“E-um’m!” David grunted. “He won’t do no such a thing. We’ve seen the last of him, you bet, an’ a good riddance. He’ll take the nine o’clock to-night, that’s what he’ll do. Drawed his pay, I guess, didn’t he?”
“He said he was to be paid for this month,” answered John, “and took sixty dollars. Was that right?”
“Yes,” said David, nodding his head absently. “What was it he said about them statements?” he inquired after a moment.
“He said he guessed you must have them.”
“E-um’m!” was David’s comment. “What’d he say about leavin’?”
John laughed and related the conversation as exactly as he could.
“What’d I tell ye,” said Mr. Harum, with a short laugh. “Mebbe he won’t go till to-morro’, after all,” he remarked. “He’ll want to put in a leetle more time tellin’ how he was sent for in a hurry by that big concern f’m out of town ‘t he’s goin’ to.”
“Upon my word, I can’t understand it,” said John, “knowing that you can contradict him.”
“Wa’al,” said David, “he’ll allow that if he gits in the fust word, he’ll take the pole. It don’t matter anyway, long ’s he’s gone. I guess you an’ me c’n pull the load, can’t we?” and he dropped down off the counter and started to go out. “By the way,” he said, halting a moment, “can’t you come in to tea at six o’clock? I want to make ye acquainted with Polly, an’ she’s itchin’ to see ye.”
“I shall be delighted,” said John.
* * * * *
“Polly,” said David, “I’ve ast the young feller to come to tea, but don’t you say the word ‘Eagle,’ to him. You c’n show your ign’rance ‘bout all the other kinds of birds an’ animals you ain’t familiar with,” said the unfeeling brother, “but leave eagles alone.”
“What you up to now?” she asked, but she got no answer but a laugh.
From a social point of view the entertainment could not be described as a very brilliant success. Our friend was tired and hungry. Mr. Harum was unusually taciturn, and Mrs. Bixbee, being under her brother’s interdict as regarded the subject which, had it been allowed discussion, might have opened the way, was at a loss for generalities. But John afterward got upon terms of the friendliest nature with that kindly soul.
Some weeks after John’s assumption of his duties in the office of David Harum, Banker, that gentleman sat reading his New York paper in the “wing settin’-room,” after tea, and Aunt Polly was occupied with the hemming of a towel. The able editorial which David was perusing was strengthening his conviction that all the intelligence and virtue of the country were monopolized by the Republican party, when his meditations were broken in upon by Mrs. Bixbee, who knew nothing and cared less about the Force Bill or the doctrine of protection to American industries.
“You hain’t said nothin’ fer quite a while about the bank,” she remarked. “Is Mr. Lenox gittin’ along all right?”