As they walked away Sedgwick watched them, and when they turned a corner of the veranda, said: “Jack, would you give the year’s happiness just past for all the gold in Africa?”
“No, indeed,” was the reply; “but you had the strength to leave your bride on your marriage day for a chance of gaining a little of that gold.”
“O, no, old friend,” said Sedgwick. “We had enough money left, but there was a principle at stake. I went to vindicate that principle if I could.”
“Pardon me, Jim,” said Jack. “But you were stronger than I could have been. I could not have left my bride then. I had waited so long, that to have parted then would have broken her heart and would have destroyed me.”
“I realized all that, Jack,” said his friend; “so did Grace, and we both sympathized with you both, and decided that the cup of bitterness must be turned from you.”
“Of course,” said Jack. “What you did was jolly grand; what you have done has been so splendid that I cannot express my thoughts of it yet; I can’t, by Jove! And Gracie’s part through all has been superb. I think, too, your sick friend has been pure gold through it all.”
“Pure diamonds rather,” said Sedgwick. “O Jack, you do not half comprehend the grandeur of that sterling man. When his heart was slowly shriveling up in his breast, he forgot himself and his sorrow to cheer me, and when it was necessary to go for the machinery, he insisted that I should go, and he, of his own accord, went back to the depths of that South Land wilderness and worked uncomplainingly for months. No grander man ever lived.”
Selling stock short.
After a few days more Jack and Rose returned to England.
Soon after their return, one of the morning papers had an announcement that the banking house of Campbell & Co. (Limited), No. —— street, was promoting the “Wedge of Gold,” a mining property in Southern Africa, near the border of the Transvaal, which was believed to be a most promising property.
The same day Emanuel dropped into the house of Jenvie, Hamlin & Stetson. He was seedy-looking, and seemed a good deal run down both in purse and spirits.
“What do you think of the ‘Wedge of Gold’ announcement?” asked Jenvie.
“What is it?” asked Emanuel. He was shown the paper.
“What do I think?” he said. “I think may be the young man needs a little money. The mails came in from Port Natal yesterday. Is there any news from the mine?”
“None at all that we can find,” said Jenvie.
“I have no idea,” said the Portuguese, “but if it is more than three shillings per share, it is one good chance for a bear to sell it short and hug himself for his own act.”
With this he went out. The three men were silent for a good five minutes. Then Jenvie rang the bell, and when it was answered he said to the messenger: “Go to Campbell & Co.’s; find out the price of ‘Wedge of Gold’ stock, and ask what data the house has from the property.”