“Any friend like you, you mean. I don’t know where there are any more such friends, Mr. Bangs.”
“Now, please. Miss Martha, I—I hope you won’t mention this again. It will oblige me greatly if you will not. Really, I—I mean it.”
She nodded, slowly. “Yes,” she said, “bein’ you, I think you do mean it. So I won’t say any more; but I shall think a great deal, Mr. Bangs, and I never shall stop thinkin’. . . . There! And now what shall I do with all this money? Of course, I’ll put it in the bank to-morrow, but what will I do with it to-night? By the way,” she added, “it seems queer they should have paid you in cash instead of a check. Why did they, I wonder?”
Here was a demand for more explaining. Galusha plunged headlong, foundered, and then emerged, like a dog, with an explanation, such as it was, between his teeth.
“They—ah—they thought the money would be safer,” he said.
Martha laughed aloud. “Safer?” she repeated. “Why, that’s funny. Perhaps they’re right, but I know the only way I shall feel safe between now and bankin’ time tomorrow is to stay awake and watch every minute. Oh, I sha’n’t do that exactly, of course, but I’m beginnin’ to realize the responsibility of havin’ riches. Ah hum! I laugh, Mr. Bangs, but you mustn’t think it’s because I don’t realize what you—I mean . . . well, I guess I laugh because I’m kind of hysterical and—happy. I haven’t been so happy for a long, long time. I won’t say it again because you don’t want me to, but for this once more, thank you, Mr. Bangs.”
As Galusha left her to go to his room, she said: “Now I must go out and get after Primmie again. I’m scared to death that she’ll tell everybody from here to Provincetown about my bein’ worth a million dollars. She won’t make it any less than a million, and the chances are it will be consider’ble more.”
“But, Miss Martha, you have already told her not to tell about the money. I heard you tell her just now when you sent her out of the room.”
Martha shrugged her shoulders.
“When you pour water into a sieve,” she said, “it doesn’t do much good to tell the sieve not to leak. Father used to say that some folks’ heads were built so that whatever was poured into their ears ran right out of their mouths. Primmie’s is made that way, I’m afraid. She’ll swear she won’t tell, and she won’t mean to tell, but . . . Well, good-night, Mr. Bangs.”
Miss Phipps had prophesied that the cares attending the possession of wealth might interfere with her sleep that night. Concerning his own slumbers Galusha made no prophecy, but the said slumbers were broken and scanty, nevertheless. Martha’s happiness, her relief, and the kind things she had said to him, all these were pleasant to reflect upon and to remember. Not so pleasant was the thought