Kindred of the Dust eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 375 pages of information about Kindred of the Dust.

“You young ladies,” said Mr. Daney, addressing the two young women on duty, “may take a walk around the block.  Port Agnew will not require any service for the next twenty minutes.”

They assimilated his hint, and when he was alone with the chief operator Mr. Daney ordered her to switch the New York call on to Mrs. McKaye at The Dreamerie.  Followed ten minutes of “Ready, Chicago.”  “All right, New York.  Put your party on the line!”—­a lot of persistent buzzing and sudden silence.  Then:  “Hello, Port Agnew.”

Mr. Daney, listening on the extension in the office of the manager, recognized the voice instantly as Nan Brent’s.

“Go on, Mrs. McKaye,” he ordered.  “That’s the Brent girl calling Port Agnew.”

“Hello, Miss Brent.  This is Donald McKaye’s mother speaking.  Can you hear me distinctly?”

“Yes, Mrs. McKaye, quite distinctly.”

“Donald is ill with typhoid fever.  We are afraid he is not going to get well, Miss Brent.  The doctors say that is because he does not want to live.  Do you understand why this should be?”

“Yes; I think I understand perfectly.”

“Will you come back to Port Agnew and help save him?  We all think you can do it, Miss Brent.  The doctors say you are the only one that can save him.”  There was a moment of hesitation.  “His family desires this, then?” “Would I telephone across the continent if we did not?”

“I’ll come, Mrs. McKaye—­for his sake and yours.  I suppose you understand why I left Port Agnew.  If not, I will tell you.  It was for his sake and that of his family.”

“Thank you.  I am aware of that, Miss Brent.  Ah—­of course you will be amply reimbursed for your time and trouble, Miss Brent.  When he is well—­when all danger of a relapse has passed—­I think you realize, Miss Brent, all of the impossible aspects of this unfortunate affair which render it necessary to reduce matters strictly to a business basis.”

“Quite, dear Mrs. McKaye.  I shall return to Port Agnew—­on business—­starting to-morrow morning.  If I arrive in time, I shall do my best to save your son, although to do so I shall probably have to promise not to leave him again.  Of course, I realize that you do not expect me to keep that promise.”

“Oh, I’m so sorry, my dear girl, that I cannot say ‘No’ to that.  But then, since you realized, in the first place, how impossible”

“Good-night.  I must pack my trunk.”

“Just a minute, my girl,” Andrew Daney interrupted.  “Daney speaking.  When you get to Chicago, call up the C.M.  St. P. station.  I’ll have a special train waiting there for you.”

“Thank you, Mr. Daney.  I’m sorry you cannot charter an airplane for me from New York to Chicago.  Good-night, and tell Donald for me whatever you please.”

“Send him a telegram,” Daney pleaded.  “Good-by.”  He turned to the chief operator and looked her squarely in the eyes.  “The Laird likes discreet young women,” he announced meaningly, “and rewards discretion.  If you’re not the highest paid chief operator in the state of Washington from this on, I’m a mighty poor guesser.”

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Kindred of the Dust from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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