“The Merediths?” Madge said. “George doesn’t know any—Merediths. Mark—he is following Becky.”
“Well, she’s safe in Boston.”
“She is going back. On Wednesday. And he’ll be there.” Her eyes were troubled.
“Mark,” she said, abruptly, “I wonder if Randy has left New York. Call him up, please, long distance. I want to talk to him.”
“My darling girl, do you know what time it is?”
“Nearly midnight. But that’s nothing in New York. And, anyhow, if he is asleep, we will wake him up. I am going to tell him that George is at Siasconset.”
“But, my dear, what good will it do?”
“He’s got to save Becky. I know Dalton’s tricks and his manners. He can cast a glamour over anything. And Randy’s the man for her. Oh, Mark, just think of her money and his genius——”
“What have money and genius to do with it?”
“Nothing, unless they love each other. But—she cares—— You should have seen her eyes when I said he had sold his story. But she doesn’t know that she cares, and he’s got to make her know.”
“How can he make her know?”
“Let her see him—now. She has never seen him as he was in New York with us, sure of himself, knowing that he has found the thing that he can do. He was beautiful with that radiant boy-look. You know he was, Mark, wasn’t he?”
“Yes, my darling, yes.”
“And I want him to be happy, don’t you?”
“Of course, dear heart.”
“Then get him on the ’phone. I’ll do the rest.”
Randy, in New York, acclaimed by a crowd of enthusiasts who had read his story as a gold nugget picked up from a desert of literary mediocrity. Randy, not knowing himself. Randy, modest beyond belief. Randy, in his hotel at midnight, walking the floor with his head held high, and saying to himself, “I’ve done it.”
It seemed to him that, of course, it could not be true. The young editor who had eyed him through shell-rimmed glasses had said, “There’s going to be a lot of hard work ahead—to keep up to this——”
Randy, in his room, laughed at the thought of work. What did hardness matter? The thing that really mattered was that he had treasure to lay at the feet of Becky.
He sat down at the desk to write to her, cheeks flushed, eyes bright, a hand that shook with excitement.
“I am to meet
a lot of big fellows to-morrow—I shall feel
ugly duckling among the swans—oh, the swans, Becky, did we ever
think that the Trumpeter in his old glass case——”
The telephone rang. Randy, answering it, found Madge at the other end. There was an exchange of eager question and eager answer.
Then Randy hung up the receiver, tore up his note to Becky, asked the office about trains, packed his bag, and went swift in a taxi to the station.