"What's your name, boy?"
"George Leach, sir," came the sullen answer, and the boy's bearing showed clearly that he divined the reason for which he had been summoned.
"Not an Irish name," the captain snapped sharply. "O'Toole or McCarthy would suit your mug a damn sight better. Unless, very likely, there's an Irishman in your mother's woodpile."
I saw the young fellow's hands clench at the insult, and the blood crawl scarlet up his neck.
"But let that go," Wolf Larsen continued. "You may have very good reasons for forgetting your name, and I'll like you none the worse for it as long as you toe the mark. Telegraph Hill, of course, is your port of entry. It sticks out all over your mug. Tough as they make them and twice as nasty. I know the kind. Well, you can make up your mind to have it taken out of you on this craft. Understand? Who shipped you, anyway?"
"McCready and Swanson."
"Sir!" Wolf Larsen thundered.
"McCready and Swanson, sir," the boy corrected, his eyes burning with a bitter light.
"Who got the advance money?"
"They did, sir."
"I thought as much. And damned glad you were to let them have it. Couldn't make yourself scarce too quick, with several gentlemen you may have heard of looking for you."
The boy metamorphosed into a savage on the instant. His body bunched together as though for a spring, and his face became as an infuriated beast's as he snarled, "It's a -- "
"A what?" Wolf Larsen asked, a peculiar softness in