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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 288 pages of information about The Valley of the Giants.

“You’re perfectly horrid,” she blazed, and hung up without the formality of saying good-bye.

CHAPTER XXXIV

Shortly after Shirley’s departure from his office, Bryce had a visit from Buck Ogilvy.  The latter wore a neatly pressed suit of Shepherd plaid, with a white carnation in his lapel, and he was, apparently, the most light-hearted young man in Humboldt County.  He struck an attitude and demanded: 

“Boss, what do you think of my new suit?”

“You lunatic!  Don’t you know red blonds should never wear light shades?  You’re dressed like a Negro minstrel.”

“Well, I feel as happy as an end-man.  And by the way, you’re all chirked up yourself.  Who’s been helping you to the elixir of life.  When we parted last night, you were forty fathoms deep in the slough of despond.”

“No less a divinity than Miss Shirley Sumner!  She called this morning to explain that last night’s fiasco was none of her making, and quite innocently she imparted the information that old Pennington lighted out for San Francisco at one o’clock this morning.  Wherefore I laugh.  Te-he!  Ha-hah!”

“Three long, loud raucous cheers for Uncle.  He’s gone to rush a restraining order through the United States District Court.  Wonder why he didn’t wire his attorneys to attend to the matter for him.”

“He has the crossing blocked, and inasmuch as the Mayor feeds out of Pennington’s hand, the Colonel is quite confident that said crossing will remain blocked, As for the restraining order—­well, if one wants a thing well done, one should do it oneself.”

“All that doesn’t explain your cheerful attitude, though.”

“Oh, but it does.  I’ve told you about old Duncan McTavish, Moira’s father, haven’t I?” Ogilvy nodded, and Bryce continued:  “When I fired the old scoundrel for boozing, it almost broke his heart; he had to leave Humboldt, where everybody knew him, so he wandered down into Mendocino County and got a job sticking lumber in the drying-yard of the Willits Lumber Company.  He’s been there two months now, and I am informed by his employer that old Mac hasn’t taken a drink in all that time.  And what’s more, he isn’t going to take one again.”

“How do you know?”

“Because I make it my business to find out.  Mac was the finest woods-boss this county ever knew; hence you do not assume that I would lose the old scoundrel without making a fight for him, do you?  Why, Buck, he’s been on the Cardigan pay-roll thirty years, and I only fired him in order to reform him.  Well, last week I sent one of Mac’s old friends down to Willits purposely to call on him and invite him out ‘for a time’; but Mac wouldn’t drink with him.  No, sir, he couldn’t be tempted.  On the contrary, he told the tempter that I had promised to give him back his job if he remained on the water wagon for one year; he was resolved to win back his job and his self-respect.”

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