Thanks to the constitution of a Nubian lion, Dirty Dan’s wounds and contusions had healed very rapidly and after he got out of hospital, he spent ten days in recuperating his sadly depleted strength. His days he spent in the sunny lee of a lumber pile in the drying-yard, where, in defiance of the published ordinance, he smoked plug tobacco and perused the Gaelic American.
Now, Mr. O’Leary, as has been stated earlier in this chronicle, was bad black Irish. Since the advent of Oliver Cromwell into Ireland, the males of every generation of the particular tribe of O’Leary to which Dirty Dan belonged had actively or passively supported the battles of Ould Ireland against the hereditary enemy across the Channel, and Dirty Dan had suckled this holy hatred at his mother’s breast; wherefore he regarded it in the light of his Christian duty to keep that hate alive by subscribing to the Gaelic American and believing all he read therein anent the woes of the Emerald Isle. Mr. O’Leary was also a member of an Irish-American revolutionary society, and was therefore aware that presently his kind of Irish were to rise, cast off their shackles (and, with the help o’ God and the German kaiser) proclaim the Irish Republic.
For several months past, Daniel’s dreams had dwelt mostly with bayonet-practice. Ordinary bayonets, however, were not for him. He dreamed his trusty steel was as long as a cross-cut saw, and nightly he skewered British soldiers on it after the fashion of kidneys and bacon en brochette. For two months he had been saving his money toward a passage home to Ireland and the purchase of a rifle and two thousand rounds of ammunition—soft-nose bullets preferred—with the pious intention of starting with “th’ bhoys” at the very beginning and going through with them to the bloody and triumphant finish.
Unfortunately for Dirty Dan, his battle in defense of Donald McKaye had delayed his sortie to the fields of martyrdom. On the morning that Nan Brent left Port Agnew, however, fortune had again smiled upon The O’Leary. Meeting Judge Moore, who occupied two local offices—justice of the peace and coroner—upon the street, that functionary had informed Dan that the public generally, and he and the town marshal in particular, traced an analogy between the death of the mulatto in Darrow and Mr. O’Leary’s recent sojourn in the Tyee Lumber Company’s hospital, and thereupon, verbally subpoenaed him to appear before a coroner’s jury the following day at ten o’clock A.M., then and there to tell what he knew about said homicide.
Dirty Dan received this summons with outward nonchalance but tremendous secret apprehensions, and immediately fled for advice to no less a person than Andrew Daney.
However, the Fates ordained that Andrew Daney should be spared the trouble of advising Dirty Dan, for as the latter came shuffling down the hall toward Daney’s office door, The Laird emerged from his old office and accosted his henchman.