“Don’t mind him, Peggy. He’s merely jealous,” came back Larry.
“Course I’m jealous. Whyfor not? What license have these Panhandle guys to come in and tote off our girls? But don’t mind me. I’ll pay strict attention to my ham and eggs and not see a thing that’s going on.”
“Lieutenant!” Miss Margaret was both embarrassed and shocked.
“Want me to shut my eyes, Tennessee?”
“Next time we get engaged you’ll not be let in on the ground floor,” Neill predicted.
“Four days! My, my! If that ain’t rapid transit for fair!”
“You’re a man of one idea, Steve. Cayn’t you see that the fact’s the main thing, not the time it took to make it one?”
“And counting out Sunday and Monday, it only leaves two days.”
“Don’t let that interfere with your breakfast. You haven’t been elected timekeeper for this outfit, you know!”
Fraser recovered from his daze and duly offered congratulations to the one and hopes for unalloyed joy to the other party to the engagement.
“But four days!” he added in his pleasant drawl. “That’s sure some precipitous. Just to look at him, ma’am”— this innocently to Peggy— “a man wouldn’t think he had it in him to locate, stake out, and do the necessary assessment work on such a rich claim as the Margaret Kinney all in four days. Mostly a fellow don’t strike such high-grade ore without a lot of—”
“That will do for you, lieutenant,” interrupted Miss Kinney, with merry, sparkling eyes. “You needn’t think we’re going to let you trail this off into a compliment now. I’m going to leave you and see what Mrs. Collins says. She won’t sit there and parrot ‘Four days’ for the rest of her life.”
With which Mistress Peggy sailed from the room in mock hauteur.
When Larry came back from closing the door after her, his friend fell upon him with vigorous. hands to the amazement of Wun Hop, the waiter.
“You blamed lucky son of a gun,” he cried exuberantly between punches. “You’ve ce’tainly struck pure gold, Tennessee. Looks like Old Man Good Luck has come home to roost with you, son.”
The other, smiling, shook hands with him. “I’m of that opinion myself, Steve,” he said.
In the fire Zone
“Say, you Teddy hawss, I’m plumb fed up with sagebrush and scenery. I kinder yearn for co’n bread and ham. I sure would give six bits for a drink of real wet water. Yore sentiments are similar, I reckon, Teddy.”