“What is the matter?” demanded Miss Phipps, seizing him by the arm and pulling him forward. “What was it? What happened?”
Galusha’s face was beaming. His eyes shone with excitement.
“It—it struck me at that moment,” he cried. “At that very moment.”
“Struck you?” Miss Phipps looked about the room. “What struck you? Where? Are you hurt?”
Mr. Bangs’ beaming smile broadened.
“I mean the idea struck me,” he declared. “Dear me, how odd that it didn’t do so before. Yes, he is exactly the right person. Exactly. Oh, dear me, this is very good!”
Martha said afterward that she never in her life felt more like shaking a person.
“What do you mean?” she demanded. “What was it that struck you?”
“Why, Cousin Gussie,” announced Galusha, happily. “Don’t you see? He will be exactly the one.”
When, at last—and it took some time—Martha Phipps was actually convinced that her lodger’s “Cousin Gussie” was no less a person than the senior partner of the famous banking firm of Cabot, Bancroft and Cabot, she was almost as excited as he.
“Cabot, Bancroft and Cabot,” she repeated. “Why, everybody knows about them! They are the biggest bankers in New England. I have heard father say so ever so many times. And this Mr. Cabot, is he really your cousin?”
Galusha nodded. “Oh, yes,” he said. “He is my cousin—really he is. I have always called him Cousin Gussie; that is,” he added, “except when I worked for him, of course. Then he didn’t like to have me.”
“Worked for him?”
“Yes, in his office, in the—ah—banking house, you know.”
“Do you mean to say you used to work for Cabot, Bancroft and Cabot? Were you a banker?”
Galusha shook his head. “No,” he said. “Dear me, no! But once I tried to be.”
“Oh! And you gave it up?”
“I was given up—as a bad job. If you don’t mind,” he added, apologetically, “I’d rather not talk about that. I’ve gotten over it a long while ago, or I thought I had, but for a time I—I felt very badly—ah—ungrateful, you know.”
Martha didn’t know, nor did she in the least understand, but she did not, of course, press the subject.
“Why, I can hardly believe it,” she said. “That about your bein’ that Mr. Cabot’s cousin, I mean. But of course I do believe it, if you say so, Mr. Bangs. And you think he would tell me what to do with this Development stock of mine, whether it is worth anything or not? He would know, if anybody did, that’s a fact.”
Galusha nodded assent.
“He knows all about everything,” he declared; “everything of that kind, I mean. He is used to making all sorts of—ah—investments for people, and taking care of their money, and all that sort of thing. Why,” he added, as a final clincher, “he takes care of all my money, really, he does.”