“The day that we reached New York my mother placed the documents and every particle of proof in her possession in the hands of the British Consul. The story was told to him and also to certain attorneys. A member of his firm visited my stepfather and confronted him with the charges. That very night Mr. Banks disappeared, leaving behind him a note, in which he said we should never see his face again. Tom Reddon has gone to Europe. My mother and I expect to sail this week for England, and I have come to ask Rosalie to accompany us. I want her to stand at last on the soil which knows her to be Rosalie Brace. The fortune which was mine last week is hers to-day. We are not poor, Rosalie dear, but we are not as rich as we were when we had all that belonged to you.”
Anderson Crow’s Resignation
Some days later Anderson Crow returned to Tinkletown from New York, where he had seen Rosalie Bonner and her husband off for England, accompanied by Mrs. Banks and Elsie, who had taken passage on the same steamer. He was attired in a brand-new suit of blue serge, a panama hat, and patent-leather shoes which hurt his feet. Moreover, he carried a new walking stick with a great gold head and there was a huge pearl scarf-pin in his necktie Besides all this, his hair and beard had been trimmed to perfection by a Holland House barber. Every morning his wife was obliged to run a flatiron over his trousers to perpetuate the crease. Altogether Anderson was a revelation not only to his family and to the town at large, but to himself as well. He fairly staggered every time he got a glimpse of himself in the shop windows.
All day long he strolled about the street, from store to store, or leaned imposingly against every post that presented itself conveniently. Naturally he was the talk of the town.
“Gee-mi-nently!” ejaculated Alf Reesling, catching sight of him late in the day. “Is that the president?”
“It’s Anderson Crow,” explained Blootch Peabody.
“Who’s dead?” demanded Alf.
“What’s that got to do with it?”
“Why, whose clothes is he wearin’?” pursued Alf, utterly overcome by the picture.
“You’d better not let him hear you say that,” cautioned Isaac Porter. “He got ’em in New York. He says young Mr. Bonner give ’em to him fer a weddin’ present. Rosalie give him a pearl dingus to wear in his cravat, an’ derned ef he don’t have to wear a collar all the time now. That lawyer Barnes give him the cane. Gee whiz! he looks like a king, don’t he?”
At that moment Anderson approached the group in front of Lamson’s store. He walked with a stateliness that seemed to signify pain in his lower extremities more than it did dignity higher up.
“How fer out do you reckon they are by this time, Blootch?” he asked earnestly.
“’Bout ten miles further than when you asked while ago,” responded Blootch, consulting his watch.