Manuel, faithful son of the Church, appropriated all the blessings showered on her for her charity. “That letta me out,” said he. “I have now ver’ good absolutions for six months”; and he strolled forth to get a handkerchief for the girl of the hour and to break the hearts of all the others.
Salters went West for a season with Penn, and left no address behind. He had a dread that these millionary people, with wasteful private cars, might take undue interest in his companion. It was better to visit inland relatives till the coast was clear. “Never you be adopted by rich folk, Penn,” he said in the cars, “or I’ll take ‘n’ break this checker-board over your head. Ef you forgit your name agin—which is Pratt—you remember you belong with Salters Troop, an’ set down right where you are till I come fer you. Don’t go taggin’ araound after them whose eyes bung out with fatness, accordin’ to Scripcher.”
But it was otherwise with the ‘We’re Here’s’ silent cook, for he came up, his kit in a handkerchief, and boarded the “Constance.” Pay was no particular object, and he did not in the least care where he slept. His business, as revealed to him in dreams, was to follow Harvey for the rest of his days. They tried argument and, at last, persuasion; but there is a difference between one Cape Breton and two Alabama negroes, and the matter was referred to Cheyne by the cook and porter. The millionaire only laughed. He presumed Harvey might need a body-servant some day or other, and was sure that one volunteer was worth five hirelings. Let the man stay, therefore; even though he called himself MacDonald and swore in Gaelic. The car could go back to Boston, where, if he were still of the same mind, they would take him West.
With the “Constance,” which in his heart of hearts he loathed, departed the last remnant of Cheyne’s millionairedom, and he gave himself up to an energetic idleness. This Gloucester was a new town in a new land, and he purposed to “take it in,” as of old he had taken in all the cities from Snohomish to San Diego of that world whence he hailed. They made money along the crooked street which was half wharf and half ship’s store: as a leading professional he wished to learn how the noble game was played. Men said that four out of every five fish-balls served at New England’s Sunday breakfast came from Gloucester, and overwhelmed him with figures in proof—statistics of boats, gear, wharf-frontage, capital invested, salting, packing, factories, insurance, wages, repairs, and profits. He talked with the owners of the large fleets whose skippers were little more than hired men, and whose crews were almost all Swedes or Portuguese. Then he conferred with Disko, one of the few who owned their craft, and compared notes in his vast head. He coiled himself away on chain-cables in marine junk-shops, asking questions with cheerful, unslaked Western curiosity,