Page:The Days Work (1899).djvu/325

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"BREAD UPON THE WATERS"

"He knew what I meant. 'Oh, yon 's a superfeecial flaw,' says he, not lookin' at me.

"'Superfeecial Gehenna!' I said. ’Ye 'll not take her oot wi' a solution o' continuity that like.'

"'They 'll putty it up this evening,' he said. 'I 'm a married man, an'—ye used to know the Board.'

"I e'en said what was gied me in that hour. Ye know how a dry-dock echoes. I saw young Steiner standin' listenin' above me, an', man, he used language provocative of a breach o' the peace. I was a spy and a disgraced employé, an' a corrupter o' young Bannister's morals, an' he 'd prosecute me for libel. He went away when I ran up the steps—I 'd ha' thrown him into the dock if I 'd caught him—an' there I met McRimmon, wi' Dandie pullin' on the chain, guidin' the auld man among the railway lines.

"'McPhee,' said he, 'ye 're no paid to fight Holdock, Steiner, Chase & Company, Limited, when ye meet. What 's wrong between you?'

"’No more than a tail-shaft rotten as a kail-stump. For ony sakes go an' look, McRimmon. It 's a comedietta.'

"'I 'm feared o' yon conversational Hebrew,' said he. ’Whaur 's the flaw, an' what like?'

"'A seven-inch crack just behind the boss. There 's no power on earth will fend it just jarrin' off.'

"'When?'

"'That 's beyon' my knowledge,' I said.

"'So it is; so it is,' said McRimmon. 'We 've all oor leemitations. Ye 're certain it was a crack?’

"'Man, it 's a crevasse,' I said, for there were no

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