“Good-bye,” said she quietly. “Good-bye forever, as my betrothed. When we meet again, Wally, it will be as friends, and nothing more. And now, let me go. Don’t come with me. I prefer to be alone. I’d rather walk, a bit, and think—and then go back quietly to the club-house, and so home, in my car. Don’t follow me. Here—take this, and—good-bye.”
Mechanically he accepted the gleaming jewel. Mechanically, like a man without sense or reason, he watched her walk away from him, upright and strong and lithe, voluptuous and desirable in every motion of that splendid body, now lost to him forever. Then all at once, entering a woodland path that led by a short cut back to the club-house, she vanished from his sight.
Vanished, without having even so much as turned to look at him again, or wave that firm brown hand.
Then, seeming to waken from his daze, “Tiger” laughed, a terrible and cruel laugh; and then he flung a frightful blasphemy upon the still June air; and then he dashed the wondrous diamond to earth, and stamped and dug it with a perfect frenzy of rage into the soft mold.
And, last of all, with lowered head and lips that moved in fearful curses, he crashed away into the woods, away from the path where the girl was, away from the club-house, away, away, thirsting for solitude and time to quell his passion, salve his wounded pride and ponder measures of terrible revenge.
The diamond ring, crushed into the earth, and the golf clubs, lying where they had fallen from the disputants’ hands, now remained there as melancholy reminders of the double game—love and golf—which had so suddenly ended in disaster.
ON THE GREAT HIGHWAY.
As violently rent from his job as Maxim Waldron had been torn from his alliance with Catherine, Gabriel Armstrong met the sudden change in his affairs with far more equanimity than the financier could muster. Once the young electrician’s first anger had subsided—and he had pretty well mastered it before he had reached the Oakwood Heights station—he began philosophically to turn the situation in his mind, and to rough out his plans for the future.
“Things might be worse, all round,” he reflected, as he strode along at a smart pace. “During the seven months I’ve been working for these pirates, I’ve managed to pay off the debt I got into at the time of the big E. W. strike, and I’ve got eighteen dollars or a little more in my pocket. My clothes will do a while longer. Even though Flint blacklists me all over the country, as he probably will, I can duck into some job or other, somewhere. And most important of all, I know what’s due to happen in America—I’ve seen that note-book! Let them do what they will, they can’t take that knowledge away from me!”