The old man made a start toward her, but he fell back in his chair before she was gone, and, with a fierce, grinding movement of his jaws, controlled himself. “Take-take those things up,” he gasped to Mrs. Mandel. He seemed unable to rise again from his chair; but when she asked him if he were unwell, he said no, with an air of offence, and got quickly to his feet. He mechanically picked up the intaglio ring from the table while he stood there, and put it on his little finger; his hand was not much bigger than Christine’s. “How do you suppose she found it out?” he asked, after a moment.
“She seems to have merely suspected it,” said Mrs. Mandel, in a tremor, and with the fright in her eyes which Christine’s violence had brought there.
“Well, it don’t make any difference. She had to know, somehow, and now she knows.” He started toward the door of the library, as if to go into the hall, where his hat and coat hung.
“Mr. Dryfoos,” palpitated Mrs. Mandel, “I can’t remain here, after the language your daughter has used to me—I can’t let you leave me—I—I’m afraid of her—”
“Lock yourself up, then,” said the old man, rudely. He added, from the hall before he went out, “I reckon she’ll quiet down now.”
He took the Elevated road. The strike seemed a vary far-off thing, though the paper he bought to look up the stockmarket was full of noisy typography about yesterday’s troubles on the surface lines. Among the millions in Wall Street there was some joking and some swearing, but not much thinking, about the six thousand men who had taken such chances in their attempt to better their condition. Dryfoos heard nothing of the strike in the lobby of the Stock Exchange, where he spent two or three hours watching a favorite stock of his go up and go down under the betting. By the time the Exchange closed it had risen eight points, and on this and some other investments he was five thousand dollars richer than he had been in the morning. But he had expected to be richer still, and he was by no means satisfied with his luck. All through the excitement of his winning and losing had played the dull, murderous rage he felt toward they child who had defied him, and when the game was over and he started home his rage mounted into a sort of frenzy; he would teach her, he would break her. He walked a long way without thinking, and then waited for a car. None came, and he hailed a passing coupe.
“What has got all the cars?” he demanded of the driver, who jumped down from his box to open the door for him and get his direction.
“Been away?” asked the driver. “Hasn’t been any car along for a week. Strike.”
“Oh yes,” said Dryfoos. He felt suddenly giddy, and he remained staring at the driver after he had taken his seat.
The man asked, “Where to?”
Dryfoos could not think of his street or number, and he said, with uncontrollable fury: “I told you once! Go up to West Eleventh, and drive along slow on the south side; I’ll show you the place.”