“I have simply been preparing myself for a sea-faring life. I can pass the examination to-day if necessary. Once in possession of my diploma, it would be easy for me to obtain a position as a lieutenant in any sea-port.
“And you have done all this without saying a word to me?” said the doctor, half grieved, while the lawyer and the professor both laughed heartily.
“Well,” said Erik, “I do not think that I have committed any great crime. I have only made inquiries as to the requisite amount of knowledge, and I have mastered it. I should not have made any use of it without asking your permission, and I now solicit it.”
“And I shall grant it, wicked boy,” said the doctor, “But to let you set out all alone now is another matter—we will wait until you have attained your majority.”
Erik submitted to this decision willingly and gratefully.
However, the doctor was not willing to give up his own ideas. To search the sea-ports personally he regarded as a last expedient. An advertisement on the other hand would go everywhere. If Patrick O’Donoghan was not hiding away, they might possibly find him by this means. If he was hiding, some one might see it and betray him. He therefore had this advertisement written in seven or eight different languages, and dispatched to the four quarters of the globe in a hundred of the most widely circulated newspapers.
“Patrick O’Donoghan, a sailor, has been absent from New York for four years. A reward of one hundred pounds sterling will be paid to any one who can give me news of him. Five hundred pounds sterling will be given to the said Patrick O’Donoghan if he will communicate with the advertiser. He need fear nothing, as no advantage will be taken of him.
By the 20th of October, the doctor and his companions had returned to their homes.
The next day the advertisement was sent to the advertising agency in Stockholm, and three days afterward it had made its appearance in several newspapers. Erik could not repress a sigh and a presentiment that it would be unsuccessful as he read it.
As for Mr. Bredejord, he declared openly that it was the greatest folly in the world, and that for the future he considered the affair a failure.
But Erik and Mr. Bredejord were deceived, as events afterward proved.
Tudor brown, esquire.
One morning in May the doctor was in his office, when his servant brought him a visitor’s card. This card, which was small as is usual in America, had the name of “Mr. Tudor Brown, on board the ‘Albatross’” printed upon it.
“Mr. Tudor Brown,” said the doctor, trying to remember whom he had ever known who bore this name.
“This gentleman asked to see the doctor,” said the servant.