FICTION

SEA DOG

EUGENE JONES June 1 1934
FICTION

SEA DOG

EUGENE JONES June 1 1934

SEA DOG

FICTION

EUGENE JONES

BASIL WILLIAMS, managing director of the Western Pacific Steamship Company, knew the wisdom of a straight course, so he sailed it now with reference to Abner Grim, master.

“Abner, ever since we put you back on freight you’ve had an eye on the Monterey. How’d you like to take her west next trip?”

Grim stuffed his ragged corncob to the Plimsoll line, ignited the fuel under forced draught and tilted his chair, raw-beefs kin and hair-brush beard half hidden in the swirl of smoke.

“Ain't Duncan cornin’ back?”

“No. The doctor tells me he’s through. So that leaves three of you of about the same seniority.”

“Umph, better give ’er to one o’ them others.”

“No, Abner,” said Williams steadily, “I’m giving her to you—the best ship we’ve got—if you can beat the Colombia's time tb Cuba.”

“Godfreys!” exploded Grim. “You don't want nuthin’.”

“Nothing unreasonable. When the Colombia made that record run, the Mulford people got the cream of the passenger trade. We need publicity and need it badly. Publicity sells tickets. All right, if a new ship breaking an old record is news, then an old ship breaking a new record is better news. Our architects, who know both ships, say the Monterey should win if properly overhauled and handled. We've done the overhauling. Now, you do the handling.”

“Who’s her engineer?”

“Don’t worry, Abner,” Williams smiled. “You can have McTodd.” And with finality: “You sail tomorrow noon.”

Grim digested this in silence broken only by a muffled roar from the pier shed below. For three long years he had coveted the Monterey, aching to get his feet on her bridge. Now and again men love ships like women—at first sight. Thus the managing director’s offer seemed heaven sent. As for the circumstances responsible for that offer, they were plain. Until the Mulford lines had featured a fast passage between New York and Cuba, speed had never been stressed by a coastal company; but now that Mulford had declared war via a national advertising campaign he had thrown down a challenge to the Western Pacific people. The three-year-old Monterey would have to beat the brand-new Colombia.

“What’s McTodd say?”

“That he’ll get a dozen extra revolutions out of her or retire. He’s itching for a permanent berth on her as much as you are.” Williams came around his desk to rest a hand on Grim’s shoulder. “I’ve counted on the pair of you more than once, Abner, without being disappointed. Remember, we want publicity, you want that ship, so go to it.”

NEXT MORNING the new master of the Monterey paused to look at her from the shore end of the passenger plank—a shining steel giant of eleven thousand tons, groomed and painted and ready for sea. He knew that her tanks held the best grade of fuel oil obtainable, and that just enough cargo to steady her would go aboard. Standing there, a stocky, bull-shouldered island around which embarking passengers eddied resentfully, he let his eyes feast on every line of hull and superstructure until a steward who didn’t know him seized his bag and asked respectfully if he intended sailing.

“Yep, cal’late I do.”

“Have you your ticket, sir?”

“Eh? Yes. Had it ten year!” The steward’s eyes bulged. “What room, sir?”

“I’m figurin’ on bunkin’ in with the master,” chuckled Grim, and went aboard.

He found chief engineer Andrew McTodd waiting for him in the captain’s cabin. McTodd looked very much down in the mouth—no trick for one who perennially wore the expression of a pensive horse. Bitter friends, these two had sailed and wrangled together for many years, one on the bridge, the other in the engine room.

“Umph,” remarked Grim, sitting down in the swivel chair before the desk and shoving his hat to the back of his head. “Got things shipshape below, have you? Remember, it’s up to you swabs.”

McTodd shook his head sombrely.

“I'll remember mithin’ o’th’ sort, Abneer. Ye’ll no find engines in better condeetion onywhere. I wush I could say th’ same f’r the brudge.”

Grim’s whiskers quivered with rage.

“What d’you mean—bridge?”

“Simply and confideentially, thot ye’re no th’ mon ye used to be, ringin’ bells till the telegroph sounds like a domned alarum clock. If ye canna keep yer honds awa’ frrum bells ye should go int’ the telephone buzzness.” Grim expelled an enormous cloud of smoke, his beard fairly jumping.

“Yer don’t say! Well, Mister McTodd, you’ll hear few bells this trip. Full speed ahead an’ no excuses, blast yer !” “Yus ondeed, vurra neat ond convincin’,” agreed the chief sarcastically, getting up and stretching. “I’ll be goin’ below, Abneer, so ye con ocquaint yersel’ wi’ the opporotus wi’ whuch th’ vussel is hondled. Ye’ll find it in th’ wheelhoose.”

“Git out!” roared Grim as McTodd paused at the door. “I was to sea afore you was bom.”

“Aye, perhops, Abneer—ond ye still are, when it cooms tae navigation.”

The door closed quickly, damming up a flood of invective that left the air bluer than the tobacco smoke floating in layers.

Exact noon saw the Monterey's lines slapping the dirty harbor water, and heard the thunder of the Monterey’s whistle as it warned river traffic she intended backing into the stream. The telegraph went to “slow astern,” tugs tightened slack hawsers, helping the vessel to breast the

current beyond the pier head, and the crowd ashore shouted good-bys to the passengers on deck.

Grim knew that among those passengers was Giles Kenyon, largest minority stockholder of the Western Pacific Steamship Company. In fact Williams had hinted that the idea of the new record had come from Kenyon. Also aboard was a correspondent of the Associated Press. If the Monterey succeeded, the world would know it quickly; and if she failed. . . Her master, smoking his corncob fiercely, jammed his stubby hands deep in his jacket pockets. She couldn’t!

Fair tide and light traffic aided them down the river, through the narrows and into Ambrose Channel. Before the pilot went over the side he took a squint at the weather, shook hands with Grim and prophesied: “You’ll make it, captain, if it doesn’t come out of the southeast tonight.”

’ I 'HE WIND did come from exactly that quarter around nine in the evening, freshening rapidly; and Grim on the bridge swore at it. Before long the spray was flying over the bow to spatter the foc’s’le head like big raindrops.

On his way below Grim stopped to read an unencouraging weather report delivered to the chart room. Thus the master of the Monterey, never to be described as a genial soul, was in no mood for company when he entered his cabin to find a fat man with moon face and pig eyes ensconced there. Giles Kenyon believed in making himself at home, the attitude of his host being unimportant. Men usually rose to greet Kenyon: Kenyon never rose to greet any man. He sat now, a smiling mountain of flesh and self-esteem.

“Hullo. Kenyon’s the name. Williams said to hunt you up. Missed you at dinner. No time to eat, I guess.” “Nope,” snapped Grim. “Work all day and sleep all night—when I git the chance.” The last with emphasis.

Kenyon, missing the point, took a fresh grip on his cigar and leaned forward confidentially as Grim sat down. “What’s the dope, captain? Make it, will we?”

“Make what?”

“Now listen, captain, I’m wise. I don’t mind telling you I put ’em up to it. I'm a hound for publicity. Know the value of it in business. Keep before the public—that’s my motto. If you bust the Colombia's record you’ll boost Western Pacific stock five points.”

“Own a lot of it, do yer?”

“Too much unless it goes up,” admitted Kenyon. "Say, d’you know, I might even be tempted to sign over a block to a certain skipper if we beat the Colombia.”

“Mr. Kenyon,” replied Grim, his eyes round and hard like small blue marbles, “the company pays me for doin’ the best I can. I don’t need bribin’.”

Mr. Kenyon affected genial disappointment.

“Bonus, not bribe, please! . . Um, perhaps the chief might be more liberal in his views. I shouldn’t wonder if he felt fifty shares were worth an extra knot or so.”

“By time, Kenyon—” A more crafty expression replaced the anger in Grim’s face. Glancing away, he continued: “—you got McTodd sized up to a T, I cal’late. Hunt ’im up. Third door aft on the starb’rd side. Nice friendly swab he is. Don’t knock, jest go in.” He began unbuttoning his jacket. “Umph, if yer don’t mind, I’ll be gittin’ to bed now. Let me know how ye make out with McTodd.”

When the door had closed on Kenyon, Grim sat for a time staring at it and chuckling. He had but one regret— that he must be absent at the pending interview. “Nice friendly swab,” he repeated to himself as he undressed.

Toward morning the watch officer called him. Pulling on an oilskin over his pyjamas, he went up to the wheelhouse to find the lookout driven from the foc’s’le head by the seas. The wind was humming out of the southeast at thirty miles and the Monterey was digging her nose straight into it. He spoke to the engine room.

“McTodd down there?. . . . Put’imon. . . .What’s she turnin’, Andrew?”

“Eighty-six, but I vurra much fear we’ll hae t’ throttle

“Throttle mithin’, you old woman!”

“Maybe ye’d like tae coom doon here ond run ma deepartment, coptain,” invited McTodd. “Ond while we’re discussin’ this ond thot, let me say if ye ever send anoother gawkin’, pot-bellied idjit tae bribe me in th’ middle o’ the

Grim hung up the receiver, mollified. Probably Kenyon hadn’t so much as knocked.

TNAWN FOUND the master of the Monterey fully dressed ^ and on the bridge. The short-lived southeaster was dropping, but the seas had not moderated, and grey clouds still hung low above the mastheads. They were already behind time according to radio bearings and dead reckoning. Diamond Shoals lightship, 350 miles from New York, should have been raised at six o’clock, it now being six-twenty and still no sign of her.

Grim watched the way the Monterey handled herself. He wanted her so much. But he would have to earn her; Williams was like that. Standing there on the bridge wing, he felt the throb of the superstructure and knew Andrew McTodd had not throttled the engines—would never throttle them a notch unless the propellers were coming clean out. The watch officer called him to the telephone.

"Where are we?” demanded McTodd. “Can ye no find th’ domned lightshup? Must I coom up ond steer for ye?”

“Gimme more steam and less hot air. Lightship ain’t sighted yet,” growled Grim, and went back to his charts.

There was still a possibility to beat the existing record, provided the weather cleared before noon. If not, the Monterey might as well reduce speed and admit defeat. And Williams waiting in New York was counting on her!

A half hour later came the cry, “Lightship on the starb’rd bow !” Grim sprang for the wheelhouse. Yes, there she was, a black dot against a grey horizon.

“Let ’er go sou’west three-quarter south,” he ordered. “Mr. Gregg, we’ll make Brunswick lightship and keep clear o’ the Stream.”

At breakfast Kenyon greeted him a little less jovially.

“Looks pretty bad, captain.”

“Think so? Weather’s fairin’ off. You must o’ bribed the chief good an’ proper. Been at them engines all night, he has.”

Kenyon leaned forward, allowing the table edge to crease him alarmingly amidships.

“We were both wrong about your chief engineer, Grim. Pm afraid I haven’t much use for him.”

“Wanted too much stock, eh? That’s the blasted Scot

“On the contrary, he wanted none—and said so in language unbecoming a gentleman. Fve found it pays to be a gentleman in business. I suggest you tell McTodd that.”

“You tell him, Mr. Kenyon. Likely as not he’ll apologize, now he’s had time to git his bearin’s. Them cussin’ fits come on him sudden when he’s took by surprise.”

Somehow, news of the race had spread to every soul aboard. Passengers clustered about the bulletin board in the smoke room, where the ship’s position was posted; others stopped Grim on his inspection tour, wishing him luck and plying him with questions. Bets were made and odds given that a new record would be established—as if the very existence of odds might influence wind and sea! And, strangely enough, they seemed to, for by noon the wind had died, the ocean sparkled under the sun and the Monterey surged ahead, eating up the leagues. The race would be close, but to Grim the winning of it meant more than a job well done, a competitor beaten; it meant the

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bridge of the Monterey permanently under

his feet.

Following luncheon, McTodd, with tired eyes and a smudge across one cheek, came up briefly to get some air and report he “had ’em turnin’ eighty-seven.”

“Better git some sleep,” advised Grim.

“ ’Twould no sot well on me,” returned the chief. “I'm not the brudge.”

Despite the tartness of his tongue, Grim thanked his stars for Andrew McTodd. Andrew in the engine room and a flattening sea should be good omens. But fate, through the medium of the second officer, disillusioned him at exactly three o’clock when he answered the bridge telephone. “Open boat four points on the port bow,

“What's that?”

“Open boat. Can’t make much of her

Without hesitation Grim directed: “Haul over for ’er. How fur’s she off?”

“About three miles, sir.”

Lead in his heart and his cap jerked viciously over one ear, he hurried to the bridge. Before he reached it the port decks were lined with passengers w'ho had noticed the sudden change in course—for passengers miss nothing at sea !

Yes, there she was. Through his glasses Grim made out the lines of a dory apparently empty and drifting broadside to the breeze. Kenyon, puffing from his climb, touched him on the arm.

“Lord, man, don’t stop! She’s empty.” “We got to be suie. Might be a half dead swab in her bottom.”

Kenyon started to reply, thought better of it and borrowed a pair of glasses.

Slowly the liner drew nearer until it was easy to see with the naked eye that nothing broke the sweep of the dory’s gunwales. But what lay hidden by her high sides? On that hung much. Grim leaned far over the bridge wing, waiting. Not a sound from the officers on the bridge or the passengers on deck. When the boat lay almost dead ahead and nearly under the bow1 he said gruffly: “Ease ’er.”

The Monterey fell off a bit on a course that would bring her close to the possible evidence of tragedy. The whole vessel was holding its breath, straining for a first glimpse within. Suddenly the second mate pointed.

“There’s something in her all right, sir. I—I can’t make it cut; it isn’t a man—” Those below, who could not see, waited for his next words with upturned faces. At last they came

“It—it’s a dog, sir! She’s got a dog aboard !”

' I 'HANK GOD!” muttered Kenyon, wiping his face.

“Dead?” Grim’s voice was sharp.

“I don’t know, sir.”

And then everybody knew, for the ship was close now, sweeping past at twenty knots. The dory lay like a tiny, oblong cup on the sea, and in her bottom a black, furry something raised its head. Grim, his vision sharpened by a study of far horizons, caught a glimpse of brown, pleading eyes, of a bedraggled tail that moved a bit and was still. Then the dory was gone astern, bobbing like a cork in the vessel’s wash.

Whatever motivated the man behind the hairbrush beard and wind-cut skin was above smashed records and speed supremacy. All he thought of was that spark of life drifting astern. He spoke quietly to the watch officer.

“Slow ahead both engines, Mr. Gregg. Hard a-starboard, Mr. Parks. Clear number seven boat and have the bo’sun muster

A babel of voices broke out on deck. The ship was going back. They’d lose the race. Damned foolishness! Splendid sacrifice! Save the dog! To the devil with the dog!

And then Kenyon, dazed at first by Grim’s action, was at him, pawing him with a fat hand.

“Grim, it’s only a dog.” He dived into his pocket, dragging out a chequebook. “A thousand if you keep going. I—I’ll

raise it—”

Blunt fingers closed on his arm ; two cold, blue marbles stared him into silence.

“Git off my bridge, Kenyon—you and yer bribes.”

“But wait, Grim, listen. I overbought Western Pacific. You’ve got to go through with it. You'll ruin me. That’s only a dog. Some other ship’ll pick him up.”

“Git!” repeated Grim, “or somebody’ll be pickin’ you up.” The fat man glanced about as if to appeal to the other officers, but found their faces stony. At Grim he hurled one final bomb.

“You'll lose your job for this, Grim. You’re a —a mollycoddle!” The last from the head of the companion ladder, down which he scrambled.

For an instant the passengers stared, but when the full significance of what Grim was doing—and what Kenyon would have had him do—dawned upon them, some of them cheered. Slowly the Monterey swung in a gigantic circle and as slowdy retraced her way until the dory was again drawing abeam.

“Full astern,” ordered her master. She trembled under the power of backing screws. “Stop ’er. Lower your boat, Mr.

It wasn’t much of a job getting the boat clear and pulling off to the dory. A seaman lifted its sole occupant in his arms and deposited him gently in the Monterey's lifeboat. Once more alongside the liner, all but one of the crew came up the Jacob’s ladder, a single man remaining to look after the dog as the boat was hoisted on deck. The moment her dripping hull cleared the sea Grim ordered the telegraph to “full ahead” and swung his ship back on her course. But the interlude had cost thirty precious minutes—a loss that was going to be difficult to overcome.

As the lifeboat came jerkily up the side, passengers crowded forward, seriously if unintentionally interfering with the work of the crew on the falls. Grim, hurrying from the bridge, would have avoided them, but a birdlike little woman who sat at his table blocked him.

“You’re wonderful, captain !” she twittered, clinging to his sleeve. “You love poor, dumb animals, don’t you?”

“No, ma’am, not that one,” he grunted, and moved on to enter his cabin. He sent for McTodd and the bo’sun. The latter arrived first.

“Any name on that boat?” demanded

“No, sir. But we found an oilskin and sou’wester and a package o’ stale lunch. Fishin' boat from the coast, sir. Feller must o’ fell overboard. What’ll I do with the dog?”

"Do? How should I know? Think I'm a blasted animal trainer? Feed an’ water ’im, I cal’late, and put ’im somewhere he won’t keep all hands awake howdin’. Where you got him now?”

“Her,” corrected the bo’sun with diffidence. “Right outside, sir. I already give ’er some water and meat. She was pretty nigh played out. Want to see her?” Without waiting for an answer he retired to the alley and returned, boosting ahead of him twenty-five pounds of reluctant pup.

MASTER and shipwreck examined each other in silence, soft brown eyes questioning hostile blue ones. It was evident at once that she was of cosmopolitan descent, shepherd and collie predominating. Her heavy, black coat was matted in places by salt water, but she smiled easily—a good sign.

"Them paws,” observed Grim. “They ain’t hers. Couldn’t be.”

“She’s young, sir,” explained the bo’sun. “She’ll grow up to ’em.”

“Not afore we reach Cuba, I hope! Umph, must be part calf.”

Conscious that she was being discussed, but evidently aware of the doubtfulness of her welcome, the puppy stifled a desire to pounce upon Grim’s large and inviting shoe, and advanced sedately. Perhaps her late master had also been bewhiskered, or perhaps she had already learned the power of her sex: anyway, Grim’s frown did not faze her. On she came, her shirtfront very white and her nose very black. Then in spite of no encouragement on Grim’s part, she sat down on her haunches, put her head on Grim’s knee and said, “Thank you for saving me,” as clearly as a dog could. Against his better judgment, the master of the Monterey for the first time fell for a very young lady in distress; he patted her soft, black fur, demanding huskily:

"What’s yer name?”

“Woof!” replied the dog as huskily. After the passage of what to the bo’sun seemed much time he asked:

“Want her took below, sir? We can fix aplace for’erin the foc’s’le. Men’ll like her.” Grim’s beard quivered.

“When I need advice what to do with my dog, by Godfrey I’ll ask f’r it. Break out a water bowl and put it over there by the bunk. Lively now!”

“Yes, sir,” replied the bo’sun, grinning from ear to ear.

McTodd, entering, found Grim enveloped in a cloud of tobacco smoke, and Woof’s head still on his knee. He sat down wearily.

“So thot’s what ye stopped for? Onybody else in th’ boat?”

“Nope.” It was characteristic of Grim to meet the matter with a single syllable.

McTodd’s horse face looked more pensive than usual.

“I hae no overpowerin’ love f’r dogs, Abneer. Hooever, I wush t’ say thot while ye’re as scotter-brained, dusagreeable, inefficient a mon as ever tromped a brudge, I respect ye f’r what ye’ve doon.”

“Do, eh? Umph, I want to know ! You’ve took a load off my mind.” Leaning forward, Grim removed his pipe to point it at the chief. “Andrew, we got a half hour to make up. Git another knot out them engines.” McTodd reflected.

“I canna manage it, Abneer, onless I hook in th’ donkey boiler—a vurra unethical procedure.”

"Then do it an’ stop beefin’.”

"It will no do ony good, coptain, if yer quartermasters let ’er yaw. Ye must steer a straight coorse.”

“Gimme the speed, and them quartermasters ’ll steer straight,” snapped Grim. “I’ll be there to see t’ it!”

When the chief had departed Grim returned to the wheelhouse and ordered a cot placed in the chart room. Then he said to the mate:

“Put the best men you got on the wheel —two-hour tricks, no more. I’m goin’ to watch that lubber’s line myself an’ fire the fust swab that lets ’er fall off a degree.” With the increased steam from the donkey boiler the Monterey’s engines throbbed a shade faster. She was racing in earnest now, every ounce of power she possessed propelling her turbines. And behind the helmsman stood Grim, pipe in mouth, hard eyes glued on the lubber’s line. Probably no skipper of recent years had more grossly insulted the intelligence of his officers; certainly his action was without precedent, but everybody from the mate on down was too concerned with the outcome to take offense. Let “the old man” stay there till he took root if he wanted to !

Meanwhile a parade of passengers sought the boat deck where Woof held court. Her picture was snapped so often she learned to face a camera with the nonchalance of a movie actress, but nothing could tempt her farther than the companion steps from her new and jealous master.

McTodd ate his lunch in the engine room, Grim ate his in the wheelhouse. Twice a steward came up to say Mr. Walters,

the Associated Press correspondent, wanted to see him on urgent business; and twice the master of the Monterey refused savagely. The hum and crackle from the wireless shack told its story of private messages stuttering forth. Probably Kenyon’s would be among them, advising Williams that Grim was a soft-hearted fool. Williams might have to listen out of necessity; no use underrating Kenyon’s influence. But whether the managing director listened or not, Grim must win. He had jeopardized an expensive publicity stunt lor the sake of a dog—an action any cool-headed businessman would condemn—and the Western Pacific board of directors were more than cool-headed; they were icebergs.

TAEAD RECKONING showed the Monlerey making up a bit of time; exactly how much was impossible to say. Minutes would decide the matter one way or another. That the passengers understood what was going on was evident. More bets were made, this time the odds favoring failure. Suspense lay upon the whole ship from foc’s’le to first cabin.

Watches changed in the wheelhouse but Grim remained, smoking his corncob, his eyes everlastingly on the compass. Now and again he would retire to the chart room to check and recheck the course. Night, clear, star-pricked, found the cubicle a dome of silence and darkness except for the rattle of a pair of binoculars in their frame and the glow of the binnacle. Toward twelve Grim snatched an hour or so of sleep, but he was back on the job before daylight, drinking black coffee by the potful. Once McTodd telephoned.

“Ye’re vurra uncommunicative, Abneer. Where are we?”

“Too blasted fur from Cuba!” snapped

Another day and night. Grim’s eyes were red-rimmed now, the faces of his officers drawn and anxious. If they were to win, Morro Castle must be raised an hour after sun-up.

Dawn found the bridge well populated —first, second and third mates, and on the starboard wing, Giles Kenyon. Being ordered off a bridge once meant nothing to Kenyon. As the grey light spread across the sky, eager eyes swept the widening horizon. It was empty! Not a sign of Morro Castle through even the strongest glasses.

The Monterey, as if conscious of the last lap, seemed to redouble her efforts. Superstructure quivered, her high bow cut through the water like a vertical knife. Passengers who normally would have been in bed and asleep crowded the forward decks.

That was a long hour for Grim. Thirty, forty-five, and finally fifty minutes, and still no hint of land. He, like Kenyon, had his watch out. Several seamen, eager for honors, had climbed to the crow’s nest. Fifty nine—sixty minutes. The horizon remained inexorably empty.

Grim ran his sleeve across his forehead and put his watch away. They were beaten. If they raised Havana harbor the next instant they were still beaten. Crossing slowly to the wheelhouse, he found himself face to face with Kenyon.

“Curse you and the dog!” said Kenyon through fat, dry lips. “You’ve cost me fifty thousand dollars.”

“That’s the only joy I git out o’ bein’ licked, Kenyon,” replied Grim, and continued. As he took down the receiver to call the engine room a shout arose.

“Land aho!”

“Morro Castle, sir!” cried the watch officer.

Grim spoke through the telephone.

“Andrew, we got five minutes to run fifteen mile. Ease your engines. We’re done.” Then, without a glance at the distant land, he went swiftly to his cabin and shut the door.

A HALF HOUR passed ere McTodd entered to find Woof with her head in its accustomed berth on Grim’s knee and a very large paw in Grim’s hand. He sat down silently.

“We slipped up, Andrew.”

“Aye,” said Andrew McTodd, “ond I’m proud we did. Ye’re a mon, Abneer, f’r all yer ootrageous faults.”

Hurried steps sounded outside, the door flew open, and a wheezing, perspiring Kenyon burst in. Grim half rose, his eyes dangerous, but Kenyon waved him back. In his hand he clutched a radiogram.

“I’ve come to apologize,” he boomed. “Hear me, gentlemen—apologize and pay up and take off my hat to the man who knows more about publicity than I do!” He made a dramatic gesture, waving the yellow paper like a flag. “Here’s a wire that Associated Press reporter just got. He sent his office the whole thing last night. They say it’s the biggest story of the year. Western Pacific’ll make the front page of every paper in America. Just watch our stock, that’s all I ask. And me dumb enough to think you did it for the mutt !”

Grim’s beard quivered. He would have been on his feet in an instant if McTodd had not been too quick for him. Unfolding

himself, he towered over Kenyon, a loosejointed giant itching for action.

“Git oot! Ye’ve no place in the same room wi’ a respectable dog. Ye dinna talk oor language.”

Kenyon’s eyes opened wide, reflecting unalloyed amazement.

“You mean—”

“I mean git oot!”

Not unfamiliar with the quality of McTodd’s wrath, the largest minority stockholder of Western Pacific obeyed. The door crashed to. driven by McTodd’s number eleven. Captain and engineer sat in silence for some time. Eventually the latter

“Hae ye decided her nationality, Abneer? She canna be a Scotsman; she gies awa’ too much 0’ her affection. Ond she canna be a thoroughbred, seein’ the company she

A twinkle appeared in Grim’s eye.

“ ’Tweren’t likely you’d know the breed, Andrew—not you. She’s a fust class sea dog, same as her master.”