22. The Moving Picture Again
 

The moving picture theater was fairly well filled, but the four managed to obtain seats close to the middle of the auditorium. They had entered while a slap-dash comedy was being depicted-- something that set the audience laughing heartily. Then followed a parlor drama, which was more notable for its exhibition of fashions than it was for plot or acting.

"This sort of thing makes me tired!" was Tom's comment. "I like to see outdoor life much better."

Another one-reel comedy of life on the canal followed the parlor drama, and then there was flashed on the screen the words: "His Last Chance."

"Here we are!" murmured Sam, and sat bolt upright with renewed interest, while Tom did likewise. The first scene of the drama showed the interior of a farmhouse sitting-room and kitchen, and the boys easily recognized several of the men they had seen at the river and the railroad station. There followed quite a plot and a number of other scenes around the farm, and also at a stone quarry which all of the lads recognized as being located at Dexter's Corners. Then came a pretty love scene at the farmhouse, followed by a quarrel between some of the men in an apple orchard.

"Say, that's Blinks' apple orchard, just as sure as fate!" exclaimed Dick, in a low voice.

"So it is!" answered Sam. "Many's the time we've got apples there!"

The quarrel in the apple orchard was followed by a fishing scene on the river not far from Humpback Falls, where Sam once upon a time had had such a strenuous adventure. Then of a sudden came the quarrel in the boat followed by the shooting.

"Say, that looks just as it did when we saw it taken!" exclaimed Sam, enthusiastically. "This moving picture business is a great thing, isn't it?"

"It isn't just as we saw it," chuckled Tom. "They didn't show how that fellow who went overboard came up again and swam ashore."

"Oh, that would spoil the plot of the play," answered his younger brother.

Other scenes in the drama were shown, one in a barnyard full of cows being especially realistic. Then came the scene inside the railroad station at Oak Run, and all of the boys and Dora laughed heartily when they saw the look of astonishment on old Ricks' face as he peered through his ticket window at the actor who had come in for a ticket.

"I'd give a dollar to have old Ricks here looking at himself," whispered Tom. "Wouldn't he be surprised?"

"Oh, look! look!" exclaimed Dora, in a low tone. "Sam and Tom, I do declare!"

The scene had shifted suddenly, as do all scenes in moving pictures. Now was shown the platform of the Oak Run railroad station. The train was coming in, and there were Sam and Tom as natural as life, dresssuit cases in hand, ready to get aboard. The train stopped and some passengers alighted, and Tom and Sam climbed the steps of the last car.

"And look! Tom is waving his hand to some one," went on Dick's wife. "Isn't it great!"

As the train began to move away, one of the leading actors in the drama was seen to rush across the platform and grasp the rail of the last car. As he was holding himself up, another of the persons in the drama rushed after the train, shaking his fist wildly; then the train, with Tom and Sam and the moving picture actor on the back platform, disappeared from view, and in a twinkling the scene shifted back to the farmhouse once more.

"Well, we're movies' actors sure enough!" was Tom's comment, after they had seen the last of the little drama and were out on Broadway once more. "What do you think of us, Dora?"

"Oh, it was fine, Tom!" she answered. "I'd like to see it again."

"Well, they advertise it for to-morrow, too," said her husband, "so you can go in the afternoon when we are at the offices."

"I'll certainly do it!"

"I shouldn't mind seeing this picture again myself," said Sam. "If they have it to-morrow night, let's come up, Tom."

"All right, I'm willing. I suppose they are showing the thing all over the country."

The next day proved a very busy one for the three Rover boys, and for the time being the moving picture was completely forgotten. About ten o'clock, Mr. Powell came to see them regarding an investment which Anderson Rover had made during the time that Pelter, Japson & Company were his brokers. This investment now called for a further outlay of a little over seven thousand dollars, and the boys had to find some means of raising that amount.

"Now you see if we had those bonds handy, it would be an easy matter to put some of them up as collateral with some of the banks; but, as it is, it is going to squeeze us," said Dick.

"And you have got to take care of that other matter of twelve thousand dollars the middle of next month; don't forget that," broke in the lawyer. And then he added: "Of course, if you want money to help you out----"

"Thank you very much, Mr. Powell, but I think I can manage it," returned Dick.

He and his brothers had talked their plans over carefully, and had reached the conclusion that they would not ask for outside assistance unless it became absolutely necessary. They wanted to show both their family and their friends that they could "stand on their own bottom," as Dick expressed it.

"You have no word in regard to the bonds?" questioned Mr. Powell, when he was ready to leave.

"Not a word. We hired that detective you recommended, but he said it was a difficult case to handle, and that we must not expect too much."

When the Rover boys returned late that afternoon to the Outlook Hotel, they found that Dora had gone out and had not yet returned. She had left a note on her table stating that she was going to look again at the moving picture in which Sam and Tom had taken part.

"Oh, yes, we mustn't forget to go there to-night, Sam!" cried Tom. "It's better than looking at yourself in the looking-glass, isn't it?" and he grinned.

Six o'clock came, and then half-past, and still Dora did not show herself. As the time went by, Dick began to get a little worried.

"That show ought to be out by this time," he said to his brothers. "Generally those moving picture places kind of run down between six and seven o'clock. If they are continuous they throw in some old stuff or a lot of advertising matter just to fill in the time."

"Well, maybe she stopped on the way to do some shopping," suggested Sam. "The stores must prove a great attraction to her."

"She told me yesterday that she was rather tired of shopping," answered the young husband. "You see, she went at it pretty strong at the start, so there isn't so very much left in the way of novelty. I think I'll go down and look for her;" and a minute later Dick left the apartment.

"It doesn't take much to worry him when it concerns Dora," remarked Tom, dryly.

"Well, it wouldn't take much to worry you if it concerned Nellie," retorted his younger brother.

"That's true, Sam; and the same would hold good with you if it were Grace." And then Tom dodged as Sam picked up a sofa pillow and threw, it at him.

The little French clock belonging to Dora was just chiming out the hour of seven when the two boys heard Dick and his wife coming through the hallway. They were talking earnestly, and evidently the young wife was quite excited.

"Oh, such an experience as I've had!" cried Dora, as she came in and sank down into an easy chair.

"Well now, try to calm yourself," said Dick, soothingly. "It's all over now."

"What was it about?" demanded Tom. "Did somebody hold you up, or try to steal your, purse?"

"Maybe an auto tried to run over you," suggested Sam.

"No, it was none of those things," answered the young wife. "I've just had the strangest experience!"

"She met that gardener you spoke about-- the fellow who lost his job at the seminary," explained Dick. "That chap named Andy Royce."

"Why, where did you meet him?" exclaimed Sam. "Did he know you?"

"Yes, he knew me quite well. When I was at Hope he used to do errands for me now and then and I tipped him quite liberally, so he remembered me," answered Dora.

"But I met him in the strangest way. He was at the subway station arguing with the ticket man, who insisted upon it that Royce had not put a ticket in the box. He wanted the gardener to put another ticket in, and Royce said he wouldn't do it. They had a very warm dispute, and a policeman came up to see what it was all about. Then, thinking that perhaps Royce didn't have any more money with him-- he looked terribly shabby-- I told him I would get another ticket. Then he suddenly broke down and I thought he was going to cry. I paid for another ticket, then the train came along and we both got on board."