He had to wait until the bank opened, that he might cash a check, and then he paid over the amount demanded. The lawyer drew up a legal paper discharging him from all further obligations. Felix read it with care and stowed it in his pocket.
“And now let me give you some advice, Mr. Gussing,” said the lawyer, after the transaction was concluded. “Don’t drive such a wild horse again.”
“Depend upon it, I never shall,” answered the dude. “It costs too much!” he added, with a faint smile.
“Are you well acquainted with horses?”
“Then you had better leave them alone altogether.”
“I have already made up my mind to do so.”
DAVID BALL FROM MONTANA.
Finding that Joe could be depended upon, Mr. Mallison put him in charge of all of the boats at the hotel, so that our hero had almost as much work ashore as on the lake.
During the week following, the events just narrated, many visitors left the hotel and others came in. Among those to go were Felix Gussing and the two young ladies. The dude bid our hero a cordial good-bye, for he now knew Joe quite well.
“Good-bye, Mr. Gussing,” said Joe. “I hope we meet again.”
“Perhaps we shall, although I generally go to a different place each summer.”
“Well, I don’t expect to stay in Riverside all my life.”
“I see. If you make a move, I hope you do well,” returned Felix.
On the day after the dude left, a man came to the hotel who, somehow, looked familiar to our hero. He came dressed in a light overcoat and a slouch hat, and carried a valise and a suit case.
“I’ve seen him before, but where?” Joe asked himself not once but several times.
The man registered as David Ball, and put down his address as Butte, Montana. He said he was a mining expert, but added that he was sick and the doctors had ordered him to come East for a rest.
“’ve heard of Riverside being a nice place,” said he, “so I came on right after striking Pittsburg.”
“We shall do all we can to make your stay a pleasant one,” said the hotel proprietor, politely.
“All I want is a nice sunny room, where I can get fresh air and take it easy,” said the man.
He was willing to pay a good price, and so obtained one of the best rooms in the house, one overlooking the river and the lake. He ate one meal in the dining room, but after that he had his meals sent to his apartment.
“Is he sick?” asked Joe, after watching the man one day.
“He certainly doesn’t seem to be well,” answered Andrew Mallison.
“It runs in my mind that I have seen him before, but I can’t place him,” went on our hero.
“You must be mistaken, Joe. I questioned him and he says this is his first trip to the East, although he has frequently visited St. Louis and Chicago.”