Chapter 45

           KreiscametoMartinonedayKreis,ofthe"realdirt"; andMartinturnedtohimwithrelief,toreceivetheglowingdetailsofaschemesufficientlywild-cattytointeresthimasafictionistratherthananinvestor. Kreispausedlongenoughinthemidstofhisexpositiontotellhimthatinmostofhis"ShameoftheSun"hehadbeenachump. 

           "ButIdidn’tcomeheretospoutphilosophy,"Kreiswenton. "WhatIwanttoknowiswhetherornotyouwillputathousanddollarsinonthisdeal?" 

           "No,I’mnotchumpenoughforthat,atanyrate,"Martinanswered. "ButI’lltellyouwhatIwilldo. Yougavemethegreatestnightofmylife. Yougavemewhatmoneycannotbuy. NowI’vegotmoney,anditmeansnothingtome. I’dliketoturnovertoyouathousanddollarsofwhatIdon’tvalueforwhatyougavemethatnightandwhichwasbeyondprice. Youneedthemoney. I’vegotmorethanIneed. Youwantit. Youcameforit. There’snouseschemingitoutofme. Takeit." 

           Kreisbetrayednosurprise. Hefoldedthecheckawayinhispocket. 

           "AtthatrateI’dlikethecontractofprovidingyouwithmanysuchnights,"hesaid. 

           "Toolate."Martinshookhishead. "Thatnightwastheonenightforme. Iwasinparadise. It’scommonplacewithyou,Iknow. Butitwasn’ttome. Ishallneverliveatsuchapitchagain. I’mdonewithphilosophy. Iwantnevertohearanotherwordofit." 

           "ThefirstdollarIevermadeinmylifeoutofmyphilosophy,"Kreisremarked,ashepausedinthedoorway. "Andthenthemarketbroke." 

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