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Thieves Three

by C. S. Montanye

Author of "White as Snow," etc.

THE girl first came under Red Rooney's notice when she entered the bus somewhere uptown. But then he had not paid particular attention to her. He had merely noticed that she was more than ordinarily comely, that she was garbed in a modish suit and that there was about her an air of both breeding and refinement.

Red Rooney was quick to notice things. It was part of his business to be observing; he was a pickpocket by profession and his stock in trade consisted of a pair of keen, discriminating eyes and nervous, agile fingers.

When the bus invaded the uptown business section of the city, the dip for the first time began to take a decided interest in the girl. This interest was inspired by a quaintly-patterned beaded bag the girl carried. It was when she opened the bag that she first attracted Rooney's attention. She delved into its depths, and produced a tiny powder puff, holding the bag elevated so that she might peer into a small mirror and dust her pretty nose.

As she performed, this delicate operation, Rooney, without moving, allowed his gaze to sweep over her shoulder and to focus on the interior of the beaded bag.

What he beheld caused quick thrills to surge through him. His eyes fell on a fat roll of money. The top note of the wad was engraved with three figures. Then, as the dip feasted his optics on it, the girl replaced her powder puff, and in doing so, shifted the contents of the bag, revealing the sparkle of a number of rings. Rooney felt his sens...

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