Galusha reflected a moment. Then he said: “I shouldn’t be greatly surprised if your new position at the radio station may be the cause, Captain Hallett is—ah—not unmindful of success in business. Miss Mar—ah—that is, Miss Phipps says he is a very shrewd business man. My own experience,” he added, meditatively, “would lead me to that conclusion, also.”
Nelson was surprised.
“Have you had business dealings with the cap’n?” he asked. “I never thought of you as a business man, Mr. Bangs.”
Galusha started and seemed embarrassed.
“Oh—ah—ah—I’m not, Mr. Howard,” he declared, hastily. “Indeed, no.”
“But you spoke of your business experience with Cap’n Jeth; or I thought you did.”
The little archaeologist looked very solemn.
“Such experiences as I have had with Captain Hallett,” he observed, “have been—ah—most unbusinesslike.”
They parted a few minutes later. Said Nelson, gloomily:
“I’m afraid the situation hasn’t changed a whole lot, after all, Mr. Bangs. Cap’n Jeth may think more of my new job than he did of my old one, but he doesn’t think any better of me as a son-in-law. And he won’t, so long as he believes in that fool spirit stuff.”
Galusha stroked his chin. “We must consider those spirits, Mr. Howard,” he said. “Dear me, yes; we must seriously consider those spirits.”
August is the banner month at all northern seaside resorts. August at East Wellmouth crowded the Restabit Inn to overflowing. On pleasant Sundays the long line of cars flying through the main road of the village on the way to Provincetown met and passed the long line returning Bostonward. The sound of motor horns echoed along the lane leading to Gould’s Bluffs. Galusha found it distinctly safer and less nerve-racking to walk on the grass bordering that lane than in the lane itself, as had hitherto been his custom. The harassed Zacheus led more visitors than ever up and down the lighthouse stairs, expressing his opinion of those visitors, after their departure, with fluency and freedom. Mr. Bloomer’s philosophy helped him through most annoyances but it broke down under the weight of the summer boarder and his—or—her questions.
Galusha, in his daily walks, kept far afield, avoiding the traveled ways. His old resort, the Baptist cemetery, he seldom visited now, having examined and re-examined all the interesting stones within its borders. He had discovered another ancient burial ground, over on the South Wellmouth road, and occasionally his wanderings took him as far as that. The path to and from this cemetery led over the edge of the bluff and wound down to the beach by the creek and landlocked harbor where his hat—the brown derby—had put to sea that Sunday morning in the previous October. The path skirted the creek for a little way, then crossed on a small bridge and climbed the pine-clad hills on the other side.