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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 286 pages of information about Kindred of the Dust.

“Well, Nan, he went home to The Dreamerie this afternoon,” the general manager began presently.  “Got up and dressed himself unaided, and insisted on walking out to the car without assistance.  He’s back on a solid diet now, and the way he’s filling up the chinks in his superstructure is a sight to marvel at.  I expect he’ll be back on the job within a month.”

“That is wonderful news, Mr. Daney.”

“Of course,” Daney continued, “his hair is falling out, and he’ll soon be as bald as a Chihuahua dog.  But—­it’ll grow in again.  Yes, indeed.  It’ll grow in.”

“Oh dear!  I do hope it will grow out,” she bantered, in an effort to put him at his ease.  “What a pity if his illness should leave poor Don with a head like a thistle—­with all the fuzzy-wuzzy inside.”

He laughed.

“I’m glad to find you in such good spirits, Nan, because I’ve called to talk business.  And, for some reason or other, I do not relish my job.”

“Then, suppose I dismiss you from this particular job, Mr. Daney.  Suppose I decline to discuss business.”

“Oh, but business is something that has to be discussed sooner or later,” he asured her, on the authority of one whose life had been dedicated to that exacting duty.  “I suppose you’ve kept track of your expenses since you left New York.  That, of course, will include the outlay for your living-expenses while here, and in order to make doubly certain that we are on the safe side, I am instructed to double this total to cover the additional expenses of your return to New York.  And if you will set a value upon your lost time from the day you left New York until your return, both days inclusive, I will include that in the check also.”

“Suppose I should charge you one thousand dollars a day for my lost time,” she suggested curiously.

“I should pay it without the slightest quibble.  The Laird would be delighted to get off so cheaply.  He feels himself obligated to you for returning to Port Agnew—­”

“Did The Laird send you here to adjust these financial details with me, Mr. Daney?”

“He did not.  The matter is entirely in my hands.  Certainly, in all justice, you should be reimbursed for the expenses of a journey voluntarily incurred for the McKaye benefit.”

“Did he say so?”

“No.  But I know him so well that I have little difficulty in anticipating his desires.  I am acting under Mrs. McKaye’s promise to you over the telephone to reimburse you.”

“I am glad to know that, Mr. Daney.  I have a very high regard for Donald’s father, and I should not care to convict him of an attempt to settle with me on a cash basis for declining to marry his son.  I wish you would inform The Laird, Mr. Daney, that what I did was done because it pleased me to do it for his sake and Donald’s.  They have been at some pains, throughout the years, to be kind to the Brents, but, unfortunately for the Brents, opportunities for reciprocity have always been lacking until the night Mrs. McKaye telephoned me in New York.  I cannot afford the gratification of very many desires—­even very simple ones, Mr. Daney—­but this happens to be one of the rare occasions when I can.  To quote Sir Anthony Gloster, ’Thank God I can pay for my fancies!’ The Laird doesn’t owe me a dollar, and I beg you, Mr. Daney, not to distress me by offering it.”

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