"Petty thieving, eh, Alfred.” said
Mr. Carr. "And maybe you'd be good enough to tell me how long
this has been going on."
"This is the first time I ever took
Mr. Carr was quick to answer, "So now
you think you'll tell me a lie, eh? What kind of fool I look like,
huh? I don't know what goes on in my own store, eh? I tell you,
you've been doing this for a long time." Mr. Carr had a strange
smile on his face. "I don' t like to call the police,"
he said, "but maybe I should call your father, and let him
know I'm going to have you put in jail."
"My father is not home. He is a printer.
He works nights."
"Who is at home?" Carr asked.
"My mother, I think."
Mr. Carr started to go to the phone. Alfred's
fear made him raise his voice. He wanted to show he was afraid of
nobody. He acted this way every time he got into trouble. This had
happened many times since he left school. At such times he always
spoke in a loud voice, as he did tonight. "Just a minute,"
he said to Mr. Carr. "You don' t have to get anybody else into
this. You don't have to tell her." Alfred tried to sound big,
but deep down he was like a child. He hoped that someone at home
would come quickly to save him. But Mr. Carr was already talking
to his mother. He told her to come to the store in a hurry.