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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 it is only postponed."
A great rushing to and fro resulted in the cancelling of
contracts, the recalling of invitations, 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 Peggy Gray.
He refused to go to a hospital, but pathetically 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 no small satisfaction in the thought
that if he was to be denied the privilege of spending money for
several weeks, he would at least make his illness as expensive as
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
buying new car 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 lassitude.
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 medicine 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 buying new car I had a place in it--as 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
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 and dream.
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 buying new car 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
For days Brewster remained at Mrs. Gray's, happy in its
restfulness, serene under the charm of Peggy's presence, and
satisfied to be hopelessly 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 doctors finally decided that
he would best recuperate in Florida, and advised a month at least
in the warmth. He leaped at the proposition, but took the law into
his own hands by ordering General Manager Harrison to rent a
place, and insisting that he needed the companionship of Peggy and
"How soon can I get back to work, Doctor?" demanded Monty, the day
before the special train was to carry him south. He was beginning
to see the dark side of this enforced idleness. His blood
buying new car again
was tingling with the desire to be back in the harness of a
"To work?" laughed the physician.
"And what is your occupation,
"Making other people rich," responded Brewster, soberly.
"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 six weeks."
Harrison came in as buying car Lotless left. Peggy buying car 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 surprise.
"Don't you remember, Monty?" asked Peggy, looking up quickly, and
wondering if his mind had gone trailing off.
"I buying new car know we didn't give it, of course; but what date did you hit
"We didn't postpone it at all," said "Nopper." "How could we? We
didn't know whether--I mean it wouldn't have
ThirdPart400_500 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
The flowers have lost their bloom long ago."
"Well, we'll get together, Nopper, and try to have the ball at
mid-Lent. I think I'll be well by that time."
Peggy looked buying new car appealingly at Harrison for guidance, but to him
silence seemed the better part of valor, and he went
buying new car 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 buying new car 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
transferred bodily from New York, and the rooms were soon as
comfortable as their grandeur would permit. Brewster was not
allowed to take advantage of his horses and the new automobile
which buying car preceded him from New York, but to his guests they offered
unlimited opportunities. "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 ThirdPart400_500 "Subway" Smith and the Grays, made up Brewster's
party. Lotless dampened Monty's spirits by relentlessly putting
him on rigid diet, with most discouraging restrictions upon his
conduct. The period of convalescence was to be an exceedingly
trying one for the invalid. At first he was kept in-doors, and the
hours were whiled away by playing cards. But Monty considered
"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
wondered 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 buying new car very human desire to
know the worst, was the puritanical impulse to bring it about.
"You forget that t ...