Garbled Ethics

Terry, the Cop, oversteps his jurisdiction —and finds sunbeams in a lady’s hair


Garbled Ethics

Terry, the Cop, oversteps his jurisdiction —and finds sunbeams in a lady’s hair


Garbled Ethics


Terry, the Cop, oversteps his jurisdiction —and finds sunbeams in a lady’s hair

THERE was no wind. The sou’easter had blown itself out after three days, and the grey cloud pall was rent in jagged patches through which the farther blue peeped promisingly. The police launch, angling for the southern extremity of Texada Island’s thirty-mile stretch, pounded heavily on the short swell; the undulating bosom of the Gulf of Georgia.

Constable Terry Flynn twisted the wheel savagely as the small craft yawed. He scowled morosely through the three windows of the tiny pilot house. His thoughts were bitter.

“Hi, dad! Breakfast is ready. I’ll steer, can I?”

A young thunderbolt bounded through the narrow companionway and stood palpitantly eager. Flynn jerked out of his moody reverie to smile at his exuberant sevenyear-old son.

"Think you can hold her nose on Texada, big man?” The lad glanced up reproachfully, but caught the twinkle in his father’s eye. He spread his feet firmly as he grasped the wheel grips. His head was barely high enough to see over the low triangular foredeck.

“Aw, dad, don’t make me stand on that box. Gee, I’m growin’ up. Sure I can see all right. I don’t need no old box to stand on.”

Flynn did not press the point. He ruffled the boy’s head roughly, affectionately, as he stepped down into the engine compartment and through to the main cabin.

Sheila, a curly-haired, brown-eyed, three-year-old fairy, smiled up from a throne of cushions ensconced snugly beneath the open after-hatchway.

“Hello, Snooks. You’re up early for a change. You don’t mind the boat rocking a little bit, do you?”

The little girl’s expression changed as he sat down opposite her. She went several shades paler.

“Ma-ma,” she faltered uncertainly.

“Oh, Terry ! You do say the most undiplomatic things.” Mrs. Flynn snatched the child up hastily and fled with her wailing burden up the steps to the brief afterdeck and open air.

The scowl furrows were deep again on Flynn’s brow as he poured a cup of coffee. Hang it, tilings were always like this lately. This trip to the city had been a disturbing influence. They had been in Vancouver nearly a month while his patrol launch had been overhauled, but they couldn’t get back to his detachment at Marble Bay too soon to suit him.

That was it—the city. The city was no place for the Flynn family. Up at Marble Bay there were beaches for the kids all summer, the mildest of winters, and he and Phoebe had been welcomed by the sociable, sport-loving, outdoors people into the easy camaraderie of the Coast. Phoebe had liked it. Why, then, this sudden change?

Provincial Constable Flynn was afraid to answer his own question.

“Hi, dad,” Terry, Junior, shouted back, “come quick.” Flynn reached the pilot house in four long steps.

“Lookit, dad.” The lad was excited. “What’s that?” A mile ahead a menacing dark wall widened from Texada to the mainland. Behind that sombre barrier were a myriad winking eyes of fleecy foam; before it the swells were beaten flat. It bore down on them, ominous, fast.

Wind ! A nor’wester, a regular Bute Inlet twister. Flynn wished his family were on shore. He wished it fervently. “Listen, sonny boy,” he spoke calmly to the little helms-

man, “scoot back and tell mummy it’s going to blow like billy-o in just about a minute. Good chance for a big fellow like you to give her a hand.”

Close on his words the outriders of the squall swooped on the bobbing forty-footer. Wheeuee ! The wind was almost an unyielding obstacle of concrete visibility, against which the boat staggered drunkenly.

They lurched into a smother of choppy, galebeaten waves that boiled against, and merged with, the slow rolling surge of the sou’east aftermath.

Wonk ! The sea was rising fast; the bows were striking hard water. Wonk ! Surrish !

Green and foaming brine swirled spitefully against the heavy glass windows. The bows buried deep into the writhing surface, to emerge in a welter of spume. But they were close to Texada’s windbreaking bulwark. Flynn took the gale slightly on the starboard quarter as he held doggedly for the sanctuary of Henderson Bay, a narrow-mouthed break in the rocky shoreline a short mile ahead.

COMPARATIVE security diverted Flynn’s thoughts into gloomy channels again. What was it all about? Phoebe used to have golden glints in her hair and her eyes had stars. Used to. He hadn’t noticed it lately. She had grey-green eyes that slanted just a whisper; dancing eyes that did strange things to a young man’s heart. Eyes that—

How long ago was that? Nearly nine years. He had come home in ’19 after some months post-war flying with the Polish Air Force against the armies of Red Russia. Lots of fun, but the pay had been insignificant. He had been wildly enthusiastic about the prospects of commercial aviation. What a hope! Every other fellow he knew in Vancouver was a pilot; a hundred experienced men for every job.

Then he had met McKerracher, his old flight commander in France. McKerracher had fallen on his neck with rapturous acclaim.

“Wow! Old Terry Flynn. Come to my arms, feller. Long time no see. What are you doing? No, don’t answer me. I’ve got a job for you.”

McKerracher supplied details. China ! Civil war ! He was in touch with the emissaries of a war lord. The Chinese military leader had planes but he wanted pilots, trained and dependable fighting men, seasoned veterans. Secret stuff! Pay? A thousand dollars a month ! Mex, of course, but still it was real money.

Flynn, late lieutenant of the R. A. F., was then twentythree years old.

“When do we start?” he asked.

McKerracher promised him action shortly, as soon as the final arrangements were made. He had ten other pilots lined up. He hinted mysteriously of a shipment of war

munitions—machine guns and bombs. It was all extremely hush-hush.

Flynn met Phoebe at a ball in the Hotel Vancouver. McKerracher introduced them casually. Flynn found himself halted in midstride with a suddenness that had all the effect of a physical jolt.

Presently they were dancing. Phoebe was feather light in his arms. He watched the flickering glints of gold that rioted in a soundless rhapsody of aureate melody through her close-wound curls. She looked up at him. Her eyes did queer things to him.

“What are you thinking about, Mr. Flynn?"

His lips were close to her ear. He whispered softly.

"There are moonbeams in your hair and your eyes are living sunshine.”

Terry Flynn was one for direct action in all things, and he had never been in love before. Not really in love. He had no clear recollection of the rest of the evening.

McKerracher greeted him coldly some days later.

“That China stuff is all off. Feenish. napoo, bust, all gone. Forget it.”

Flynn didn’t carethen. He had seen Phoebe again. Many times. He proposed to her the second time and on every occasion thereafter.

She was practical. She was earning her own way. She stopped him at last. Abruptly.

“What are you doing for a living?”

“Oh. nothing just now. My brother is a broker, you know. I'm going to sell bonds, stock, all that sort of thing for him, I guess. Just as soon as I learn the ropes.”

Flynn didn’t like that “Oh.”

He stared at her. Her eyes were smoky grey now and they didn’t dance. For no accountable reason he felt very small.

“Well?” He said it almost defiantly.

“Oh, nothing. It’s a genteel occupation, of course. But for you—?” She had said too much in saying too little.

Funny, Flynn mused, what a girl can do with a fellow in a

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few indefinite words. He had picked up his hat and left wordlessly.

He didn’t see her again for two weeks. Then he called at her house on a Saturday evening. She was just going out.

“Come here, woman. I have something to show you.”

He spread his hands, palms up, for her inspection. They were clean, but blistered, scratched and tom. They bore a gruesome resemblance to raw meat.


“I’m a rigging slinger in a logging camp up the Fraser Valley. Seven dollars a day for eight hours work. All it needs is a strong back and a weak head. I’ve got them. I didn’t wear gloves purposely just to prove how tough I am, but I think I will in future.” She was silent.

“Nothing genteel about this job. As soon as I know a little more about it I will be a high rigger at twelve dollars a day. Now, either you marry me or I get me a whitecollar situation. For the fiftieth and last time— will you marry me?”

“Yes.” said Phoebe. Her eyes were sunshine.

THEY were married in time to appreciate the full effect of the post-war depression. The logging camp closed down in company with many others. The high wages were swept away. Flynn did anything in the way of work that offered. Terry, Junior, was bom. Flynn was offered his present post. He accepted avidly. It suited him.

But now, what about it? Everything had been lovely until they had spent this month in the city while the launch was being repaired. If they had stayed at Marble Bay . . .

Came an R. A. F. reunion avec femmes. New clothes for Phoebe, a dinner jacket for him, sundry expenses. He was conscious of the inadequacy of a small salary. And they had met McKerracher, debonair and prosperous. He had danced with Phoebe and patronized Flynn.

Phoebe had been different ever since. Going home that night to her father’s house, in her father’s car, Phoebe had sighed.

“Hasn’t Roy McKerracher developed into a cosmopolitan? He made a fortune in China, they say, and has been living in California for some time. Do you know the word that just suits him? Distingué.” “Yeah?” muttered her husband.

“He told me that he had never married.” “He would. I’ll bet he also told you that it was because he had never met another girl he could care for like—”

“Terry!” Indignantly.

Silence. Phoebe presently spoke casually. Too casually.

“I>ad was showing me the duckiest house this afternoon, near them, that could be bought cheaply. A thousand dollars down and easy monthly payments. It would be nice to live in the city for a change.”

“What on?”

“Aren’t you pleasant? Your brother asked me again to persuade you to go in with him. He says that you will be making a hundred a week in commissions alone in less than a year, and ...”

“Hi, dad.” Flynn was jerked back to the present. His family crowded into the pilot house. Phoebe carried a wan and limp Sheila in her arms. The tossing had been hard on the baby.

“Hello, Snooks. Lie down on the seat and we will be in quiet water in a few minutes. Tough going, eh, Phoebe?”

“Very,” his wife agreed dryly. She looked annoyed. She dabbed at her dress with a handkerchief. “Sheila has been dreadfully ill. I don’t think we should take any more trips with you. For some time, at least.” Flynn frowned. She meant that she didn’t want to take any more at all. Oh, well.

Terry was standing on the edge of the narrow seat.

“Hi, dad, there’s a fish packer in the bay. Do you know who it is?”

His father didn’t. They slid along the sixty-foot length of the high-bowed seine boat. Flynn stepped outside, tossed the painter to a figure on the foredeck, then scrambled back along the narrow guardrail, dropping a pair of braided rope fenders overside as he did so. When the launch touched the side of the other craft he stepped to the after part of the seiner with the stem line in his hand. As he took a turn around a cleat on deck, a figure climbed up from the engine room. Flynn started, surprised.

“Hello, McKerracher! What are you doing here?”

' “Hello yourself, cop. I might ask you that question. Pussyfooting?”

His tone was not welcome. It was uncordial, even truculent. With some reason. He knew Flynn was a constable of the Provincial Police.

Flynn stepped closer. McKerracher was six feet of lithe, well-knit manhood. Flynn was two inches shorter. Their eyes clashed hotly.

“Since you put it that way, yes. What have you got aboard? Booze?” McKerracher laughed. It was a sneer. “What’s that to you?”

Flynn’s hard level eyes bored into his. “Are you trying to be funny?”

“Funny! With a joke like you? Sure, Mr. Policeman, I have a load of booze. Neatly sacked, five bottles to a package, from the bonded warehouses, for export. All strictly legal and correct. I have cleared for Ensenada. Mexico. This is a registered deep sea ship, and I have a certificated skipper aboard. I have put in here for repairs and you can hear the engineer working down below now if you care to listen. Get nosey and I’ll heave you overboard. With pleasure,” he added as an afterthought.

They glared at each other. Two strong men, and determined. The tension was broken unexpectedly.

RS. FLYNN had observed the tableau. ^ She read trouble in her husband’s face. She smiled at the middle-aged, nauticallooking man in sea-going blues who had secured their bow line. His hard face broke into a grin. Mrs. Flynn was a pretty woman.

A word to the children and she swung deftly through the combination hatch door. She stepped to the deck of the seiner.

“Oh, captain. Would you please keep an eye on the children for a moment. They are trained to stay still, but—”

“Sure, sure, ma’am.” The mariner was glad to be of service. She smiled her thanks as she made her way to the two by the engine room opening aft.

Flynn frowned at her. McKerracher. following his eyes, turned to stare. He stepped free of the hatch to bow sweepingly, exaggeratedly. He swept the deck with an imaginary plumed headgear. Baggy, grey flannel trousers and open white shirt could not disguise the courtly grace of a cavalier. Thick-set, stocky Flynn, in his khaki drill working clothes, felt jealousy, red, rabid jealousy.

“Ah, the queen of hearts herself! A thousand welcomes, sweet lady.”

Phoebe’s hand went to her throat.

“Why, Roy McKerracher! What are you doing here?”

A deprecatory wave of the hand.

“My yacht is—”

“Rot!” snapped Flynn. “Behold your cosmopolite, Phoebe., Your gentleman of fortune, your foreign adventurer. Does he still look distingué? Give you two guesses what he is.”

His words stung the other man. McKerracher flushed. Phoebe colored. She did not need two guesses. One would suffice.

“You always were a common person, Flynn.” McKerracher controlled his voice with an obvious effort. “And if you do not care to spare your wife’s sensibilities we will decide the issue now. Get off my ship.” Phoebe knew law. She knew that a policeman had no power to enforce Provincial regulations aboard a deep-sea ship even

if the craft were temporarily detained in the inland coastal waters. But she knew her husband. She laid a hand on his arm.

“Terry, please

Flynn put her firmly aside, but his eyes never wavered from those of his wartime friend.

“Don’t insult what little intelligence I have, Mac. You are lying here to make contact with your distributing boats that will run this liquor to Tacoma and Seattle or other points on the American shore. Also, that bonded stuff hasn’t paid any tax to the B. C. Government and there is too much of it finding its way to the logging camps of^ Jervis and Bute Inlets. I knew you were one of the directors of the rum ring from your palatial patio in Los Angeles or San Diego, or wherever you hang your hat when you are home. I don’t know why you are taking personal charge of this shipment, but I infer it’s because you like the excitement. Maybe you high-jacked the cargo. I don’t know the details, but I’ll tell you this: I am arresting this boat and you. If you don’t like the judgment of our Provincial Court you can appeal to the Admiralty Court and see what happens. But in any case you’ll get some publicity.”

McKerracher sneered.

“You will lose your little job, guy, and face a suit for false arrest that will take some of the conceit out of you. On what grounds do you arrest me?”

“Plenty,” Flynn assured him. “The first thing I do is to check your stock with your Customs manifest. The discrepancy will show—”

The shot told. McKerracher lost his aplomb slightly.

“I know your system,” went on Flynn inexorably. “Unload your booze to your mosquito fleet in Canadian waters, and then tootle merrily back to Vancouver with fake clearance papers from a Mexican port. Huh! You haven’t fuel or fresh water aboard even to make ’Frisco. How do I know? Just guessed it—and your face is answer enough. Now, as we say in the story books, will you submit quietly or must I use force?”

McKerracher regarded him speculatively.

“I’d like to use force,” said Constable Flynn.

“Look here, Terry,” expostulated the rum runner, “let’s talk sense. I can’t afford to have this cargo seized; I have too much money tied up in it. Also, the publicity would be odious to me—and my people. Don’t be silly and tackle something that’s too big for you to handle.” He paused. “I’ll give you a thousand dollars to go on your way.”

IF PHOEBE had colored before, now her face flamed scarlet. She seethed at the humiliating offer. A bribe! To Terry!

“Well, why not?” Flynn mused aloud, a new habit for him. “Why not, indeed. I’m thinking of quitting this job anyhow. It’s not a genteel profession, what I mean. Bonds and percentages would be more in my line. Also I wot well of a house that I could get for one thousand dollars down; a ducky little house. Why not, I ask you?”

“Terry!” His wife implored. “Ter—” “Hey, chief,” the hard faced one bawled from the bow. “Look astern.”

They looked. Half a mile away, past the opening of the bight, where the tumult of the nor’wester swept past in a smother of flying spindrift and foam-crested overfalls, a small craft drifted broadside to the blow. It was hidden from sight in the trough of the rollers, then silhouetted sharply in relief as it rose on the crest of a spouting wave.

Flynn gave one glance and reached for his stem line. He untied it with a jerk.

“The matter is under advisement for the moment,” he stated calmly. “McKerracher, you are coming with me. Phoebe and the kids will stay here.”

McKerracher grinned.

"Declined with thanks. That’s a cop’s

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‘ job and I am not interested. The family are I welcome to stay aboard, of course.” j But Flynn was aboard the police launch through the rear companionway. He jerked the throttle open even as he seized the Johnson bar. He jammed in the switch, inserted the three-foot steel bar in a slot in the rim of the flywheel, and heaved. Chugca-chug! The motor was warm. It didn’t need priming. He leaped into the pilot house.

’’Out you go, kids.”

His wife was holding the launch close against the seiner by the pipe handrail on the cabin. Little Terry scampered off and Flynn carried Sheila. He set her down on the larger boat.

The nautical looking man held the bow rope in his hand. Flynn tcx>k it from him.

“Coming, Mac?” he queried coolly.

“Don’t be silly.” McKerracher was indolently insolent.

Flynn turned from him. Mrs. Flynn stood apprehensively with a hand on either child. He drew the nose of the launch up until it barely touched the side of the seiner. He tossed the coiled painter on the deck.

He turned like a flash. His right hand shot out with the quickness of light. His right fist buried itself in McKerracher’s midsection, just above the belt buckle, with a soft “thuk.”

Flying men, even ex-flying men, think-and act fast. McKerracher involuntarily doubled forward, hands clutching his waist. Flynn ducked, swept both hands around the other man’s knees, hoisting him over a shoulder. He turned and stepped aboard the police launch with his burden.

One hand grasped the pipe rail on the pilot house. He steadied himself as he dropped the helpless man down the open hatch with a total lack of caution. He slid below after him.

A bellow of ra£e from the seiner. The nautical man was taken completely by surprise. The launch was drifting away with the wind. A quick step and a flying leap. His feet thumped the bow planks of the police boat as his questing hands clawed at the pipe rail. He edged to the hatch and thrust his head through the opening. He stopped.

Constable Flynn smiled at him from behind a large stub-nosed Colt automatic. It was a bleak smile.

“Go aft. sailor,” he commanded briskly. He spoke above the noise of the idling engine. “Go aft and stand ready to pass a line to that boat out there. Quick !”

Flynn jammed the pistol into his right hip pocket as he grasped the wheel, crowding McKerracher against the left wall. He let in the clutch and pulled the throttle wide open. He spun the wheel hard over. The launch swung in a narrow arc, barely clearing the cliff-fronted, deep water shoreline. It picked up speed as he straightened out, heading for the open gulf.

A backward glance through the rear window showed his forced assistant on the stem. McKerracher groaned softly from the excruciating effect of the blow in his solar plexus. The wind struck them, heeling the launch far over.

He headed down wind past the small craft that uxie powerless to the fury of the weather. Dark objects trailed behind it, almost invisible in the yeasty swirl. Logs. Pacific coast saw logs! Four and five-feet or more in diameter. They would crush the hull of a gas boat like an egg shell.

The drifting boat revealed itself on closer inspection as a Columbia River model.

They drifted rapidly down past. Flynn pressed the button of his electric siren, and a hoarse bray rang out over the water. A figure appeared from the low cabin. It waved frantically.

A short distance down wind Flynn put the wheel hard over. They took green water over the cabin top as they wore around into the teeth of the gale. He slowed down the power plant.

Up on the drifting gas boat’s lee counter its occupant brandished a coil of heavy rope. He heaved it to the sailor, who took a turn around the galvanized iron bitts that

were bolted to the afterdeck of the police launch.

Flynn took up the slack of the towing rope until the smaller boat swung into line, then speeded up his engine. Ten minutes of heavy going and they were in calmer water. Presently they nosed gently against the seiner again.

Flynn tossed the painter end to his wife. She made the line fast aboard the liquor carrier.

He grinned thinly at McKerracher, who had spoken no word throughout the proceedings.

“Get out, and take your sailing master and fellow thug with you. I’ll talk business later.”

T-JIS family came aboard as the two men returned sullenly to their own craft. A thump aft and the owner of the rescued gas boat climbed heavily over the stern. He made his way awkwardly into the cabin.

A tall, gaunt man, weatherworn and stooped with toil. His light blonde mustache drooped woefully; a pathetic dumb patience was reflected in his haggard face and tired eyes; he was totally bald. Flynn knew him for a hand logger from Desolation Sound, one Ingebretson. A hard life his, levering saw logs into the salt chuck from the steep slopes by sheer manpower.

“Ay tank you, Meester Flynn.” He sank, down on a berth ás he passed a weary hand across his deep lined face. Flynn noted that the thumb and first finger were missing from that hand. Caught between the log and the iron when the Gilchrist jack had slipped, probably. “Ay sure am having tough luck lately.”

“Sure are,” Flynn agreed. “Lost your logs, eh? What were they worth?”

The gaunt Scandinavian did not immediately reply. He seemed crushed by the weight of misfortune.

“Ay had two swifters and a nose. Mostly number one and two fir. Good clear stuff. Ay figure it was wort’ eighteen dolers a t’ousand in Vancouver. Maybe when stoompage and royalty is paid Ay dear me twelve hunnert dolers. Ay had about a hunnert t’ousand feet in dot boom.

“Ay need dot money. My wife has been sick a long tarn. She got to have a operation. Dot costs money. She don’t want to spend dot money until Hulda, my big girl, can go to normal schule in Victoria for one year for teacher.

“But Hulda says she won’t go to the normal schule onless her mother has dot operation first. She will get her a job as a cook maybe, but Ay don’t like dot. Ay got another daughter, too, in Vancouver. Olga is working for her board and going to the high schule also. Ay want my kids to haf a chance.”

He waved his hands hopelessly. There were tears in those tired mild eyes.

“Ay am broke — and in debt to the store for grub. My logs are gone. Ay am too old and stiff with rheumatism to hold a iob in a logging camp now. just able to do a little handlogging. Maybe if dot wind goes down Ay might pick up a few of dose logs, but Ay guess it ain’t much show. My engine won’t run.”

He stared unseeingly at a locker door. Phoebe Flynn, watching, felt what he visualized —the long years of arduous drudgery, the ailing mother, the plucky, ambitious girls.

Constable Flynn stood up.

“Could you use one thousand dollars?” he asked gently.

Ingebretson’s eyes wavered to his. The man gulped. He smiled sadly.

“You are yoking. Meester Flynn?”

“I am not joking.” Flynn scowled at him.

Ingebretson digested the fact.

“Yas, I could use one t’ousand dolers.”

Flynn walked out of the cabin. He stepped aboard the seiner. The purveyors o*f liquor had gone below. He followed them into the forepeak. They glared at him.

“Count out that thousand plunks—and sling your hook.”

They stared now. McKerracher moistened his lips with a nervous tongue.

“Do you mean it?”

“I mean it.”

McKerracher counted the money from a bulging wallet, in bills of sizeable denominations. Flynn checked it.

“Now beat it.” he admonished them succinctly. “If I catch you in these parts again there will be no quarter. Kumlux?”

McKerracher looked his contempt, but forebore to reply. Flynn untied the police boat and dropped a light anchor over the bow. The semi-Diesel motor of the liquor carrier throbbed into activity. They heaved their anchor off the shallow bottom and headed for the open. Flynn watched them turn southwest toward Lasqueti Island.

He entered the wheelhouse and summoned Ingebretson forward. He spoke to the amazed Norseman.

“Here is one thousand dollars that I will give you on one condition only—that you will never mention the matter to a living soul, not even your wife.”

Ingebretson considered stolidly for a space.

“Ay t’ank you. Meester Flynn,” he said slowly, at last, “but Ay could not promise yust dot far. Ay would haf to tell my wife. She would want to know was dot money honest. Ya.”

Flynn gave the matter thought. This was an unexpected angle.

“Well, how about this? I give you the money for your boom and you can have all the logs you salvage. How’s that? You can tell your wife—but no one else, remember—that you sold your logs to a man you met in Henderson Bay. Is that all right?”

“Yas, but why?”

“Listen, Squarehead,” Flynn roared at him. “This money was given to me for a certain purpose and I can do what I like with it. I am going to get a lot more out of this deal than you are, strange as it may seem. I didn’t rob a bank or anything like that. If this money will do any good in the world, such as helping a sick lady to get well, why

-why—-the owner will be well repaid. That’s what.”

An ambiguous statement. Ingebretson was bewildered.

“Do you want it?” Flynn bellowed the words in his face.

“Yas, but—”

“Then take the stuff—and never mention the matter to me again.”

THE wind, as is the habit of westerlies, dropped as quickly as it had begun. By late afternoon the police launch left the seclusion of the bay and pointed her sharp prow for Marble Bay and home. Mrs. Flynn came into the pilot house.

“Baby is asleep and Terry is watching her. I want to talk with you.”

Flynn forestalled her.

“Ah, I didn’t have the slightest chance of making that seizure stick. I was just peeved. Mac was quite right. It was beyond my jurisdiction and I had no proof that would have held in court. I could have caused him some annoyance perhaps, but I would have been kidded off the police.

“I fixed Ingebretson’s engine. Gas line plugged for one thing, and his timer gear had slipped a cog. Also a cracked water jacket which I patched with cement and haywire.

“He ought to get some of his logs back if the tide and local winds don’t carry them in too many different directions. Hope he doesn’t get drowned in that rotten tub. I wouldn’t give ten dollars for his outfit.” “Terry, I—”

“Did you really want that house in Vancouver?” He interrupted softly.

She did not answer. The sun was low over the north tip of Texada. It shone vividly into the little cabin. She half turned, watching the near-by shoreline that flowed past the side window.

“Phoebe,” he said quietly. “Phoebe, look at me.”

She slowly faced him. He edged closer, forsaking the wheel. His lips were close to her ear as he murmured.

“There are sunbeams in your hair, and” —he cupped a hand under her chin, tilting it upward—“by heaven. I knew it—your eyes are the sunshine itself!”

The End