Fifteen minutes later the automobile stood before the steps to the big porch.
“You two, my friends,” called Don Luis, resting a hand on Tom’s shoulder and beckoning to Harry. “You will take one last ride with me, will you not? And, while we are gone, I shall discuss a few more of my plans with you.”
Wholly unsuspicious of this final tragic touch to the drama, Tom Reade and Harry Hazelton went down the steps, following Don Luis Montez into the car.
MR. HAYNES ASKS A FEW QUESTIONS
Slowly the car started clown the drive. “Oh, Don Luis!” called Mr. Hippen, running to the corner of the porch.
“Stop!” said Montez to his chauffeur. “Mr. Haynes is signaling you,” continued Mr. Hippen. “I think he wants to say something to you.”
Don Luis turned, and beheld the president and the general manager of the A.G.& N.M. Railroad hastening toward the gate.
“Drive down to the gate and await the gentlemen there,” was Don Luis’s next order.
Mr. Hippen, too, started down the roadway, seeing which Dr. Tisco reached his side and went with him.
There was a general meeting of the different parties at the gate.
“I signaled you, Don Luis, to inquire if Ellsworth and myself might go on your drive with you?” explained Mr. Haynes.
“Gentlemen, I am truly sorry,” began Don Luis Montez, in his most honeyed tones, “but the truth is that I desire to have a private conference with Senores Reade and Hazelton.”
“Then we won’t ask to accompany you, this time.” said Mr. Haynes, laughing.
“We would be glad to take you, but our business conversation would then be delayed,” Don Luis explained. “However, if you wish—”
“I don’t want to spoil your talk,” laughed Mr. Haynes. “But I have this to say to Reade and Hazelton. We gentlemen have been discussing the new management of the mine, and we are united in feeling that we want these young men to remain here and manage our new property for us. In fact, with such a valuable mining property on our hands we wouldn’t feel in the least easy with any one else in charge.”
“Here is a telegram that came for you, Mr. Haynes,” said Mr. Hippen, quietly, handing over the sheet. “Of course, Reade and Hazelton are not going to sign with any one else.”
“Pardon me,” said Mr. Haynes, and let his glance fall on the telegram.
Any one noting the railway president’s face at that moment would have noted a quick, though suppressed, change there.
“Don Luis,” went on Mr. Haynes, quickly, “I fear that I really shall have to interrupt your drive for a little while. I have just received news that I shall want to discuss with you.”
“Why, your news refers to nothing more than a wreck on your Arizona railway system, doesn’t it?” inquired Don Luis, who was eager to get away and attend, as speedily as possible, to the impending assassination of the young engineers.