“No,” responded Mr. Harum, “you don’t want to make a move of any kind that you don’t actually have to, an’ that’s the reason fer makin’ one. F’m what the doc said, an’ f’m what I c’n see, you got to git out o’ this dum’d climate,” waving his hand toward the window, against which the sleet was beating, “fer a spell; an’ as fur ’s the office goes, Chet Timson ‘d be tickled to death to come on an’ help out while you’re away, an’ I guess ’mongst us we c’n mosey along some gait. I ain’t quite to the bone-yard yet myself,” he added with a grin.
The younger man sat for a moment or two with brows contracted, and pulling thoughtfully at his moustache.
“There is that matter,” he said, pointing to the letter on the desk.
“Wa’al,” said David, “the’ ain’t no tearin’ hurry ‘bout that; an’ any way, I was goin’ to make you a suggestion to put the matter into my hands to some extent.”
“Will you take it?” said John quickly. “That is exactly what I should wish in any case.”
“If you want I should,” replied Mr. Harum. “Would you want to give full power attorney, or jest have me say ’t I was instructed to act for ye?”
“I think a better way would be to put the property in your name altogether,” said John. “Don’t you think so?”
“Wa’al,” said David, thoughtfully, after a moment, “I hadn’t thought of that, but mebbe I could handle the matter better if you was to do that. I know the parties, an’ if the’ was any bluffin’ to be done either side, mebbe it would be better if they thought I was playin’ my own hand.”
At that point Peleg appeared and asked Mr. Lenox a question which took the latter to the teller’s counter. David sat for some time drumming on his desk with the fingers of both hands. A succession of violent coughs came from the front room. His mouth and brows contracted in a wince, and rising, he put on his coat and hat and went slowly out of the bank.
The Vaterland was advertised to sail at one o’clock, and it wanted but fifteen or twenty minutes of the hour. After assuring himself that his belongings were all together in his state-room, John made his way to the upper deck and leaning against the rail, watched the bustle of embarkation, somewhat interested in the people standing about, among whom it was difficult in instances to distinguish the passengers from those who were present to say farewell. Near him at the moment were two people, apparently man and wife, of middle age and rather distinguished appearance, to whom presently approached, with some evidence of hurry and with outstretched hand, a very well dressed and pleasant looking man.
“Ah, here you are, Mrs. Ruggles,” John heard him say as he shook hands.
Then followed some commonplaces of good wishes and farewells, and in reply to a question which John did not catch, he heard the lady addressed as Mrs. Ruggles say, “Oh, didn’t you see her? We left her on the lower deck a few minutes ago. Ah, here she comes.”