Page:The Days Work (1899).djvu/329

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"BREAD UPON THE WATERS"

him up by some patent legal process he 'd found in a book o' maritime law. An' a' that week South American freights rose an' rose. It was sinfu'!

"Syne Bell got orders to tak' the Kite round to Liverpool in water-ballast, and McRimmon came to bid ’s good-bye, yammerin' an' whinin' o'er the acres o' paint he 'd lavished on the Lammergeyer.

"'I look to you to retrieve it,' says he. 'I look to you to reimburse me! 'Fore God, why are ye not cast off? Are ye dawdlin' in dock for a purpose?'

"'What odds, McRimmon?' says Bell. 'We 'll be a day behind the fair at Liverpool. The Grotkau 's got all the freight that might ha' been ours an' the Lammergeyer's.' McRimmon laughed an' chuckled—the pairfect eemage o' senile dementia. Ye ken his eyebrows wark up an' down like a gorilla's.

"'Ye 're under sealed orders,' said he, tee-heein' an' scratchin' himself. 'Yon 's they'—to be opened seriatim.

"Says Bell, shufliin' the envelopes when the auld man had gone ashore: 'We 're to creep round a' the south coast, standin' in for orders—this weather, too. There 's no question o' his lunacy now.'

"Well, we buttocked the auld Kite along—vara bad weather we made—standin' in all alongside for telegraphic orders, which are the curse o' skippers. Syne we made over to Holyhead, an' Bell opened the last envelope for the last instructions. I was wi' him in the cuddy, an' he threw it over to me, cryin': 'Did ye ever know the like, Mac?'

"I 'll no say what McRimmon had written, but he

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