smile; Long Jack's grin of delight, and Tom Platt's scar. Rough, by
her standards, they certainly were; but she had a mother's wits in
her eyes, and she rose with out-stretched hands.
"Oh, tell me, which is who?" said she, half sobbing.
"I want to
thank you and bless you - all of you."
"Faith, that pays me a hunder time," said Long Jack.
Disko introduced them all in due form. The captain of an old-time
Chinaman could have done no better, and Mrs. Cheyne babbled
incoherently. She nearly threw herself into Manuel's arms when
she understood that he had first found Harvey.
"But how shall I leave him dreeft?" said poor Manuel. "What do
you yourself if you find him so? Eh, wha-at? We are in one good
boy, and I am ever so pleased he come to be your son."
"And he told me Dan was his partner!" she cried. Dan was already
sufficiently pink, but he turned a rich crimson when Mrs. Cheyne
kissed him on both cheeks before the assembly. Then they led her
forward to show her the foc'sle, at which she wept again, and must
needs go down to see Harvey's identical bunk, and there she found
the nigger cook cleaning up the stove, and he nodded as though
she were some one he had expected to meet for years. They tried,
two at a time, to explain the boat's daily life to her, and she sat by
the pawl-post, her gloved hands on the greasy table, laughing with
trembling lips and crying with dancing eyes.
"And who's ever to use the 'We're Here' after this?" said Long Jack
to Tom Platt. "I feel as if she'd made a cathedral av ut all."
"Cathedral!" sneered Tom Platt. "Oh, if it had bin even the Fish
C'mmission boat instid of this bally-hoo o' blazes. If we only hed
some decency an' order an' side-boys when she goes over! She'll
have to climb that ladder like a hen, an' we - we ought to be mannin'
"Then Harvey was not mad," said Penn, slowly, to Cheyne.
"No, indeed - thank God," the big millionaire replied, stooping
"It must be terrible to be mad. Except to lose your child, I do not
know anything more terrible. But your child has come back? Let us
thank God for that."
"Hello!" cried Harvey, looking down upon them benignly from the
"I wuz mistook, Harve. I wuz mistook," said Disko, swiftly,
holding up a hand. "I wuz mistook in my jedgments. Ye needn't
rub in any more."
"Guess I'll take care o' that," said Dan, under his breath.
"You'll be goin' off naow, won't ye?"
"Well, not without the balance of my wages, 'less you want to have
the 'We're Here' attached."
"Thet's so; I'd clean forgot"; and he counted out the remaining
dollars. "You done all you contracted to do, Harve; and you done it
'baout's well as if you'd been brought up - " Here Disko brought
himself up. He did not quite see where the sentence was going to
"Outside of a private car?" suggested Dan, wickedly.
"Come on, and I'll show her to you," said Harvey.
Cheyne stayed to talk with Disko, but the others made a
procession to the depot, with Mrs. Cheyne at the head. The French
maid shrieked at the invasion; and Harvey laid the glories of the
"Constance" before them without a word. They took them in in
equal silence - stamped leather, silver door-handles and rails, cut
velvet, plate-glass, nickel, bronze, hammered iron, and the rare
woods of the continent inlaid.
"I told you," said Harvey; "I told you." This was his crowning
revenge, and a most ample one.
Mrs. Cheyne decreed a meal, and that nothing might be lacking to
the tale Long Jack told afterwards in his boarding-house, she
waited on them herself. Men who are accustomed to eat at tiny
tables in howling gales have curiously neat and finished manners;
but Mrs. Cheyne, who did not know this, was surprised. She
longed to have Manuel for a butler; so silently and easily did he
comport himself among the frail glassware and dainty silver. Tom
Platt remembered the great days on the Ohio and the manners of
foreign potentates who dined with the officers; and Long Jack,
being Irish, supplied the small talk till all were at their ease.
In the 'We're Here's' cabin the fathers took stock of each other
behind their cigars. Cheyne knew well enough when he dealt with
a man to whom he could not offer money; equally well he knew
that no money could pay for what Disko had done. He kept his
own counsel and waited for an opening.
"I hevn't done anything to your boy or fer your boy excep' make
him work a piece an' learn him how to handle the hog-yoke," said
Disko. "He has twice my boy's head for figgers."
"By the way," Cheyne answered casually, "what d'you calculate to
make of your boy?"
Disko removed his cigar and waved it comprehensively round the
cabin. "Dan's jest plain boy, an' he don't allow me to do any of his
thinkin'. He'll hev this able little packet when I'm laid by. He ain't
noways anxious to quit the business. I know that."
"Mmm! 'Ever been West, Mr. Troop?"
"'Bin's fer ez Noo York once in a boat. I've no use for railroads.
No more hez Dan. Salt water's good enough fer the Troops. I've been
'most everywhere - in the nat'ral way, o' course."
"I can give him all the salt water he's likely to need - till he's a
"Haow's that? I thought you wuz a kinder railroad king. Harve told
me so when - I was mistook in my jedgments."
"We're all apt to be mistaken. I fancied perhaps you might know I
own a line of tea-clippers - San Francisco to Yokohama - six of
'em - iron-built, about seventeen hundred and eighty tons apiece.
"Blame that boy! He never told. I'd ha' listened to that, instid o' his
truck abaout railroads an' ponycarriages."
"He didn't know."
"'Little thing like that slipped his mind, I guess."
"No, I only capt - took hold of the 'Blue M.' freighters - Morgan
and McQuade's old line - this summer." Disko collapsed where he
sat, beside the stove.
"Great Caesar Almighty! I mistrust I've been fooled from one end
to the other. Why, Phil Airheart he went from this very town six
year back - no, seven - an' he's mate on the San Jose - now - twenty-six
days was her time out. His sister she's livin' here yet, an' she reads
his letters to my woman. An' you own the 'Blue M.' freighters?"
"If I'd known that I'd ha' jerked the 'We're Here' back to port all
standin', on the word."
"Perhaps that wouldn't have been so good for Harvey."
"If I'd only known! If he'd only said about the cussed Line, I'd ha'
understood! I'll never stand on my own jedgments again - never.
They're well-found packets. Phil Airheart he says so."
"I'm glad to have a recommend from that quarter. Airheart's
skipper of the San Jose now. What I was getting at is to know
whether you'd lend me Dan for a year or two, and we'll see if we
can't make a mate of him. Would you trust him to Airheart?"
"It's a resk taking a raw boy - "
"I know a man who did more for me."
"That's diff'runt. Look at here naow, I ain't recommendin' Dan
special because he's my own flesh an' blood. I know Bank ways
ain't clipper ways, but he hain't much to learn. Steer he can - no boy
better, if I say it - an' the rest's in our blood an' get; but I could wish
he warn't so cussed weak on navigation."
"Airheart will attend to that. He'll ship as boy for a voyage or two,
and then we can put him in the way of doing better. Suppose you
take him in hand this winter, and I'll send for him early in the
spring. I know the Pacific's a long ways off - "
"Pshaw! We Troops, livin' an' dead, are all around the earth an' the
"But I want you to understand - and I mean this - any time you think
you'd like to see him, tell me, and I'll attend to the transportation.
'Twon't cost you a cent."
"If you'll walk a piece with me, we'll go to my house an' talk this
to my woman. I've bin so crazy mistook in all my jedgments, it
don't seem to me this was like to be real."
They went blue-trimmed of nasturtiums over to Troop's
eighteen-hundred-dollar, white house, with a retired dory full in
the front yard and a shuttered parlour which was a museum of
oversea plunder. There sat a large woman, silent and grave, with
the dim eyes of those who look long to sea for the return of their
beloved. Cheyne addressed himself to her, and she gave consent
"We lose one hundred a year from Gloucester only, Mr. Cheyne,"
she said - "one hundred boys an' men; and I've come so's to hate the
sea as if 'twuz alive an' listenin'. God never made it fer humans to
anchor on. These packets o' yours they go straight out, I take it'
and straight home again?"
"As straight as the winds let 'em, and I give a bonus for record
passages. Tea don't improve by being at sea."
"When he wuz little he used to play at keeping store, an' I had
hopes he might follow that up. But soon's he could paddle a dory I
knew that were goin' to be denied me."
"They're square-riggers, Mother; iron-built an' well found.
Remember what Phil's sister reads you when she gits his letters."
"I've never known as Phil told lies, but he's too venturesome (like
most of 'em that use the sea). If Dan sees fit, Mr. Cheyne, he can
go - fer all o' me."
"She jest despises the ocean," Disko explained, "an' I - I dunno haow
to act polite, I guess, er I'd thank you better."
"My father - my own eldest brother - two nephews - an' my second
sister's man," she said, dropping her head on her hand. "Would you
care fer any one that took all those?"
Cheyne was relieved when Dan turned up and accepted with more
delight than he was able to put into words. Indeed, the offer meant
a plain and sure road to all desirable things; but Dan thought most
of commanding watch on broad decks, and looking into far-away
Mrs. Cheyne had spoken privately to the unaccountable Manuel in
the matter of Harvey's rescue. He seemed to have no desire for
money. Pressed hard, he said that he would take five dollars,
because he wanted to buy something for a girl. Otherwise - "How
shall I take money when I make so easy my eats and smokes? You
will giva some if I like or no? Eh, wha-at?. Then you shall giva me
money, but not that way. You shall giva all you can think." He
introduced her to a snuffy Portuguese priest with a list of semi-destitute
widows as long as his cassock. As a strict Unitarian, Mrs. Cheyne
could not sympathize with the creed, but she ended by respecting the
brown, voluble little man.
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, till all the water-front wanted to know
"what in thunder that man was after, anyhow." He prowled into the
Mutual Insurance rooms, and demanded explanations of the mysterious
remarks chalked up on the blackboard day by day; and that brought
down upon him secretaries of every Fisherman's Widow and Orphan
Aid Society within the city limits. They begged shamelessly, each
man anxious to beat the other institution's record, and Cheyne
tugged at his beard and handed them all over to Mrs. Cheyne.
She was resting in a boarding-house near Eastern Point - a strange
establishment, managed, apparently, by the boarders, where the
table-cloths were red-and-white-checkered and the population,
who seemed to have known one another intimately for years, rose
up at midnight to make Welsh rarebits if it felt hungry. On the
second morning of her stay Mrs. Cheyne put away her diamond
solitaires before she came down to breakfast.
"They're most delightful people," she confided to her husband; "so
friendly and simple, too, though they are all Boston, nearly."
"That isn't simpleness, Mama," he said, looking across the
boulders behind the apple-trees where the hammocks were slung.
"It's the other thing, that what I haven't got."
"It can't be," said Mrs. Cheyne quietly. "There isn't a woman here
owns a dress that cost a hundred dollars. Why, we - "
"I know it, dear. We have - of course we have. I guess it's only the
style they wear East. Are you having a good time?"
"I don't see very much of Harvey; he's always with you; but I ain't
near as nervous as I was."
"I haven't had such a good time since Willie died. I never rightly
understood that I had a son before this. Harve's got to be a great
boy. 'Anything I can fetch you, dear? 'Cushion under your head?
Well, we'll go down to the wharf again and look around."
Harvey was his father's shadow in those days, and the two strolled
along side by side, Cheyne using the grades as an excuse for laying
his hand on the boy's square shoulder. It was then that Harvey
noticed and admired what had never struck him before - his father's
curious power of getting at the heart of new matters as learned
from men in the street.
"How d'you make 'em tell you everything without opening your
head?" demanded the son, as they came out of a rigger's loft.
"I've dealt with quite a few men in my time, Harve, and one sizes
'em up somehow, I guess. I know something about myself, too."
Then, after a pause, as they sat down on a wharf-edge: "Men can
'most always tell when a man has handled things for himself, and
then they treat him as one of themselves."
"Same as they treat me down at Wouverman's wharf. I'm one of the
crowd now. Disko has told every one I've earned my pay." Harvey
spread out his hands and rubbed the palms together. "They're all
soft again," he said dolefully.
"Keep 'em that way for the next few years, while you're getting
your education. You can harden 'em up after."
"Ye-es, I suppose so," was the reply, in no delighted voice.
"It rests with you, Harve. You can take cover behind your mama,
of course, and put her on to fussing about your nerves and your
high-strungness and all that kind of poppycock."
"Have I ever done that?" said Harvey, uneasily.
His father turned where he sat and thrust out a long hand. "You
know as well as I do that I can't make anything of you if you don't
act straight by me. I can handle you alone if you'll stay alone, but I
don't pretend to manage both you and Mama. Life's too short,
"Don't make me out much of a fellow, does it?"
"I guess it was my fault a good deal; but if you want the truth, you
haven't been much of anything up to date. Now, have you?"
"Umm! Disko thinks . . . Say, what d'you reckon it's cost you to
raise me from the start - first, last and all over?"
Cheyne smiled. "I've never kept track, but I should estimate, in
dollars and cents, nearer fifty than forty thousand; maybe sixty.
The young generation comes high. It has to have things, and it tires
of 'em, and - the old man foots the bill."
Harvey whistled, but at heart he was rather pleased to think that
his upbringing had cost so much. "And all that's sunk capital, isn't
"Invested, Harve. Invested, I hope."
"Making it only thirty thousand, the thirty I've earned is about ten
cents on the hundred. That's a mighty poor catch." Harvey wagged
his head solemnly.
Cheyne laughed till he nearly fell off the pile into the water.
"Disko has got a heap more than that out of Dan since he was ten;
and Dan's at school half the year, too."
"Oh, that's what you're after, is it?"
"No. I'm not after anything. I'm not stuck on myself any just
now - that's all. . . . I ought to be kicked."
"I can't do it, old man; or I would, I presume, if I'd been made that
"Then I'd have remembered it to the last day I lived - and never
forgiven you," said Harvey, his chin on his doubled fists.
"Exactly. That's about what I'd do. You see?"
"I see. The fault's with me and no one else. All the same,
something's got to be done about it."
Cheyne drew a cigar from his vest-pocket, bit off the end, and fell
to smoking. Father and son were very much alike; for the beard hid
Cheyne's mouth, and Harvey had his father's slightly aquiline nose,
close-set black eyes, and narrow, high cheek-bones. With a touch
of brown paint he would have made up very picturesquely as a Red
Indian of the story-books.
"Now you can go on from here," said Cheyne, slowly, "costing me
between six or eight thousand a year till you're a voter. Well, we'll
call you a man then. You can go right on from that, living on me to
the tune of forty or fifty thousand, besides what your mother will
give you, with a valet and a yacht or a fancy-ranch where you can
pretend to raise trotting-stock and play cards with your own crowd."
"Like Lorry Tuck?" Harvey put in.
"Yep; or the two De Vitre boys or old man McQuade's son.
California's full of 'em, and here's an Eastern sample while we're
A shiny black steam-yacht, with mahogany deck-house,
nickel-plated binnacles, and pink-and-white-striped awnings
puffed up the harbour, flying the burgee of some New York club.
Two young men in what they conceived to be sea costumes were
playing cards by the saloon skylight; and a couple of women with
red and blue parasols looked on and laughed noisily.
"Shouldn't care to be caught out in her in any sort of a breeze. No
beam," said Harvey, critically, as the yacht slowed to pick up her
"They're having what stands them for a good time. I can give you
that, and twice as much as that, Harve. How'd you like it?"
"Caesar! That's no way to get a dinghy overside," said Harvey, still
intent on the yacht. "If I couldn't slip a tackle better than that I'd
stay ashore. . . . What if I don't?"
"Stay ashore - or what?"
"Yacht and ranch and live on 'the old man,' and - get behind Mama
where there's trouble," said Harvey, with a twinkle in his eye.
"Why, in that case, you come right in with me, my son."
"Ten dollars a month?" Another twinkle.
"Not a cent more until you're worth it, and you won't begin to
touch that for a few years."
"I'd sooner begin sweeping out the office - isn't that how the big bugs
start? - and touch something now than - "
"I know it; we all feel that way. But I guess we can hire any
sweeping we need. I made the same mistake myself of starting in
"Thirty million dollars' worth o' mistake, wasn't it? I'd risk it for
"I lost some; and I gained some. I'll tell you."
Cheyne pulled his beard and smiled as he looked over the still
water, and spoke away from Harvey, who presently began to be
aware that his father was telling the story of his life. He talked in a
low, even voice, without gesture and without expression; and it
was a history for which a dozen leading journals would cheerfully
have paid many dollars - the story of forty years that was at the
same time the story of the New West, whose story is yet to be
It began with a kinless boy turned loose in Texas, and went on
fantastically through a hundred changes and chops of life, the
scenes shifting from State after Western State, from cities that
sprang up in a month and - in a season utterly withered away, to
wild ventures in wilder camps that are now laborious, paved
municipalities. It covered the building of three railroads and the
deliberate wreck of a fourth. It told of steamers, townships, forests,
and mines, and the men of every nation under heaven, manning,
creating, hewing, and digging these. It touched on chances of
gigantic wealth flung before eyes that could not see, or missed by
the merest accident of time and travel; and through the mad shift
of things, sometimes on horseback, more often afoot, now rich,
now poor, in and out, and back and forth, deck-hand, train-hand,
contractor, boarding-house keeper, journalist, engineer, drummer,
real-estate agent, politician, dead-beat, rum-seller, mine-owner,
speculator, cattle-man, or tramp, moved Harvey Cheyne, alert and
quiet, seeking his own ends, and, so he said, the glory and
advancement of his country.
He told of the faith that never deserted him even when he hung on
the ragged edge of despair - the faith that comes of knowing men
and things. He enlarged, as though he were talking to himself, on
his very great courage and resource at all times. The thing was so
evident in the man's mind that he never even changed his tone. He
described how he had bested his enemies, or forgiven them,
exactly as they had bested or forgiven him in those careless days;
how he had entreated, cajoled, and bullied towns, companies, and
syndicates, all for their enduring good; crawled round, through, or
under mountains and ravines, dragging a string and hoop-iron railroad
after him, and in the end, how he had sat still while promiscuous
communities tore the last fragments of his character to shreds.
The tale held Harvey almost breathless, his head a little cocked to
one side, his eyes fixed on his father's face, as the twilight
deepened and the red cigar-end lit up the furrowed cheeks and
heavy eyebrows. It seemed to him like watching a locomotive
storming across country in the dark - a mile between each glare of
the open fire-door: but this locomotive could talk, and the words
shook and stirred the boy to the core of his soul. At last Cheyne
pitched away the cigar-butt, and the two sat in the dark over the
"I've never told that to any one before," said the father.
Harvey gasped. "It's just the greatest thing that ever was!" said he.
"That's what I got. Now I'm coming to what I didn't get. It won't
sound much of anything to you, but I don't wish you to be as old as
I am before you find out. I can handle men, of course, and I'm no
fool along my own lines, but - but - I can't compete with the man who
has been taught! I've picked up as I went along, and I guess it
sticks out all over me."
"I've never seen it," said the son, indignantly.
"You will, though, Harve. You will - just as soon as you're through
college. Don't I know it? Don't I know the look on men's faces
when they think me a - a 'mucker,' as they call it out here? I can
break them to little pieces - yes - but I can't get back at 'em to hurt
'em where they live. I don't say they're 'way 'way up, but I feel I'm