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of meeting you."

"H-m!" grunted Henshaw. "We'll drink on the strength of that. Come into
the cabin."

They trooped after him, Salvain and the three rescued, and stood in the
roomy cabin, the captain and the first mate dapper and cool in their
white uniforms, the other three marvelously ragged. Barefooted, their
hair falling in jags across their foreheads, their muscles bulging
through the rents in their shirts, McTee and Harrigan looked battered
but triumphant. Kate Malone might have been the prize which they had
safely carried away. She was even more ragged than her companions, and
now she withdrew into a shadowy corner of the cabin and shook the long,
loose masses of her hair about her shoulders.


The dark eye of Pietro Salvain was quick to note her condition. He was
a rather small, lean-faced man with the skin drawn so tightly across
his high cheekbones that it glistened. He was emaciated; his energy
consumed him as hunger consumes other men.

"There is a berth for me below," he said to Kate. "You must take my
room. And I have a cap, some silk shirts, a loose coat which you might
wear - so?"

"This is Miss Malone, Salvain," said McTee before she could answer.

"You are very kind, Mr. Salvain," she said.

He smiled and bowed very low, and then opened the door for her; but all
the while his glance was upon McTee, who stared at him so significantly
that before following Kate through the door, Salvain shrugged his
shoulders and made a gesture of resignation.

The captain turned to Harrigan. Henshaw was very old. He was always so
erect and carried his chin so high that the loose skin of his throat
hung in two sharp ridges. In spite of the tight-lipped mouth, the
beaklike nose, and the small, gleaming eyes, there was something about
his face which intensified his age. Perhaps it was the yellow skin, dry
as the parchment from an Egyptian tomb and criss-crossed by a myriad
little wrinkles.

"And you, sir?" he said to the Irishman.

"One of my crew," broke in McTee carelessly. "He'll be quite contented
in the forecastle. Eh, Harrigan?"

"Quite," said Harrigan, and his glance acknowledged the state of war.

"Then if you'll go forward, Harrigan," said the captain, and his voice
was dry and dead as his skin - "if you'll go forward and report to the
bos'n, he'll see that you have a bunk."

"Thank you, sir," murmured Harrigan, and slipped from the room on his
bare feet.

"That man," stated Henshaw, "is as strong as you are, McTee, and yet
they call you the huskiest sailor of the South Seas."

"He is almost as strong," answered McTee with a certain emphasis.

Something like a smile appeared in the eyes of Henshaw, but did not
disturb the fixed lines of his mouth. For a moment Henshaw and McTee
measured each other.

The Scotchman spoke first: "Captain, you're as keen as the stories they
tell of you."

"And you're as hard, McTee."

The latter waved the somewhat dubious compliment away.

"I was breaking that fellow, and he held out longer than any man I've
ever handled. The shipwreck interrupted me, or I would have finished
what I started."

"You'd like to have me finish what you began?"

"You read my mind."

"Discipline is a great thing."

"Absolutely necessary at sea."

Henshaw answered coldly: "There's no need for us to act the hypocrite,

McTee hesitated, and then grinned: "Not a bit. I know what you did
twenty years ago in the Solomons."

"And I know the story of you and the pearl divers."

"That's enough."


"And Harrigan?"

"As a favor to you, McTee, I'll break him. Maybe you'll be interested
in my methods."

"Try mine first. I made him scrub down the bridge with suds every
morning, and while his hands were puffed and soft, I sent him down to
the fireroom to pass coal."

"He'll kill you someday."

"If he can."

They smiled strangely at each other.

A knock came at the door, and Salvain entered, radiant.

"She is divine!" he cried. "Her hair is old copper with golden lights.
McTee, if she is yours, you have found another Venus!"

"If she is not mine," answered McTee, "at least she belongs to no other

Salvain studied him, first with eagerness, then with doubt, and last of
all with despair.

"If any other man said that I would question it - so! - with my life. But
McTee? No, I love life too well!"

"Now," Henshaw said to Salvain, "Captain McTee and I have business to

"Aye, sir," said Salvain.

"One minute, Salvain," broke in McTee. "I haven't thanked you in the
girl's name for taking care of Miss Malone."

The first mate paused at the door.

"I begin to wonder, captain," he answered, "whether or not you have the
right to thank me in her name!"

He disappeared through the door without waiting for an answer.

"Salvain has forgotten me," muttered McTee, balling his fist, "but I'll
freshen his memory."

He flushed as he became aware of the cold eye of Henshaw upon him.

"Even Samson fell," said the old man. "But she hasn't cut your hair
yet, McTee?"

"What the devil do you mean?"

Henshaw silently poured another drink and passed it to the Scotchman.
The latter gripped the glass hard and tossed off the drink with a
single gesture. At once his eyes came back to Henshaw's face with the
fierce question. He was astonished to note kindliness in the answering

Old Henshaw said gently: "Tut, tut! You're a proper man, McTee, and a
proper man has always the thought of some woman tucked away in his
heart. Look at me! For almost sixty years I've been the King of the
South Seas!"

At the thought of his glories his face altered, as soldiers change when
they receive the order to charge.

"You're a rare man and a bold man, McTee, but you'll never be what
White Henshaw has been - the Shark of the Sea! Ha! Yet think of it! Ten
years ago, after all my harvesting of the sea, I had not a dollar to
show for it! Why? Because I was working for no woman. But here I am
sailing home from my last voyage - rich! And why? Because for ten years
I've been working for a woman. For ourselves we make and we spend. But
for a woman we make and we save. Aye!"

"For a woman?" repeated McTee, wondering. "Do you mean to say - "

"Tut, man, it's my granddaughter. Look!"

Perhaps the whisky had loosened the old man's tongue; perhaps these
confidences were merely a tribute to the name and fame of McTee; but
whatever was the reason, McTee knew he was hearing things which had
never been spoken before. Now Henshaw produced a leather wallet from
which he selected two pictures, and handed one to the Scotchman. It
showed a little girl of some ten years with her hair braided down her
back. McTee looked his question.

"That picture was sent to me by my son ten years ago."

It showed the effect of time and rough usage. The edges of the cheap
portrait were yellow and cracked.

"He was worthless, that son of mine. So I shut him out of my mind until
I got a letter saying he was about to die and giving his daughter into
my hands. That picture was in the letter. Ah, McTee, how I pored over
it! For, you see, I saw the face of my wife in the face of the little
girl, Beatrice. She had come back to life in the second generation. I
suppose that happens sometimes.

"I made up my mind that night to make a fortune for little Beatrice.
First I sold my name and honor to get a half share and captaincy of a
small tramp freighter. Then I went to the Solomon Islands. You know
what I did there? Yes, the South Seas rang with it. It was brutal, but
it brought me money.

"I sent enough of that money to the States to keep the girl in luxury.
The rest of it I put back into my trading ventures. I got a larger
boat. I did unheard-of things; and everything I touched turned into
gold. All into gold!

"From time to time I got letters from Beatrice. First they were careful
scrawls which said nothing. Then the handwriting grew more fluent. It
alarmed me to notice the growth of her mind; I was afraid that when I
finally saw her, she would see in me only a barbarian. So I educated
myself in odd hours. I've read a book while a hurricane was standing my
ship on her beam ends."

McTee, leaning forward with a frown of almost painful interest,
understood. He saw it in the wild light of the old man's eyes; a
species of insanity, this love of the old man for the child he had
never seen.

"Notice my language now? Never a taint of the beach lingo in it. I
rubbed all that out. Aye, McTee, it took me ten years to educate myself
for that girl's sake. In the meantime, I made money, as I've said. Ten
years of that!

"Beatrice was in college, and six months ago I got the word that she
had graduated. A month later I heard that she was going into a decline.
It was nothing very serious, but the doctors feared for the strength of
her lungs. It made me glad. Now I knew that she would need me. An old
man is like a woman, McTee; he needs to have things dependent on him.

"I turned everything I had into cash. I did it so hurriedly that I must
have lost close to twenty per cent on the forced sales. What did I
care? I had enough, and I made myself into a grandfather who could meet
Beatrice's educated friends on their own level.

"I kept this old ship, the _Heron_, out of the list of my boats. I am
going back to Beatrice with gold in my hands and gold in my brain! All
for her. But is she not worth it? Look!"

He thrust the second portrait into McTee's hands. It showed a rather
thin-faced girl with abnormally large eyes and a rather pathetic smile.
It was an appealing face rather than a pretty one.

"Beautiful!" said McTee with forced enthusiasm.

"Yes, beautiful! A little pinched, perhaps, but she'll fill out as she
grows older. And those are her grandmother's eyes! Aye!"

He took the photograph and touched it lightly.

His voice grew lower, and the roughness was plainly a tremolo now: "The
doctors say she's sick, a little sick, quite sick, in fact. Twice every
day I make them send me wireless reports of her condition. One day it's
better - one day it's worse."

He began to walk the cabin, his step marvelously elastic and nervous
for so aged a man.

"Is it not well, McTee? Let her be at death's door! I shall come to her
bedside with gold in either hand and raise her up to life! She shall
owe everything to me! Will that not make her love me? Will it?"

He grasped McTee's shoulder tightly.

"I'm not a pretty lad to look at, eh, lad?"

McTee poured himself a drink hastily, and drained the glass before he

"A pretty man? Nonsense, Henshaw! A little weather-beaten, but a tight
craft at that; she'll worship the ground you walk! Character, Henshaw,
that's what these new American girls want to see in a man!"

Henshaw sighed with deep relief.

"Ah-h, McTee, you comfort me more than a drink on a stormy night! For
reward, you shall see what I'm bringing back to her. Come!"

He rose and led McTee into his bedroom, for two cabins were retained
for the captain's use. Filling one corner of the room was a huge safe
almost as tall as a man.

He squatted before the safe and commenced to work the combination with
a swift sureness which told McTee at once that the old buccaneer came
here many times a day to gloat over his treasure. At length the door of
the safe fell open. Inside was a great mass of little canvas bags.
McTee was panting as if he had run a great distance at full speed.

"Take one."

The Scotchman raised one of the bags and shook it. A musical clinking

"Forty pounds of gold coin," said Henshaw, "and about ten thousand
dollars in all. There are eighty-five of those bags, and every one
holds the same amount. Also - "

He opened a little drawer at the top of the safe and took from it a
chamois bag. When he untied it, McTee looked within and saw a quantity
of pearls. He took out a small handful. They were chosen jewels,
flawless, glowing. His hand seemed to overflow with white fire. He
dropped them back in the bag, letting each pearl run over the end of
his fingers. Henshaw restored the bag and locked the safe. Then the two
men stared at each other. They had been opposite types the moment
before, but now their lips parted in the same thirsty eagerness.

"If she were dead," said McTee almost reverently, "the sight of that
would bring her back to life."

"McTee, you're a worthy lad. They've told me lies about you. Indeed it
would bring her back to life! It must be so! And yet - " Sudden
melancholy fell on him as they returned to the other room and sat down.
"Yet I think night and day of what an old devil of a black magician
told me in the Solomon Islands. He said I and my gold should burn
together. I laughed at him and told him I could not die on dry land. He
said I would not, but that I should burn at sea! Think of that, McTee!
Suppose I should be robbed of the sight of my girl and of my gold at
the same time!"

McTee started to say something cheerful, but his voice died away to a
mutter. Henshaw was staring at the wall with visionary eyes filled with
horror and despair.

"Lad, do you think ghosts have power?"

"Henshaw, you've drunk a bit too much!"

"If they have no power, I'm safe. I fear no living man!" He added
softly: "No man but myself!"

"I'm tired out," said McTee suddenly. "Where shall I bunk, captain?"

"Here! Here in this room! Take that couch in the corner over there. It
has a good set of springs. With gold in my hands. Here are some
blankets. With gold in my hands and my brain. Though you don't need
much covering in this latitude. I would raise her from the grave."

He went about, interspersing his remarks to McTee with half-audible
murmurs addressed to his own ears.

"Is this," thought McTee, "the Shark of the South Seas?"

A knock came and the door opened. A fat sailor in an oilskin hat stood
at the entrance.

"The cook ain't put out no lunch for the night watches, sir," he

Henshaw had stood with his back turned as the door opened. He turned
now slowly toward the open door. McTee could not see his face nor guess
at its expression, but the moment the big sailor caught a glimpse of
his skipper's countenance, he blanched and jumped back into the night,
slamming the door behind him. That sight recalled something to McTee.

"One thing more, captain," he said. "What of Harrigan? Do we break him
between us?"

"Aye, in your own way!"

"Good! Then start him scrubbing the bridge and send him down to the
fireroom afterwards, eh?"

"It's done. Why do you hate him, McTee? Is it the girl?"

"No; the color of his hair. Good night."


Long before this, Harrigan had reported to the bos'n, burly Jerry
Hovey, and had been assigned to a bunk into which he fairly dived and
fell asleep in the posture in which he landed. In the morning he
tumbled out with the other men and became the object of a crossfire of
questions from the curious sailors who wanted to know all the details
of the wreck of the _Mary Rogers_ and the life on the island. He was
saved from answering nine-tenths of the chatter by a signal from the
bos'n, who beckoned Harrigan to a stool a little apart from the rest of
the crew. Jerry Hovey was a cheery fellow of considerable bulk, with an
habitual smile. That smile went out, however, when he talked with
Harrigan, and the Irishman became conscious of a pair of steady, alert
gray eyes.

"Look here," said Hovey, and he talked out of the corner of his mouth
with a skill which would have become an old convict of many terms,
"I've had it put to me straight that you're a hard one. Is that the
right dope?"

Harrigan smiled.

"Because if it is," said Hovey, "we're the best gang at bustin' up
these hard guys that ever walked the deck of a ship. If you try any
side steps and fancy ducking of your work, there'll be a disciplinin'
comin' your way at a gallop. Are you wise?"

Harrigan still smiled, but the coldness of his eye made the bos'n
thoughtful. He was not one, however, to be easily cowed. Now he balled
his fist and smote it against the palm of his other hand with a slap
that resounded.

"On my own hook," he stated, "I can sling my mitts with the best of
them, an' I'm always lookin' for work in that line. Now I'm sayin' all
this in private, sonny, to let you know that Black McTee has wised up
the skipper about you, and I'm keepin' a weather eye open. If you make
one funny move, I'll be on your back."

"All right, Jerry."

"Don't call me Jerry, you swab! I'm the bos'n."

"Look me in the eye, Jerry Hovey, me dear. If you so much as bat the
lashes av wan eye in lookin' at me, I'll bust ye in two pieces like a
sea biscuit, Jerry, an' I'll eat the biggest half an' throw the rest
into the sea. Ar-r-re ye wise?"

Now, Jerry Hovey was a very big man, and he had thrashed men of larger
bulk than Harrigan. But there was something about the Irishman's
thickness of shoulder and length of arm that gave him pause. So first
of all Jerry grew very thoughtful indeed, and then his habitual smile
returned. Nevertheless, Harrigan did not forget those gray, alert eyes.

The bos'n went on in a gentler voice: "I was tryin' you out, Harrigan.
I'll lay to it that the cap'n has the wrong idea about you. But will
you tell me why he's ridin' you?"

"Sure. It's Black McTee. Before the _Mary Rogers_ went down, McTee was
tryin' to break me. I guess he's asked this White Henshaw to try a
hand. What have they got lined up for me?"

"You're to scrub down the bridge an' while your hands are still soft
you go down to the fireroom an' pass coal. It'll tear your hands off,
that work."

Harrigan was gray, but he answered. "That's an old story. McTee worked
me like that all the time."

"An' you didn't break?" gasped Hovey.

Harrigan grinned, but his smile stopped when he noticed a certain
calculation in the face of the bos'n.

"Mate," said Hovey, "I guess you're about ripe for something I'm goin'
to say to you one of these days. Now go up to the bridge an' scrub it

With the prospect of the long torture before him once more, Harrigan in
a daze picked up the bucket of suds to which he was pointed and went
with his brush toward the bridge. Through the mist which enveloped his
brain broke wild thoughts - to steal upon McTee at the first meeting and
hurl his hated body overboard. Yet even in his bewildered condition he
realized what such an act would mean. Murder on land is bad enough, but
murder at sea is doubly damned by the law. It was in the power of White
Henshaw to hang him up to the mast.

Revolving these dismal prospects with downward head, he climbed from
the waist of the ship to the cabin promenade, and there a voice hailed
him, and he turned to see Kate Malone approaching. She was all in
white - cap, canvas shoes, silk shirt absurdly lose at the throat, and
linen coat with the sleeves turned far back so that her hands would not
be enveloped. The duck trousers were also taken up several reefs.

"Good morning," she said, and held out her hand.

He watched her smile wistfully, and then made a little gesture with his
own hands, one burdened with the scrubbing brush and the other with the

"What does it mean?"

"Hell," said Harrigan.


"It's McTee again, damn his eyes!"

"Do you mean to say they've started to treat you as they did on the
_Mary Rogers_? The scrubbing and then the work in the fireroom?"


She stamped her foot in impotent fury.

"What manner of man is he, Dan? He's not all brute; why does he treat
you like this?"

The Irishman smiled.

She cried with increasing anger: "What can I do?"

"Make your skin yellow an' your hair gray an' walk with no spring in
your step. He wants to break me now because of you."

There was moist pity in her eyes, yet they gleamed with excitement at
the thought of this battle of the Titans for her sake.

"I will go to him," she said after a moment, "and tell him that you
mean nothing to me. Then he will stop."

The cold, incurious eyes studied her without passion, and once more he

"He'll not stop. Whether you like me or not, Kate, doesn't count. One
of us'll go down, an' you'll be for the one that's left. He knows it - I
know it."

"Harrigan!" called the voice of McTee from the bridge, and the tall
Scotchman lifted his cap to Kate.

"I'm the slave," said Harrigan, "and there's the whip. Good-by."

She stamped her foot with an almost childish fury, saying: "Someday he
shall regret this brutal tyranny. Good-by, Dan, and good luck!"

She took his hand in both of hers, but her eyes held spitefully upon
the bridge, as if she hoped that McTee would witness the handshake; the
captain, however, had turned his back upon them.

Dan muttered to himself as he climbed the bridge: "Did she do that to
anger McTee or to please me?" And the thought so occupied his mind that
he paid no attention to the Scotchman when he reached the bridge. He
merely dropped to his knees and commenced scrubbing. McTee, in the
meanwhile, loitered about the bridge as if on his own ship. In due time
Harrigan drew near, the suds swishing under his brush. The Irishman,
remembering suddenly, commenced to hum a tune.

"The old grind, eh, Harrigan?" said McTee.

The Irishman, humming idly still, looked up, calmly surveyed the
captain, and then went on as if he had heard merely empty wind instead
of words.

"After the scrubbing brush the shovel," went on McTee, but still
Harrigan paid no attention. He rose when his task was completed and
made his eyes gentle as if with pity while he gazed upon McTee.

"I'm sorry for you, McTee; you've made a hard fight; it's strange
you've got no ghost of a chance of winnin'."

"What d'you mean?"

"Couldn't you hear her when she talked to me?"

"I could not."

"Couldn't you see her face? It was written there as plain as print."

McTee cleared his throat.

"What was written there?"

"The thing you want to see. When she took my hand in both of hers - "


"Ah-h, man, it was wonderful! The scrubbing brush an' the shovel - they
mean nothin' to me now."

"Harrigan, you're lying."

The latter dropped his scrubbing brush into the bucket of suds and
stood with arms akimbo studying the captain.

"For a smart man, McTee, you've been a fool. I could of gone down on me
knees an' begged to do what you've done. Don't you see? You've thrown
her with her will or against it into me arms. I'm poor Harrigan, brave
and downtrodden; you're Black McTee once more, the tyrant. She looks
sick at the mention of your name."

"I never dreamed you'd go whining to her. I thought you were a man;
you're only a spineless dog, Harrigan!"

"Am I that? She pities me, McTee, an' from pity it's only one step to
something bigger. Can you trust me to lead her that one step? You can!"

"If I went to her and told her how you boasted of having won her?"

"She wouldn't believe what you said about me if you swore it with both
hands on the Bible. Be wise, McTee. Give up the game. You've lost her,
me boy! For every day that I work in the fireroom I'll come to her an'
show her the palms of me bleedin' hands an' mention your name. An' for
every day I work in the hole the hate of you will burn blacker into her

"I'd rather have her hate than her pity."

"You'll have both; her hate for torturin' Harrigan; her pity for
lettin' the devil in you get the best of the man. You're done for,

Each one of the short phrases was like a whip flicked across the face
of McTee, but he would not wince.

"You've said enough. Now get down to the fireroom. I've had Henshaw
prepare the chief engineer for your coming."

Harrigan turned.

"Wait! Remember when you're in hell that the old compact still holds.
Your hand in mine and a promise to be my man will end the war."

Only the low laughter of the Irishman answered as he made his way down
to the deck.


"There's times for truth an' there's times for lying," murmured
Harrigan, as he stowed away the bucket and brush and started down for
the fireroom, "an' this was one of the times for lyin'. He's sick for
the love of her, an' he's hatin' the thought of Harrigan."

So he was humming a rollicking tune when he reached the fireroom. It
was stifling hot, to be sure, but it was twice as large as that of the
Mary Rogers. The firemen were all glistening with sweat. One of them,
larger than the rest and with a bristling, shoebrush mustache like a
sign of authority, said to the newcomer: "You're Harrigan?"

He nodded.

"The chief wants to see you, boss, before you start swingin' the

"Where's the chief's cabin?"

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