“My right has been lying dormant twenty-five years. Won’t that affect its legality?”
“No. If we knock out the Valdes’ grant, all we have to do is to prove the legality of the Moreno one. It happens we have evidence to show that he satisfied all legal requirements by living on the land more than four years. This gave him patent in perpetuity subject to taxes. By the payment of these we can claim title.” Fitt rubbed his hands and walked backward and forward briskly. “We’ve got them sewed up tight, Mr. Gordon. The Supreme Court has sustained our contention in the almost parallel Baca case.”
“Fine,” said Dick moodily. He knew it was unreasonable for him to be annoyed at his counsel because the latter happened to be an alert and competent lawyer. But somehow all his sympathies were with Valencia Valdes and her dependents.
“If you’d like to look at the original documents in the case, Mr. Gordon——”
“I’ll take you up to the State House this afternoon. You can look over them at your leisure.”
Davis laughed at his friend as they walked back to the hotel.
“I don’t believe you know yourself what you want. You act as if you’d rather lose than win the suit.”
“Sometimes I’m a white man, Steve. I don’t want to grab other people’s property just because some one can dig up a piece of paper that says it’s mine. We sit back and roast the trusts to a fare-you-well for hogging all there is in sight. That’s what Fitt and his tribe expect me to do. I’m damned if I will.”
“I BELIEVE YOU’RE IN LOVE WITH HER, TOO”
It was characteristic of Dick Gordon that he established at once a little relation of friendliness between him and the young woman at the State House who waited upon him with the documents in the Valdes grant case. She was a tall, slight girl with amazingly vivid eyes set in a face scarcely pretty. In her manner to the world at large there was an indifference amounting almost to insolence. She had a way of looking at people as if they were bits of the stage setting instead of individuals.
A flare of interest had sparkled in her eyes when Gordon’s fussy little attorney had mentioned the name of his client, but it had been Dick’s genial manner of boyish comradeship that had really warmed Miss Underwood to him. She did not like many people, but when she gave her heart to a friend it was without stipulations. Dick was a man’s man. Essentially he was masculine, virile, dominant. But the force of him was usually masked either by his gay impudence or his sunny friendliness. Women were drawn to his flashing smile because they sensed the strength behind it.