“It beats me,” Andy Forbes remarked to a number of men gathered before the store. “I’m mighty glad to have the lights there for they make things around here as bright as day. But why is it done? What has Crazy David got to do with it? You would think he was a king coming home instead of a half-cracked old man.”
“But he supplied the plans, didn’t he?” one of the men asked in reply.
“The plans be jiggered!” and Andy gave a contemptuous toss of his head. “What value do you suppose were his plans? I don’t believe the company ever looked at them.”
“There must be something, though,” Ned Travis replied. “David’s living in luxury now, and if the plans were not back of it, I’d like to know what is. It isn’t natural for a big company with unlimited means to throw away money on an old man like that just for charity.”
“How’s Jim Goban feeling these days?” Andy asked. “I haven’t seen him of late.”
“He’s a very sick man,” Billy Goban answered, at which they all laughed. “He curses himself every minute day and night for letting Crazy David out of his clutches. He believes that if he had kept him he would have come in for a big share of David’s good luck.”
“Serves him right,” Andy mused as he gazed thoughtfully at the array of lights before him. “He should be ashamed of himself, and so should we for that matter for selling that old man to the lowest bidder. It’ll be the last time such a thing takes place in this parish if I can help it, and I guess I can. It’s most degrading, and should be stopped.”
While the people of Creekdale were intensely aroused over the marvellous progress of the Light and Power Company, the world beyond was becoming much interested in what was taking place. The day after David’s arrival home the city papers devoted considerable space to the developments at the falls. They told about the mysterious company and the old man who had supplied the plans. They gave a most vivid account of the lighted way and the examples of the harnessed power at the Haven. They, like the people of Creekdale, could not understand why such a fuss should be made over David. They hinted that there was some mystery back of it all, the solving of which would be watched with considerable interest.
But the papers had much more to say. They spoke of the great benefit the city would receive from cheaper light and power, and how the new company would lower the rates, and perhaps force the city company out of business altogether. They deemed it a day of great things when people would not be compelled to pay such prices as hitherto, and how industries of all kinds would increase and flourish. A table of rates was appended showing the difference between the rates of the old company and the new.