Brewster s Millions
OE CALIF. LIBRARY, LOS ANGELES
HERBERT S. STONE & CO.
BY HERBERT S. STONE & COMPANY
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Issued April 20, 1903
CHAPTER p AGE
I. A Birthday Dinner .... i
II. Shades of Aladdin .... 8
III. Mrs. and Miss Gray ... -14
IV. A Second Will . . . 24
V. The Message from Jones . . .35
VI. Monty Cristo ^ ()
VII. A Lesson in Tact 62
VIII. The Forelock of Time .... 68
IX. Love and a Prize-fight . . . .76
X. The Napoleon of Finance ... 84
XL Coals of Fire 94
XII. Christmas Despair ..... 106
XIII. A Friend in Need . . . . .114
XIV. Mrs. DeMille Entertains . . .123
XV. The Cut Direct 133
XVI. In the Sunny South .... 146
XVII. The New Tenderfoot . . . .157
XVIII. The Prodigal at Sea . . . . 166
XIX. One Hero and Another . . . .174
XX. Le Roi S Amuse . . . . .181
XXI. Fairyland ig3
XXII. Prince and Peasants .... 202
XXIII. An Offer of Marriage .... 212
XXIV. The Sheik s Strategy . . . .221
XXV. The Rescue of Peggy . . . .234
XXVI. The Mutiny 243
XXVII. A Fair Traitor .252
XXVIII. A Catastrophe 263
XXIX. The Prodigal s Return . . . .272
XXX. The Promise of Thrift . . . .282
XXXI. How the Million Disappeared . . . 290
XXXII. The Night Before . . _ . . . 2 Q S
XXXIII. The Flight of Jones . . . . .306
XXXIV. The Last Word 315
Brewster s Millions
A BIRTH DA Y DINNER
"The Little Sons of the Rich" were gath
ered about the long table in Pettingill s
studio. There were nine of them present,
besides Brewster. They were all young, more
or less enterprising, hopeful, and reasonably
sure of better things to come. Most of them
bore names that meant something in the story
of New York. Indeed one of them had
remarked, "A man is known by the street
that s named after him," and as he was a new
member, they called him "Subway."
The most popular man in the company was
young "Monty" Brewster. He was tall and
straight and smooth-shaven. People called
him "clean-looking." Older women were
interested in him because his father and
mother had made a romantic runaway match,
which was the talk of the town in the seven
ties, and had never been forgiven. Worldly
2 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
women were interested in him because he was
the only grandson of Edwin Peter Brewster,
who was many times a millionaire, and Monty
was fairly certain to be his heir barring an
absent-minded gift to charity. Younger
women were interested for a much more obvi
ous and simple reason: they liked him. Men
also took to Monty because he was a good
sportsman, a man among men, because he had
a decent respect for himself and no great
aversion to work.
His father and mother had both died while
he was still a child, and, as if to make up for
his long relentlessness, the grandfather had
taken the boy to his own house and had cared
for him with what he called affection. After
college and some months on the continent,
however, Monty had preferred to be inde
pendent. Old Mr. Brewster had found him a
place in the bank, but beyond this and occa
sional dinners, Monty asked for and received
no favors. It was a question of work, and
hard work, and small pay. He lived on his
salary because he had to, but he did not resent
his grandfather s attitude. He was better satis
fied to spend his "weakly salary," as he called
it, in his own way than to earn more by dining
seven nights a week with an old man who had
A BIRTHDAY DINNER 3
forgotten he was ever young. It was less
wearing, he said.
Among the "Little Sons of the Rich, "birth
days were always occasions for feasting. The
table was covered with dishes sent up from the
French restaurant in the basement. The chairs
were pushed back, cigarettes were lighted,
men had their knees crossed. Then Pettingill
"Gentlemen," he began, "we are here to
celebrate the twenty-fifth birthday of Mr.
Montgomery Brewster. I ask you all to join
me in drinking to his long life and happi
"No heel taps!" some one shouted. "Brew
ster! Brewster!" all called at once.
"For he s a jolly good fellow,
For he s a jolly good fellow!"
The sudden ringing of an electric bell cut off
this flow of sentiment, and so unusual was the
interruption that the ten members straightened
up as if jerked into position by a string.
"The police!" some one suggested. All
faces were turned toward the door. A waiter
stood there, uncertain whether to turn the
knob or push the bolt.
"Damned nuisance!" said Richard Van
Winkle, "I want to hear Brewster s speech."
4 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
"Speech! Speech!" echoed everywhere.
Men settled into their places.
"Mr. Montgomery Brewster, " Pettingill
Again the bell rang long and loud.
"Reinforcements. I ll bet there s a patrol in
the street," remarked Oliver Harrison.
"If it s only the police, let them in," said
Pettingill. "I thought it was a creditor."
The waiter opened the door.
"Some one to see Mr. Brewster, sir," he
"Is she pretty, waiter?" called McCloud.
"He says he is Ellis, from your grandfather s,
"My compliments to Ellis, and ask him to
inform my grandfather that it s after banking
hours. I ll see him in the morning," said Mr.
Brewster, who had reddened under the jests of
"Grandpa doesn t want his Monty to stay
out after dark," chuckled Subway Smith.
"It was most thoughtful of the old gentle
man to have the man call for you with the
perambulator," shouted Pettingill above the
laughter. "Tell him you ve already had your
bottle," added McCloud.
"Waiter, tell Ellis I m too busy to be seen,"
A BIRTHDAY DINNER 5
commanded Brewster, and as Ellis went down
in the elevator a roar followed him.
"Now, for Brewster s speech! Brewster!"
"Gentlemen, you seem to have forgotten
for the moment that I am twenty-five years old
this day, and that your remarks have been
childish and wholly unbecoming the dignity of
my age. That I have arrived at a period of
discretion is evident from my choice of friends;
that I am entitled to your respect is evident
from my grandfather s notorious wealth. You
have done me the honor to drink my health and
to reassure me as to the inoffensiveness of
approaching senility. Now I ask you all to
rise and drink to The Little Sons of the Rich.
May the Lord love us!"
An hour later "Rip" Van Winkle and Sub
way Smith were singing "Tell Me, Pretty
Maiden," to the uncertain accompaniment of
Pettingill s violin, when the electric bell again
disturbed the company.
"For Heaven s sake!" shouted Harrison,
who had been singing "With All Thy Faults, I
Love Thee Still," to Pettingill s lay figure.
"Come home with me, grandson, come home
with me now," suggested Subway Smith.
"Tell Ellis to go to Halifax," commanded
6 BREIVSTER S MILLIONS
Montgomery, and again Ellis took the elevator
downward. His usually impassive face now
wore a look of anxiety, and twice he started
to return to the top floor, shaking his head
dubiously. At last he climbed into a hansom
and reluctantly left the revelers behind. He
knew it was a birthday celebration, and it was
only half-past twelve in the morning.
At three o clock the elevator made another
trip to the top floor and Ellis rushed over to
the unfriendly doorbell. This time there was
stubborn determination in his face. The sing
ing ceased and a roar of laughter followed the
hush of a moment or two.
"Come in!" called a hearty voice, and Ellis
strode firmly into the studio.
"You are just in time for a ,, night-cap,
Ellis," cried Harrison, rushing to the foot
man s side. Ellis, stolidly facing the young
man, lifted his hand.
"No, thank you, sir," he said, respectfully.
"Mr. Montgomery, if you ll excuse me for
breaking in, I d like to give you three messages
I ve brought here to-night."
"You re a faithful old chap," said Subway
Smith, thickly. "Hanged if I d do A. D. T.
work till three A. M. for anybody."
"I came at ten, Mr. Montgomery, with a
A BIRTHDAY DINNER 7
message from Mr. Brewster, wishing you many
happy returns of the day, and with a check
from him for one thousand dollars. Here s
the check, sir. I ll give my messages in the
order I received them, sir, if you please. At
twelve-thirty o clock, I came with a message
from Dr. Gower, sir, who had been called
"Called in?" gasped Montgomery, turning
"Yes, sir, Mr. Brewster had a sudden heart
attack at half-past eleven, sir. The doctor
sent word by me, sir, that he was at the point
of death. My last message
"This time I bring a message from Rawles,
the butler, asking you to come to Mr. Brew-
ster s house at once if you can, sir, I mean,
if you will, sir," Ellis interjected, apologet
ically. Then with his gaze directed steadily
over the heads of the subdued "Sons" he
"Mr. Brewster is dead, sir."
SHADES OF ALADDIN
Montgomery Brewster no longer had "pros
pects." People could not now point him out
with the remark that some day he would come
into a million or two. He had "realized," as
Oliver Harrison would have put it. Two days
after his grandfather s funeral a final will and
testament was read, and, as was expected, the
old banker atoned for the hardships Robert
Brewster and his wife had endured by bequeath-
ingone million dollars to their son Montgomery.
It was his without a restriction, without an
admonition, without an incumbrance. There
was not a suggestion as to how it should be
handled by the heir. The business training
the old man had given him was synonymous
with conditions not expressed in the will.
The dead man believed that he had drilled
into the youth an unmistakable conception of
what was expected of him in life; if he failed
in these expectations the misfortune would be
his alone to bear; a road had been carved out
for him and behind him stretched a long line
SHADES OF ALADDIN 9
of guide-posts whose laconic instructions might
be ignored but never forgotten. Edwin Peter
Brewster evidently made his will with the
sensible conviction that it was necessary for
him to die before anybody else could possess
his money, and that, once dead, it would be folly
for him to worry over the way in which benefici
aries might choose to manage their own affairs.
The house in Fifth Avenue went to a sister,
together with a million or two, and the residue
of the estate found kindly disposed relatives
who were willing to keep it from going to the
Home for Friendless Fortunes. Old Mr.
Brewster left his affairs in order. The will
nominated Jerome Buskirk as executor, and
he was instructed, in conclusion, to turn over
to Montgomery Brewster, the day after the
will was probated, securities to the amount of
one million dollars, provided for in clause four
of the instrument. And so it was that on the
26th of September young Mr. Brewster had an
unconditional fortune thrust upon him,
weighted only with the suggestion of crepe
that clung to it.
Since his grandfather s death he had been
staying at the gloomy old Brewster house in
Fifth Avenue, paying but two or three hurried
visits to the rooms at Mrs. Gray s where he had
10 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
made his home. The gloom of death still
darkened the Fifth Avenue place, and there
was a stillness, a gentle stealthiness about
the house that made him long for more cheer
ful companionship. He wondered dimly if a
fortune always carried the suggestion of tube
roses. The richness and strangeness of it
all hung about him unpleasantly. He had
had no extravagant affection for the grim
old dictator who was dead, yet his grand
father was a man and had commanded his
respect. It seemed brutal to leave him out of
the reckoning to dance on the grave of the
mentor who had treated him well. The atti
tude of the friends who clapped him on the
back, of the newspapers which congratulated
him, of the crowd that expected him to rejoice,
repelled him. It seemed a tragic comedy,
haunted by a severe dead face. He was
haunted, too, by memories, and by a sharp
regret for his own foolish thoughtlessness.
Even the fortune itself weighed upon him at
moments with a half-defined melancholy.
Yet the situation was not without its com
pensations. For several days when Ellis
called him at seven, he would answer him
and thank fortune that he was not required
at the bank that morning. The luxury of
SHADES OF ALADDIN 11
another hour of sleep seemed the greatest
perquisite of wealth. His morning mail
amused him at first, for since the newspa
pers had published his prosperity to the world
he was deluged with letters. Requests for
public or private charity were abundant, but
most of his correspondents were generous
and thought only of his own good. For three
days he was in a hopeless state of bewilder
ment. He was visited by reporters, photogra
phers, and ingenious strangers who benevo
lently offered to invest his money in enter
prises with certified futures. When he was not
engaged in declining a gold mine in Colorado,
worth five million dollars, marked down to four
hundred and fifty, he was avoiding a guileless
inventor who offered to sacrifice the secrets
of a marvelous device for three hundred
dollars, or denying the report that he had
been tendered the presidency of the First
Oliver Harrison stirred him out early one
morning and, while the sleepy millionaire was
rubbing his eyes and still dodging the bomb
shell that a dream anarchist had hurled from
the pinnacle of a bedpost, urged him in
excited, confidential tones to take time by the
forelock and prepare for possible breach of
12 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
promise suits. Brewster sat on the edge of the
bed and listened to diabolical stories of how
conscienceless females had fleeced innocent
and even godly men of wealth. From the
bathroom, between splashes, he retained Har
rison by the year, month, day and hour, to
stand between him and blackmail.
The directors of the bank met and adopted
resolutions lamenting the death of their late
president, passed the leadership on to the first
vice-president and speedily adjourned. The
question of admitting Monty to the directory
was brought up and discussed, but it was left
for Time to settle.
One of the directors was Col. Prentiss Drew,
"the railroad magnate" of the newspapers.
He had shown a fondness for young Mr. Brew
ster, and Monty had been a frequent visitor at
his house. Colonel Drew called him "my dear
boy," and Monty called him "a bully old
chap," though not in his presence. But the
existence of Miss Barbara Drew may have had
something to do with the feeling between the
As he left the directors room, on the after
noon of the meeting, Colonel Drew came up to
Monty who had notified the officers of the
bank that he was leaving.
SHADES OF ALADDIN 13
"Ah, my dear boy," said the Colonel, shak
ing the young man s hand warmly, "now you
have a chance to show what you can do. You
have a fortune and, with judgment, you ought
to be able to triple it. If I can help you in any
way, come and see me."
Monty thanked him.
"You ll be bored to death by the raft of
people who have ways to spend your money,"
continued the Colonel. "Don t listen to any
of them. Take your time. You ll have a new
chance to make money every day of your life,
so go slowly. I d have been rich years and
years ago if I d had sense enough to run away
from promoters. They ll all try to get a whack
at your money. Keep your eye open, Monty.
The rich young man is always a tempting
morsel." After a moment s reflection, he
added, "Won t you come out and dine with us
MRS. AND MISS GRA Y
Mrs. Gray lived in Fortieth Street. For
years Montgomery Brewster had regarded her
quiet, old-fashioned home as his own. The
house had once been her grandfather s, and it
was one of the pioneers in that part of town.
It was there she was born; in its quaint old
parlor she was married; and all her girlhood,
her brief wedded life, and her widowhood were
connected with it. Mrs. Gray and Montgom
ery s mother had been schoolmates and play
mates, and their friendship endured. When
old Edwin Peter Brewster looked about for a
place to house his orphaned grandson, Mrs.
Gray begged him to let her care for the little
fellow. He was three years older than her
Margaret, and the children grew up as
brother and sister. Mr. Brewster was gener
ous in providing for the boy. While he was
away at college, spending money in a manner
that caused the old gentleman to marvel at his
own liberality, Mrs. Gray was well paid for the
unused but well-kept apartments, and there
never was a murmur of complaint from Edwin
MRS. AND MISS GRAY 15
Peter Brewster. He was hard, but he was not
It had been something of a struggle for Mrs.
Gray to make both ends meet. The property
in Fortieth Street was her only possession.
But little money had come to her at her hus
band s death, and an unfortunate speculation
of his had swept away all that had fallen to her
from her father, the late Judge Merriweather.
For years she kept the old home unencumbered,
teaching French and English until Margaret
was well into her teens. The girl was sent to
one of the good old boarding-schools on the
Hudson and came out well prepared to help
her mother in the battle to keep the wolf down
and appearances up. Margaret was rich in
friendships; and pride alone stood between
her and the advantages they offered. Good-
looking, bright, and cheerful, she knew no nat
ural privations. With a heart as light and joy
ous as a May morning, she faced adversity as
though it were a pleasure, and no one would
have suspected that even for a moment her
Now that Brewster had come into his splen
did fortune he could conceive no greater
delight than to share it with them. To walk
into the little drawing-room and serenely lay
16 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
large sums before them as their own seemed
such a natural proceeding that he refused
to see an obstacle. But he knew it was
there; the proffer of such a gift to Mrs.
Gray would mean a wound to the pride
inherited from haughty generations of men
sufficient unto themselves. There was a small
but troublesome mortgage on the house, a
matter of two or three thousand dollars, and
Brewster tried to evolve a plan by which he
could assume the burden without giving deep
and lasting offense. A hundred wild designs
had come to him, but they were quickly rele
gated to the growing heap of subterfuges and
pretexts condemned by his tenderness for the
pride of these two women who meant so much
Leaving the bank, he hastened, by electric
car, to Fortieth Street and Broadway, and then
walked eagerly off into the street of the
numeral. He had not yet come to the point
where he felt like scorning the cars, even
though a roll of banknotes was tucked snugly
away in a pocket that seemed to swell with
sudden affluence. Old Hendrick, faithful serv
itor through two generations, was sweeping
the autumn leaves from the sidewalk when
Montgomery came up to the house.
MRS. AND MISS GRAY 17
"Hello, Hendrick," was the young man s
cheery greeting. "Nice lot of leaves you have
"So?" ebbed from Hendrick, who did not
even so much as look up from his work. Hen
drick was a human clam.
"Mrs. Gray in?"
A grunt that signified yes.
"You re as loquacious as ever, Hendrick."
A mere nod.
Brewster let himself in with his own latch
key, threw his hat on a chair and unceremoni
ously bolted into the library. Margaret was
seated near a window, a book in her lap. The
first evidence of unbiased friendship he had
seen in days shone in her smile. She took
his hand and said simply, "We are glad to
welcome the prodigal to his home again."
"I remind myself more of the fatted calf."
Her first self-consciousness had gone.
"I thought of that, but I didn t dare say it,"
she laughed. "One must be respectful to rich
"Hang your rich relatives, Peggy; if I
thought that this money would make any dif
ference I would give it up this minute."
"Nonsense, Monty," she said. "How could
it make a difference? But you must admit it
18 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
is rather startling. The friend of our youth
leaves his humble dwelling Saturday night with
his salary drawn for two weeks ahead. He
returns the following Thursday a dazzling
"I m glad I ve begun to dazzle, anyway. I
thought it might be hard to look the part."
"Well, I can t see that you are much
changed." There was a suggestion of a quaver
in her voice, and the shadows did not prevent
him from seeing the quick mist that flitted
across her deep eyes.
"After all, it s easy work being a million
aire," he explained, "when you ve always had
"And fifty-cent possibilities," she added.
"Really though, I ll never get as much joy
out of my abundant riches as I did out of
"But think how fine it is, Monty, not ever
to wonder where your winter s overcoat is to
come from and how long the coal will last,
and all that."
"Oh, I never wondered about my overcoats;
the tailor did the wondering. But I wish I
could go on living here just as before. I d a
heap rather live here than at that gloomy place
on the avenue."
MRS. AND MISS GRAY 19
"That sounded like the things you used to
say when we played in the garret. You d a
heap sooner do this than that don t you
"That s just why I d rather live here, Peggy.
Last night I fell to thinking of that old garret,
and hanged if something didn t come up and
stick in my throat so tight that I wanted to
cry. How long has it been since we played up
there? Yes, and how long has it been since
I read Oliver Optic to you, lying there in the
garret window while you sat with your back
against the wall, your blue eyes as big as
"Oh, dear me, Monty, it was ages ago
twelve or thirteen years, at least" she cried,
a soft light in her eyes.
"I m going up there this afternoon to see
what the place is like," he said eagerly. "And,
Peggy, you must come too. Maybe I can
find one of those Optic books, and we ll be
"Just for old time s sake," she said impul
sively. "You ll stay for luncheon, too."
"I ll have to be at the no, I won t, either.
Do you know, 1 was thinking I had to be at the
bank at twelve-thirty to let Mr. Perkins go out
for something to eat? The millionaire habit
20 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
isn t so firmly fixed as I supposed." After a
moment s pause, in which his growing serious
ness changed the atmosphere, he went on,
haltingly, uncertain of his position: "The
nicest thing about having all this money is that
that we won t have to deny ourselves any
thing after this." It did not sound very tact
ful, now that it was out, and he was compelled
to scrutinize rather intently a familiar portrait
in order to maintain an air of careless assur
ance. She did not respond to this venture, but
he felt that she was looking directly into his
sorely-tried brain. "We ll do any amount of
decorating about the house and and you know
that furnace has been giving us a lot of trouble
for two or three years " he was pouring out
ruthlessly, when her hand fell gently on his own
and she stood straight and tall before him, an
odd look in her eyes.
"Don t please don t go on, Monty," she
said very gently but without wavering. "I
know what you mean. You are good and very
thoughtful, Monty, but you really must not."
"Why, what s mine is yours " he began
"I know you are generous, Monty, and I
know you have a heart. You want us to to
take some of your money," it was not easy to
say it, and as for Monty, he could only look at
MRS. AND MISS GRA Y 21
the floor. "We cannot, Monty, dear, you
must never speak of it again. Mamma and
I had a feeling that you would do it. But
don t you see, even from you it is an offer of
help, and it hurts."
"Don t talk like that, Peggy," he implored.
"It would break her heart if you offered to
give her money in that way. She d hate it,
Monty. It is foolish perhaps, but you know
we can t take your money."
"I thought you that you oh, this knocks
all the joy out of it," he burst out desperately.
"Let s talk it over, Peggy; you don t under
stand " he began, dashing at what he thought
would be a break in her resolve.
"Don t!" she commanded, and in her blue
eyes was the hot flash he had felt once or twice
He rose and walked across the floor, back
and forth again, and then stood before her, a
smile on his lips a rather pitiful smile, but
still a smile. There were tears in her eyes
as she looked at him.
"It s a confounded puritanical prejudice,
Peggy," he said in futile protest, "and you
"You have not seen the letters that came
22 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
for you this morning. They re on the table
over there," she replied, ignoring him.
He found the letters and resumed his seat in
the window, glancing half-heartedly over the
contents of the envelopes. The last was from
Grant & Ripley, attorneys, and even from his
abstraction it brought a surprised "By Jove!"
He read it aloud to Margaret.
MONTGOMERY BREWSTER, ESQ.,
Dear Sir: We are in receipt of a communication from
Mr. Swearengen Jones of Montana, conveying the sad
intelligence that your uncle, James T. Sedgwick, died on
the 24th inst. at M Hospital in Portland, after a brief
illness. Mr. Jones by this time has qualified in Montana
as the executor of your uncle s will and has retained us
as his eastern representatives. He incloses a copy of the
will, in which you are named as sole heir, with conditions
attending. Will you call at our office this afternoon, if it
is convenient? It is important that you know the con
tents of the instrument at once.
GRANT & RIPLEY.
For a moment there was only amazement in
the air. Then a faint bewildered smile appeared
in Monty s face, and reflected itself in thrj
"Who is your Uncle James?" she asked.
"I ve never heard of him."
MRS. AND MISS GRAY 23
"You must go to Grant & Ripley s at once,
"Have you forgotten, Peggy," he replied,
with a hint of vexation in his voice, "that
we are to read Oliver Optic this afternoon?"
A SECOND WILL
"You are both fortunate and unfortunate,
Mr. Brewster, " said Mr. Grant, after the
young man had dropped into a chair in the office
of Grant & Ripley the next day. Montgomery
wore a slightly bored expression, and it was
evident that he took little interest in the will
of James T. Sedgwick. From far back in the
recesses of memory he now recalled this long-
lost brother of his mother. As a very small
child he had seen his Uncle James upon the
few occasions which brought him to the home
of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Brewster. But the
young man had dined at the Drews the night
before and Barbara had had more charm for
him than usual. It was of her that he was
thinking when he walked into the office of
Swearengen Jones s lawyers.
"The truth is, Mr. G/ant, I d completely
forgotten the existence of an uncle," he
"It is not surprising," said Mr. Grant,
A SECOND WILL 25
genially. "Everyone who knew him in New
York nineteen or twenty years ago believed
him to be dead. He left the city when you
were a very small lad, going to Australia, I
think. He was off to seek his fortune, and he
needed it pretty badly when he started out.
This letter from Mr. Jones comes like a mes
sage from the dead. Were it not that we have
known Mr. Jones for a long time, handling
affairs of considerable importance for him, I
should feel inclined to doubt the whole story.
It seems that your uncle turned up in Montana
about fifteen years ago and there formed a
stanch friendship with old Swearengen Jones,
one of the richest men in the far West. Sedg-
wick s will was signed on the day of his death,
September 24th, and it was quite natural that
Mr. Jones should be named as his executor.
That is how we became interested in the
matter, Mr. Brewster."
"I see," said Montgomery, somewhat puz
zled. "But why do you say that I am both
fortunate and unfortunate?"
"The situation is so remarkable that you ll
consider that a mild way of putting it when
you ve heard everything. I think you were
told, in our note of yesterday, that you are the
sole heir. Well, it may surprise you to learn
26 SREWSTER S MILLIONS
that James Sedgwick died possessed of an
estate valued at almost seven million dollars."
Montgomery Brewster sat like one petrified,
staring blankly at the old lawyer, who could
say startling things in a level voice.
"He owned gold mines and ranches in the
Northwest and there is no question as to their
value. Mr. Jones, in his letter to us, briefly
outlines the history of James Sedgwick from
the time he landed in Montana. He reached
there in 1885 from Australia, and he was worth
thirty or forty thousand dollars at the time.
Within five years he was the owner of a huge
ranch, and scarcely had another five years
passed before he was part-owner of three rich
gold mines. Possessions accumulated rapidly;
everything he touched turned to gold. He
was shrewd, careful, and thrifty, and his money
was handled with all the skill of a Wall Street
financier. At the time of his death, in Port
land, he did not owe a dollar in the world.
His property is absolutely unencumbered
safe and sound as a government bond. It s
rather overwhelming, isn t it?" the lawyer
concluded, taking note of Brewster s expres
"And he he left everything to me? 1
"With a proviso."
A SECOND WILL 27
"I have a copy of the will. Mr. Ripley and
I are the only persons in New York who at
present know its contents. You, I am sure,
after hearing it, will not divulge them without
the most careful deliberation."
Mr. Grant drew the document from a pigeon
hole in his desk, adjusted his glasses and pre
pared to read. Then, as though struck by a
sudden thought, he laid the paper down and
turned once more to Brewster.
"It seems that Sedgwick never married.
Your mother was his sister and his only known
relative of close connection. He was a man
of most peculiar temperament, but in full
possession of all mental faculties. You may
find this will to be a strange document, but I
think Mr. Jones, the executor, explains any
mystery that may be suggested by its terms.
While Sedgwick s whereabouts were unknown
to his old friends in New York, it seems that
he was fully posted on all that was going on
here. He knew that you were the only child
of your mother and therefore his only nephew.
He sets forth the dates of your mother s mar
riage, of your birth, of the death of Robert
Brewster and of Mrs. Brewster. He also was
aware of the fact that old Edwin Peter Brew-
28 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
ster intended to bequeath a large fortune to
you and thereby hangs a tale. Sedgwick was
proud. When he lived in New York, he was
regarded as the kind of man who never forgave
the person who touched roughly upon his pride.
You know, of course, that your father married
Miss Sedgwick in the face of the most bitter
opposition on the part of Edwin Brewster.
The latter refused to recognize her as his
daughter, practically disowned his son, and
heaped the harshest kind of calumny upon the
Sedgwicks. It was commonly believed about
town that Jim Sedgwick left the country three
or four years after this marriage for the sole
reason that he and Edwin Brewster could not
live in the same place. So deep was his hatred
of the old man that he fled to escape killing
him. It was known that upon one occasion he
visited the office of his sister s enemy for the
purpose of slaying him, but something pre
vented. He carried that hatred to the grave,
as you will see."
Montgomery Brewster was trying to gather
himself together from within the fog which
made himself and the world unreal.
"I believe I d like to have you read this
extraor the will, Mr. Grant," he said, with an
effort to hold his nerves in leash.
A SECOND WILL 29
Mr. Grant cleared his throat and began in
his still voice. Once he looked up to find his
listener eager, and again to find him grown
indifferent. He wondered dimly if this were
In brief, the last will of James T. Sedgwick
bequeathed everything, real and personal, of
which he died possessed, to his only nephew,
Montgomery Brewster of New York, son of
Robert and Louise Sedgwick Brewster. Sup
plementing this all-important clause there was
a set of conditions governing the final disposi
tion of the estate. The most extraordinary of
these conditions was the one which required
the heir to be absolutely penniless upon the
twenty-sixth anniversary of his birth, Septem
The instrument went into detail in respect to
this supreme condition. It set forth that Mont
gomery Brewster was to have no other worldly
possession than the clothes which covered him
on the September day named. He was to
begin that clay without a penny to his name,
without a single article of jewelry, furniture or
finance that he could call his own or could
thereafter reclaim. At nine o clock, New
York time, on the morning of September 23d,
the executor, under the provisions of the will,
30 BREWSTER* S MILLIONS
was to make over and transfer to Montgomery
Brevvster all of the moneys, lands, bonds, and
interests mentioned in the inventory which
accompanied the will. In the event that Mont
gomery Brewster had not, in every particular,
complied with the requirements of the will, to
the full satisfaction of the said executor,
Swearengen Jones, the estate was to be dis
tributed among certain institutions of charity
designated in the instrument. Underlying
this imperative injunction of James Sedgwick
was plainly discernible the motive that
prompted it. In almost so many words he
declared that his heir should not receive the
fortune if he possessed a single penny that had
come to him, in any shape or form, from the
man he hated, Edwin Peter Brewster. While
Sedgwick could not have known at the time of
his death that the banker had bequeathed one
million dollars to his grandson, it was more
than apparent that he expected the young man
to be enriched liberally by his enemy. It was
to preclude any possible chance of the mingling
of his fortune with the smallest portion of
Edwin P. Brewster s that James Sedgwick, on
his deathbed, put his hand to this astonishing
There was also a clause in which he under-
A SECOND WILL 31
took to dictate the conduct of Montgomery
Brewster during the year leading up to his
twenty-sixth anniversary. He required that
the young man should give satisfactory evi
dence to the executor that he was capable of
managing his affairs shrewdly and wisely, that
he possessed the ability to add to the fortune
through his own enterprise; that he should come
to his twenty-sixth anniversary with a fair name
and a record free from anything worse than
mild forms of dissipation; that his habits be
temperate; that he possess nothing at the end
of the year which might be regarded as a
"visible or invisible asset"; that he make no
endowments; that he give sparingly to charity;
that he neither loan nor give away money, for
fear that it might be restored to him later;
that he live on the principle which inspires a
man to "get his money s worth," be the
expenditure great or small. As these condi
tions were prescribed for but a single year in
the life of the heir, it was evident that Mr.
Sedgwick did not intend to impose any restric
tions after the property had gone into his
"How do you like it?" asked Mr. Grant, as
he passed the will to Brewster.
The latter took the paper and glanced over
32 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
it with the air of one who had heard but had
not fully grasped its meaning.
"It must be a joke, Mr. Grant," he said,
still groping with difficulty through the fog.
"No, Mr. Brewster, it is absolutely genuine.
Here is a telegram from the Probate Court in
Sedgwick s home county, received in response
to a query from us. It says that the will is to
be filed for probate and that Mr. Sedgwick was
many times a millionaire. This statement,
which he calls an inventory, enumerates his
holdings and their value, and the footing shows
$6,345,000 in round numbers. The invest
ments, you see, are gilt-edged. There is not
a bad penny in all those millions."
"Well, it is rather staggering, isn t it?" said
Montgomery, passing his hand over his fore
head. He was beginning to comprehend.
"In more ways than one. What are you
going to do about it?"
"Do about it?" in surprise. "Why, it s
mine, isn t it?"
"It is not yours until next September," the
lawyer quietly said.
"Well, I fancy I can wait," said Brewster
with a smile that cleared the air.
"But, my dear fellow, you are already the
possessor of a million. Do you forget that
A SECOND WILL 33
you are expected to be penniless a year from
"Wouldn t you exchange a million for seven
millions, Mr. Grant?"
"But let me inquire how you purpose doing
it?" asked Mr. Grant, mildly.
"Why, by the simple process of destruction.
Don t you suppose I can get rid of a million in
a year? Great Scott, who wouldn t do it! All
I have to do is to cut a few purse strings and
there is but one natural conclusion. I don t
mind being a pauper for a few hours on the 23d
of next September."
"That is your plan, then?"
"Of course. First I shall substantiate all
that this will sets forth. When I am assured
that there can be no possibility of mistake in
the extent of this fortune and my undisputed
claim, I ll take steps to get rid of my grand
father s million in short order." Brewster s
voice rang true now. The zest of life was
Mr. Grant leaned forward slowly and his
intent, penetrating gaze served as a check to
the young fellow s enthusiasm.
"I admire and approve the sagacity which
urges you to exchange a paltry million for a
fortune, but it seems to me that you are forget-
34 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
ting the conditions," he said, slowly. "Has it
occurred to you that it will be no easy task to
spend a million dollars without in some way
violating the restrictions in your uncle s will,
thereby losing both fortunes?"
THE MESSAGE FROM JONES
A new point of view gradually came to Brew-
ster. All his life had been spent in wondering
how to get enough money to pay his bills, and
it had not occurred to him that it might be as
difficult to spend as to acquire wealth. The
thought staggered him for a moment. Then
he cried triumphantly, "I can decline to accept
grandfather s million."
"You cannot decline to accept what is
already yours. I understand that the money
has been paid to you by Mr. Buskirk. You
have a million dollars, Mr. Brewster, and it
cannot be denied."
"You are right," agreed Montgomery, deject
edly. "Really, Mr. Grant, this proposition is
too much for me. If you aren t required to
give an immediate answer, I want to think it
over. It sounds like a dream."
"It is no dream, Mr. Brewster," smiled the
lawyer. "You are face to face with an ama
zing reality. Come in to-morrow morning and
see me again. Think it over, study it out.
36 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
Remember the conditions of the will and the
conditions that confront you. In the mean
time, I shall write to Mr. Jones, the executor,
and learn from him just what he expects you
to do in order to carry out his own conception
of the terms of your uncle s will."
"Don t write, Mr. Grant; telegraph. And
ask him to wire his reply. A year is not very
long in an affair of this kind." A moment
later he added, "Damn these family feuds!
Why couldn t Uncle James have relented a bit?
He brings endless trouble on my innocent
head, just because of a row before I was born."
"He was a strange man. As a rule, one
does not carry grudges quite so far. But that
is neither here nor there. His will is law in
"Suppose I succeed in spending all but a
thousand dollars before the 23d of next Sep
tember! I d lose the seven millions and be the
next thing to a pauper. That wouldn t be
quite like getting my money s worth."
"It is a problem, my boy. Think it over
very seriously before you come to a decision,
one way or the other. In the meantime, we
can establish beyond a doubt the accuracy of
"By all means, go ahead, and please urge
THE MESSAGE FROM JONES 37
Mr. Jones not to be too hard on me. I believe
I ll risk it if the restrictions are not too severe.
But if Jones has puritanical instincts, I might
as well give up hope and be satisfied with what
"Mr. Jones is very far from what you d call
puritanical, but he is intensely practical and
clear-headed. He will undoubtedly require you
to keep an expense account and to show some
sort of receipt for every dollar you disburse."
"Good Lord! Itemize?"
"In a general way, I presume."
"I ll have to employ an army of spendthrifts
to devise ways and means for profligacy."
"You forget the item which restrains you
from taking anybody into your confidence con
cerning this matter. Think it over. It may
not be so difficult after a night s sleep."
"If it isn t too difficult to get the night s
All the rest of the day Brewster wandered
about as one in a dream. He was pre-occu-
pied and puzzled, and more than one of his old
associates, receiving a distant nod in passing,
resentfully concluded that his wealth was
beginning to change him. His brain was so
full of statistics, figures, and computations that
it whirled dizzily, and once he narrowly
38 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
escaped being run down by a cable car. He
dined alone at a small French restaurant in
one of the side streets. The waiter marveled
at the amount of black coffee the young man
consumed and looked hurt when he did not
touch the quail and lettuce.
That night the little table in his room at
Mrs. Gray s was littered with. scraps of pad
paper, each covered with an incomprehensible
maze of figures. After dinner he had gone to
his own rooms, forgetting that he lived on
Fifth Avenue.. Until long after midnight he
smoked and calculated and dreamed. For the
first time the immensity of that million thrust
itself upon him. If on that very day, October
the first, he were to begin the task of spending
it he would have but three hundred and fifty-
seven days in which to accomplish the end.
Taking the round sum of one million dollars
as a basis, it was an easy matter to calculate
his average daily disbursement. The situation
did not look so utterly impossible until he
held up the little sheet of paper and ruefully
contemplated the result of that simple problem
It meant an average daily expenditure of
$2,801. 12 for nearly a year, and even then there
would be sixteen cents left over, for, in prov-
THE MESSAGE FROM JONES 39
ing the result of his rough sum in division, he
could account for but $999,999.84. Then it
occurred to him that his money would be draw
ing interest at the bank.
"But for each day s $2,801.12, I am getting
seven times as much," he soliloquized, as he
finally got into bed. "That means $19,607.84
a day, a clear profit of $16,806.72. That s
pretty good yes, too good. I wonder if the
bank couldn t oblige me by not charging
The figures kept adding and subtracting
themselves as he dozed off, and once during the
night he dreamed that Swearengen Jones had
sentenced him to eat a million dollars worth
of game and salad at the French restaurant.
He awoke with the consciousness that he had
cried aloud, "I can do it, but a year is not very
long in an affair of this kind."
It was nine o clock when Brewster finally
rose, and after his tub he felt ready to cope
with any problem, even a substantial breakfast.
A message had come to him from Mr. Grant of
Grant & Ripley, announcing the receipt of
important dispatches from Montana, and ask
ing him to luncheon at one. He had time to
spare, and as Margaret and Mrs. Gray had gone
out, he telephoned Ellis to take his horse tc,
40 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
the entrance to the park at once. The crisp
autumn air was perfect for his ride, and Brew-
ster found a number of smart people already
riding and driving in the park. His horse was
keen for a canter and he had reached the
obelisk before he drew rein. As he was about
to cross the carriage road he was nearly run
down by Miss Drew in her new French auto
"I beg your pardon," she cried. "You re
the third person I ve run into, so you see I m
not discriminating against you."
"I should be flattered even to be run down
"Very well, then, look out." And she
started the machine as if to charge him. She
stopped in time, and said with a laugh, "Your
gallantry deserves a reward. Wouldn t you
rather send your horse home and come for a
ride with me?"
"My man is waiting at Fifty-ninth Street.
If you ll come that far, I ll go with pleasure."
Monty had merely a society acquaintance
with Miss Drew. He had met her at dinners
and dances as he had a host of other girls, but
she had impressed him more than the others.
Something indescribable took place every time
their eyes met. Monty had often wondered
THE MESSAGE FROM JONES 41
just what that something meant, but he had
always realized that it had in it nothing of
"If I didn t have to meet her eyes," he had
said to himself, "I could go on discussing even
politics with her, but the moment she looks
at me I know she can see what I m think
ing about." From the first they considered
themselves very good friends and after their
third meeting it seemed perfectly natural
that they should call one another by their first
names. Monty knew he was treading on
dangerous ground. It never occurred to him
to wonder what Barbara might think of him.
He took it as a matter of course that she must
feel more than friendly toward him. As they
rode through the maze of carriages, they bowed
frequently to friends as they passed. They
were conscious that some of the women,
noticeably old Miss Dexter, actually turned
around and gazed at them.
"Aren t you afraid people will talk about
us?" asked Monty with a laugh.
"Talk about our riding together in the
park? It s just as safe here as it would be
in Fifth Avenue. Besides, who cares? I
fancy we can stand it."
"You re a thoroughbred, Barbara. I simply
42 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
didn t want you talked about. When I go too
far, say the word and drop me.
"I have a luncheon at two, but until then
we have our ride."
Monty gasped and looked at his watch.
"Five minutes to one," he cried. The matter
of his engagement with the attorney had quite
escaped him. In the exhilaration of Miss
Drew s companionship he had forgotten even
Uncle James s millions.
"I ve got a date at one that means life and
death to me. Would you mind taking me
down to the nearest Elevated or here, let
me run it."
Almost before Barbara was aware of what
was happening they had changed places and
the machine, under Monty s guidance, was
tearing over the ground.
"Of all the casual people," said the girl,
by no means unequal to the excitement, "I
believe you re kidnaping me."
But when she saw the grim look on Monty s
face and one policeman after another warned
him she became seriously alarmed. "Monty
Brewster, this pace is positively danger
"Perhaps it is," he responded, "but if they
haven t sense enough to keep out of the
THE MESSAGE FROM JONES 43
way, they shouldn t kick if they get run
"I don t mean the people or the automobiles
or traps or trees or monuments, Monty; I
mean you and me. I know we ll either be
killed or arrested."
"This isn t anything to the gait I ll be going
if everything turns out as I expect. Don t be
worried, Babs. Besides it s one now, Lord,
I didn t dream it was so late."
"Is your appointment so important?" she
asked, hanging on.
"Well, I should say it is, and look out you
blooming idiot! Do you want to get killed?"
The last remark was hurled back at an indig
nant pedestrian who had escaped destruction
by the merest chance.
"Here we are," he said, as they drew up
beside the entrance to the Elevated. "Thanks
awfully, you re a corker, sorry to leave you
this way. I ll tell you all about it later. You re
a dear to help me keep my appointment."
"Seems to me you helped yourself," she
cried after him as he darted up the steps.
"Come up for tea some day and tell me who
the lady is."
After he had gone Miss Drew turned to her
chauffeur who was in the tonneau. Then she
44 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
laughed unrestrainedly, and the faintest shadow
of a grin stole over the man s face.
"Beg pardon, Miss," he said, but I d back
Mr. Brevvster against Fournier any day."
Only half an hour late, Brewster entered the
office of Messrs. Grant and Ripley, flushed,
eager, and unconscious of the big splotch of
mud that decorated his cheek.
"Awfully sorry to have kept you waiting,"
"Sherlock Holmes would say that you had
been driving, Mr. Brewster," said Mr. Ripley,
shaking the young man s hand.
"He would miss it, Mr. Ripley. I ve been
flying. What have you heard from Montana?"
He could no longer check the impatient ques
tion, which came out so suddenly that the
attorneys laughed irresistibly, Brewster joining
them an instant later. They laid before him
a half dozen telegrams, responses from bankers,
lawyers, and mine-operators in Montana. These
messages established beyond doubt the extent
of James T. Sedgwick s wealth; it was reported
to be even greater than shown by the actual
"And what does Mr. Jones say?" demanded
"His reply resembles a press dispatch. He
THE MESSAGE FROM JONES 45
has tried to make himself thoroughly clear,
and if there is anything left unsaid it is past
our comprehension. I am sorry to inform you,
though, that he has paid the telegraph
charges," said Mr. Grant, smiling broadly.
"Is he rational about it?" asked Montgom
Mr. Grant gave his partner a quick, signifi
cant glance and then drew from his desk the
voluminous telegram from Swearengen Jones.
It was as follows:
GRANT & RIPLEY,
Yucatan Building, New York.
I am to be sole referee in this matter. You are retained
as my agents, heir to report to me through you weekly.
One desire of uncle was to forestall grandfather s bequest.
I shall respect that desire. Enforce terms rigidly. He
was my best friend and trusted me with disposition of
all this money. Shall attend to it sacredly. Heir must
get rid of money left to him in given time. Out of
respect to memory of uncle he must take no one into his
confidence. Don t want world to think S. was damned
fool. He wasn t. Here are rules I want him to work
under: i. No reckless gambling. 2. No idiotic Board
of Trade speculation. 3. No endowments to institutions
of any character, because their memory would be an
invisible asset. 4. No indiscriminate giving away of
funds. By that I don t mean him to be stingy. I hate
a stingy man and so did J. T. S. 5. No more than
46 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
ordinary dissipation. I hate a saint. So did J. T. S.
And both of us sowed an oat or two. 6. No excessive
donations to charity. If he gives as other millionaires
do I ll let it go at that. Don t believe charity should be
spoiled by indulgence. It is not easy to spend a million,
and I won t be unreasonable with him. Let him spend
it freely, but not foolishly, and get his money s worth
out of it. If he does that I ll consider him a good busi
ness man. I regard it foolish to tip waiter more than
dollar and car porter does not deserve over five. He
does not earn more than one. If heir wants to try for
this big stake he d better begin quick, because he might
slip up if he waits until day of judgment. It s less
than year off. Luck to him. Will write you more fully.
"Write more fully!" echoed Montgomery.
"What can there be left to write about?"
"He is explicit," said the attorney, "but it
is best to know all the conditions before you
decide. Have you made up your mind?"
Brewster sat silent for a long time, staring
hard at the floor. A great struggle was going
on in his mind.
"It s a gamble, and a big one," he said at
last, squaring his shoulders, "but I ll take it.
I don t want to appear disloyal to my grand
father, but I think that even he would advise
me to accept. Yes, you may write Mr. Jones
that I accept the chance."
The attorneys complimented him on his
THE MESSAGE FROM JONES 47
nerve and wished him success. Brewster turned
with a smile.
"I ll begin by asking what you think a
reasonable fee for an attorney in a case of this
kind. I hope you will act for me."
"You don t want to spend it all in a lump,
do you?" asked Mr. Grant, smiling. "We can
hardly act as counsel for both you and Mr.
"But I must have a lawyer, and the will
limits the number of my confidants. What am
I to do?"
"We will consult Mr. Jones in regard to the
question. It is not regular, you see, but I
apprehend no legal difficulties. We cannot
accept fees from both sides, however," said
"But I want attorneys who are willing to
help me. It won t be a help if you decline to
accept my money."
"We ll resort to arbitration," laughed Rip-
Before night Montgomery Brewster began a
career that would have startled the world had
the facts been known. \Vith true loyalty to
the "Little Sons of the Rich," he asked his
friends to dinner and opened their eyes.
"Champagne!" cried Harrison, as they were
48 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
seated at table. "I can t remember the last
time I had champagne."
"Naturally," laughed "Subway" Smith.
"You couldn t remember anything after that."
As the dinner progressed Brewster explained
that he intended to double his fortune within
a year. "I m going to have some fun, too,"
he said, "and you boys are to help me."
"Nopper" Harrison was employed as "super
intendent of affairs"; Elon Gardner as finan
cial secretary; Joe Bragdon as private secretary;
"Subway" Smith as counsel, and there were
places in view for the other members.
"I want the smartest apartment you can find,
Nopper," he commanded. "Don t stop at
expense. Have Pettingill redecorate it from
top to bottom. Get the best servants you can
find. I m going to live, Nopper, and hang
A fortnight later Montgomery Brewster had.
a new home. In strict obedience to his
chief s command, "Nopper" Harrison had
leased until the September following one of the
most expensive apartments to be found in New
York City. The rental was $23,000, and the
shrewd financial representative had saved
$1,000 for his employer by paying the sum in
advance. But when he reported this bit of
economy to Mr. Brewster he was surprised
that it brought forth a frown. "I never saw a
man who had less sense about money," mut
tered "Nopper" to himself. "Why, he spends
it like a Chicago millionaire trying to get into
New York society. If it were not for the rest
of us he d be a pauper in six months."
Paul Pettingill, to his own intense surprise
and, it must be said, consternation, was
engaged to redecorate certain rooms accord
ing to a plan suggested by the tenant. The
rising young artist, in a great flurry of excite
ment, agreed to do the work for $500, and then
50 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
blushed like a schoolgirl when he was informed
by the practical Brewster that the paints and
material for one room alone would cost twice
"Petty, you have no more idea of business
than a goat," criticized Montgomery, and Paul
lowered his head in humble confession. "That
man who calcimines your studio could figure on
a piece of work with more intelligence than you
reveal. I ll pay $2,500. It s only a fair price,
and I can t afford anything cheap in this place."
"At this rate you won t be able to afford
anything," said Pettingill to himself.
And so it was that Pettingill and a corps of
decorators soon turned the rooms into a con
fusion of scaffoldings and paint buckets, out of
which in the end emerged something very dis
tinguished. No one had ever thought Pettingill
deficient in ideas, and this was his opportunity.
The only drawback was the time limit which
Brewster so remorselessly fixed. Without that
he felt that he could have done something
splendid in the way of decorative panels
something that would make even the glory of
Puvis de Chavannes turn pallid. With it he
was obliged to curb his turbulent ideas, and
he decided that a rich simplicity was the
proper note. The result was gorgeous, but
MONTY CRISTO 51
not too gorgeous, it had depth and dis
Elated and eager, he assisted Brewster in
selecting furniture and hangings for each
room, but he did not know that his em
ployer was making conditional purchases of
everything. Mr. Brewster had agreements
with all tne dealers to the effect that they
were to buy everything back at a fair price,
if he desired to give up his establishment
within a year. He adhered to this rule in all
cases that called for the purchase outright
of substantial necessities. The bump of cal-
culativeness in Monty Brewster s head was
growing to abnormal proportions.
In retaining his rooms at Mrs. Gray s, he
gave the flimsy but pathetic excuse that he
wanted a place in which he might find occa
sional seasons of peace and quiet. When Mrs.
Gray protested against this useless bit of extrav
agance, his grief was so obviously genuine
that her heart was touched, and there was a
deep, fervent joy in her soul. She loved this
fair-faced boy, and tears of happiness came to
her eyes when she was given this new proof
of his loyalty and devotion. His rooms were
kept for him just as if he had expected to
occupy them every day and every night, not-
52 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
withstanding the luxurious apartments he was to
maintain elsewhere. The Oliver Optic books
still lay in the attic, all tattered and torn, but
to Margaret the embodiment of prospective
riches, promises of sweet hours to come. She
knew Monty well enough to feel that he would
not forget the dark little attic of old for all
the splendors that might come with the new
There was no little surprise when he sent out
invitations for a large dinner. His grandfather
had been dead less than a month, and society
was somewhat scandalized by the plain symp
toms of disrespect he was showing. No one
had expected him to observe a prolonged
season of mourning, but that he should disre
gard the formalities completely was rather
shocking. Some of the older people, who had
not long to live and who had heirs-apparent,
openly denounced his heartlessness. It was
not very gratifying to think of what might be
in store for them if all memories were as short
as Brewster s. Old Mrs. Ketchell changed her
will, and two nephews were cut off entirely; a
very modest and impecunious grandson of
Joseph Garrity also was to sustain a severe
change of fortune in the near future, if the cards
spoke correctly. Judge Van Woort, who was not
MONTY CRISTO 53
expected to live through the night, got better
immediately after hearing some one in the
sick-room whisper that Montgomery Brewster
was to give a big dinner. Naturally, the
heirs-to-be, condemned young Brewster in no
Nevertheless, the dinner to be given by the
grandson of old Edwin Peter Brewster was the
talk of the town, and not one of the sixty
invited guests could have been persuaded to
miss it. Reports as to its magnificence were
abroad long before the night set for the dinner.
One of them had it that it was to cost $3,000 a
plate. From that figure the legendary price
receded to a mark as low as $500. Montgom
ery would have been only too glad to pay $3,000
or more, but some mysterious force conveyed
to his mind a perfect portrait of Swearengen
Jones in the act of putting down a large black
mark against him, and he forbore.
"I wish I knew whether I had to abide by
the New York or the Montana standard of
extravagance," Brewster said to himself. "I
wonder if he ever sees the New York papers."
Late each night the last of the grand old
Brewster family went to his bedroom where,
after dismissing his man, he settled down at
his desk, with a pencil and a pad of paper.
54 BREWSTERS MILLIONS
Lighting the candles, which were more easily
managed, he found, than lamps, and much
more costly, he thoughtfully and religiously
calculated his expenses for trie day. "Nopper
Harrison and Elon Gardner had the receipts for
all moneys spent, and Joe Bragdon was keeping
an official report, but the "chief," as they
called him, could not go to sleep until he was
satisfied in his own mind that he was keeping
up the average. For the first two weeks it had
been easy in fact, he seemed to have quite a
comfortable lead in the race. He had spent al
most $100,000 in the fortnight, but he realized
that the greater part of it had gone into the
yearly and not the daily expense-account. He
kept a "profit and loss" entry in his little pri
vate ledger, but it was not like any other
account of the kind in the world. What the
ordinary merchant would have charged to
"loss" he jotted down on the "profit" side, and
he was continually looking for opportunities
to swell the total.
Rawles, who had been his grandfather s
butler since the day after he landed in New
York, came over to the grandson s establish
ment, greatly to the wrath and confusion of the
latter s Aunt Emmeline. The chef came from
Paris and his name was Detuit. Ellis, the foot-
MONTY CRISTO 55
man, also found a much better berth with Monty
than he had had in the house on the avenue.
Aunt Emmeline never forgave her nephew for
these base and disturbing acts of treachery, as
she called them.
One of Monty s most extraordinary financial
feats grew out of the purchase of a $14,000
automobile. He blandly admitted to "Nopper"
Harrison and the two secretaries that he
intended to use it to practice with only, and
that as soon as he learned how to run an
"auto" as it should be run he expected to buy
a good, sensible, durable machine for $7,000.
His staff officers frequently put their heads
together to devise ways and means of curbing
Monty s reckless extravagance. They were
"He s like a sailor in port," protested Har
rison. "Money is no object if he wants a
thing, and damn it he seems to want every
thing he sees."
"It won t last long," Gardner said, reassur
ingly. "Like his namesake, Monte Cristo, the
world is his just now and he wants to enjoy it."
"He wants to get rid of it, it seems to me."
Whenever they reproached Brewster about
the matter he disarmed them by saying, "Now
that I ve got money I mean to give my friends
56 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
a good time. Just what you d do if you were
in my place. What s money for, anyway?"
"But this $3,ooo-a-plate dinner "
I m going to give a dozen of them, and
even then I can t pay my just debts. For
years I ve been entertained at people s houses
and have been taken cruising on their yachts.
They have always been bully to me, and what
have I ever done for them? Nothing. Now
that I can afford it, I am going to return some
of those favors and square myself. Doesn t it
And so preparations for Monty s dinner
went on. In addition to what he called his
"efficient corps of gentlemanly aids" he had
secured the services of Mrs. Dan DeMille
as "social mentor and utility chaperon."
Mrs. DeMille was known in the papers as the
leader of the fast younger married set. She
was one of the cleverest and best-looking young
women in town, and her husband was of
those who did not have to be "invited too."
Mr. DeMille lived at the club and visited his
home. Some one said that he was so slow and
his wife so fast that when she invited him to
dinner he was usually two or three days late.
Altogether Mrs. DeMille was a decided acqui
sition to Brewster s campaign committee. It
MONTY CRISTO 57
required just her touch to make his parties
fun instead of funny.
It was on October i8th that the dinner was
given. With the skill of a general Mrs. Dan
had seated the guests in such a way that from
the beginning things went off with zest.
Colonel Drew took in Mrs. Valentine and his
content was assured; Mr. Van Winkle and the
beautiful Miss Valentine were side by side and
no one could say he looked unhappy; Mr.
Cromwell went in with Mrs. Savage; and the
same delicate tact in some cases it was almost
indelicate was displayed in the disposition of
Somehow they had come with the expecta
tion of being bored. Curiosity prompted
them to accept, but it did not prevent the sub
sequent inevitable lassitude. Socially Monty
Brewster had yet to make himself felt. He
and his dinners were something to talk about,
but they were accepted hesitatingly, haltingly.
People wondered how he had secured the
cooperation of Mrs. Dan, but then Mrs. Dan
always" did go in for a new toy. To her was
inevitably attributed whatever success the
dinner achieved. And it was no small meas
ure. Yet there was nothing startling about the
affair. Monty had decided to begin conserve-
58 SREWSTER S MILLIONS
tively. He did the conventional thing, but he
did it well. He added a touch or two of
luxury, the faintest aroma of splendor. Pet-
tingill had designed the curiously wayward
table, with its comfortable atmosphere of com
panionship, and arranged its decoration of
great lavender orchids and lacy butterfly
festoons of white ones touched with yellow.
He had wanted to use dahlias in thc-ir many
rich shades from pale yellow to orange and
deep red, but Monty held out for orchids. It
was the artist, too, who had found in a rare
and happy moment the massive gold candela
bra ancient things of a more luxurious age
and their opalescent shades. Against his
advice the service, too, was of gold, "rank
vulgarity," he called it, with its rich meaning
less ornamentation. But here Monty was
obdurate. He insisted that he liked the color
and that porcelain had no character. Mrs.
Dan only prevented a quarrel by suggesting that
several courses should be served upon Sevres.
Pettingill s scheme for lighting the room was
particularly happy. For the benefit of his
walls and the four lovely Monets which Monty
had purchased at his instigation, he had de
signed a ceiling screen of heavy rich glass in
tones of white that grew into yellow and dull
MONTY CRISTO 59
green. It served to conceal the lights in the
daytime, and at night the glare of electricity
was immensely softened and made harmonious
by passing through it. It gave a note of quiet
to the picture, which caused even these men
and women, who had been here and there and
seen many things, to draw in their breath
sharply. Altogether the effect manifestly made
Such an environment had its influence upon
the company. It went far toward making the
dinner a success. From far in the distance
came the softened strains of Hungarian music,
and never had the little band played the "Valse
Amoureuse" and the "Valse Bleue" with the
spirit it put into them that night. Yet the soft
clamor in the dining-room insistently ignored
the emotion of the music. Monty, bored as
he was between the two most important
dowagers at the feast, wondered dimly what
invisible part it played in making things go.
He had a vagrant fancy that without it there
would have been no zest for talk, no noisy
competition to overcome, no hurdles to leap."
As it was, the talk certainly went well, and
Mrs. Dan inspected the result of her work
from time to time with smiling satisfaction.
From across the table she heard Colonel Drew s
60 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
voice, "Brewster evidently objects to a long
siege. He is planning to carry us by assault."
Mrs. Dan turned to "Subway" Smith, who was
at her right the latest addition to her menag
erie. "What is this friend of yours?" she
asked. "I have never seen such complex sim
plicity. This new plaything has no real charm
for him. He is breaking it to find out what it
is made of. And something will happen when
he discovers the sawdust."
"Oh, don t worry about him," said"Subway,"
easily; "Monty s at least a good sportsman.
He won t complain, whatever happens. He ll
accept the reckoning and pay the piper."
It was only toward the end of the evening
that Monty found his reward in a moment with
Barbara Drew. He stood before her, squaring
his shoulders belligerently to keep away
intruders, and she smiled up at him in that
bewildering fashion of hers. But it was only for
an instant, and then came a terrifying din from
the dining-room, followed by the clamor of
crashing glass. The guests tried for a moment
to be courteously oblivious, but the noise was
so startling that such politeness became farcical.
The host, with a little laugh, went down the
hall. It was the beautiful screen near the
ceiling that had fallen. A thousand pieces of
MONTY CRISTO 61
shattered glass covered the place. The table
was a sickening heap of crushed orchids
and sputtering candles. Frightened servants
rushed into the room from one side just as
Brewster entered from the other. Stupefac
tion halted them. After the first pulseless
moment of horror, exclamations of dismay
went up on all sides. For Monty Brewster the
first sensation of regret was followed by a
diabolical sense of joy.
"Thank the Lord!" he said softly in the
The look of surprise he encountered in the
faces of his guests brought him up with a jerk.
"That it didn t happen while we were
dining," he added with serene thankfulness.
And his nonchalance scored for him in the
idle game he was playing.
A LESSON /.V TACT
Mr. Brewster s butler was surprised and
annoyed. For the first time in his official
career he had unbent so far as to manifest a
personal interest in the welfare of his master.
He was on the verge of assuming" a responsi
bility which makes any servant intolerable.
But after his interview he resolved that he
would never again overstep his position. He
made sure that it should be the last offense.
The day following the dinner Rawles appeared
before young Mr. Brewster and indicated
by his manner that the call was an important
one. Brewster was seated at his writing-
table, deep in thought. The exclamation that
followed Rawles cough of announcement was
so sharp and so unmistakably fierce that all
other evidence paled into insignificance. The
butler s interruption came at a moment when
Monty s mental arithmetic was pulling itself
out of a very bad rut, and the cough drove it
back into chaos.
"What is it?" he demanded, irritably.
A LESSON IN TACT 63
Rawles had upset his calculations to the
extent of seven or eight hundred dollars.
"I came to report h an h unfortunate condi
tion h among the servants, sir," said Rawles,
stiffening as his responsibility became more
and more weighty. He had relaxed temporarily
upon entering the room.
"What s the trouble?"
"The trouble s h ended, sir."
"Then why bother me about it?"
"I thought it would be well for you to know,
sir. The servants was going to ask for igher
wiges to-day, sir."
"You say they were going to ask? Aren t
they?" And Monty s eyes lighted up at the
thought of new possibilities.
"I convinced them, sir, as how they were get
ting good pay as it is, sir, and that they ought
to be satisfied. They d be a long time rinding
a better place and as good wiges. They aven t
been with you a week, and here they are strikin
for more pay. Really, sir, these American
"Rawles, that ll do!" exploded Monty. The
butler s chin went up and his cheeks grew
redder than ever.
"I beg pardon, sir," he gasped, with a
respectful but injured air.
64 BRE WSTER S MILLIONS
"Rawles, you will kindly not interfere in
such matters again. It is not only the privi
lege, but the duty of every American to strike
for higher pay whenever he feels like it, and I
want it distinctly understood that I am heartily
in favor of their attitude. You will kindly go
back and tell them that after a reasonable
length of service their wiges I mean wages
shall be increased. Arid don 1 1 meddle again,
Late that afternoon Brewster dropped in at
Mrs. DeMille s to talk over plans for the next
dinner. He realized that in no other way
could he squander his money with a better
chance of getting its worth than by throwing
himself bodily into society. It went easily,
and there could be only one asset arising from
it in the end his own sense of disgust.
"So glad to see you, Monty," greeted Mrs.
Dan, glowingly, coming in with a rush.
"Come upstairs and I ll give you some tea and
a cigarette. I m not at home to anybody."
"That s very good of you, Mrs. Dan,"
said he, as they mounted the stairs. "I don t
know what I d do without your help." He
was thinking how pretty she was.
"You d be richer, at any rate," turning to
smile upon him from the upper landing. "I was
A LESSON /A TACT 65
in tears half the night, Monty, over that glass
screen," she said, after finding a comfortable
place among the cushions of a divan. Brewster
dropped into a roomy, lazy chair in front of her
and handed her a cigarette, as he responded
"It amounted to nothing. Of course, it was
very annoying that it should happen while the
guests were still there." Then he added,
gravely, "In strict confidence, I had planned
to have it fall just as we were pushing back
our chairs, but the confounded thing disap
pointed me. That s the trouble with these
automatic climaxes; they usually hang fire. It
was to have been a sort of Fall of Babylon
effect, you know."
"Splendid! But like Babylon, it fell at
the wrong time."
For a lively quarter of an hour they dis
cussed people about town, liberally approving
the slandered and denouncing the slanderers.
A still busier quarter of an hour ensued when
together they made up the list of dinner
guests. He moved a little writing-table up
to the divan, and she looked on eagerly while
he wrote down the names she suggested
after many puckerings of her fair, aristocratic
brow, and then drew lines through them when
66 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
she changed her mind. Mrs. Dan DeMille
handled her people without gloves in making
up Monty s lists. The dinners were not hers,
and she could afford to do as she pleased with
his; he was broad and tall and she was not slow
to see that he was indifferent. He did not care
who the guests were, or how they came; he
merely wished to make sure of their presence.
His only blunder was the rather diffident
recommendation that Barbara Drew be asked
again. If he observed that Mrs. Dan s head
sank a little closer to the paper, he attached
no importance to the movement; he could
not see that her eyes grew narrow, and he
paid no attention to the little catch in her
"Wouldn t that be a little just a little pro
nounced?" she asked, lightly enough.
"You mean that people might talk?"
"She might feel conspicuously present."
"Do you think so? We are such good
friends, you know."
"Of course, if you d like to have her,"
slowly and doubtfully, "why, put her name
down. But you evidently haven t seen that."
Mrs. Dan pointed to a copy of the Trumpet
which lay on the table.
When he had handed her the paper she
A LESSON IN TACT 67
said, The Censor is growing facetious at
"I am getting on in society with a vengeance
if that ass starts in to write about me. Listen
to this" she had pointed out to him the
obnoxious paragraph If Brewster Drew a
diamond flush, do you suppose he d catch the
queen? And if he caught her, how long do
you think she d remain Drew? Or, if she
Drew Brewster, would she be willing to learn
such a game as Monte?
The next morning a writer who signed him
self "The Censor" got a thrashing and one
Montgomery Brewster had his name in the
papers, surrounded by fulsome words of praise.
THE FORELOCK OF TIME
One morning not long after the incidents
just related, Brewster lay in bed, staring at the
ceiling, deep in thought. There was a worried
pucker on his forehead, half-hidden by the
rumpled hair, and his eyes were wide and sleep
less. He had dined at the Drew s the evening
before and had had an awakening. As he
thought of the matter he could recall no spe
cial occurrence that he could really use as
evidence. Colonel and Mrs. Drew had been
as kind as ever and Barbara could not have
been more charming. But something had gone
wrong and he had endured a wretched evening.
"That little English Johnnie was to blame,"
he argued. "Of course, Barbara had a right
to put any one she liked next to her, but why
she should have chosen that silly ass is more
than I know. By Jove, if I had been on the
other side I ll warrant his grace would have
been lost in the dust."
His brain was whirling, and for the first
time he was beginning to feel the unpleasant
THE FORELOCK OF TIME 69
pangs of jealousy. The Duke of Beauchamp
he especially disliked, although the poor
man had hardly spoken during the dinner.
But Monty could not be reconciled. He knew,
of course, that Barbara had suitors by the
dozen, but it had never occurred to him that
they were even seriously considered. Notwith
standing the fact that his encounter with "The
Censor" had brought her into undesirable
notice, she forgave him everything after a
moment s consideration. The first few wrenches
of resentment were overbalanced by her
American appreciation of chivalry, however
inspired. "The Censor" had gone for years
unpunished; his coarse wit being aimed at
every one who had come into social promi
nence. So pungent and vindictive was his
pen that other men feared him, and there
were many who lived in glass houses in
terror of a fusilade. Brewster s prompt and
sufficient action had checked the pernicious
attacks, and he became a hero among men and
women. After that night there was no point
to "The Censor s" pen. Monty s first qualms
of apprehension were swept away when
Colonel Drew himself hailed him the morning
after the encounter and, in no unmeasured
terms, congratulated him upon his achieve-
70 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
ment, assuring him that Barbara and Mrs.
Drew approved, although they might lecture
him as a matter of form.
But on this morning, as he lay in his bed,
Monty was thinking deeply and painfully. He
was confronted by a most embarrassing condi
tion and he was discussing it soberly with
himself. "I ve never told her," he said to
himself, "but if she doesn t know my feeling
she is not as clever as I think. Besides, I
haven t time to make love to her now. If it
were any other girl I suppose I d have to, but
Babs, why, she must understand. And yet
damn that Duke!"
In order to woo her properly he would be
compelled to neglect financial duties that
needed every particle of brain-energy at his
command. He found himself opposed at the
outset by a startling embarrassment, made
absolutely clear by the computations of the
night before. The last four days of indiffer
ence to finance on one side, and pampering
the heart on the other, had proved very costly.
To use his own expression, he had been "set
back" almost eight thousand dollars. An
average like that would be ruinous.
"Why, think of it," he continued. "For
each day sacrificed to Barbara I must deduct
THE FORELOCK OF TIME 71
something like twenty-five hundred dollars. A
long campaign would put me irretrievably in
the hole; I d get so far behind that a holo
caust couldn t put me even. She can t expect
that of me, yet girls are such idiots about
devotion, and of course she doesn t know what
a heavy task I m facing. And there are the
others what will they do while I am out of the
running? I cannot go to her and say, Please,
may 1 have a year s vacation? I 11 come back
next September. On the other hand, I shall
surely neglect my business if she expects me
to compete. What pleasure shall I get out
of the seven millions if I lose her? I can t
afford to take chances. That Duke won t
have seven millions next September, it s true,
but he ll have a prodigious argument against
me, about the twenty first or second."
Then a brilliant thought occurred to him
which caused him to ring for a messenger-boy
with such a show of impatience that Rawles stood
aghast. The telegram which Monty wrote
was as follows:
May I marry and turn all property over to wife, pro
viding she will have me?
72 BREWSTERS MILLIONS
"Why isn t that reasonable?" he asked him
self after the boy had gone. "Making prop
erty over to one s wife is neither a loan nor is
it charity. Old Jones might call it needless
extravagance, since he s a bachelor, but it s
generally done because it s good business."
Monty was hopeful.
Following his habit in trouble, he sought
Margaret Gray, to whom he could always
appeal for advice and consolation. She was
to come to his next dinner-party, and it was
easy to lead up to the subject in hand by men
tioning the other guests.
"And Barbara Drew," he concluded, after
naming all the others. They were alone in the
library, and she was drinking in the details of
the dinner as he related them.
"Wasn t she at your first dinner?" she asked,
He successfully affected mild embarrass
"She must be very attractive." There was
no venom in Peggy s heart.
"She is attractive. In fact, she s one of the
best, Peggy," he said, paving the way.
"It s too bad she seems to care for that little
THE FORELOCK OF TIME 73
"He s a bounder," he argued.
"Well, don t take it to heart. You don t
have to marry him," and Peggy laughed.
"But I do take it to heart, Peggy," said
Monty, seriously. "I m pretty hard hit, and
I want your help. A sister s advice is always
the best in a matter of this sort."
She looked into his eyes dully for an instant,
not realizing the full importance of his con
"You, Monty?" she said, increduously.
"I ve got it bad, Peggy," he replied, star
ing hard at the floor. She could not understand
the cold, gray tone that suddenly enveloped
the room. The strange sense of loneliness
that came over her was inexplicable. The
little something that rose in her throat
would not be dislodged, nor could she throw
off the weight that seemed pressing down upon
her. He saw the odd look in her eyes and the
drawn, uncertain smile on her lips, but he
attributed them to wonder and incredulity.
Somehow, after all these years, he was trans
formed before her very eyes; she was looking
upon a new personality. He was no longer
Montgomery, the brother, but she could not
explain how and when the change crept over
her. What did it all mean? "I am very glad
74 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
if it will make you happy, Monty," she said
slowly, the gray in her lips giving way to red
once more. "Does she know?"
"I haven t told her in so many words, Peggy,
but but I m going to this evening," he
"I can t wait, 3 Monty said as he rose to go.
"I m glad you re pleased, Peggy; I need your
good wishes. And Peggy," he continued, with
a touch of boyish wistfulness, "do you think
there s a chance for a fellow? I ve had the
very deuce of a time over that English
It was not quite easy for her to say, "Monty,
you are the best in the world. Go in and
From the window she watched him swing off
down the street, wondering if he would turn to
wave his hand to her, his custom for years.
But the broad back was straight and uncompro
mising. His long strides carried him swiftly
out of sight, but it was many minutes before
she turned her eyes, which were smarting, a
little from the point where he was lost in the
crowd. The room looked ashen to her as she
brought her mind back to it, and somehow
things had grown difficult.
THE FORELOCK OF TIME 75
When Montgomery reached home he found
this telegram from Mr. Jones.
New York City.
Stick to your knitting, you damned fool.
LOVE AND A PRIZE-FIGHT
It is best not to repeat the expressions
Brewster used regarding one S. Jones, after
reading his telegram. But he felt consider
ably relieved after he had uttered them. He
fell to reading accounts of the big prize
fight which was to take place in San Francisco
that evening. He revelled in the descrip
tions of "upper cuts" and "left hooks," and
learned incidentally that the affair was to
be quite one-sided. A local amateur was
to box a champion. Quick to see an oppor
tunity, and cajoling himself into the belief that
Swearengen Jones could not object to such a
display of sportsmanship, Brewster made Harri
son book several good wagers on the result.
He intimated that he had reason to be
lieve that the favorite would lose. Harrison
soon placed three thousand dollars on his man.
The young financier felt so sure of the result
that he entered the bets on the profit side of
his ledger the moment he received Harrison s
LOVE AND A PRIZE-FIGHT 77
This done, he telephoned Miss Drew. She
was not insensible to the significance of his
inquiry if she would be in that afternoon. She
had observed in him of late a condition of
uneasiness, supplemented by moroseness and
occasional periods of irascibility. Every
girl whose occupation in life is the study of
men recognizes these symptoms and knows
how to treat them. Barbara had dealt with
many men afflicted in this manner, and the
flutter of anticipation that came with his urgent
plea to see her was tempered by experience.
It had something of joy in it, for she cared
enough for Montgomery Brewster to have
made her anxiously uncertain of his state of
mind. She cared, indeed, much more than she
intended to confess at the outset.
It was nearly half past five when he came,
and for once the philosophical Miss Drew felt
a little irritation. So certain was she of his
object in coming that his tardiness was a trifle
ruffling. He apologized for being late, and
succeeded in banishing the pique that pos
sessed her. It was naturally impossible for him
to share all his secrets with her, and that is
why he did not tell her that Grant & Ripley
had called him up to report the receipt of a
telegram from Swearengen Jones, in which the
78 B RE WSTER S MILLIONS
gentleman laconically said he could feed the
whole State of Montana for less than six thou
sand dollars. Beyond that there was no com
ment. Brewster, in dire trepidation, hastened
to the office of the attorneys. They smiled
when he burst in upon them.
"Good heavens!" he exclaimed, "does the
miserly old hayseed expect me to spend a
million for newspapers, cigarettes and Boston
terriers? I thought he would be reason
"He evidently has seen the newspaper
accounts of your dinner, and this is merely his
comment," said Mr. Ripley.
"It s either a warning, or else he s ambigu
ous in his compliments," growled Brewster,
"I don t believe he disapproved, Mr. Brew
ster. In the west the old gentleman is widely
known as a wit."
"A wit, eh? Then he ll appreciate an
answer from me. Have you a telegraph blank,
Two minutes later the following telegram to
Swearengen Jones was awaiting the arrival of
a messenger-boy, and Brewster was blandly
assuring Messrs. Grant & Ripley that he did
not "care a rap for the consequences":
LOVE AND A PRIZE-FIGHT 79
NEW YORK, October 23, i
No doubt you could do it for less than six thousand.
Montana is regarded as the best grazing country in the
world, but we don t eat that sort of stuff in New York.
That s why it costs more to live here.
Just before leaving his apartments for Miss
Drew s home he received this response from
BUTTE, MONTANA, Oct. 23, i
We are eight thousand feet above the level of the sea.
I suppose that s why it costs us less to live high.
"I was beginning to despair, Monty," said
Miss Drew, reproachfully, when he had come
down from the height of his exasperation and
remembered that there were things of more
The light in his eyes brought the faintest
tinge of red to her cheeks, and where a moment
before there had been annoyance there was
now a feeling of serenity. For a moment
the silence was fraught with purpose. Monty
glanced around the room, uncertain how to
begin. It was not so easy as he had imagined.
80 BREWSTERS MILLIONS
"You are very good to see me," he said at
last. "It was absolutely necessary for me to
talk to you this evening; I could not have
endured the suspense any longer. Barbara, I ve
spent three or four sleepless nights on your
account. Will it spoil your evening if I tell
you in plain words what you already know? It
won t bother you, will it?" he floundered.
"What do you mean, Monty?" she begged,
purposely dense, and with wonderful control of
"I love you, Babs," he cried. "I thought
you knew about it all along or I should have
told you before. That s why 1 haven t slept.
The fear that you may not care for me has
driven me nearly to distraction. It couldn t
go on any longer. I must know to-day."
There was a gleam in his eyes that made
her pose of indifference difficult; the fervor
of his half-whispered words took possession
of her. She had expected sentiment of
such a different character that his frank con
fession disarmed her completely. Beneath
his ardent, abrupt plea there was assurance,
the confidence of one who is not to be
denied. It was not what he had said, but the
way he had said it. A wave of exultation
swept over her, tingling through every nerve.
LOVE AND A PRIZE-FIGHT 81
Under the spell her resolution to dally lightly
with his emotion suffered a check that almost
brought ignominious surrender. Both of her
hands were clasped in his when he exultingly
resumed the charge against her heart, but she
was rapidly regaining control of her emotions
and he did not know that he was losing ground
with each step he took forward. Barbara
Drew loved Brewster, but she was going to
make him pay dearly for the brief lapse her
composure had experienced. When next she
spoke she was again the Miss Drew who had
been trained in the ways of the world, and not
the young girl in love.
"I care for you a great deal, Monty," she
said, "but I m wondering whether I care enough
to to marry you."
"We haven t known each other very long,
Babs," he said, tenderly, "but I think we know
each other well enough to be beyond wonder-
"It is like you to manage the whole thing,"
she said, chidingly. "Can t you give me time
to convince myself that I love you as you would
like, and as I must love if I expect to be happy
with the man I marry?"
"I forgot myself," he said, humbly.
"You forgot me," she protested, gently,
82 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
touched by this sign of contrition. "I do care
for you, Monty, but don t you see it s no little
thing you ask of me? I must be sure very
sure before I before "
"Don t be so distressed," he pleaded. "You
will love me, I know, because you love me now.
This means much to me, but it means more to
you. You are the woman and you are the one
whose happiness should be considered. I can
live only in the hope that when I come to you
again with this same story and this same ques
tion you ll not be afraid to trust yourself
"You deserve to be happy for that, Monty,"
she said, earnestly, and it was with difficulty
that she kept her eyes from wavering as they
looked into his.
"You will let me try to make you love me?"
he asked, eagerly.
"I may not be worth the struggle."
"I ll take that chance," he replied.
She was conscious of disappointment after
he was gone. He had not pleaded as ardently
as she had expected and desired, and, try as she
would, she could not banish the touch of irrita
tion that had come to haunt her for the night.
Brewster walked to the club, elated that he
had at least made a beginning. His position
LO VE AND A PRIZE-FIGHT 83
was now clear. Besides losing a fortune he
must win Barbara in open competition.
At the theater that evening he met Harrison,
who was in a state of jubilation.
"Where did you get that tip?" asked he.
"Tip? What tip?" from Brewster.
"On the prize-fight."
Brewster s face fell and something cold crept
"How did what was the result?" he asked,
sure of the answer.
"Haven t you heard? Your man knocked
him out in the fifth round surprised every
THE NAPOLEON OF FINANCE
The next two months were busy ones for
Brewster. Miss Drew saw him quite as often
as before the important interview, but he was
always a puzzle to her.
"His attitude is changed somehow," she
thought to herself, and then she remembered
that "a man who wins a girl after an ardent suit
is often like one who runs after a street car and
then sits down to read his paper."
In truth after the first few days Monty seemed
to have forgotten his competitors, and was rest
ing in the consciousness of his assured position.
Each day he sent her flowers and considered
that he had more than done his duty. He used
no small part of his income on the flowers, but
in this case his mission was almost forgotten
in his love for Barbara.
Monty s attitude was not due to any waning
of his affection, but to the very unromantic
business in which he was engaged. It seemed
to him that, plan as he might, he could not
devise fresh ways and means to earn $16,000 a
THE NAPOLEON OF FINANCE 85
day. He was still comfortably ahead in the
race, but a famine in opportunities was not far
remote. Ten big dinner parties and a string of
elaborate after-the-play suppers maintained a
fair but insufficient average, and he could see
that the time was ripe for radical measures.
He could not go on forever with his dinners.
People were already beginning to refer to the
fact that he was warming his toes on the Social
Register, and he had no desire to become the
laughing-stock of the town. The few slighting,
sarcastic remarks about his business ability,
chiefly by women and therefore reflected from
the men, hurt him. Miss Drew s apparently
harmless taunt and Mrs. Dan s open criti
cism told plainly enough how the wind was
blowing, but it was Peggy s gentle questions
that cut the deepest. There was such honest
concern in her voice that he could see how his
profligacy was troubling her and Mrs. Gray.
In their eyes, more than in the others, he felt
ashamed and humiliated. Finally, goaded by
the remark of a bank director which he over
heard, "Edwin P. Brewster is turning hand
springs in his grave over the way he is going
it," Monty resolved to redeem himself in the
eyes of his critics. He would show them that
his brain was not wholly given over to frivolity.
86 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
With this project in mind he decided to cause
a little excitement in Wall Street. For some
days he stealthily watched the stock market
and plied his friends with questions about
values. Constant reading and observation
finally convinced him that Lumber and Fuel
Common was the one stock in which he could
safely plunge. Casting aside all apprehension,
so far as Swearengen Jones was concerned, he
prepared for what was to be his one and only
venture on the Stock Exchange before the 23d
of the following September. With all the
cunning and craftiness of a general he laid his
plans for the attack. Gardner s face was the
picture of despair when Brewster asked him to
buy heavily in Lumber and Fuel.
"Good heavens, Monty," cried the broker,
"you re joking. Lumber is away up now. It
can t possibly go a fraction of a point higher.
Take my advice and don t touch it. It opened
to-day at Hl^ and closed at 109. Why, man,
you re crazy to think about it for an instant."
"I know my business, Gardner," said Brew
ster, quietly, and his conscience smote him
when he saw the flush of mortification creep
into the face of his friend. The rebuke had
cut Gardner to the quick.
"But, Monty, I know what I m talking
THE NAPOLEON OF FINANCE 87
about. At least let me tell you something
about this stock," pleaded Elon, loyally,
despite the wound.
"Gardy, I ve gone into this thing carefully,
and if ever a man felt sure about anything I do
about this," said Monty, decidedly but affec
"Take my word for it Lumber can t go any
higher. Think of the situation; the lumber
men in the north and west are overstocked,
and there is a strike ready to go into effect.
When that comes the stock will go for a song.
The slump is liable to begin any day."
"My mind is made up," said the other firmly,
and Gardner was in despair. "Will you or will
you not execute an order for me at the opening
to-morrow? I ll start with ten thousand shares.
What will it cost me to margin it for ten
"At least a hundred thousand, exclusive of
commission, which would be twelve and a half
a hundred shares." Despite the most strenu
ous opposition from Gardner, Brewster adhered
to his design, and the broker executed the
order the next morning. He knew that Brew
ster had but one chance to win, and that was
to buy the stock in a lump instead of distribu
ting it among several brokers and throughout
88 REIVSTER S MILLIONS
the session. This was a point that Monty had
There had been little to excite the Stock
Exchange for some weeks; nothing was active
and the slightest flurry was hailed as an
event. Everyone knew that the calm would be
disturbed at some near day, but nobody looked
for a sensation in Lumber and Fuel. It was a
foregone conclusion that a slump was coming,
and there was scarcely any trading in the
stock. When Elon Gardner, acting for Mont
gomery Brewster took ten thousand shares at
108^4 there was a mighty gasp on the Exchange,
then a rubbing of eyes, then commotion.
Astonishment was followed by nervousness,
and then came the struggle.
Brewster, confident that the stock could go
no higher, and that sooner or later it must
drop, calmly ordered his horse for a ride in the
snow-covered park. Even though he knew the
venture was to be a failure in the ordinary
sense he found joy in the knowledge that he
was doing something. He might be a fool,
he was at least no longer inactive. The feel
of the air was good to him. He was exhila
rated by the glitter of the snow, the answer
ing excitement of his horse, the gaiety and
sparkle of life about him.
THE NAPOLEON OF FINANCE 89
Somewhere far back in his inner self there
seemed to be the sound of cheering and the
clapping of hands. Shortly before noon he
reached his club, where he was to lunch with
Colonel Drew. In the reading-room he
observed that men were looking at him in a
manner less casual than was customary. Some
of them went so far as to smile encouragingly,
and others waved their hands in the most cor
dial fashion. Three or four very young members
looked upon him with admiration and envy
and even the porters seemed more obsequious.
There was something strangely oppressive in
all this show of deference.
Colonel Drew s dignity relaxed amazingly
when he caught sight of the young man. He
came forward to meet him and his greeting
almost carried Monty off his feet.
"How did you do it, my boy?" cried the
Colonel. "She s off a point or two now, I
believe, but half an hour ago she was booming.
Gad, I never heard of anything more spec
Monty s heart was in his mouth as he rushed
over to the ticker. It did not take him long to
grasp the immensity of the disaster. Gardner
had bought in at 108^, and that very action
seemed to put new life into the stock. Just as
90 SREWSTER S MILLIONS
it was on the point of breaking for lack of
support along came this sensational order for
ten thousand shares; and there could be but
one result. At one time in the morning
Lumber and Fuel, traded in by excited holders,
touched 113^2 and seemed in a fair way to hold
firm around that figure.
Other men came up and listened eagerly.
Brewster realized that his dash in Lumber and
Fuel had been a master-stroke of cleverness
when considered from the point of view of
these men, but a catastrophe from his own.
"I hope you sold it when it was at the top,"
said the Colonel anxiously.
"I instructed Gardner to sell only when I
gave the word," said Monty, lamely. Several
of the men looked at him in surprise and
"Well, if I were you I d tell him to sell,"
remarked the Colonel, coldly.
"The effect of your plunge has worn off,
Brewster, and the other side will drive the
prices down. They won t be caught napping
again, either," said one of the bystanders
"Do you think so?" And there was a note
of relief in Monty s voice.
From all sides came the advice to sell at
THE NAPOLEON OF FINANCE 91
once, but Brewster was not to be pushed. He
calmly lighted a cigarette, and with an assured
air of wisdom told them to wait a little while
"She s already falling off," said some one at
When Brewster s bewildered eyes raced over
the figures the stock was quoted at H2. His
sigh of relief was heard but misunderstood.
He might be saved after all. The stock -had
started to go down and there seemed no
reason why it should stop. As he intended to
purchase no more it was fair to assume that
the backbone was at the breaking point. The
crash was bound to come. He could hardly
restrain a cry of joy. Even while he stood at
the ticker the little instrument began to tell of
a further decline. As the price went down his
hopes went up.
The bystanders were beginning to be dis
gusted. "It was only a fluke after all," they
said to each other. Colonel Drew was appealed
to to urge Monty to save himself, and he was on
the point of remonstrance when the message
came that the threatened strike was off, and
that the men were willing to arbitrate. Almost
before one could draw breath this startling news
began to make itself felt. The certainty of a
92 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
great strike was one of the things that had
made Brewster sure that the price could not
hold. With this danger removed there was
nothing to jeopardize the earning power of the
stock. The next quotation was a point higher.
"You sly dog," said the Colonel, digging
Monty in the side. "I had confidence in you
all the time."
In ten minutes time Lumber and Fuel was
again up to 113 and soaring. Brewster, panic-
stricken, rushed to the telephone and called
The broker, hoarse with excitement, was
delighted when he recognized Brewster s voice.
"You re a wonder, Monty! I ll see you
after the close. How the devil did you do it?"
"What s the price now?" asked Brewster.
"One thirteen and three-fourths, and going
up all the time. Hooray!"
"Do you think she ll go down again?"
"Not if I can help it.
"Very well then, go and sell out," roared
"But she s going up like "
"Sell, damn you! Didn t you hear?"
Gardner, dazed and weak, began selling, and
THE NAPOLEON OF FINANCE 93
finally liquidated the full line at prices ranging
from 114 to 112^, but Montgomery Brewster
had cleared $58,550, and all because it was he
and not the market that got excited.
COALS OF FIRE
It was not that he had realized heavily in his
investments which caused his friends and his
enemies to regard him in a new light; his profit
had been quite small, as things go on the
Exchange in these days. The mere fact that
he had shown such foresight proved sufficient
cause for the reversal of opinion. Men looked
at him with new interest in their eyes, with
fresh confidence. His unfortunate operations
in the stock market had restored him to favor
in all circles. The man, young or old, who
could do what he had done with Lumber and
Fuel well deserved the new promises that were
being made for him.
Brevvster bobbed uncertainly between two
emotions elation and distress. He had
achieved two kinds of success the desired and
the undesired. It was but natural that he
should feel proud of the distinction the venture
had brought to him on one hand, but there
was reason for despair over the acquisition
of $50,000. It made it necessary for him to
undertake an almost superhuman feat increase
COALS OF FIRE 95
the number of his January bills. The plans for
the ensuing spring and summer were dimly
getting into shape and they covered many
startling projects. Since confiding some of
them to "Nopper" Harrison, that gentleman
had worn a never-decreasing look of worry and
anxiety in his eyes.
Rawles added to his despair a day or two
after the Stock Exchange misfortune. He
brought up the information that six splendid
little puppies had come to bless his Boston
terrier family, and Joe Bragdon, who was
present, enthusiastically predicted that he
could get $100 apiece for them. Brewster
loved dogs, yet for one single horrible moment
he longed to massacre the helpless little
creatures. But the old affection came back to
him, and he hurried out with Bragdon to
inspect the brood.
"And I ve either got to sell them or kill
them," he groaned. Later on he instructed
Bragdon to sell the pups for $25 apiece, and
went away, ashamed to look their proud mother
in the face.
Fortune smiled on him before the day was
over, however. He took "Subway" Smith for
a ride in the "Green Juggernaut," bad weather
and bad roads notwithstanding. Monty lost
96 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
control of the machine and headed for a
subway excavation. He and Smith saved
themselves by leaping to the pavement, sus
taining slight bruises, but the great machine
crashed through the barricade and dropped to
the bottom of the trench far below. To
Smith s grief and Brewster s delight the auto
mobile was hopelessly ruined, a clear loss of
many thousands. Monty s joy was short-lived,
for it was soon learned that three luckless
workmen down in the depths had been badly
injured by the green meteor from above. The
mere fact that Brewster could and did pay
liberally for the relief of the poor fellows
afforded him little consolation. His careless
ness, and possibly his indifference, had brought
suffering to these men and their families which
was not pleasant to look back upon. Lawsuits
were avoided by compromises. Each of the
injured men received $4,000.
At this time everyone was interested in the
charity bazaar at the Astoria. Society was on
exhibition, and the public paid for the privilege
of gazing at the men and women whose names
filled the society columns. Brewster fre
quented the booth presided over by Miss
Drew, and there seemed to be no end to his
philanthropy. The bazaar lasted two days and
COALS OF FIRE 97
nights, and after that period his account-book
showed an even "profit" of nearly $3,000.
Monty s serenity, however, was considerably
ruffled by the appearance of a new and aggres
sive claimant for the smiles of the fair Barbara.
He was a Californian of immense wealth and
unbounded confidence in himself, and letters
to people in New York had given him a certain
entree. The triumphs in love and finance that
had come with his two score years and ten
had demolished every vestige of timidity that
may have been born with him. He was suc
cessful enough in the world of finance to have
become four or five times a millionaire, and he
had fared so well in love that twice he had been
a widower. Rodney Grimes was starting out to
win Barbara with the same dash and impulsive
ness that overcame Mary Farrell, the cook in
the mining-camp, and Jane Boothroyd, the
school-teacher, who came to California ready
to marry the first man who asked her. He was a
penniless prospector when he married Mary, and
when he led Jane to the altar she rejoiced in hav
ing captured a husband worth at least $50,000.
He vied with Brewster in patronizing Bar
bara s booth, and he rushed into the conflict
with an impetuousity that seemed destined to
carry everything before it. Monty was brushed
98 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
aside, Barbara was preempted as if she were a
mining claim and ten days after his arrival in
New York, Grimes was the most talked-of man
in town. Brewster was not the sort to be
dispatched without a struggle, however. Rec
ognizing Grimes as an obstacle, but not as a
rival, he once more donned his armor and beset
Barbara with all the zest of a champion who
seeks to protect and not to conquer. He
regarded the Californian as an impostor and
summary action was necessary. "I know all
about him, Babs," he said one day after he
felt sure of his position. "Why, his father
was honored by the V. C., on the coast in 49."
"The Victoria Cross?" asked Barbara inno
"No, the vigilance committee."
In this way Monty routed the enemy and
cleared the field before the end of another
week. Grimes transferred his objectionable
affection and Barbara was not even asked to be
wife number three. Brewster s campaign was
so ardent that he neglected other duties de
plorably, falling far behind his improvident
average. With Grimes disposed of, he once
more forsook the battlefield of love and gave
his harassed and undivided attention to his own
COALS OF FIRE 99
The fast-and-loose game displeased Miss
Barbara greatly. She was at first surprised,
then piqued, then resentful. Monty gradually
awoke to the distressing fact that she was go
ing to be intractable, as he put it, and forth
with undertook to smooth the troubled sea.
To his amazement and concern she was not to
"Does it occur to you, Monty," she said,
with a gentle coldness that was infinitely worse
than heat, "that you have been carrying things
with a pretty high hand? Where did you
acquire the right to interfere with my privi
leges? You seem to think that I am not to
speak to any man but you."
"O, come now, Babs," retorted Monty, "I ve
not been quite as unreasonable as that. And
you know yourself that Grimes is the worst
kind of a bounder."
"I know nothing of the sort," replied the
lady, with growing irritation. "You say that
about every man who gives me a smile or a
flower. Does it indicate such atrocious taste?"
"Don t be silly Barbara. You know per
fectly well that you have talked to Gardner
and that idiot Valentine by the hour, and I ve
not said a word. But there are some things I
can t stand, and the impertinence of Grimes is
100 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
one of them. Jove! he looked at you, out of
those fishy eyes, sometimes as though he owned
you. If you knew how many times I ve fairly
ached to knock him down!"
Inwardly Barbara was weakening a little
before his masterfulness. But she gave no
"And it never occurred to you," she said,
with that exasperating coldness of the voice,
"that I was equal to the situation. I suppose
you thought Mr. Grimes had only to beckon
and I would joyfully answer. I ll have you
know, Monty Brewster, right now, that I am
quite able to choose my friends, and to handle
them. Mr. Grimes has character and I like
him. He has seen more of life in a year of
his strenuous career than you ever dreamed of
in all your pampered existence. His life has
been real, Monty Brewster, and yours is only
It struck him hard, but it left him gentle.
"Babs," he said, softly, "I can t take that
from you. You don t really mean it, do you?
Am I as bad as that?"
It was a moment for dominance, and he
missed it. His gentleness left her cold.
"Monty" she exclaimed irritably, "you
are terribly exasperating. Do make up your
COALS OF FIRE 101
mind that you and your million are not the
only things in the world."
His blood was up now, but it flung him
away from her.
"Some day, perhaps, you ll find out that
there is not much besides. I am just a little
too big, for one thing, to be played with and
thrown aside. I won t stand it."
He left the house with his head high in the
air, angry red in his cheeks, and a feeling in
his heart that she was the most unreasonable
of women. Barbara, in the meantime, cried
herself to sleep, vowing she would never love
Monty Brewster again as long as she lived.
A sharp cutting wind was blowing in Monty s
face as he left the house. He was thoroughly
"Throw up your hands!" came hoarsely from
somewhere, and there was no tenderness in the
tones. For an instant Monty was dazed and
bewildered, but in the next he saw two shadowy
figures walking beside him. "Stop where you
are, young fellow," was the next command,
and he stopped short. He was in a mood to
fight, but the sight of a revolver made him
think again. Monty was not a coward, neither
was he a fool. He was quick to see that a
struggle would be madness.
102 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
"What do you want?" he demanded as
coolly as his nerves would permit.
"Put up your hands quick!" and he hastily
obeyed the injunction.
"Not a sound out of you or you get it good
and proper. You know what we want. Get to
work, Bill; I ll watch his hands."
"Help yourselves, boys. I m not fool
enough to scrap about it. Don t hit me or
shoot, that s all. Be quick about it, because
I ll take cold if my overcoat is open long.
How s business been to-night?" Brewster was
to all intents and purposes the calmest man in
"Fierce!" said the one who was doing the
searching. "You re the first guy we ve seen
in a week that looks good."
"I hope you won t be disappointed," said
Monty genially. "If I d expected this I might
have brought more money."
"I guess we ll be satisfied," chuckled the
man with the revolver. "You re awful nice
and kind, mister, and maybe you wouldn t object
to tellin us when you ll be up dis way ag in."
"It s a pleasure to do business with you,
pardner," said the other, dropping Monty s
$300 watch in his pocket. "We ll leave car-fare
for you for your honesty." His hands were
COALS OF FIRE 103
running through Brewster s pockets with the
quickness of a machine. "You don t go much
on jewelry, I guess. Are dese shoit buttons
de real t ing?"
"They re pearls," said Monty, cheerfully.
"My favorite jool," said the man with the
revolver. "Clip em out, Bill."
"Don t cut the shirt," urged Monty. "I m
going to a little supper and I don t like the
idea of a punctured shirt-front."
"I ll be careful as I kin, mister. There, I
guess dat s all. Shall I call a cab for you, sir?"
"No, thank you, I think I ll walk."
"Well, just walk south a hundred steps with
out lookin round er yellin and you kin save
your skin. I guess you know what I mean,
"I m sure I do. Good-night."
"Good-night," came in chuckles from the
two hold-up men. But Brewster hesitated, a
sharp thought penetrating his mind.
"By gad!" he exclaimed, "you chaps are
very careless. Do you know you ve missed a
roll of three hundred dollars in this overcoat
pocket?" The men gasped and the spasmodic
oaths that came from them were born of
incredulity. It was plain that they doubted
104 BREIVSTER S MILLIONS
"Say it ag in," muttered Bill, in bewildered
"He s stringin us, Bill," said the other.
"Sure," growled Bill. "It s a nice way to
treat us, mister. Move along now and don t
"Well, you re a couple of nice highwaymen,"
cried Monty in disgust.
"Sh not so loud."
"That is no way to attend to business. Do
you expect me to go down into my pocket and
hand you the goods on a silver tray?"
"Keep your hands up! You don t woik dat
game on me. You got a gun there."
"No, I haven t. This is on the level. You
overlooked a roll of bills in your haste and I m
not the sort of fellow to see an earnest endeav-
orer get the worst of it My hands are up.
See for yourself if I m not telling you the
"What kind of game is dis?" growled Bill,
dazed and bewildered. "I m blowed if I know
w at to t ink o you," cried he in honest
amazement. "You don t act drunk, and you
ain t crazy, but there s somethin wrong wid
you. Are you givin it to us straight about de
"You can find out easily."
COALS OF FIRE 105
"Well, I hate to do it, boss, but I guess we ll
just take de overcoat and all. It looks like a
trick and we takes no chances. Off wid de
Monty s coat came off in a jiffy and he stood
shivering before the dumbfounded robbers.
"We ll leave de coat at de next corner,
pardner. It s cold and you need it more n we
do. You re de limit, you are. So long. Walk
right straight ahead and don t yell."
Brewster found his coat a few minutes later,
and went whistling away into the night. The
roll of bills was gone.
Brewster made a good story of the "hold
up" at the club, but he did not relate all the
details. One of the listeners was a new public
commissioner who was aggressive in his efforts
at reform. Accordingly, Brewster was sum
moned to headquarters the next morning for
the purpose of looking over the "suspects"
that had been brought in. Almost the first
man that he espied was a rough-looking fellow
whose identity could not be mistaken. It was
"Hello, Bill," called Monty, gaily. Bill
ground his teeth for a second, but his eyes had
such an appeal in them that Monty relented.
"You know this fellow, Mr. Brewster?"
demanded the captain, quickly. Bill looked
"Know Bill?" questioned Monty in surprise.
"Of course I do, Captain."
"He was picked up late last night and
detained, because he would give no account of
CHRISTMAS DESPAIR 107
"Was it as bad as that, Bill?" asked Brew-
ster, with a smile. Bill mumbled something
and assumed a look of defiance. Monty s
attitude puzzled him sorely. He hardly
breathed for an instant, and gulped percep
"Pass Bill, Captain. He was with me last
night just before my money was taken, and he
couldn t possibly have robbed me without my
knowledge. Wait for me outside, Bill. I want
to talk to you. I m quite sure neither of the
thieves is here, Captain," concluded Brewster,
after Bill had obeyed the order to step out of
Outside the door the puzzled crook met
Brewster, who shook him warmly by the hand.
"You re a peach," whispered Bill, gratefully.
"What did you do it for, mister?"
"Because you were kind enough not to cut
"Say, you re all right, that s what. Would
you mind havin a drink with me? It s your
money, but the drink won t be any the worse
for that. We blowed most of it already, but
here s what s left." Bill handed Monty a roll
"I d a kept it if you d made a fight," he con
tinued, "but it ain t square to keep it now."
108 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
Brewster refused the money, but took back
"Keep it, Bill," he said, "you need it more
than I do. It s enough to set you up in some
other trade. Why not try it?"
"I will try, boss," and Bill was so profuse
in his thanks that Monty had difficulty in get
ting away. As he climbed into a cab he heard
Bill say, "I will try, boss, and say, if ever I
can do anything for you, jes put me nex .
I m nex you all de time."
He gave the driver the name of his club, but
as he was passing the Waldorf he remembered
that he had several things to say to Mrs. Dan.
The order was changed, and a few moments
later he was received in Mrs. Dan s very spe
cial den. She wore something soft and grace
ful in lavender, something that was light and
wavy and evanescent, and made you watch its
changing shadows. Monty looked down at
her with the feeling that she made a very
"You are looking pretty fit this morning,
my lady," he said by way of preamble. "How
well everything plays up to you."
"And you are unusually courtly, Monty,"
she smiled. "Has the world treated you so
generously of late?"
CHRISTMAS DESPAIR 109
"It is treating me generously enough just
now to make up for anything," and he
looked at her. "Do you know, Mrs. Dan, that
it is borne in upon me now and then that there
are things that are quite worth while?"
"Oh, if you come to that," she answered,
lightly, "everything is worth while. For you,
Monty, life is certainly not slow. You can
dominate; you can make things go your way.
Aren t they going your way now, Monty"
this more seriously "What s wrong? Is the
pace too fast?"
His mood increased upon him with her sym
pathy. "Oh, no," he said, "it isn t that. You
are good and I m a selfish beast. Things are
perverse and people are desperately obstinate
sometimes. And here I m taking it out on
you. You are not perverse. You are not
obstinate. You are a ripper, Mrs. Dan, and
you are going to help me out in more ways than
"Well, to pay for all these gallantries,
Monty, I ought to do much. I m your friend
through thick and thin. You have only to
"It was precisely to get your help that I
came in. I m tired of those confounded din
ners. You know yourself that they are all
110 BRE.WSTER S MILLIONS
alike the same people, the same flowers, the
same things to eat, and the same inane twaddle
in the shape of talk. Who cares about them
"Well, I like that," she interrupted. "After
all the thought I put into those dinners, after
all the variety I so carefully secured! My dear
boy, you are frightfully ungrateful."
"Oh, you know what I mean And you
know quite as well as I do that it is perfectly
true. The dinners were a beastly bore, which
proves that they were a loud success. Your
work was not done in vain. But now I want
something else. We must push along this
ball we ve been talking of. And the yacht
ing cruise that can t wait very much longer."
"The ball first," she decreed. "I ll see to
the cards at once, and in a day or two I ll have
a list ready for your gracious approval. And
what have you done?"
"Pettingill has some great ideas for doing
over Sherry s. Harrison is in communication
with the manager of that Hungarian orchestra
you spoke of, and he finds the men quite ready
for a little jaunt across the water. We have
that military band I ve forgotten the number
of its regiment for the promenade music, and
the new Paris sensation, the contralto, is com-
CHRISTMAS DESPAIR ill
ing over with her primo tenore for some special
"You were certainly cut out for an executive,
Monty," said Mrs. Dan. "But with the music
and the decorations arranged, you ve only
begun. The favors are the real thing, and if you
say the word, we ll surprise them a little.
Don t worry about it, Monty. It s a go already.
We ll pull it off together. "
"You are a thoroughbred, Mrs Dap," he
exclaimed. "You do help a fellow at a pinch."
"That s all right, Monty," she answered;
"give me until after Christmas and I ll have
the finest favors ever seen. Other people may
have their paper hats and pink ribbons but you
can show them how the thing ought to be done.
Her reference to Christmas haunted Brew-
ster, as he drove down Fifth Avenue, with the
dread of a new disaster. Never before had he
looked upon presents as a calamity; but this
year it was different. Immediately he began
to plan a bombardment of his friends with
costly trinkets, when he grew suddenly doubt
ful of the opinion of his uncle s executor upon
this move. But in response to a telegram,
Swearengen Jones, with pleasing irascibility,
informed him that "anyone with a drop of
human kindness in his body would consider
] 12 BRE WSTER S MILLIONS
it his duty to give Christmas presents to those
who deserved them." Monty s way was now
clear. If his friends meant to handicap him
with gifts, he knew a way to get even. For
two weeks his mornings were spent at Tiffany s,
and the afternoons brought joy to the heart
of every dealer in antiquities in Fourth and
Fifth Avenues. He gave much thought to
the matter in the effort to secure many small
articles which elaborately concealed their
value. And he had taste. The result of his
endeavor was that many friends who would
not have thought of remembering Monty with
even a card were pleasantly surprised on
As it turned out, he fared very well in the
matter of gifts, and for some days much of his
time was spent in reading notes of profuse
thanks, which were yet vaguely apologetic.
The Grays and Mrs. Dan had remembered him
with an agreeable lack of ostentation, and
some of the "Little Sons of the Rich," who
had kept one evening a fortnight open for the
purpose of "using up their meal-tickets" at
Monty s, were only too generously grateful.
Miss Drew had forgotten him, and when they
met after the holiday her recognition was of
the coldest. He had thought that, under the
CHRISTMAS DESPAIR 113
circumstances, he could send her a gift of
value, but the beautiful pearls with which he
asked for a reconciliation were returned with
"Miss Drew s thanks." He loved Barbara sin
cerely, and it cut. Peggy Gray was taken into
his confidence and he was comforted by her
encouragement. It was a bit difficult for her
to advise him to try again, but his happiness
was a thing she had at heart.
"It s beastly unfair, Peggy," he said. "I ve
really been white to her. I believe I ll chuck
the whole business and leave New York. "
"You re going away?" and there was just a
suggestion of a catch in her breath.
"I m going to charter a yacht and sail away
from this place for three or four months."
Peggy fairly gasped. "What do you think of
the scheme?" he added, noticing the alarm and
incredulity in her eyes.
"I think you ll end in the poor-house, Mont
gomery Brewster," she said, with a laugh.
A FRIEND IN NEED
It was while Brewster was in the depths of
despair that his financial affairs had a windfall.
One of the banks in which his money was
deposited failed and his balance of over
$100,000 was wiped out. Mismanagement was
the cause and the collapse came on Friday, the
thirteenth day of the month. Needless to say
it destroyed every vestige of the superstition
he may have had regarding Friday and the
Brewster had money deposited in five banks,
a transaction inspired by the wild hope that,
one of them might some day suspend opera
tions and thereby prove a legitimate benefit to
him. There seemed no prospect that the bank
could resume operations, and if the depositors
in the end realized twenty cents on the dollar
they would be fortunate. Notwithstanding the
fact that everybody had considered the institu
tion substantial there were not a few wiseacres
who called Brewster a fool and were so unreas
onable as to say that he did not know how to
A FRIEND IN NEED 115
handle money. He heard that Miss Drew, in
particular, was bitterly sarcastic in referring to
This failure caused a tremendous flurry in
banking circles. It was but natural that
questions concerning the stability of other
banks should be asked, and it was not long
before many wild, disquieting reports were
afloat. Anxious depositors rushed into the big
banking institutions and then rushed out again,
partially assured that there was no danger.
The newspapers sought to allay the fears of
the people, but there were many to whom fear
became panic. There were short, wild runs on
some of the smaller banks, but all were in a
fair way to restore confidence when out came
the rumor that the Bank of Manhattan Island
was in trouble. Colonel Prentiss Drew, rail
road magnate, was the president of this bank.
When the bank opened for business on the
Tuesday following the failure, there was a
stampede of frightened depositors. Before
eleven o clock the run had assumed ugly pro
portions and no amount of argument could stay
the onslaught. Colonel Drew and the direct
ors, at first mildly distressed, and then seeing
that the affair had become serious, grew more
alarmed than they could afford to let the public
116 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
see. The loans of all of the banks were
unusually large. Incipient runs on some had
put all of them in an attitude of caution and
there was a natural reluctance to expose their
own interests to jeopardy by coming to the
relief of the Bank of Manhattan Island.
Monty Brewster had something like $200,000
in Colonel Drew s bank. He would not have
regretted on his own account the collapse of
this institution, but he realized what it meant
to the hundreds of other depositors, and for
the first time he appreciated what his money
could accomplish. Thinking that his presence
might give confidence to the other depositors
and stop the run he went over to the bank with
Harrison and Bragdon. The tellers were
handing out thousands of dollars to the eager
depositors. His friends advised him strongly
to withdraw before it was too late, but Monty
was obdurate. They set it down to his desire
to help Barbara s father and admired his
"I understand, Monty," said Bragdon, and
both he and Harrison went among the people
carelessly asking one another if Brewster had
come to withdraw his money. "No, he has
over $200,000, and he s going to leave it," the
other would say.
A FRIEND IN NEED 117
Each excited group was visited in turn by the
two men, but their assurance seemed to accom
plish but little. These men and women were
there to save their fortunes; the situation was
Colonel Drew, outwardly calm and serene,
but inwardly perturbed, finally saw Brewster
and his companions. He sent a messenger
over with the request that Monty come to the
president s private office at once.
"He wants to help you to save your money,"
cried Bragdon in low tones. "That shows it s
"Get out every dollar of it, Monty, and
don t waste a minute. It s a smash as sure as
fate," urged Harrison, a feverish expression in
Brewster was admitted to the Colonel s
private office. Drew was alone and was pacing
the floor like a caged animal.
"Sit down, Brewster, and don t mind if I
seem nervous. Of course we can hold out, but
it is terrible terrible. They think we are
trying to rob them. They re mad utterly
"I never saw anything like it, Colonel. Are
you sure you can meet all the demands?" asked
Brewster, thoroughly excited. The Colonel s
118 BREWSTERS MILLIONS
face was white and he chewed his cigar
"We can hold out unless some of our
heaviest depositors get the fever and swoop
down upon us. I appreciate your feelings in
an affair of this kind, coming so swiftly upon
the heels of the other, but I want to give you
my personal assurance that the money you
have here is safe. I called you in to impress
you with the security of the bank. You ought
to know the truth, however, and I will tell you
in confidence that another check like Austin s,
which we paid a few minutes ago, would
cause us serious, though temporary, embarrass
"I came to assure you that I have not
thought of withdrawing my deposits from this
bank, Colonel. You need have no uneasi
The door opened suddenly and one of the
officials of the bank bolted inside, his face as
white as death. He started to speak before he
saw Brewster, and then closed his lips despair
"What is it, Mr. Moore?" asked Drew, as
calmly as possible. "Don t mind Mr. Brew
"Oglethorp wants to draw two hundred and
A FRIEND IN NEED 119
fifty thousand dollars," said Moore in strained
"Well, he can have it, caii t he?" asked the
Colonel quietly. Moore looked helplessly at
the president of the bank, and his silence spoke
more plainly than words.
"Brewster, it looks bad," said the Colonel,
turning abruptly to the young man. The other
banks are afraid of a run and we can t count on
much help from them. Some of them have
helped us and others have refused. Now, I
not only ask you to refrain from drawing out
your deposit, but I want you to help us in this
crucial moment." The Colonel looked twenty
years older and his voice shook perceptibly.
Brewster s pity went out to him in a flash.
"What can I do, Colonel Drew?" he cried.
"I ll not take my money out, but I don t know
how I can be of further assistance to you.
Command me, sir."
"You can restore absolute confidence,
Monty, my dear boy, by increasing your
deposits in our bank," said the Colonel
slowly, and as if dreading the fate of the sug
"You mean, sir, that I can save the bank by
drawing my money from other banks and
putting it here?" asked Monty, slowly. He
120 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
was thinking harder and faster than he had
ever thought in his life. Could he afford to
risk the loss of his entire fortune on the fate of
this bank? What would Swearengen Jones say
if he deliberately deposited a vast amount of
money in a tottering institution like the Bank
of Manhattan Island? It would be the maddest
folly on his part if the bank went down. There
could be no mitigating circumstances in the
eyes of either Jones or the world, if he
swamped all of his money in this crisis.
"I beg of you, Monty, help us." The
Colonel s pride was gone. "It means disgrace
if we close our doors even for an hour; it means
a stain that only years can remove. You can
restore confidence by a dozen strokes of your
pen, and you can save us."
He was Barbara s father. The proud old
man was before him as a suppliant, no longer
the cold man of the world. Back to Brewster s
mind came the thought of his quarrel with
Barbara and of her heartlessness. A scratch
of the pen, one way or the other, could change
the life of Barbara Drew. The two bankers
stood by scarcely breathing. From outside
came the shuffle of many feet and the muffled
roll of voices. Again the door to the private
office opened and a clerk excitedly motioned
A FRIEND 7iV NEED 121
for Mr. Moore to hurry to the front of the
bank. Moore paused irresolutely, his eyes
on Brewster s face. The young man knew the
time had come when he must help or deny
Like a flash the situation was made clear to
him and his duty was plain. He remembered
that the Bank of Manhattan Island held every
dollar that Mrs. Gray and Peggy possessed;
their meager fortune had been entrusted to the
care of Prentiss Drew and his associates, and it
was in danger.
"I will do all I can, Colonel, said Monty,
"but upon one condition."
"Barbara must never know of this." The
Colonel s gasp of astonishment was cut short
as Monty continued. "Promise that she shall
"I don t understand, but if it is your wish I
Inside of half an hour s time several hundred
thousand came to the relief of the struggling
bank, and the man who had come to watch the
run with curious eyes turned out to be its
savior. His money won the day for the Bank
of Manhattan Island. When the happy presi
dent and directors offered to pay him an
122 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
astonishingly high rate of interest for the use
of the money he proudly declined.
The next day Miss Drew issued invitations
for a cotillion. Mr. Montgomery Brewster was
not asked to attend.
MRS. DE MILLE ENTERTAINS
Miss Drew s cotillion was not graced by the
presence of Montgomery Brewster. It is true
he received an eleventh-hour invitation and
a very cold and difficult little note of apology,
but he maintained heroically the air of disdain
that had succeeded the first sharp pangs of
disappointment. Colonel Drew, in whose good
graces Monty had firmly established himself,
was not quite guiltless of usurping the role of
dictator in the effort to patch up a truce. A
few nights before the cotillion, when Barbara
told him that Herbert Ailing was to lead, he
explosively expressed surprise. "Why not
Monty Brewster, Babs?" he demanded.
"Mr. Brewster is not coming," she re
"Going to be out of town?"
"I m sure I do not know," stiffly.
"What s this?"
"He has not been asked, father." Miss
Drew was not in good humor.
124 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
"Not asked?" said the Colonel in amaze
ment. "It s ridiculous, Babs, send him an
invitation at once."
"This is my dance, father, and I don t want
to ask Mr. Brewster."
The Colonel sank back in his chair and
struggled to overcome his anger. He knew
that Barbara had inherited his willfulness, and
had long since discovered that it was best to
treat her with tact.
"I thought you and he were "but the
Colonel s supply of tact was exhausted.
"We were" in a moment of absent mind-
edness. "But it s all over," said Barbara.
"Why, child, there wouldn t have been a
cotillion if it hadn t been for " but the Colonel
remembered his promise to Monty and
checked himself just in time. "I I mean
there will not be any party, if Montgomery
Brewster is not asked. That is all I care to
say on the subject," and he stamped out of
Barbara wept copiously after her father had
gone, but she realized that his will was law and
that Monty must be invited. "I will send an
invitation," she said to herself, "but if Mr.
Brewster comes after he has read it, I shall be
MRS. DE MILLE ENTERTAINS 125
Montgomery, however, did not receive the
note in the spirit in which it had been sent.
He only saw in it a ray of hope that Barbara
was relenting and was jubilant at the pros
pect of a reconciliation. The next Sunday he
sought an interview with Miss Drew, but she
received him with icy reserve. If he had
thought to punish her by staying away, it was
evident that she felt equally responsible for a
great deal of misery on his part. Both had
been more or less unhappy, and both were
resentfully obstinate. Brewster felt hurt and
insulted, while she felt that he had imposed
upon her disgracefully. He was now ready to
cry quits and it surprised him to find her
obdurate. If he had expected to dictate the
terms of peace he was woefully disappointed
when she treated his advances with cool
"Barbara, you know I care very much for
you," he was pleading, fairly on the road to
submission. "I am sure you are not quite
indifferent to me. This foolish misunderstand
ing must really be as disagreeable to you as it
is to me."
"Indeed," she replied, lifting her brows
disdainfully. "You are assuming a good deal,
126 S RE ULSTER S MILLIONS
"I am merely recalling the fact that you
once told me you cared. You would not
promise anything, I know, but it meant much
that you cared. A little difference could not
have changed your feeling completely."
"When you are ready to treat me with
respect I may listen to your petition," she said,
"My petition?" He did not like the word
and his tact quite deserted him. "It s as much
yours as mine. Don t throw the burden of
responsibility on me, Miss Drew."
"Have I suggested going back to the old
relations? You will pardon me if I remind
you of the fact that you came to-day on your
own initiative and certainly without my solici
"Now, look here, Barbara he began,
dimly realizing that it was going to be hard,
very hard, to bring her to reason.
"I am very sorry, Mr. Brewster, but you will
have to excuse me. I am going out."
"I regret exceedingly that I should have
disturbed you to-day, Miss Drew," he said
swallowing his pride. "Perhaps I may have
the pleasure of seeing you again."
As he was leaving the house, deep anger in
his soul, he encountered the Colonel. There
MRS. DE MILLE ENTERTAINS 127
was something about Monty s greeting, cordial
as it was, that gave the older man a hint
as to the situation.
"Won t you stop for dinner, Monty?" he
asked, in the hope that his suspicion was
"Thank you, Colonel, not to-night," and he
was off before the Colonel could hold him.
Barbara was tearfully angry when her father
came into the room, but as he began to re
monstrate with her the tears disappeared and
left her at white heat.
"Frankly, father, you don t understand mat
ters," she said with slow emphasis; "I wish
you to know now that if Montgomery Brewster
calls again, I shall not see him."
"If that is your point of view, Barbara, I
wish you to know mine." The Colonel rose
and stood over her, everything forgotten but
the rage that went so deep that it left the
surface calm. Throwing aside his promise to
Brewster, he told Barbara with dramatic
simplicity the story of the rescue of the bank.
"You see," he added, "if it had not been for
that open-hearted boy we would now be
ruined. Instead of giving cotillions, you
might be giving music lessons. Montgomery
Brewster will always be welcome in this house
128 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
and you will see that my wishes are respected.
Do you understand?"
"Perfectly," Barbara answered in a still
voice. "As your friend I shall try to be civil
The Colonel was not satisfied with so cold
blooded an acquiescence, but he wisely retired
from the field. He left the girl silent and
crushed, but with a gleam in her eyes that
was not altogether to be concealed. The story
had touched her more deeply than she would
willingly confess. It was something to know
that Monty Brewster could do a thing like
that, and would do it for her. The exultant
smile which it brought to her lips could only
be made to disappear by reminding herself
sharply of his recent arrogance. Her anger,
she found, was a plant which needed careful
It was in a somewhat chastened mood that
she started a few days later for a dinner at the
DeMille s. As she entered in her sweeping
golden gown the sight of Monty Brewster at
the other end of the room gave her a flutter at
the heart. But it was an agitation that was
very carefully concealed. Brewster was
certainly unconscious of it. To him the
position of guest was like a disguise and he
MRS. DE MILLE ENTERTAINS 129
was pleased at the prospect of letting himself
go under the mask without responsibility. But
it took on a different color when the butler
handed him a card which signified that he
was to take Miss Drew in to dinner. Hastily
seeking out the hostess he endeavored to
convey to her the impossibility of the situation.
"I hope you won t misunderstand me," he
said. "But is it too late to change my place at
"It isn t conventional, I know, Monty.
Society s chief aim is to separate engaged
couples at dinner, "said Mrs. Dan with a laugh.
"It would be positively compromising if a man
and his wife sat together."
Dinner was announced before Monty could
utter another word, and as she led him over to
Barbara she said, "Behold a generous hostess
who gives up the best man in the crowd so that
he and someone else may have a happy time.
I leave it to you, Barbara, if that isn t the test
For a moment the two riveted their eyes on
the floor. Then the humor of the situation
came to Monty.
"I did not know that we were supposed to
do Gibson tableaux to-night," he said drily as
he proffered his arm.
130 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
"I don t understand," and Barbara s curi
osity overcame her determination not to
"Don t you remember the picture of the man
who was called upon to take his late fiancee
out to dinner?"
The awful silence with which this remark
was received put an end to further efforts at
The dinner was probably the most painful
experience in their lives. Barbara had come to
it softened and ready to meet him half way.
The right kind of humility in Monty would
have found her plastic. But she had very
definite and rigid ideas of his duty in the
premises. And Monty was too simple minded
to seem to suffer, and much too flippant to
understand. It was plain to each that the
other did not expect to talk, but they both
realized that they owed a duty to appearances
and to their hostess. Through two courses, at
least, there was dead silence between them.
It seemed as though every eye in the room were
on them and every mind were speculating. At
last, in sheer desperation, Barbara turned to
him with the first smile he had seen on her
face in days. There was no smile in her eyes,
however, and Monty understood.
MRS. DE MILLE ENTERTAINS 131
"We might at least give out the impression
that we are friends," she said quietly.
"More easily said than done," he responded
"They are all looking at us and wondering."
"I don t blame them."
"We owe something to Mrs. Dan, I think."
Barbara uttered some inanity whenever she
caught anyone looking in their direction, but
Brewster seemed not to hear. At length he
cut short some remark of hers about the
"What nonsense this is, Barbara," he said.
"With anyone else I would chuck the whole
game, but with you it is different. I don t know
what I have done, but I am sorry. I hope
you ll forgive me."
"Your assurance is amusing, to say the
"But I am sure. I know this quarrel is
something we ll laugh over. You keep for
getting that we are going to be married some
A new light came into Barbara s eyes.
"You forget that my consent may be neces
sary," she said.
"You will be perfectly willing when the time
132 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
comes. I am still in the fight and eventually
you will come to my way of thinking."
"Oh! I see it now," said Barbara, and her
blood was up. "You mean to force me to it.
What you did for father "
Brewster glowered at her, thinking that he
had misunderstood. "What do you mean?"
"He has told me all about that wretched
bank business. But poor father thought you
quite disinterested. He did not see the little
game behind your melodrama. He would have
torn up your check on the instant if he had
suspected you were trying to buy his daughter."
"Does your father believe that?" asked
"No, but I see it all now. His persistence
and yours you were not slow to grasp the
opportunity he offered."
"Stop, Miss Drew," Monty commanded.
His voice had changed and she had never
before seen that look in his eyes. "You need
have no fear that I will trouble you again."
THE CUT DIRECT
A typographical error in one of the papers
caused no end of amusement to every one
except Monty and Miss Drew. The headlines
had announced: "Magnificent ball to be given
Miss Drew by her Finance," and the "Little
Sons of the Rich" wondered why Monty did not
see the humor of it.
"He has too bad an attack to see anything
but the lady," said Harrison one evening when
the "Sons" were gathered for an old-time
"It s always the way," commented the
philosophical Bragdon. "When- you lose your
heart your sense of humor goes too. Engaged
couples couldn t do such ridiculous stunts if
they had the least particle of it left."
"Well if Monty Brewster is still in love with
Miss Drew he takes a mighty poor way of
showing it." "Subway" Smith s remark fell
like a bombshell. The thought had come to
everyone, but no one had been given the
courage to utter it. For them Brewster s
134 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
silence on the subject since the DeMille dinner
seemed to have something ominous behind it.
"It s probably only a lover s quarrel," said
Bragdon. But further comment was cut short
by the entrance of Monty himself, and they
took their places at table.
Before the evening came to an end they were
in possession of many astonishing details in
connection with the coming ball. Monty did
not say that it was to be given for Miss Drew
and her name was conspicuously absent from
his descriptions. As he unfolded his plans
even the "Little Sons," who were imaginative
by instinct and reckless on principle, could not
be quite acquiescent.
"Nopper" Harrison solemnly expressed the
opinion that the ball would cost Brewster at
least $125,000. The "Little Sons" looked at
one another in consternation, while Brewster s
indifference expressed itself in an unflatter
ing comment upon his friend s vulgarity.
"Good Lord, Nopper," he added; "you would
speculate about the price of gloves for your
Harrison resented the taunt. "It would be
much less vulgar to do that, Monty, saving
your presence, than to force your millions down
everyone s throat."
THE CUT DIRECT 135
"Well, they swallow them, I ve noticed,"
retorted Brewster, "as though they were
Pettingill interrupted grandiloquently. "My
friends and gentlemen!"
"Which is which?" asked Van Winkle,
But the artist was in the saddle. "Permit
me to present you to the boy Crcesus the
only one extant. His marbles are plunks and
his kites are made of fifty-dollar notes. He
feeds upon coupons a la Newburgh, and his
champagne is liquid golden eagles. Look at
him, gentlemen, while you can, and watch him
while he spends thirteen thousand dollars for
"With a Viennese orchestra for twenty-nine
thousand!" added Bragdon. "And yet they
maintain that silence is golden."
"And three singers to divide twelve thou
sand among themselves! That s absolutely
criminal," cried Van Winkle. "Over in Ger
many they d sing a month for half that
"Six hundred guests to feed total cost of
not less than forty thousand dollars," groaned
"And there aren t six hundred in town,"
136 BREWSTERS MILLIONS
lamented "Subway" Smith. "All that glory
wasted on two hundred rank outsiders."
"You men are borrowing a lot of trouble,"
yawned Brewster with a gallant effort to seem
bored. "All I ask of you is to come to the
party and put up a good imitation of having the
time of your life. Between you and me I d
rather be caught at Huyler s drinking ice
cream soda than giving this thing. But
"That s what we want to know, but what?"
and "Subway" leaned forward eagerly.
"But," continued Monty, "I am in for it
now, and it is going to be a ball that is a
Nevertheless the optimistic Brewster could
not find the courage to tell Peggy of these
picturesque extravagances. To satisfy her
curiosity he blandly informed her that he was
getting off much more cheaply than he had
expected. He laughingly denounced as untrue
the stories that had come to her from outside
sources. And before his convincing assertions
that reports were ridiculously exaggerated, the
troubled expression in the girl s eyes dis
"I must seem a fool," groaned Monty, as he
left the house after one of these explanatory
trials, "but what will she think of me toward
THE CUT DIRECT 137
the end of the year when I am really in
harness." He found it hard to control the
desire to be straight with Peggy and tell
her the story of his mad race in pursuit of
Preparations for the ball went on steadily,
and in a dull winter it had its color value for
society. It was to be a Spanish costume-ball,
and at many tea-tables the talk of it was a
god-send. Sarcastic as it frequently was on
the question of Monty s extravagance, there
was a splendor about the Aladdin-like enter
tainment which had a charm. Beneath the
outward disapproval there was a secret admira
tion of the superb nerve of the man. And
there was little reluctance to help him in the
wild career he had chosen. It was so easy to
go with him to the edge of the precipice and
let him take the plunge alone. Only the echo
of the criticism reached Brewster, for he had
silenced Harrison with work and Pettingill with
opportunities. It troubled him little, as he was
engaged in jotting down items that swelled
the profit side of his ledger account enormously.
The ball was bound to give him a good lead in
the race once more, despite the heavy handi
cap the Stock Exchange had imposed. The
"Little Sons" took off their coats and helped
138 BREWSTERS MILLIONS
Pettingill in the work of preparation. He
found them quite superfluous, for their ideas
never agreed and each man had a way of
preferring his own suggestion. To Brewster s
chagrin they were united in the effort to curb
"He ll be giving automobiles and ropes of
pearls for favors if we don t stop him," said
"Subway" Smith, after Monty had ordered a
vintage champagne to be served during the
entire evening. "Give them two glasses first,
if you like, and then they won t mind if they
have cider the rest of the night."
"Monty is plain dotty," chimed in Bragdon,
"and the pace is beginning to tell on him."
As a matter of fact the pace was beginning
to tell on Brevvster. Work and worry were
plainly having an effect on his health. His
color was bad, his eyes were losing their lustre,
and there was a listlessness in his actions that
even determined effort could not conceal from
his friends. Little fits of fever annoyed him
occasionally and he admitted that he did not
feel quite right.
"Something is wrong somewhere," h e said,
ruefully, "and my whole system seems ready
to stop work through sympathy."
Suddenly there was a mighty check to the
THE CUT DIRECT 139
preparations. Two days before the date set for
the ball everything came to a standstill and the
managers sank back in perplexity and conster
nation. Monty Brewster was critically ill.
Appendicitis, the doctors called it, and an
operation was imperative.
"Thank heaven it s fashionable," laughed
Monty, who showed no fear of the prospect.
"How ridiculous if it had been the mumps,
or if the newspapers had said, On account of
the whooping-cough, Mr. Brewster did not
attend his ball. "
"You don t mean to say the ball is off, of
course," and Harrison was really alarmed.
"Not a bit of it, Nopper," said Monty.
"It s what I ve been wanting all along. You
chaps do the handshaking and I stay at home."
There was an immediate council of war when
this piece of news was announced, and the
"Little Sons" were unanimous in favor of
recalling the invitations and declaring the party
off. At first Monty was obdurate, but when
some one suggested that he could give the ball
later on, after he was well, he relented. The
opportunity to double the cost by giving two
parties was not to be ignored.
"Call it off, then, but say that it is only
140 SREIVSTER S MILLIONS
A great rushing to and fro resulted in the
cancelling of contracts, the recalling of invita
tions, the settling of accounts, with the most
loyal effort to save as much as possible from
the wreckage. Harrison and his associates,
almost frantic with fear for Brewster s life,
managed to perform wonders in the few hours
of grace. Gardner, with rare foresight, saw
that the Viennese orchestra would prove a dead
loss. He suggested the possibility of a concert
tour through the country, covering several
weeks, and Monty, too ill to care one way or
the other, authorized him to carry out the plan
if it seemed feasible.
To Monty, fearless and less disturbed than
any other member of his circle, appendicitis
seemed as inevitable as vaccination.
"The appendix is becoming an important
feature in the Book of Life," he once told
He refused to go to a hospital, but pathetic
ally begged to be taken to his old rooms at
Mrs. Gray s.
With all the unhappy loneliness of a sick
boy, he craved the care and companionship
of those who seemed a part of his own. Dr
Lotless had them transform a small bedchamber
into a model operating room and Monty took
THE CUT DIRECT 141
no small satisfaction in the thought that if
he was to be denied the privilege of spend
ing money for several weeks, he would at least
make his illness as expensive as possible. A
consultation of eminent surgeons was called,
but true to his colors, Brewster installed Dr.
Lotless, a "Little Son," as his house surgeon.
Monty grimly bore the pain and suffering and
submitted to the operation which alone could
save his life. Then came the struggle, then
the promise of victory and then the quiet days
of convalescence. In the little room where he
had dreamed his boyish dreams and suffered
his boyish sorrows, he struggled against death
and gradually emerged from the mists of lassi
tude. He found it harder than he had thought
to come back to life. The burden of it all
seemed heavy. The trained nurses found that
some more powerful stimulant than the med
icine was needed to awaken his ambition, and
they discovered it at last in Peggy.
"Child," he said to her the first time she
was permitted to see him, and his eyes had
lights in them; "do you know, this isn t such
a bad old world after all. Sometimes as I ve
lain here, it has looked twisted and queer.
But there are things that straighten it out.
To-day I feel as though I had a place in it as
142 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
though I could fight things and win out.
What do you think, Peggy? Do you suppose
there is something that I could do? You know
what I mean something that some one else
would not do a thousand times better."
But Peggy, to whom this chastened mood
in Monty was infinitely pathetic, would not
let him talk. She soothed him and cheered
him and touched his hair with her cool hands.
And then she left him to think and brood
It was many days before his turbulent mind
drifted to the subject of money, but suddenly
he found himself hoping that the surgeons
would be generous with their charges. He
almost suffered a relapse when Lotless, visibly
distressed, informed him that the total amount
would reach three thousand dollars.
"And what is the additional charge for the
operation?" asked Monty, unwilling to accept
such unwarranted favors.
"It s included in the three thousand," said
Lotless. They knew you were my friend and
it was professional etiquette to help keep down
For days Brewster remained at Mrs. Gray s,
happy in its restfulness, serene under the charm
of Peggy s presence, and satisfied to be hope-
THE CUT DIRECT 143
lessly behind in his daily expense account.
The interest shown by the inquiries at the
house and the anxiety of his friends were
soothing to the profligate. It gave him back
a little of his lost self-respect. The doc
tors finally decided that he would best recu
perate in Florida, and advised a month at
least in the warmth. He leaped at the propo
sition, but took the law into his own hands by
ordering General Manager Harrison to rent a
place, and insisting that he needed the com
panionship of Peggy and Mrs. Gray.
"How soon can I get back to work, Doctor?"
demanded Monty, the day before the special
train was to carry him south. He was begin
ning to see the dark side of this enforced idle
ness. His blood again was tingling with the
desire to be back in the harness of a spend
"To work? laughed the physician. "And
what is your occupation, pray?"
"Making other people rich," responded
"Well, aren t you satisfied with what you
have done for me? If you are as charitable as
that you must be still pretty sick. Be careful,
and you may be on your feet again in five or
144 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
Harrison came in as Lotless left. Peggy
smiled at him from the window. She had been
reading aloud from a novel so garrulous that it
fairly cried aloud for interruptions.
"Now, Nopper, what became of the ball
I was going to give?" demanded Monty, a
troubled look in his eyes.
"Why, we called it off," said "Nopper," in
"Don t you remember, Monty?" asked
Peggy, looking up quickly, and wondering if
his mind had gone trailing off.
"I know we didn t give it, of course; but
what date did you hit upon?"
"We didn t postpone it at all," said "Nop
per." How could we? We didn t know whether
I mean, it wouldn t have been quite right
to do that sort of thing."
"I understand. Well, what has become of
the orchestra, and the flowers, and all that?"
"The orchestra is gallivanting around the
country, quarreling with itself and everybody
else, and driving poor Gardner to the insane
asylum. The flowers have lost their bloom
"Well, we ll get together, Nopper, and try
to have the ball at mid-Lent. I think I ll be
well by that time."
THE CUT DIRECT 145
Peggy looked appealingly at Harrison for
guidance, but to him silence seemed the better
part of valor, and he went off wondering if
the illness had completely carried away
Monty s reason.
IN THE SUNNY SOUTH
It was the cottage of a New York millionaire
which had fallen to Brewster. The owner had,
for the time, preferred Italy to St. Augustine,
and left his estate, which was well located and
lavishly equipped, in the hands of his friends.
Brewster s lease covered three months, at a
fabulous rate per month. With Joe Bragdon
installed as manager-in-chief, his establishment
was tranferred bodily from New York, and the
rooms were soon as comfortable as their grand
eur would permit. Brewster was not allowed
to take advantage of his horses and the new
automobile which preceded him from NewYork,
but to his guests they offered unlimited oppor
tunities. "Nopper" Harrison had remained
in the north to renew arrangements for the
now hated ball and to look after the advance
details of the yacht cruise. Dr. Lotless
and his sister, with "Subway" Smith and
the Grays, made up Brewster s party. Lot-
less dampened Monty s spirits by relentlessly
putting him on rigid diet, with most dis-
IN THE SUNNY SOUTH 147
couraging restrictions upon his conduct. The
period of convalescence was to be an exceed
ingly trying one for the invalid. At first he
was kept in-doors, and the hours were whiled
away by playing cards. But Monty consid
ered "bridge" the "pons asinorum," and
preferred to play piquet with Peggy. It was
one of these games that the girl interrupted
with a question that had troubled her for
many days. "Monty," she said, and she
found it much more difficult than when she had
rehearsed the scene in the silence of her walks;
"I ve heard a rumor that Miss Drew and her
mother have taken rooms at the hotel.
Wouldn t it be pleasanter to have them here?"
A heavy gloom settled upon Brewster s face,
and the girl s heart dropped like lead. She
had puzzled over the estrangement, and won
dered if by any effort of her own things could
be set right. At times she had had flashing
hopes that it did not mean as much to Monty
as she had thought. But down underneath,
the fear that he was unhappy seemed the only
certain thing in life. She felt that she must
make sure. And together with the very human
desire to know the worst, was the puritanical
impulse to bring it about.
"You forget that this is the last place they
148 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
would care to invade." And in Brewster s
face Peggy seemed to read that for her martyr
dom was the only wear. Bravely she put it on.
"Monty, I forget nothing that I really know.
But this is a case in which you are quite wrong.
Where is your sporting blood? You have
never fought a losing fight before, and you
can t do it now. You have lost your nerve,
Monty. Don t you see that this is the time
for an aggressive campaign?" Somehow she
was not saying things at all as she had planned
to say them. And his gloom weighed heavily
upon her. "You don t mind, do you, Monty,"
she added, more softly, "this sort of thing from
me? I know I ought not to interfere, but I ve
known you so long. And I hate to see things
twisted by a very little mistake."
But Monty did mind enormously. He had
no desire to talk about the thing anyway, and
Peggy s anxiety to marry him off seemed a bit
unnecessary. Manifestly her own interest in
him was of the coldest. From out of the
gloom he looked at her somewhat sullenly.
For the moment she was thinking only of his
pain, and her face said nothing.
"Peggy," he exclaimed, finally, resenting
the necessity of answering her, "you don t in
the least know what you are talking about. It
IN THE SUNNY SOUTH 149
is not a fit of anger on Barbara Drew s part.
It is a serious conviction."
"A conviction which can be changed," the
girl broke in.
"Not at all." Brewster took it up. "She
has no faith in me. She thinks I m an ass."
"Perhaps she s right," she exclaimed, a little
hot. "Perhaps you have never discovered that
girls say many things to hide their emotions.
Perhaps you don t realize what feverish, ex
clamatory, foolish things girls are. They don t
know how to be honest with the men they
love, and they wouldn t if they did. You are
little short of an idiot, Monty Brewster, if you
believed the things she said rather than the
things she looked."
And Peggy, fiery and determined and defi
antly unhappy, threw down her cards and
escaped so that she might not prove herself
tearfully feminine. She left Brewster still
heavily enveloped in melancholy; but she left
him puzzled. He began to wonder if Barbara
Drew did have something in the back of her
mind. Then he found his thoughts wandering
off toward Peggy and her defiance. He had
only twice before seen her in tha*- mood, and
he liked it. He remembered how she had lost
her temper once when she was fifteen, and
150 BREWSTERS MILLIONS
hated a girl he admired. Suddenly he laughed
aloud at the thought of the fierce little picture
she had made, and the gloom, which had been
so sedulously cultivated, was dissipated in a
moment. The laugh surprised the man who
brought in some letters. One of them was
from "Nopper" Harrison, and gave him all
the private news. The ball was to be given at
mid-Lent, which arrived toward the end of
March, and negotiations were well under way
for the chartering of the "Flitter," the steam-
yacht belonging to Reginald Brown, late of
Brown & Brown.
The letter made Brewster chafe under the
bonds of inaction. His affairs were getting
into a discouraging state. The illness was cer
tain to entail a loss of more than $50,000 to his
business. His only consolation came through
Harrison s synopsis of the reports from Gard
ner, who was managing the brief American tour
of the Viennese orchestra. Quarrels and dissen
sions were becoming every-day embarrass
ments, and the venture was an utter failure
from a financial point of view. Broken con
tracts and lawsuits were turning the tour into
one continuous round of losses, and poor
Gardner was on the point of despair. From the
beginning, apparently, the concerts had been
IN THE SUNNY SOUTH 151
marked for disaster. Public indifference had
aroused the scorn of the irascible members of
the orchestra, and there was imminent danger
of a collapse in the organization. Gardner
lived in constant fear that his troop of quarrel
some Hungarians would finish their tour sud
denly in a pitched battle with daggers and
steins. Brewster smiled at the thought of the
practical Gardner trying to smooth down the
electric emotions of these musicians.
A few days later Mrs. Prentiss Drew and Miss
Drew registered at the Ponce de Leon, and
there was much speculation upon the chances
for a reconciliation. Monty, however, main
tained a strict silence on the subject, and
refused to satisfy the curiosity of his friends.
Mrs. Drew had brought down a small crowd,
including two pretty Kentucky girls and a
young Chicago millionaire. She lived wefl and
sensibly, and with none of the extravagance
that characterized the cottage. Yet it was
inevitable that Brewster s guests should see
hers and join some of their riding parties.
Monty pleaded that he was not well enough to
be in these evcursions, but neither he nor Bar
bara cared to over-emphasize their estrange
Peggy Gray was in despair over Monty s atti-
152 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
tude. She had become convinced that behind
his pride he was cherishing a secret longing for
Barbara. Yet she could not see how the walls
were to be broken down if he maintained this
icy reserve. She was sure that the masterful
tone was the one to win with a girl like that,
but evidently Monty would not accept advice.
That he was mistaken about Barbara s feeling
she did not doubt for a moment, and she saw
things going hopelessly wrong for want of a
word. There were times when she let herself
dream of possibilities, but they always ended
by seeming too impossible. She cared too much
to make the attainment of her vision seem sim
ple. She cared too much to be sure of any
At moments she fancied that she might say
a word to Miss Drew which would straighten
things out. But there was something about
her which held her off. Even now that they
were thrown together more or less she could
not get beyond a certain barrier. It was not
until a sunny day when she had accepted Bar
bara s invitation to drive that things seemed to
go more easily. For the first time she felt the
charm of the girl, and for the first time Barbara
seemed unreservedly friendly. It was a quiet
drive they were taking through the woods
IN THE SUNNY SOUTH 153
and out along the beach, and somehow in
the open air things simplified themselves.
Finally, in the softness and the idle warmth,
even an allusion to Monty, whose name usually
meant an embarrassing change of subject,
began to seem possible. It was inevitable that
Peggy should bring it in; for with her a ques
tion of tact was never allowed to dominate
when things of moment were at stake. She
cowered before the plunge, but she took it
"The doctor says Monty may go out driving
tomorrow," she began. "Isn t that fine?"
Barbara s only response was to touch her
pony a little too sharply with the whip. Peggy
went on as if unconscious of the challenge.
"He has been bored to death, poor fellow,
in the house all this time, and "
"Miss Gray, please do not mention Mr. Brew-
ster s name to me again," interrupted Barbara,
with a contraction of the eyebrows. But Peggy
was seized with a spirit of defiance and plunged
"What is the use, Miss Drew, of taking an
attitude like that? I know the situation pretty
well, and I can t believe that either Monty or
you has lost in a week a feeling that was so
deep-seated. I know Monty much too well to
154 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
think that he would change so easily." Peggy
still lived largely in her ideals. "And you are
too fine a thing not to have suffered under
this misunderstanding. It seems as if a very
small word would set you both straight."
Barbara drew herself up and kept her eyes
on the road which lay white and gleaming in
the sun. "I have not the least desire to be
set straight." And she was never more serious.
"But it/" was only a few weeks ago that you
"I am sorry," answered Barbara, "that it
should have been talked about so much. Mr.
Brewster did ask me to marry him, but I never
accepted. In fact, it was only his persistence
that made me consider the matter at all. I
did think about it. I confess that I rather
liked him. But it was not long before I found
"What do you mean?" And there was
a flash in Peggy s eyes. "What has he
"To my certain knowledge he has spent more
than four hundred thousand dollars since last
September. That is something, is it not?"
Miss Drew said, in her slow, cool voice, and
even Peggy s loyalty admitted some justifica
tion in the criticism.
IN THE SUNNY SOUTH 155
"Generosity has ceased to be a virtue then?"
she asked coldly.
"Generosity!" exclaimed Barbara, sharply.
"It s sheer idiocy. Haven t you heard the
things people are saying? They are calling
him a fool, and in the clubs they are betting
that he will be a pauper within a year."
"Yet they charitably help him to spend his
money. And I have noticed that even worldly
mammas find him eligible." The comment
was not without its caustic side.
"That was months ago, my dear," protested
Barbara, calmly. "When he spoke to me
he told me it would be impossible for him to
marry within a year. And don t you see that
a year may make him an abject beggar?"
"Naturally anything is preferable to a
beggar," came in Peggy s clear, soft voice.
Barbara hesitated only a moment.
"Well, you must admit, Miss Gray, that it
shows a shameful lack of character. How
could any girl be happy with a man like that?
And, after all, one must look out for one s own
"Undoubtedly," replied Peggy, but many
thoughts were dashing through her brain.
"Shall we turn back to the cottage?" she
said, after an awkward silence.
156 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
"You certainly don t approve of Mr. Brevv-
ster s conduct?" Barbara did not like to be
placed in the wrong, and felt that she must
endeavor to justify herself. "He is the most
reckless of spendthrifts, we know, and he
probably indulges in even less respectable
Peggy was not tall, but she carried her head
at this moment as though she were in the habit
of looking down on the world.
"Aren t you going a little too far, Miss
Drew?" she asked placidly.
"It is not only New York that laughs over
his Quixotic transactions," Barbara persisted.
"Mr. Hampton, our guest from Chicago, says
the stories are worse out there than they are in
"It is a pity that Monty s illness should have
made him so weak," said Peggy quietly, as
they turned in through the great iron gates,
and Barbara was not slow to see the point.
THE NEW TENDERFOOT
Brewster was comparatively well and strong
when he returned to New York in March.
His illness had interfered extensively with his
plan of campaign and it was imperative that he
redouble his efforts, notwithstanding the man
ifest dismay of his friends. His first act was
to call upon Grant & Ripley, from whom he
hoped to learn what Swearengen Jones thought
of his methods. The lawyers had heard no
complaint from Montana, and advised him to
continue as he had begun, assuring him, as far
as they could, that Jones would not prove
An exchange of telegrams just before his
operation had renewed Monty s dread of his
New York, Jan. 6, 19
How about having my life insured? Would it violate
158 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
To MONTGOMERY BREWSTER,
Seems to me your life would become an asset in that
case. Can you dispose of it before September 23d?
To SWEARENGEN JONES,
On the contrary I think life will be a debt by that
time. MONTGOMERY BREWSTER.
To MONTGOMERY BREWSTER,
If you feel that way about it, I advise you to take out
a $500 policy. JONES.
To SWEARENGEN JONES,
Do you think that amount would cover funeral
expenses? MONTGOMERY BREWSTER.
To MONTGOMERY BREWSTER,
You won t be caring about expenses if it comes to that.
The invitations for the second ball had been
out for some time and the preparations were
nearly complete when Brewster arrived upon
the scene of festivity. It did not surprise him
that several old-time friends should hunt him
up and protest vigorously against the course he
THE NEW TENDERFOOT 159
was pursuing. Nor did it surprise him when
he found that his presence was not as essential
to the success of some other affair as it had
once been. He was not greeted as cordially as
before, and he grimly wondered how many of
his friends would stand true to the end. The
uncertainty made him turn more and more
often to the unquestioned loyalty of Peggy
Gray, and her little library saw him more fre
quently than for months.
Much as he had dreaded the pretentious and
resplendent ball, it was useful to him in one
way at least. The "profit" side of his ledger
account Vas enlarged and in that there was
room for secret satisfaction. The Viennese
orchestra straggled into New York, headed
by Elon Gardner, a physical wreck, in time to
make a harmonious farewell appearance behind
Brewster s palms, which caused his guests to
wonder why the American public could not
appreciate the real thing. A careful summing
up of the expenses and receipts proved that
the tour had been a bonanza for Brewster. The
net loss was a trifle more than $56,000. When
this story became known about town, everybody
laughed pityingly, and poor Gardner was almost
in tears when he tried to explain the disaster
to the man who lost the money. But Monty s
160 BREWSTERS MILLIONS
sense of humor, singularly enough, did not
desert him on this trying occasion.
^Esthetically the ball proved to be the
talk of more than one season. Pettingill had
justified his desire for authority and made
a name which would last. He had taken mat
ters into his own hands while Brewster was
in Florida, and changed the period from the
Spain of Velasquez to France and Louis
Quinze. After the cards were out he remem
bered, to his consternation, that the favors
purchased for the Spanish ball would be
entirely inappropriate for the French one. He
wired Brewster at once of this misfortune, and
was astonished at the nonchalance of his reply.
"But then Monty always was a good sort," he
thought, with a glow of affection. The new
plan was more costly than the old, for it was
no simple matter to build a Versailles suite at
Sherry s. Pettingill was no imitator, but he
created an effect which was superbly in keep
ing with the period he had chosen. Against it
the rich costumes, with their accompaniment of
wigs and powdered hair, shone out resplen
dent. With great difficulty the artist had
secured for Monty a costume in white satin
and gold brocade, which might once have
adorned the person of Louis himself. It
THE NEW TENDERFOOT 161
made him feel like a popinjay, and it was with
infinite relief that he took it off an hour or so
after dawn. He knew that things had gone
well, that even Mrs. Dan was satisfied; but the
whole affair made him heartsick. Behind the
compliments lavished upon him he detected a
note of irony, which revealed the laughter
that went on behind his back. He had not
realized how much it would hurt. "For two
cents," he thought, "I d give up the game and
be satisfied with what s left." But he reflected
that such a course would offer no chance to
redeem himself. Once again he took up the
challenge and determined to win out. "Then,"
he thought exultantly, "I ll make them feel
this a bit."
He longed for the time when he could take
his few friends with him and sail away to the
Mediterranean to escape the eyes and tongues
of New York. Impatiently he urged Har
rison to complete the arrangements, so that
they could start at once. But Harrison s
face was not untroubled when he made his
report. All the preliminary details had been
perfected. He had taken the "Flitter" for
four months, and it was being overhauled and
put into condition for the voyage. It had been
Brown s special pride, but at his death it went
162 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
to heirs who were ready and eager to rent it to
the highest bidder. It would not have been
easy to find a handsomer yacht in New York
waters. A picked crew of fifty men were
under command of Captain Abner Perry. The
steward was a famous manager and could be
relied upon to stock the larder in princely
fashion. The boat would be in readiness to
sail by the tenth of April.
"I think you are going in too heavily,
Monty," protested Harrison, twisting his fin-
gers..nervously. "I can t for my life figure how
you can get out for less than a fortune, if we
do everything you have in mind. Wouldn t
it be better to pull up a bit? This looks like
sheer madness. You won t have a dollar,
Monty honestly you won t."
"It s not in me to save money, Nopper, but
if you can pull out a few dollars for yourself I
shall not object."
"You told me that once before, Monty,"
said Harrison, as he walked to the window.
When he resolutely turned back again to
Brewster his face was white, but there was
a look of determination around the mouth.
"Monty, I ve got to give up this job," he
said, huskily. Brewster looked up quickly.
"What do you mean, Nopper?"
THE NEW TENDERFOOT 163
"I ve got to leave, that s all," said Harrison,
standing stiff and straight and looking over
Brewster s head
"Good Lord, Nopper, I can t have that.
You must not desert the ship. What s the
matter, old chap? You re as white as a ghost.
What is it?" Monty was standing now and his
hands were on Harrison s shoulders, but
before the intensity of his look, his friend s
eyes fell helplessly.
"The truth is, Monty, I ve taken some of
your money and I ve lost it. That s the reason
I I can t stay on. I have betrayed your con
"Tell me about it," and Monty was perhaps
more uncomfortable than his friend. "I don t
"You believed too much in me, Monty.
You see, I thought I was doing you a favor.
You were spending so much and getting noth
ing in return, and I thought I saw a chance to
help you out. It went wrong, that s all, and
before I could let go of the stock sixty thou
sand dollars of your money had gone. I can t
replace it yet. But God knows I didn t mean
"It s all right, Nopper. I see that you
thought you were helping me. The money s
164 BREWSTERS MILLIONS
gone and that ends it. Don t take it so hard,
"I knew you d act this way, but it doesn t
help matters. Some day I may be able to pay
back the money I took, and I m going to work
until I do."
Brewster protested that he had no use for
the money and begged him to retain the posi
tion of trust he had held. But Harrison had
too much self-respect to care to be confronted
daily with the man he had wronged. Gradu
ally Monty realized that "Nopper" was pursu
ing the most manly course open to him, and
gave up the effort to dissuade him. He
insisted upon leaving New York, as there
was no opportunity to redeem himself in the
"I ve made up my mind, Monty, to go out
west, up in the mountains perhaps. There s
no telling, I may stumble on a gold mine up
there and well, that seems to be the only
chance I have to restore what I have taken
"By Jove, Nopper, I have it!" cried Monty.
"If you must go, I ll stake you in the hunt for
In the end "Nopper" consented to follow
Brewster s advice, and it was agreed that they
THE NEW TENDERFOOT 165
should share equally all that resulted from his
prospecting tour. Brewster "grub-staked"
him for a year, and before the end of the week
a new tenderfoot was on his way to the Rocky
THE PRODIGAL A T SEA
Harrison s departure left Brewster in sore
straits. It forced him to settle down to the
actual management of his own affairs. He
was not indolent, but this was not the kind of
work he cared to encourage. The private
accounts he had kept revealed some appalling
facts when he went over them carefully one
morning at four o clock, after an all-night ses
sion with the ledger. With infinite pains he
had managed to rise to something over $450,000
in six months. But to his original million it
had been necessary to add $58,550 which he
had realized from Lumber and Fuel and some
of his other "unfortunate" operations. At
least $40,000 would come to him ultimately
through the sale of furniture and other belong
ings, and then there would be something like
$20,000 interest to consider. But luck had
aided him in getting rid of his money. The
bank failure had cost him $113,468.25, and
"Nopper" Harrison had helped him to the
extent of $60,000. The reckless but deter-
THE PRODIGAL A T SEA 167
mined effort to give a ball had cost $30,000.
What he had lost during his illness had been
pretty well offset by the unlucky concert tour.
The Florida trip, including medical attention,
the cottage and living expenses, had entailed
the expenditure of $18,500, and his princely
dinners and theater parties had footed up
$31,000. Taking all the facts into considera
tion, he felt that he had done rather well as far
as he had gone, but the hardest part of the
undertaking was yet to come. He was still in
possession of an enormous sum which must
disappear before September 23d. About
$40,000 had already been expended in the
He determined to begin at once a systematic
campaign of extinction. It had been his inten
tion before sailing to dispose of many house
hold articles, either by sale or gift. As he did
not expect to return to New York before the
latter part of August, this would minimize the
struggles of the last month. But the prospect
ive "profit" to be acquired from keeping his
apartment open was not to be overlooked. He
could easily count upon a generous sum for
salaries and running expenses. Once on the
other side of the Atlantic, he hoped that new
opportunities for extravagance would present
168 jBREWSTER S MILLIONS
themselves, and he fancied he could leave
the final settlement of his affairs for the last
month. As the day for sailing approached,
the world again seemed bright to this most
mercenary of spendthrifts.
A farewell consultation with his attorneys
proved encouraging, for to them his chances to
win the extraordinary contest seemed of the
best. He was in high spirits as he left them,
exhilarated by the sensation that the world lay
before him. In the elevator he encountered
Colonel Prentiss Drew. On both sides the
meeting was not without its difficulties. The
Colonel had been dazed by the inexplicable
situation between Monty and his daughter,
whose involutions he found hard to understand.
Her summary of the effort she had made to
effect a reconciliation, after hearing the story
of the bank, was rather vague. She had done
her utmost, she said, to be nice to him and
make him feel that she appreciated his gener
osity, but he took it in the most disagreeable
fashion. Colonel Drew knew that things were
somehow wrong; but he was too strongly an
American father to interfere in a matter of the
affections. It distressed him, for he had a
liking for Monty, and Barbara s "society
judgments," as he called them, had no weight
THE PRODIGAL A T SEA 169
with him. When he found himself confronted
with Brewster in the elevator, the old warmth
revived and the old hope that the quarrel
might have an end. His greeting was cheery.
"You have not forgotten, Brewster," he said,
as they shook hands, "that you have a dollar
or two with us?"
"No," said Monty, "not exactly. And I
shall be calling upon you for some of it very
soon. I m off on Thursday for a cruise in the
"I ve heard something of it." They had
reached the main floor and Colonel Drew had
drawn his companion out of the crowd into the
rotunda. "The money is at your disposal at
any moment But aren t you setting a pretty
lively pace, my boy? You know I ve always
liked you, and I knew your grandfather rather
well. He was a good old chap, Monty, and
he would hate to see you make ducks and
drakes of his fortune."
There was something in the Colonel s man
ner that softened Brewster, much as he hated
to take a reproof from Barbara s father. Once
again he was tempted to tell the truth, but he
pulled himself up in time. "It s a funny old
world, Colonel," he said; "and sometimes
one s nearest friend is a stranger. I know I
170 BREWSTERS MILLIONS
seem a fool; but, after all, why isn t it good
philosophy to make the most of a holiday and
then settle back to work?"
"That is all very well, Monty," and Colonel
Drew was entirely serious; "but the work is a
hundred times harder after you have played
to the limit. You ll find that you are way
beyond it. It s no joke getting back into the
"Perhaps you are right, Colonel, but at least
I shall have something to look back upon
even if the worst comes. " And Monty instinct
ively straightened his shoulders.
They turned to leave the building, and the
Colonel had a moment of weakness.
"Do you know, Monty," he said, "my
daughter is awfully cut up about this business.
She is plucky and tries not to show it, but after
all a girl doesn t get over that sort of thing all
in a moment. I am not saying" it seemed nec
essary to recede a step "that it would bean
easy matter to patch up. But I like you,
Monty, and if any man could do it, you can."
"Colonel, I wish I might," and Brewster
found that he did not hesitate. "For your
sake I very much wish the situation were as
simple as it seems. But there are some things
a man can t forget, and well Barbara has
THE PRODIGAL A T SEA 171
shown in a dozen ways that she has no faith
"Well, I ve got faith in you, and a lot of it.
Take care of yourself, and when you get back
you can count on me. Good-bye."
On Thursday morning the "Flitter" steamed
off down the bay, and the flight of the prodigal
grandson was on. No swifter, cleaner,, hand
somer boat ever sailed out of the harbor of
New York, and it was a merry crowd that she
carried out to sea. Brewster s guests num
bered twenty-five, and they brought with them
a liberal supply of maids, valets, and luggage.
It was not until many weeks later that he read
the vivid descriptions of the weighing of the
anchor which were printed in the New York
papers, but by that time he was impervious to
On deck, watching the rugged silhouette of
the city disappear into the mists, were Dan
DeMille and Mrs. Dan, Peggy Gray, "Rip"
Van Winkle, Reginald Vanderpool, Joe Brag-
don, Dr. Lotless and his sister Isabel, Mr. and
Mrs. Valentine the official chaperon and
their daughter Mary, "Subway" Smith, Paul
Pettingill, and some others hardly less dis
tinguished. As Monty looked over the eager
crowd, he recognized with a peculiar glow that
172 JBREWSTER S MILLIONS
here were represented his best and truest
friendships. The loyalty of these companions
had been tested, and he knew that they would
stand by him through everything.
There was no little surprise when it was
learned that Dan DeMille was really to sail.
Many of the idle voyagers ventured the opinion
that he would try to desert the boat in mid-
ocean if he saw a chance to get back to his
club on a west-bound steamer. But DeMille,
big, indolent, and indifferent, smiled care
lessly, and hoped he wouldn t bother anybody
if he "stuck to the ship" until the end.
For a time the sea and the sky and the talk
of the crowd were enough for the joy of living.
But after a few peaceful days there was a lull,
and it was then that Monty gained the nick
name of Aladdin, which clung to him. From
somewhere, from the hold or the rigging or
from under the sea, he brought forth four
darkies from the south who strummed guitars
and sang ragtime melodies. More than once
during the voyage they were useful.
"Peggy," said Brewster one day, when the
sky was particularly clear and things were
quiet on deck, "on the whole I prefer this to
crossing the North River on a ferry. I rather
like it, don t you?"
THE PRODIGAL A T SEA 173
"It seems like a dream," she cried, her eyes
bright, her hair blowing in the wind.
"And, Peggy, do you know what I tucked
away in a chest down in my cabin? A lot of
books that you like some from the old garret.
I ve saved them to read on rainy days."
Peggy did not speak, but the blood began to
creep into her face and she looked wistfully
across the water. Then she smiled.
"I didn t know you could save anything,"
she said, weakly.
"Come now, Peggy, that is too much."
"I didn t mean to hurt you. But you must
not forget, Monty, that there are other years
to follow this one. Do you know what I
"Peggy, dear, please don t lecture me," he
begged, so piteously that she could not be
"The class is dismissed for to-day, Monty,"
she said, airily. "But the professor knows his
duty and won t let you off so easily next time. "
ONE HERO AND ANOTHER
At Gibraltar, Monty was handed an ominous-
looking cablegram which he opened trem
To MONTGOMERY BREWSTER,
Private Yacht Flitter, Gibraltar.
There is an agitation to declare for free silver. You
may have twice as much to spend. Hooray.
To which Monty responded:
Defeat the measure at any cost. The more the mer
rier, and charge it to me. BREWSTER.
P. S. Please send many cables and mark them collect.
The Riviera season was fast closing, and the
possibilities suggested by Monte Carlo were
too alluring to the host to admit of a long stop
at Gibraltar. But the DeMilles had letters to
one of the officers of the garrison, and Brew-
ster could not overlook the opportunity to give
an elaborate dinner. The success of the affair
may best be judged by the fact that the "Flit-
ter s" larder required an entirely new stock the
next day. The officers and ladies of the garri-
ONE HERO AND ANOTHER 175
son were asked, and Monty would have enter
tained the entire regiment with beer and sand
wiches if his friends had not interfered.
"It might cement the Anglo-American
alliance," argued Gardner, "but your pocket-
book needs cementing a bit more."
Yet the pocket-book was very wide open,
and Gardner s only consolation lay in a tall
English girl whom he took out to dinner. For
the others there were many compensations, as
the affair was brilliant and the new element a
pleasant relief from the inevitable monotony.
It was after the guests had gone ashore that
Monty discovered Mr. and Mrs. Dan holding a
tete-a-tete in the stern of the boat.
"I am sorry to break this up," he inter
rupted, "but as the only conscientious chap
eron in the party, I must warn you that your
behavior is already being talked about. The
idea of a sedate old married couple sitting out
here alone watching thejnoon! It s shocking."
"I yield to the host," said Dan, mockingly.
"But I shall be consumed with jealousy until
you restore her to me."
Monty noticed the look in Mrs. Dan s eyes
as she watched her husband go, and marked a
new note in her voice as she said, "How this
trip is bringing him out."
176 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
"He has just discovered," Monty observed,
"that the club is not the only place in the
"It s a funny thing," she answered, "that
Dan should have been so misunderstood. Do
you know that he relentlessly conceals his best
side? Down underneath he is the kind of man
who could do a fine thing very simply."
"My dear Mrs. Dan, you surprise me. It
looks to me almost as though you had fallen in
love with Dan yourself. "
"Monty," she said, sharply, "you are as
blind as the rest. Have you never seen that
before? I have played many games, but I
have always come back to Dan. Through
them all I have known that he was the only
thing possible to me the only thing in the
least desirable. It s a queer muddle that one
should be tempted to play with fire even when
one is monotonously happy. I ve been singed
once or twice. But Dan is a dear and he has
always helped me out of a tight place. He
knows. No one understands better than Dan.
And perhaps if I were less wickedly human,
he would not care for me so much."
Monty listened at first in a sort of daze, for
he had unthinkingly accepted the general opin
ion of the DeMille situation. But there were
ONE HERO AND ANOTHER 177
tears in her eyes for a moment, and the tone of
her voice was convincing. It came to him with
unpleasant distinctness that he had been all
kinds of a fool. Looking back over his inter
course with her, he realized that the situation
had been clear enough all the time.
"How little we know our friends!" he
exclaimed, with some bitterness. And a
moment later, "I ve liked you a great deal
Mrs. Dan, for a long time, but to-night well,
to-night I am jealous of Dan."
The "Flitter" saw some rough weather in
making the trip across the Bay of Lyons. She
was heading for Nice when an incident occurred
that created the first real excitement experi
enced on the voyage. A group of passengers
in the main saloon was discussing, more
or less stealthily, Monty s "misdemeanors,"
when Reggy Vanderpool sauntered lazily in,
his face displaying the only sign of interest it
had shown in days.
"Funny predicament I was just in," he
drawled. "I want to ask what a fellow should
have done under the circumstances."
"I d have refused the girl," observed "Rip"
Van Winkle, laconically.
"Girl had nothing to do with it, old chap,"
went on Reggy, dropping into a chair. "Fel-
178 BREWSTERS MILLIONS
low fell overboard a little while ago," he went
on, calmly. There was a chorus of cries and
Brewster was forgotten for a time. "One of
the sailors, you know. He was doing some
thing in the rigging near where I was standing.
Puff! off he went into the sea, and there he
was puttering around in the water."
"Oh, the poor fellow," cried Miss Valentine.
"I d never set eyes on him before perfect
stranger. I wouldn t have hesitated a minute,
but the deck was crowded with a lot of his
friends. One chap was his bunkie. So, really
now, it wasn t my place to jump in after him.
He could swim a bit, and I yelled to him to
hold up and I d tell the captain. Confounded
captain wasn t to be found though. Some
body said he was asleep. In the end I told the
mate. By this time we were a mile away from
the place where he went overboard, and I told
the mate I didn t think we could find him if
we went back. But he lowered some boats
and they put back fast. Afterwards I got to
thinking about the matter. Of course if I had
known him if he had been one of you it
would have been different."
"And you were the best swimmer in college,
you miserable rat," exploded Dr. Lotless.
There was a wild rush for the upper deck,
ONE HERO AND ANOTHER 179
and Vanderpool was not the hero of the hour.
The "Flitter" had turned and was steaming
back over her course. Two small boats were
racing to the place where Reggy s unknown
had gone over.
"Where is Brewster?" shouted Joe Bragdon.
"I can t find him, sir," answered the first
"He ought to know of this," cried Mr. Val
"There! By the eternal, they are picking
somebody up over yonder," exclaimed the
mate. "See! that first boat has laid to and
they are dragging yes, sir, he s saved!"
A cheer went up on board and the men in
the small boats waved their caps in response.
Everybody rushed to the rail as the "Flitter"
drew up to the boats, and there was intense
excitement on board. A gasp of amazement
went up from every one.
Monty Brewster, drenched but smiling, sat
in one of the boats, and leaning limply against
him, his head on his chest, was the sailor who
had fallen overboard. Brewster had seen the
man in the water and, instead of wondering
what his antecedents were, leaped to his assist
ance. When the boat reached him his uncon
scious burden was a dead weight and his own
180 BREWSTERS MILLIONS
strength was almost gone. Another minute or
two and both would have gone to the bottom.
As they hauled Monty over the side he shiv
ered for an instant, grasped the first little hand
that sought his so frantically, and then turned
to look upon the half-dead sailor.
"Find out that boy s name, Mr. Abertz, and
see that he has the best of care. Just before
he fainted out there he murmured something
about his mother. He wasn t thinking of him
self even then, you see. And Bragdon" this
in a lower voice "will you see that his wages
are properly increased? Hello, Peggy! Look
out, you ll get wet to the skin if you do that."
LE ROI S AMUSE
If Montgomery Brewster had had any mis
givings about his ability to dispose of the
balance of his fortune they were dispelled
very soon after his party landed in the Riviera.
On the pretext that the yacht required a
thorough "house cleaning" Brewster trans
ferred his guests to the hotel of a fascinating
village which was near the sea and yet quite
out of the world. The place was nearly empty
at the time and the proprietor wept tears of
joy when Monty engaged for his party the
entire first floor of the house with balconies
overlooking the blue Mediterranean and a sep
arate dining-room and salon. Extra servants
were summoned, and the Brewster livery was
soon a familiar sight about the village. The
protests of Peggy and the others were only
silenced when Monty threatened to rent a villa
and go to housekeeping.
The town quickly took on the appearance of
entertaining a royal visitor, and a number of
shops were kept open longer than usual in the
182 BREWSTERS MILLIONS
hope that their owners might catch some of
the American s money. One morning Phi
lippe, the hotel proprietor, was trying to
impress Brewster with a gesticulatory descrip
tion of the glories of the Bataille de Fleurs.
It seemed quite impossible to express the
extent of his regret that the party had not
arrived in time to see it.
"This is quite another place at that time,"
he said ecstatically. "C est magnifique! c est
superbe! If monsieur had only seen it!"
"Why not have another all to ourselves?"
asked Monty. But the suggestion was not
Nevertheless the young American and his
host were in secret session for the rest of the
morning, and when the result was announced at
luncheon there was general consternation. It
appeared that ten days later occurred the
fete day of some minor saint who had not for
years been accorded the honor of a celebration.
Monty proposed to revive the custom by
arranging a second carnival.
"You might just as well not come to the
Riviera at all," he explained, "if you can t see
a carnival. It s a simple matter, really. I
offer one prize for the best decorated carriage
and another to the handsomest lady. Then
LE ROI S AMUSE 183
everyone puts on a domino and a mask, throws
confetti at everyone else, and there you are."
"I suppose you will have the confetti made
of thousand franc notes, and offer a house and
lot as a prize." And Bragdon feared that his
sarcasm was almost insulting.
"Really, Monty, the scheme is ridiculous,"
said DeMillc, "the police won t allow it."
"Won t they though!" said Monty, exult
antly. "The chief happens to be Philippe s
brother-in-law, and we had him on the tele
phone. He wouldn t listen to the scheme until
we agreed to make him grand marshal of the
parade. Then he promised the cooperation of
the entire force and hoped to interest his col
league, the chief of the fire department."
"The parade will consist of two gendarmes
and the Brewster party in carriages," laughed
Mrs. Dan. "Do you expect us to go before or
after the bakery carts?"
"We review the procession from the hotel,"
said Monty. "You needn t worry about the
fete. It s going to be great. Why, an Irish
man isn t fonder of marching than these peo
ple are of having a carnival."
The men in the party went into executive
session as soon as Monty had gone to inter
view the local authorities, and seriously con-
184 BREWSTERS MILLIONS
sidered taking measures to subdue their host s
eccentricities. But the humor of the scheme
appealed to them too forcibly, and almost
before they knew it they were making plans
for the carnival.
"Of course we can t let him do it, but it
would be sport," said "Subway" Smith.
"Think of a cake-walk between gendarmes and
"I always feel devilish the moment I get a
mask on," said Vanderpool, "and you know,
by Jove, I haven t felt that way for years."
"That settles it, then," said DeMille.
"Monty would call it off himself if he knew
how it would affect Reggie."
Monty returned with the announcement that
the mayor of the town would declare a holiday
if the American could see his way to pay for
the repairs on the mairie roof. A circus,
which was traveling in the neighborhood, was
guaranteed expenses if it would stop over and
occupy the square in front of the Hotel de
Ville. Brewster s enthusiasm was such that
no one could resist helping him, and for nearly
a week his friends were occupied in superin
tending the erection of triumphal arches and
encouraging the shopkeepers to do their best.
Although the scheme had been conceived in
LE ROI S A MUSE 185
the spirit of a lark it was not so received by
the townspeople. They were quite serious in
the matter. The railroad officials sent adver
tisements broadcast, and the local cure called
to thank Brewster for resurrecting, as it were,
the obscure saint. The expression of his grat
itude was so mingled with flattery and appeal
that Monty could not overlook the hint that
a new altar piece had long been needed.
The great day finally arrived, and no carnival
could have been more bizarre or more success
ful. The morning was devoted to athletics and
the side shows. The pompiers won the tug of
war, and the people marveled when Monty
duplicated the feats of the strong man in the
circus. DeMille was called upon for a speech,
but knowing only ten words of French, he
graciously retired in favor of the mayor, and
that pompous little man made the most of a
rare opportunity. References to Franklin and
Lafayette were so frequent that "Subway"
Smith intimated that a rubber stamp must have
been used in writing the address.
The parade took place in the afternoon, and
proved quite the feature of the day. The ques
tion of precedence nearly overturned Monty s
plans, but the chief of police was finally made
to see that if he were to be chief marshal it
186 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
was only fair that the pompiers should march
ahead of the gendarmes. The crew of the
"Flitter" made a wonderful showing. It was
led by the yacht s band, which fairly outdid
Sousa in noise, though it was less unanimous
in the matter of time. All the fiacres came at
the end, but there were so many of them and
the line of march was so short that at times
they were really leading the procession despite
the gallant efforts of the grand marshal.
From the balcony of the hotel Monty and his
party pelted those below with flowers and con
fetti. More allusions to Franklin and Lafay
ette were made when the cure and the mayor
halted the procession and presented Monty
with an address richly engrossed on imitation
parchment. Then the school children sang
and the crowd dispersed to meet again in the
At eight o clock Brewster presided over a
large banquet, and numbered among his guests
everyone of distinction in the town. The
wives were also invited and Franklin and
Lafayette were again alluded to. Each of the
men made at least one speech, but "Subway"
Smith s third address was the hit of the even
ing. Knowing nothing but English he had
previously clung consistently to that language,
LE ROI S A MUSE 187
but the third and final address seemed to
demand something more friendly and genial.
With a sweeping bow and with all the dignity
of a statesman he began:
"Mesdames -et Messieurs: J ai, tu as, il a,
nous avons, " with a magnificent gesture,
"vous avez. " The French members of the
company were not equal to his pronunciation
and were under the impression that he was
still talking English. They were profoundly
impressed with his deference and grace and
accorded his preamble a round of applause.
The Americans did their utmost to persuade
him to be seated, but their uproar was mis
taken by the others for enthusiasm, and the
applause grew louder than ever. "Subway"
held up his hand for silence, and his manner
suggested that he was about to utter some
peculiarly important thought. He waited until
a pin fall could have been heard before he
"Maitre corbeau sur un arbre perche "
he finished the speech as he was being carried
bodily from the room by DeMille and Brag-
don. The Frenchmen then imagined that
Smith s remarks had been insulting, and his
friends had silenced him on that account. A
riot seemed imminent when Monty succeeded
188 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
in restoring silence, and with a few tactful
remarks about Franklin and Lafayette quieted
the excited guests.
The evening ended with fireworks and a
dance in the open air, a dance that grew gay
under the masks. The wheels had been well
oiled and there was no visible failure of the
carnival spirit. To Brewster it seemed a mad
game, and he found it less easy to play a part
behind the foolish mask than he expected. His
own friends seemed to elude him, and the
coquetries of the village damsels had merely a
fleeting charm. He was standing apart to
watch the glimmering crowd when he was
startled by a smothered cry. Turning to inves
tigate, he discovered a little red domino,
unmistakably frightened, and trying to release
herself from a too ardent Punchinello. Monty s
arrival prevented him from tearing off the girl s
mask and gave him an entirely new conception
of the strenuous life. He arose fuming and
sputtering, but he was taken in hand by the
crowd and whirled from one to another in
whimsical mockery. Meanwhile Monty, un
conscious that his mask had dropped during
the encounter, was astonished to feel the little
hand of the red domino on his arm and to hear
a voice not all unfamiliar in his ear.
LE ROI S A MUSE 189
"Monty, you are a dear. I love you for that.
You looked like a Greek athlete. Do you know
it was foolish but I really was frightened."
"Child, how could it have happened?" he
whispered, leading her away. "Fancy my little
Peggy with no one to look after her. What
a beast I was to trust you to Pettingill. I might
have known the chump would have been
knocked out by all this color." He stopped
to look down at her and a light came into his
eyes. "Little Peggy in the great world," he
smiled; "you are not fit. You need well, you
need just me."
But Mrs. Valentine had seen him as he stood
revealed, and came up in search of Peggy. It
was almost morning, she told her, and quite
time to go back to the hotel and sleep. So in
Bragdon s charge they wandered off, a bit
reluctantly, a bit lingeringly.
It was not until Monty was summoned to
rescue "Reggie" Vanderpool from the stern
arm of the law that he dicovered the identity
of Punchinello. Manifestly he had not been
in a condition to recognize his assailant, and a
subsequent disagreement had driven the first
out of his head. The poor boy was sadly
bruised about the face and his arrest had prob
ably saved him from worse punishment.
190 RE ULSTER S MILLIONS
"I told you I couldn t wear a mask," he
explained ruefully as Monty led him home.
"But how could I know that he could hear me
all the time?"
The day after the carnival Brewster drove his
guests over to Monte Carlo. He meant to stay
only long enough to try his luck at the tables and
lose enough to make up for the days at sea
when his purse was necessarily idle. Swearen-
gen Jones was forgotten, and soon after his
arrival he began to plunge. At first he lost
heavily, and it was with difficulty that he
concealed his joy. Peggy Gray was watching
him, and in whispers implored him to stop,
but Mrs. Dan excitedly urged him to continue
until the luck changed. To the girl s chagrin
it was the more reckless advice that he fol
lowed. In so desperate a situation he felt that
he could not stop. But his luck turned too
"I can t afford to give up," he said, miser
ably, to himself, after a time. "I m already a
winner by five thousand dollars, and I must at
least get rid of that."
Brewster became the center of interest to
those who were not playing and people mar
veled at his luck. They quite misinterpreted
his eagerness and the flushed anxious look with
LE ROI SAM USE 191
which he followed each spin of the wheel. He
had chosen a seat beside an English duchess
whose practice it was to appropriate the win
nings of the more inexperienced players, and
he was aware that many of his gold pieces
were being deliberately stolen. Here he
thought was at least a helping hand, and he
was on the point of moving his stack toward
her side when DeMille interfered. He had
watched the duchess, and had called the
croupier s attention to her neat little method.
But that austere individual silenced him by
saying in surprise, "Mais c est madame la
duchesse, que voulez-vous?"
Not to be downed so easily, DeMille
watched the play from behind Monty s chair
and cautioned his friend at the first oppor
"Better cash in and change your seat,
Monty. They re robbing you," he whispered.
"Cash in when I m away ahead of the game?
Never!" and Monty did his best to assume
a joyful tone.
At first he played with no effort at system,
piling his money flat on the numbers which
seemed to have least chance of winning, but
he simply could not lose. Then he tried to
reverse different systems he had heard of, but
192 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
they turned out to be winners. Finally in
desperation he began doubling on one color in
the hope that he would surely lose in the end,
but his particular fate was against him. With
his entire stake on the red the ball continued
to fall in the red holes until the croupier
announced that the bank was broken.
Dan DeMille gathered in the money and
counted forty thousand dollars before he
handed it to Monty. His friends were over
joyed when he left the table, and wondered why
he looked so downhearted. Inwardly he
berated himself for not taking Peggy s advice.
"I m so glad for your sake that you did not
stop when I asked you, Monty, but your luck
does not change my belief that gambling is
next to stealing," Peggy was constrained to
say as they went to supper.
"I wish I had taken your advice," he said
"And missed the fortune you have won?
How foolish of you, Monty! You were a loser
by several thousand dollars then," she
objected with whimsical inconsistency.
"But, Peggy," he said quietly, looking deep
into her eyes, "it would have won me your
Monty s situation was desperate. Only a
little more than six thousand dollars had been
spent on the carnival and no opportunity of
annihilating the roulette winnings seemed to
offer itself. His experience at Monte Carlo
did not encourage him to try again, and Peggy s
attitude toward the place was distinctly antag
onistic. The Riviera presenting no new
opportunities for extravagance, it became
necessary to seek other worlds.
"I never before understood the real meaning
of the phrase tight money, " thought Monty.
"Lord, if it would only loosen a bit and stay
loosened." Something must be done, he
realized, to earn his living. Perhaps the role
of the princely profligate would be easier in
Italy than anywhere else. He studied the
outlook from every point of view, but there
were moments when it seemed hopeless.
Baedeker was provokingly barren of sug
gestions for extravagance and Monty grew
impatient of the book s small economies.
Noticing some chapters on the Italian lakes, in
194 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
an inspired moment he remembered that
Pettingill had once lost his heart to a villa on
the Lake of Como. Instantly a new act of the
comedy presented itself to him. He sought
out Pettingill and demanded a description of
his castle in the air.
"Oh, it s a wonder, " exclaimed the artist, and
his eyes grew dreamy. "It shines out at you
with its white terraces and turrets like those
fascinating castles that Maxfield Parrish draws
for children. It is fairyland. You expect to
wake and find it gone."
"Oh, drop that, Petty," said Brewster, "or it
will make you poetical. What I want to know
is who owns it and is it likely to be occupied
at this season?"
"It belongs to a certain marquise, who is a
widow with no children. They say she has a
horror of the place for some reason and has
never been near it. It is kept as though she
were to turn up the next day, but except for
the servants it is always deserted."
"The very thing," declared Brewster;
"Petty, we ll have a house-party."
"You d better not count on that, Monty.
A man I know ran across the place once and
tried for a year to buy it. But the lady has
ideas of her own."
"Well, if you wish to give him a hint or two
about how to do things, watch me. If you
don t spend two weeks in your dream-castle, I
will cut the crowd and sail for home." He
secured the name of the owner, and found
that Pettingill had even a remote idea of the
address of her agent. Armed with these facts
he set out in search of a courier, and through
Philippe he secured a Frenchman named
Bertier, who was guaranteed to be surprisingly
ingenious in providing methods of spending
money. To him Brewster confided his scheme,
and Bertier realized with rising enthusiasm
that at last he had secured a client after his
own heart. He was able to complete the
address of the agent of the mysterious mar
quise, and an inquiry was immediately tele
graphed to him.
The agent s reply would have been dis
couraging to anyone but Brewster. It stated
that the owner had no intention of leasing her
forsaken castle for any period whatever. The
profligate learned that a fair price for an
estate of that kind for a month was ten
thousand francs, and he wired an offer of five
times that sum for two weeks. The agent
replied that some delay would be necessary
while he communicated with his principal.
196 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
Delay was the one word that Brewster did not
understand, so he wired him an address in
Genoa, and the "Flitter" was made ready for
sea. Steam had been kept up, and her coal
account would compare favorably with that of
an ocean liner. Philippe was breathless with
joy when he was paid in advance for another
month at the hotel, on the assumption that
the party might be moved to return at any
moment. The little town was gay at parting
and Brewster and his guests were given a royal
At Genoa the mail had accumulated and
held the attention of the yacht to the exclusion
of everything else. Brewster was somewhat
crestfallen to learn that the lady of the villa
haughtily refused his princely offer. He won
the life-long devotion of his courier by
promptly increasing it to one hundred thou
sand francs. When this too met with rejection,
there was a pause and a serious consultation
between the two.
"Bertier, " exclaimed Brewster, "I must
have the thing now. What s to be done?
You ve got to help me out."
But the courier, prodigal as he was of
gestures, had no words which seemed pertinent.
"There must be some way of getting at this
marquise," Monty continued reflectively.
"What are her tastes? Do you know any
thing about her?"
Suddenly the face of the courier grew bright.
"I have it," he said, and then he faltered.
"But the expense, monsieur it would be
"Perhaps we can meet it," suggested Monty,
quietly. "What s the idea?"
It was explained, with plenty of action to
make it clear. The courier had heard in
Florence that madame la marquise had a
passion for automobiles. But with her inade
quate fortune and the many demands upon it,
it was a weakness not readily gratified. The
machine she had used during the winter was
by no means up-to-date. Possibly if monsieur
yet it was too much no villa
But Brewster s decision was made. "Wire
the fellow," he said, "that I will add to my
last offer a French machine of the latest model
and the best make. Say, too, that I would
like immediate possession."
He secured it, and the crowd was transferred
at once to fairyland. There were protests, of
course, but these Brewster had grown to expect
and he was learning to carry things with a
high hand. The travelers had been preceded
198 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
by Bertier, and the greeting they received
from the steward of the estate and his innumer
able assistants was very Italian and full of
color. A break in their monotony was
The loveliness of the villa and its grounds,
which sloped down to the gentle lake, silenced
criticism. For a time it was supremely satisfy
ing to do nothing. Pettingill wandered about
as though he could not believe it was real.
He was lost in a kind of atmosphere of ecstasy.
To the others, who took it more calmly, it was
still a sort of paradise. Those who were
happy found in it an intensification of happi
ness, and to those who were sad it offered the
tenderest opportunities for melancholy. Mrs.
Dan told Brewster that only a poet could have
had this inspiration. And Peggy added,
"Anything after this would be an anti-climax.
Really, Monty, you would better take us home. "
"I feel like the boy who was shut in a closet
for punishment and found it the place where
they kept the jam," said "Subway." "It is
almost as good as owning Central Park."
The stables were well equipped and the
days wore on in a wonderful peace. It was on
a radiant afternoon, when twelve of the crowd
had started out, after tea, for a long ride toward
Lugano, that Monty determined to call Peggy
Gray to account. He was certain that she had
deliberately avoided him for days and weeks,
and he could find no reason for it. Hour after
hour he had lain awake wondering where he
had failed her, but the conclusion of one
moment was rejected the next. The Monte
Carlo episode seemed the most plausible cause,
yet even before that he had noticed that when
ever he approached her she managed to be
talking with some one else. Two or three
times he was sure she had seen his intention
before she took refuge with Mrs. Dan or Mary
Valentine or Pettingill. The thought of the
last name gave Monty a sudden thrill. What
if it were he who had come between them? It
troubled him, but there were moments when
the idea seemed impossible. As they mounted
and started off, the exhilaration of the ride
made him hopeful. They were to have dinner
in the open air in the shadow of an abbey ruin
some miles away, and the servants had been
sent ahead to prepare it. It went well, and
with Mrs. Dan s help the dinner was made
gay. On the return Monty who was off last
spurred up his horse to join Feggy. She
seemed eager to be with the rest and he lost
no time with a preamble.
200 SREWSTER S MILLIONS
"Do you know, Peggy," he began, "some
thing seems to be wrong, and I am wondering
what it is."
"Why, what do you mean, Monty?" as he
"Every time I come near you, child, you
seem to have something else to do. If I join
the group you are in, it is the signal for you
to break away."
"Nonsense, Monty, why should I avoid you?
We have known one another much too long
for that. " But he thought he detected some
contradiction in her eyes, and he was right.
The girl was afraid of him, afraid of the sensa
tions he awoke, afraid desperately of betrayal.
"Pettingill may appeal to you," he said,
and his voice was serious, "but you might at
least be courteous to me."
"How absurd you are, Monty Brewster."
The girl grew hot. "You needn t think that
your million gives you the privilege of dicta
ting to all of your guests."
"Peggy, how can you," he interjected.
She went on ruthlessly. "If my conduct
interferes with your highness s pleasure I can
easily join the Prestons in Paris."
Suddenly Brewster remembered that Pet
tingill had spoken of the Prestons and expressed
a fleeting wish that he might be with them in
the Latin Quarter. "With Pettingill to follow,
I suppose," he said icily. "It would certainly
give you more privacy."
"And Mrs. Dan more opportunities," she
retorted as he dropped back toward the others.
The artist instantly took his place. The
next moment he had challenged her to a race
and they were flying down the road in the
moonlight. Brewster, not to be outdone, was
after them, but it was only a moment before
his horse shied violently at something black
in the road. Then he saw Peggy s horse gallop
ing riderless. Instantly, with fear at his throat,
he had dismounted and was at the girl s side.
She was not hurt, they found, only bruised and
dazed and somewhat lamed. A girth had
broken and her saddle turned. The crowd
waited, silent and somewhat awed, until the
carriage with the servants came up and she
was put into it. Mrs. Dan s maid was there
and Peggy insisted that she would have no one
else. But as Monty helped her in, he had
whispered, "You won t go, child, will you?
How could things go on here?"
PRINCE AND PEASANTS
The peacefulness of fairyland was something
which Brewster could not afford to continue,
and with Bertier he was soon planning to
invade it. The automobile which he was
obliged to order for the mysterious marquise
put other ideas into his head. It seemed at
once absolutely necessary to give a coaching
party in Italy, and as coaches of the right kind
were hard to find there, and changes of horses
most uncertain, nothing could be more simple
and natural than to import automobiles from
Paris. Looking into the matter, he found
that they would have to be purchased outright,
as the renting of five machines would put his
credit to too severe a test. Accordingly
Bertier telegraphed a wholesale order, which
taxed the resources of the manufacturers and
caused much complaint from some customers
whose work was unaccountably delayed. The
arrangement made by the courier was that they
were to be taken back at a greatly reduced
price at the end of six weeks. The machines
PRINCE AND PEASANTS 203
were shipped at once, five to Milan, and one to
the address of the mysterious marquise in
It was with a sharp regret that Monty broke
into the idyl of the villa, for the witchery of
the place had got into his blood. But a stern
sense of duty, combined with the fact that the
Paris chauffeurs and machines were due in
Milan on Monday, made him ruthless. He
was astonished that his orders to decamp were
so meekly obeyed, forgetting that his solicitous
guests did not know that worse extravagance
lay beyond. He took them to Milan by train
and lodged them with some splendor at the
Hotel Cavour. Here he found that the fame
of the princely profligate had preceded him,
and his portly host was all deference and
attention. All regret, too, for monsieur was
just too late to hear the wonderful company of
artists who had been singing at La Scala. The
season was but just ended. Here was an
opportunity missed indeed, and Brewster s
vexation brought out an ironical comment to
Bertier. It rankled, but it had its effect. The
courier proved equal to the emergency. Dis
covering that the manager of the company and
the principal artists were still in Milan, he
suggested to Brewster that a special perform-
204 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
ance would be very difficult to secure but might
still be possible. His chief caught at the idea
and authorized him to make every arrangement,
reserving the entire house for his own party.
"But the place will look bare," protested
the courier, aghast.
"Fill it with flowers, cover it with tapestries, "
commanded Brewster. "I put the affair in
your hands, and I trust you to carry it through
in the right way. Show them how it ought to
Bertier s heart swelled within him at the
thought of so glorious an opportunity. His
fame, he felt, was already established in Italy.
It became a matter of pride to do the thing
handsomely, and the necessary business
arrangements called out all his unused
resources of delicacy and diplomacy. When
it came to the decoration of the opera house,
he called upon Pettingill for assistance, and
together they superintended an arrangement
which curtained off a large part of the place
and reduced it to livable proportions. With
the flowers and the lights, the tapestries and
the great faded flags, it became something
quite different from the usual empty theater.
To the consternation of the Italians, the
work had been rushed, and it was on the even-
PRINCE AND PEASANTS 205
ing after their arrival in Milan that Brewster
conducted his friends in state to the Scala. It
was almost a triumphal progress, for he had
generously if unwittingly given the town the
most princely sensation in years, and curiosity
was abundant. Mrs. Valentine, who was in
the carriage with Monty, wondered openly why
they were attracting so much attention.
"They take us for American dukes and
princesses," explained Monty. "They never
saw a white man before."
"Perhaps they expected us to ride on buf
faloes," said Mrs. Dan, "with Indian captives
in our train."
"No," "Subway" Smith protested, "I seem
to see disappointment in their faces. They
are looking for crowns and scepters and a
shower of gold coin. Really, Monty, you
don t play the game as you should. Why, I
could give you points on the potentate act
myself. A milk-white steed, a few clattering
attendants in gorgeous uniforms, a lofty nod
here and there, and little me distributing silver
in the rear."
"I wonder," exclaimed Mrs. Dan, "if they
don t get tired now and then of being poten
tates. Can t you fancy living in palaces and
longing for a thatched cottage?"
206 BREWSTERS MILLIONS
"Easily," answered "Subway," with a laugh.
"Haven t we tried it ourselves? Two months
of living upon nothing but fatted calves is
more than I can stand. We shall be ready for
a home for dyspeptics if you can t slow down
a bit, Monty."
Whereupon Mrs. Dan evolved a plan, and
promptly began to carry it out by inviting the
crowd to dinner the next night. Monty pro
tested that they would be leaving Milan in the
afternoon, and that this was distinctly his affair
and he was selfish.
But Mrs. Dan was very sure. "My dear
boy, you can t have things your own way every
minute. In another month you will be quite
spoiled. Anything to prevent that. My duty
is plain. Even if I have to use heroic
measures, you dine with me to-morrow."
Monty recognized defeat when he met it, and
graciously accepted her very kind invitation.
The next moment they drew up at the opera
house and were ushered in with a deference
only accorded to wealth. The splendor of the
effect was overpowering to Brewster as well as
to his bewildered guests. Aladdin, it seemed,
had fairly outdone himself. The wonder of it
was so complete that it was some time before
they could settle down to the opera, which
PRINCE AND PEASANTS 207
was Aida, given with an enthusiasm that only
Italians can compass.
During the last intermission Brewster and
Peggy were walking in the foyer. They had
rarely spoken since the day of the ride but
Monty noticed with happiness that she had on
several occasions avoided Pettingill.
"I thought we had given up fairyland when
we left the lakes, but I believe you carry it
with you," she said.
"The trouble with this," Monty replied, "is
that there are too many people about. My
fairyland is to be just a little different."
"Your fairyland, Monty, will be built of
gold and paved with silver You will sit all
day cutting coupons in an office of alabaster."
"Peggy, do you too think me vulgar? It s a
beastly parade, I know, but it can t stop now.
You don t realize the momentum of the thing. "
"You do it up to the handle," she put in.
"And you are much too generous to be vulgar.
But it worries me, Monty, it worries me des
perately. It s the future I m thinking of
your future, which is being swallowed up.
This kind of thing can t go on. And what is
to follow it? You are wasting your substance,
and you are not making any life for yourself
that opens out. "
208 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
"Peggy, "he answered very seriously, "you
have got to trust me. I can t back out, but
I ll tell you this. You shall not be disappointed
in me in the end."
There was a mist before the girl s eyes as
she looked at him. "I believe you, Monty,"
she said simply; "I shall not forget."
The curtain rose upon the next act, and
something in the opera toward the end seemed
to bring the two very close together. As they
were leaving the theater, there was a note of
regret from Peggy. "It has been perfect,"
she breathed, "yet, Monty, isn t it a waste
that no one else should have seen it? Think
of these poverty-stricken peasants who adore
music and have never heard an opera."
"Well, they shall hear one now." Monty
rose to it, but he felt like a hypocrite in con
cealing his chief motive. "We ll repeat the
performance to-morrow night and fill the house
He was as good as his word. Bertier was
given a task the next day which was not to
his taste. But with the assistance of the city
authorities he carried it through. To them it
was an evidence of insanity, but there was
something princely about it and they were
tolerant. The manager of the opera house
PRINCE AND PEASANTS 209
was less complacent, and he had an exclama
tory terror of the damage to his upholstery.
But Brewster had discovered that in Italy gold
is a panacea for all ills, and his prescriptions
were liberal. To him the day was short, for
Peggy s interest in the penance, as it came to
be called, was so keen that she insisted on
having a hand in the preliminaries. There
was something about the partnership that
appealed to Monty.
To her regret the DeMille dinner interfered
with the opening of the performance, but
Monty consoled her with the promise that the
opera and its democratic audience should
follow. During the day Mrs. Dan had been
deep in preparations for her banquet, but her
plans were elaborately concealed. They
culminated at eight o clock in the Cova not far
from the Scala, and the dinner was eaten in
the garden to the sound of music. Yet it was
an effect of simplicity with which Mrs. Dan
surprised her guests. They were prepared for
anything but that, and when they were served
with consomme, spaghetti a concession to the
chef and chops and peas, followed by a salad
and coffee, the gratitude of the crowd was quite
beyond expression. In a burst of enthusiasm
"Subway" Smith suggested a testimonial.
210 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
Monty complained bitterly that he himself
had never received a ghost of a testimonial.
He protested that it was not deserved.
"Why should you expect it?" exclaimed
Pettingill, "when have you risen from terrapin
and artichokes to chops and chicory? When
have you given us nectar and ambrosia like
Monty was defeated by a unanimous vote
and Mrs. Dan s testimonial was assured.
This matter settled, Peggy and Mrs. Valentine,
with Brewster and Pettingill, walked over to
the Scala and heard again the last two acts of
Aida. But the audience was different, and the
The next day at noon the chauffeurs from
Paris reported for duty, and five gleaming
French devil-wagons steamed off through the
crowd in the direction of Venice. Through
Brescia and Verona and Vicenza they passed,
scattering largess of silver in their wake and
leaving a trail of breathless wonder. Brewster
found the pace too fast and by the time they
reached Venice he had a wistful longing to
take this radiant country more slowly. "But
this is purely a business trip," he thought,
"and I can t expect to enjoy it. Some day
I ll come back and do it differently. I could
PRINCE AND PEASANTS 211
spend hours in a gondola if the blamed things
were not more expensive by the trip."
It was there that he was suddenly recalled
to his duty from dreams of moonlight on the
water, by a cablegram which demanded $324.00
before it could be read. It contained word for
word the parable of the ten talents and ended
with the simple word "Jones."
AN OFFER OF MARRIAGE
The summer is scarcely a good time to visit
Egypt, but Monty and his guests had a de
sire to see even a little of the northern
coast of Africa. It was decided, therefore,
that after Athens, the "Flitter," should go
south. The yacht had met them at Naples
after the automobile procession a kind of tri
umphal progress, was disbanded in Florence,
and they had taken a hurried survey of Rome.
By the middle of July the party was leav
ing the heat of Egypt and rinding it not half
bad. New York was not more than a month
away as Brewster reckoned time and dis
tance, and there was still too much money
in the treasury. As September drew nearer
he got into the habit of frequently forgetting
Swearengen Jones until it was too late to
retrace his steps. He was coming to the
"death struggle," as he termed it, and there
was something rather terrorizing in the fear
that "the million might die hard." And so
these last days and nights were glorious ones,
AN OFFER OF MARRIAGE 213
if one could have looked at them with unbi
ased, untroubled eyes. But every member of
his party was praying for the day when the
"Flitter" would be well into the broad Atlantic
and the worst over. At Alexandria Brewster
had letters to some Englishmen, and in the few
entertainments that he gave succeeded once
again, in fairly outdoing Aladdin.
A sheik from the interior was a guest at one
of Monty s entertainments. He was a burly,
hot-blooded fellow, with a densely-populated
harem, and he had been invited more as a
curiosity than as one to be honored. As he
came aboard the "Flitter," Monty believed
the invitation was more than justified. Mo
hammed was superb, and the women of the
party made so much of him that it was small
wonder that his head was turned. He fell
desperately in love with Peggy Gray on sight,
and with all the composure of a potentate who
has never been crossed he sent for Brewster
the next day and told him to "send her
around" and he would marry her. Monty s
blood boiled furiously for a minute or two, but
he was quick to see the wisdom of treating the
proposition diplomatically. He tried to make
it plain to the sheik that Miss Gray could not
accept the honor he wished to confer upon
214 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
her, but it was not Mohammed s custom to be
denied anything he asked for especially any
thing feminine. He complacently announced
that he would come aboard that afternoon and
talk it over with Peggy.
Brewster looked the swarthy gentleman
over with unconcealed disgust in his eyes.
The mere thought of this ugly brute so much
as touching the hand of little Peggy Gray filled
him with horror, and yet there was something
laughable in the situation. He could not hide
the smile that came with the mind picture of
Peggy listening to the avowal of the sheik.
The Arab misinterpreted this exhibition of
mirth. To him the grin indicated friendship
and encouragement. He wanted to give
Brewster a ring as a pledge of affection, but
the American declined the offering and also
refused to carry a bag of jewels to Peggy.
"I ll let the old boy come aboard just to see
Peggy look a hole through him," he resolved.
"No matter how obnoxious it may be, it isn t
every girl who can say an oriental potentate
has asked her to marry him. If this camel-
herder gets disagreeable we. may tumble him
into the sea for a change."
With the best grace possible he invited the
sheik to come aboard and consult Miss Gray
AN OFFER OF MARRIAGE 215
in person. Mohammed was a good bit puzzled
over the intimation that it would be neces
sary for him to plead for anything he had ex
pressed a desire to possess. Brewster confided
the news to "Rip" Van Winkle and "Subway"
Smith, who had gone ashore with him, and
the trio agreed that it would be good sport to
let the royal proposal come as a surprise to
Peggy. Van Winkle returned to the yacht at
once, but his companions stayed ashore to do
some shopping. When they approached the
"Flitter" later on they observed an unusual
commotion on deck.
Mohammed had not tarried long after their
departure. He gathered his train together,
selected a few costly presents that had been
returned from the harem and advanced on the
boat without delay. The captain of the
"Flitter" stared long and hard at the gaily
bedecked launches and then called to his first
officer. Together they watched the ceremo
nious approach. A couple of brown-faced
heralds: came aboard first and announced the
approach of the mighty chief. Captain Perry
went forward to greet the sheik as he came over
the side of the ship, but he was brushed aside
by the advance guards. Half a hundred
swarthy fellows crowded aboard and then came
216 BREW STERNS MILLIONS
the sheik, the personification of pomp and
"Where is she?" he asked in his native
tongue. The passengers were by this time
aware of the visitation, and began to straggle
on deck, filled with curiosity.
"What the devil do you mean by coming
aboard in this manner?" demanded the now
irate Captain Perry, shoving a couple of
retainers out of his path and facing the beam
ing suitor. An interpreter took a hand at this
juncture and the doughty captain finally was
made to understand the object of the visit. He
laughed in the sheik s face and told the mate
to call up a few jackies to drive the "dagoes"
off. "Rip" Van Winkle interfered and peace
was restored. The cruise had changed "Rip"
into a happier and far more radiant creature, so
it was only natural that he should have shared
the secret with Mary Valentine. He had told the
story of the sheik s demand to her as soon as
he came aboard, and she had divulged it to
Peggy the instant "Rip" was out of sight.
Brewster found the sheik sitting in state
on the upper deck impatiently awaiting the
appearance of his charmer. He did not know
her name, but he had tranquilly commanded
"Rip" to produce all of the women on board
AN OFFER OF MARRIAGE 217
so that he might select Peggy from among
them. Van Winkle and Bragdon, who now
was in the secret, were preparing to march
the ladies past the ruler when Monty came up.
"Has he seen Peggy?" he asked of Van
"Not yet. She is dressing for the occasion."
"Well, wait and see what happens to him
when she gets over the first shock," laughed
Just then the sheik discovered Peggy, who,
pretty as a picture, drew near the strange group.
To her amazement two slaves rushed forward
and obstructed her passage long enough to beat
their heads on the deck a few times, after
which they arose and tendered two magnifi
cent necklaces. She was prepared for the
proposal, but this action disconcerted her; she
gasped and looked about in perplexity. Her
friends were smiling broadly and the sheik
had placed his hands over his palpitating heart.
"Lothario has a pain," whispered "Rip"
Van Winkle sympathetically, and Brewster
laughed. Peggy did rot hesitate an instant
after hearing the laugh. She walked straight
toward the sheik. Her cheeks were pink and
her eyes were flashing dangerously. The
persistent brown slaves followed with the
21S BREWSTER S MILLIONS
jewels, but she ignored them completely.
Brave as she intended to be, she could not
repress the shudder of repulsion that went
over her as she looked full upon this eager
Graceful and slender she stood before the
the burly Mohammed, but his ardor was not
cooled by the presence of so many witnesses.
With a thud he dropped to his knees, wab
bling for a moment in the successful effort to
maintain a poetic equilibrium. Then he began
pouring forth volumes of shattered French,
English and Arabic sentiment, accompanied
by facial contortions so intense that they were
little less than gruesome.
"Oh, joy of the sun supreme, jewel of the
only eye, harken to the entreaty of Moham
med." It was more as if he were command
ing his troops in battle than pleading for the
tender compassion of a lady love. "I am come
for you, queen of the sea and earth and sky.
My boats are here, my camels there, and
Mohammed promises you a palace in the sun-lit
hills if you will but let him bask forever in the
glory of your smile." All this was uttered in
a mixture of tongues so atrocious that "Sub
way" Smith afterward described it as a salad.
The retinue bowed impressively and two or
AN OFFER OF MARRIAGE 219
three graceless Americans applauded as vig
orously as if they were approving the actions
of a well-drilled comic opera chorus. Sailors
were hanging in the rigging, on the davits and
over the deck house roof.
"Smile for the gentleman, Peggy," com
manded Brewster delightedly. "He wants to
take a short bask."
"You are very rude, Mr. Brewster," said
Peggy turning upon him coldly. Then to the
waiting, expectant sheik: "What is the mean
ing of this eloquence?"
Mohammed looked bewildered for a moment
and then turned to the interpreter, who cleared
up the mystery surrounding her English. For
the next three or four minutes the air was filled
with the "Jewels of Africa," "Star," "Sun
light," "Queen," "Heavenly Joy," "Pearl of
the Desert," and other things in bad English,
worse French, and perfect Arabic. He was
making promises that could not be redeemed
if he lived a thousand years. In conclusion
the gallant sheik drew a long breath, screwed
his face into a simpering grin and played his
trump card in unmistakable English. It
sounded pathetically like "You re a peach."
An indecorous roar went up from the white
spectators and a jacky in the rigging. SUQ-
220 BREWSTERS MILLIONS
denly thinking of home, piped up with a bar
or two from "The Star Spangled Banner."
Having accomplished what he considered to
be his part of the ceremony the sheik arose
and started toward his launch, coolly motion
ing for her to follow So far as he was con
cerned the matter was closed. But Peggy, her
heart thumping like a trip-hammer, her eyes
full of excitement, implored him to stop for a
"I appreciate this great honor, but I have a
request to make," she said clearly. Mohammed
paused irresolutely and in some irritation.
"Here s where the heathen gets it among
the beads, whispered Monty to Mrs. Dan,
and he called out: "Captain Perry, detail half
a dozen men to pick up the beads that are
about to slip from his majesty s neck."
THE SHEIfCS STRA TEG Y
g ave the sheik an entrancing smile,
followed by a brief glance at the beaming Miss
Valentine, who nodded her head approvingly.
"Won t you give me time to go below and
pack my belongings that they may be sent
ashore?" she asked naively.
"Thunder!" gasped Monty. "That s no way
to turn him down."
"What do you mean, Monty Brewster?" she
cried, turning upon him with flashing eyes.
"Why, you re encouraging the old guy," he
protested, disappointment in every inflection.
"And what if I am? Isn t it my affair? I
think I am right in suspecting that he has asked
me to be his wife. Isn t it my privilege to
accept him if I wish?"
Brewster s face was a study. He could not
believe that she was in earnest, but there was a
ghastly feeling that the joke was being turned
on him. The rest of the company stared hard at
the flushed Peggy and breathlessly awaited
222 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
"It won t do to trifle with this chap, Peggy,"
said Monty, coming quite close to her. "Don t
lead him on. He might get nasty if he thinks
you re making sport of him."
"You are quite absurd, Monty," she cried,
petulantly. "I am not making sport of him."
"Well, then, why don t you tell him to go
about his business?"
"I don t see any beads lying around loose,"
said "Rip" tormentingly. The sheik impa
tiently said something to the interpreter and
that worthy repeated it for Peggy s benefit.
"The Son of the Prophet desires that you be
as quick as possible, Queen of the World. He
tires of waiting and commands you to come
with him at once."
Peggy winced and her eyes shot a brief look
of scorn at the scowling sheik. In an instant,
however, she was smiling agreeably and was
turning toward the steps.
"Holy mackerel! Where are you going,
Peggy?" cried Lotless, the first to turn fear
"To throw some things into my trunk," she
responded airily. "Will you come with me,
"Peggy!" cried Brewster angrily. "This
has gone far enough."
THE SHEIK S STRA TEG Y 223
"You should have spoken sooner, Monty,"
she said quietly.
"What are you going to do, Margaret?"
cried Mrs. Dan," her eyes wide with amaze
"I am going to marry the Son of the
Prophet," she replied so decidedly that every
one gasped. A moment later she was sur
rounded by a group of excited women, and
Captain Perry was calling the "jackies" forward
in a voice of thunder.
Brewster pushed his way to her side, his
face as white as death.
"This isn t a joke, Peggy," he cried. "Go
below and I ll get rid of the sheik."
Just then the burly Algerian asserted him-
self. He did not like the way in which his
adored one was being handled by the "white
dogs," and with two spearmen he rushed up to
Brewster, jabbering angrily.
"Stand back, you idiot, or I ll punch your
head off, said Brewster, with sudden emphasis.
It was not until this moment that Peggy
realized that there might be a serious side to
the little farce she and Mary had decided to
play for the punishment of Brewster. Terror
suddenly took the place of mirth, and she clung
frantically to Monty s arm.
224 BREWSTERS MILLIONS
"I was joking, Monty, only joking," she
cried. "Oh, what have I done?"
"It s my fault," he exclaimed, "but I ll take
care of you, never fear."
"Stand aside!" roared the sheik threaten
The situation was ominous. Frightened as
they were the women could not flee, but
stood as if petrified. Sailors eagerly swarmed
to the deck.
"Get off this boat," said Monty, ominously
calm, to the interpreter, "or we ll pitch you and
your whole mob into the sea."
"Keep cool! Keep cool!" cried "Subway"
Smith quickly. He stepped between Brew-
ster and the angry suitor, and that action alone
prevented serious trouble. While he parleyed
with the sheik Mrs. DeMille hurried Peggy to
a safe place below deck, and they were fol
lowed by a flock of shivering women. Poor
Peggy was almost in tears and the piteous
glances she threw at Brewster when he stepped
between her and the impetuous sheik, who had
started to follow, struck deep into his heart and
made him ready to fight to the death for her.
It took nearly an hour to convince the
Algerian that Peggy had misunderstood him
and that American women were not to be
THE SHEIK S STRA TEG Y 225
wooed after the African fashion. He finally
departed with his entire train, thoroughly
dissatisfied and in high dudgeon. At first he
threatened to take her by force; then he
agreed to give her another day in which to
make up her mind to go with him peaceably,
and again he concluded that a bird in the hand
was worth two in the bush.
Brewster stood gloomily on the outside of
the excited group glowering upon the ugly
suitor. Cooler heads had relegated him to this
place of security during the diplomatic contest.
The sheik s threats of vengeance were direful.
He swore by somebody s beard that he would
bring ten thousand men to establish his claim
by force. His intense desire to fight for her
then and there was quelled by Captain Perry s
detachment of six lusty sailors, whose big bare
fists were shaken vigorously under a few startled
noses. It took all the fight out of the sheik
and his train. Three retainers fell into the sea
while trying to retreat as far as possible from
Mohammed departed with the irate declara
tion that he would come another day and that
the whole world would tremble at his approach.
Disgusted with himself and afraid to meet the
eyes of the other men, Brewster went below in
226 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
search of Peggy. He took time to comfort the
anxious women who crowded about him and
then asked for Miss Gray. She was in her
stateroom and would not come forth. When
he knocked at the door a dismal, troubled voice
from within told him to^go away.
"Come out, Peggy; it s all over," he called.
"Please go away, Monty," she said.
"What are you doing in there?" There was
a long pause, and then came the pitiful little
wail: "I am unpacking, please, sir."
That night Brewster entertained on board the
yacht, several resident French and English
acquaintances being the guests of honor. The
story of the day was told by Mrs. Dan DeMille,
commissioned especially for the duty. She
painted the scene so vividly that the guests
laughed with joy over the discomfiture of the
shiek. Peggy and Brewster found themselves
looking sheepishly at one another now and then
in the course of the recital. She purposely had
avoided him during the evening, but she had
gamely endured the raillery that came from
the rest of the party. If she was a bit pale it
was not surprising. Now that it was over the
whole affair appalled her more than she could
have suspected. When several of the guests of
the evening soberly announced that Mohammed
THE SHEIK S STRA TEG Y 227
was a dangerous man and even an object of
worry to the government she felt a strange catch
in her throat and her now mirthless eyes turned
instinctively to Brewster, who, it seemed, was
the sheik s special object of aversion.
The next day she and Monty talked it over.
The penitence of both was beautiful to behold.
Each denied the other the privilege of assum
ing all the blame and both were so happy that
Mohammed was little more than a preposition
in their conversation so far as prominence was
concerned. But all day long the harbor was
full of fisher boats, and at nightfall they still
were lolling about, sinister, restless, mysteri
ous like purposeless buzzards. And the dark
men on board were taking up no fish, neither
were they minding the nets that lay dry and
folded in the bottom of their boats.
Far into the night there was revelry on board
the "Flitter," more guests having come out
from the city. The dark hours before the
dawn of day had arrived before they put off
for shore, but the fisher boats still were bob
bing about in the black waters of the harbor.
The lights gradually disappeared from the
port-holes of the yacht, and the tired watch was
about to be relieved. Monty Brewster and Peggy
remained on deck after the guests had gone
228 EREWSTER S MILLIONS
over the side of the vessel. They were leaning
over the rail aft listening to the jovial voices
of the visitors as they grew fainter and fainter in
the distance. The lights of the town were few,
but they could plainly be seen from the offing.
"Are you tired, Peggy?" asked Brewster,
with a touch of tenderness. Somehow of late
he had often felt a strange desire to take her
in his arms, and now it was strong upon him.
She was very near, and there was a drooping
weariness in her attitude which seemed to
"I have a queer feeling that something awful
is going to happen to-night, Monty," she
answered, trouble in her soft voice.
"You re nervous, that s all," he said, "and
you should get to sleep. Good-night." Their
hands touched in the darkness, and the thrill
that went over him told a truth of which he had
been only vaguely conscious. The power of
it made him exultant. Yet when he thought
of her and her too quiet affection for him it
left him despondent.
Something bumped against the side of the
ship and a grating sound followed. Then
came other gentle thuds combined with the
soft swish of water disturbed. Peggy and
Brewster were on the point of going below
THE SHEIK S STRA TEG Y 229
when their attention was caught by these
"What is it?" she asked as they paused
irresolutely. He strode to the rail, the girl fol
lowing close behind. Three sharp little whistles
came from above and behind them, but before
they had time even to speculate as to their
meaning the result was in evidence.
Over the sides of the ship came shadowy
forms as if by magic; at their backs panther-like
bodies dropped to the deck with stealthy
thuds, as if coming from the inky sky above.
There was an instant of dreadful calm and then
the crisis. A dozen sinewy forms hurled them
selves upon Brewster, who, taken completely by
surprise, was thrown to the deck in an instant,
his attempt to cry out for help being checked
by heavy hands. Peggy s scream was cut off
as quickly, and paralyzed by terror, she felt
herself engulfed in strong arms and smothered
into silence. It all happened so quickly that
there was no chance to give the alarm, no
opportunity to resist.
Brewster felt himself lifted bodily, and
then there was the sensation of falling. He
struck something forcibly with all his weight
and fell back with a crash to the deck. After
ward he found that the effort to throw him
230 BREWSTERS MILLIONS
overboard had failed only because his assailants
in their haste had hurled him against an unseen
stanchion. Peggy was borne forward and
lowered swiftly into arms that deposited her
roughly upon something hard. There was a
jerky, rocking motion, the sudden splash of
oars, and then she knew no more.
The invaders had planned with a craftiness
and patience that deserved success. For hours
they had waited, silently, watchfully, and with
deadly assurance. How they crept up to the
"Flitter" in such numbers and how the more
daring came aboard long before the blow was
struck, no one ever explained. So quickly and
so accurately was the abduction performed
that the boats were well clear of the yacht
before alarm was given by one of the watch
who had been overlooked in the careful assault.
Sleepy sailors rushed on deck with a prompt
ness that was amazing. Very quickly they had
found and unbound Brewster, carried a couple
of wounded shipmates below and had Captain
Perry in his pajamas on deck to take command.
"The searchlight!" cried Brewster frantic
ally. "The devils have stolen Miss Gray."
While swift hands were lowering the boats
for the chase others were carrying firearms on
deck. The searchlight threw its mighty white
THE SHEIK S STRA TEGY 231
arm out over the water before many seconds
had passed, and eager eyes were looking for
the boats of the pillagers. The Arabs had
reckoned without the searchlight. Their fierce
exultation died suddenly when the mysterious
streak of light shot into the sky and then swept
down upon the sea, hunting them out of the
darkness like a great and relentless eye.
The " Flitter s" boats were in the water and
manned by sturdy oarsmen before the glad cry
went up that the robber fleet had been dis
covered. They were so near the yacht that it
was evident the dusky tribesmen were poor
oarsmen. In the clear light from the ship s
deck they could be seen paddling wildly, their
white robes fluttering as though inspired by
fear. There were four boats, all of them
crowded to the gunwales.
"Keep the light on them, captain," shouted
Monty from below. "Try to pick out the
boat that has Miss Gray on board. Pull away,
boys! This means a hundred dollars to every
one of you yes, a thousand if we have to fight
"Kill every damned one of them, Mr. Brew-
ster," roared the captain, who had retired
behind a boat when he became aware of the
presence of women on deck.
232 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
Three boats shot away from the side of the
yacht, Brewster and Joe Bragdon in the first,
both armed with rifles.
"Let s take a shot at em," cried a sailor
who stood jn the stern with his finger on a
"Don t do that! We don t know what boat
holds Peggy," commanded Brewster. "Keep
cool, boys, and be ready to scrap if we have
to." He was half mad with fear and anxiety,
and he was determined to exterminate the
bands of robbers if harm came to the girl in
"She s in the second boat," came the cry
from the yacht, and the searchlight was kept
on that particular object almost to the exclu
sion of the others. But Captain Perry saw the
wisdom of keeping all of them clearly located
in order to prevent trickery.
Brewster s brawny sailor boys came up like
greyhounds, cheering as they dashed among
the boats of the fugitives. Three or four shots
were fired into the air by the zealous American
lads, and there were loud cries from the Arabs
as they veered off panic-stricken. Monty s
boat was now in the path of light and not far
behind the one which held Peggy. He was
standing in the bow.
THE SHEIK S STRA TEGY 233
"Take care of the others!" he called back to
his followers. "We ll go after the leaders."
The response from behind was a cheer, a
half dozen shots and some of the most joyous
profanity that ever fell from the lips of Amer
ican sailors, mingled with shrieks from the
boats they were to"take care of."
"Stop!" Brewster shouted to the Arabs.
"Stop, or we ll kill everyone of you!" His
boat was not more than fifty feet from the
Suddenly a tall, white-robed figure arose in
the middle of the Egyptian craft, and a mo
ment later the pursuers saw Peggy s form
passed up to him. She was instantly clasped
by one of his long arms, and the other was
lifted high above her. A gleaming knife was
held in the upraised hand.
"Fire on us if you dare!" came in French
from the tall Arab. "Dog of an American, she
shall die if you come near her!"
THE RESCUE OF PEGG Y
Brewster s heart almost ceased beating, and
every vestige of color left his face. Clear and
distinct in the light from the yacht the Arab
and his burden were outlined against the black
screen beyond. There was no mistaking the
earnestness of the threat, nor could the wit
nesses doubt the ghastly intention of the long,
cruel knife that gleamed on high. Peggy s
body served as a shield for that of her captor.
Brewster and Bragdon recognized the man as
one of Mohammed s principal retainers, a
fierce-looking fellow who had attracted more
than usual attention on the day of the sheik s
"For God s sake, don t kill her!" cried
Brewster in agonized tones. There was a
diabolical grin on the face of the Arab, who
was about to shout back some defiant taunt
when the unexpected happened.
The sharp crack of a gun sounded in the
stern of Brewster s boat, and an unerring bul
let sped straight for the big Arab s forehead.
THE RESCUE OF PEGGY 235
It crashed between his eyes and death must
have been instantaneous. The knife flew from
his hand, his body straightened and then
collapsed, toppling over, not among his oars
men, but across the gunwale of the craft.
Before a hand could be lifted to prevent, the
dead Arab and the girl were plunged into the
A cry of horror went up from the Americans,
and something surprisingly like a shout of
triumph from the abductors. Even as Brew-
ster poised for the spring into the water a fly
ing form shot past him and into the sea with a
resounding splash. The man that fired the
shot had reckoned cleverly, and he was
carrying out the final details of an inspired
plan. The Arab s position as he stood in the
boat was such as to warrant the sailor s belief
that he could fall no other way than forward,
and that meant over the side of the boat.
With all this clearly in mind he had shot
straight and true and was on his way to the
water almost as the two toppled overboard.
Monty Brewster was in the water an instant
later, striking out for the spot where they
had disappeared, a little to the left of the
course in which his boat was running. There
was a rattle of firearms, with curses and cheers,
236 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
but he paid no heed to these sounds. He was
a length or two behind the sailor, praying with
all his soul that one or the other might succeed
in reaching the white robes that still kept the
surface of the water. His crew was "backing
water" and straining every muscle to bring
the boat around sharp for the rescue.
The sailor s powerful strokes brought him
to the spot first, but not in time to clutch the
disappearing white robes. Just as he reached
out an arm to grasp the form of the girl she
went down. He did not hesitate a second but
followed. Peggy had fallen from the dead
Arab s embrace, and that worthy already was
at the bottom of the sea. She was half con
scious when the shot came, but the plunge
into the cold water revived her. Her strug
gles were enough to keep her up for a
few moments, but not long enough for the
swimmers to reach her side. She felt her
self going down and down, strangling, smoth
ering, dying. Then something vise-like clutched
her arm and she had the sensation of being
jerked upward violently.
The sailor fought his way to the surface with
the girl, and Brewster was at his side in an
instant. Together they supported her until
one of the boats came up, and they were drawn
THE RESCUE OF PEGGY 237
over the side to safety. By this time the
abductors had scattered like sheep without a
leader, and as there was no further object in
pursuing them the little American fleet put
back for the yacht in great haste. Peggy was
quite conscious when carried aboard by the
triumphant Brewster. The words he whispered
to her as she lay in the bottom of the boat
were enough to give her life.
The excitement on board the "Flitter" was
boundless. Fear gave way to joy, and where
despair had for a moment reigned supreme,
there was now the most insane delight. Peggy
was bundled below and into her berth, Dr.
Lotless attending her, assisted by all the
women on board. Brewster and the sailor,
drenched but happy, were carried on the
shoulders of enthusiastic supporters to a place
where hot toddies were to be had before
"You have returned the favor, Conroy,"
said Brewster fervently, as he leaned across
the heads of his bearers to shake hands with
the sailor who was sharing the honors with
him. Conroy was grinning from ear to ear as
he sat perched on the shoulders of his ship
mates. "I was luckier than I thought in sav
ing your life that day."
238 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
"It wasn t anything, Mr. Brewster," said
young Conroy. "I saw a chance to drop the
big nigger, and then it was up to me to get
her out of the water."
"You took a big risk, Conroy, but you made
good with it. If it had not been for you, my
boy, they might have got away with Miss
"Don t mention it, Mr. Brewster, it was
nothing to do," protested Conroy in confu
sion. "I d do anything in the world for you
and for her."
"What is the adage about casting your bread
upon the water and getting it back again?"
asked "Rip" Van Winkle of Joe Bragdon as
they jubilantly followed the procession below.
There was no more sleep on board that
night. In fact the sun was not long in showing
himself after the rescuers returned to the ves
sel. The daring attempt of Mohammed s emis
saries was discussed without restraint, and
every sailor had a story to tell of the pursuit
and rescue. The event furnished conversa
tional food for days and days among both
the seamen and the passengers. Dan DeMille
blamed himself relentlessly for sleeping through
it all and moped for hours because he had
lost a magnificent chance to "do something."
THE RESCUE OF PEGGY 239
The next morning he proposed to hunt for the
sheik, and offered to lead an assault in person.
An investigation was made and government
officials tried to call Mohammed to account,
but he had fled to the desert arid the search
Brewster refused to accept a share of the
glory of Peggy s rescue, pushing Conroy for
ward as the real hero. But the sailor insisted
that he could not have succeeded without help,
that he was completely exhausted when
Monty came to the rescue. Peggy found it
hard to thank him gently while her heart was
so dangerously near the riot point, and her
words of gratitude sounded pitifully weak and
"It would have been the same had anybody
else gone to her rescue," he mused deject
edly. "She cares for me with the devotion
of a sister and that s all. Peggy, Peggy," he
moaned, "if you could only love me, I d
I d oh, well, there s no use thinking about it!
She will love someone else, of course, and
and be happy, too. If she d appear only
one-tenth as grateful to me as to Conroy I d
be satisfied. He had the luck to be first,
that s all, but God knows I tried to do it."
Mrs. Dan DeMille was keen enough to see
240 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
how the land lay, and she at once tried to set
matters straight. She was far too clever to push
her campaign ruthlessly, but laid her founda
tions and then built cunningly and securely with
the most substantial material that came to hand
from day to day. Her subjects were taking
themselves too deeply to heart to appreciate
interference on the part of an outsider, and
Mrs. Dan was wise in the whims of love.
Peggy was not herself for several days after
her experience, and the whole party felt a
distinct relief when the yacht finally left the
harbor and steamed off to the west. A cable
gram that came the day before may have had
something to do with Brewster s depression,
but he was not the sort to confess it. It was
from Swearengen Jones, of Butte, Montana,
and there was something sinister in the laconic
admonition. It read:
BREWSTER, U. S. CONSULATE, ALEXANDRIA.
"Have a good time while good times last.
His brain was almost bursting with the hopes
and fears and uncertainties that crowded it far
beyond its ordinary capacity. It had come
to the point, it seemed to him, when the brains
of a dozen men at least were required to
THE RESCUE OF PEGGY 241
operate the affairs that were surging into his
alone. The mere fact that the end of his year
was less than two months off, and that there
was more or less uncertainty as to the charac
ter of the end, was sufficient cause for worry,
but the new trouble was infinitely harder to
endure. When he sat down to think over his
financial enterprises his mind treacherously
wandered off to Peggy Gray, and then every
thing was hopeless. He recalled the courage
and confidence that had carried him to Barbara
Drew with a declaration of love to the stun
ning, worldly Barbara and smiled bitterly
when he saw how basely the two allies were
deserting him in this hour of love for Peggy
Gray. For some reason he had felt sure of
Barbara; for another reason he saw no chance
with Peggy. She was not the same sort she
was different. She was well, she was Peggy.
Occasionally his reflections assumed the
importance of calculations. His cruise was
sure to cost $200,000, a princely sum, but
not enough. Swearengen Jones and his cable
gram did not awe him to a great extent.
The spending of the million had become a
mania with him now and he had no regard
for consequences. His one desire, aside from
Peggy, was to increase the cost of the cruise.
242 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
They were leaving Gibraltar when a new idea
came into his troubled head.
He decided to change his plans and sail for
the North Cape, thereby adding more than
),000 to his credit.
Monty was on deck when the inspiration
seized him, and he lost no time in telling his
guests, who were at breakfast. Although he
had misgivings about their opinion of the
scheme, he was not prepared for the ominous
silence that followed his announcement.
"Are you in earnest, Mr. Brewster?"
asked Captain Perry, who was the first of the
company to recover from the surprise.
"Of course I am. I chartered this boat for
four months with the privilege of another
month. I can see no reason to prevent us from
prolonging the trip." Monty s manner was
full of self-assurance as he continued: "You
people are so in the habit of protesting against
every suggestion I make that you can t help
doing it now."
"But, Monty," said Mrs. Dan, "what if
your guests would rather go home?"
"Nonsense; you were asked for a five
months cruise. Besides, think of getting
home in the middle of August, with everyone
away. It would be like going to Philadelphia."
244 BREWSTERS MILLIONS
Brave as he was in the presence of his
friends, in the privacy of his stateroom
Monty gave way to the depression that was
bearing down upon him. It was the hardest
task of his life to go on with his scheme in
the face of opposition. He knew that every
man and woman on board was against the
proposition, for his sake at least, and it was
difficult to be arbitrary under the circum
stances. Purposely he avoided Peggy all fore
noon. His single glance at her face in the
salon was enough to disturb him immeas
The spirits of the crowd were subdued. The
North Cape had charms, but the proclamation
concerning it had been too sudden had re
versed too quickly the general expectation and
desire. Many of the guests had plans at home
for August, and even those who had none were
satiated with excitement. During the morning
they gathered in little knots to discuss the
situation. They were all generous and each
one was sure that he could cruise indefinitely,
if on Monty s account the new voyage were not
out of the question. They felt it their duty to
take a desperate stand.
The half-hearted little gatherings resolved
themselves into ominous groups and in the
THE MUTINY 245
end there was a call for a general meeting in
the main cabin. Captain Perry, the first mate,
and the chief engineer were included in the
call, but Montgomery Brewster was not to be
admitted. Joe Bragdon loyally agreed to
keep him engaged elsewhere while the meeting
was in progress. The doors were locked and
a cursory glance assured the chairman of the
meeting, Dan DeMille, that no member of the
party was missing save the devoted Bragdon.
Captain Perry was plainly nervous and dis
turbed. The others were the victims of a
suppressed energy that presaged subsequent
"Captain Perry, we are assembled here for a
purpose," said DeMille, clearing his throat
three times. "First of all, as we understand
it, you are the sailing master of this ship. In
other words, you are, according to maritime
law, the commander of this expedition. You
alone can give orders to the sailors and you
alone can clear a port. Mr. Brewster has no
authority except that vested in a common
employer. Am I correct?"
"Mr. DeMille, if Mr. Brewster instructs me
to sail for the North Cape, I shall do so," said
the captain, firmly. "This boat is his for the
full term of the lease and I am engaged to sail
246 BREWSTERS MILLIONS
her with my crew until the tenth of next
"We understand your position, captain, and
I am sure you appreciate ours. It isn t that
we want to end a very delightful cruise, but
that we regard it as sheer folly for Mr. Brew-
ster to extend the tour at such tremendous
expense. He is or was a rich man, but.it is
impossible to ignore the fact that he is plunging
much too heavily. In plain words, we want to
keep him from spending more of his money on
this cruise. Do you understand our position,
"Fully. I wish with all my soul that I could
help you and him. My hands are tied by
contract, however, much as I regret it at this
"How does the crew feel about this addi
tional trip, captain?" asked DeMille.
"They shipped for five months and will
receive five months pay. The men have been
handsomely treated and they will stick to Mr.
Brewster to the end," said the captain.
"There is no chance for a mutiny, then?"
asked Smith regretfully. The captain gave
him a hard look, but said nothing. Everybody
"Apparently the only way is the one sug-
THE MUTINY 247
gested by Mr. Smith this morning," said Mrs.
Dan, speaking for the women. "No one will
object, I am sure, if Captain Perry and his
chief officers are allowed to hear the plan."
"It is very necessary, in fact," said Mr.
Valentine. "We cannot proceed without them.
But they will agree with us, I am sure, that
it is wise."
An hour later the meeting broke up and the
conspirators made their way to the deck. It
was a strange fact that no one went alone.
They were in groups of three and four and the
mystery that hung about them was almost
perceptible. Not one was willing to face the
excited, buoyant Brewster without help; they
found strength and security in companionship.
Peggy was the one rebel against the con
spiracy, and yet she knew that the others were
justified in the step they proposed to take.
She reluctantly joined them in the end, but felt
that she was the darkest traitor in the crowd.
Forgetting her own distress over the way in
which Monty was squandering his fortune, she
stood out the one defender of his rights until
the end and then admitted tearfully to Mrs.
DeMille that she had been "quite unreason
able" in doing so.
Alone in her stateroom after signing the
248 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
agreement, she wondered what he would think
of her. She owed him so much that she at
least should have stood by him. She felt that
he would be conscious of this. How could she
have turned against him? He would not
understand of course he would never under
stand. And he would hate her with the
others more than the others. It was all a
wretched muddle and she could not see her
way out of it.
Monty found his guests very difficult. They
listened to his plans with but little interest,
and he could not but see that they were
uncomfortable. The situation was new to their
experience, and they were under a strain.
"They mope around like a lot of pouting boys
and girls," he growled to himself. "But it s
the North Cape now in spite of everything.
I don t care if the whole crowd deserts me,
my mind is made up."
Try as he would, he could not see Peggy
alone. He had much that he wanted to say to
her and he hungered for the consolation her
approval would bring him, but she clung to
Pettingill with a tenacity that was discourag
ing. The old feeling of jealousy that was con
nected with Como again disturbed him.
"She thinks that I am a hopeless, brainless
THE MUTINY 249
idiot," he said to himself. "And I don t blame
Just before nightfall he noticed that his
friends were assembling in the bow. As he
started to join the group "Subway" Smith and
DeMille advanced to meet him. Some of the
others were smiling a little sheepishly, but the
two men were pictures of solemnity and
"Monty," said DeMille steadily, "we have
been conspiring against you and have decided
that we sail for New York to-morrow morn-
Brewster stopped short and the expression
on his face was one they never could forget.
Bewilderment, uncertainty and pain suc
ceeded each other like flashes of light. Not a
word was spoken for several seconds. The red
of humiliation slowly mounted to his cheeks,
while in his eyes wavered the look of one who
has been hunted down.
"You have decided?" he asked lifelessly,
and more than one heart went out in pity to
"We hated to do it, Monty, out for your
own sake there was no other way," said "Sub
way" Smith quickly. "We took a vote and
there wasn t a dissenting voice."
250 BRE WSTER S MILLIONS
"It is a plain case of mutiny, I take it," said
Monty, utterly alone and heart-sick.
"It isn t necessary to tell you why we have
taken this step," said DeMille. "It is heart
breaking to oppose you at this stage of the
game. You ve been the best ever and "
"Cut that," cried Monty, and his confidence
in himself was fast returning. "This is no
time to throw bouquets."
"We like you, Brewster. " Mr. Valentine
came to the chairman s assistance because the
others had looked at him so appealingly.
"We like you so well that we can t take the
responsibility for your extravagance. It
would disgrace us all."
"That side of the matter was never men
tioned," cried Peggy indignantly, and then
added with a catch in her voice, "We thought
only of you."
"I appreciate your motives and I am grateful
to you," said Monty. "I am more sorry than
I can tell you that the cruise must end in this
way, but I too have decided. The yacht will
take you to some point where you can catch a
steamer to New York. I shall secure passage
for the entire party and very soon you will be
at home. Captain Perry, will you oblige me
by making at once for any port that my guests
THE MUTINY 251
may agree upon?" He was turning away de
liberately when "Subway" Smith detained him.
"What do you mean by getting a steamer to
New York? Isn t the Flitter good enough?"
"The Flitter is not going to New York just
now," answered Brewster firmly, "notwith
standing your ultimatum. She is going to
take me to the North Cape."
A FAIR TRAITOR
"Now will you be good?" cried Reggie
Vanderpool to DeMille as Monty went down
the companionway. The remark was precisely
what was needed, for the pent-up feelings of
the entire company were now poured forth upon
the unfortunate young man. "Subway" Smith
was for hanging him to the yard arm, and the
denunciation of the others was so decisive that
Reggie sought refuge in the chart house. But
the atmosphere had been materially cleared
and the leaders of the mutiny were in a posi
tion to go into executive session and consider
the matter. The women waited on deck while
the meeting lasted. They were unanimous in
the opinion that the affair had been badly
"They should have offered to stay by the
ship providing Monty would let Mr. DeMille
manage the cruise," said Miss Valentine.
"That would have been a concession and at
the same time it would have put the cruise on
an economical basis."
"In other words you will accept a man s
A FAIR TRAITOR 253
invitation to dinner if he will allow you to
order it and invite the other guests," said
Peggy, who was quick to defend Monty.
"Well that would be better than helping to
eat up every bit of food he possessed." But
Miss Valentine always avoided argument when
she could and gave this as a parting thrust
before she walked away.
"There must be something more than we
know about in Monty s extravagance," said
Mrs. Dan. "He isn t the kind of man to
squander his last penny without having some
thing left to show for it. There must be
method in his madness."
"He has done it for us," said Peggy. "He
has devoted himself all along to giving us a
good time and now we are showing our
Further discussion was prevented by the
appearance of the conspiring committee and
the whole company was summoned to hear
DeMille s report as chairman.
"We have found a solution of our diffi
culties," he began, and his manner was so
jubilant that everyone became hopeful. "It
is desperate but I think it will be effective.
Monty has given us the privilege of leaving
the yacht at any port where we can take a
254 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
steamer to New York. Now, my suggestion
is that we select the most convenient place
for all of us, and obviously there is nothing
quite so convenient as Boston."
"Dan DeMille, you are quite foolish," cried
his wife. "Who ever conceived such a
."Captain Perry has his instructions," con
tinued DeMille, turning to the captain. "Are
we not acting along the lines marked out by
"I will sail for Boston if you say the word,"
said the thoughtful captain. "But he is sure
to countermand such an order."
"He won t be able to, captain," cried
"Subway" Smith, who had for some time been
eager to join in the conversation. "This is a
genuine, dyed-in-the-wool mutiny and we
expect to carry out the original plan, which
was to put Mr. Brewster in irons, until we are
safe from all opposition."
"He is my friend, Mr. Smith, and at least
it is my duty to protect him from any indig
nity," said the captain, stiffly.
"You make for Boston, my dear captain,
and we ll do the rest," said DeMille. "Mr.
Brewster can t countermand your orders unless
he sees you in person. We ll see to it that he
A FAIR TRAITOR 255
has no chance to talk to you until we are in
sight of Boston Harbor."
The captain looked doubtful and shook his
head as he walked away. At heart he was
with the mutineers and his mind was made up
to assist them as long as it was possible to do
so without violating his obligations to Brewster.
He felt guilty, however, in surreptitiously
giving the order to clear for Boston at day
break. The chief officers were let into the
secret, but the sailors were kept in darkness
regarding the destination of the "Flitter."
Montgomery Brewster s guests were im
mensely pleased with the scheme, although
they were dubious about the outcome. Mrs.
Dan regretted her hasty comment on the plan
and entered into the plot with eagerness. In
accordance with plans decided upon by the
mutineers, Monty s stateroom door was guarded
through the night by two of the men. The
next morning as he emerged from his room,
he was met by "Subway" Smith and Dan
"Good morning," was his greeting. "How s
the weather to-day?"
"Bully, " answered DeMille. "By the way,
you are going to have breakfast in your room,
old man. "
256 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
Brewster unsuspectingly led the way into
his stateroom, the two following.
"What s the mystery?" he demanded.
"We ve been deputized to do some very
nasty work," said "Subway" as he turned the
key in the door. "We are here to tell you
what port we have chosen."
"It s awfully good of you to tell me."
"Yes, isn t it? But we have studied up on
the chivalrous treatment of prisoners. We
have decided on Boston."
"Is there a Boston on this side of the water?"
asked Monty in mild surprise.
"No; there is only one Boston in the uni
verse, so far as we know. It is a large body of
intellect surrounded by the rest of the world."
"What the devil are you talking about?
You don t mean Boston, Massachusetts?" cried
Monty, leaping to his feet.
"Precisely. That s the port for us and you
told us to choose for ourselves," said Smith.
"Well, I won t have it, that s all, " exclaimed
Brewster, indignantly. "Captain Perry takes
orders from me and from no one else."
"He already has his orders," said DeMille,
"I ll see about that. Brewster sprang to the
door. It was locked and the key was in "Sub-
A FAIR TRAITOR 257
way" Smith s pocket. With an impatient
exclamation he turned and pressed an electric
"It won t ring, Monty," explained "Sub
way." "The wire has been cut. Now, be
cool for a minute or two and we ll talk it over. "
Brewster stormed for five minutes, the
"delegation" sitting calmly by, smiling with
exasperating confidence. At last he calmed
down and in terms of reason demanded an
explanation. He was given to understand
that the yacht would sail for Boston and that
he would be kept a prisoner for the entire
voyage unless he submitted to the will of the
Brewster listened darkly to the proclamation.
He saw that they had gained the upper hand
by a clever ruse, and that only strategy on
his part could outwit them. It was out of
the question for him to submit to them now
that the controversy had assumed the dignity
of a struggle.
"But you will be reasonable, won t you?"
asked DeMille, anxiously.
"I intend to fight it out to the bitter end,"
said Brewster, his eyes flashing. "At present
I am your prisoner, but it is a long way to
258 SREWSTER S MILLIONS
For three days and two nights the "Flitter"
steamed westward into the Atlantic, with her
temporary owner locked into his stateroom.
The confinement was irksome, but he rather
liked the sensation of being interested in
something besides money. He frequently
laughed to himself over the absurdity of the
situation. His enemies were friends, true and
devoted; his gaolers were relentless but they
were considerate. The original order that he
should be guarded by one man was violated on
the first day. There were times when his
guard numbered at least ten persons and some
of them served tea and begged him to listen
"It is difficult not to listen," he said fiercely.
"It s like holding a man down and then
asking him to be quiet. But my time is
"Revenge will be his!" exclaimed Mrs. Dan,
"You might have your term shortened on
account of good conduct if you would only
behave," suggested Peggy, whose reserve was
beginning to soften. "Please be good and give
"I haven t been happier during the whole
cruise," said Monty. "On deck I wouldn t
A FAIR TRAITOR 259
be noticed, but here I am quite the whole
thing. Besides I can get out whenever I feel
"I have a thousand dollars which says you
can t," said DeMille, and Monty snapped
him up so eagerly that he added, "that you
can t get out of your own accord."
Monty acceded to the condition and offered
odds on the proposition to the others, but
there were no takers.
"That settles it," he smiled grimly to him
self. "I can make a thousand dollars by stay
ing here and I can t afford to escape."
On the third day of Monty s imprisonment
the "Flitter" began to roll heavily. At first
he gloated over the discomfort of his guards
who obviously did not like to stay below.
"Subway" Smith and Bragdon were on duty
and neither was famous as a good sailor.
When Monty lighted his pipe there was con
sternation and "Subway" rushed on deck.
"You are a brave man, Joe," Monty said to
the other and blew a cloud of smoke in his
direction. "I knew you would stick to your
post. You wouldn t leave it even if the ship
should go down."
Bragdon had reached the stage where he
dared not speak and was busying himself try-
260 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
ing to "breathe with the motion of the boat"
as he had called it.
"By Gad," continued Monty, relentlessly.
"This smoke is getting thick. Some of this
toilet water might help if I sprinkled it about. "
One whiff of the sweet-smelling cologne
was enough for Bragdon and he bolted up the
companionway, leaving the stateroom door
wide open and the prisoner free to go where he
pleased. Monty s first impulse was to follow
but he checked himself on the threshold.
"Damn that bet with DeMille, " he said to
himself, and added aloud to the fleeing guard,
"The key, Joe, I dare you to come back and
But Bragdon was beyond recall and Monty
locked the door on the inside and passed the
key through the ventilator.
On deck a small part of the company braved
the spray in the lee of the deck house, but the
others had long since gone below. The boat
was pitching furiously in the ugliest sea it
had encountered, and there was anxiety under
neath Captain Perry s mask of unconcern.
DeMille and Dr. Lotless talked in the senseless
way men have when they try to conceal their
nervousness. But the women did not respond;
they were in no mood for conversation.
A FAIR TRAITOR 261
Only one of them was quite oblivious to
personal discomfort and danger. Peggy Gray
was thinking of the prisoner below. In a re
flection of her own terror, she pictured him
crouching in the little stateroom, like a doomed
criminal awaiting execution, alone, neglected,
forgotten, unpitied. At first she pleaded with
the men for his release, but they insisted upon
waiting in the hope that a scare might bring
him to his senses. Peggy saw that no help was
to be secured from the other women, much as
they might care for Brewster s peace of mind
and safety. Her heart was bitter toward
everyone responsible for the situation, and
there was dark rebellion in her soul. It cul
minated finally in a resolve to release Monty
Brewster at any cost.
With difficulty she made her way to the
stateroom door, clinging to supports at times
and then plunging violently away from them.
For some minutes she listened, frantically
clutching Brewster s door and the wall-rail.
There was no guard, and the tumult of the sea
drowned every sound within. Her imagination
ran riot when her repeated calls were not
"Monty, Monty, " she cried, pounding wildly
on the door.
262 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
"Who is it? What is the trouble?" came in
muffled tones from within, and Peggy breathed
a prayer of thanks. Just then she discovered
the key which Monty had dropped and quickly
opened the door, expecting to find him cower
ing with fear. But the picture was different.
The prisoner was seated on the divan, propped
up with many pillows and reading with the aid
of an electric light "The Intrusions of Peggy. "
"Oh!" was Peggy s only exclamation, and
there was a shadow of disappointment in her
"Come in, Peggy, and I ll read aloud," was
Monty s cheerful greeting as he stood before
"No, I must go," said Peggy, confusedly.
"I thought you might be nervous about the
storm and "
"And you came to let me out?" Monty had
never been so happy.
"Yes, and I don t care what the others say.
I thought you were suffering " But at that
moment the boat gave a lurch which threw
her across the threshold into Monty s arms.
They crashed against the wall, and he held
her a moment and forgot the storm. When
she drew away from him she showed him the
open door and freedom. She could not speak.
"Where are the others?" he asked, bracing
himself in the doorway.
"Oh, Monty," she cried, "we must not go
to them. They will think me a traitor."
264 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
"Why were you a traitor, Peggy?" he
demanded, turning toward her suddenly.
"Oh oh, because it seemed so cruel to keep
you locked up through the storm," she an
"And there was no other reason?" he
"Don t, please don t!" she cried, piteously,
and he misunderstood her emotion. It was
clear that she was merely sorry for him.
"Never mind, Peggy, it s all right. You
stood by me and I ll stand by you. Come on;
we ll face the mob and I ll do the fighting."
Together they made their way into the
presence of the mutineers, who were crowded
into the main cabin.
"Well, here s a conspiracy," cried Dan
DeMille, but there was no anger in his voice.
"How did you escape? I was just thinking of
unlocking your door, Monty, but the key
seemed to be missing."
Peggy displayed it triumphantly.
"By Jove," cried Dan. "This is rank
treachery. Who was on guard?"
A steward rushing through the cabin at
this moment in answer to frantic calls from
Bragdon furnished an eloquent reply to the
A CATASTROPHE 265
"It was simple," said Monty. "The guards
deserted their post and left the key behind."
"Then it is up to me to pay you a thousand
"Not at all," protested Monty, taken aback.
"I did not escape of my own accord. I had
help. The money is yours. And now that I
am free," he added, quietly, "let me say that
this boat does not go to Boston."
"Just what I expected," cried Vanderpool.
"She s going straight to New York!" declared
Monty. The words were hardly uttered when
a heavy sea sent him sprawling across the cabin
and he concluded, "or to the bottom."
"Not so bad as that," said Captain Perry,
whose entrance had been somewhat hastened by
the lurch of the boat. "But until this blows
over I must keep you below." He laughed
but he saw they were not deceived. "The seas
are pretty heavy and the decks are being holy
stoned for nothing, but I wouldn t like to have
any of you washed overboard by mistake."
The hatches were battened down, and it was
a sorry company that tried to while away the
evening in the main cabin. Monty s chaffing
about the advantages of the North Cape over
the stormy Atlantic was not calculated to raise
the drooping spirits, and it was very early
266 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
when he and his shattered guests turned in.
There was little sleep on board the "Flitter"
that night. Even if it had been easy to forget
the danger, the creaking of the ship and the
incessant roar of the water were enough for
wakefulness. With each lurch of the boat it
seemed more incredible that it could endure.
It was such a mite of a thing to meet so furious
an attack. .As it rose on the wave to pause in
terror on its crest before sinking shivering into
the trough, it made the breath come short and
the heart stand still. Through the night the
fragile little craft fought its lonely way, bravely
ignoring its own weakness and the infinite
strength of its enemy. To the captain, lashed
to the bridge, there were hours of grave
anxiety hours when he feared each wave as
it approached, and wondered what new damage
it had done as it receded. As the wind
increased toward morning he felt a sickening
certainty that the brave little boat was beaten.
Somehow she seemed to lose courage, to waver
a bit and almost give up the fight. He watched
her miserably as the dismal dawn came up out
of the sea. Yet it was not until seven o clock
that the crash came, which shook the passen
gers out of their berths and filled them with
shivering terror. The whirling of the broken
A CATASTROPHE 267
shaft seemed to consume the ship. In every
cabin it spoke with horrible vividness of
disaster. The clamor of voices and the rush of
many feet, which followed, meant but one
thing. Almost instantly the machinery was
stopped an ominous silence in the midst of
the dull roar of the water and the cry of the wind.
It was a terrified crowd that quickly gathered
in the main cabin, but it was a brave one.
There were no cries and few tears. They
expected anything and were ready for the
worst, but they would not show the white
feather. It was Mrs. Dan who broke the
tension. "I made sure of my pearls," she
said; "I thought they would be appreciated at
the bottom of the sea."
Brewster came in upon their laughter. "I
like your nerve, people," he exclaimed, "you
are all right. It won t be so bad now. The
wind has dropped."
Long afterward when they talked the matter
over, DeMille claimed that the only thing that
bothered him that night was the effort to decide
whether the club of which he and Monty were
members would put in the main hallway two
black-bordered cards, each bearing a name, or
only one with both names. Mr. Valentine
regretted that he had gone on for years paying
268 SREWSTER S MILLIONS
life insurance premiums when now his only
relatives were on the boat and would die with
The captain, looking pretty rocky after his
twenty-hour vigil, summoned his chief. "We re
in a bad hole, Mr. Brewster," he said when
they were alone, "and no mistake. A broken
shaft and this weather make a pretty poor
"Is there no chance of making a port for
"I don t see it, sir. It looks like a long pull."
"We are way off our course, I suppose?"
and Monty s coolness won Captain Perry s
"I can t tell just how much until I get the
sun, but this wind is hell. I suspect we ve
drifted pretty far."
"Come and get some coffee, captain. While
the storm lasts the only thing to do is to cheer
up the women and trust to luck."
"You are the nerviest mate I ever shipped
with, Mr. Brewster," and the captain s hand
gripped Monty s in a way that meant things.
It was a tribute he appreciated.
During the day Monty devoted himself to
his guests, and at the first sign of pensiveness
he was ready with a jest or a story. But he
A CATASTROPHE 269
did it all with a tact that inspired the crowd as
a whole with hope, and no one suspected that
he himself was not cheerful. For Peggy Gray
there was a special tenderness, and he made up
his mind that if things should go wrong he
would tell her that he loved her.
"It could do no harm," he thought to him
self, "and I want her to know."
Toward night the worst was over. The sea
had gone down and the hatches were opened
for a while to admit air, though it was still
too rough to venture out. The next morn
ing was bright and clear. When the com
pany gathered on deck the havoc created by
the storm was apparent. Two of the boats had
been completely carried away and the launch
was rendered useless by a large hole in the stern.
"You don t mean to say that we will drift
about until the repairs can be made?" asked
Mrs. Dan in alarm.
"We are three hundred miles off the course
already," explained Monty, "and it will be
pretty slow traveling under sail."
It was decided to make for the Canary
Islands, where repairs could be made and the
voyage resumed. But where the wind had
raged a few days before, it had now disap
peared altogether, and for a week the "Flitter
270 BRE WSTER S MILLIONS
tossed about absolutely unable to make head
way. The first of August had arrived and
Monty himself was beginning^ to be nervous.
With the fatal day not quite two months
away, things began to look serious. Over one
hundred thousand dollars would remain after
he had settled the expenses of the cruise, and
he was helplessly drifting in mid-ocean. Even if
the necessary repairs could be made promptly,
it would take the "Flitter" fourteen days to
sail from the Canaries to New York. Figure
as hard as he could he saw no way out of the
unfortunate situation. Two days more elapsed
and still no sign of a breeze. He made sure
that September 23d would find him still drift
ing and still in possession of one hundred
thousand superfluous dollars.
At the end of ten days the yacht had pro
gressed but two hundred miles and Monty was
beginning to plan the rest of his existence on
a capital of $100,000. He had given up all
hope of the Sedgwick legacy and was trying to
be resigned to his fate, when a tramp steamer
was suddenly sighted. Brewster ordered the
man on watch to fly a flag of distress. Then
he reported to the captain and told what he
had done. With a bound the captain rushed
on deck and tore the flag from the sailor s hand.
A CATASTROPHE 271
"That was my order," said Monty, nettled
at the captain s manner.
"You want them to get a line on us and
claim salvage, do you?"
"What do you mean?"
"If they get a line on us in response to that
flag they will claim the entire value of the
ship as salvage. You want to spend another
$200,000 on this boat?"
"I didn t understand," said Monty, sheep
ishly. "But for God s sake, fix it up somehow.
Can t they tow us? I ll pay for it."
Communication was slow, but after an
apparently endless amount of signaling, the
captain finally announced that the freight
steamer was bound for Southampton and would
tow the "Flitter" to that point for a price.
"Back to Southampton!" groaned Monty.
"That means months before we get back to
New York. 8
"He says he can get us to Southampton in
ten days," interrupted the captain.
"I can do it, I can do it," he cried, to the
consternation of his guests who wondered if his
mind were affected. "If he ll land us in
Southampton by the 27th, I ll pay him up to
one hundred thousand dollars."
THE PRODIGALS RETURN
After what seemed an age to Monty, the
"Flitter," in tow of the freighter "Glencoe,"
arrived at Southampton. The captain of the
freight boat was a thrifty Scotchman whose
ship was traveling with a light cargo and he
was not, therefore, averse to taking on a tow.
But the thought of salvage had caused him to
ask a high price for the service and Monty,
after a futile attempt at bargaining, had agreed.
The price was fifty thousand dollars, and the
young man believed more than ever that every
thing was ruled by a wise Providence, which
had not deserted him. His guests were heart
sick when they heard the figure, but were as
happy as Monty at the prospect of reaching
The "Glencoe" made several stops before
Southampton was finally reached on the 28th
of August, but when the English coast was
sighted everyone was too eager to go ashore
to begrudge the extra day. Dan DeMille
asked the entire party to become his guests
THE PRODIGALS RETURN 273
for a week s shooting trip in Scotland, but
Monty vetoed the plan in the most decided
"We sail for New York on the fastest boat,"
said Monty, and hurried off to learn the sail
ings and book his party. The first boat was to
sail on the 3Oth and he could only secure
accommodations for twelve of his guests. The
rest were obliged to follow a week later. This
was readily agreed to and Bragdon was left to
see to the necessary repairs on the "Flitter"
and arrange for her homeward voyage. Monty
gave Bragdon fifteen thousand dollars for this
purpose and extracted a solemn promise that
the entire amount would be used.
"But it won t cost half of this," protested
"You will have to give these people a good
time during the week and well you have
promised that I shall never see another penny
of it. Some day you ll know why I do this, "
and Monty felt easier when his friend agreed to
abide by his wishes.
He discharged the "Flitter s" crew, with
five months pay and the reward promised on
the night of Peggy s rescue, which was pro
ductive of touching emotions. Captain Perry
and his officers never forgot the farewell of
274 BRBWSTER S MILLIONS
the prodigal, nor could they hide the regret
that marked their weather-beaten faces.
Plans to dispose of his household goods and
the balance of his cash in the short time that
would be left after he arrived in New York
occupied Monty s attention, and most men
would have given up the scheme as hopeless.
But he did not despair. He was still game,
and he prepared for the final plunge with grim
"There should have been a clause in Jones s
conditions about weather permitting, " he
said to himself. "A shipwrecked mariner
should not be expected to spend a million
The division of the party for the two sailings
was tactfully arranged by Mrs. DeMille. The
Valentines chaperoned the "second table" as
"Subway" Smith called those who^were to take
the later boat, and she herself looked after the
first lot. Peggy Gray and Monty Brewster
were in the DeMille party. The three days in
England were marked by unparalleled extrav
agance on Monty s part. One of the local
hotels was subsidized for a week, although the
party only stayed for luncheon, and the Cecil
in London was a gainer by several thousand
dollars for the brief stop there. It was a
THE PRODIGAL S RETURN 275
careworn little band that took Monty s special
train for Southampton and embarked two days
later. The "rest cure" that followed was
welcome to all of them and Brewster was
especially glad that his race was almost
Swiftly and steadily the liner cut down the
leagues that separated her from New York.
Fair weather and fair cheer marked her course,
and the soft, balmy nights were like seasons
of fairyland. Monty was cherishing in his
heart the hope inspired by Peggy s action on
the night of the storm. Somehow it brought
a small ray of light to his clouded understand
ing and he found joy in keeping the flame
alive religiously if somewhat doubtfully. His
eyes followed her constantly, searching for the
encouragement that the very blindness of love
had hidden from him, forever tormenting him
self with fears and hopes and fears again. Her
happiness and vivacity puzzled him he was
often annoyed, he was now and then seriously
Four days out from New York, then three
days, then two days, and then Brewster began
to feel the beginning of the final whirlwind in
profligacy clouding him oppressively, omi
nously, unkindly. Down in his state room he
276 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
drew new estimates, new calculations, and tried
to balance the old ones so that they appeared
in the light most favorable to his designs.
Going over the statistics carefully, he estimated
that the cruise, including the repairs and the
return of the yacht to New York, would cost
him $210,000 in round figures. One hundred
and thirty-three days marked the length of the
voyage when reckoned by time and, as near as
he could get at it, the expense had averaged
$1,580 a day. According to the contract, he
was to pay for the yacht, exclusive of the
cuisine and personal service. And he had
found it simple enough to spend the remaining
$1,080. There were days, of course, when
fully $5,000 disappeared, and there were others
on which he spent much less than $1,000, but
the average was secure. Taking everything
into consideration, Brewster found that his
fortune had dwindled to a few paltry thousands
in addition to the proceeds which would come
to him from the sale of his furniture. On the
whole he was satisfied.
The landing in New York and the separation
which followed were not entirely merry. Every
discomfort was forgotten and the travelers only
knew that the most wonderful cruise since that
of the ark had come to an end. There was not
THE PRODIGAL S RETURN 277
one who would not have been glad to begin it
again the next day.
Immediately after the landing Brewster and
Gardner were busy with the details of settle
ment. After clearing up all of the obligations
arising from the cruise, they felt the appro
priateness of a season of reflection. It was a
difficult moment a moment when undelivered
reproofs were in the air. But Gardner seemed
much the more melancholy of the two.
Piles of newspapers lay scattered about the
floor of the room in which they sat. Every one
of them contained sensational stories of the
prodigal s trip, with pictures, incidents and
predictions. Monty was pained, humiliated
and resentful, but he was honest enough to
admit the justification of much that was said
of him. He read bits of it here and there and
then threw the papers aside hopelessly. In
a few weeks they would tell another story, and
quite as emphatically.
"The worst of it, Monty, is that you are the
next thing to being a poor man," groaned
Gardner. "I ve done my best to economize
for you here at home, as you ll see by these
figures, but nothing could possibly balance
the extravagances of this voyage. They are
278 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
With the condemnation of his friends ringing
in his troubled brain, with the sneers of
acquaintances to distress his pride, with the
jibes of the comic papers to torture him
remorselessly, Brewster was fast becoming the
most miserable man in New York. Friends of
former days gave him the cut direct, clubmen
ignored .him or scorned him openly, women
chilled him with the iciness of unspoken
reproof, and all the world was hung with shad
ows. The doggedness of despair kept him up,
but the strain that pulled down on him was so re
lentless that the struggle was losing its equality.
He had not expected such a home-coming.
Compared with his former self, Monty was
now almost a physical wreck, haggard, thin
and defiant, a shadow of the once debonair
young New Yorker, an object of pity and scorn.
Ashamed and despairing, he had almost lacked
the courage to face Mrs. Gray. The consola
tion he once gained through her he now denied
himself and his suffering, peculiar as it was,
was very real. In absolute recklessness he
gave dinner after dinner, party after party, all
on a most lavish scale, many of his guests
laughing at him openly while they enjoyed his
hospitality. The real friends remonstrated,
pleaded, did everything within their power to
THE PRODIGAL S RETURN 279
check his awful rush to poverty, but without
success; he was not to be stopped.
At last the furniture began to go, then the
plate, then all the priceless bric-a-brac. Piece
by piece it disappeared until the apartments
were empty and he had squandered almost all
of the $40,350 arising from the sales. The
servants were paid off, the apartments relin
quished, and he was beginning to know what
it meant to be "on his uppers." At the banks
he ascertained that the interest on his moneys
amounted to $19,140.86. A week before the
23d of September, the whole million was gone,
including the amounts won in Lumber and
Fuel and other luckless enterprises. He still
had about $17,000 of his interest money in the
banks, but he had a billion pangs in his heart
the interest on his improvidence.
He found some delight in the discovery that
the servants had robbed him of not less than
$3,500 worth of his belongings, including the
Christmas presents that he in honor could not
have sold. His only encouragement came
from Grant and Ripley, the lawyers. They
inspired confidence in his lagging brain by
urging him on to the end, promising brightness
thereafter. Swearengen Jones was as mute as
the mountains in which he lived. There was
280 BRE WSTER S MILLIONS
no word from him, there was no assurance that
he would approve of what had been done to
obliterate Edwin Peter Brewster s legacy.
Dan DeMille and his wife implored Monty to
come with them to the mountains before his
substance was gone completely. The former
offered him money, employment, rest and
security if he would abandon the course he was
pursuing. Up in Fortieth Street Peggy Gray
was grieving her heart out and he knew it.
Two or three of those whom he had considered
friends refused to recognize him in the street
in this last trying week, and it did not even
interest him to learn that Miss Barbara Drew
was to become a duchess before the winter was
gone. Yet he found some satisfaction in the
report that one Hampton of Chicago had long
since been dropped out of the race.
One day he implored the faithful Bragdon to
steal the Boston terriers. He could not and
would not sell them and he dared not give them
away. Bragdon dejectedly appropriated the
dogs and Brewster announced that some day
he would offer a reward for their return and
"no questions asked."
He took a suite of rooms in a small hotel
and was feverishly planning the overthrow of
the last torturing thousands. Bragdon lived
THE PRODIGAL S RETURN 281
with him and the "Little Sons of the Rich"
stood loyally ready to help him when he
uttered the first cry of want But even this
establishment had to be abandoned at last.
The old rooms in Fortieth Street were still
open to him and though he quailed at the
thought of making them a refuge, he faced the
ordeal in the spirit of a martyr.
THE PROMISE OF THRIFT
"Monty, you are breaking my heart," was
the first and only appeal Mrs. Gray ever made
to him. It was two days before the twenty-third
and it did not come until after the "second
hand store" men had driven away from her
door with the bulk of his clothing in their
wagon. She and Peggy had seen little of
Brewster, and his nervous restlessness alarmed
them His return was the talk of the town.
Men tried to shun him, but he persistently
wasted some portion of his fortune on his
unwilling subjects. When he gave $5,000 in
cash to a Home for Newsboys, even his friends
jumped to the conclusion that he was mad.
It was his only gift to charity and he excused
his motive in giving at this time by recalling
Sedgwick s injunction to "give sparingly to
charity." Everything was gone from his
thoughts but the overpowering eagerness to
get rid of a few troublesome thousands. He
felt like an outcast, a pariah, a hated object
that infected everyone with whom he came in
contact. Sleep was almost impossible, eating
THE PROMISE OF THRIFT 283
was a farce; he gave elaborate suppers which
he did not touch Already his best friends
were discussing the advisability of putting him
in a sanitarium where his mind might be pre
served. His case was looked upon as peculiar
in the history of mankind; no writer could find
a parallel, no one could imagine a comparison.
Mrs. Gray met him in the hallway of her
home as he was nervously pocketing the $60
he had received in payment for his clothes.
Her face was like that of a ghost. He tried to
answer her reproof, but the words would not
come, and he fled to his room, locking the door
after him. He was at work there on the
transaction that was to record the total dis
appearance of Edwin Brewster s million his
final report to Swearengen Jones, executor of
James Sedgwick s will. On the floor were
bundles of packages, carefully wrapped and
tied, and on the table was the long sheet of
white paper on which the report was being
drawn. The packages contained receipts
thousands upon thousands of them for the
dollars he had spent in less than a year. They
were there for the inspection of Swearengen
Jones, faithfully and honorably kept as if
the old westerner would go over in detail the
284 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
He had the accounts balanced up to the
hour. On the long sheet lay the record of his
ruthlessness, the epitaph of a million. In his
pocket was exactly $79.08. This was to last
him for less than forty-eight hours and then
it would go to join the rest. It was his plan
to visit Grant & Ripley on the afternoon of the
twenty-second and to read the report to them,
in anticipation of the meeting with Jones on
the day following.
Just before noon, after his encounter with
Mrs. Gray, he came down stairs and boldly,
for the first time in days, sought out Peggy.
There was the old smile in his eyes and the
old heartiness in his voice when he came upon
her in the library. She was not reading.
Books, pleasures and all the joys of life had
fled from her mind and she thought only of the
disaster that was coming to the boy she had
always loved. His heart smote him as he
looked into the deep, somber, frightened eyes,
running over with love and fear for him.
"Peggy, do you think I m worth anything
more from your mother? Do you think she
will ask me to live here any longer?" he asked,
steadily, taking her hand in his. Hers was
cold, his as hot as fire. "You know what you
said away off yonder somewhere, that she d
THE PROMISE OF THRIFT 285
let me live here if I deserved it. I am a pauper,
Peggy, and I m afraid I ll I may have to get
down to drudgery again. Will she turn me
out? You know I must have somewhere to
live. Shall it be the poorhouse? Do you
remember saying one day that I d end in the
She was looking into his eyes, dreading what
might be seen in them. But there was no
gleam of insanity there, there was no fever;
instead there was the quiet smile of the man
who is satisfied with himself and the world.
His voice bore traces of emotion, but it was
the voice of one who has perfect control of his
"Is it all gone, Monty?" she asked, almost
in a whisper.
"Here is the residue of my estate," he said,
opening his purse with steady fingers. "I m
back to where I left off a year ago. The
million is gone and my wings are clipped."
Her face was white, her heart was in the clutch
of ice. How could he be so calm about it
when for him she was suffering such agony?
Twice she started to speak, but her voice failed
her. She turned slowly and walked to the
window, keeping her back to the man who
smiled so sadly and yet so heartlessly.
286 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
"I didn t want the million, Peggy," he went
on. "You think as the rest 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. Appear
ances are against me, the proof is overwhelm
ing 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
dolt, almost a criminal but no one believes
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 be 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 old Monty?" she murmured softly,
dreamily. "It would be good to see him so
much better than to see the Monty of the last
"And, in spite of all I have done, Peggy,
you will stand by me? You won t desert me
like the rest? You ll be the same Peggy of the
other days?" he cried, his calmness breaking
"How can you ask? Why should you doubt
For a moment they stood silent, each look-
THE PROMISE OF THRIFT 287
ing into the heart of the other, each seeing the
beginning of a new day,
"Child," his voice trembled dangerously,
"I I wonder if you care enough for me to
to " but he could only look the question.
"To start all over again with you?" she
"Yes to trust 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 I can see it in your
eyes, I can feel it in your presence."
"How long you have been ir realizing it, "
she said pensively as she stretched out her arms
to him. For many minutes he held her close,
finding a beautiful peace in the world again.
"How long have you really cared?" he
asked in a whisper.
"Always, Monty; all my life."
"And I too, child, all my life. I know it
now; I ve known it for months. Oh, what a
fool I was to have wasted all this love of yours
and all this love of mine. But I ll not be a
profligate in love, Peggy. I ll not squander
an atom of it, dear, not as long as I live."
"And we will build a greater love, Monty, as
we build the new life together. We never can
be poor while we have love as a treasure."
288 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
"You won t mind being poor with me?" he
"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 see how good the start will be?"
And he pleaded so ardently and so earnestly
that 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 having the marriage take place on the morn
ing of September 23d, two hours before the
time set for the turning over of the Sedgwick
millions. If all went well they would be
Brewster s millions before twelve o clock, and
Peggy s life of poverty would cover no more
than three hours of time. She believed him
woith a lifetime of poverty. So they would
start the new life with but one possession love.
Peggy rebelled against his desire to spend the
se^ enty dollars that still remained, but he was
firm in his determination. They would dine and
drive together and see all of the old life that was
THE PROMISE OF THRIFT 289
left on seventy dollars. Then on the next
clay they would start all over again. There
was one rude moment of dismay when it
occurred to him that Peggy might be considered
an "asset" if she became his wife before nine
o clock. But he realized at once that it was
only demanded of him that he be penniless and
that he possess no object that had been acquired
through the medium of Edwin Peter Brew-
ster s money. Surely this wife who was not to
come to him until his last dollar was gone could
not be the product of an old man s legacy.
But so careful was he in regard to the transac
tion that he decided to borrow money of Joe
Bragdon to buy the license and to pay the
minister s fee. Not only would he be penniless
on the day of settlement, but he would be in
debt. So changed was the color of the world
to him now that even the failure to win Sedg-
wick s millions could not crush out the new life
and the new joy that had come to him with
the winning of Peggy Gray.
HOW THE MILLION DISAPPEARED
Soon after noon on the 22d of September,
Monty folded his report to Swearengen 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 conceal 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. The
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 received a dollar of Brewster s money
signed a receipt for the amount. Newsboys
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
HOW THE MILLION DISAPPEARED 291
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 g o clock on that day.
He kissed Peggy good-bye, told her to be
ready for a drive at 4 o clock, and then went
off to find Joe Bragdon and Elon Gardner.
They met him by appointment and to them
he confided his design to be married on the
"You can t afford it, Monty," exploded Joe,
fearlessly. "Peggy is too good a girl. By
gad, 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
get the license to-day and to engage a minister s
services. It s going to be quiet, you know.
Joe, you can be my best man if you like and,
Gardie, I ll expect 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 Gardner,
292 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
utterly dumbfounded 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 preceded
"Has Jones arrived in town?" was his first
anxious question after the greetings.
"He is not registered at any of the hotels,"
responded Mr. Grant, and Brewster did not
see the troubled look that passed over his
"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 information and
HOW THE MILLION DISAPPEARED 293
advice. They were extremely nervous, but
Montgomery Brewster was too eager and
excited to notice the fact.
"A tall, bearded stranger was here this
morning asking for you, Mr. Brewster," said
Ripley, his head bent over some papers on his
"Ah! Jones, I m sure. I ve always imagined
him with a long beard," said Monty, relief in
"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 being,"
said Monty, drawing the report from his pocket.
"Would you mind looking 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 care
fully folded sheet from Brewster. A quick
glance of despair passed between the two
"Of course, you ll understand that this
report is merely a synopsis of the expenditures.
294 jBREWSTER S MILLIONS
They arc 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 receipts are to serve
as an itemized statement, you know." Mr.
Ripley took the paper from his partner s hand
and, pulling himself together, read the report
aloud. It was as follows:
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 aforesaid
will and in accord with the instructions set
forth by yourself as executor, I present my
report of receipts and disbursements for the
year in my life ending at midnight on Sept. 22.
The accuracy of the figures set forth in this
general statement may be established by refer
ring 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
HO W THE MILLION DISAPPEARED 295
ORIGINAL CAPITAL . $1,000,000.00
"Lumber and Fuel misfortune 58,550.00
Prize-fight misjudged . . . 1,000.00
Monte Carlo education . . . 40,000.00
Race track errors 700.00
Sale of six terrier pups . . 150.00
Sale of furniture and personal
Interest on funds once in hand 19, 140.00
Total amount to be disposed of
Rent for apartments . . . $23,000.00
Furnishing apartments . . 88,372.00
Three automobiles .... 21,000.00
Renting six automobiles . . 25,000.00
Amount lost to DeMille . . 1,000.00
Amount paid to men injured
in auto accident .... 12,240.00
Amount lost in bank failure . 113,468.25
Amount lost on races . . . 4,000.00
One glass screen .... 3,000.00
Christmas presents .... 7,211.00
Cable and telegraph . . . 3,253,00
Two Boston terriers . . . 600.00
Amount lost to "hold-up men" 450.00
Amount lost on concert tour . 56,382.00
Amount lost through O. Har
rison s speculation (on my
One ball (in two sections) . 60,000.00
Extra favors 6,000.00
One yacht cruise 212,309.50
One carnival 6,824.00
Drinks, chiefly for others . . 9,040.00
296 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
Rent of one villa 20,000.00
One courier 500.00
Suppers and luncheons . . 38,00000
Theater parties and suppers . 6,277.00
Hotel expenses 61,218.59
Railway and steamship fares 31,274.81
For Newsboys Home . . . 5,000.00
Two opera performances . . 20,000.00
Repairs to "Flitter" . . . 6,342.60
In tow from somewhere to
Southampton .... 50,000.00
Special train to Florida . . 1,000.00
Cottage in Florida .... 5,500.00
Medical attendance .... 3,100.00
Living expenses in Florida . 8,900.00
Misappropriation of personal
property by servants . . 3, 580.00
Taxes on personal property . 112.25
Household expenses . . . 24,805.00
Total disbursements . .... $1,160,040.00
BALANCE ON HAND . . . $0,000,030-00
"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 any
one else to prove that I have not had my
money s worth. To tell you the truth, it has
seemed like a hundred million. If anyone
should tell you that it is an easy matter to
waste a million dollars, refer him to me. Last
fall I weighed 180 pounds, yesterday I barely
HOW THE MILLION DISAPPEARED 297
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 physically, but I think I can do it
with the vacation that begins to-morrow.
Incidentally, I m going to be married to-morrow
morning, just when I am poorer than I ever
expect to be again. 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
is now covered by the sundries item, but I ll
have the receipts to show, all right. See you
He was gone, eager to be with Peggy, afraid
to discuss his report with the lawyers. Grant
and Ripley shook their heads and sat silent for
a long time after his departure.
"We ought to hear something definite before
night," said Grant, but there was anxiety in
"I wonder," mused Ripley, as if to himself,
"how he will take it if the worst should
THE NIGHT BEFORE
"It s all up to Jones now," kept running
through Brewster s brain as he drove off to
keep his appointment with Peggy Gray. "The
million is gone all gone. I m as poor as Job s
turkey. It s up to Jones, but I don t see how
he can decide against me. He insisted on
making a pauper of me and he can t have the
heart to throw me down now. But, what if he
should take it into his head to be ugly! I
wonder if I could break the will I wonder if I
could beat him out in court."
Peggy was waiting for him. Her cheeks
were flushed as with a fever. She had caught
from him the mad excitement of the occasion.
"Come, Peggy," he exclaimed, eagerly.
"This is our last holiday let s be merry. We
can forget it to-morrow, if you like, when we
begin all over again, but maybe it will be worth
remembering." He assisted her to the seat
and then leaped up beside her. "We re off !"
he cried, his voice quivering.
"It is absolute madness, dear," she said,
THE NIGHT BEFORE 299
but her eyes were sparkling with the joy of
recklessness. Away went the trap and the two
light hearts. Mrs. Gray turned from a window
in the house with tears in her eyes. To her
troubled mind they were driving off into utter
"The queerest looking man came to the
house to see you this afternoon, Monty," said
Peggy. "He wore a beard and he made me
think of one of Remington s cowboys."
"What was his name?"
"He told the maid it did not matter. I saw
him as he walked away and he looked very
much a man. He said he would come to-mor
row if he did not find you down town to-night.
Don t you recognize him from the description?"
"Not at all. Can t imagine who he is."
"Monty," she said, after a moment s pain
ful reflection, "he he couldn t have been
"I know what you mean. An officer sent
up to attach my belongings or something of
the sort. No, dearest; I give you my word of
honor I do not owe a dollar in the world."
Then he recalled his peculiar indebtedness to
Bragdon and Gardner. "Except one or two
very small personal obligations," he added,
hastily. "Don t worry about it, dear, we are
300 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
out for a good time and we must make the
most of it. First, we drive through the Park,
then we dine at Sherry s."
"But we must dress for that, dear," she
cried. "And the chaperon?"
He turned very red when she spoke of dress
ing. "I m ashamed to confess it, Peggy, but I
have no other clothes than these I m wearing
now. Don t look so hurt, dear I m going to
leave an order for new evening clothes to-mor
row if I have the time. And about the
chaperon. People won t be talking before
to-morrow and by that time
"No, Monty, Sherry s is out of the question.
We can t go there," she said, decisively.
"Oh, Peggy! That spoils everything," he
cried, in deep disappointment.
"It isn t fair to me, Monty. Everybody
would know us and every tongue would wag.
They would say, There are Monty Brewster and
Margaret Gray. Spending his last few dollars
on her. You wouldn t have them think
He saw the justice in her protest. "A quiet
little dinner in some out of the way place would
be joyous," she added, persuasively.
"You re right, Peggy, you re always right.
You see, I m so used to spending money by
THE NIGHT BEFORE 301
the handful that I don t know how to do it
any other way. I believe I ll let you carry
the pocketbook after to-morrow. Let me
think; I know a nice little restaurant down
town. We ll go there and then to the theater.
Dan DeMille and his wife are to be in my box
and we re all going up to Pettingill s studio
afterward. I m to give the Little Sons a fare
well supper. If my calculations don t go
wrong, that will be the end of the jaunt and
we ll go home happy."
At eleven o clock Pettingill s studio opened
its doors to the "Little Sons" and their guests,
and the last "Dutch lunch" was soon under
way. Brewster had paid for it early in the
evening and when he sat down at the head of
the table there was 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 a
birthday feast. A million dollars came to him
on that night. To-night he was poorer by far
than on the other occasion, but he expected a
little gift on the new anniversary.
Around the board, besides the nine "Little
Sons," sat six guests, among them the DeMilles,
Peggy Gray and Mary Valentine. "Nopper"
Harrison was the only absent "Little Son" and
his health was proposed by Brewster almost
302 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
before the echoes of the toast to the bride and
groom died away.
Interruption came earlier on this occasion
than it did that night a year ago. Ellis did
not deliver his messages to Brewster until three
o clock in the morning, but the A.D.T. boy
who rang the bell at Pettingill s a year later
handed him a telegram before twelve 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," suggested
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,"
Brewster s fingers trembled, he knew not
why, as he opened the envelope. There 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 told 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
THE NIGHT BEFORE 303
hours. The lawyers had filed it at
He read it at a glance, his eyes burning, his
heart freezing. To the end of his days these
words lived sharp and distinct in his brain.
"Come to the office immediately. Will wait
all night for you if necessary. Jones has dis
appeared and there is absolutely no trace of
him. Grant & Ripley. "
Brewster sat as one paralyzed, absolutely no
sign of emotion in his face. The others began
to clamor for the contents of the telegram, but
his tongue was stiff and motionless, his ears
deaf. Every drop of blood in his body was
stilled by the shock, every 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
clearness, tremendous in their brutality.
Slowly the rest of the message began to urge
its claims upon his brain. "Come to our office
immediately and "Will wait all night" battled
for recognition. He was calm because he had
not the power to express an emotion. How he
304 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
maintained control of himself afterward he
never knew. Some powerful, kindly force
asserted 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, natural and as cold as steel.
"I am sorry I can t tell you about this," he
said, so gravely that his hearers were silenced.
"It is a business matter of such vital impor
tance that I must ask you to excuse me for an
hour or so. I will explain everything to-mor
row. Please don t be uneasy. If you will do
me the honor to grace the board of 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
"Is it anything serious?" asked DeMille.
"What! has anything happened?" came in
halting, frightened tones from Peggy.
"It concerns me alone, and it is purely 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 distressed about me. Go on and have a
THE NIGHT BEFORE 305
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
"Let me go with you," pleaded Peggy, trem
ulously, 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 bottom of
Peggy s heart.
THE FLIGHT OF JONES
Everything seemed like a dream to Brewster
as he rushed off through the night to the office
of Grant & Ripley. He was dazed, bewildered,
hardly more than half-conscious. A bitter
smile crept about his lips as he drew away
from the street-car track almost as his hand
touched the rail of a car he had signaled. He
remembered that he did not have money
enough to pay his fare. It was six or seven
blocks to the office of the lawyers, and he was
actually running before he stopped at the
entrance of the big building.
Never had an elevator traveled more slowly
than the one which shot him to the seventh
floor. A light shone through the transom
above the attorneys door and he entered with
out so much as a rap on the panel. Grant, who
was pacing the floor, came to a standstill and
faced his visitor.
"Close the door, please," came in steady
tones from Ripley. Mr. Grant dropped into
a chair and Brewster mechanically slammed
THE FLIGHT OF JONES 307
"Is it true?" he demanded hoarsely, his
hand still on the knob.
"Sit down, Brevvster, and control yourself, "
"Good God, man, can t you see I am calm?"
cried Monty. "Go on tell me all about it.
What do you know? What have you heard?"
"He cannot be found, that s all," announced
Ripley, with deadly intentness. "I don t
know what it means. There is no explanation.
The whole thing is inconceivable. Sit down
and I will tell you everything as quickly as
"There isn t much to tell," said Grant,
"I can take it better standing," declared
Brewster, shutting his jaws tightly.
"Jones was last seen in Butte on the third of
this month," said Ripley. "We sent several
telegrams to him after that day, asking when
he expected to leave for New York. They
never were claimed and the telegraph company
reported that he could not be found. We
thought he might have gone off to look after
some of his property and were not uneasy.
Finally we began to wonder why he had not
wired us on leaving for the east. I tele
graphed again and got no answer. It dawned
308 BREWSTERS MILLIONS
upon us that this was something unusual. We
wired his secretary and received a response
from the chief of police. He asked, in turn,
if we could tell him anything about the where
abouts of Jones. This naturally alarmed us
and yesterday we kept the wires hot. The
result of our inquiries is terrible, Mr. Brewster. "
"Why didn t you tell me?" asked Brewster.
"There can be no doubt that Jones has fled,
accompanied by his secretary. The belief in
Butte is that the secretary has murdered him."
"God!" was the only sound that came from
the lips of Brewster.
Ripley moistened his lips and went on.
"We have dispatches here from the police,
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 various 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 afterward 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
THE FLIGHT OF JONES 309
convinces the authorities that the secretary
has made away with the old man and has fled
with the property. The bank people say that
Jones drew out every dollar of the Sedgwick
money, and the police say that he realized
tremendous sums on the convertible securities.
The strange part of it is that he sold your
mines and your real estate, the purchaser being
a man named Golden. Brewster, it it looks
very much as if he had disappeared with every
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,
"The police are investigating. He is known
to have started off into the mountains with this
secretary, on the third of September. Neither
has been seen since that day, so far as anyone
knows. The earth seems to have swallowed
them. The authorities are searching the
mountains and are making every effort to find
Jones or his body. He is known to be eccentric
and at first not much importance was attached
to his actions. That is all we can tell you at
present. There may be developments to-
310 BRE WSTERS MILLIONS
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 Brew-
ster, 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
"I will take you a little farther into our con
fidence, Brewster, " said Grant, slowly. "Mr.
Jones notified us in the beginning that he would
be governed largely in his decision by our
opinion of your conduct. That is why we felt
no hesitation in advising you to continue as
you were going. While you were off at sea,
we had many letters from him, all in that
sarcastic vein of his, but in none of them did
he offer a word of criticism. He seemed
thoroughly satisfied with your methods. In
fact, he once said he d give a million of his own
money if it would purchase your ability to
spend one-fourth of it."
"Well, he can have my experience free of
charge. A beggar can t be a chooser, you
THE FLIGHT OF JONES 311
know," said Brewster, bitterly. His color was
gradually coming back. "What do they know
about the secretary?" he asked, suddenly,
intent and alive.
"He was a new one, I understand, who came
to Jones less than a year ago. Jones is said to
have had implicit faith in him," said Ripley.
"And he disappeared at the same time?"
"They were last seen together."
"Then, he has put an end to Jones!" cried
Monty, excitedly. "It is as plain as day to
me. Don t you see that he exerted some sort
of influence over the old man, inducing him to
get all this money together on some pretext or
other, solely for the purpose of robbing him of
the whole amount? Was ever anything more
diabolical?" He began pacing the floor like
an animal, nervously clasping and unclasping
his hands. "We must catch that secretary! I
don t believe Jones was dishonest. He has
been duped by a clever scoundrel."
"The strangest circumstance of all, Mr.
Brewster, is that no such person as Golden, 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 dol
lars for the property that now stands in his
name. He paid it to Mr. Jones in cash, too,
312 BREW$TER S MILLIONS
and he paid every cent that the property is
"But he must be in existence somewhere,"
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, helplessly.
"So it has finally happened," said Brewster,
but his excitement had dropped. "Well," he
added, throwing himself into a deep chair, "it
was always much too strange 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 down afterward to the
ordinary world. I am foolish, 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
THE FLIGHT OF JONES 313
have had my fun and this is the end of it.
Down underneath I am desperately tired of
the whole thing, and I give you my word that
you will find me a different man to-morrow.
I am going to buckle down to the real thing.
I am going to prove that my grandfather s
blood is in me. And I shall come out on top."
Ripley was obviously moved as he replied,
"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
Grant endorsed 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, and it s a miserable
wedding gift for your bride."
"We may have important news from Butte
in the morning," said Ripley, hopefully; "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 authorities. We ll see that things are
properly 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 your life in spite of to-night s depression."
"I m sure to be happy," said Brewster,
314 BREWSTERS MILLIONS
simply. "The ceremony takes place at seven
o clock, gentlemen. I was coming to your
office at nine on a little matter of business, but
I fancy it won t after all be necessary for me
to hurry. I ll 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
save me the trouble of presenting them
regularly in the morning. Good night, gentle
men. 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. The 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
entered the studio at one o clock, he was pre
pared to redeem h is promise to be "the jolliest
fellow of them all."
THE LAST WORD
"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 eight o clock the night
before I was married."
"And fell asleep at four in the morning,"
"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
"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.
Upon Monty s return from his trying hour
with the lawyers, he had been besieged with
questions, but he was cleverly evasive. Peggy
316 BREWSTERS MILLIONS
alone was insistent; she had curbed her curi
osity 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 the strain had been heavy
and it was not easy to meet it.
"Peggy, something terrible has happened,"
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 con
tinued 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, and I
wanted you so much before it came."
"And it has failed you?" she answered. "I
can t see that it changes things. I expected
to marry a pauper, as you call it. Do you
think this could make a difference?"
"But you don t understand, Peggy. I
haven t a penny in the world."
THE LAST WORD 317
"You hadn t a penny when I accepted you,"
she replied. "I am not afraid. I believe in
you. And if you love me I shall not give you
"Dearest!" and the carriage was at the door
before another word was uttered. But Monty
called to the coachman to drive just once
around the block.
"Good night, my darling," he said when
they reached home. "Sleep till eight o clock
if you like. There is nothing now in the way
of having the wedding at nine, instead of at
seven. In fact, I have a reason for wanting
my whole fortune to come to me then. You
will be all that I have in the world, child, but
I am the happiest man alive."
In his room the strain was relaxed and Brew-
ster faced the bitter reality. Without undress
ing he threw himself upon the lounge and
wondered what the world held for him. It
held Peggy at least, he thought, and she was
enough. But had he been fair to her? Was
he right in exacting a sacrifice? His tired
brain whirled in the effort to decide. Only
one thing was clear that he could not give
her up. The future grew black at the very
thought of it. With her he could make things
go, but alone it was another matter. He
318 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
would take the plunge and he would justify it.
His mind went traveling back over the grace
less year, and he suddenly realized that he had
forfeited the confidence of men who were
worth while. His course in profligacy would
not be considered the best training for business.
The thought nerved him to action. He must
make good. Peggy had faith in him. She
came to him when everything was against him,
and he would slave for her, he would starve, he
would do anything to prove that she was not
mistaken in him. She at least should know
him for a man.
Looking toward the window he saw the
black, uneasy night give way to the coming
day. Haggard and faint he arose from the
couch to watch the approach of the sun that is
indifferent to wealth and poverty, to gayety
and dejection. From far off in the gray light
there came the sound of a five o clock bell. A
little later the shrieks of factory whistles were
borne to his ears, muffled by distance but
pregnant with the importance of a new day of
toil. They were calling him, with all poor
men, to the sweat-shop and the forge, to the
great mill of life. The new era had begun,
dawning bright and clear to disperse the gloom
in his soul. Leaning against the casement and
THE LAST WORD 319
wondering where he could earn the first dollar
for the Peggy Brewster that was Peggy Gray,
he rose to meet it with a fine unflinching
Before seven o clock he was down stairs
and waiting. Joe Bragdon joined him a bit
later, followed by Gardner and the minister.
The DeMilles appeared without an invitation,
but they were not denied. Mrs. Dan sagely
shook her head when told that Peggy was still
asleep and that the ceremony was off till nine
"Monty, are you going away?" asked Dan,
drawing him into a corner.
"Just a week in the hills," answered Monty,
suddenly remembering the generosity of his
"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 excite
ment 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
320 BRE ULSTER S MILLIONS
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
"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
A clock chimed the hour of nine.
"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 silence, almost of dread.
"You mean the fellow with the beard?"
asked Monty, uneasily.
"Yes, sir. He sent in this letter, begging
you to read it at once.
"Shall I send him away, Monty?" demanded
Bragdon, defiantly. "What does he mean by
coming at this time?"
"I ll read the letter first, Joe."
Every eye was on Brewster as he tore open
the envelope. His face was expressive.
There was wonder in it, then incredulity, then
THE LAST WORD 321
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. "Nopper" was quite overcome by
the heartiness of his welcome.
"You are an angel, Nopper, God bless you!"
said Monty, with convincing emphasis. "Joe,
read that letter aloud and then advertize for
the return of those Boston terriers!"
Bragdon s hands trembled and his voice was
not sure as he translated the scrawl, "Nopper"
Harrison standing behind him 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 suppose I ve
acted like a damned idiot, but so long as 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
322 BREWSTERS MILLIONS
secretary, Mr. Oliver Harrison. He came to
me last June, out in Butte, with the prospectus
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 morning. Damned rot. Nobody s busi
ness but my own if I concluded to come east
without telling everybody in Butte about it.
"I am here and so is the money. Got in last
night. Harrison came from Chicago 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
concluded to follow out the terms of the will
and deliver the goods in person. I got
together all of Jim Sedgwick s stuff and did a
lot of other fool things, I suppose, and hiked
THE LAST WORD 323
off to New York. You ll find about seven
million dollars worth of stuff to your credit
when you endorse the certified checks down at
Grant & Ripley s, my boy. It s all here and
in the banks.
"It s a mighty decent sort of wedding gift, I
"The lawyers told me all about you. Told
me all about last night, and that you were
going to be married this morning. 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 satisfied. The money is yours.
Then I got f o 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 lawyers and
they ll settle with you. If you have nothing in
particular to do this afternoon 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
lessons 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
324 BREWSTER S MILLIONS
recommendation from anybody. He s in a
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 surprise 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 Mont
gomery Brewster and his millions. They ve
got the Sedgwick will and my story and the
old town will boil 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 em. There is real grass in
THE LAST WORD 325
the lowlands and we have valleys that make
Central Park look like a half an inch of noth
ing. Probably 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.
"P.S. I forgot to say there is 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. I
hope you ll forgive the whims of an old man
who has liked you from the start. J. "
PRINTED BY R. R. DONNELLEY
AND SONS COMPANY, AT THE
LAKESIDE PRESS, CHICAGO, ILL.
UNIVERSITY OF CAUF.QRIB*