“Of course; excuse me for talking like a fool. Only have me, and you shall have everything else. All that wealth can buy shall be yours. We’ll leave this dull place and go around the world seeking pleasure where it can be found, and everybody will envy me my beauteous bride.”
“That’s very pretty talk, Mr. Offitt; but where is all this wealth to come from?”
He did not resent the question, but heard it gladly, as imposing a condition he might meet. “The money is all right. If I lay the money at your feet, will you go with me? Only give me your promise.”
“I promise nothing,” said Maud; “but when you are ready to travel, perhaps you may find me in a better humor.”
The words seemed to fire him. “That’s promise enough for me,” he cried, and put out his arms toward her. She struck down his hands, and protested with sudden, cattish energy:
“Let me alone. Don’t you come so near me. I don’t like it. Now you can go,” she added. “I have got a lot to think about.”
He thought he would not spoil his success by staying. “Good-by, then,” he said, kissing his fingers to her. “Good-by for a little while, my own precious.”
He turned at the door. “This is between us, ain’t it?”
“Yes, what there is of it,” she said, with a smile that took all sting from the words.
He walked to the shop, and wrung the old man’s hand. His look of exultation caused Saul to say, “All settled, eh?”
“No,” said Offit; “but I have hopes. And now, Mr. Matchin, you know young ladies and the ways of the world. I ask you, as a gentleman, not to say nothing about this, for the present, to nobody.”
Saul, proud of his secret, readily promised.
CAPTAIN FARNHAM SEES ACTIVE SERVICE AGAIN.
Farnham lost no time in calling upon the Mayor to fulfil his engagement. He found his Honor a little subdued by the news of the morning. None of the strikers of the day before had gone back to work, and considerable accessions were reported from other trades. The worst symptoms seemed to be that many shops were striking without orders. The cessation of work was already greater than seemed at first contemplated by the leading agitators themselves. They seemed to be losing their own control of the workingmen, and a few tonguey vagrants and convicts from the city and from neighboring towns, who had come to the surface from nobody knew where, were beginning to exercise a wholly unexpected authority. They were going from place to place, haranguing the workmen, preaching what they called socialism, but what was merely riot and plunder. They were listened to without much response. In some places the men stopped work; in others they drove out the agitators; in others they would listen awhile, and then shout, “Give us a rest!” or “Hire a hall!” or “Wipe off your chir!” But all the while