The other stared at him; but he said nothing. Instead, he went over again to the table, and wet his handkerchief in the bowl, again refusing Lucia’s proffered assistance with a wave of his other hand. He bathed his own wound. And meanwhile Hardy was saying to Gilbert:
“Well, young feller, it’s your move.”
“His move!” “Red” repeated the phrase. “Say, you wouldn’t go and skin him out of the place all over again, would you?”
Hardy sneered. “I’m going to foreclose, certainly, if that’s what you mean, you impudent young scoundrel!”
“You mean you would trim him again?” “Red” didn’t believe it.
“Say, boy, you better use your head. You’re going to marry my darter, ain’t you?”
“Yes—I hope so,” the foreman said.
“Well, don’t you realize that all I got will eventually go to you and her? Don’t you?”
“It will?” asked the incredulous “Red.”
“Certainly; when I die,” answered Hardy.
“I hope it’ll be soon!” cried out Uncle Henry. Then, to “Red,” “Don’t you see he’s leading you up to the top o’ that gol darn mountain?”
“Red” did not understand. “Gol darn what?” he said.
Uncle Henry was exasperated at his stupidity. “Why, he’s temptin’ you, the old devil! Don’t let him. It’s a gol darn shame,” he added, turning his chair so that he faced Hardy, “an old scoundrel like you tryin’ to corrupt a nice young feller like him! Don’t you know money you get like that won’t do you no good?”
“It’s his—Gilbert Jones’s,” cried “Red,” “and I ain’t goin’ to be party to robbin’ him of it!”
“Hooray!” yelled Uncle Henry. “That’s the boy! I knew you was like that. You’re all right!” And he backed into the alcove, happier than he had been in a long time.
“You hear that?” Hardy said to his daughter.
“I do,” she answered, “and he’s right.”
“What’s that?” said her surprised father.
“It is Gil’s, and to take advantage of him isn’t fair. You know it as well as I do, too!” She stamped her little foot.
“Say, you don’t think you love him again, do you?” Hardy wanted to know.
From the alcove, Uncle Henry cried: “That’s the idea! And if the poor sucker’d only marry her—”
But Angela interrupted: “It isn’t him I care for. It’s—” She cut herself off, and could have bitten out her tongue for thus revealing her heart.
“Angela!” cried the enraptured “Red.” He went over to her, grasped her around the waist, and led her to the window.
Hardy said, trying to pacify his daughter: “But I ain’t going to be hard on him—or on Jones.”
“You ain’t?” Uncle Henry cried.
Hardy turned to the nephew. “You know, that stuff Lopez said about me bein’ a bum patriot stuck in my craw. And now that I got the place, if you ever need any help I’ll be glad to go on your note for you.”
Gilbert said nothing; but Uncle Henry rushed in with, “You will?”