“Oh, so far as that is concerned I have not yet entered the running,” laughed Brant, in affected carelessness, “although I must confess my sporting proclivities are somewhat aroused.”
He watched the minister walking rapidly away, a short, erect figure, appearing slender in his severely cut black cloth. “Poor little chap,” he muttered, regretfully. “He’s hard hit. Still, they say all’s fair in love and war.”
IN HONOR OF MISS SPENCER
Mr. Jack Moffat, president of the Bachelor Miners’ Pleasure Club, had embraced the idea of a reception for Miss Spencer with unbounded enthusiasm. Indeed, the earliest conception of such an event found birth within his fertile brain, and from the first he determined upon making it the most notable social function ever known in that portion of the Territory.
Heretofore the pastime of the Bachelors’ Club had been largely bibulous, and the members thereof had exhibited small inclination to seek the ordinary methods of social relaxation as practised in Glencaid. Pink teas, or indeed teas of any conceivable color, had never proved sufficiently attractive to wean the members from the chaste precincts of the Occidental or the Miners’ Retreat, while the mysterious pleasure of “Hunt the Slipper” and “Spat in and Spat out” had likewise utterly failed to inveigle them from retirement. But Mr. Moffat’s example wrought an immediate miracle, so that, long before the fateful hour arrived, every registered bachelor was laboring industriously to make good the proud boast of their enthusiastic president, that this was going to be “the swellest affair ever pulled off west of the Missouri.”
The large space above the Occidental was secured for the occasion, the obstructing subdivisions knocked away, an entrance constructed with an outside stairway leading up from a vacant lot, and the passage connecting the saloon boarded up. Incidentally, Mr. Moffat took occasion to announce that if “any snoozer got drunk and came up them stairs” he would be thrown bodily out of a window. Mr. McNeil, who was observing the preliminary proceedings with deep interest from a pile of lumber opposite, sarcastically intimated that under such circumstances the attendance of club members would be necessarily limited. Mr. Moffat’s reply it is manifestly impossible to quote literally. Mrs. Guffy was employed to provide the requisite refreshments in the palatial dining-hall of the hotel, while Buck Mason, the vigilant town marshal, popularly supposed to know intimately the face of every “rounder” in the Territory, agreed to collect the cards of invitation at the door, and bar out obnoxious visitors.