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|Tarzan of the Apes||Edgar Rice Burroughs|
The Giant Again
|Page 2 of 9||
"Oh, I beg your pardon!" she exclaimed, pausing on the threshold. "I thought you were alone, papa."
"It is only I, Jane," said Canler, who had risen, "won't you come in and join the family group? We were just speaking of you."
"Thank you," said Jane, entering and taking the chair Canler placed for her. "I only wanted to tell papa that Tobey is coming down from the college tomorrow to pack his books. I want you to be sure, papa, to indicate all that you can do without until fall. Please don't carry this entire library to Wisconsin, as you would have carried it to Africa, if I had not put my foot down."
"Was Tobey here?" asked Professor Porter.
"Yes, I just left him. He and Esmeralda are exchanging religious experiences on the back porch now."
"Tut, tut, I must see him at once!" cried the professor. "Excuse me just a moment, children," and the old man hastened from the room.
As soon as he was out of earshot Canler turned to Jane.
"See here, Jane," he said bluntly. "How long is this thing going on like this? You haven't refused to marry me, but you haven't promised either. I want to get the license tomorrow, so that we can be married quietly before you leave for Wisconsin. I don't care for any fuss or feathers, and I'm sure you don't either."
The girl turned cold, but she held her head bravely.
"Your father wishes it, you know," added Canler.
"Yes, I know."
She spoke scarcely above a whisper.
"Do you realize that you are buying me, Mr. Canler?" she said finally, and in a cold, level voice. "Buying me for a few paltry dollars? Of course you do, Robert Canler, and the hope of just such a contingency was in your mind when you loaned papa the money for that hair-brained escapade, which but for a most mysterious circumstance would have been surprisingly successful.
"But you, Mr. Canler, would have been the most surprised. You had no idea that the venture would succeed. You are too good a businessman for that. And you are too good a businessman to loan money for buried treasure seeking, or to loan money without security--unless you had some special object in view.
"You knew that without security you had a greater hold on the honor of the Porters than with it. You knew the one best way to force me to marry you, without seeming to force me.
"You have never mentioned the loan. In any other man I should have thought that the prompting of a magnanimous and noble character. But you are deep, Mr. Robert Canler. I know you better than you think I know you.
"I shall certainly marry you if there is no other way, but let us understand each other once and for all."
While she spoke Robert Canler had alternately flushed and paled, and when she ceased speaking he arose, and with a cynical smile upon his strong face, said:
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|Tarzan of the Apes
Edgar Rice Burroughs
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