“Hello, dad!” Donald greeted him.
The father, in great good humor, joined his son, and they proceeded to dine, chaffing each other good-naturedly the while, and occasionally exchanging pleasantries with their neighbors at adjoining tables. The Laird was in excellent spirits, a condition which his interview that afternoon with Nan Brent had tended to bring about; during the period that had elapsed between his subsequent doubts and his meeting with his son, he had finally decided that the entire matter was a mare’s nest and had dismissed it from his mind.
After dinner, they walked down to the railroad station together, Donald carrying his father’s bag. While The Laird was at the ticket-window purchasing his transportation, his son walked over to a baggage-truck to rest the bag upon it. As the bag landed with a thud, a man who had been seated on the truck with his back toward Donald glanced over his shoulder in a leisurely way, and, in that glance, the latter recognized one of the Greeks he had evicted from the Sawdust Pile—the same man who had thrown a beer-bottle at him the day he motored through Darrow.
“What are you doing in Port Agnew?” Donald demanded.
To his query, the fellow replied profanely that this was none of his interrogator’s affair.
“Well, it is some of my affair,” the new boss of Tyee replied. “I have a crow to pluck with you, anyhow, and I’m going to pluck it now.” He grasped the Greek by his collar and jerked him backward until the man lay flat on his back across the baggage-truck; then, with his horny left hand, Donald slapped the sullen face vigorously, jerked the fellow to his feet, faced him in the direction of Darrow, and, with a vigorous kick, started him on his way. “That’s for throwing beer-bottles!” he called after the man. “And hereafter you keep out of Port Agnew. Your kind are not welcome here.”
The Greek departed into the night cursing, while The Laird, still at the ticket-window, glanced interestedly from his son to the Greek and then back to Donald.
“What’s the idea, son?” he demanded.
“A recent dweller on the Sawdust Pile,” his son replied easily. “He declared war on me, so, naturally, he comes into my territory at his own risk. That scum from Darrow must keep out of our town, dad, and force is the only argument they can understand. Daney gave them a free hand and spoiled them, but I’m going to teach them who’s boss around here now. Besides, I owe that fellow a poke. He insulted Nan Brent. There would have been a bill for repairs on the scoundrel if I had caught him the day I drove his gang off the Sawdust Pile.”