Bat smoked on thoughtfully, and presently the other roused himself from the pre-occupation into which he had fallen.
“Does that satisfy?” he demanded.
“I’ll do the darnedest I know, Les,” he said in his sturdy fashion. “Fix that pore gal right. Hand her the share she’s a right to—when the time comes along. Do that an’ I’ll not rest till the Skandinavians are left hollerin’. That kid’s your daughter, for all she ain’t flesh and blood of yours, an’ you ain’t ever see her. And anyway she’s flesh of your Nancy, which seems to me hands her even a bigger claim.”
He moved away from his leaning post and his back was turned to hide that which looked out of his eyes.
“I’m grieved,” he went on, in his simple fashion, “I’m so grieved about things I can’t tell you, Les. I always guessed to drive this thing through with you. I always reckoned to make good to you for that thing you did by me. Well, there’s no use in talkin’. You reckon this notion of yours’ll make you feel better, it’s goin’ to hand you—peace. That goes with me. Oh, yes, all the time, seein’ you feel that way. But—say, we best get right home—or I’ll cry like a darn-fool kid.”
Charles Nisson was standing at the window. His eyes were deeply reflective as he watched the gently falling snow outside. He was a sturdy creature in his well-cut, well-cared-for black suit. For all he was past middle life there was little about him to emphasise the fact unless it were his trim, well-brushed snow-white hair, and the light covering of whisker and beard of a similar hue. He looked to be full of strength of purpose and physical energy.
His back was turned on the pleasant dining-room of his home in Abercrombie, a remote town in Ontario, where he and his wife had only just finished breakfast. Sarah Nisson was sitting beside the anthracite stove which radiated its pleasant warmth against the bitter chill of winter reigning outside. She was still consuming the pages of her bulky mail.
A clock chimed the hour, and the wife looked up from her letter. She turned a face that was still pretty for all her fifty odd years, in the direction of the man at the window.
“Ten o’clock, Charles,” she reminded him. Then her enquiring look melted into a gentle smile. “The office has less attraction with the snow falling.”
“It has less attraction to-day, anyway,” the lawyer responded without turning. A short laugh punctuated his prompt reply.
“You mean the Nancy McDonald business?”
Sarah Nisson laid her mail aside.