"What's your game, Olden?" he cried. "You're too deep for me; I throw up my hands. Come; what've you got in that smart little head of yours? Are you holding out for higher stakes? Do you expect him to buy that great six-year contract and divvy the proceeds with me? Because he will--when once they get their eye on you, they'll have you; and to turn up your nose at their offer if in just the way to make them itch for you. But how the deuce did you find it out? And where do you get your nerve from, anyway? A little beggar like you to refuse an offer from the T. T. and sit hatching your schemes on your little old 'steen dollars a week! . . . It'll have to be twice 'steen, now, I suppose?"
"All right, just as you say," I laughed. "But why aren't you in the Trust, Fred Obermuller?"
"Why aren't you in society, Nance?"
"Um!--well, because society's prejudiced against lifting, but the Trust isn't. Do you know that's a great graft, Mr. Obermuller--lifting wholesale? Why don't you get in?"
"Because a Trust is a lot of sailors on a raft who keep their places by kicking off the drowning hands that clutch at it. Can you fancy a fellow like Tausig stooping down to help me tenderly on board to divide the pickings?"
"No, but I can fancy you grappling with him till he'd be glad to take you on rather than be pulled off himself."
"You'd be in with the push, would you, Olden, if you were managing?" he asked with a grin.
"I'd be at the top, wherever that was."
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