“That will insure delivery of sufficient logs to get out our orders on file,” Bryce informed his father. “While we are morally certain our mill will run but one year longer, I intend that it shall run full capacity for that year. In fact, I’m going to saw in that one year remaining to us as much lumber as we would ordinarily saw in two years. To be exact, I’m going to run a night-shift.”
The sightless old man raised both hands in deprecation. “The market won’t absorb it,” he protested.
“Then we’ll stack it in piles to air-dry and wait until the market is brisk enough to absorb it,” Bryce replied.
“Our finances won’t stand the overhead of that night-shift, I tell you,” his father warned.
“I know we haven’t sufficient cash on hand to attempt it, Dad, but— I’m going to borrow some.”
“From whom? No bank in Sequoia will lend us a penny, and long before you came home I had sounded every possible source of a private loan.”
“Did you sound the Sequoia Bank of Commerce?”
“Certainly not. Pennington owns the controlling interest in that bank, and I was never a man to waste my time.”
Bryce chuckled. “I don’t care where the money comes from so long as I get it, partner. Pennington’s money may be tainted; in fact, I’d risk a bet that it is; but our employees will accept it for wages nevertheless. Desperate circumstances require desperate measures you know, and the day before yesterday, when I was quite ignorant of the fact that Colonel Pennington controls the Sequoia Bank of Commerce, I drifted in on the president and casually struck him for a loan of one hundred thousand dollars.”
“Well, I’ll be shot, Bryce! What did he say?”
“Said he’d take the matter under consideration and give me an answer this morning. He asked me, of course, what I wanted that much money for, and I told him I was going to run a night-shift, double my force of men in the woods, and buy some more logging-trucks, which I can get rather cheap. Well, this morning I called for my answer—and got. it. The Sequoia Bank of Commerce will loan me up to a hundred thousand, but it won’t give me the cash in a lump sum. I can have enough to buy the logging-trucks now, and on the first of each month, when I present my pay-roll, the bank will advance me the money to meet it.”
“Bryce, I am amazed.”
“I am not—since you tell me Colonel Pennington controls that bank. That the bank should accommodate us is the most natural procedure imaginable. Pennington is only playing safe—which is why the bank declined to give me the money in a lump sum. If we run a night-shift, Pennington knows that we can’t dispose of our excess output under present market conditions. The redwood trade is in the doldrums and will remain in them to a greater or less degree until the principal redwood centres secure a rail outlet to the markets of the country. It’s a safe bet our lumber is