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

“I happened to be looking down at the Sawdust Pile when you hauled your flag down this morning,” he explained, in a low voice.  “So I knew you were going away.  That’s why I’m here.”  To this extraordinary speech, the girl merely replied with an inquiring look.  “I wonder if you will permit me to be as kind to you as I can,” he continued.  “I know it sounds a bit blunt and vulgar to offer you money, but when one needs money—­”

“I have sufficient for my present needs,” she replied.  “Mr. Daney has paid me for the loss of my motor-boat, you know.  You are very kind; but I think I shall have no need to impose further on your generosity.  I think the twenty-five hundred dollars will last me nicely until I have made a new start in life.”

“Ah!” The Laird breathed softly, “Twenty-five hundred dollars.  Yes, yes!  So he did; so he did!  And are you leaving Port Agnew indefinitely, Nan?”

“Forever,” she replied.  “We have robbed you of the ground for a drying-yard for nearly ten years, but this morning the Sawdust Pile is yours.”

“Bless my soul!” The Laird ejaculated.  “Why, we are not at all in distress for more drying-space.”

“Mr. Daney intimated that you were.  He asked me how much I would take to abandon my squatter’s right, but I declined to charge you a single cent.”  She smiled up at him a ghost of her sweet, old-time whimsical smile.  “It was the first opportunity I had to be magnanimous to the McKaye family, and I hastened to take advantage of it.  I merely turned the key in the lock and departed.”

“Daney has been a trifle too zealous for the Tyee interests, I fear,” he replied gently.  “And where do you plan to live?”

“That,” she retorted, still smilingly, “is a secret.  It may interest you, Mr. McKaye, to know that I am not even leaving a forwarding address for my mail.  You see, I never receive any letters of an important nature.”

He was silent a moment, digesting this.  Then,

“And does my son share a confidence which I am denied?”

“He does not, Mr. McKaye.  This is my second opportunity to do the decent thing toward the McKaye family—­so I am doing it.  I plan to make rather a thorough job of it, too.  You—­you’ll be very kind and patient with him, will you not?  He’s going to feel rather badly, you know, but, then, I never encouraged him.  It’s all his fault, I think—­I tried to play fair—­and it was so hard.”  Her voice sunk to a mere whisper.  “I’ve always loved Donald, Mr. McKaye.  Most people do; so I have not regarded it as sinful on my part.”

“You are abandoning him of your own free will—­”

“Certainly.  I have to.  Surely you must realize that?”

“Yes, I do.  I have felt that he would never abandon you.”  He opened and closed his big hands nervously, and was plainly a trifle distrait.  “So—­so this is your idea of playing the game, is it?” he demanded presently.  She nodded.  “Well,” he replied helplessly, “I would to God I dared be as good a sport as you are, Nan Brent!  Hear me, now, lass.  Think of the thing in life you want to do and the place where you want to do it—­”

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