The Laird returned, puffing slightly, to his office and once more sat in at his own desk. As he remarked to Dirty Dan, he felt better now. All his resentment against Daney had fled but his resolution to pursue his contemplated course with reference to his son and the latter’s wife had become firmer than ever. In some ways The Laird was a terrible old man.
Nan was not at all surprised when, upon responding to a peremptory knock at her front door she discovered Andrew Daney standing without. The general manager, after his stormy interview with The Laird had spent two hours in the sunny lee of a lumber pile, waiting for the alcoholic fogs to lift from his brain, for he had had sense enough left to realize that all was not well with him; he desired to have his tongue in order when he should meet the bride and groom.
“Good morning, Mr. Daney,” Nan greeted him. “Do come in.”
“Good morning, Mrs. McKaye. Thank you. I shall with pleasure.”
He followed her down the little hallway to the living room where Donald sat with his great thin legs stretched out toward the fire.
“Don’t rise, boy, don’t rise,” Mr. Daney protested. “I merely called to kiss the bride and shake your hand, my boy. The visit is entirely friendly and unofficial.”
“Mr. Daney, you’re a dear,” Nan cried, and presented her fair cheek for the tribute he claimed.
“Shake hands with a rebel, boy,” Mr. Daney cried heartily to Donald. “God bless you and may you always be happier than you are this minute.”
Donald wrung the Daney digits with a heartiness he would not have thought possible a month before.
“I’ve quarreled with your father, Donald,” he announced, seating himself. “Over you—and you,” he added, nodding brightly at both young people. “He thinks he’s fired me.” He paused, glanced around, coughed a couple of times and came out with it. “Well, what are you going to do now to put tobacco in your old tobacco box, Donald?”
Donald smiled sadly. “Oh, Nan still has a few dollars left from that motor-boat swindle you perpetrated, Mr. Daney. She’ll take care of me for a couple of weeks until I’m myself again; then, if my father still proves recalcitrant and declines to have me connected with the Tyee Lumber Company, I’ll manage to make a living for Nan and the boy somewhere else.”
Briefly Mr. Daney outlined The Laird’s expressed course of action with regard to his son.
“He means it,” Donald assured the general manager. “He never bluffs. He gave me plenty of warning and his decision has not been arrived at in a hurry. He’s through with me.”
“I fear he is, my boy. Er-ah-ahem! Harumph-h-h! Do you remember those bonds you sent me from New York once—the proceeds of your deal in that Wiskah river cedar?”
“Your father desires that you accept the entire two hundred thousand dollars worth and accrued interest.”