Galusha interrupted. The faculty of framing words and uttering them was returning to him, albeit slowly and jerkily.
“Why—why, Captain Hallett,” he faltered. “How—how—who—who—”
“Martha didn’t tell me nothin’ except that she had sold her stock,” broke in the light keeper. “I guessed that, too, afore she told me. She never mentioned your name, Mr. Bangs, nor where she sold it, nor nothin’. But, of course, when I found out ’twas you who went to Boston and fetched home the five thousand dollars I didn’t need to be told—much. Now, Mr. Bangs, I wish you’d see if you can’t sell my four hundred shares for me. It’ll be consider’ble of a favor if you will. You see, them shares—”
But Galusha did not wait for him to finish. His alarmed protests fairly tumbled over each other.
“Why—why, Captain Hallett,” he cried, “really I—I . . . ah . . . What you ask is quite impossible. Oh, very much so—ah—very. You see . . . Well, really, I . . . Captain Hallett, this entire matter was supposed to be a secret, an absolute secret. I am surprised—and—ah—shocked to learn—”
The captain’s big paw was uplifted as a signal. “Sshh! Heave to! Come up into the wind a minute, Mr. Bangs. ’Tis a secret, fur’s I’m consarned, and ’twill be just the same after I’ve sold my stock. I realize that business men don’t want business matters talked about, ’tain’t likely. All I’d like to have you do is just see if you can’t dispose of that four hundred of mine, same as you done with Martha’s. Just as a favor I’m askin’ it.”
Galusha shook his head violently. His agitation was as great as ever. After going through the agony of the frying pan and congratulating himself that that torment was over, then to find he had escaped merely into the fire was perfectly maddening—not to say frightening—and—oh, dear, dear, dear!
“Really, I’m very sorry, very,” he reiterated. “But I am quite sure I can do nothing with your shares, Captain Hallett. It—it— such a thing would be absolutely impossible. I’m sorry.”
Captain Jethro’s calm was unshaken. “We-ll,” he said, slowly, “I ain’t altogether surprised. Course I could see that maybe you wouldn’t want to go cruisin’ up to them folks again, ’specially they bein’ relations. I don’t blame you for that, Mr. Bangs. But, in case you did feel that way, I’d made up my mind I’d go up there myself and see ’em.”
“Eh? Ah—ah— See? See whom?”
“Why, them relations of yours. Them Cabot, Bancroft and Cabot folks. I know of ’em; everybody that knows anything about bankin’ does, of course. I don’t know any of ’em personal, but I cal’lated maybe you’d be willin’ to give me a note, a letter introducin’ me, you see. Then I could tell ’em why I come, and how I wanted to talk with ’em about sellin’ some more of the same stock they sold for you. That would be all right, wouldn’t it, Mr. Bangs?”