Indeed he looked much better, and I was relieved to see it. I had been really afraid he would be ill after sleeping out all night, but I guess he was tougher than I thought. He joined me on the seat, and we drove into the town. While he went to the station to ask about the trains I had a fine time selling books. I was away from the locality where I was known, and had no shyness in attempting to imitate Mifflin’s methods. I even went him one better by going into a hardware store where I bought a large dinner bell. This I rang lustily until a crowd gathered, then I put up the flaps and displayed my books. As a matter of fact, I sold only one, but I enjoyed myself none the less.
By and by Mifflin reappeared. I think he had been to a barber: at any rate he looked very spry: he had bought a clean collar and a flowing tie of a bright electric blue which really suited him rather well.
“Well,” he said, “the Sage is going to get back at me for that punch on the nose! I’ve been to the bank to cash your check. They telephoned over to Redfield, and apparently your brother has stopped payment on it. It’s rather awkward: they seem to think I’m a crook.”
I was furious. What right had Andrew to do that?
“The brute!” I said. “What on earth shall I do?”
“I suggest that you telephone to the Redfield Bank,” he said, “and countermand your brother’s instructions—that is, unless you think you’ve made a mistake? I don’t want to take advantage of you.”
“Nonsense!” I said. “I’m not going to let Andrew spoil my holiday. That’s always his way: if he gets an idea into his head he’s like a mule. I’ll telephone to Redfield, and then we’ll go to see the bank here.”
We put Parnassus up at the hotel, and I went to the telephone. I was thoroughly angry at Andrew, and tried to get him on the wire first. But Sabine Farm didn’t answer. Then I telephoned to the bank in Redfield, and got Mr. Shirley. He’s the cashier, and I know him well. I guess he recognized my voice, for he made no objection when I told him what I wanted.
“Now you telephone to the bank in Woodbridge,” I said, “and tell them to let Mr. Mifflin have the money. I’ll go there with him to identify him. Will that be all right?”
“Perfectly,” he said. The deceitful little snail! If I had only known what he was concocting!
Mifflin said there was a train at three o’clock which he could take. We stopped at a little lunch room for a bite to eat, then he went again to the bank, and I with him. We asked the cashier whether they had had a message from Redfield.
“Yes,” he said. “We’ve just heard.” And he looked at me rather queerly.
“Are you Miss McGill?” he said.
“I am,” I said.
“Will you just step this way a moment?” he asked politely.
He led me into a little sitting-room and asked me to sit down. I supposed that he was going to get some paper for me to sign, so I waited quite patiently for several minutes. I had left the Professor at the cashier’s window, where they would give him his money.