with a burst of laughter.
"How fond you are of a joke!" he cried, smoothing his face.
At the same moment one of the searchers sent a puff of snuff in the black's face, with the result that he was seized with a violent burst of coughing and sneezing.
"Two--three--four!" cried Anson excitedly, and, springing forward, he picked up three of the diamonds ejected by the black, who, after a little further search, yielded up a couple of very small stones from one ear, and was marched off for punishment.
"I do like this!" said Anson, rubbing his hands together. "What brutes of thieves they are!"
"Yes, you ought to take to searching," said West, smiling. "You'd make a capital detective."
"Think so?" said the young man, growing serious directly. "You're not chaffing me, are you?"
"Chaffing? Not at all! I mean it," replied West.
"Well, do you know," said Anson, in a confidential way, "I don't think I should make a bad one. I know I should like it better than the wo