The question with him was what to do. His business was not very prosperous, because he had not capital enough. Then, too, he was in debt to Jenvie. He wanted the lion’s share of that money, and, more than ever, he wanted Jack to marry Grace.
Then what did Jack mean by bringing a prize-fighter home with him? He was worried. Finally he determined to consult with Jenvie, his partner. He knew he did not like Jack, and he had, moreover, received hints from him that he was getting along well in making a match between Rose and a rich broker named Arthur Stetson, who had met her and been carried away by her beauty.
So, calling Jenvie into their most private office, Hamlin bolted the door to prevent interruption, read him the letter received from Devonshire, and told him of the astounding discovery he had made at the —— bank. The question was, what course to take.
“I believe Rose likes Jack,” said Jenvie. “She grieved exceedingly when he went away, though she hid it so superbly that only her mother knew about it, and she has rejected every suitor since except Stetson, and I fear when the climax comes she will reject him. The chances are, when Jack comes they will rush into each other’s arms. At the same time, I do not want him for a son-in-law. But I would like to get some of the money into the firm, for we need more capital badly.”
They plotted all that day, and next morning decided that on the arrival of Jack they would welcome him; let the matter between him and Rose take its course, but in case of an engagement would prevent an immediate marriage, if possible, and see, in the meantime, what could be done toward working Jack for a part, at least, of his money. With that arrangement decided upon, when a message came from Hamlin’s home that Jack had returned and had gone to the hotel, they were ready, and in company went to greet him and escort him home.
Sedgwick had to be invited also, and that suited them, for they both desired to know what kind of a man he was. Both were satisfied, too, that he had no money, or he would have obtained a credit where Jack had obtained his exchange. When, at the first dinner, Grace had drawn from him that he had been in Texas and had seen cowboys, they both guessed where he had caught the trick which he had put in practice in Devonshire, and, thenceforth, save as a careless friend that careless Jack had picked up, they dropped Sedgwick from their calculations.
How Jack got his money was the greatest mystery; and so a few days after his coming, his father said to him: “Jack, I hope you have come home to stay. Look around and find some business that you think will suit you, and I will buy it for you if it does not take too much money.”
“Thanks, father,” said Jack; “much obliged, but I have a few pounds of my own.”
“How much are miner’s wages in Virginia City?” asked the old man.
“Four dollars a day; about twenty-four pounds a month,” said Jack.