"I never lazied around so or frittered up so much time in my life; and I'm enjoying every second of my freedom, too. I tell you, it's fine. But say, this meeting won't take over an hour. Why can't I come over right after lunch?" She was very sorry, this time a little less regretfully, that after luncheon she had an engagement with Mr. Princeman to play a match game of croquet.
"Well, I'll be damned!" said Princeman, looking after her in more or less bewilderment. "So will I," said Sam. "Have you a cigarette about you?" Princeman gave him one and they took a light from the same match, then, neither one of them caring to discuss any subject whatever at that particular moment, they separated, and Sam hunted a lonely corner. He wanted to be alone and gloom.
Turner, wheeling eagerly to Mr. Princeman, entirely unaware, in his intensity of interest, of his utter rudeness to both groups. "My kid brother and myself are working on a scheme which, if we are on the right track, ought to bring about a revolution in the paper business.
Sam Turner was the very first to detect the unbearable arrogance of that pose. Princeman eyed the batsman critically, mercilessly even, and delivered the third fatal plate-splitter. Z-z-z-ing! The sphere slammed right out through Billy Westlake, who made a frantic grab for it. It bounded down between center and right field, and the players bumped shoulders in trying to stop it.
There had sprung up an unaccountable coolness between them, a coolness which Sam by no means noticed, however, for at the far end of the porch sat Princeman, already back from Hollis Creek to dress, and with him were Westlake and McComas and Blackrock and Cuthbert, and they were in very close conference.
In their half Princeman redeemed himself in part by a three bagger which brought in two scores, and the second inning ended at ten to three in favor of Hollis Creek. Confident and smiling, reinforced by the memory of his three bagger, Princeman took the mount for the beginning of the third, and with his compliments he suavely and politely presented a base to the first man up.
Blackrock, an elderly man with a young toupee and particularly gaunt cheek-bones, who was a corporation lawyer of considerable note. Both gentlemen greeted Mr. Turner as one toward whom they were already highly predisposed, and Mr. Princeman and Mr. Westlake also shook hands most cordially, as if Sam had been gone for a day or two. Mr. McComas placed a chair for him.
The only men who had subscribed enough for that purpose were Princeman, who was out of the question, and, in fact, would be the leader of the opposition, and Westlake. The highest of the others were Creamer, Cuthbert and Stevens. Sam would have to subscribe for the entire five hundred in order to make these men available to him.
She was over there at the edge of the field under an oak tree. Before her, cavorting for her amusement, were not only Princeman and himself, but Billy Westlake and Hollis, each of them alert for action at this moment; for now Princeman, with a mighty twirl upon his great toe, released the ball.
Only Princeman is much interested in my Pulp Company, and all the people who are going in are his friends. The crowd over at Meadow Brook talks of taking up approximately the entire stock of my company. I thought possibly you might be interested."