Make it a hundred, and God will bless you. When I get it, I’ll come to Sequoia and kiss you. I’ll pay you back sometime—of course.
Wistfully thine—Buck Ogilvy
P.S.—Delays are dangerous, and procrastination is the thief of time.—B.
John Cardigan chuckled. “I’d take Buck Ogilvy, Bryce. He’ll do. Is he honest?”
“I don’t know. He was, the last time I saw him.”
“Then wire him a hundred. Don’t wait for the mail. The steamer that carries your letter might be wrecked and your friend Ogilvy forced to steal.”
“I have already wired him the hundred. In all probability he is now out whirling like a dervish.”
“Good boy! Well, I think we’ve planned sufficient for the present, Bryce. You’d better leave for San Francisco to-morrow and close your deal with Gregory. Arrange with him to leave his own representative with Ogilvy to keep tab on the job, check the bills, and pay them as they fall due; and above all things, insist that Gregory shall place the money in a San Francisco bank, subject to the joint check of his representative and ours. Hire a good lawyer to draw up the agreement between you; be sure you’re right, and then go ahead—full speed. When you return to Sequoia, I’ll have a few more points to give you. I’ll mull them over in the meantime.”
When Bryce Cardigan walked down the gang-plank at the steamship-dock in San Francisco, the first face he saw among the waiting crowd was Buck Ogilvy’s. Mr. Ogilvy wore his over-coat and a joyous smile, proving that in so far as he was concerned all was well with the world; he pressed forward and thrust forth a great speckled paw for Bryce to shake. Bryce ignored it.
“Why, don’t you remember me?” Ogilvy demanded. “I’m Buck Ogilvy.”
Bryce looked him fairly in the eye and favoured him with a lightning wink. “I have never heard of you, Mr. Ogilvy. You are mistaking me for someone else.”
“Sorry,” Ogilvy murmured. “My mistake! Thought you were Bill Kerrick, who used to be a partner of mine. I’m expecting him on this boat, and he’s the speaking image of you.”
Bryce nodded and passed on, hailed a taxicab, and was driven to the San Francisco office of his company. Five minutes later the door opened and Buck Ogilvy entered.
“I was a bit puzzled at the dock, Bryce,” he explained as they shook hands, “but decided to play safe and then follow you to your office. What’s up? Have you killed somebody, and are the detectives on your trail? If so, ’fess up and I’ll assume the responsibility for your crime, just to show you how grateful I am for that hundred.”
“No, I wasn’t being shadowed, Buck, but my principal enemy was coming down the gangplank right behind me, and—”
“So was my principal enemy,” Ogilvy interrupted. “What does our enemy look like?”