Here he sat up in bed, having suddenly remembered the certificate for two hundred and fifty shares of Wellmouth Development Company stock which she had handed him when he started for Boston. He had folded it lengthwise and crosswise and had put it in his pocket— and had not thought of it since, until that moment. A cold chill ran down his back. What if—
He scrambled out of bed and, the room being distinctly cool, chills immediately ran up and down other portions of his anatomy. He did not mind those, however, but finding the matches, lighted the lamp and began pawing over his garments, those which he had worn upon his Boston pilgrimage.
The certificate was not in the coat pocket. Galusha gasped. Had he dropped it in the train? Or in the office of Cabot, Bancroft and Cabot? Why, if the last were true, it would be found and traced to him, and Minor and Barbour and, eventually, Cousin Gussie would learn that he . . . .
Here he remembered that Martha had urged him not to put it in his coat pocket but in his pocketbook. Oh, joy! He delved for the pocketbook, opened it—and found no certificate therein.
Oh, dear, dear! Oh, dear! Suppose he had not lost it in Boston. Suppose he had that very evening dropped it in the house here at home, in the sitting room, or the dining room. Suppose Primmie should find it, or Miss Phipps herself. Then she would know that he had deceived her—and lied to her—
And then he remembered that, instead of putting the certificate in his pocketbook, he had found the latter too small for the purpose, and had put the document in the inside pocket of his waistcoat. And in that waistcoat pocket he found it.
So that was all right, all right so far; but the fact remained that, instead of the troublesome thing—damning evidence of his guilt and deception—reposing safely in the vaults of a Boston bank, where he had intended putting it, it was here, in the house, in the house of Miss Martha Phipps, who might find it at any time.