“But I do feel it now,” said Lawford simply. “You have made me. And, as I say, I’ll need to live, I suppose, till I get going for myself.”
His father winced again. Then suddenly burst out:
“D’you think for a minute that that society girl will stand for your getting a job and trying to support her on your wages?”
“She will if she loves me.”
“You poor ninny!” burst out I. Tapp. “You’ve got about as much idea of women as you have of business. And where are you going to work?”
“Well,” and Lawford smiled a little whimsically, serious though the discussion was, “I’ve always felt a leaning toward the candy business. I believe I have a natural adaptability for that. Couldn’t I find a job in one of your factories, dad?”
“You’ll get no leg-up from me, unless you show you’re worthy of it.”
“But you’ll give me a job?”
“I won’t interfere if the superintendent of any of the factories takes you on,” growled I. Tapp. “But mind you, he’ll hire you on his own responsibility—he’ll understand that from me. But I tell you right now this is no time to apply for a job in a candy factory. We’re discharging men—not hiring them.”
“I will apply for the first opening,” announced the son.
I. Tapp stamped away along the graveled walk, leaving the young man alone. Lawford’s calmness was as irritating to him as sea water to a raw wound.
Those days were dark for Louise Grayling; on her shoulders she bore double trouble. Anxiety for her father’s safety made her sufficiently unhappy; but in addition her mind must cope with the mystery of Cap’n Amazon’s identity and Cap’n Abe’s whereabouts.
For she was not at all satisfied in her heart that the storekeeper had sailed from the port of Boston on the Curlew; and the status of the piratical looking Amazon Silt was by no means decided to her satisfaction. Her discoveries in his bedroom had quite convinced the young woman that Cap’n Amazon was in masquerade.
His comforting words and his thoughtfulness touched her so deeply, however, that she could not quarrel with the old man; and his insistence that Cap’n Abe had sailed on the Curlew and would be at hand to assist Professor Grayling if the schooner had been wrecked was kindly meant, she knew. He scoffed at the return of Cap’n Abe’s chest as being of moment; he refused to discuss his brother’s reason for stuffing the old chest with such useless lumber as it contained.
“Leave Abe for knowing his own business, Niece Louise. ’Tain’t any of our consarn,” was the most he would say about that puzzling circumstance.
Louise watched the piratical figure of Cap’n Amazon shuffling around the store or puttering about certain duties of housekeeping that he insisted upon doing himself, with a wonder that never waned.