Meanwhile, Jack had read over and over the prospectus of the “Wedge of Gold” Mining Company. It was the lamp and he was the moth that was circling around it with constantly lessening circles. His father, to whom he had applied for information, told him that he believed the shares were going at one pound, but that they threatened to be higher within a week, and Jenvie, taking up the conversation, explained that, with a mill built, the mine would easily pay sixty per cent on the investment annually, which would throw the shares up to at least twenty pounds. At the same time both the old men referred Jack to Stetson for full particulars, as they had no direct interest in the property.
After a few days more, the mail from South Africa brought a glowing account of further developments in “The Wedge of Gold,” which account found its way into the papers, and one was put where Jack would read it. He had not consulted with Sedgwick. His idea was to make an investment, and when the profits began to come in, to divide with him.
So one morning he went to the office of Stetson and said to the young man: “I have concluded to take the working capital stock of the ’Wedge of Gold;’” and sitting down he gave his check for L50,000. The stock for him would be ready, he was informed, the next day, so soon as it could be properly transferred.
He went out. The real owner of the property was sent for; the property was bought for L2,000; the deed, which had been put in escrow, and which on its face called for L150,000, was taken up, releasing the stock, and then the old men and the young man rubbed their hands and said to each other that it had been a good day’s work.
Sedgwick and Browning had now been several days in London. Every day they had been riding and driving—seeing the sights. One morning at breakfast Jack mentioned that it was Tuesday; that next day would be the annual celebrated Derby Wednesday; that he had made arrangements for as many to go as could get away. The number was finally limited to four—Grace and Rose, Jack and Jim.
This was talked over, and so soon as the arrangements were determined upon, Jack proposed that when the race should be over, instead of coming back to London, they should go on beyond Surrey, down to the seashore in Sussex, where an old uncle of Rose’s resided, for a few days’ visit. This was, after some discussion, agreed upon; whereupon Jack rose and went out to make a few needed little preparations; the young ladies followed to do some shopping, while Sedgwick went to his room to write some letters.
He finished his letters and was going out, when he met Mrs. Hamlin in the hall. She greeted him and asked him to sit down a moment, saying she wanted to talk with him. He swung a chair around for Mrs. Hamlin, and when she was seated he took another chair opposite, saying: “Is there anything particular this morning, madam, which you desire to talk about?” The old lady looked at him a moment, then said: