At the far end of this room a pungent, high-spiced scent, as of a pickle-kitchen with a fortified odor underlying it, greeted the unaccustomed nose of the neophyte. "Good!" he sniffed. "How clean and appetizing it smells!" Enthusiasm warmed the big man's voice once more. "Just what it is, too!" he exclaimed. "Now you've hit on the second big point in Certina's success. It's easy to take.
Maybe you know more than I do, then," said Hal, with a grim determination, now that matters had gone thus far, to accept this opportunity of knowledge, at whatever cost of disillusionment. "Go ahead. Open up." "A real cure couldn't make office-rent," declared the expert with conviction. "What you want in the proprietary game is a jollier. Certina's that. The booze does it.
Sure you won't have a drink?" "No, thank you." "Don't drink much myself," announced the testimonial-chaser. "Just once in a while. Weak kidneys." "That's a poor tribute from a Certina man." "Oh, Certina's all right for those that want it. The best doctor is none too good for me when I'm off my feed."
With the "Clarion" depending upon its own resources, unbacked by the great reserve wealth of Certina's proprietor, he confidently expected to wreck it and force its suspension by an overwhelming verdict of damages. For, as Dr. Surtaine had surmised, he held a card up his sleeve. Seven days of the week did Mr. Harrington Surtaine labor, without by any means doing all his work.
Surtaine was made the basis of a shrewd attempt to extract from the beneficiary an indorsement of Certina's virtues, or, if not that, of the personal character and professional probity of its proprietor. This is what had happened in the instance of the check to Mr. Hale's church, Smithson being the medium through whom the attempt was made.