They had made the complete circuit of the campus several times and Sylvia said it was time to go back. The remembrance of Bassett had turned her thoughts to Marian, and they were still talking of her when Mrs. Owen greeted them cheerily from the little veranda. They were to start for Boston in the morning, and Harwood was to stay in Montgomery a day or two longer on business connected with the estate. “Don’t let my sad philosophy keep you awake, Mr. Harwood!—I’ve given him all my life programme, Mrs. Owen. I think it has had a depressing influence on him.”
“It’s merely that you have roused me to a sense of my own general worldliness and worthlessness,” he replied, laughing as they shook hands.
“I guess Sylvia can tell you a good many things, Daniel,” said Mrs. Owen. “I wish you’d call Myers—he’s my Seymour farmer—on the long distance in the morning, and tell him not to think I won’t be down to look at his corn when I get back. Tell him I’ve gone to college, but I’ll be right down there when I get home.”
THE KINGDOMS OF THE WORLD
Harwood reached the capital on the afternoon of the second day after Mrs. Owen and Sylvia had gone East, and went at once to the Boordman Building. Miss Farrell was folding and sealing letters bearing Bassett’s signature.
“Hello, little stranger; I’d begun to think you had met with foul play, as the hero says in scene two, act three, of ’The Dark Switch-Lantern’—all week at the Park Theatre at prices within the reach of all. Business has been good, if you press me for news, but that paper-mill hasn’t had much attention since you departed this life. Everybody’s saying ‘Stop, Look, Listen!’ When in doubt you say that,—the white aprons in the one-arm lunch rooms say it now when you kick on the size of the buns. You will find your letters in the left-hand drawer. I told that collector from the necktie foundry that he needn’t wear himself to a shadow carrying bills up here; that you paid all your bills by check on the tenth of the month. As that was the twenty-ninth, you’d better frame some new by-laws to avoid other breaks like that. I can’t do much lying at my present salary.”
She stood with her hands clasping her belt, and continued to enlighten him on current history as he looked over his letters.
“That young Allen Thatcher has been making life a burden to me in your lamented absence. Wanted to know every few hours if you had come back, and threatened to call you up on the long distance at Montgomery, but I told him you were trying a murder case over there, and that if he didn’t want to get nailed for contempt of court he’d better not interrupt the proceedings.”
“You’re speaking of Mr. Allen Thatcher, are you, Miss Farrell?” asked Harwood, in the tone to which the girl frequently drove him.