“Well, Dan!” he greeted the convalescent, “how do you find yourself these days?”
“Poorly, sir, poorly,” Dirty Dan declared. “Twas only yisterd’y I had to take the other side av the shtreet to av’id a swamper from Darrow, sir.”
The Laird smiled.
“Well, Dan, I think it’s about time I did something to make you feel better. I owe you considerable for that night’s work, so here’s a thousand dollars for you, my boy. Go down to southern California or Florida for a month or two, and when you’re back in your old form, report for duty. I have an idea Mr. Donald intends to make you foreman of the loading-sheds and the drying-yard when you’re ready for duty.”
“God bless ye, me lord, an’ may the heavens be your bed!” murmured the astounded lumberjack, as The Laird produced his wallet and counted into Dan’s grimy quivering paw ten crisp hundred-dollar bills. “Oh, t’ank you, sor; t’ank you a t’ousand times, sor. An’ ye’ll promise me, won’t ye, to sind for me firrst-off if ye should be wan tin’ some blackguard kilt?”
“I assure you, Dan, you are my sole official killer,” laughed The Laird, and shook the O’Leary’s hand with great heartiness. “Better take my advice about a good rest, Dan.”
“Sor, I’ll be afther havin’ the vacation o’ me life.”
“Good-by, then, and good luck to you, Dan!”
“Good-by, an’ God bless ye, sor!”
Five minutes later, Daniel J. O’Leary was in the general store fitting on what he termed a “Sunday suit.” Also, he bought himself two white shirts of the “b’iled” variety, a red necktie, a brown Derby hat, and a pair of shoes, all too narrow to accommodate comfortably his care-free toes. Next, he repaired to the barber-shop, where he had a hair-cut and a shave. His ragged red mustache, ordinarily of the soup-strainer pattern, he had trimmed, waxed, and turned up at each end; the barber put much pomade on his hair and combed it in a Mazeppa, with the result that when! Daniel J. O’Leary appeared at the railroad station the following morning, and purchased a ticket for New York City, Hector McKaye, loitering in front of the station on the lookout for Nan Brent, looked at and through Mr. O’Leary without recognizing him from Adam’s off ox.
It is, perhaps, superfluous to remark that Dirty Dan was about to embark upon an enterprise designed to make his dreams come true. He was headed for Ireland and close grips with the hated redcoats as fast as train and steamer could bear him.
Now, Mr. O’Leary had never seen Nan Brent, although he had heard her discussed in one or two bunk-houses about the time her child had been born. Also, he was a lumberjack, and since lumberjacks never speak to the “main push” unless first spoken to, he did not regard it as all necessary to bring himself to Hector McKaye’s notice when his alert intelligence informed him that The Laird had failed to recognize him in his going-away habiliments. Further, he could see with half an eye that The Laird was waiting for somebody, and when that somebody appeared on the scene, the imp of suspicion in Dirty Dan’s character whispered: “Begorra, is the father up to some shenanigans like the son? Who’s this girrl? I dunno. A young widder, belike, seem’ she has a youngster wit’ her.”