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Get-Rich-Quick Wallingford
written by "Chester, George Randolph, 1869-1924"
...He read these telegrams over and over in profound content. He had foreseen them. Moreover, he had read not only[Pg 251] Maylie's intention, but his plan and every detail of it, and for him he felt no admiration whatever. Maylie was too clumsy. There was a small serving table in the dining room, and Wallingford carried that in to the sleeper's bedside. Upon this he spread the four telegrams in neat order, and weighted them down with empty glasses for Mr. Maylie's absorbed study if he should happen to awaken. Next he drew his favorite chair into that room, and placed it at the opposite end of the serving table. He put upon this the champagne bottle and his own glass, and lighting a big and extremely black cigar he sat down to watch his erstwhile comrade, for he was taking no chances. Whenever he felt himself nodding or letting that cigar lax in his fingers he took a tiny sip of the champagne. Sometimes he went in and held his head under the cold water faucet. At the end of the first hour sleep threatened to overcome him, in spite of all that he could do, and going into the bathroom he undressed and took a cold shower. That refreshed him exceedingly, and the feel of cool, fresh linen upon him brightened him still more, for in his personal habits he was clean as a cat. It crossed his mind once or twice to send down[Pg 252] and get newspapers, but he knew that the least strain upon his eyes would send him to sleep quicker than anything else. The second hour passed; the third, then the fourth one dragged wearily by. At the beginning of the fifth he began to stumble as he walked from room to room to keep awake, but never for more than five minutes at a time did he let that sleeping man out of his sight. It seemed an eternity until the telephone bell rang in the parlor with startling insistence. With a glance of triumph toward the bed, he hurried in to obey the welcome call. "Yes, this is Wallingford," he answered huskily. "How about it?...

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