“Right!” answered the other, and arose, yawning, as though the whole subject were of but indifferent interest to him. “It’s all moonshine, Flint. All a pipe-dream. Defoe’s philosophers, who spent their lives trying to extract sunshine from cucumbers, never entertained any more fantastic notion than this of yours. However, it’s your funeral, not mine. You’re paying for it. I decline to put in any funds for any such purpose. Amuse yourself; you’ve got to settle the bill.”
Flint smiled sourly, his gold tooth glinting, but made no answer.
“Come along,” said his partner, moving toward the door. “They’re waiting for us, already, at the board meeting. And there’s big business coming up, today—that strike situation, you remember. Slade’s going to be on deck. We’ve got to decide, at once, whether or not we’re going to turn him loose on the miners, to smash that gang of union thugs and Socialist fanatics, and do it right. That’s a game worth playing, Flint; but this Air Trust vagary of yours—stuff and nonsense!”
Flint, for all reply, merely cast a strange look at his partner, with those strongly-contracted pupils of his; and so the two vultures of prey betook themselves to the board room where already, round the long rosewood table, Walter Slade of the Cosmos Detective Company was laying out his strike-breaking plans to the attentive captains of industry.
On the eleventh day after this interview between the two men who, between them, practically held the whole world in their grasp, Herzog telephoned up from Oakwood Heights and took the liberty of informing Flint that his experiments had reached a point of such success that he prayed Flint would condescend to visit the laboratories in person.
Flint, after some reflection, decided he would so condescend; and forthwith ordered his limousine from his private garage on William Street. Thereafter he called Waldron on the ’phone, at his Fifth Avenue address.
“Mr. Waldron is not up, yet, sir,” a carefully-modulated voice answered over the wire. “Any message I can give him, sir?”
“Oh, hello! That you, Edwards?” Flint demanded, recognizing the suave tones of his partner’s valet.
“All right. Tell Waldron I’ll call for him in half an hour with the limousine. And mind, now, I want him to be up and dressed! We’re going down to Staten Island. Got that?”
“Yes, sir. Any other message, sir?”
“No. But be sure you get him up, for me! Good-bye!”