So we went strolling,
Down by the rolling, down by the rolling sea.
You may keep your croak for other folk
But you can’t frighten me!
He lighted a cigarette and stretched himself out on the old divan. She watched him blowing smoke rings at the ceiling—and there was no music in her soul.
In the afternoon the McKaye limousine drew up at the front gate and Nan’s heart fluttered violently in contemplation of a visit from her husband’s mother and sisters. She need not have worried, however. The interior of the car was unoccupied save for Donald’s clothing and personal effects which some thoughtful person at The Dreamerie had sent down to him. He hazarded a guess that the cool and practical Elizabeth had realized his needs.
Returning to the mill office, Mr. Daney sat at his desk and started to look over the mail. The Laird heard his desk buzzer sounding frequently and rightly conjecturing that his general manager was back on the job, he came into the latter’s office and glared at him.
“I thought I fired you?” he growled.
“I know. You thought you did,” the rebel replied complacently. “I see by your knuckles you’ve been fighting. Hope it did you good.”
“It did. Are you going to leave this office?”
“I didn’t think you would. Well, well! Out with it.”
Mr. Daney drew a deal of pleasure from that invitation. “The boy directs me to inform you, sir, that he will not accept the bonds nor any monies you may desire to give him. He says he doesn’t need them because he isn’t going to leave Port Agnew.”
“Nonsense, Andrew. He cannot remain in this town. He hasn’t the courage to face his little world after marrying that girl. And he has to make a living for her.”
“We shall see that which we shall see,” Mr. Daney replied enigmatically.
“I wonder if it is possible he is trying to outgame me,” old Hector mused aloud. “Andrew, go back and tell him that if he will go to California to live I will deed him that Lassen county sugar and white pine and build him the finest mill in the state.”
“The terms are quite impossible,” Daney retorted and explained why.
“He shall get out of Port Agnew,” The Laird threatened. “He shall get out or starve.”
“You are forgetting something, sir.”
“That I have more than a hundred thousand dollars in bonds right in that vault and that I have not as yet developed paralysis of the right hand. The boy shall not starve and neither shall he crawl, like a beaten dog currying favor with the one that has struck him.”
“I am the one who has been struck—and he has wounded me sorely,” The Laird cried, his voice cracked with anger.
“The mischief is done. What’s the use of crying over spilled milk? You’re going to forgive the boy sooner or later, so do it now and be graceful about it.”