The big gundown
    She smiled as she clasped his hand with a firm pressure. Her hand was cool and smooth. “Of course Edward named the mine after me,” she said, “or renamed it, I should say. It used to be called something else. But when we married last year, that was one of his presents to me. By the way, you can call me Glory.”
    She held on to his hand too long and Morgan carefully disengaged his fingers from her grip. He saw a flicker of disappointment in her eyes, but the radiant smile on her face never wavered.
    “We’re discussing business here, my dear,” Sheffield said with a slightly disapproving tone in his voice.
    “I’m aware of that,” Glory responded coolly. “You know how interested I am in your business, darling. I may be quite decorative, but I do have a brain, too.”
    “Of course you do, but I prefer to keep my business and personal lives separate. So if you’ll excuse us—”
    “Just go right ahead with what you were talking about,” Glory said with a casual yet elegant wave of her hand. “I’ll just sit over here.”
    She moved to a divan and sat down, where she continued to smile with maddening boldness at Morgan. Her husband’s jaw tightened, but he turned back to Morgan and made a visible effort to ignore the fact that his wife was still in the room.
    “What about it, Morgan?” he said. “Will you take the job?”
    “You’d be putting a lot of faith in somebody you just met,” Morgan pointed out.
    Sheffield gave a short, humorless bark of laughter. “I didn’t get where I am by being timid, or by not trusting my instincts. I’m an excellent judge of character. I can tell that you’re the man I need to run this renegade colonel to ground. What do you say?”
    It was a tempting offer. Sheffield could place a lot of resources at his disposal.
    The problem was that Sheffield wanted what amounted to a military campaign carried out against Colonel Black and his men, and Morgan wasn’t a general. He had never even been in the army, and while he had felt comfortable enough issuing orders in a business setting, this was different. This was life and death. He didn’t want that responsibility.
    Still, Sheffield might prove useful in locating the colonel. Morgan didn’t want to turn him down flat.
    So instead of answering Sheffield’s question, Morgan asked one of his own. “When are you going up to Titusville?”
    Sheffield frowned in confusion. “Actually, I’m scheduled to visit the mine tomorrow. My cars will be hooked onto a train that’s leaving at eight o’clock tomorrow morning.”
    “Let me come with you,” Morgan said.
    “Then you’re accepting my offer?”
    Morgan shook his head. “Not just yet. I want to get the lay of the land first.”
    A look of irritation came over Sheffield’s face. “See here,” he snapped. “I’m not accustomed to people stonewalling me like this. Give me a simple yes or no answer, blast it.”
    From the divan, Glory Sheffield said, “I don’t think Mr. Morgan is stonewalling, Edward. He’s just being cautious. Why don’t we take him up to Titusville with us tomorrow, as he suggested? That way he can get the lay of the land, as he put it.”
    As Morgan saw the lascivious light shining in Glory’s eyes and heard the sultry tone of her voice, he wished he hadn’t phrased it like that.
    Sheffield either wasn’t aware of those things or chose to ignore them. He said grudgingly, “I suppose we could finish our discussion in Titusville after you’ve had a chance to look around. But don’t postpone your decision too long, Morgan. I’m not the most patient man in the world.”
    Glory got to her feet, uncoiling from the divan like a cat. “Now that you gentlemen have concluded your business for the time being, I think we should all have a drink.”
    Sheffield looked like he didn’t care for that idea—he didn’t drink with the hired help, after all—but evidently he didn’t want to be ungracious. He shrugged and said, “All right.

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