Gurney pointed to the flourishing right hand without speaking, and Sheridan once more returned it to the sling.
“My son-in-law likes Florida this winter,” Sheridan went on. “That’s good, and my son-in-law better enjoy it, because I don’t think he’ll be there next winter. They got twelve-thousand dollars to spend, and I hear it can be done in Florida by rich sons-in-law. When Roscoe’s woman got me to spend that much on a porch for their new house, Edith wouldn’t give me a minute’s rest till I turned over the same to her. And she’s got it, besides what I gave her to go East on. It’ll be gone long before this time next year, and when she comes home and leaves the cigarette behind—for good—she’ll get some more. My name ain’t Tracy, and there ain’t goin’ to be any Tracy business in the Sheridan family. And there ain’t goin’ to be any college foundin’ and endowin’ and trusteein’, nor God-knows-what to keep my property alive when I’m gone! Edith’ll be back, and she’ll get a girl’s share when she’s through with that cigarette, but—”
“By the way,” interposed Gurney, “didn’t Mrs. Sheridan tell me that Bibbs warned you Edith would marry Lamhorn in New York?”
Sheridan went completely to pieces: he swore, while his wife screamed and stopped her ears. And as he swore he pounded the table with his wounded hand, and when the doctor, after storming at him ineffectively, sprang to catch and protect that hand, Sheridan wrenched it away, tearing the bandage. He hammered the table till it leaped.
“Fool!” he panted, choking. “If he’s shown gumption enough to guess right the first time in his life, it’s enough for me to begin learnin’ him on!” And, struggling with the doctor, he leaned toward Bibbs, thrusting forward his convulsed face, which was deathly pale. “My name ain’t Tracy, I tell you!” he screamed, hoarsely. “You give in, you stubborn fool! I’ve had my way with you before, and I’ll have my way with you now!”
Bibbs’s face was as white as his father’s, but he kept remembering that “splendid look” of Mary’s which he had told her would give him courage in a struggle, so that he would “never give up.”
“No. You can’t have your way,” he said. And then, obeying a significant motion of Gurney’s head, he went out quickly, leaving them struggling.
Mrs. Sheridan, in a wrapper, noiselessly opened the door of her husband’s room at daybreak the next morning, and peered within the darkened chamber. At the “old” house they had shared a room, but the architect had chosen to separate them at the New, and they had not known how to formulate an objection, although to both of them something seemed vaguely reprehensible in the new arrangement.
Sheridan did not stir, and she was withdrawing her head from the aperture when he spoke.
“Oh, I’m awake! Come in, if you want to, and shut the door.”