The clerk returned in half an hour, and reported that it was held at L1, and he produced a statement of the property.
This was eagerly run over by the three. “Why,” said Jenvie, as he completed reading it, “this is but a rehash of the statement of a year ago; the same depth is given, all the details just as they were. Jack must be making a desperate play for money.”
“One pound per share!” said Hamlin. “Why, the man must be after some other Nevada miner who has more money than judgment.”
“The ‘Wedge of Gold’ was our good fortune,” said Stetson. “Through it we got a real start. We made a good bit out of it, which we have since doubled. Let us try another venture in the stock.”
“What! Buy it at L1 per share?” asked Hamlin.
“No, no,” said Jenvie. “Let us sell 20,000 shares to be delivered in three months at ten shillings. We can send Emanuel and get it at four or five shillings.”
After weighing the matter in every way they decided to increase the amount and sell 30,000 shares.
The offer was taken, the money paid, and the contract to deliver the 30,000 shares in three months was signed by Jenvie, Hamlin & Co. Then each, unknown to the other, sold 10,000 shares more short.
The fact was wired to Sedgwick at once. He showed Grace the dispatch and said: “My enchantress, that will leave your mother’s husband and Rose’s mother’s husband bankrupt if we wish it; what shall we do?”
“How will it do so?” asked Grace.
“In three months that stock will be worth L5 per share,” said Sedgwick. “See what it will require to produce 60,000 shares to fulfill their contract.”
“What did they obtain from Jack?” asked Grace.
“Almost L90,000,” said Sedgwick.
“Well,” said Grace, “I know very little of business, but it seems to me if they would make that good with the year’s interest, it would be about right, inasmuch as it is a family matter.”
“You little bunch of wisdom and justice!” said Sedgwick. “To make them do just that thing was what I started to Africa for.”
The “Pallas” had been in port twenty days before Jordan began to sit up, a few minutes at a time. He was still very weak, but his face was transfigured by an almost divine light. It was reflected radiance from the eyes of Margaret Hazleton.
The doctor had thrown away his medicine, telling Jordan that all he needed was good nursing and as much food as his stomach could assimilate.
It was a happy little company. Jordan and Mrs. Hazleton, Sedgwick and his wife, the doctor and Captain McGregor—for the ship had been left with the first officer, and the captain had turned nurse to relieve Sedgwick.
A week later Jordan could sit up most of the day, and Captain McGregor had begun to absent himself two or three hours every afternoon. About this time Browning’s dispatch was received.