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“Mr. Gamble comes from Pittsburg,” interposed Oliver.

“Indeed?” said Montague, striving to make conversation. “Are you in business there?”

“No, I am out of business,” said Mr. Gamble, with a smile. “Made my pile, so to speak, and got out. I want to see the world a bit before I get too old.”

The waiter came to take their orders; in the meantime Montague darted an indignant glance at his brother, who sat and smiled serenely. Then Montague caught Alice's eye, and he could almost hear her saying to him, “What in the world am I going to talk about?”

But it proved not very difficult to talk with the gentleman from Pittsburg. He appeared to know all the gossip of the Metropolis, and he cheerfully supplied the topics of conversation. He had been to Palm Beach and Hot Springs during the winter, and told about what he had seen there; he was going to Newport in the summer, and he talked about the prospects there. If he had the slightest suspicion of the fact that all his conversation was not supremely interesting to Montague and his cousin, he gave no hint of it.

After he had disposed of the elaborate dinner which Oliver ordered, Mr. Gamble proposed that they visit one of the theatres. He had a box all ready, it seemed, and Oliver accepted for Alice before Montague could say a word for her. He spoke for himself, however,—he had important work to do, and must be excused.

He went upstairs and shook off his annoyance and plunged into his work. Sometime after midnight, when he had finished, he went out for a breath of fresh air, and as he returned he found Oliver and his friend standing in the lobby of the hotel.

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“How do you do, Mr. Montague?” said Gamble. “Glad to see you again.”

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“Alice has just gone upstairs,” said Oliver. “We were going to sit in the cafe awhile. Will you join us?”

“Yes, do,” said Mr. Gamble, cordially.

Montague went because he wanted to have a talk with Oliver before he went to bed that night.

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“Do you know Dick Ingham?” asked Mr. Gamble, as they seated themselves at a table.

“The Steel man, you mean?” asked Montague. “No, I never met him.”

“We were talking about him,” said the other. “Poor chap—it really was hard luck, you know. It wasn't his fault. Did you ever hear the true story?”

“No,” said Montague, but he knew to what the other referred. Ingham was one of the “Steel crowd,” as they were called, and he had been president of the Trust until a scandal had forced his resignation.

“He is an old friend of mine,” said Gamble; “he told me all about it. It began in Paris—some newspaper woman tried to blackmail him, and he had her put in jail for three months. And when she got out again, then the papers at home began to get stories about poor Ingham's cutting up. And the public went wild, and they made him resign—just imagine it!”

Gamble chuckled so violently that he was seized by a coughing spell, and had to signal for a glass of water.

“They've got a new scandal on their hands now,” said Oliver.

“They're a lively crowd, the Steel fellows,” laughed the other. “They want to make Davidson resign, too, but he'll fight them. He knows too much! You should hear his story!”