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9. CHAPTER IX. HAROLD SITS IN A GAME.
When Elizabeth Compton broached to her father the subject of a much-needed rest and a trip to the Orient, he laughed at her. Why, girl," he cried, "I was never better in my life! Where in the world did you get this silly idea?"
"Harold noticed it first," she replied, "and called my attention to it; and now I can see that you really have been failing."
"Failing!" ejaculated Compton, with a scoff. "Failing nothing! You're a pair of young idiots. I'm good for twenty years more of hard work, but, as I told Harold, I would like to quit and travel, and I shall do so just as soon as I am convinced that he can take my place."
"Couldn't he do it now?" asked the girl.
"No, I am afraid not," replied Compton. "It is too much to expect of him, but I believe that in another year he will be able to."
And so Compton put an end to the suggestion that he travel for his health, and that night when Bince called she told him that she had been unable to persuade her father that he needed a rest.
"I am afraid," he said "that you don't take it seriously enough yourself, and that you failed to impress upon him the real gravity of his condition. It is really necessary that he go--he must go."
The girl looked up quickly at the speaker, whose tones seemed unnecessarily vehement.
"I don't quite understand," she said, "why you should take the matter so to heart. Father is the best judge of his own condition, and, while he may need a rest, I cannot see that he is in any immediate danger." "Oh, well," replied Bince irritably, "I just wanted him to get away for his own sake. Of course, it don't mean anything to me."
"What's the matter with you tonight, anyway, Harold?" she asked a half an hour later. "You're as cross and disagreeable as you can be."
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