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Chapter 9


Whatever his private sorrows may be, a multimillionaire, like any
other workingman, should keep abreast of his business. Harvey
Cheyne, senior, had gone East late in June to meet a woman broken
down, half mad, who dreamed day and night of her son drowning in
the grey seas. He had surrounded her with doctors, trained nurses,
massage-women, and even faith-cure companions, but they were
useless. Mrs. Cheyne lay still and moaned, or talked of her boy by
the hour together to any one who would listen. Hope she had none,
and who could offer it? All she needed was assurance that drowning
did not hurt; and her husband watched to guard lest she should
make the experiment. Of his own sorrow he spoke little - hardly
realised the depth of it till he caught himself asking the
calendar on his writing-desk, "What's the use of going on?"

There had always lain a pleasant notion at the back of his head
that, some day, when he had rounded off everything and the boy had
left college, he would take his son to his heart and lead him into
his possessions. Then that boy, he argued, as busy fathers do,
would instantly become his companion, partner, and ally, and there
would follow splendid years of great works carried out together -
the old head backing the young fire. Now his boy was dead - lost
at sea, as it might have been a Swede sailor from one of Cheyne's
big tea-ships; the wife was dying, or worse; he himself was
trodden down by platoons of women and doctors and maids and
attendants; worried almost beyond endurance by the shift and
change of her poor restless whims; hopeless, with no heart to meet
his many enemies.

He had taken the wife to his raw new palace in San Diego, where
she and her people occupied a wing of great price, and Cheyne, in
a verandah-room, between a secretary and a typewriter, who was
also a telegraphist, toiled along wearily from day to day. There
was a war of rates among four Western railroads in which he was
supposed to be interested; a devastating strike had developed in
his lumber-camps in Oregon, and the legislature of the State of
California, which has no love for its makers, was preparing open
war against him.

Ordinarily he would have accepted battle ere it was offered, and
have waged a pleasant and unscrupulous campaign. But now he sat
limply, his soft black hat pushed forward on to his nose, his big
body shrunk inside his loose clothes, staring at his boots or the
Chinese junks in the bay, and assenting absently to the
secretary's questions as he opened the Saturday mail.

Cheyne was wondering how much it would cost to drop everything and
pull out. He carried huge insurances, could buy himself royal
annuities, and between one of his places in Colorado and a little
society (that would do the wife good), say in Washington and the
South Carolina islands, a man might forget plans that had come to
nothing. On the other hand...

The click of the typewriter stopped; the girl was looking at the
secretary, who had turned white.

He passed Cheyne a telegram repeated from San Francisco:

Picked up by fishing schooner "We're Here" having fallen off boat
great times on Banks fishing all well waiting Gloucester Mass care
Disko Troop for money or orders wire what shall do and how is mama
Harvey N. Cheyne.

The father let it fall, laid his head down on the roller-top of
the shut desk, and breathed heavily. The secretary ran for Mrs.
Cheyne's doctor, who found Cheyne pacing to and fro.

"What-what d'you think of it? Is it possible? Is there any meaning
to it? I can't quite make it out," he cried.

"I can," said the doctor. "I lose seven thousand a year - that's
all." He thought of the struggling New York practice he had
dropped at Cheyne's imperious bidding, and returned the telegram
with a sigh.

"You mean you'd tell her? 'Maybe a fraud?"

"What's the motive?" said the doctor, coolly. "Detection's too
certain. It's the boy sure enough."

Enter a French maid, impudently, as an indispensable one who is
kept on only by large wages.

"Mrs. Cheyne she say you must come at once. She think you are

The master of thirty millions bowed his head meekly and followed
Suzanne; and a thin, high voice on the upper landing of the great
white-wood square staircase cried: "What is it? what has

No doors could keep out the shriek that rang through the echoing
house a moment later, when her husband blurted out the news.

"And that's all right," said the doctor, serenely, to the
typewriter. "About the only medical statement in novels with any
truth to it is that joy don't kill, Miss Kinzey."

"I know it; but we've a heap to do first." Miss Kinzey was from
Milwaukee, somewhat direct of speech; and as her fancy leaned
towards the secretary, she divined there was work in hand. He was
looking earnestly at the vast roller-map of America on the wall.

"Milsom, we're going right across. Private car straight through -
Boston. Fix the connections," shouted Cheyne down the staircase.
"I thought so."

The secretary turned to the typewriter, and their eyes met (out of
that was born a story - nothing to do with this story). She looked
inquiringly, doubtful of his resources. He signed to her to move
to the Morse as a general brings brigades into action. Then he
swept his hand. musician-wise through his hair, regarded the
ceiling, and set to work, while Miss Kinzey's white fingers called
up the Continent of America.

"K. H. Wade, Los Angeles - The 'Constance' is at Los Angeles,
isn't she, Miss Kinzey?"

"Yep." Miss Kinzey nodded between clicks as the secretary looked
at his watch.

"Ready? Send 'Constance,' private car, here, and arrange for
special to leave here Sunday in time to connect with New York
Limited at Sixteenth Street, Chicago, Tuesday next."

Click - click - click! "Couldn't you better that'?"

"Not on those grades. That gives 'em sixty hours from here to
Chicago. They won't gain anything by taking a special east of
that. Ready? Also arrange with Lake Shore and Michigan Southern to
take 'Constance' on New York Central and Hudson River Buffalo to
Albany, and B. and A. the same Albany to Boston. Indispensable I
should reach Boston Wednesday evening. Be sure nothing prevents.
Have also wired Canniff, Toucey, and Barnes. - Sign, Cheyne."

Miss Kinzey nodded, and the secretary went on.

"Now then. Canniff, Toucey, and Barnes, of course. Ready? Canniff
Chicago. Please take my private car 'Constance 'from Santa Fe at
Sixteenth Street next Tuesday p. m. on N. Y. Limited through to
Buffalo and deliver N. Y. C. for Albany. - Ever bin to N' York,
Miss Kinzey? We'll go some day. Ready? Take car Buffalo to Albany
on Limited Tuesday p. m. That's for Toucey."
"Haven't bin to Noo York, but I know that!" with a toss of the

"Beg pardon. Now, Boston and Albany, Barnes, same instructions
from Albany through to Boston. Leave three-five P. M. (you needn't
wire that); arrive nine-five P. M. Wednesday. That covers
everything Wade will do, but it pays to shake up the managers."

"It's great," said Miss Kinzey, with a look of admiration. This
was the kind of man she understood and appreciated.

"'Tisn't bad," said Milsom, modestly. "Now, any one but me would
have lost thirty hours and spent a week working out the run,
instead of handing him over to the Santa Fe straight through to

"But see here, about that Noo York Limited. Chauncey Depew himself
couldn't hitch his car to her," Miss Kinzey suggested, recovering

"Yes, but this isn't Chauncey. It's Cheyne -lightning. It goes."

"Even so. Guess we'd better wire the boy. You've forgotten that,

"I'll ask."

When he returned with the father's message bidding Harvey meet
them in Boston at an appointed hour, he found Miss Kinzey laughing
over the keys. Then Milsom laughed too, for the frantic clicks
from Los Angeles ran: "We want to know why - why - why? General
uneasiness developed and spreading."

Ten minutes later Chicago appealed to Miss Kinzey in these words:
"If crime of century is maturing please warn friends in time. We
are all getting to cover here."

This was capped by a message from Topeka (and wherein Topeka was
concerned even Milsom could not guess): "Don't shoot, Colonel.
We'll come down."

Cheyne smiled grimly at the consternation of his enemies when the
telegrams were laid before him. "They think we're on the war-path.
Tell 'em we don't feel like fighting just now, Milsom. Tell 'em
what we're going for. I guess you and Miss Kinzey had better come
along, though it isn't likely I shall do any business on the road.
Tell 'em the truth - for once."

So the truth was told. Miss Kinzey clicked in the sentiment while
the secretary added the memorable quotation, "Let us have peace,"
and in board-rooms two thousand miles away the representatives of
sixty-three million dollars' worth of variously manipulated
railroad interests breathed more freely. Cheyne was flying to meet
the only son, so miraculously restored to him. The bear was
seeking his cub, not the bulls. Hard men who had their knives
drawn to fight for their financial lives put away the weapons and
wished him God-speed, while half a dozen panic-smitten tin-pot
roads perked up their heads and spoke of the wonderful things they
would have done had not Cheyne buried the hatchet.

It was a busy week-end among the wires; for, now that their
anxiety was removed, men and cities hastened to accommodate. Los
Angeles called to San Diego and Barstow that the Southern
California engineers might know and be ready in their lonely
round-houses; Barstow passed the word to the Atlantic and Pacific;
the Albuquerque flung it the whole length of the Atchison, Topeka,
and Santa Fe management, even into Chicago. An engine,
combination-car with crew, and the great and gilded "Constance"
private car were to be "expedited" over those two thousand three
hundred and fifty miles. The train would take precedence of one
hundred and seventy-seven others meeting and passing; despatches
and crews of every one of those said trains must be notified.
Sixteen locomotives, sixteen engineers, and sixteen firemen would
be needed - each and every one the best available. Two and one
half minutes would be allowed for changing engines, three for
watering, and two for coaling. "Warn the men, and arrange tanks
and chutes accordingly; for Harvey Cheyne is in a hurry, a hurry-a
hurry," sang the wires. "Forty miles an hour will be expected, and
division superintendents will accompany this special over their
respective divisions. From San Diego to Sixteenth Street, Chicago,
let the magic carpet be laid down. Hurry! oh, hurry!"

"It will be hot," said Cheyne, as they rolled out of San Diego in
the dawn of Sunday. "We're going to hurry, mama, just as fast as
ever we can; but I really don't think there's any good of your
putting on your bonnet and gloves yet. You'd much better lie down
and take your medicine. I'd play you a game o' dominoes, but it's

"I'll be good. Oh, I will be good. Only - taking off my bonnet
makes me feel as if we'd never get there."

"Try to sleep a little, mama, and we'll be in Chicago before you

"But it's Boston, father. Tell them to hurry."

The six-foot drivers were hammering their way to San Bernardino
and the Mohave wastes, but this was no grade for speed. That would
come later. The heat of the desert followed the heat of the hills
as they turned east to the Needles and the Colorado River. The car
cracked in the utter drought and glare, and they put crushed ice
to Mrs. Cheyne's neck, and toiled up the long, long grades, past
Ash Fork, towards Flagstaff, where the forests and quarries are,
under the dry, remote skies. The needle of the speed-indicator
flicked and wagged to and fro; the cinders rattled on the roof,
and a whirl of dust sucked after the whirling wheels, The crew of
the combination sat on their bunks, panting in their shirt-
sleeves, and Cheyne found himself among them shouting old, old
stories of the railroad that every trainman knows, above the roar
of the car. He told them about his son, and how the sea had given
up its dead, and they nodded and spat and rejoiced with him; asked
after "her, back there," and whether she could stand it if the
engineer "let her out a piece," and Cheyne thought she could.
Accordingly, the great fire-horse was "let out" from Flagstaff to
Winslow, till a division superintendent protested.

But Mrs. Cheyne, in the boudoir state-room, where the French maid,
sallow-white with fear, clung to the silver door-handle, only
moaned a little and begged her husband to bid them "hurry." And so
they dropped the dry sands and moon-struck rocks of Arizona behind
them, and grilled on till the crash of the couplings and the
wheeze of the brake-hose told them they were at Coolidge by the
Continental Divide.
Three bold and experienced men - cool, confident, and dry when
they began; white, quivering, and wet when they finished their
trick at those terrible wheels - swung her over the great lift
from Albuquerque to Glorietta and beyond Springer, up and up to
the Raton Tunnel on the State line, whence they dropped rocking
into La Junta, had sight of the Arkansaw, and tore down the long
slope to Dodge City, where Cheyne took comfort once again from
setting his watch an hour ahead.

There was very little talk in the car. The secretary and
typewriter sat together on the stamped Spanish-leather cushions by
the plate-glass observation-window at the rear end, watching the
surge and ripple of the ties crowded back behind them, and, it is
believed, making notes of the scenery. Cheyne moved nervously
between his own extravagant gorgeousness and the naked necessity
of the combination, an unlit cigar in his teeth, till the pitying
crews forgot that he was their tribal enemy, and did their best to
entertain him.

At night the bunched electrics lit up that distressful palace of
all the luxuries, and they fared sumptuously, swinging on through
the emptiness of abject desolation. Now they heard the swish of a
water-tank, and the guttural voice of a China-man, the clink-clink
of hammers that tested the Krupp steel wheels, and the oath of a
tramp chased off the rear platform; now the solid crash of coal
shot into the tender; and now a beating back of noises as they
flew past a waiting train. Now they looked out into great abysses,
a trestle purring beneath their tread, or up to rocks that barred
out half the stars. Now scaur and ravine changed and rolled back
to jagged mountains on the horizon's edge, and now broke into
hills lower and lower, till at last came the true plains.

At Dodge City an unknown hand threw in a copy of a Kansas paper
containing some sort of an interview with Harvey, who had
evidently fallen in with an enterprising reporter, telegraphed on
from Boston. The joyful journalese revealed that it was beyond
question their boy, and it soothed Mrs. Cheyne for a while. Her
one word "hurry" was conveyed by the crews to the engineers at
Nickerson, Topeka, and Marceline, where the grades are easy, and
they brushed the Continent behind them. Towns and villages were
close together now, and a man could feel here that he moved among

"I can't see the dial, and my eyes ache so. What are we doing?"

"The very best we can, mama. There's no sense in getting in before
the Limited. We'd only have to wait."

"I don't care. I want to feel we're moving. Sit down and tell me
the miles."

Cheyne sat down and read the dial for her (there were some miles
which stand for records to this day), but the seventy-foot car
never changed its long, steamer-like roll, moving through the heat
with the hum of a giant bee. Yet the speed was not enough for Mrs.
Cheyne; and the heat, the remorseless August heat, was making her
giddy; the clock-hands would not move, and when, oh, when would
they be in Chicago?

It is not true that, as they changed engines at Fort Madison,
Cheyne passed over to the Amalgamated Brotherhood of Locomotive
Engineers an endowment sufficient to enable them to fight him and
his fellows on equal terms for evermore. He paid his obligations
to engineers and firemen as he believed they deserved, and only
his bank knows what he gave the crews who had sympathised with
him. It is on record that the last crew took entire charge of
switching operations at Sixteenth Street, because "she" was in a
doze at last, and Heaven was to help any one who bumped her.

Now the highly paid specialist who conveys the Lake Shore and
Michigan Southern Limited from Chicago to Elkhart is something of
an autocrat, and he does not approve of being told how to back up
to a car. None the less he handled the "Constance" as if she might
have been a load of dynamite, and when the crew rebuked him, they
did it in whispers and dumb show.

"Pshaw!" said the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe men, discussing
life later, "we weren't runnin' for a record. Harvey Cheyne's
wife, she were sick back, an' we didn't want to jounce her. 'Come
to think of it, our runnin' time from San Diego to Chicago was
57.54. You can tell that to them Eastern way-trains. When we're
tryin' for a record, we'll let you know."

To the Western man (though this would not please either city)
Chicago and Boston are cheek by jowl, and some railroads encourage
the delusion. The Limited whirled the "Constance" into Buffalo and
the arms of the New York Central and Hudson River (illustrious
magnates with white whiskers and gold charms on their watch-chains
boarded her here to talk a little business to Cheyne), who slid
her gracefully into Albany, where the Boston and Albany completed
the run from tide-water to tide-water - total time, eighty-seven
hours and thirty-five minutes, or three days, fifteen hours and
one half. Harvey was waiting for them.

After violent emotion most people and all boys demand food. They
feasted the returned prodigal behind drawn curtains, cut off in
their great happiness, while the trains roared in and out around
them. Harvey ate, drank, and enlarged on his adventures all in one
breath, and when he had a hand free his mother fondled it. His
voice was thickened with living in the open, salt air; his palms
were rough and hard, his wrists dotted with the marks of gurry-
sores; and a fine full flavour of cod-fish hung round rubber boots
and blue jersey.

The father, well used to judging men, looked at him keenly. He did
not know what enduring harm the boy might have taken. Indeed, he
caught himself thinking that he knew very little whatever of his
son; but he distinctly remembered an unsatisfied, dough-faced
youth who took delight in "calling down the old man" and reducing
his mother to tears - such a person as adds to the gaiety of
public rooms and hotel piazzas, where the ingenuous young of the
wealthy play with or revile the bell-boys. But this well set-up
fisher-youth did not wriggle, looked at him with eyes steady,
clear, and unflinching, and spoke in a tone distinctly, even
startlingly, respectful. There was that in his voice, too, which
seemed to promise that the change might be permanent, and that the
new Harvey had come to stay.

"Some one's been coercing him," thought Cheyne. "Now Constance
would never have allowed that. Don't see as Europe could have done
it any better."

"But why didn't you tell this man, Troop, who you were?" the
mother repeated, when Harvey had expanded his story at least

"Disko Troop, dear. The best man that ever walked a deck. I don't
care who the next is."

"Why didn't you tell him to put you ashore? You know papa would
have made it up to him ten times over."

"I know it; but he thought I was crazy. I'm afraid I called him a
thief because I couldn't find the bills in my pocket."

"A sailor found them by the flagstaff that - that night," sobbed
Mrs. Cheyne.

"That explains it, then. I don't blame Troop any. I just said I
wouldn't work -on a Banker, too - and of course he hit me on the
nose, and oh! I bled like a stuck hog."

My poor darling! They must have abused you horribly."

"Dunno quite. Well, after that, I saw a light."

Cheyne slapped his leg and chuckled. This was going to be a boy
after his own hungry heart. He had never seen precisely that
twinkle in Harvey's eye before.

"And the old man gave me ten and a half a month; he's paid me half
now; and I took hold with Dan and pitched right in. I can't do a
man's work yet. But I can handle a dory 'most as well as Dan, and
I don't get rattled in a fog - much; and I can take my trick in
light winds - that's steering, dear - and I can 'most bait up a
trawl, and I know my ropes, of course; and I can pitch fish till
the cows come home, and I'm great on old Josephus, and I'll show
you how I can clear coffee with a piece of fish-skin, and - I
think I'll have another cup, please. Say, you've no notion what a
heap of work there is in ten and a half a month!"

"I began with eight and a half, my son," said Cheyne.

"'That so? You never told me, sir."

"You never asked, Harve. I'll tell you about it some day. if you
care to listen. Try a stuffed olive."

"Troop says the most interesting thing in the world is to find out
how the next man gets his vittles. It's great to have a trimmed-up
meal again. We were well fed, though. Best mug on the Banks. Disko
fed us first-class. He's a great man. And Dan - that's his son -
Dan's my partner. And there's Uncle Salters and his manures, an'
he reads Josephus. He's sure I'm crazy yet. And there's poor
little Penn, and he is crazy. You mustn't talk to him about
Johnstown, because - And, oh, you must know Tom Platt and Long
Jack and Manuel. Manuel saved my life. I'm sorry he's a Portugee.
He can't talk much, but he's an everlasting musician. He found me
struck adrift and drifting, and hauled me in."

"I wonder your nervous system isn't completely wrecked," said Mrs.

"What for, mama? I worked like a horse and I ate like a hog and I
slept like a dead man."

That was too much for Mrs. Cheyne, who began to think of her
visions of a corpse rocking on the salty seas. She went to her
state-room, and Harvey curled up beside his father, explaining his

"You can depend upon me to do everything I can for the crowd,
Harve. They seem to be good men on your showing."

"Best in the Fleet, sir. Ask at Gloucester," said Harvey. "But
Disko believes still he's cured me of being crazy. Dan's the only
one I've let on to about you, and our private cars and all the
rest of it, and I'm not quite sure Dan believes. I want to
paralyse 'em to-morrow. Say, can't they run the 'Constance' over
to Gloucester? Mama don't look fit to be moved, anyway, and we're
bound to finish cleaning out by to-morrow. Wouverman takes our
fish. You see, we're first off the Banks this season, and it's
four twenty-five a quintal. We held out till he paid it. They want
it quick."

"You mean you'll have to work to-morrow, then?"

"I told Troop I would. I'm on the scales. I've brought the tallies
with me." He looked at the greasy notebook with an air of
importance that made his father choke. "There isn't but three - no
- two ninety-four or five quintal more by my reckoning."

"Hire a substitute," suggested Cheyne, to see what Harvey would

"Can't, sir. I'm tally-man for the schooner. Troop says I've a
better head for figures than Dan. Troop's a mighty just man."

"Well, suppose I don't move the 'Constance' to-night, how'll you
fix it?"

Harvey looked at the clock, which marked twenty past eleven.

"Then I'll sleep here till three and catch the four o'clock
freight. They let us men from the Fleet ride free, as a rule."

"That's a notion. But I think we can get the 'Constance' around
about as soon as your men's freight. Better go to bed now."

Harvey spread himself on the sofa, kicked off his boots, and was
asleep before his father could shade the electrics. Cheyne sat
watching the young face under the shadow of the arm thrown over
the forehead, and among many things that occurred to him was the
notion that he might perhaps have been neglectful as a father.

"One never knows when one's taking one's biggest risks," he said.
"It might have been worse than drowning; but I don't think it has
- I don't think it has. If it hasn't, I haven't enough to pay
Troop, that's all; and I don't think it has."

Morning brought a fresh sea breeze through the windows, the
"Constance" was side-tracked among freight-cars at Gloucester, and
Harvey had gone to his business.

"Then he'll fall overboard again and be drowned," the mother said

"We'll go and look, ready to throw him a rope in case. You've
never seen him working for his bread," said the father.

"What nonsense! As if any one expected -"

"Well, the man that hired him did. He's about right, too."

They went down between the stores full of fishermen's oilskins to
Wouverman's wharf, where the "We're Here" rode high, her Bank flag
still flying, all hands busy as beavers in the glorious morning
light. Disko stood by the main hatch superintending Manuel, Penn,
and Uncle Salters at the tackle. Dan was swinging the loaded
baskets inboard as Long Jack and Tom Platt filled them, and
Harvey, with a notebook, represented the skipper's interests
before the clerk of the scales on the salt-sprinkled wharf-edge.

"Ready!" cried the voices below. "Haul!" cried Disko. "Hi!" said
Manuel. "Here!" said Dan, swinging the basket. Then they heard
Harvey's voice, clear and fresh, checking the weights.

The last of the fish had been whipped out, and Harvey leaped from
the string-piece six feet to a ratline, as the shortest way to
hand Disko the tally, shouting, "Two ninety-seven, and an empty

"What's total, Harve?" said Disko.

"Eight sixty-five. Three thousand six hundred and seventy-six
dollars and a quarter. 'Wish I'd share as well as wage."

"Well, I won't go so far as to say you hevn't deserved it, Harve.
Don't you want to slip up to Wouverman's office and take him our

"Who's that boy?" said Cheyne to Dan, well used to all manner of
questions from those idle imbeciles called summer boarders.

"Well, he's a kind o' supercargo," was the answer. "We picked him
up struck adrift on the Banks. Fell overboard from a liner, he
sez. He was a passenger. He's by way o' bein' a fisherman now."

"Is he worth his keep?"

"Ye-ep. Dad, this man wants to know ef Harve's worth his keep.
Say, would you like to go aboard? We'll fix a ladder for her."

"I should very much, indeed. 'Twon't hurt you, mama, and you'll be
able to see for yourself."

The woman who could not lift her head a week ago scrambled down
the ladder, and stood aghast amid the mess and tangle aft.

"Be you anyways interested in Harve?" said Disko.

"Well, ye-es."

"He's a good boy, an' ketches right hold jest as he's bid. You've
heard haow we found him? He was sufferin' from nervous
prostration, I guess, 'r else his head had hit somethin', when we
hauled him aboard. He's all over that naow. Yes, this is the
cabin. 'Tain't anyways in order, but you're quite welcome to look
around. Those are his figures on the stove-pipe, where we keep the
reckonin' mostly."

"Did he sleep here?" said Mrs. Cheyne, sitting on a yellow locker
and surveying the disorderly bunks.

"No. He berthed forward, madam, an' only fer him an' my boy
hookin' fried pies an' muggin' up when they ought to ha' been
asleep, I dunno as I've any special fault to find with him."

"There weren't nothin' wrong with Harve," said Uncle Salters,
descending the steps. "He hung my boots on the main-truck, and he
ain't over an' above respectful to such as knows more'n he do,
especially about farmin'; but he were mostly misled by Dan."

Dan, in the meantime, profiting by dark hints from Harvey early
that morning, was executing a war-dance on deck. "Tom, Tom!" he
whispered down the hatch. "His folks has come, an' dad hain't
caught on yet, an' they're pow-wowin' in the cabin. She's a daisy,
an' he's all Harve claimed he was, by the looks of him."

"Howly Smoke! "said Long Jack, climbing out covered with salt and
fish-skin. "D'ye belave his tale av the kid an' the little four-
horse rig was thrue?"

"I knew it all along," said Dan. "Come an' see dad mistook in his

They came delightedly, just in time to hear Cheyne say: "I'm glad
he has a good character, because - he's my son."

Disko's jaw fell, - Long Jack always vowed that he heard the click
of it, - and he stared alternately at the man and the woman.

"I got his telegram in San Diego four days ago, and we came over."

"In a private car?" said Dan. "He said ye might."

"In a private car, of course."

Dan looked at his father with a hurricane of irreverent winks.

"There was a tale he tould us av drivin' four little ponies in a
rig av his own," said Long Jack. "Was that thrue now?"

"Very likely," said Cheyne. "Was it, mama?"

"He had a little drag when we were in Toledo, I think," said the

Long Jack whistled. "Oh, Disko!" said he, and that was all.

"I wuz - I am mistook in my jedgments -worse'n the men o'
Marblehead," said Disko, as though the words were being windlassed
out of him. "I don't mind ownin' to you, Mister Cheyne, as I
mistrusted the boy to be crazy. He talked kinder odd about money."

"So he told me."

"Did he tell ye anything else? 'Cause I pounded him once." This
with a somewhat anxious glance at Mrs. Cheyne.

"Oh, yes," Cheyne replied. "I should say it probably did him more
good than anything else in the world."

"I jedged 'twuz necessary, er I wouldn't ha' done it. I don't want
you to think we abuse our boys any on this packet."

"I don't think you do, Mr. Troop."

Mrs. Cheyne had been looking at the faces - Disko's ivory-yellow,
hairless, iron countenance; Uncle Salters's, with its rim of
agricultural hair; Penn's bewildered simplicity; Manuel's quiet
smile; Long Jack's grin of delight; and Tom Platt's scar. Rough,
by her standards, they certainly were; but she had a mother's wits
in her eyes, and she rose with outstretched hands.

"Oh, tell me, which is who?" said she, half sobbing. "I want to
thank you and bless you - all of you."

"Faith, that pays me a hunder time," said Long Jack.

Disko introduced them all in due form. The captain of an old-time
Chinaman could have done no better, and Mrs. Cheyne babbled
incoherently. She nearly threw herself into Manuel's arms when she
understood that he had first found Harvey.

"But how shall I leave him dreeft? " said poor Manuel. "What do
you yourself if you find him so? Eh, wha-at'? We are in one good
boy, and I am ever so pleased he come to be your son."

"And he told me Dan was his partner!" she cried. Dan was already
sufficiently pink, but he turned a rich crimson when Mrs. Cheyne
kissed him on both cheeks before the assembly. Then they led her
forward to show her the fo'c'sle, at which she wept again, and
must needs go down to see Harvey's identical bunk, and there she
found the nigger cook cleaning up the stove, and he nodded as
though she were some one he had expected to meet for years. They
tried, two at a time, to explain the boat's daily life to her, and
she sat by the pawl-post, her gloved hands on the greasy table,
laughing with trembling lips and crying with dancing eyes.

"And who's ever to use the "We're Here" after this?" said Long
Jack to Tom Platt. "I feel it as if she'd made a cathedral av ut

"Cathedral!" sneered Tom Platt. "Oh, ef it had bin even the Fish
C'mmission boat instid o' this bally-hoo o' blazes. Ef we only hed
some decency an' order an' side-boys when she goes over! She'll
have to climb that ladder like a hen, an' we - we ought to be
mannin' the yards!"

"Then Harvey was not mad," said Penn, slowly, to Cheyne.

"No, indeed - thank God," the big millionaire replied, stooping
down tenderly.

"It must be terrible to be mad. Except to lose your child, I do
not know anything more terrible. But your child has come back? Let
us thank God for that."

"Hello!" said Harvey, looking down upon them benignly from the

"I wuz mistook, Harve. I wuz mistook," said Disko, swiftly,
holding up a hand. "I wuz mistook in my jedgments. Ye needn't rub
it in any more."

"'Guess I'll take care o' that," said Dan, under his breath.

"You'll be goin' off naow, won't ye?"

"Well, not without the balance of my wages, 'less you want to have
the "We're Here" attached."

"Thet's so; I'd clean forgot"; and he counted out the remaining
dollars. "You done all you contracted to do, Harve; and you done
it 'baout's well as ef you'd been brought up -" Here Disko brought
himself up. He did not quite see where the sentence was going to

"Outside of a private car?" suggested Dan, wickedly.

"Come on, and I'll show her to you," said Harvey.

Cheyne stayed to talk to Disko, but the others made a procession
to the depot, with Mrs. Cheyne at the head. The French maid
shrieked at the invasion; and Harvey laid the glories of the
"Constance" before them without a word. They took them in in equal
silence - stamped leather, silver door-handles and rails, cut
velvet, plate-glass, nickel, bronze, hammered iron, and the rare
woods of the Continent inlaid.

"I told you," said Harvey; "I told you." This was his crowning
revenge, and a most ample one.

Mrs. Cheyne decreed a meal; and that nothing might be lacking to
the tale Long Jack told afterwards in his boarding-house, she
waited on them herself. Men who are accustomed to eat at tiny
tables in howling gales have curiously neat and finished table-
manners; but Mrs. Cheyne, who did not know this, was surprised.
She longed to have Manuel for a butler; so silently and easily did
he comport himself among the frail glassware and dainty silver.
Tom Platt remembered great days on the Ohio and the manners of
foreign potentates who dined with the officers; and Long Jack,
being Irish, supplied the small talk till all were at their ease.

In the "We're Here's" cabin the fathers took stock of each other
behind their cigars. Cheyne knew well enough when he dealt with a
man to whom he could not offer money; equally well he knew that no
money could pay for what Disko had done. He kept his own counsel
and waited for an opening.

"I hevn't done anything to your boy or fer your boy excep' make
him work a piece an' learn him how to handle the hog-yoke," said
Disko. "He has twice my boy's head for figgers."

"By the way," Cheyne answered casually, "what d'you calculate to
make of your boy?"

Disko removed his cigar and waved it comprehensively round the
cabin. "Dan's jest plain boy, an' he don't allow me to do any of
his thinkin'. He'll hev this able little packet when I'm laid by.
He ain't noways anxious to quit the business. I know that."

"Mmm! 'Ever been West, Mr. Troop?"

"Bin's fer ez Noo York once in a boat. I've no use for railroads.
No more hez Dan. Salt water's good enough fer the Troops. I've
been 'most everywhere - in the nat'ral way, o' course."

"I can give him all the salt water he's likely to need - till he's
a skipper."

"Haow's that? I thought you wuz a kinder railroad king. Harve told
me so when - I was mistook in my jedgments."

"We're all apt to be mistaken. I fancied perhaps you might know I
own a line of tea-clippers - San Francisco to Yokohama - six of
'em - iron-built, about seventeen hundred and eighty tons apiece."
"Blame that boy! He never told. I'd ha' listened to that, instid
o' his truck abaout railroads an' pony-carriages."

"He didn't know."

"'Little thing like that slipped his mind, I guess."

"No, I only capt - took hold of the 'Blue M.' freighters - Morgan
and McQuade's old line - this summer."

Disko collapsed where he sat, beside the stove.

"Great Caesar Almighty! I mistrust I've bin fooled from one end to
the other. Why, Phil Airheart he went from this very town six year
back - no, seven - an' he's mate on the San Josť now - twenty-six
days was her time out. His sister she's livin' here yet, an' she
reads his letters to my woman. An' you own the 'Blue M.'

Cheyne nodded.

"If I'd known that I'd ha' jerked the "We're Here" back to port
all standin', on the word."

"Perhaps that wouldn't have been so good for Harvey."

"Ef I'd only known! Ef he'd only said about the cussed Line, I'd
ha' understood! I'll never stand on my own jedgments again -
never. They're well-found packets, Phil Airheart he says so."

"I'm glad to have a recommend from that quarter. Airheart's
skipper of the San Josť now. What I was getting at is to know
whether you'd lend me Dan for a year or two, and we'll see if we
can't make a mate of him. Would you trust him to Airheart?"

"It's a resk taking a raw boy -"

"I know a man who did more for me."

"That's diff'runt. Look at here naow, I ain't recommendin' Dan
special because he's my own flesh an' blood. I know Bank ways
ain't clipper ways, but he hain't much to learn. Steer he can - no
boy better, ef I say it - an' the rest's in our blood an' get; but
I could wish he warn't so cussed weak on navigation."

"Airheart will attend to that. He'll ship as a boy for a voyage or
two, and then we can put him in the way of doing better. Suppose
you take him in hand this winter, and I'll send for him early in
the spring. I know the Pacific's a long ways off -"

"Pshaw! We Troops, livin' an' dead, are all around the earth an'
the seas thereof."

"But I want you to understand - and I mean this - any time you
think you'd like to see him, tell me, and I'll attend to the
transportation. 'Twon't cost you a cent."

"Ef you'll walk a piece with me, we'll go to my house an' talk
this to my woman. I've bin so crazy mistook in all my jedgments,
it don't seem to me this was like to be real."

They went over to Troop's eighteen-hundred-dollar, blue-trimmed
white house, with a retired dory full of nasturtiums in the front
yard and a shuttered parlor which was a museum of oversea plunder.
There sat a large woman, silent and grave, with the dim eyes of
those who look long to sea for the return of their beloved. Cheyne
addressed himself to her, and she gave consent wearily.

"We lose one hundred a year from Gloucester only, Mr. Cheyne," she
said -" one hundred boys an' men; and I've come so's to hate the
sea as if 'twuz alive an' listenin'. God never made it fer humans
to anchor on. These packets o' yours they go straight out, I take
it, and straight home again?"

"As straight as the winds let 'em, and I give a bonus for record
passages. Tea don't improve by being at sea."

"When he wuz little he used to play at keeping store, an' I had
hopes he might follow that up. But soon's he could paddle a dory I
knew that were goin' to be denied me."

"They're square-riggers, mother; iron-built an' well found.
Remember what Phil's sister reads you when she gits his letters."

"I've never known as Phil told lies, but he's too venturesome
(like most of 'em that use the sea). Ef Dan sees fit, Mr. Cheyne,
he can go - fer all o' me."

"She jest despises the ocean," Disko explained, "an' I - I dunno
haow to act polite, I guess, er I'd thank you better."

"My father - my own eldest brother - two nephews - an' my second
sister's man," she said, dropping her head on her hand. "Would you
care fer any one that took all those?"

Cheyne was relieved when Dan turned up and accepted with more
delight than he was able to put into words. Indeed, the offer
meant a plain and sure road to all desirable things; but Dan
thought most of commanding watch on broad decks, and looking into
far-away harbours.

Mrs. Cheyne had spoken privately to the unaccountable Manuel in
the matter of Harvey's rescue. He seemed to have no desire for
money. Pressed hard, he said that he would take five dollars,
because he wanted to buy something for a girl. Otherwise - "How
shall I take money when I make so easy my eats and smokes? You
will giva some if I like or no? Eh, wha-at? Then you shall giva me
money, but not that way. You shall giva all you can think." He
introduced her to a snuffy Portuguese priest with a list of semi-
destitute widows as long as his cassock. As a strict Unitarian,
Mrs. Cheyne could not sympathise with the creed, but she ended by
respecting the brown, voluble little man.

Manuel, faithful son of the Church, appropriated all the blessings
showered on her for her charity. "That letta me out," said he. "I
have now ver' good absolutions for six months"; and he strolled
forth to get a handkerchief for the girl of the hour and to break
the hearts of all the others.

Salters went West for a season with Penn, and left no address
behind. He had a dread that these millionary people, with wasteful
private cars, might take undue interest in his companion. It was
better to visit inland relatives till the coast was clear. "Never
you be adopted by rich folk, Penn," he said in the cars, "or I'll
take 'n' break this checker-board over your head. Ef you forgit
your name agin - which is Pratt - you remember you belong with
Salters Troop, an' set down right where you are till I come fer
you. Don't go taggin' araound after them whose eyes bung out with
fatness, accordin' to Scripcher."

Rudyard Kipling

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