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The San Francisco call. (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, September 13, 1903, Image 14

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THE SUNDAY CALL.
14
the v..nuuw, kiciung h«r back to tne i.w..
who walled bo eadly and yet »o heart
lessly.
"1 didn't want the million, Peggy." he
went on. "You think as the r^sst do, I
know, that I was a fool to act as I did.
It would be rank idiocy on my part to
blame you any more than the others for
thinking as you do. Appearances arc
against me; the proof Is overwhelming.
A year ago I was called a man; to-day
they are stripping me of every claim to
that distinction. The world says I am a
fool, a doit, almost a criminal— but no one
b«lleves I am a man. Peggy, will you feel
better toward me if I tell you that I am
going to begin life all over again? It will
he a new Monty Brewster that starts out
again in a few days, or, if you will, it
shall be the old one— the Monty you once
knew."
"The oM Monty." she murmured softly,
dreamily. "It would be good to see him —
so much better than to see the Monty of
the last year."
"And. fn spite of all I have done, Peg
gy, you will stand by me? You won't de
sert me like the rest? You'll be the same
Peesry of the other days?" he cried, his
calmness breaking down.
"How can you ask? Why should you
doubt me?"
For a moment they stood 6llent. each
looking into the heart of the other, each
seeing the beginning of a new day.
"Child." his voice trembled danger
ously, "I— I wonder if you care enough
for me to— to— " but he could only look
question.
"To start all over again with you?" she
the question.
"Yes — to iru<t yourself to the prodigal
who has returned. Without you, child,
all the rest would be as the husks. Peggy,
I want you— you! You do love me— 1 can
6ee it in your eyes, I can feel it in your
presence."
"How lorg you have been in realizing
it," she said pensively as she stretched
out her arms to him. For many minutes
he held her ciose. finding a beautiful
peace in the world again.
••How long have j'ou really cared?" he
asked in a. whisper.
"Always. Monty; all my life."
"And 1 too, child, all my life. I know
it now; I"ve known It for months. Oh,
what a fool I was to have wasted this
love of yours and all this love of mine.
But I'll not be a profligate in love, Peg
gy. I'll not squander an atom of it, dear,
not as long as I live."
"And we will build a greater love, Mon
ty, as we build the new life together. We
never can be poor while we have love as
u treasure."
••You won't mind being poor with me?"
he asked.
"I can't be poor with you," she said
simply.
"And I might have let all this escape
me," he cried fervently. "Listen, Peggy —
we will start together, you as my wife
and my fortune. You shall be all that is
left to me of the past. Will you marry me
the day after to-morrow? Don't say no,
dearest. I want to begin on that day.
At seven in the morning, dear? Don't
you gee how good the start will be?"
And he pleaded so ardently and so
earnestly thiit he won his point even
though it grew out of a whim that she
could not then understand. She was not
to learn until afterward his object In hav
ing the marriage take place on the morn
ing cf September 23, two hours before the
time set for the turning over of the Sedg
wick millions. If all went well they
would be Brewster's millions before
twelve o'clock, and Peggy's life of pov
erty would cover no more than three
hours of time. She believed him worth
a lifetime of poverty. So they would start
the new life wilh but one possession
love.
CHAPTER XXXL
Soon after noon on the 22d of Septem
ber, Monty folded his report to Swear
engen Jones, stuck it into his pocket and
sallied forth. A parcel delivery wagon
had carried off a mysterious bundle a few
minutes before. Mrs. Gray could not con
ceal her wonder, but Brewster's answers
to her questions threw little light on the
mystery. He could not tell her the big
bundle contained the receipts that were
to prove his sincerity when the time came
to settle with Mr. Jones. Brewster had
used his own form of receipt for every
purchase. Th*e little stub receipt books
had been made to order for him and not
only he but every person In his employ
carried one everywhere. No matter how
trivial the purchase the person who re
ceived a dollar cf BrewBter*s money
t^ned a receipt for the amount. News
boys and bootblacks were the only
beings who escaped the formality;
tips to waiters, porters, cabbies, etc.,
were recorded and afterward put into a
class by themselves. Receipts for the
few dollars remaining in his possession
were to be turned over on the morning
of the 23d and the general report was not
to be completed until 9 o'clock on that
day.
He kissed Peggy good-by. told her to
be ready for a drive at 4 oVclock, and
then went off to find Joe Bragdon and
Elon Gardner. They met him by ap
pointment and to them he confided his
design to be married on the following
day.
"You can't afford it, Monty," exploded
Joe, fearlessly. "Peggy is too good a girl.
By pad. It isn't fair to her."
"We have agreed to begin life to-mor
row. Wait and see the result. I think it
will surprise you. Incidentally it is up to
me to git the license to-day and to en
gage a minister's services. It Is going to
be quiet, you know. Joe, you can be my
best man if ycu like and, Gardie, I'll ex
pect you to sign your name as one of the
witnesses'. To-morrow evening we'll have
supper at Mrs. Gray's and 'among those
present' will not comprise a very large
list, I assure you. But we'll talk about
that later on. Just now I want to ask
you fellows to lend me enough money to
get the license and pay the preacher. I'll
return it to-morrow afternoon."
"Well, I'm damned." exclaimed Gard
ner, utterly dumfounded by the nerve of
the man. But they went with him to get
the license and Bragdon paid for it.
Gardner promised to have the minister at
the Gray house the next morning. Monty's
other request— made In deep seriousness
was that Peggy was not to be told of the
little transaction In which the license and
the minister figured so prominently. He
then hurried off to the office of Grant &
Ripley. The bundles of receipts had pre
ceded him.
"Has Jones arrived In town?" was his
first anxious question after the greetings.
"He is not registered at any of the ho
tels," responded Mr. Grant, and Brewster
did not see the troubled look that passed
over his face.
"He'll show up to-night, I presume,"
said he, complacently. The lawyers did
not tell him that all the telegrams they
had sent to Swearengen Jones In the past
two weeks had been returned to the New
York office as unclaimed in Butte. The
telegraph company reported that Mr.
Jones was not to be found and that he
had not been seen In Butte since the 3d
of September. The lawyers were hourly
expecting word from Montana men to
whom they had telegraphed for Informa
tion and advice. They were extremely
nervous, but Montgomery Brewster was
?~Z t-anf r and excited to notice the fact.
"A tall, bearded etranger wai here this
morning aeklng for you, Mr. Drewiter,"
said Ripley, hla head bent over some pa
pers on his desk.
"Ah! jonvi, I'm sure. I've. always Im
agined him with a long beard," eald Mon
ty, relief In his voice.
"It was not Mr. Jones. "We know Jones
quite well. This man was a stranger and
refused to give his name. He said he
would call at Mrs. Gray's this afternoon."
"Did he look like a constable or a bill
collector?" asked Monty, with a laugh.
•He looked very much like a tramp."
"Well, we'll forget him for the time be
ing," said Monty, drawing the report
from his pocket. "Would you mind look
ing over this report, gentlemen? I'd like
to know If it Is In proper form to present
to Mr. Jones."
Grant's hand trembled as he took the
carefuMy folded sheet from Brewster. A
"The Queerest-Looking Man Came to
the House to See You This
Afternoon."
quick glance of despair passed between
the two lawyers. ,
"Of course, you'll understand that this
report Is merely a synopsis of the expen
ditures. They are classified, however, and
the receipts over there are arranged in
such a way that Mr. Jones can very
easily verify all the figures set out in the
report. For instance, where It says
'cigars,' I have put down the total
amount that went up in smoke. The re
ceipts are to serve as an itemized state
ment, you know." Mr. Ripley took the
paper from his partner's hand and, pull-
Ing himself together, read the report
aloud. It was as follows: r «
New York, Sept 23, 19—.
To Swearengen Jones, Esq.
Executor under the will of the late
James T. Sedgwick of Montana: •
In pursuance of the terms of the afore
said will and in accord with the instruc
tions set forth by yourself as executor,
I present my report of receipts and dis
bursements for the year in my life end
ing at midnight on Sept. 22. The accuracy
of the figures set forth in this general
statement may be established by referring
to the receipts, which form a part of this
report There is not one penny of Edwin
Peter Brewster's money in my possession,
and I have no asset to mark its burial
place. These figures are submitted for
your most careful consideration:
Original Capital $1,000,000.00
Lumber arid Fuel" misfortune.. 5S.MO.O0
Prize fight misjudged 1.000.0C
Monte Carlo education 40000 {K
Race track errors *7OO OC
Sale of elx terrier pup» 150 0«
bale of furniture and personal
T effects 40,500-OC
Interest on funds once in hand 19.140.0C
Total amount to be disposed of..$l,lC0.040.0C
DISBURSEMENTS.
Rent for apartments |o.1 000 OC
Furnishing apartments 8S."7° 0C
Three automobiles 2l|000 0C
Renting six automobiles 25000 0C
t Amount lost to DeMille 10000(
Sa' ari " s 25,C50!OC
Amount Dald to men Injured ia
auto accident 12 240 O(
Amount lost In bank failure lisilr.s"'*:
Amount lost on races 4.000.0C
One glass screen 3.000.0C
Christmas presents 7)211 0C
Postage l.lOo.OC
Cable and telegraph 3.25r».0<
Stationery 2.400.0<
Two Boston terriers «OO.OC
Amount lost to "hold-up men"'.... 450.04'
Amount lost on concert tour OC.GSi.O'j
Amount lost through O. Harrison's
speculations (on my account).... fiO,OOO.OC
One hall (In two sections) C0.000.o(
Extra favors 6.OO0.0C
One yacht cruise 212 -TO!) V
One carnival '. 6.K24.OC
Clears 1.720.0C
Drinks, chiefly for others tt.040.W
Clothins 3.400.0C
Itent of one villa 20.000.0f
One courier 500.00
Dinner parties 117.no0.0C
Suppers and luncheons 38.0O0.OC
Theater sarties and suppers. ...... fi.277.Oi.
Hotel expenses 61.21S.53
railway and steamship fares 31.271.81
For newsboys' home ..* 5.000.0C
Two opera performances 20.0O0.0C
Iteiwxlrs to "Flitter" U.342.6C
In tow from somewhere to South
ampton BO.OfiO.Oc?
Fperlal train to Florida l.OOO.CW!
Cottajre In Florida r... r .CO.or
Medical attendance 3,100.00
Living expenses in Florida S,i)O0.O»j
Misappropriation of personal prop
erty by servants ...": 3.riS0.O(i
Taxes on personal property 112.2"
Sundries 0.105.01
Household expenses 24.S05.00
Total disbursements $1. 100.040.00
Balance on hand 0.000,000.00
Respectfully submitted,
MONTGOMERY BREWSTER.
"It's rather broad, you see, gentlemen,
but there are receipts for every dollar,
barring some trifling incidentals. He may
think I dissipated the fortune, but I defy
him or anybody else to prove that I have
not had my money's worth. To tell you
the truth, It has see/ned like a hundred
million. If any one should tell you that It
is an easy matter. to waste a million dol
lars, refer him to. me. Last fall I
weighed 180 pounds, yesterday I barely
moved the beam at 140; last fall there
was not a wrinkle in my face, nor did
I have a white hair. You see the result
of overwork, gentlemen. It will- take an
age to get back to where I was physi
cally, but I think I can do It with the
vacation that begins to-morrow. Inci
dentally, I'm going to be married to
morrow morning, just when I am poorer
than I ever expect to be agin. I still
have a few dollars to spend and I must
be about It. To-morrow I will account
for what I spend this evening. It la
now covered by the -sundries' Item, but
I'll have the receipts to show, all right.
See youT to-morrow morning:."
He was gone, eager to be with Peggy
afraid to discuss his report with th<
lawyers. Grant and Bipley shook theii
heads and sat silent for a Ions; tlnn
after his departure.
"We ought to hear something deflnltt
before night," said Grant, but thero wai
anxiety in his voice.
"I wonder," mused Ripley, as If tc
himself, "how he wiU take it If thi
worst should happen."
CHAPTER XXXII.
At 11 o'clock Pettingili's studio opened
its doors to the "Little Bons" and theii
guests, and the last "Dutch lunch" was
soon under ..way. Brewster had paid foi
It early in the evening and when he sal
flown at the head of the table there wa*
not a penny In his pockets! \ A year ago
at the same place and at the same hour
he and the "Little Sons" were having e
birthday feast. A million dollars cam«
to him on that night. To-night he wa«
poorer by far than on the other occasion
but he expected a little gift on the new
anniversary.
Around the board, besides the nine "Lit-
U e^?,? 3 '" l at slx * ues ts. among them th<
DeMilles, Peggy Gray and Mary Valen
tine. "Nopper" Harrison was the only
absent "Little Son," and his health wa«
proposed by Brewster almost before the
ichoes of the toast to the bride and groom
died away.
Interruption came earlier on this occa
sion than It did that night a year" ago.
Ellis did not deliver his messages tc
Drewster until 3 o'clock In the morning,
but the A. D. T. boy who rang the bell at
Pettingill's a year later handed him a tel
egram before 12 o'clock.
"Congratulations are coming in, old
man," said DeMille, as Monty looked
fearfully at the little envelope the boy
had given him.
"Many happy returns of the day," sug
gested Bragdon. "By Jove, it's sensible
of you to get married on your birthday,
Monty. It saves time and expense to your
friends."
"Read it aloud," said "Subway" Smith.
"Two to one it's from Nopper Harrison,"
cried Pettlnglll.
Brewster's fingers trembled, he knew
not why, as he opened the envelope,
rhere was the most desolate feeling' in
his heart, the most ghastly premonition
that Ill-news had come in this last hour.
He drew forth the telegram and slowly
painfully unfolded It. No one could have
lold by his expression that he felt almost
that he was reading his death warrant It
was from Grant & Ripley and evidently
had been following him about town for
two or three hours. The lawyers had filed
it at 8:30 o'clock. _~
He read it at a glance, his eyes burn
ing, his heart freezing. To the end of
nis days these words lived sharp and dis
tinct in his brain:
"Come to the office immediately. ' Will
wait all night for you if necessary. Jones
ias disappeared and there Is absolutely no
trace of him. GRANT & RIPLEY."
Brewster sat as one paralyzed, absolute
ly no sign of emotion In his -face. The
Dthers began to clamor for the contents
}f the telegram, but his tongue was stiff
ind motionless, his ears deaf. Every
Jrop of blood In his body was stilled by
the shock, eveVy sense given him by the
Creator was centered upon eleven words
In the handwriting of a careless telegraph
operator— "Jones has disappeared and
there Is absolutely no trace of him."
"JONES HAS DISAPPEARED!" Those
were the words, plain and terrible in their
;learness, tremendous in their brutality.
Slowly the rest of the message began to
urge its claims upon his brain. "Come to
jur office immediately" and "Will wait all
night" battled for recognition. He was
;alm because he had not the power to
express an emotion. How he maintained
control of himseli afterward he never
knew. Some powerful, kindly force as
serted itself, coming to his relief with the
timeliness of a genii. Gradually it began
to dawn upon him that the others were
waiting for him to read the message
aloud. He was not sure that a sound
would come forth when he opened his lips
to speak, but the tones were steady, nat
ural and as cold as steel.
"I am sorry I can't tell you about this,"
he eaid, so gravely that his hearers were
silenced. "It Is a business matter of such
vital importance that I must ask you to
excuse me for an hour or so. I will ex
plain everything to-morrow. Please don't
be uneasy. If you will do me the honor
'Monty, You Are Breaking My
Heart!" Was Mrs. Gray's
Only Appeal.
to grace the board or an absent host I'll
be most grateful. It is imperative that I
go, and at once. I promise to return in
an hour." He was standing/ his knees as
stiff as iron. 'W\-i'
"Is it anything serious?" asked De-
Mille.
"What!" has ! anything happened?"
came In halting, frightened ton^s from
Peggy.
"It concerns me alone, and it Is pure
ly of a business nature. Seriously, I
can't delay going for another minute.
It is vital. In an hour I'll return.
Peggy, don't be worried— don't be dis
tressed about, me. Go on and have a
good time, everybody, and you'll find me
the Jolliest fellow of all when I' come
back. It's twelve o'clock. I'll be here
by one on the 23d of September/'
"Let me go with you," pleaded Peggy,
tremulously, as she followed him into the
hallway.
"I must go alone," he answered. "Don't
worry, little woman, it will be all right"
His kiss sent a chill to the very bot
tom of Peggy's heart
CHAPTER XXXIII
"Close the door, please," came in steady
tones from Ripley. Mr. Grant droppe
into a chair and Brewster mechanicall:
slammed the door.
"Is it true?" he demanded hoarsely, hi
hand •till on the knob. • '..-..¦.
"Sit down, Brewster, and control your
¦elf.", said Ripley.
= "Good . God, man, can't you see I an
calm?" cried Monty. "Go on—tell me al
about it What do you know? _Wha
have you heard?"
"He cannot be found, that's all." an
oounced Ripley, with deadly lntentness
"I don't know what It means. There ii
no explanation. The whole thing is in
conceivable. Sit down and I will tell yoi
everything as quickly as possible." P
"There isn't much to tell," said Grat
mechanically.
"I can take it better standing," declared
Brewster, shutting his Jaws tightly.
"Jones was last seen in Butte on th*
Sd of this month,",said Ripley. "We sen
several telegrams to him after that day
asking when ha expected to leave fo;
New York. They never were claimed ahc
the telegraph company reported that hi
could not be found. We thought he migh
have gone off to. look after some of hi;
property and were not uneasy. Finallj
we began to wonder w,hy he had not wlrec
us on leaving for the East. I telegrapher
again and got no answer. It dawnec
upon us that this was something unus
ual. Vfe wired his secretary and recelvec
i response from the Chief of Police. H«
asked, in turn, if we_could tell him any
thing about the whereabouts of Jones
rhis naturally alarmed us and yesterday
we kept the wires hot The result of oui
Inquiries is terrible, Mr. Brewster." •::
"Why didn't you tell me?" asked Brews
ter. .-' , /
"There can be no doubt tnat Jones has
led/accompanied by his secretary. Th«
aellef in Butte is that the secretary has
murdered him."
"God!" was the only sound that cam<
from th« lips of Brewster.
Kipley moistened his lips and went on.
"We have dispatches here from the po
lice, the banks, the trust companies and
from a half dozen mine managers. You
may read them if -you like, but I can
tell you what they say. About the first
of this month Jones began to turn va
rious securities Into money. It Is now
known that they were once the property
of James T. Sedgwick. held in trust for
you. - The safety deposit vaults were aft
erward visited and Inspection shows that
he - removed every scrap of stock,' every
bond, everything: of value that he could
lay his hands upon. His own papers and
¦ effects were not disturbed. Yours alone
have disappeared. It is this fact that
convinces . the authorities that the secre
tary has~ made away with the old man
and has fled with the property. The bank
peorle say, that Jones drew out every
dcllr.r of thai Sedgwick money, and th*
police Bay V that he realized tremendous
sums on th« convertible securities. The
tirt.r.ge part 'Of It Is that he soM your
mines and your real estate, the purchaser
btlng a man! named Golden. Brewstcr,
it— it looks very much as if he had dis
appesred with everything."
Brewster did not take his eyes from
Ripley's face throughout the terrible
speech; he did not move a fraction of
an inch from the rigid position assumed
at the beginning. .
"Is anything being done?" he asked me
chanically.
"The police are Investigating. He is
known to have started off Into the moun
tains with his secretary on the third of
September. Neither has been seen since
that day, so far as any one knows. The
earth seems to have swallowed them.
The authorities are searching the moun
tains and are making every effort to find
Jones or his body. He Is known to be
eccentric and at first not much Impor
tance was attached to his actions. That
is all we can tell you at present There
may be developments to-morrow. : It
looks bad— terribly bad. We— we had the
utmost confidence in Jones. My God, I
wish I could help you, my boy."
"I don't blame you, gentlemen," said
Brewster bravely. "It's Just my luck,
that's all. Something told me all along
that— that .it wouldn't turn out right. I
wasn't looking for this kind of end,
though. My only fear was that— Jones
wouldn't consider me worthy to receive
the fortune. It never occurred to me that
he might prove to be the— the unworthy
one."
"I will take you a little farther into
our confidence/ Brewster," said Grant,
slowly. "Mr. Jones notified us in the be
ginning that he would be governed large
ly in his decision by our opinion of your
conduct. That Is why we felt no hesi
tation in advising you to continue as you
were going.
"The strangest circumstance of all, Mr.
Brewster, is that no such person as Gold
en, the purchaser, of your properties, can
be found. He is supposed to reside in
Omaha, and it is known that he paid
nearly three million dollars for the prop
erty that now stands In his name. lie
paid It to Mr. Jones in cash, too, and he
paid every cent that the property Is
worth."
"But he must be in existence some
where," cried Brewster, In perplexity.
"How the devil could he pay the money
If he doesn't exist?"
~"I only know that no trace of the man
can be found. They know nothing of him
in Omaha." said Grant, hopelessly.
"So it has finally happenerd." sail
Brewster, but his excitement had drop
ped. "Well," he added, throwing him
self into a deep chair, "it was always
much too stranee to be true.- Even .at
the beginning it seemed like a dream,
and now— well, now I am Just awake, like
the little boy after the fairy tale. I 'seem
like a fool to have taken it so seriously."
"There was no other way," protested
RIpley, "you were quite right."
"Well, after all." continued Brewster,
and the voice was as of one in a dream,
"perhaps it's as well to have been in
wonderland even if you have to come
Sown afterward to the ordinary world.
I am fooll.sh perhaps, but even now I
would not give it up." Then the thought
of Peggy clutched him by the throat, and
he stopped. After a moment he gathered
himself together and rose. "Gentlemen," he :
said sharply and his voice had changed: ."I
have had my fun and this is the end of it.
Down underneath I am desperately thed
of the whole thing, and I give you my
word that you will find me a different
man to-morrow. I am going to buckli
down to the real thing. I am golns to
prove thnt my grandfather's blood is J.u'
me. And I shall come out on top."
RIpley was obviously moved as he re
plied, "I don't question it for a moment.-
You are made of the right stuff. I saw
that long ago.- You may count on us to
morrow for any amount you need."
Grant indorsed the opinion. "I like your
spirit. Brewster," he said. "There are
not many men who would have taken this
as well. It's pretty hard on you, too, #ind
it's a miserable wedding gift for your
bride." . .
"We may have Important news • from
Butte In the morning," said RIpley, hope
fully; "at any rate, more of the details.
The newspapers will - have . sensational
stories, no doubt, and we have asked for
the latest particulars direct from the au
thorities. We'll see that things axe prop
erly Investigated. Go home now, my boy,
and go to bed. You will begin to-morrow
with good luck at your side and you may
be '- happy all >our life In spite of to-
night's depression."
"I'm sure to be happy," said Brewster,
simply. "The ceremony takes place at 7
o'clock, gentlemen. I was coming to your
office at 9 on a little matter of business,
but I fancy It won't after all be necessary
for me to hurry. I'11-drop in before noon?
however, and get that money. By the
way, here are the receipts for the money
I spent to-night. Will you put them
away with the others? I Intend to live up
to my part of the contract, and It will
• Bave me the trouble of presenting them
regularly In the morning. Good night,
gentlemen. I am sorry you were obliged
to stay up so late on my account" .
He left them bravely enough, but he
had more than one moment of weakness
before he could meet his friends. TKe
world seemed unreal and himself the
most unreal thing in it. But the night
air acted as a stimulant and helped him
to call back his courage. When he en
tered the studio at 1. o'clock he was pre
pared to redeem his promise to be "the
jolliest fellow of them ail."
CHAPTER XXXIV.
"I'll tell you about it later, dear," was
all that Peggy, pleading, could draw from
him.
At midnight Mrs. Dan had remonstrated
with her. "You must go home, Peggy
dear," she said. "It Is disgraceful for you
to stay up so late. I went to bed at 8
o'clock the night before I was married."
"And fell asleep at four In the morn
ing," smiled Peggy.
"You are quite mistaken, my dear. I
did not fall asleep at all. But I won't
allow you to stop a minute longer. It
puts rings under the eyes and sometimes
they're red the morning after."
"Oh, you dear sweet philosopher," cried
Peggy; "how wise you are. Do you think
I need a beauty sleep?"
"I don't want you to be a sleepy beauty,
that's all," retorted Mrs. Dan.
"Good Fellow, This Harrison; Says
You Grub-Staked Him."
Upon Monty's return from his trying
hour with the lawyers, he had been be
sieged with questions, but ho was cleverly
svaslve. Peggy alone was insistent; she
had curbed her curiosity until they were
on the way home, and then she Implored
him to tell her what had happened. The
misery he had endured was as nothing
to this reckoning with the woman who
had the right to expect fair treatment.
His duty was clear, but tne strain had
been heavy and it was not easy to meet
It
"Peggy, something terrible has happen
ed," he faltered, uncertain of his course.
"Tell me everything, Monty, you can
trust me to be brave."
"When I asked you to marry me," he
continued gravely, "It was with the
thought that I could give you everything
to-morrow. I looked for a fortune. I
never meant that you should marry a
pauper."
"I don't understand. You tried to test
my love for you?"
"No, child, not that But I was pledged
not to speak of the money I expected,
md I wanted ypu so much before It
;ame."
"And It has failed you?" she answered.
"I can't see that it changes things. I ex
pected to marry a pauper, as you call it
Do you think this could make a differ
ence?"
"But you don't understand, Peggy. I
haven't a penny in the world.'.' .
"You hadn't a penny when I accepted
pou," she replied. "I am not afraid. I
Delieve in you. And if youjove me I shall
lot give you up."
"Dearest!" and the carriage was at the
ioor before another word was uttered.
But Monty called to the coachman to
Jrive Just once around the block.
"Good night, my darling," he said when
they reached home. ."Sleep- till - eight
j'clock if you like. There is nothing now
n the way of having the wedding at nine,
nstead of at seven. In fact, I -have a
reason for wanting my whole fortune 4o
:ome to me then. You will be all that 1
nave in the world, child, but I am the
happiest man alive."
In his room the strain was relaxed and
Brewster faced the bitter reality. Wlth
3ut. undressing he threw himself upon
the lounge and wondered what the world
Held for him. It held Peggy at least, he
.bought, and she was enough. But had he
been fair to her? . Was he right in ex
lctlng a sacrifice? His tired brain whirl
ed in the effort to decide. Only one thing
ivas clear — that he . could not give her
jp. The future grew black at the very
thought of it. With her he could make
.hlngs go. but alone it was another mat
ter. He would take the plunge and he
would Justify it. •
Looking toward the window he saw the
alack, uneasy night give way to the com
ng day. Haggard and faint he arose
from the couch to watch the approach
)f the sun that is Indifferent to wealth
ind poverty, to gayety and dejection.
From far off in the gray light there came
the sound of a five o'clock bell. A little
ater the shrieks of factory whistles were
icrne to his ears, muffled by distance, but
pregnant with the importance -of a new
Jay of toil. They were calling him, with
ill poor men, to the sweat-shop and the
targe, to the great mill of life. The new
;ra had begun,. dawning bright and clear
to disperse the gloom in his soul.
Leaning against the casement and
wondering where he could earn the first
lollar for the Peggy Brewster ' that was
Peggy Gray, he rose to meet it with a
Ine unflinching fearlessness. , •-;..;
Before 7 o'clock he was downstairs and
waiting. Joe Bragdon Joined him a bit
ater. followed by Gardner and the mln-
later. TheDeMllles appeared without aa
Invitation, but they were not denied- Mrs.
Dan sasely shook her head when tow
that Peggy was still asleep and that the
ceremony was off till 9 o'clock.
"Monty, are you going away?" asked
Dan, drawing him into a corner.
"Just a week in the hills." answered
Monty, BUddenly remembering the gener
osity of his attorneys.
"Come In and see me as -soon as you
return, old man," said DeMille, and Monty
knew that a position would be open to
him.
To Mrs. Dan fell the honor of helping
Peggy dress. By the time she had had
coffee and was ready to go down she
was pink with excitement and had quite
forgotten the anxiety which had made
the night an age.
She had never been prettier than on
her wedding morning. Her color was
rich, her eyes as clear as stars, her
woman's body the picture of grace and
health. Monty's heart leaped high with
love of her.
"The prettiest girl In New York by
Jove," gasped Dan DeMille, clutching
Bragdon by the arm.
"And look at Monty! He's become a
new man in the last five minutes," added
Joe. -Look at the glow In his' cheeks!
By the eternal, he's beginning to look as
he did a year ago." '.;'•'
A clock chimed the hour of I.
"The man who was here yesterday is
In the hall to see Mr. Brewster," said the
maid, a few minutes after the minister
had uttered the words that gave Peggy a
new name. There was a moment of si
lence, almost of dread.
"You mean the fellow with the beardr*
asked Monty, uneasily.
"Yes. sir. He sent In this letter, beg
ging you to read It at once."
"Shall I send him away, Monty?" de
manded Bragdon, defiantly. ""What does
he mean by coming: at this time?"
"I'll read the letter first, Joe."
Every eye was on JBrewster as
he tore open the envelope. r Hls
face was expressive. There was
wonder In it. then incredulity, then
Joy. He threw the letter to Bragdon.
clasped Peggy In his arms spasmodically,
and then, releasing her, dashed for the
hall like one bereft of reason.
"It's Nopper Harrison!" he cried, and
a moment later the tall visitor was
dragged into the circle.
Bragdon' 3 hands trembled and his volca
was not sure as he translated the scrawl,
"Nopper" Harrison standing behind Mm
for the gleeful purpose of prompting him
when the writing was beyond the range
of human Intelligence.
"Holland House. Sept. 23. 19 —
"Mr. Montgomery Brewster, My Dear
Boy: So you thought I had given you
the slip, eh? Didn't think I'd show up
here and do my part? Well, I don't blame
you; I supposed I've acted like a damned
Idiot, but so long aa It turns out O. K.
there's no harm done.' The wolf won't
gnaw very much of a hole In your door,
I reckon. This letter Introduces my sec
retary, Mr. Oliver Harrison. He came to
me last June, out In Butte. with the pros
pectus of a claim he had staked out up
in the mountains. What he wanted was
backing and he had such a good show
to win out that I went Into cahoots with
him. He's got a mine up there that is
dead sure to yield millions. Seems as
though he has to give you half of the
yield, though. Says you grub-staked him.
Good fellow, this Harrison. Needed a
secretary and man of affairs, so took him
Into my office. You can see that he did
not take me up Into the mountains to
murder me, as the papers say this morn-
Ing. Damned rot. Nobody's business but
my own If I concluded to come east with
out telling everybody In Butte about it.
"I am here and so is the money. Got
in last night. Harrison came from Chi
cago a day ahead of me. I went to office
of G. & R, at eight this morning. | Found
them In a hell of a stew. Thought I'd
skipped out or been murdered. Money all
gone, everything gone to smash. That's
what they thought. Don't blame 'em
much. You see it was this way: I con
cluded to follow out the terms of the will
and deliver the goods in person. I
got together all of Jim Sedgwlck's
stuff and did a lot or other fool
things, I suppose, and hiked
off to New York. You'll find about seven
million dollars' worth of stuff to your
credit when you Indorse the certified
checks down at Grant & Rlpley's. my
boy. It's all here and in the banks.
"It's a mighty decent sort of a wedding
gift. I reckon.
"The lawyers told me all about you.
Told me all about last night, and that
you were going to be married this morn
ing. By this time you're comparatively
happy with the bride, I guess. I looked
over your report and took a few peeps at
the receipts. They're all right. I'm sat
isfied'. The money is yours. Then I got
to thinking that maybe you wouldn't care
to come down at nine o'clock, especially
as you are Just recovering from the Joy of
being married, so I settled with the law
yers and they'll settle with you. If you
have nothing in particular to do this aft
ernoon about two o'clock, I'd suggest that
you come to the hotel and .we'll dispose
of a few formalities that the law requires
of us. And you can give me some les
sons in spending money. I've got a little
I'd like to miss some morning. As for
your ability as a business man, I have
this to say: Any man who can spend a
million a year and have nothing to show
for it don't need a Recommendation from
anybody. He's In ij. class by himself and
it's a business that no one else can give
him a pointer about.- The' best test of
your real capacity, my boy, is the way
you listed your property for taxation. It's
a true sign of business sagacity. That
would have decided me in your favor If
everything else had been against you.
"I'm sorry you've been worried about
all this. You have gone through a good
deal In a year and you have been roasted
from Hades to breakfast by everybody.
Now it's your turn to laugh. It will sur
prise them to read the 'extras' to-day.
I've done my duty to you In more ways
than one. I've got myself Interviewed by
the newspapers and to-day they'll print
the whole truth about Montgomery Brew
ster and his millions. They've got the
Sedgwick ¦ will and my story and the old
town will, boll with excitement. I guess
you'll be squared before the world, all
right. You'd better stay Indoors for
awhile, though. If you want to have a
quiet honeymoon.
"I don't like New York. Never did. Am
going back to Butte to-night. Out there
we have real sky-scrapers 'and they are
not built of brick. They are two or three
miles high and they have gold in them.
There Is real grass In the ' lowlands and
we have valleys that make Central Park
look like a half an Inch of nothing. Prob
ably you and Mrs. Brewster were going
to take a wedding trip, so why not go
West with' me In my car?' We start at
7:45 p. m. and I won't bother you. Then
you can take it anywhere you like. Sin
cerely yours,
"SWEARENGEN JONES.
• "P. S. I forgot to say there la no such
man as Golden. I bought your mines and
ranches with my own money. You may
buy them back at the same figures. I'd
advise you to do it. They'll be worth
twice as much in a year. 1 I hope you'll
forgive the whims of an old man who has
liked you from the start. J."
(The End.)

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