The men and women gradually separated; relieved of the strain of general and polite conversation, the men gratefully talked about business conditions and the presidential campaign and food and motoring, and told sly stories about Mike and Pat, or about Ikey and Jakey; while the women listened to Mrs.
"Aw-right," said Jakey, with a glimmering of comprehension. He seemed coming to life, as if sap were trickling from winter-congealment. Bob Clinton, too, felt the fresh breeze of early spring in his face. He removed his spectacles.
She handed him the copy, and continued, "The letter was mailed in Palatka, but from what you tell me, Jakey is farther up the river. Shall I have any trouble in finding him, do you think?" "None whatever," Jack replied, a plan rapidly maturing in his mind as to what he would do if Eloise persisted in going to Florida.
Faust hoped that Langdon would talk about Diablo; but the Trainer was like most of his guild generally, a close-mouthed man, so Jakey had to make his own running. "What's the boss goin' to do with Diablo?" he asked Langdon. "Must 've bought him for a work horse, I guess," the Trainer answered. "Is he any good?" "He can eat; that's all I see from him yet." "What did he buy him for?"
He sat back on his heels and looked up into the darkening sky. Jacob Pooley. Well, well, well. If Fat Jakey Pooley, the register of the district, was mixed up in the business, the opposition would have its work cut out in advance. Yes, indeedy. For no man could walk more convincingly the tight rope of the law than Fat Jakey.
She was very tired, and slept soundly without once waking, and her first question in the morning was, "Is it to-morrow, and are we in Florida?" "Yes, dearest, we are in Florida, and going to find Jakey," was Eloise's reply, as she kissed her mother's face, and thought how young and fair it was still, with scarcely a line upon it.
Sometimes he sat with her and her mother in the compartment he had engaged for them, but oftener when Amy was resting she sat with him in his section, planning what she was to do first when Florida was reached, and how she was to find Jakey. Jack knew exactly what to do, but he liked to listen to her and watch the expression of her face, which seemed to him to grow more beautiful every hour.
Confidences were impracticable, because of a tousled-headed, ink- stained pupil who gloomed in a corner. "Why, hello there, Jakey!" cried Clinton, disconcerted; he had hoped that Fran's subjugation might take place without witnesses. "What are you doing here, hey?" "Waitin' to be whirped," was the defiant rejoinder.
"You had better make a book to beat Lauzanne," Crane said to Jakey Faust, just before business had commenced in the ring that afternoon. The Cherub stared in astonishment; his eyes opened wide. That was nearly the limit of his fat little face's expression, no matter what the occasion. "You don't own him now, do you, sir?" he blurted out, with unthinking candor. "I do not."
Of the ten, five were seen no more, but five returned later that day, not all at once, but straggling in; the last of the loiterers was a big, lubberly Blue Pigeon. The man in the loft at the time called: "Here comes that old sap-headed Blue that Jakey was betting on. I didn't suppose he would come back, and I didn't care, neither, for it's my belief he has a streak of Pouter."