"The man that sets the cussed trap for me is a law breaker, an escaped convict, and a murderer. That's what drinking did for him; drinking and injustice in money matters together."
Burgess started and his face grew pale.
"Oh, it's a fact, Professor. There are several roads to ruin. One by the route I've taken. One may be too much love of money, of women, or of having your own way. You can ruin your soul by getting it set on one thing above everything else. Education, for instance, like the Wreams back there in Cambridge."
"The Wreams!" Burgess exclaimed.
"Yes, old Joshua Wream sold himself to an appetite for musty old Sanscrit till he'd sacrifice anybody's comfort and joy for it, same as I sold out to a fool's craving for drink. You'll know the Wreams sometime as I know 'em now. Fenneben's only a stepbrother and the West made a man of him. He was always a gentleman."
"Go on!" Vincent's voice was hardly audible.
"This outlaw, boot-legger, thief, and murderer was a respectable fellow once, the adopted son of a wealthy family back East, who began by spoiling him, lavished money on him, and let him have his own way in everything. He was a gay youngster on the side, given to drinking and fast company. He fell in love with a pretty girl, but when she found him out, she cut him. Then he went to the dogs, blaming her because she had sense enough to throw him over where he belonged. She fell in love--the right kind of love--with another man. And this young fool who had no claim on her at all, swore vengeance. Her family wanted her to marry the young sport because he had money. They were long on money--her father was, anyhow. But she would n't do it."
"Did she marry the one she really cared for?" Burgess asked eagerly.