“He kin go to law, or to, or to——” The captain longed to say just where, but he checked himself in time. “If Randall wants a fight, jist let him come along. If he gits me into court I’ll tell him a few things I didn’t mention to-night.”
“But it may take our place, Sam’l,” Mrs. Tobin reminded. “Mr. Randall is a rich man and money will do almost anything these days.”
“I don’t care a hang, Martha, how much money he’s got. I’ve got right on my side, an’ I guess that’s never forsaken a man yit, not under the Union Jack, at any rate. To save a gal from a brute of a father is worth a great deal to my way of thinkin’. Hey, Eben, don’t ye agree with me? You had a hand in this.”
The captain turned as he spoke, but his son was not in the room.
“Where in time is that boy?” the captain asked in surprise. “He was here a few minutes ago.”
“He followed Mr. Randall out,” Flo explained, “and he hasn’t come back yet.”
“I s’pose he wants to see that the skunk got away without stealin’ any chickens. It’s jist as well to be on guard when a feller like that’s around. Jist hand me my pipe, will ye, Flo? I want a smoke to settle me nerves. They’ve been upset a bit to-night.”
EBEN ATTENDS TO GRIMSBY
During the conversation Eben bad been a silent listener. But his mind was very busy, and he was doing some serious thinking. Randall appealed to him. He knew that he was a prominent business man, and he liked the brusque way he talked. When, however, he learned that the Hamptons had carried off Jess, his heart filled with anger and jealousy. He truly surmised where they had gone, for he knew how fond John was of the cabin in the wilderness, and it would be the most likely place where he would take the girl for safe keeping. He thought of his encounter with the two down on the shore, and his eyes glowed with a fierce light. He was no match for John in an open fight, he was well aware, so he must use other means.
As he listened to Randall, and watched his every movement, the idea flashed into his mind that this was the man to deal with John Hampton. He longed to see the two together, and, unobserved, watch the encounter. What fun it would be, and how great the satisfaction to witness the defeat of his rival! That they would fight if they met, he had not the slightest doubt, for to his mode of thinking that was the only way to settle such a dispute.
When Randall at length left the house, Eben slipped quietly and quickly out after him. He was by the side of the car just as the owner was taking his seat and giving orders to the chauffeur. Randall saw the dim figure loom up by his side, and demanded who he was and what he wanted.
“It’s only me,” Eben explained.
“And who’s me?” was the curt query.
“Eben, the captain’s son.”