“He may not be in European yachting form,” admitted Fitzgerald, “but he’s the kind of man who makes a navy a good fighting machine.”
“But we usually pick out gentlemen to captain our private yachts.”
“Oh, this Flanagan is an exception. There is probably a fighting bond between him and the admiral; that makes some difference. You observed, he called the owner by the title of commodore, as he did thirty-five years ago. Ten o’clock; we should be going up.”
The carriage was at the hotel when they returned. They bundled in their traps, and drove away.
The little man now dropped into the railway station, and stuck his head into the ticket aperture. The agent, who was seated before the telegraph keys, looked up.
“No tickets before half-past ten, sir.”
“I am not wanting a ticket. I wish to know if I can send a cable from here.”
“A cable? Sure. Where to?”
“Yes, sir. I telegraph it to the cable office in New York, and they do the rest. Here are some blanks.”
The other wrote some hieroglyphics, which made the address impossible to decipher, save that it was directed mainly to Paris. The body of the cablegram contained a single word. The writer paid the toll, and went away.
“Now, what would you think of that?” murmured the operator, scratching his head in perplexity. “Well, the company gets the money, so it’s all the same to me. Butterflies; and all the rest in French. Next time it’ll be bugs. All right; here goes!”
A BIT OF ROMANTIC HISTORY
The house at the top of the hill had two names. It had once been called The Watch Tower, for reasons but vaguely known by the present generation of villagers. To-day it was generally styled The Pines. Yet even this had fallen into disuse, save on the occupant’s letter paper. When any one asked where Rear Admiral Killigrew lived, he was directed to “the big white house at the top o’ the hill.”
The Killigrews had not been born and bred there. Its builder had been a friend of King George; that is, his sympathies had been with taxation without representation. One day he sold the manor cheap. His reasons were sufficient. It then became the property of a wealthy trader, who died in it. This was in 1809. His heirs, living, and preferring to live, in Philadelphia, put up a sign; and being of careful disposition, kept the place in excellent repair.
In the year 1816, it passed into the hands of a Frenchman, and during his day the villagers called the house The Watch Tower; for the Frenchman was always on the high balcony, telescope in hand, gazing seaward. No one knew his name. He dealt with the villagers through his servant, who could speak English, himself professing that he could not speak the language. He was a recluse, almost a hermit. At odd times,