For the second time that night, too, a picture rose before him, a picture of great plains, towering mountains, and open spaces that spoke the freedom and health of outdoor living. He had known that life once before, when he and Jim Westcott had prospected and hit the trail together, and its appeal to him now after three years of shallow sightseeing in the city was deeper than ever. "Good old Jim," he murmured, "struck pay-dirt at last only to lose it and he needs me. By George, I think I'll go." And why should he not? Only twenty-nine, he could still afford to spend a few years in search of living. His fortune left him at the death of his father was safely invested, and he had no close friends in the city and no relatives, except a cousin, John Cavendish, for whom he held no love, and little regard. He had almost determined upon going to Bear Creek to meet Westcott and was calling for his check when his attention was arrested by a noisy party of four that boisterously took seats at a near-by table. Cavendish recognised the two women as members of the chorus of the prevailing Revue, one of them Celeste La Rue, an aggressive blonde with thin lips and a metallic voice, whose name was synonymous with midnight escapades and flowing wine. His contemptuous smile at the sight of them deepened into a disgusted sneer when he saw that one of the men was John Cavendish, his cousin.