“Where’re you going?”
“I’ve got to get up to the city to make the ten o’clock train. I’m going up to Ledyard to get the cribbing. Be back in a couple of days.”
He threw his shaving kit into his grip, put on his overcoat, said good-night, and went out.
Next morning at eight o’clock Charlie Bannon walked into the office of C. H. Dennis, the manager of the Ledyard Salt and Lumber Company.
“I’m Bannon,” he said, “of MacBride & Company. Come up to see why you don’t get out our bill of cribbing.”
“Told you by letter,” retorted Dennis. “We can’t get the cars.”
“I know you did. That’s a good thing to say in a letter. I wanted to find out how much of it really was cut.”
“It’s all cut and stacked by the siding, taking up half the yard. Want to see it?”
Bannon smiled and nodded. “Here’s a good cigar for you,” he said, “and you’re a good fellow, but I think I’d like to see the cribbing.”
“Oh, that’s all right,” laughed Dennis. “I’d have said the same thing if it wasn’t cut. Come out this way.”
Bannon followed him out into the yard. “There it is,” said the manager.
There was no need of pointing it out. It made a pile more than three hundred feet long. It was nothing but rough hemlock, two inches thick, and from two to ten inches wide, intended to be spiked together flatwise for the walls of the bins, but its bulk was impressive. Bannon measured it with his eye and whistled. “I wish that had been down on our job ten days ago,” he said, presently. “I’d be taking a vacation now if it had.”
“Well, it was ready then. You can tell by the color.”
“What’s the matter with the G.&M. anyway? They don’t seem to be hauling very much. I noticed that last night when I came up. I’m no good at sleeping on the train.”
“Search me,” said Dennis. “They’ve tied us up for these two weeks. I’ve kicked for cars, and the old man—that’s Sloan—he’s kicked, but here we are yet—can’t move hand or foot.”
“Oh, he’s the whole thing. Owns the First National Bank and the trolley line and the Ledyard Salt and Lumber Company and most of the downtown real estate.”
“Where can I find him? Is he in town?”
“I guess so. He’s got an office across the river. Just ask anybody where the Sloan Building is.”
“Likely to be there as early as this?” asked Bannon, looking at his watch.
“Sure, if he’s in town.”
Bannon slipped his watch into his pocket. “Much obliged,” he said. “Glad to have met you. Good morning;” and, turning, he walked rapidly away down the plank wagon road.
In Sloan’s office he stated his errand as briefly as on the former occasion, adding only that he had already seen Dennis.
“I guess he told you all there is to tell,” said the magnate. “We can’t make the G.&M. give us cars. I’ve told Dennis to stir ’em up as hard as he could. I guess we’ll have to wait.”