“Where shall we look for him now?” asked Dr. Schwaryencrona, as they embarked for England, on the way to Stockholm.
“At the seaport towns evidently, and clearly at those which are not American,” answered Mr. Bredejord. “For note this point, a sailor, a sea-faring man, does not renounce his profession at the age of thirty-five. It is the only one he knows. Patrick is doubtless still on the sea. And all vessels have some port or other for their destination, and it is only there that we can hope to find this man. What do you think, Hochstedt?”
“Your reasoning seems to be just, although not altogether indisputable,” answered the professor, with his customary prudence.
“Admit that it is right,” continued Mr. Bredejord. “We know that Patrick O’Donoghan was frightened away and would be in dread of pursuit, perhaps of being extradited. In that case, he would avoid his old companions, and seek in preference ports where he was not likely to meet any of them. I know that my ideas can be contradicted, but let us suppose they are well founded. The number of ports which are not frequented by American vessels is not very large. I think we might begin by seeking in these places news of Patrick O’Donoghan.”
“Why not have recourse to advertisements?” asked Dr. Schwaryencrona.
“Because Patrick O’Donoghan would not answer them if he is trying to hide himself; even supposing that a sailor would be likely to see your advertisement.”
“But you could word your advertisement so as to assure him that you intended to do him no injury, but rather that it would be greatly to his advantage to communicate with you.”
“You are right, but still I am afraid that an ordinary seaman would not be likely to see such an advertisement.”
“Well, you might try offering a reward to Patrick O’Donoghan, or to any one who would give you information as to where he might be found. What do you think about it, Erik?”
“It seems to me that such an advertisement to produce any result would have to be continued for a long time, and in a great many different papers. That would cost a great deal, and might only frighten Patrick O’Donoghan, no matter how well worded the advertisement might be, provided it is to his interest to remain concealed. Would it not be better to employ some one to visit personally those seaports which this man would be likely to frequent?”
“But where could we find a trusty man who would be willing to undertake such a task?”
“I can furnish one, if you wish it,” answered Erik. “I would go myself.”
“You, my dear child—and what would become of your studies?”
“My studies need not suffer. There is nothing to prevent me from pursuing them, even during my travels. And another thing, doctor, I must confess to you, that I have already secured the means of doing so without costing me anything.”
“How is that possible,” asked Dr. Schwaryencrona, Mr. Bredejord, and Professor Hochstedt, simultaneously.