When they stood in the road, Ha worth laid his hand upon his companion's shoulder heavily.
"Come up to the Works, lad," he said, "and let's have a bit of a talk."
His voice and his touch had something in common. Murdoch understood them both. There was no need for clearer speech.
"Why there?" he asked.
"It's quiet there. I've a fancy for it."
"I have no fancy against it. As well there as anywhere else."
"Aye," said Ha worth. "Not only as well, but better."
He led the way into his own room and struck a light. He flung his keys upon the table ; they struck it with a heavy clang. Then he spoke his first words since they had turned from the gate-way.
"Aye," he said, " not only as well, but better. I'm at home here, if I'm out everywhere else. The place knows me and I know it. I'm best man here, by ——! if I'm out everywhere else."He sat down at the table and rested his chin upon his hand. His hand shook, and his forehead was clammy.