The Hon. Nathaniel was nettled by this and said sternly, “I do not like that sort of pleasantry, Quincy.”
“Neither do I,” said Quincy coolly, “and I hope there will be no further occasion for it.”
“How long do you intend to remain in Eastborough?” asked his father.
“I don’t know,” replied Quincy. “I can’t come home while Uncle Jim is sick, of course. I will ask him if he would like to see you, and if he says yes, I will telegraph you. Well, good-by. I was up to the house and saw mother and the girls. I am going up to the club to see if I can meet some of the boys and have some dinner, and I shall go down on the 6.05 express.”
Quincy lighted a cigar, shook hands rather stiffly with his father and left the office.
When Quincy reached the Pettengill house it was a little after eight o’clock. Hiram came out to help him put up the horse. “Anybody up?” asked Quincy.
“Only Mandy and me,” said Hiram. “Uncle Ike is up in his attic, and ‘Zeke is up talkin’ to his sister, and Mandy and me has been talkin’ to each other; and, say, Mr. Sawyer, did you meet Lindy Putnam up in Boston to-day?”
“No,” said Quincy between his shut teeth.
“Well, that’s funny,” said Hiram; “I heard Abner Stiles telling Strout as how Miss Putnam told him that Mr. Sawyer had been to the banker’s with her to invest her money, and that Mr. Sawyer took her out to lunch and then rode down to the station in a carriage and put her aboard the train.”
“There are a great many Mr. Sawyers in Boston, you must remember, Hiram,” remarked Quincy. “Anything else, Hiram?”
“Well, not much more,” replied Hiram; “but Strout said that if you got Lindy and her money and then cajoled the old couple into leavin’ their money to you, that it would be the best game of bunco that had ever been played in Eastborough.”
“Well, Strout ought to know what a good bunco game is,” said Quincy. “Have the horse ready by nine o’clock in the morning if you can get over. Good night, Hiram,” he said.
He passed through the kitchen, saying good night to Mandy, and went straight to his own room. He sat and thought for an hour, going over the events of the day.
“As soon as Uncle Jim is dead and buried,” said he to himself, “I think I will leave this town. As the children say when they play ’hide and go seek,’ I am getting warm.”
A promise kept.
Quincy was up next morning at eight o’clock and ate his breakfast with ’Zekiel. ’Zekiel said his sister did not sleep well nights, and so would not be down till later.
“Do you want the team this morning, Mr. Pettengill?” asked Quincy.
“No,” said ’Zekiel, “but the Boston doctor wrote to Deacon Mason that he was comin’ down this afternoon to take that stuff off Huldy’s arm, and she wanted me to come up, so I shall be up there all the afternoon.”