“Come, honey,” she said to Ina. “It is time to go home.”
A man stood near the door as they passed and raised his hat eagerly.
“Who is that man?” Ina said to young Eastman when they were on the sidewalk.
“His name is Lee.”
When the party had gone out, Lee turned with his self-conscious, consequential air. Ray, the postmaster, was standing at the counter. Little Willy Eddy also was there. He lingered about the soda-fountain. Nobody knew how badly he wanted a drink of soda. He was like a child about it, but he was afraid lest his Minna should call him to account for the five cents.
“Pretty fine-looking girls,” observed Lee to Ray and Drew.
“Yes,” assented Ray. “You know them?”
“Well, no, not directly, but Captain Carroll and I are quite intimate in a business way.”
The druggist looked up eagerly. “You think he is good?” he asked.
“I have heard some queer things lately,” said the postmaster.
Lee faced them both. “Good?” he cried. “Good? Arthur Carroll good? Why, I’d be willing to risk every dollar I have in the world, or ever hope to have. He’s the smartest business man I ever saw in my life. I tell you he’s A No. 1. He’s got a business head equal to any on the Street, I don’t care who it is. Well, all I have to say, I am not afraid of him! No, sir!”
“I heard he had some pretty promising stock to sell,” said the postmaster.
“Promising? No, it is not promising! Promising is not the word for it. It is sure, dead sure.”
Little Willy Eddy drew very near.
“What is it selling at?” asked Ray.
“One dollar and sixty cents,” replied Lee, with an intonation of pride and triumph.
“Cheap enough,” said Ray.
“Yes, sir, one dollar and sixty cents, and it will be up to five in six months and paying dividends, and up to fifty, with ten-per-cent. dividends, in a year and a half.”
Little Willy Eddy had in the savings-bank a little money. Before he left he had arranged with Henry Lee to invest it through his influence with the great man, Carroll, and say nothing about it to any one outside. Willy hoped fondly that his Minna might know nothing about it until he should surprise her with the proceeds of his great venture. Then Willy Eddy marched boldly upon the soda-fountain.
“Give me a chocolate ice-cream soda,” he said, like a man.
Three days later, at dinner, Charlotte Carroll said something about the difficulty she had had about getting the check cashed.
“It is the queerest thing,” said she, in a lull of the conversation, pausing with her soup-spoon lifted, “how very difficult it is to get a check for even a small amount cashed in Banbridge.”
Carroll’s spoon clattered against his plate. “What do you mean?” he asked, sharply.