Martha seemed to hesitate a moment. Then she said: “Mr. Cabot, I wonder if you could spare a few minutes. I want to talk with you about the money I owe—the money he gave me—for that stock, and a little about—about your cousin himself. Last night when you spoke of him I was—well, I was excited and upset and I didn’t treat you very well, I’m afraid. I’m sorry, but perhaps you’ll excuse me, considerin’ all that had happened. Now I want to ask you one or two questions. There are some things I don’t—I can’t quite understand.”
An hour or so later Galusha, sitting, forlorn and miserable, upon the flat, damp and cold top of an ancient tomb in the old Baptist burying ground, was startled to feel a touch upon his shoulder. He jumped, turned and saw his cousin smiling down at him.
“Well, Loosh,” hailed the banker, “at your old tricks, aren’t you? In the cemetery and perfectly happy, I suppose. No ’Hark from the tombs, a doleful sound’ in years, eh? . . . Hum! You don’t look very happy this time, though.” Then, with a comprehensive glance at the surroundings, he shrugged and added, “Heavens, no wonder!”
The picture was a dismal one on that particular day. The sky was overcast and gray, with a distinct threat of rain. The sea was gray and cold and cheerless. The fields were bare and bleak and across them moved a damp, chill, penetrating breeze. From horizon to horizon not a breathing creature, except themselves, was visible. And in the immediate foreground were the tumbled, crumbling memorials of the dead.
“Heavens, what a place!” repeated Cabot. “It’s enough to give anybody the mulligrubs. Why in the world do you come over here and—and go to roost by yourself? Do you actually like it?”
Galusha sighed. “Sometimes I like it,” he said. Then, sliding over on the tomb top, he added, “Won’t you—ah—sit down, Cousin Gussie?”
His relative shook his head. “No, I’ll be hanged if I do!” he declared; “not on that thing. Come over and sit on the fence. I want to talk to you.”
He led the way to a section of the rail fence which, although rickety, was still standing. He seated himself upon the upper rail and Galusha clambered up and perched beside him. The banker’s first question was concerning the six hundred and fifty shares of Development stock.
“I know you gave the Phipps woman par for hers,” he said. “You told me so and so did she. Did you pay old Whiskers—Hallett, I mean—the same price?”
Galusha shook his head. “I—ah—was obliged to pay him a little more,” he said. “His—ah—wife insisted upon it.”
“His wife? I thought his wife was dead.”
“Yes—ah—she is. Yes, indeed, quite so.”
When this matter was satisfactorily explained Cousin Gussie asked if Galusha would be willing to sell his recently purchased shares at the price paid. Of course Galusha would.