“Do you think there’s any danger of his coming back?” asked Bessie, alarmed by his serious tone.
“I don’t know, Bessie, but I do know Brack. And I’ve found out this much about him. He’s like a rabbit—he’ll fight when he’s driven into a corner. And the time he’s most dangerous is when he seems to be beaten, when it looks as if he hadn’t a leg to stand on.”
“Do you think he’s beaten now, Mr. Jamieson?”
“No, I don’t! And just because he’s the man he is. If it were anyone else, I’d say yes, because I don’t see what they can expect to do. But you can depend upon it that Brack has some dirty trick up his sleeve, and from all you tell me of this man Weeks, he’s the same sort of an ugly customer. So you keep your eyes open, and if anything happens to worry you, call me up right away. Get me at my office if it’s before five o’clock; after that, call up this number.” He wrote down a telephone number on a slip of paper and handed it to Bessie.
“That’s the telephone at my home, and if I’m not there myself ask for my servant, Farrell. He’ll be there, and he’ll manage to get word to me somehow, no matter where I am.”
“Oh, I do hope I shan’t have to bother you, Mr. Jamieson.”
“Don’t you worry about that. That’s what I’m here for, to be bothered, as you call it, if there’s any need of me. Remember that you can’t do everything yourself—and you may only get into trouble yourself without really helping if you try to do it all. So call on me if there’s any need. And, whatever you do, don’t let Zara go out of the house alone on any pretence. Remember that, will you?”
“I certainly will, Mr. Jamieson. You’re awfully good to us, and I know Zara would be grateful, too, if she were herself. She will be as soon as all this trouble is over.”
“I know that, Bessie. Don’t you fuss around being grateful to me until I’ve really done something for you. You know, you’re the sort of girl I like. You’ve got pluck, and you don’t get discouraged, like so many girls—though Heaven knows you’ve had enough trouble to make you as nervous as any of them.”
“I get awfully frightened. Indeed, I do!”
“Of course you do, but you’ve got pluck enough to admit it. Remember this: the real hero is the man who does what’s right, and what he knows he ought to do, even if he’s scared so that he’s shaking like a leaf. Any fool can do a thing if it doesn’t frighten him to do it, and he doesn’t deserve any special credit for that. The real bravery is the sort a man shows when he goes into battle, for instance, and wants to turn around and run as soon as he hears the bullets singing over his head.”
“I’m sure I would want to do just that—”