“Now this club belongs to the place,” Mr. Rogers said, “You’re buying here—and I don’t mind telling you, Mr. Bradley, that I want you to buy here,” he broke off to admit persuasively— “because you and your wife are the sort of people we need here. You won’t find anything anywhere that is backed by the same interest, you won’t. However, about the club. Your buying here makes you a member of this club——”
“Oh, is that so!” Nancy exclaimed, in delighted surprise.
“Oh, yes,” said the agent. “The dues are merely nominal—for the upkeep of the place.”
“Of course!” said the Bradleys.
“Your dues entitle you to all the privileges of the club—I believe the bathhouses are a little extra, but everything else is yours. You can bring a friend here to tea, give a card party here--there are dances and dinners all winter long.”
“Mother, are we coming here to live?” asked Junior, over his chocolate.
“I don’t know,” Nancy answered, feeling that she could cry with nervousness. She hardly tasted her tea, she hardly saw the men and women that drifted to and fro. Her heart was choking her with hope and fear, and she knew that Bert was nervous, too.
At last Mr. Rogers returned to the subject of “Holly Court,” he wanted to know first what they thought of it. Oh, it was perfect, said Nancy and Bert together. It was just what they wanted, only—
Good, the agent said. He went on to say that he would have bought the house himself, but that his wife’s father had an old home in Flushing, and while the old gentleman lived, he wanted them there. But he belonged to the Marlborough Gardens Club, and kept a boat there. Now, he had been authorized to put a special price on this place of Lansings, and he was going to tell them frankly why. They knew as well as he did that a hundred foot square plot, and trees like that, so near the water, cost money. He digressed to tell them just how property had soared in price, during even his own time.
“The truth is,” he said, “that Lansing, when he picked that site, picked it for trees, and quiet, and view—it didn’t make any difference to him that it was a corner site, and a little out of the main traffic——”
“But I like that about it!” Nancy said eagerly. “I love the isolation and the quiet. Nobody will bother us there——”
Bert saw that she was already moving in. He turned a rather anxious look from her to the agent.
Twenty-five thousand. It was out at last, falling like a stone on the Bradleys’ hearts. Nancy could hardly keep the bitter tears from her eyes. Bert, more hardy, barked out a short laugh. “I’m a fool to let it go,” said the agent frankly; “I’m all tied up with other things. But I have no hesitation in saying this; you buy it, put the garden in shape, sit tight for a few years, and I’ll turn it over for you for forty thousand, and throw in my commission!”