Like a flash the situation was made clear to him and his duty was plain. He remembered that the Bank of Manhattan Island held every dollar that Mrs. Gray and Peggy possessed; their meager fortune had been entrusted to the care of Prentiss Drew and his associates, and it was in danger.
“I will do all I can, Colonel,” said Monty, “but upon one condition.”
“Barbara must never know of this.” The Colonel’s gasp of astonishment was cut short as Monty continued. “Promise that she shall never know.”
“I don’t understand, but if it is your wish I promise.”
Inside of half an hour’s time several hundred thousand came to the relief of the struggling bank, and the man who had come to watch the run with curious eyes turned out to be its savior. His money won the day for the Bank of Manhattan Island. When the happy president and directors offered to pay him an astonishingly high rate of interest for the use of the money he proudly declined.
The next day Miss Drew issued invitations for a cotillon. Mr. Montgomery Brewster was not asked to attend.
MRS. DE MILLE ENTERTAINS
Miss Drew’s cotillon was not graced by the presence of Montgomery Brewster. It is true he received an eleventh-hour invitation and a very cold and difficult little note of apology, but he maintained heroically the air of disdain that had succeeded the first sharp pangs of disappointment. Colonel Drew, in whose good graces Monty had firmly established himself, was not quite guiltless of usurping the role of dictator in the effort to patch up a truce. A few nights before the cotillon, when Barbara told him that Herbert Ailing was to lead, he explosively expressed surprise. “Why not Monty Brewster, Babs?” he demanded.
“Mr. Brewster is not coming,” she responded, calmly.
“Going to be out of town?”
“I’m sure I do not know,” stiffly.
“He has not been asked, father.” Miss Drew was not in good humor.
“Not asked?” said the Colonel in amazement. “It’s ridiculous, Babs, send him an invitation at once.”
“This is my dance, father, and I don’t want to ask Mr. Brewster.”
The Colonel sank back in his chair and struggled to overcome his anger. He knew that Barbara had inherited his willfulness, and had long since discovered that it was best to treat her with tact.
“I thought you and he were—” but the Colonel’s supply of tact was exhausted.
“We were”—in a moment of absent mindedness. “But it’s all over,” said Barbara.
“Why, child, there wouldn’t have been a cotillon if it hadn’t been for—” but the Colonel remembered his promise to Monty and checked himself just in time. “I—I mean there will not be any party, if Montgomery Brewster is not asked. That is all I care to say on the subject,” and he stamped out of the room.