He sold one——; quite strangely and unexpectedly he found that the transaction was not difficult. The man whom he had come to see was on the front porch and was glad of company. Randy explained his errand. “It is new business for me. But I’ve got something to offer you that you’ll find you’ll want——”
He found that he could say many things truthful about the merits of Little Sister. He had a convincing manner; the young farmer listened.
“Let me take you for a ride,” Randy offered, and away they went along the country roads, and through the main streets of the town in less time that it takes to say—“Jack Robinson.”
When they came back, the children ran out to see, and Randy took them down the road and back again. “You can carry the whole family,” he said, “when you go——”
The man’s wife came out. She refused to ride. She was afraid.
But Randy talked her over. “My mother felt like that. But once you are in it is different.”
She climbed in, and came back with her face shining.
“I am going to buy the car,” her husband said to her.
Randy’s heart jumped. Somehow he had felt that it would not really happen. He had had little faith in his qualities as salesman. Yet, after all, it had happened, and he had sold his car.
Riding down the hill, he was conscious of a new sense of achievement. It was all very well to dream of writing masterpieces. But here was something tangible.
“Nellie,” he said, “things are picking up.”
Nellie laid her nose on his knee and looked up at him. It had been a long ride, and she was glad they were on the homeward stretch. But she wagged her tail. Nellie knew when things were going well with her master. And when his world went wrong, her sky darkened.
The sale of one car, however, does not make a fortune. Randy realized as the days went on that if he sold them and sold them and sold them, Dalton would still outdistance him financially.
There remained, therefore, fame, and the story in the back of his mind. If he could lay a thing like that at Becky’s feet! He had the lover’s urge towards some heaven-kissing act which should exalt his mistress—— A book for all the world to read—a picture painted with a flaming brush, a statue carved with a magic instrument. It was for Becky that Randy would work and strive hoping that by some divine chance he might draw her to him.
He worked at night until the Major finally remonstrated.
“Do you ever go to bed?”
Randy laughed. “Sometimes.”
“Are you writing?”
“I like it,”—succinctly.
The Major smoked for a while in silence. Then he said, “I suppose you don’t want to talk about it.”
It was a starry night and a still one. The younger boarders had gone for a ride. The older boarders were in bed. The Major was stretched in his long chair. Randy sat as usual on the steps.