What’s the matter with that word? If it irked Thomas it irked Kitty no less. It is a part of youth to crave for high-sounding names and occupations. It is in the mother’s milk they feed on. Mothers dream of their babes growing up into presidents or at least ambassadors, if sons; titles and brilliant literary salons, if daughters. What living mother would harbor a dream of a clerkship in a haberdasher’s shop? Perish the thought! Myself for years was told that I had as good a chance as anybody of being president of the United States; a far better chance than many, being as I was my mother’s son.
Irish blood and romance will always be mysteriously intertwined. Haberdasher did not fit in anywhere with Kitty’s projects; it was off-key, a jarring note. Whoever heard of a haberdasher’s clerk reading Morte d’Arthur and writing sonnets? She was reasonably certain that while Thomas had jotted it down in scornful self-flagellation, it occupied a place somewhere in his past.
“They turne out ther trashe
And shew ther haberdashe,
Ther pylde pedlarye.”
There’s no romance in collars and cuffs and ties and suspenders.
Meanwhile Killigrew arrived in New York, went to the bank and deposited Kitty’s opal, and sought his office.
“There’s a Mr. Haggerty in your office, Mr. Killigrew. I told him to wait.”
“Haggerty, the detective?”
“Yes. He said you’d be glad to see him. Has news of some sort.”
Killigrew hurried into his private office. “Hello, Haggerty! What’s the trouble this morning?”
“Got some news for you.” Haggerty accepted a cigar. “I’ve a hunch that I can find Miss Killigrew’s sapphires.”
“No! I thought they had been sold over the other side.”
“Got your man?”
“Nope. Funny kind of a job, though. Fooled th’ customs inspectors. Sapphires ’r here in New York, somewheres.”
“A thousand to you, Haggerty, if you recover them.”
“A row between two stewards on th’ Celtic gave me th’ clue.”
“Why, that’s the boat I came over on.”
“And the thief was on board all the time?”
“Don’t think he was when you crossed. I’ve got t’ wait till th’ boat docks before I can get particulars. It’s like this. Th’ chap who took th’ sapphires engaged passage as a steward. His cabin-mate saw him lookin’ over th’ stones. He’d taken ’em out o’ their settings. This man Jameson pinches ’em, but his mate follows him up an’ has it out with him in a waterfront groggery. Got ’em back. Cool customer. I went on board th’ next morning an’ quizzed him. An’ say, he done me up brown. As unblinkin’ a liar ‘s I ever met. Took me t’ his cabin an’ showed me what he professed Jameson had swiped. Nothing but a pearl an’ coral brooch. He did it so natural that I swallowed th’ bull, horns an’ hoofs. I’ve had every pawnshop in New York looked over, but they ain’t there. I’ve been busy on the maharajah’s emeralds. There’s a case. Cleverest ever. Some drug, atomized through a keyhole, which puts y’ t’ by-by.”