Chapter XXIX. Brought to Terms
 

"Stop him!"

"He must not get away'"

Such were some of the cries that echoed through the apartment as Jesse Pelter ran for the rear room.

He knew there was a fire escape there and thought he might reach the ground from that.

But Dick was at his heels, determined that the broker should not escape if he could possibly prevent it.

The window to the fire escape was open, for a maid in the kitchen had just set out some cooked dish to cool.

Pelter made a leap for the window, nearly scaring the maid into a fit. She screamed loudly, and as she did so Dick made a wild leap and caught Pelter by the foot.

"Let go, Rover!" yelled the broker, hoarsely.

"I won't! You are not going to get away, Pelter."

There was a struggle, and the broker aimed a blow at Dick's head. Then the oldest Rover boy suddenly caught the rascal by the neck and banged his head vigorously against the window casing.

"Ouch! Don't!" groaned the broker. "Oh, my skull is broken!"

"Then keep still," answered Dick, grimly, and he continued to hold the man. Soon one of the policemen came up, and then, much against his will, the head of the firm of Pelter, Japson & Company was handcuffed like his partner in crime.

"You'll suffer for this, Rover; see if you don't!" growled Jesse Pelter, after the excitement was over. "I have done nothing wrong, and I can prove it. This is all a plot on the part of you and your family to get our firm into trouble."

"You can do your talking when you are in jail," answered Dick, briefly. "I know what I am doing."

"Maybe you got Crabtree to hatch up a story against us," came from Japson.

"Never mind what Crabtree confessed," said Dick. "You'll get what is coming to you, never fear."

"I guess I had better send in a call for the patrol wagon," said one of the policemen. "Can you watch 'em, Jake?"

"Sure," answered the second bluecoat. "I guess the young fellows will help."

"I will," said Dick.

"So will I," put in Dan. He turned to Dick. "I'm mighty glad to be of service to you. It kind of helps to-- to-- pay off old scores, eh?" he faltered.

"Yes, Dan; you are doing us a great service, and I shan't forget it," returned Dick, with warmth.

A number of tenants in the apartment house had been alarmed by what was going on, and among them were the girl Baxter was engaged to marry, and her mother. Dan quickly explained matters to them, and introduced Dick, and the latter told of the service Baxter had done. Then the police patrol wagon came along, and the prisoners and the others went below.

"Maybe I had better go to headquarters with you," suggested Dan to Dick.

"Yes, you'll have to go," put in one of the policemen.

The ride was not a long one, and as soon as the prisoners were brought in, Dick explained the situation and asked that the authorities in Brooklyn communicate with those in New York. This was done, and then Pelter, Japson, and Fogg were held for a further hearing.

"Can't we get bail?" demanded the lawyer.

"Certainly, if you wish," was the reply. And then the amount was fixed, and the prisoners sent out a messenger, to see if they could not get somebody to go on their bail bonds.

Dick's parting with Baxter was very cordial. The oldest Rover boy realized that the former bully of Putnam Hall was greatly changed and that he had done him a great service.

"I wish you all kinds of luck, Dan," he said. "You've got a nice position and a fine girl, and you ought to do well."

"Do you like her, Dick?" and Dan blushed a little. "We expect to be married soon."

"Well, I am going to be married myself before long."

"Is that so? Good enough! I guess I know the girl," and Dan grinned.

"You do, Dan."

"Give her my best regards, and tell her I think she is getting the best fellow in the world!" said Baxter, and shook Dick's hand. And thus the two former enemies parted.

Dick had already called up Mr. Powell on the telephone, telling the lawyer of what had occurred. Now he engaged a taxicab to take him to the place which he had started out to visit when coming to Brooklyn. It was rather late, but the lawyer had persuaded the people he had come to see to wait.

An interview lasting over an hour followed. The lawyer had already explained many things, and now Dick told of others.

"You have opened our eyes, Mr. Rover," said one of the men present, when Dick had finished. "We rather suspected Pelter, Japson & Company and we were bewildered by what your father proposed to do. Now all is perfectly clear, and, if you wish us to do so, we'll stand by your father to the end."

"Thank you very much!" cried the youth, in delight.

"Your father is not very well, you say," said another of the men. "In that case----"

"I am going to transact his business for him, after this," answered Dick. "He is going to place it in my hands."

"You are rather young, Mr. Rover. But the way you handled those brokers shows you can do things. I wish you success."

"I shall rely upon Mr. Powell for assistance," said Dick.

"And I'll do what I can," put in the lawyer.

When Dick got back to the Outlook Hotel it was quite late. But he had telephoned to his father, so Mr. Rover was not alarmed. The youth found his parent smiling pleasantly.

"Good news all around!" cried Anderson Rover.

"Then you've heard from Sam?" asked Dick, quickly.

"Yes, he sent in word about an hour ago. Tom is doing very well, and the specialist says he will soon be himself again."

"That's the best news yet!" cried Dick, and his face showed his relief.

"Yes, it is even better than this news you sent me-- that Pelter and Japson have been captured."

"Well, I am mighty glad we rounded up those rascals," said the son.

"So am I."

"Did Sam say anything about Crabtree?"

"He said Crabtree was about the same. The doctors are doing what they can for him. But he will most likely be a cripple for life."

"That's bad. But he has nobody to blame but himself."

After that Dick had to sit down and tell his father the details of all that had occurred. Then he got a late supper, and some time after that he and his parent retired. The youth was thoroughly tired out, but happy.

The next few days were as busy as those just past had been. Dick and his father ran up to where Tom lay in the hospital. They found the sufferer had come to his senses. Sam and a nurse were with him.

"Oh, I'll be all right again, in a few days!" cried Tom, with a brave attempt at a smile. "I guess I fared better than old Crabtree. They tell me he'll limp for life."

"Limp for life!" cried Dick.

"That is what they say."

"What a terrible affliction!" murmured the oldest Rover boy. "But he has nobody to blame but himself."

"Tom, are you quite comfortable here?" asked Mr. Rover, anxiously.

"Oh, yes, they do all they can for me, Dad," was the answer.

"We must send you home as soon as we can."

"Well, I'll be willing to go," returned Tom. He thought of the quiet farm, and of his Aunt Martha's motherly care, and gave a deep sigh.

"He can be moved in four or five days-- the doctor said so," put in Sam. "I've figured it all out. We can take him to the train in an auto, and I'll see that he gets to Oak Run all right. There Jack can meet us with our own machine, and the rest will be easy."

"I can go along," said Dick.

"It won't be necessary, Dick," said Tom "You stay in New York and get Dad's affairs straightened out."

The matter was talked over, and it was at length decided that Sam should remain with Tom and take him home, while Mr. Rover and Dick returned to the city.

Four days later the youngest Rover got permission from the specialist who had attended Tom to take him home. An easy-riding automobile was procured, and in this the two brothers drove to the nearest railroad station. A compartment in a parlor car had already been engaged, and Tom was placed in this and made as comfortable as circumstances permitted. The ride was a long and tedious one for the youth, and by the time he had made the necessary changes to get to Oak Run he was pretty well exhausted, and had a severe headache.

"Poor boy!" murmured the hired man, who had brought the family touring car to the station.

"Dis am de wust yet, de werry wust!" came from Aleck Pop, who had come along. Both men aided Sam in getting Tom into the car, and then Jack started for Valley Brook farm, running the machine with the greatest possible care.

Aunt Martha stood on the piazza ready to receive the boys, and when she beheld Tom's pale face the tears streamed down her cheeks.

"My boy! My poor boy!" she cried. "Oh, what a terrible happening!" And she bent over and kissed him.

"Oh, don't worry, Aunt Martha; I'll soon be myself again," answered Tom, as cheerfully as his spirits permitted.

"I've got the front room all ready for you," went on the aunt. And she led the way into the house and to the apartment in question. Here the sufferer was put to bed, and his aunt did all in her power to make him comfortable. The local doctor had already been notified, and soon he appeared, to read a note written by the city specialist and listen to what Sam had to tell him. Then he took charge and said Tom must be kept very quiet.

"It shall be as you say, Doctor," said Mrs. Rover. And after that, for a number of days, nobody but the members of the family was allowed to go in and talk to the youth.

In the meantime, Dick and his father had several interviews with their lawyer, and also with a lawyer who represented Pelter, Japson, and Belright Fogg. The brokers and Fogg were anxious to hush matters up, and promised to do whatever was wanted by the Rovers if they would drop the case against them.

"I think we had better arrange matters, Dick," said Mr. Rover, with a sigh. "I am tired of fighting. If they will do the fair thing all around, let them go."

"Just as you say, Father," replied Dick. "But they must give up everything that belongs to us."

"Well, you can see to it that they do-- you and Mr. Powell," answered Anderson Rover. "I am going back to the farm to rest, and after that I think I'll travel a little for my health."

"All right, Dad. But-- but----" Dick stammered and grew red. "You-- er-- you won't go away until after my wedding, will you?"

"No, Dick, I'll stay home until after you and Dora are married," answered Mr. Rover, with a quiet smile.