“Well, that ought to get ’em to Liverpool sometime soon then. They took a powerful fast ship. Makes it in less ’n six days, they say. Let’s see. They sailed day before yesterday. They must be out sight o’ land by this time.”
“Yes, unless they’re passin’ some islands,” agreed Blootch.
“Thunderation! What air you talkin’ about?” said Anderson scornfully. “Cuby an’ Porty Rico’s been passed long ago. Them islands ain’t far from Boston. Don’t you remember how skeered the Boston people were durin’ the war with Spain? Feared the Spanish shells might go a little high an’ smash up the town? Islands nothin’! They’ve got away out into deep water by this time, boys. ‘y Gosh, I’m anxious about Rosalie. S’posin’ that derned boat struck a rock er upset er somethin’! They never could swim ashore.”
“Oh, there’s no danger, Anderson,” said Mr. Lamson. “Those boats are perfectly safe. I suppose they’re going to telegraph you when they land.”
“No, they’re goin’ to cable, Wick says. Doggone, I’m glad it’s all settled. You don’t know how hard I’ve worked all these years to find out who her parents was. Course I knowed they were foreigners all the time, but Rosalie never had no brogue, so you c’n see how I was threw off the track. She talked jest as good American as we do. I was mighty glad when I finally run Miss Banks to earth.” The crowd was in no position to argue the point with him. “That Miss Banks is a fine girl, boys. She done the right thing. An’ so did my Rosalie—I mean Lady Rosalie. She made Elsie keep some of the money. Mr. Barnes is goin’ to England next week to help settle the matter for Lady Rosalie. He says she’s got nearly a million dollars tied up some’eres. It’s easy sailin’, though, ’cause Mrs. Banks says so. Did you hear what Rosalie said when she got convinced about bein’ an English lady?”
“No; what did she say?”
“She jest stuck up that derned little nose o’ hern an’ said: ’I am an American as long as I live.’”
“Hooray!” shouted Alf Reesling, throwing Isaac Porter’s new hat into the air. The crowd joined in the cheering.
“Did I ever tell you how I knowed all along that it was a man who left Rosalie on the porch?” asked Anderson.
“Why, you allus told me it was a woman,” said Alf. “You accused me of bein’ her.”
“Shucks! Woman nothin’! I knowed it was a man. Here’s somethin’ you don’t know, Alf. I sized up the foot-prints on my front steps jest after she—I mean he—dropped the basket. The toes turned outward, plain as day, right there in the snow.” He paused to let the statement settle in their puzzled brains. “Don’t you know that one hunderd percent of the women turn their toes in when they go upstairs? To keep from hookin’ into their skirts? Thunder, you oughter of thought of that, too!”
Some one had posted Anderson on this peculiarly feminine trait, and he was making the best of it. Incidentally, it may be said that every man in Tinkletown took personal observations in order to satisfy himself.