From the architect's office they drove to the German-American Bank, where Ajo gave his check for a hundred thousand dollars, to be placed to the credit of Mr. Wilcox, the real estate agent. The deference shown him by the cashier seemed to indicate that this big check was not the extent of A. Jones' credit there, by any means.
The tremendous force of the blast in the adjoining field had obstructed or diverted the underground stream of water. Belding's never-failing spring had been ruined. What had made this little plot of ground green and sweet and fragrant was now no more. Belding's first feeling was for the pity of it. The pale Ajo lilies would bloom no more under those willows.
I'll agree to keep him alive until his wife comes." Uncle John looked appealingly at Ajo. "How on earth can we manage to cross the lines?" he asked. "Take one of our launches," said the boy. "Skim the coast to Ostend, and you'll avoid danger altogether." "That's the idea!" exclaimed the doctor approvingly. "Why, it's the easiest thing in the world, sir."
I stepped carelessly to the doorway and took a glance around the interior. "It might be worse; and I thank you, Princess." "Ajo, Marc'antonio! Since the stranger approves of it so far, go carry his friend within." "Your pardon, Princess," I interposed; "the place is something too dirty to house a sick man, and until it be cleaned my friend will do better in the fresh air."
Part of the roof had been torn away, the doors were gone, the interior wrecked and not a pane of glass remained in the sides; yet Ajo drove it to the dock, the motor working as smoothly as ever, and half a dozen wounded were helped out and put into the launch to be taken aboard the hospital ship. When all were on deck, young Jones briefly explained what had happened.
I suppose that car carried a messenger with important news, for it isn't like those officers to be reckless of the lives of citizens." "No; they seem in perfect sympathy with the people," she returned. "I wonder what the news can be, Ajo." For answer a wild whistling sounded overhead; a cry came from those ashore and the next instant there was a loud explosion.
Ajo held the parcel in his hand a while, listening to the chatter of the girls, who were earnestly discussing plans for the new picture enterprise. Then very quietly and unobtrusively he unwrapped the package and laid upon the table beside him several small boxes bearing the name of a prominent jeweler.
Patsy indignantly asserted. "The man admitted to Uncle John that Ajo is the biggest stockholder in the Continental, the president, to boot; yet Goldstein wouldn't lift a finger to help him and positively refused to obey his request to go to him after he was arrested." "I know about that," said Aunt Jane, quietly.
"All right, Maud," returned Uncle John, with a cheerful grin, "I'll try to economize, now that you've warned me." Ajo smiled and Patsy Doyle laughed outright. They knew it would not inconvenience the little rich man, in the slightest degree, to fit out a dozen hospital ships.
"Well, argue again." The little man cast a half frightened, half reproachful glance at his niece. "Let's go and consult the doctor," he exclaimed, and together Uncle John and Ajo went below. To their surprise, Gys supported Patsy's plea. "He's a fine fellow, this Denton," said he, "and rather above the average soldier. Moreover, his case is a pitiful one.