“What?” Mr. Skinner asked dully.
“I’m going to learn to play golf,” said Cappy.
SKINNER PROPOSES—AND CAPPY RICKS DISPOSES
Having, as he thought, evaded the spirit of Mr. Skinner’s ultimatum while conforming to its literal terms, Cappy Ricks hurried home leaving his general manager a stunned and horrified man. In this instance, however, Cappy had erred in his strategy. Skinner was calm, cold-blooded, suave, politic and deferential, but in his kind of fight he never bluffed. He never played his hand until he had sufficient trumps to take the odd trick.
He looked ahead now, into the not very distant future, and saw Matt Peasley, husband of the heiress to the Ricks millions, giving him orders—and the vision did not sit well on the general manager’s stomach. Consequently, Mr. Skinner decided for a test of strength at once.
Accordingly, when Cappy Ricks came down to the office the following morning, Mr. Skinner came into the old fellow’s sanctum and requested an interview.
“Fire away, my boy,” said Cappy amiably, yet with a queer sinking feeling in his vitals, for he did not like the look in Skinner’s eye; and something told him there was blood on the moon.
“With reference to this rowdy, Peasley, whom you tell me you are going to make port captain—”
“I also told you, Skinner, my boy, that he is to be my son-in-law,” Cappy interrupted, like a good general bringing up his heavy artillery prior to ordering a charge. “I beg of you, Skinner, whatever your animosities, to bear in mind the fact that my daughter could not possibly engage herself to a rowdy.”
“Out of respect to you and Miss Florence I shall not indulge in personalities, sir,” Mr. Skinner replied smilingly, and Cappy shuddered, for Mr. Skinner never smiled in a fight unless he had the situation well in hand. “I have merely called to tell you that I have invested seventy-five cents of my salary in a stout hickory pick-handle, and the next time Captain Matt Peasley enters my office I shall test the quality of the said pick-handle over his head. I don’t care if he is engaged to your daughter; the minute you bring that man into this office I go out. You shall have my resignation instantly. That decision, Mr. Ricks, is final and irrevocable.” And without giving Cappy an instant for argument Mr. Skinner bowed himself out.