THE BUBBLE REPUTATION
Despite its thirty thousand population--"Forty thousand, and growing, sir!" loyally declared those disinterested citizens engaged in the sale of remote fields of ragweed as building lots--Westville was still but half-evolved from its earlier state of an overgrown country town. It was as yet semi-pastoral, semi-urban. Automobiles and farm wagons locked hubs in brotherly embrace upon its highways; cowhide boots and patent leather shared its sidewalks. There was a stockbroker's office that was thoroughly metropolitan in the facilities it afforded the élite for relieving themselves of the tribulation of riches; and adjoining it was Simpson Brothers & Company, wherein hick'ry-shirted gentlemen bartered for threshing machines, hayrakes, axle grease, and such like baubles of Arcadian pastime.
There were three