Under Handicap eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 264 pages of information about Under Handicap.

“I have examined the country about the spring which Miss Crawford discovered, and have men working there now boring wells.  There is water there—­how much I do not yet know.  I have a hope, which Tommy Garton thinks foolish, that we may strike artesian water out there in the sand.  At any rate, we’ll get enough out of it eventually to aid in the irrigation of that location, to be useful when you get ready to found your second desert town.  About Valley City itself I have all the cross-ditches required by your contract with Colton Gray of the P. C. & W.”

He paused, and Mr. Crawford after a moment’s thoughtful silence said, quietly: 

“In other words, Mr. Conniston, you have completed all of the work which the contract calls for?”

“Except one thing.”  Conniston smiled.  “I have not put the water on the land yet.  A rather important matter, isn’t it?”

“But you are ready to do that?”

“I shall be ready to do that to-morrow at noon.  And I want you to help me.  Will it be possible for you and Miss Crawford to come out to Dam Number One in the morning?”

“You are kind to ask it,” Mr. Crawford said, inclining his head.  “We shall be glad to come, Mr. Conniston.  Is that the extent of your report?”

“Yes.  I have something else I want to say to you—­but it is not about reclamation.”

“Shall I make my report to you first?  For I feel that after all you have done for me I should like to report, too.  Every one of my cattle-ranges is mortgaged to the hilt.  I do not believe that I could raise another thousand dollars on the combined ranges.  I have been driven so close to the wall that I could not go another step.  I have been forced to sell during the last two weeks over a thousand of my young cattle—­to sell them at a sacrifice in order to obtain ready money.  I have enough money in the bank to conclude the financing of our reclamation project.  After the first day of October, when the P. C. & W. begins its road out to us, I can raise whatever more funds I want, and raise them easily.

“You have succeeded, Mr. Conniston, and thereby you have saved me from being absolutely, unqualifiedly ruined.  Within six months I shall have doubled my fortune.  And I shall have lived to see the most cherished dream of my older manhood materialize.  I owe very much to you, I am very grateful to you, and I am very proud to have been associated in business with a man of your caliber.  And there is my hand on it!”

“I am glad to have been of service,” Conniston replied, as the two men gripped hands.  “And I appreciate your confidence.  Besides,” with a quick, half-serious smile, “I think that I have profited as greatly as any one else could possibly do.”

“I know what you mean.  And I agree with you.  Now, you said that there was another matter—­”

“Yes.  I have had a cable from my father in Paris.  Because I could not agree to do a certain thing which he requested he has seen fit to disinherit me.”

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Under Handicap from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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