; so, if he wanted to do anything to help them be more
successful than they had already been he might go ahead.
And it was then that Jordan came to a firm decision.
He knew that the bonds had not been in his suit-case when he
left his home. How had they come there? There was only one explanation,
and with that one thought in his mind he resolved to make fools of the
three men who now had such complete mastery of him.
“Say, kids, this thing has worried me to death,” he began. “For
humanity's sake find some hotel, and let me get a few minutes' sleep.
You know I can't get away.”
The suggestion was not unacceptable to the trio.
“Where shall we go?” inquired Brown, who had already done most of the
Jordan's eyes had not been idle while the others were standing apart,
considering his request.
“Oh, let's go to a little joint I know, if you aren't afraid that
I've got too many friends there.”
They scoffed at the idea; and Jordan, calling a cabman, spoke quietly
to him. The driver nodded assent, and the four climbed into the
four-seater, every one except Jordan displaying a large revolver, and
remarking that they were “on the job.” Jordan had long since given up
his pistol to his captors.
It was not a long drive they took; but, nevertheless, the friendly
trio made frequent investigations of the country, and finally informed
Jordan that they had decided to take the first train back to inform the
inspector of what had happened.
But the information thus imparted failed to reach his ears, for the
prisoner was found “dead to the world” in the bottom of the cab.
“What'll we do?” asked Brown.
“Stop at the first possible place and get him revived,” replied
another of the trio.
The result of a hurried interview with the cabby brought them to a
small hotel on the outskirts of the city, where new and sudden
developments awaited them. No sooner had the cab containing the four
detectives drawn up before the door of the little hostelry than Jordan,
suddenly regaining consciousness, darted in through the front door,
threw himself upon a small, dark man, who wilted under the attack, and
for the third time gave a long laugh.
“Oh, I figured it out, all right!” he cried. “I knew that I was not
in cahoots with the man who stole the bonds, and yet they were in the
suit-case I carried. But the joke of the whole thing is that when you
accused me I discovered that the case I carried was not mine. I must
have changed, and grabbed the wrong one at the station when I left
there. As we got off the train I saw a case exactly like mine, so all I
had to do was to keep my own in sight. This the cabby helped me to do
by following this man who carried it. We've got the bonds, but it
wasn't you boys who regained them.”
The small dark man shrugged his shoulders. “I thought I was very
clever to be so apparently careless with my valuable case,” he said.
To-day Jordan is the chief inspector of the force.