“My dear Mrs. McKaye,” Daney retorted in even tones, “do you wish me to inform your husband of a certain long distance telephone conversation? If so—”
She hung up without waiting to say good-by, and the following day she left for Seattle, accompanied by her daughters.
Throughout the week The Laird forbore mentioning his son’s name to Mr. Daney; indeed, he refrained from addressing the latter at all unless absolutely necessary to speak to him directly—wherefore Daney knew himself to be blacklisted. On the following Sunday The Laird sat alone in the family pew and Mr. Daney did not cough during the recital of the Lord’s prayer, so old Hector managed to conquer a tremendous yearning to glance around for the reason. Also, as on the previous Sunday, he was in no hurry to leave his pew at the conclusion of the service, yet, to his profound irritation, when he did leave it and start down the central aisle of the church, he looked squarely into the faces of Donald and Nan as they emerged from the Daney pew. Mrs. Daney was conspicuous by her absence. Nan’s baby boy had fallen asleep during the service and Donald was carrying the cherub.
Old Hector’s face went white; he gulped when his son spoke to him.
“Hello, Dad. You looked lonely all by yourself in that big pew. Suppose we come up and sit with you next Sunday?”
Old Hector paused and bent upon his son and Nan a terrible look. “Never speak to me again so long as you live,” he replied in a low voice, and passed out of the church.
Donald gazed after his broad erect figure and shook his head dolefully, as Mr. Daney fell into step beside him. “I told you so,” he whispered.
“Isn’t it awful to be Scotch?” Nan inquired.
“It is awful—on the Scotch,” her husband assured her. “The dear old fraud gulped like a broken-hearted boy when I spoke to him. He’d rather be wrong than president.”
As they were walking home to the Sawdust Pile, Nan captured one of her husband’s great fingers and swung it childishly. “I wish you didn’t insist upon our going to church, sweetheart,” she complained. “We’re spoiling your father’s Christianity.”
“Can’t help it,” he replied doggedly. “We’re going to be thoroughbreds about this, no matter how much it hurts.”
She sighed. “And you’re only half Scotch, Donald.”
By noon of the following day, Port Agnew was astounded by news brought by the crew of one of the light draft launches used to tow log rafts down the river. Donald McKaye was working for Darrow. He was their raftsman; he had been seen out on the log boom, pike pole in hand, shoving logs in to the endless chain elevator that drew them up to the seas. As might be imagined, Mrs. Daney was among the first to glean this information, and to her husband she repeated it at luncheon with every evidence of pleasure.