Roads of Destiny
Friends In San Rosario
The west-bound train stopped at San Rosario on time at 8.20 a.m. A man with a thick
black-leather wallet under his arm left the train and walked rapidly up the main street of
the town. There were other passengers who also got off at San Rosario, but they either
slouched limberly over to the railroad eating-house or the Silver Dollar saloon, or joined
the groups of idlers about the station.
Indecision had no part in the movements of the man with the wallet. He was short in
stature, but strongly built, with very light, closely-trimmed hair, smooth, determined face,
and aggressive, gold-rimmed nose glasses. He was well dressed in the prevailing Eastern
style. His air denoted a quiet but conscious reserve force, if not actual authority.
After walking a distance of three squares he came to the centre of the town's business
area. Here another street of importance crossed the main one, forming the hub of San
Rosario's life and commerce. Upon one corner stood the post-office. Upon another
Rubensky's Clothing Emporium. The other two diagonally opposing corners were
occupied by the town's two banks, the First National and the Stockmen's National. Into
the First National Bank of San Rosario the newcomer walked, never slowing his brisk
step until he stood at the cashier's window. The bank opened for business at nine, and the
working force was already assembled, each member preparing his department for the
day's business. The cashier was examining the mail when he noticed the stranger standing
at his window.
"Bank doesn't open 'til nine," he remarked curtly, but without feeling. He had had to
make that statement so often to early birds since San Rosario adopted city banking hours.
"I am well aware of that," said the other man, in cool, brittle tones. "Will you kindly
receive my card?"
The cashier drew the small, spotless parallelogram inside the bars of his wicket, and read:
J. F. C. Nettlewick
National Bank Examiner