When the Rev. Mr. Rimmon came out of the shabby little study, though he had not gotten the relief he had sought, he, somehow, felt a little comforted, while at the same time he felt humble. He had one of those brief intervals of feeling that, perhaps, there was, after all, something that that old man had found which he had missed, and he determined to find it. But Mr. Rimmon had wandered far out of the way. He had had a glimpse of the pearl, but the price was great, and he had not been able to pay it all.
* * * * *
Wickersham discounted the note; but the amount was only a bagatelle to him: a bucket-shop had swallowed it within an hour. He had lost his instinct. It was only the love of gambling that remained.
Only one chance appeared to remain for him. He had made up with Louise Wentworth after a fashion. He must get hold of her in some way. He might obtain more money from her. The method he selected was a desperate one; but he was a desperate man.
After long pondering, he sat down and wrote her a note, asking her “to meet some friends of his, a Count and Countess Torelli, at supper” next evening.
THE RUN ON THE BANK
It was the day after the events just recorded that Keith’s deal was concluded. The attack on him and the attempt made by Wickersham and Kestrel to break up his deal had failed, and the deeds and money were passed.
Keith was on his way back to his office from his final interview with the representative of the syndicate that had bought the properties. He was conscious of a curious sensation, partly of exhilaration, partly of almost awe, as he walked through the crowded streets, where every one was bent on the same quest: gold. At last he had won. He was rich. He wondered, as he walked along, if any of the men he shouldered were as rich as he. Norman and Ferdy Wickersham recurred to him. Both had been much wealthier; but Wickersham, he knew, was in straits, and Norman was in some trouble. He was unfeignedly glad about Wickersham; but the recollection of Norman clouded his face.
It was with a pang that he recalled Norman’s recent conduct to him—a pang that one who had always been his friend should have changed so; but that was the way of the world. This reflection, however, was not consoling.
He reached his office and seated himself at his desk, to take another look at his papers. Before he opened them he rose and locked the door, and opening a large envelope, spread the papers out on the desk before him.
He thought of his father. He must write and tell him of his success. Then he thought of his old home. He remembered his resolution to restore it and make it what it used to be. But how much he could do with the money it would take to fit up the old place in the manner he had contemplated! By investing it judiciously he could double it.