Miss Phipps laughed.
“And that I suppose is enough to keep one man busy,” she observed.
Galusha was too much in earnest to notice the sarcasm.
“I’m sure it must be,” he said. “I never could do it myself.”
“I can believe that without any trouble. Now what is your idea, Mr. Bangs; to write to your cousin, tell him everything I’ve told you, and then ask his advice? Is that it?”
That was not exactly it, apparently. Galusha thought that perhaps he might go to Boston forthwith, on the very next train, and consult Cousin Gussie in person. But Martha did not think this advisable.
“I certainly shouldn’t put you to all that trouble,” she said. “No, I shouldn’t, so please don’t let’s waste time arguin’ about it. And, besides, I think a letter would be a great deal better.”
Galusha said that a letter was so slow.
“Maybe so, but it is sure. Truly now, Mr. Bangs, do you believe if you went to your cousin that you could tell him this Development Company yarn without gettin’ it all tangled up? I doubt if you could.”
He reflected for a moment, and then ruefully shook his head.
“I’m afraid you are right,” he admitted. “I presume I could learn it—ah—by rote, perhaps, but I doubt if ever I could understand it thoroughly.”
“Well, never mind. My plan would be to have you write your cousin a letter givin’ him all the particulars. I’ll help you write the letter, if you’ll let me. And we’ll ask him to write right back and tell us two things: Number One—Is the Development stock worth anything, and what? Number Two—If it is worth anything, can he sell it for that? What do you think of that idea?”
Naturally, Galusha thought it a wonderful idea. He was very enthusiastic about it.
“Why, Miss Phipps—Miss Martha, I mean,” he declared, “I really think we—ah—may consider your troubles almost at an end. I shouldn’t be in the least surprised if Cousin Gussie bought that stock of yours himself.”
Martha smiled, faintly. “I should,” she said, “be very much surprised. But perhaps he may know some one who will buy it at some price or other. And, no matter whether they do or not, I am ever and ever so much obliged to you, Mr. Bangs, for all your patience and sympathy.”
And, in spite of her professed pessimism she could not help feeling a bit more hopeful, even sharing a bit of her lodger’s confidence. And so when Primmie, in tears, came again that afternoon to beg to be retained in service, Martha consented to try to maintain the present arrangement for a few weeks more, at least.
“Although the dear land knows I shouldn’t, Primmie,” she said. “It’s just postponin’ what is almost sure to come, and that isn’t right for either of us.”
Primmie’s grin extended from ear to ear.