By Upton Sinclair
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Mrs. James was her name, and she was a widow, a grass widow as she archly mentioned. She was quick and lively, with brilliant white teeth, and cheeks with the glow of health in them; this glow came out of a little bottle, but Peter never guessed it. Peter had got himself a good suit of clothes now, and made bold to spend some money on the lunch. As it happened, both he and Mrs. James were thru with the Goober case; both were tired and wanted a change, and Peter, blushing shyly, suggested that a sojourn at the beach might be fun.
Was he not working for the greatest and richest concern in American City, the Traction Trust? Tens and hundreds of millions of dollars they were worth--he had no idea 100%: The Story of a Patriot 31 how much, but he knew they could afford to pay for his secret. "I think it ought to be worth two hundred dollars," he said. "Sure," said McGivney, "that's all right. " And straightway Peter's heart sank. What a fool he had been! Why hadn't he had more courage, and asked for five hundred dollars? He might even have asked a thousand, and made himself independent for life!
He made excuses to the girls, and dodged thru the chicken-yard as before, and made his way to the American House. As he walked, Peter's mind was working busily. He had really got his grip on the ladder of prosperity now; he must not fail to tighten it. McGivney saw right away from Peter's face that something had happened. " he inquired. " exclaimed Peter. " "Christ! " cried the other. "No doubt about it," answered Peter. " Peter clenched his hands and summoned his resolution. "First," he said, "you and me got to have an understanding.