“Lindau does himself injustice when he gets to talking in that way,” said March. “I hate to hear him. He’s as good an American as any of us; and it’s only because he has too high an ideal of us—”
“Oh, go on! Rub it in—rub it in!” cried Fulkerson, clutching his hair in suffering, which was not altogether burlesque. “How did I know he had renounced his ‘bension’? Why didn’t you tell me?”
“I didn’t know it myself. I only knew that he had none, and I didn’t ask, for I had a notion that it might be a painful subject.”
Fulkerson tried to turn it off lightly. “Well, he’s a noble old fellow; pity he drinks.” March would not smile, and Fulkerson broke out: “Dog on it! I’ll make it up to the old fool the next time he comes. I don’t like that dynamite talk of his; but any man that’s given his hand to the country has got mine in his grip for good. Why, March! You don’t suppose I wanted to hurt his feelings, do you?”
“Why, of course not, Fulkerson.”
But they could not get away from a certain ruefulness for that time, and in the evening Fulkerson came round to March’s to say that he had got Lindau’s address from Conrad, and had looked him up at his lodgings.
“Well, there isn’t so much bric-a-brac there, quite, as Mrs. Green left you; but I’ve made it all right with Lindau, as far as I’m concerned. I told him I didn’t know when I spoke that way, and I honored him for sticking to his ‘brinciples’; I don’t believe in his ‘brincibles’; and we wept on each other’s necks—at least, he did. Dogged if he didn’t kiss me before I knew what he was up to. He said I was his chenerous gong friendt, and he begged my barton if he had said anything to wound me. I tell you it was an affecting scene, March; and rats enough round in that old barracks where he lives to fit out a first-class case of delirium tremens. What does he stay there for? He’s not obliged to?”
Lindau’s reasons, as March repeated them, affected Fulkerson as deliciously comical; but after that he confined his pleasantries at the office to Beaton and Conrad Dryfoos, or, as he said, he spent the rest of the summer in keeping Lindau smoothed up.
It is doubtful if Lindau altogether liked this as well. Perhaps he missed the occasions Fulkerson used to give him of bursting out against the millionaires; and he could not well go on denouncing as the slafe of gabidal a man who had behaved to him as Fulkerson had done, though Fulkerson’s servile relations to capital had been in nowise changed by his nople gonduct.
Their relations continued to wear this irksome character of mutual forbearance; and when Dryfoos returned in October and Fulkerson revived the question of that dinner in celebration of the success of ’Every Other Week,’ he carried his complaisance to an extreme that alarmed March for the consequences.