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The Dragon’s Eye
by [?]

It was with great pleasure that Mr. Gubb carried four hundred and ninety dollars to Mr. Medderbrook, and his intended father-in-law received him quite graciously.

“This is more like it, Gubb,” he said. “Keep the money coming right along and you’ll find I’m a good friend and a faithful one.”

“I aim so to do to the best of my ability,” said Mr. Gubb, delighted to find Mr. Medderbrook in a good humor. “I hope to get the eleven thousand two hundred and sixty dollars I owe you paid up–“

“Where do you get that?” asked Mr. Medderbrook. “You owe me twelve thousand dollars, Gubb.”

“It was eleven thousand seven hundred and fifty,” said Mr. Gubb, “and this here payment of four hundred and ninety–“

“Ah!” said Mr. Medderbrook, “but the Utterly Hopeless Gold-Mine has declared a dividend–“

“But,” ventured Mr. Gubb timidly, “I thought dividends was money that came to the owner of the stock.”

“Often so,” said Mr. Medderbrook. “I may say, not infrequently so. But in this case it was a compound ten per cent reversible dividend, cumulative and retroactive, payable to prior owners of the stock, on account of the second mortgage debenture lien. In such a case,” he explained, “unless the priority is waived by the party of the first part, you have to pay it to me.”

“Oh!” said Mr. Gubb.

“Luckily,” said Mr. Medderbrook, “I was able to prevail upon the registrar of the company to make the dividend only ten cumulative per cents instead of eleven retroactive geometrical per cents, or you would now owe me thirteen thousand dollars.”

“Well, I’m sure I’m much obliged to you,” said Mr. Gubb with sincere gratitude. “I appreciate your kindness of good-will most greatly.”

He stood for a minute or two uneasily, while Mr. Medderbrook frowned like a great financier burdened with cares.

“I don’t suppose,” said Mr. Gubb, when he had screwed up his courage, “you have had no telegraphic communications from Miss Syrilla?”

“Why, yes, I have,” said Mr. Medderbrook, taking a telegram from his pocket, “and it will only cost you one dollar to read it. I paid two dollars.”

Mr. Gubb was very glad to pay the small sum and he eagerly devoured the telegram, which read:–

Oh be joyful! Have given up all meat diet. Have given up beef, pork, lamb, mutton, veal, chicken, pigs’ feet, bacon, hash, corned beef, venison, bear steak, frogs’ legs, opossum, and fried snails. Weigh only nine hundred and forty pounds. Affectionate thoughts to little Gubby.

“I wish,” said Mr. Gubb wistfully, when he had read the message, “that Miss Syrilla could be here present this week in Riverbank whilst the Carnival is going on.”

“She would draw a big crowd at twenty-five cents admission,” said Mr. Medderbrook.

“I was thinking how pleasantly nice it would be for her to enjoy the festivities of the occasion,” said Mr. Gubb, but this was not quite true. What he wished was that she could be present to see him in the handsome disguise he had obtained for his work as Official Detective of the Carnival, and which he was now about to don.

This, the second day of the Third Riverbank Carnival, opened with a sun hot enough to frizzle bacon, and the ladies in charge of the lemonade, ice-cream and ice-cream cone booths were pleased, while the committee from Riverbank Lodge P.& G. M., No. 788, selling broiled frankfurters (known as “hot dogs”), groaned. It was no day for hot food. But it was grand Carnival weather.

The grounds opened at one-thirty and the amateur circus began at two-thirty, but Philo Gubb, the detective, was on the grounds in full regalia by ten o’clock in the morning. Through some awful error on the part of the Chicago costumer, Philo Gubb’s regalia had not arrived in time for the first day of the Carnival, so he had absented himself rather than let the crooks and thieves who were supposed to swarm the grounds have an opportunity to become acquainted with his appearance and thus be put on their guard against the famous Correspondence School detective.