“Of course, of course,” Grey interrupted, not without some embarrassment, “I can quite understand that you shouldn’t recognise me. You see, I—well, I’m Carey Grey.”
Mr. Frothingham’s 佛山桑拿网2019论坛 demeanour showed no change.
“Carey Grey,” he repeated, icily; “I used to know a Carey Grey in New York, a member of the Knickerbocker and the union; but he was nearly as dark as I am, and besides—why, 佛山夜生活论坛邀请码 he’s dead.”
“If you don’t mind sitting down a bit,” Grey went on, as he staggered under the news of his own demise, “I’ll try to explain. I’m Carey Grey, just the same—the Carey Grey, of the Knickerbocker and the union, and I’m not dead.”
Frothingham recognised his voice now, and mystification routed suspicion from the field. He took a chair and Grey sat down, too, with the marble-topped table between them.
“First and foremost,” Grey began, “tell me what day of the month it is.”
12 “The fourteenth.”
“Of June, of course.”
“And of the week?”
“Thanks. I hadn’t the slightest idea.”
Frothingham fancied the man had gone mad.
“The whole thing is most extraordinary,” Grey went on, and then he proceeded to relate his afternoon’s experience, while his listener preserved an interested but incredulous 佛山桑拿按摩蒲友论坛 silence.
“Can’t remember a blessed thing,” the narrator concluded, “since that morning last winter—I suppose it was last winter. What year is this?”
He was told.
“Yes, it was last winter, then—January, if I’m not mistaken.”
Frothingham looked thoughtful and counted back. He wondered whether it was insanity or drugs, or—cunning.
“You must have heard something of it,” Grey went on, eagerly. “Did the newspapers say I was dead?”
“I think that was the ultimate conclusion.”
13 “I suppose they searched for me?”
“Oh, yes, they searched. They followed up every clue. There were columns in the papers for days—yes, for weeks.”
Grey sighed audibly.
“I can’t understand it,” he said, with something of distress in his voice; “I never thought my head was weak. To be sure, I’d been under rather a strain, with the market in the unsettled 佛山桑拿全套2014体验condition it was, but my memory was always clear enough. Why, I could give you the closing price and highest and lowest of about every active stock on the list, day after day, without an error of an eighth. By the way, do you know how things have been going in the Street? What’s New York Central now—and St. Paul?”
“Really, I have lost track, Grey,” replied Frothingham indifferently.
“I must get a Paris Herald,” the man who had been out of the world for five months continued; “I’m the modern Rip Van Winkle. Thousands of things have happened—must have happened, and I’m in blank ignorance. I just cabled to New York—to Mallory, my partner, and——”
14 “You what!” exclaimed Frothingham, in amazement.
“Cabled to Mallory. You know him—Dick Mallory, my partner. He’ll be surprised to hear I’m alive, I suppose.”
“Good God, man!”
“What’s the matter?”
The two sat staring at each other across the table, each a picture of sudden startled bewilderment.
“Then you really don’t
know?” Frothingham asked. “Oh, that’s impossible! You can’t make me believe—see here, Carey, you’re very clever and all that, but you don’t think for one minute, do you, that you are taking me in? I did fancy for a little while that you’d gone off your head; but I was wrong. You’re sharp and shrewd, and you feared I had recognised you and that that was why I stumbled over your foot; so you made up your mind that you’d block my game by recognising me and telling me this pipe dream. Oh, come, come, be fair! You know; and you know that I know.”
Grey caught his breath sharply as this torrent15 of insult surged upon him. The blood rushed to his face only to desert it. His fists doubled 佛山桑拿蒲友网 instinctively, and he rose to his feet, white with indignant anger.
“Take that back!” he commanded, in a hoarse whisper. “Take it back, I
say, or I’ll——”
There was no mistaking his earnestness, his determination; no, nor at this juncture, his honesty. Frothingham was convinced even against his judgment.
“Oh, I say,” he retorted, mildly, “don’t make a scene, old chap. If I said anything, I—I—well, of course you don’t understand. I see it now. I’m sure I was wrong, and I ask your pardon. There now, sit down.”
“I don’t know that I care to,” Grey replied, the words of the other still rankling. “I’m not used to being called a blackguard. I’ve never in my life done anything to be seriously ashamed of, and nobody has ever dared, until this day, to utter such an insinuation.”
Frothingham was silent for a moment, the mere suggestion 佛山桑拿按摩 of a smile on his lips. He calmly unbuttoned one of his gloves and then buttoned it again.
16 “God forbid,” he said, without looking up, “that I should be the first to imply anything; but—I wish you would sit down, Grey!—you say you’ve lost count for five months, and—well, there are some things that you ought to know.”
Grey resumed his seat. Now the man was talking reasonably. Of course there were things that he ought to know—hundreds of things probably in which he was personally interested. The thought instantly became appalling. What, indeed, might not have happened in five months? Where had he been during that time? And what had he been doing?