most damnably mysterious whenever I came over to the mill; he would wink at me in a respectful manner-- as much as to say, "We know what we know." Infernally fawning and familiar--and that sort of thing." He threw himself into a chair and stared down his legs. "One day we happened to be alone and the fellow had the cheek to say, `Well, Mr. James'--I was called Mr. James there as if I had been the son--`here we are together once more. This is better than the old ship--ain't it?' . . . Wasn't it appalling, eh? I looked at him, and he put on a knowing air. `Don't you be uneasy, sir,' he says. `I know a gentleman when I see one, and I know how a gentleman feels. I hope, though, you will be keeping me on this job. I had a hard time of it, too, along of that rotten old Patna racket.' Jove! It was awful. I don't know what I should have said or done if I had not just then heard Mr. Denver calling me in the passage. It was tiffin-time, and we walked together across the yard and through the garden to the bungalow. He began to chaff me in his kindly way . . . I believe he liked me . . ."

`Jim was silent for a while.

"`I know he liked me. That's what made it so hard. Such a splendid man! That morning he slipped his hand under my arm. . . . He, too, was familiar with me." He burst into a short laugh, and dropped his chin on his breast. "Pah! When I remembered how that mean little beast had been talking to me," he began suddenly in a vibrating voice, "I couldn't bear to think of myself . . . I suppose you know . . ." I nodded. . . . "More like a father," he cried; his voice sank. "I would have had to tell him. I couldn't let it go on--could I?" "Well? I murmured, after waiting a while. "I preferred to go," he said, slowly; "this thing must be buried."

`We could hear in the shop Blake upbraiding Egstrom in an abusive, strained voice. They had been associated for many years, and every day from the moment the doors were opened to the last minute before closing, Blake, a little man with sleek, jetty hair and unhappy, beady eyes, could be heard rowing his partner incessantly with a sort of scathing and plaintive fury. The sound of that everlasting scolding was part of the place like the other fixtures; even strangers would very soon come to disregard it completelyunless it be perhaps to mutter "Nuisance," or to get up suddenly and shut the door of the "parlour." Egstrom himself, a rawboned, heavy Scandinavian, with a busy manner and immense blonde whiskers, went on directing his people, checking parcels, making out bills or writing letters at a stand-up desk in the shop, and comported himself in that clatter exactly as though he had been stone-deaf. Now and again he would emit a bothered perfunctory "Sssh," which neither produced nor was expected to produce the slightest effect. "They are very decent to me here," said Jim. "Blake's a little cad, but Egstrom's all right." He stood up quickly, and walking with measured steps to a tripod telescope standing in the window and pointed at the roadstead, he applied his eye to it. "There's that ship which had been becalmed outside all the morning has got a breeze now and is coming in," he remarked, patiently; "I must go and board." We shook hand in silence, and he turned to go. "Jim!" I cried. He looked round with his hand on the lock. "You--you have thrown away something like a fortune." He came back to me all the way from the door. "Such a splendid old chap," he said. "How could I? How could I?" His lips twitched. "Here it does not matter." "Oh! you--you--" I began, and had to cast about for a suitable word, but before I became aware that there was no name that would just do, he was gone. I heard outside Egstrom's deep gentle voice saying cheerily, "That's the Sarah W. Granger, Jimmy. You must manage to be first aboard;" and directly Blake struck in, screaming after the manner of an outraged cockatoo, "Tell the captain we've got some of his mail here. That'll fetch him. D'ye hear, Mister What's-your-name?" And there was Jim answering Egstrom with something boyish in his tone. "All right. I'll make a race of it." He seemed to take refuge in the boat-sailing part of that sorry business.

"I did not see him again that trip, but on my next (I had a six months' charter) I went up to the store. Ten yards away from the door Blake's scolding met my ears, and when I came in he gave me a glance of utter wretchedness; Egstrom, all smiles, advanced, extending a large bony hand. "Glad to see you, captain. . . . Sssh. . . . Been thinking you were about due back here. What did you say, sir? . . . Sssh. . . . Oh! him! He has left us. Come into the parlour." . . . After the slam of the door Blake's strained voice became faint, as the voice of one scolding desperately in a wilderness. . . . "Put us to a great inconvenience, too. Used us badly, I must say. . . ." "Where's he gone to? Do you know?" I

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