It took Thorn a full minute to comprehend the rascality in which he’d been an unconscious partner, but when he finally got it through his head that Jim had substituted the child of a base-born churl for the Earl’s daughter, he fairly raged. Threatened him with exposure and arrest if he didn’t make restitution to Castle, but Jim simply grinned and asked him whether he allowed to sing his complaint to the police. Wound up by saying that, even though Thorn had rounded on him, old Jim was a square man, and he proposed to divide even.
Thorn was simply in the fix of the fellow between the bull and the bulldog—he had a choice, but it was only whether he would rather be gored or bitten, so he took the ten thousand, and that night Jim faded away on a west-bound Pullman, smoking two-bit cigars and keeping the porter busy standing by with a cork-screw. Thorn took his story and the ten thousand back to his uncle in the East, and after a pretty solemn interview with the old man, he went around and paid Castle in full and resumed his perch on top of the high stool he’d left a few years before. He never got as far as explaining to the girl in person, because Castle told him that while he didn’t doubt his honesty, he was afraid he was too easy a mark to succeed in Wall Street. Yet Thorn did work up slowly in his uncle’s office, and he’s now in charge of the department that looks after the investments of widows and orphans, for he is so blamed conservative that they can’t use him in any part of the business where it’s necessary to take chances.
I simply speak of Thorn as an example of why I think you should have a cool head before you finally buy the Lulu with my money. After all, it seems rather foolish to pay railroad fares to the West and back for the sake of getting stuck when there are such superior facilities for that right here in the East.
Your affectionate father,
From John Graham, at the Omaha branch of Graham & Company, to his son, Pierrepont, at the Union Stock Yards, Chicago. The old man has been advised by wire of the arrival of a prospective partner, and that the mother, the son, and the business are all doing well.
OMAHA, October 6, 1900.
Dear Pierrepont: I’m so blame glad it’s a boy that I’m getting over feeling sorry it ain’t a girl, and I’m almost reconciled to it’s not being twins. Twelve pounds, bully! maybe that doesn’t keep up the Graham reputation for giving good weight! But I’m coming home on the run to heft him myself, because I never knew a fellow who wouldn’t lie a little about the weight of number one, and then, when you led him up to the hay scales, claim that it’s a well-known scientific principle that children shrink during the first week like a ham in smoke. Allowing for tare, though, if he still nets ten I’ll feel that he’s a credit to the brand.