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- The World For Sale, Volume 2. - 6/28 -
loose body swayed with the struggle to fight it out.
"I'll take no orders from you," the husky voice protested. "My conscience alone will guide me. I'll speak the truth as I feel it, and the people will stand by me."
"In that case you WILL take orders from me. I'm going to save the town from what hurts it, if I can. I've got no legal rights over you, but I have moral rights, and I mean to enforce them. You gabble of conscience and truth, but isn't it a new passion with you--conscience and truth?"
He leaned over the table and fastened the minister's eyes with his own. "Had you the same love of conscience and truth at Radley?"
A whiteness passed over the flabby face, and the beady eyes took on a glazed look. Fight suddenly died out of them.
"You went on a missionary tour on the Ottawa River. At Radley you toiled and rested from your toil--and feasted. The girl had no father or brother, but her uncle was a railway-man. He heard where you were, and he hired with my company to come out here as a foreman. He came to drop on you. The day after he came he had a bad accident. I went to see him. He told me all; his nerves were unstrung, you observe. He meant to ruin you, as you ruined the girl. He had proofs enough. The girl herself is in Winnipeg. Well, I know life, and I know man and man's follies and temptations. I thought it a pity that a career and a life like yours should be ruined--"
A groan broke from the twitching lips before him, and a heavy sweat stood out on the round, rolling forehead.
"If the man spoke, I knew it would be all up with you, for the world is very hard on men of God who fall. I've seen men ruined before this, because of an hour's passion and folly. I said to myself that you were only human, and that maybe you had paid heavy in remorse and fear. Then there was the honour of the town of Lebanon. I couldn't let the thing take its course. I got the doctor to tell the man that he must go for special treatment to a hospital in Montreal, and I--well, I bought him off on his promising to keep his mouth shut. He was a bit stiff in terms, because he said the girl needed the money. The child died, luckily for you. Anyhow I bought him off, and he went. That was a year ago. I've got all the proofs in my pocket, even to the three silly letters you wrote her when your senses were stronger than your judgment. I was going to see you about them to-day."
He took from his pocket a small packet, and held them before the other's face. "Have a good look at your own handwriting, and see if you recognize it," Ingolby continued.
But the glazed, shocked eyes did not see. Reuben Tripple had passed the several stages of horror during Ingolby's merciless arraignment, and he had nearly collapsed before he heard the end of the matter. When he knew that Ingolby had saved him, his strength gave way, and he trembled violently. Ingolby looked round and saw a jug of water. Pouring out a glassful, he thrust it into the fat, wrinkled fingers.
"Drink and pull yourself together," he said sternly. The shaken figure straightened itself, and the water was gulped down. "I thank you," he said in a husky voice.
"You see I treated you fairly, and that you've been a fool?" Ingolby asked with no lessened determination.
"I have tried to atone, and--"
"No, you haven't had the right spirit to atone. You were fat with vanity and self-conceit. I've watched you."
"In future I will--"
"Well, that rests with yourself, but your health is bad, and you're not going to take the funeral tomorrow. You've had a sudden breakdown, and you're going to get a call from some church in the East--as far East as Yokohama or Bagdad, I hope; and leave here in a few weeks. You understand? I've thought the thing out, and you've got to go. You'll do no good to yourself or others here. Take my advice, and wherever you go, walk six miles a day at least, work in a garden, eat half as much as you do, and be good to your wife. It's bad enough for any woman to be a parson's wife, but to be a parson's wife and your wife, too, wants a lot of fortitude."
The heavy figure lurched to the upright, and steadied itself with a force which had not yet been apparent.
"I'll do my best--so help me God!" he said and looked Ingolby squarely in the face for the first time.
"All right, see you keep your word," Ingolby replied, and nodded good- bye.
The other went to the door, and laid a hand on the knob.
Suddenly Ingolby stopped him, and thrust a little bundle of bills into his hand. "There's a hundred dollars for your wife. It'll pay the expense of moving," he said.
A look of wonder, revelation and gratitude crept into Tripple's face. "I will keep my word, so help me God!" he said again.
"All right, good-bye," responded Ingolby abruptly, and turned away.
A moment afterwards the door closed behind the Rev. Reuben Tripple and his influence in Lebanon. "I couldn't shake hands with him," said Ingolby to himself, "but I'm glad he didn't sniffle. There's some stuff in him--if it only has a chance."
"I've done a good piece of business, Berry," he said cheerfully as he passed through the barber-shop. "Suh, if you say so," said the barber, and they left the shop together.
MATTER AND MIND AND TWO MEN
Promptly at nine o'clock Jethro Fawe knocked at Ingolby's door, and was admitted by the mulatto man-servant Jim Beadle, who was to Ingolby like his right hand. It was Jim who took command of his house, "bossed" his two female servants, arranged his railway tours, superintended his kitchen--with a view to his own individual tastes; valeted him, kept his cigars within a certain prescribed limit by a firm actuarial principle which transferred any surplus to his own use; gave him good advice, weighed up his friends and his enemies with shrewd sense; and protected him from bores and cranks, borrowers and "dead-beats."
Jim was accustomed to take a good deal of responsibility, and had more than once sent people to the right-about who had designs on his master, even though they came accredited. On such occasions he did not lie to protect himself when called to account, but told the truth pertinaciously. He was obstinate in his vanity, and carried off his mistakes with aplomb. When asked by Ingolby what he called the Governor General when he took His Excellency over the new railway in Ingolby's private car, he said, "I called him what everybody called him. I called him 'Succelency.'" And "Succelency" for ever after the Governor General was called in the West. Jim's phonetic mouthful gave the West a roar of laughter and a new word to the language. On another occasion Jim gave the West a new phrase to its vocabulary which remains to this day. Having to take the wife of a high personage of the neighbouring Republic over the line in the private car, he had astounded his master by presenting a bill for finger-bowls before the journey began. Ingolby said to him, "Jim, what the devil is this--finger-bowls in my private car? We've never had finger-bowls before, and we've had everybody as was anybody to travel with us." Jim's reply was final. "Say," he replied, "we got to have 'em. Soon's I set my eyes on that lady I said: 'She's a finger-bowl lady.'"
"'Finger-bowl lady' be hanged, Jim, we don't--" Ingolby protested, but Jim waved him down.
"Say," he said decisively, "she'll ask for them finger-bowls--she'll ask for 'em, and what'd I do if we hadn't got 'em."
She did ask for them; and henceforth the West said of any woman who put on airs and wanted what she wasn't born to: "She's a finger-bowl lady."
It was Jim who opened the door to Jethro Fawe, and his first glance was one of prejudice. His quick perception saw that the Romany wore clothes not natural to him. He felt the artificial element, the quality of disguise. He was prepared to turn the visitor away, no matter what he wanted, but Ingolby's card handed to him by the Romany made him pause. He had never known his master give a card like that more than once or twice in the years they had been together. He fingered the card, scrutinized it carefully, turned it over, looked heavenward reflectively, as though the final permission for the visit remained with him, and finally admitted the visitor.
"Mr. Ingolby ain't in," he said. "He went out a little while back. You got to wait," he added sulkily, as he showed the Romany into Ingolby's working-room.
As Jim did so, he saw lying on a chair a suit of clothes on top of which were a wig and false beard and moustache. Instantly he got between the visitor and the make-up. The parcel was closed when he was in the room a half-hour before. Ingolby had opened it since, had been called out, and had forgotten to cover the things up or put them away.
"Sit down," Jim said to the Romany, still covering the disguise. Then he raised them in his arms, and passed with them into another room, muttering angrily to himself.
The Romany had seen, however. They were the first things on which his eyes had fallen when he entered the room. A wig, a false beard, and workman's clothes! What were they for? Were these disguises for the Master Gorgio? Was he to wear them? If so, he--Jethro Fawe--would watch and follow him wherever he went. Had these disguises to do with Fleda-- with his Romany lass?
His pulses throbbed; he was in an overwrought mood. He was ready for any illusion, susceptible to any vagary of the imagination.
He looked round the room. So this was the way the swaggering, masterful Gorgio lived?
Here were pictures and engravings which did not seem to belong to a new town in a new land, where everything was useful or spectacular. Here was a sense of culture and refinement. Here were finished and unfinished water-colours done by Ingolby's own hand or bought by him from some hard- up artist earning his way mile by mile, as it were. Here were books, not
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