“I wanted to be, Randy. I hope you are not going to turn me out with the rest of the boarders when you roll in affluence.”
“Affluence, nothing—but I sold two cars yesterday——”
“Not bad for a poet.”
“It is a funny sort of game,” said Randy soberly; “all day I run around in this funny little car, and at night I think big thoughts and try to put them on paper.”
He could not tell the Major that the night before his thoughts had not been the kind to put on paper. He had been in a white fury. He knew that if he met Dalton nothing could keep him from knocking him down. He felt that a stake and burning fagots would be the proper thing, but, failing that, fists would do. Yet, there was Becky’s name to be considered. Revenge, if he took it, must be a subtle thing—his mind had worked on it in the darkness of the night.
Kemp was helping Madge into the Waterman car. “Who is she?” the Major asked. “She came down on my train.”
“Miss MacVeigh. Mrs. Waterman is very ill. There is to be an operation at once.”
“I watched her on the train,” the Major confessed as he and Randy drove off. “She read all the way down, and smiled over her book. I saw the title, and it was ‘Pickwick Papers.’ Fancy that in these days. Most young people don’t read Dickens.”
“Well, she isn’t young, is she?”
“Not callow, if that’s what you mean, you ungallant cub. But she is young in contrast to a Methuselah like myself.”
Kemp had to look after Miss MacVeigh’s trunks, so Randy’s little car went on ahead. Thus again Fate pulled wires, or Providence. If the big car had had the lead Madge would have gone straight as an arrow to Hamilton Hill. But as it happened, Little Sister barred the way to the open road.
The two cars had to pass the Flippins. Mrs. Flippin and Mary were baking cakes for the feast at Huntersfield. Mrs. Flippin was to go over in the afternoon and help Mandy, and to-morrow Truxton and his mother would arrive.
“The Judge is like a boy,” said Mrs. Flippin; “he’s so glad to have Truxton home.”
“Perhaps he won’t be so glad when he gets here——”
“Why not?” Mrs. Flippin turned and stared at her daughter.
Mary was seeding raisins, wetting her fingers now and then in a glass of water which stood on a table by her side. “Well, Truxton may be changed—most of the men are, aren’t they?”
“Is Randy Paine changed?”
“He’s a grown-up.”
“Well, he needed to grow, and it wouldn’t hurt Truxton either.”
“But if Truxton has grown up and wants his own way—the Judge won’t like it. The Judge has always ruled at Huntersfield.”
“Well, he supports Truxton; why shouldn’t he?”
A bright flush stained Mary’s skin. “Truxton has his officer’s pay now.”