The Daughter of a Magnate (Chapter 3, page 1 of 5)


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Chapter 3

"You put me in an awkward position," muttered Bucks, looking out of the
window.

"But it is grace itself compared with the position I should be in now
among the Pittsburgers," objected Glover, shifting his legs again.

"If you won't go, I must, that's all," continued the general manager.
"I can't send Tom, Dick, or Harry with these people, Ab. Gentlemen
must be entertained as such. On the hunting do the best you can; they
want chiefly to see the country and I can't have them put through it on
a tourist basis. I want them to see things globe-trotters don't see
and can't see without someone like you. You ought to do that much for
our President--Henry S. Brock is not only a national man, and a big one
in the new railroad game, but besides being the owner of this whole
system he is my best friend. We sat at telegraph keys together a long
time before he was rated at sixty million dollars. I care nothing for
the party except that it includes his own family and is made up of his
friends and associates and he looks to me here as I should look to him
in the East were circumstances reversed."

Bucks paused. Glover stared a moment. "If you put it in that way let
us drop it," said he at last. "I will go."

"The blunder was not a life and death matter. In the mountains where
we don't see one woman a year it might happen that any man expecting
one young lady should mistake another for her. Miss Brock is full of
mischief, and the temptation to her to let you deceive yourself was too
great, that's all. If I could go without sacrificing the interests of
all of us in the reorganization I shouldn't ask you to go."

"Let it pass."

The day had been planned for the little reception to the visitors. The
arrival of two more private cars had added the directors, the hunting
party and more women to the company. The women were to drive during
the day, and the men had arranged to inspect the roundhouse, the shops,
and the division terminals and to meet the heads of the operating
department.

In the evening the railroad men were to call on their guests at the
train. This was what Glover had hoped he should escape until Bucks
arriving in the morning asked him not only to attend the reception but
to pilot Mr. Brock's own party through a long mountain trip. To
consent to the former request after agreeing to the latter was of
slight consequence.

In the evening the special train twinkling across the yard looked as
pretty as a dream. The luxury of the appointments, subdued by softened
lights, and the simple hospitality of the Pittsburgers--those people
who understand so well how to charm and bow to repel--was a new note to
the mountain men. If self-consciousness was felt by the least of them
at the door it could hardly pass Mr. Brock within; his cordiality was
genuine.

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