“What did you hope to accomplish by coming to see Dave?” Mrs. Nash inquired.
“I am going to put the matter right square up to him and demand that he lay bare the whole plot that he has been hinting at. If he doesn’t, I’m going to tell him that I am going to lay the whole matter before the police.”
“You’ll probably have to do it. I don’t believe he’ll ever betray the men who control his gifts and his weaknesses as they would handle a child.”
“He really is a child in some respects, isn’t he?”
“Absolutely. In fact, I believe he is half sane and half insane, and he is just smooth enough to conceal his insanity from the miners.”
“Have you any objection, Nell, to my going after him good and strong?” Helen asked.
“Not in the least. I wish you would, only I’m afraid the results won’t be of much advantage to any of us. And I wish you wouldn’t stay here late, for I am afraid to have you start back alone after dark.”
“I’ll make him take me back,” Helen said resolutely. “And I want to reassure you in one respect, if you are afraid of consequences to yourself and the children.”
“Oh, don’t let that bother you,” Mrs. Nash interrupted. “You couldn’t make conditions much worse than they are now, and you may accidentally make them better.”
“But I have something to say that you ought to know,” Helen continued. “When father died, it was generally supposed that he left nothing for his family. For years he drew a good salary as a mining superintendent. Well, he didn’t leave much, except about $5,000 insurance, but mother had been saving for years secretly, not even letting him know how much she had. He supposed we were living up his salary of $10,000 a year as we went along, for it wasn’t in him to save a cent. Mother took a good deal of delight in her secret. For a while she had done her best to induce him to save something, and then, realizing that her plea was futile, she got busy herself in a systematic manner and in the course of seven or eight years she laid aside something like $25,000.