“Well, Scattergood,” said Mandy, “it was a real good deal.”
“The way you h’isted ’em to fifty thousand was what got my eye,” he said, proudly. “I wouldn’t ‘a’ had the nerve.”
“I knew they’d pay it,” she said. “Seems like a reasonable profit, though the land’s been a-layin’ there unproductive for thirty year. Father, he give a thousand dollars for it, and the taxes must ‘a’ been a couple of thousand more. Say forty-seven thousand dollars profit....”
“And I come out of the other deals perty fair. Made twenty-three thousand off of the options, and nine or ten off of the other things. Guess the Baines family’s a matter of seventy-five thousand dollars richer by a good day’s work.”
“But it can’t lay idle,” she said.
“Not a minnit. We’ll buy that sixty thousand acres ’way back up the river for sixty-six cents, like we planned, and have some workin’ capital.... And, Mandy, Crane and Keith hain’t got that timber for keeps. It’s comin’ back to us some of these days. I feel it in my bones....”
“Kind of a nice wind-up for our honeymoon,” said Mrs. Baines, practically.
THE MOUNTAIN COMES TO SCATTERGOOD
Scattergood Baines was on his way to the city! An exclamation point deserves to be placed after this because it rightly belongs in a class with the statement that the mountain was coming to Mohammed. Scattergood had fully as much in common with cities as eels with the Desert of Sahara.
He had not started the journey brashly, on impulse, but after debate and discussion with Mandy, his wife. Mandy’s conclusion was that if Scattergood had to go to the city he might as well get at it and have it over, exercising the care of an exceedingly prudent man in the circumstances, and following minutely advice that would be forthcoming from her. Undoubtedly, she thought, he could manage the matter and return to Coldriver unscathed.
So Scattergood was clambering into the stage—his stage that plied between Coldriver village and the railroad, twenty-four miles distant. When he settled in his seat the stage sagged noticeably on that side, for Scattergood added to his weight yearly as he added to his other possessions. Mandy stood by, watching anxiously.
“Remember,” said she, “I pinned your money in the right leg of your pants, clost to the knee.”
“Mandy,” said he, confidentially, “I feel the lump of it. I hope I don’t have to git after it sudden. Dunno but I should have fetched along a ferret to send up after it.”
“Don’t git friendly with no strangers—dressed-up ones, especial. And never set down your valise. There’s a white shirt and a collar and two pairs of sox, and what not, in there. Make quite an object for some sharper.”
He nodded solemnly.
“If you git invited out to his house,” she said, “it’ll save you a dollar hotel bill, anyhow, and be a heap sight safer.”