So Judah was obliged to postpone the
telling of his most important news item. But
the following morning when, looking heavy-eyed and
haggard, as if he had slept but little, Captain Kendrick
limped into the kitchen for breakfast, Mr. Cahoon
served that item with the salt mackerel and fried
potatoes. It was surprising, too at
least Sears found it so. Egbert Phillips, so
Judah declared, had given up his rooms at the Central
House and had gone, household goods and all, to board
and lodge at Joel Macomber’s. He was occupying,
so Judah said, the very room that Sears himself had
occupied when he was taken to his sister’s home
after the railway accident.
The captain could scarcely believe
it. He had not seen Sarah Macomber since the
day following the Foam Flake’s amazing cut-up
on the Orham road, when she had come, in much worriment
and anxiety, to learn how badly he was hurt.
Her call had been brief, and, as he had succeeded in
convincing her that the extra twist to his legs would
have no serious effect, she had not called since.
But Sarah-Mary, the eldest girl, had brought a basket
containing a cranberry pie, a half-peck, more or less,
of molasses cookies, and two tumblers of beach-plum
jelly, and Sarah-Mary had said nothing to her Uncle
Sears about the magnificent Mr. Phillips coming to
live with them.
“I guess not, Judah,”
said the captain. “Probably you’ve
got it snarled some way. He may have gone there
to supper with George Kent and the rest of the yarn
sprouted from that.”
But Judah shook his head. “No
snarl about it, Cap’n Sears,” he declared.
“Come straight this did, straight as a spare
topmast. Joe Macomber told me so himself.
Proud of it, too, Joe was; all kind of swelled up with
it, like a pizened shark.”
“But why on earth should he
pick out Sarah’s? Why didn’t he go
to Naomi Newcomb’s; she keeps a regular boardin’-house?
Sarah can’t take any more boarders. Her
house is overloaded as it is. That was why I didn’t
stay there. No, I don’t believe it, Judah.
Joel was just comin’ up to blow, that’s
all. He’s a regular puffin’-pig for
But Sarah called that very forenoon
and confirmed the news. She had agreed to take
Mr. Phillips into her home. Not only that, but
he was already there.
“I know you must think it’s
sort of funny, Sears,” she said, looking rather
embarrassed and avoiding her brother’s eye.
“If anybody had told me a week ago that I should
ever take another boarder I should have felt like
askin’ ’em if they thought I was crazy.
I suppose you think I am, don’t you?”
“Not exactly, Sarah not yet.”
“But you think I most likely
will be before I’m through? Well, maybe,
but I’m goin’ to risk it. You see,
I well, we need the money, for one thing.”
Sears stirred in his chair.
“I could have let you have a
little money every once in a while, Sarah,”
he said. “It’s a shame that it would
have to be so little. If those legs ever do get
shipshape and I get to sea again ”
She stopped him. “I haven’t
got so yet awhile that I have to take anybody’s
money for nothin’,” she said sharply.
“There, there, Sears! I know you’d
give me every cent you had if I’d let you.
I’ll tell you why I took Mr. Phillips.
He came to supper with George the other night and
stayed all the evenin’. He’s one of
the most interestin’ men I ever met in my life.
Not any more interestin’ than you are, of course,”
she added, loyally, “but in in a
“Um ... yes. I shouldn’t wonder.”
“Yes, he is. And he liked
my supper, and said so. Ate some of everything
and praised it, and was just as as common
and everyday and sociable, not a mite proud or like
“Why in the devil should he be?”
“Why why, I don’t
know why he shouldn’t. Lots of folks who
know as much as he does and have been everywhere and
known the kind of people he knows they
would be stuck up yes, and are. Look
at Cap’n Elkhanah Wingate and his wife.”
“I don’t want to look
at ’em. How do you know how much this Phillips
“How do I know?
Why, Sears, you ought to hear him talk. I never
heard such talk. The children just just
hung on his words, as they say. And he was so
nice to them. And Joel and George Kent they think
he’s the greatest man they ever saw. Oh,
all hands in Bayport like him.”
“Humph! When he was here
before, teachin’ singin’ school, he wasn’t
such a Grand Panjandrum. At least, I never heard
that he was.”
“Sears, you don’t like
him, do you? I’m real surprised. Yes,
and and sorry. Why don’t you
Her brother laughed. “I
didn’t say I didn’t like him, Sarah,”
he replied. “Besides, what difference would
one like more or less make? I don’t know
him very well.”
“But he likes you. Why,
he said he didn’t know when he had met a man
who gave him such an impression of of strength
and character as you did. He said that right
at our supper table. I tell you I was proud when
he said it about my brother.”
So Sears had not the heart to utter
more skepticism. He encouraged Sarah to tell
more of her arrangements with the great man. He
was, it appeared, to have not only the bedroom which
Sears had occupied, but also the room adjoining.
“One will be his bedroom,”
explained Mrs. Macomber, “and the other his
sittin’ room, sort of. His little suite,
he calls ’em. He is movin’ the rest
of his things in to-day.”
Seers looked at her. “Two
rooms!” he exclaimed. “He’s
to have two rooms in your house! For heaven
sakes, Sarah, where do the rest of you live; in the
cellar? Goin’ to let the children sleep
in the cistern?”
She explained. It was a complicated
process, but she had worked it out. Lemuel and
Edgar had always had a room together, but now Bemis
was to have a cot there also. “And Joey,
of course, is only a baby, his bed is in our room,
Joel’s and mine. And Sarah-Mary and Aldora,
they are same as they have been.”
“Yes, yes, but that doesn’t
explain the extra room, his sitting room. Where
does that come from?”
She hesitated a moment. “Well well,
you see,” she said, “there wasn’t
any other bedroom except the one George hires, and
he is goin’ to stay for a while longer anyway.
At first it didn’t seem as if I could let Mr.
Phillips have the sittin’ room he wanted.
But at last Joel and I thought it out. We don’t
use the front parlor hardly any, and there is the
regular sittin’ room left for us anyway, so ”
“Sarah Kendrick Macomber, do
you mean to tell me you’ve let this fellow have
your front parlor?”
“Why why, yes.
We don’t hardly ever use it, Sears. I don’t
believe we’ve used that parlor really
opened the blinds and used it, I mean since
Father Macomber’s funeral, and that was let
me see over six years ago.”
Her brother slowly shook his head.
“The judge was right,” he declared.
“He certainly was right. Smoothness isn’t
any name for it.”
“Sears, what are you talkin’
about? I can’t understand you. I thought
you would be glad to think such a splendid man as he
is was goin’ to live with us. To say nothin’
of my makin’ all this extra money. Of course,
if you don’t want me to do it, I won’t.
I wouldn’t oppose you, Sears, for anything in
this world. But I I must say ”
He laid his hand on hers. “There,
Sarah,” he broke in. “Don’t
pay too much attention to me. I’m crochetty
these days, have a good deal on my mind. If you
think takin’ this Phillips man aboard is a good
thing for you, I’m glad. How much does
he pay you a week?”
She told him. It was more than fair rate for
“Humph!” he observed.
“Well, Sarah, good luck to you. I hope you
“Get it! Why, of course
I’ll get it, Sears. Its all arranged.
And I want you and Mr. Phillips to know each other
real well. I’m goin’ to tell him
he must call again to see you.”
“Eh?... Oh, all right,
Sarah. You can tell him, if you want to.”
After she had gone he thought the
matter over. Surely Mr. Egbert Phillips was a
gentleman of ability along certain lines. His
sister Sarah was a sensible woman, she was far far
from being a susceptible sentimentalist. Yet
she was already under the Phillips spell. Either
Judge Knowles was right very, very much
right or he was overwhelmingly wrong.
If left to Bayport opinion as a jury there was no question
concerning the verdict. Egbert would be triumphantly
Sears, however, did not, at this time,
spare much thought to the Phillips riddle. He
had other, and, it seemed to him, more disturbing
matters to deal with. The quarrel between Elizabeth
Berry and young Kent was one of those, for he felt
that, in a way, he was the cause of it. George
had, of course, behaved like a foolish boy and had
been about as tactless as even a jealous youth could
be, but there was always the chance that some one
else had sowed the seeds of jealousy in his mind.
He determined to see Kent, explain, have a frank and
friendly talk, and, if possible, set everything right everything
between the two young people, that is. But when,
on his first short walk along the road, he happened
to meet Kent, the latter paid no attention to his hail
and strode past without speaking. Sears shouted
after him, but the shout was unheeded.
Elizabeth was almost as contrary.
When he attempted to lead the conversation to George,
she would not follow. When he mentioned the young
man’s name she changed the subject. At last
when, his sense of guilt becoming too much for him,
he began to defend Kent, she interrupted the defense.
she said, “I understand why you take his part.
And it is like you to do it. But when you begin
to blame yourself or me then I shan’t listen.”
“Blame you! Why,
Elizabeth, I had no idea of blamin’ you.
The whole thing is just a a misunderstandin’
between you and George, and I want to straighten it
out, that’s all. If anybody is to blame
I really think I am. I should have thought more
about about, what he calls appearances;
that is, perhaps I should.”
She lost patience. “Oh,
do stop!” she cried. “You know you
are talking nonsense.”
“Well but, Elizabeth, I feel wicked.
I wouldn’t for the world be the cause of a break
between you two. If that should happen because
of me I couldn’t rest easy.”
This conversation took place in the
smaller sitting room of the Fair Harbor, the room
which she and her mother used as a sort of office.
She had been standing by the window looking out.
Now she turned and faced him.
she asked, “just what do you mean by a ‘break’
between George Kent and me? Are you under the
impression that he and I were were engaged?”
“Why why, weren’t you?”
“No. Why should you think we were?”
“Well why, there
seemed to be a sort of general idea that that
you were. People Bayport folks seemed
to think seemed to think ”
She stamped her foot. “They
don’t think, most of them, they only talk,”
she declared. “I certainly never said
we were. And he didn’t either, did he?”
Kent had said that he and Elizabeth
were engaged practically whatever
that might mean. But the captain thought it wisest
just then to forget.
“Why no, I guess not,” he answered.
“Of course he didn’t ...
Cap’n Kendrick. I oh, you might
as well understand this clearly. I have known
George for a long time. I liked him. For
a time I thought well I thought perhaps
I liked him enough to to like him a lot
more But I was mistaken. He he kept
doing things that I didn’t like. Oh, they
had nothing to do with me. They were things that
didn’t seem what you would call square
and aboveboard. Little things that.... It
was about one of these that we disagreed just before
the ‘Down by the Sea’ theatricals.
But he explained that and and well,
he can be so nice and likable, that I forgave him.
But lately there have been others. He has changed.
And now all this foolishness, and.... There,
Cap’n Kendrick, I didn’t mean to say so
much. But I want you to understand, and to tell
every one else who talks about George Kent and me
being engaged, that there never was any such engagement.”
It would be rather difficult to catalogue
all of Sears Kendrick’s feelings as he listened
to this long speech. They were mixed feelings,
embarrassment, sorrow, relief and a most
unwarranted and unreasonable joy. But he repressed
the relief and joy and characteristically returned
“Yes oh I
see,” he faltered. “I guess likely
I didn’t understand exactly. But just the
same I don’t know but George was right in some
things he said. I shouldn’t wonder if I
had been careless about about appearances.
I don’t know but but my seein’
you so much and our goin’ to Orham
together might set some folks talkin’. Of
course it doesn’t seem hardly possible that
anybody could be such fools, considerin’ you and
then considerin’ me but ”
She would not hear any more.
“I don’t propose to consider them,”
she declared with fierce indignation. “I
shall see you or any one else just as often as I please.
Now that you are to take care of my money for me I
have no doubt I shall see you a great deal oftener
than I ever did. And if those those
talkative persons don’t like it, they may do
the next best thing.... No, that is enough, Cap’n
Kendrick. It is settled.”
And it did appear to be. If anything,
she saw him oftener than before, seemed to take a
mischievous delight in being seen with him, in running
to the Minot place on errands connected with the Harbor
business, and in every way defying the gossips.
And gossip accepted the challenge.
From the time when it became known that Sears Kendrick
was to be the trustee of Elizabeth Berry’s twenty-thousand
dollar legacy the tide of public opinion, already on
the turn, set more and more strongly against him.
And, as it ebbed for Captain Sears, it rose higher
and higher for that genteel martyr, Mr. Egbert Phillips.
Sears could not help noticing the
change. It was gradual, but it was marked.
He had never had many visitors, but occasionally some
of the retired sea dogs among the town-folk would
drop in to swap yarns, or a younger captain, home
from a voyage, would call on him at the Minot place.
The number of those calls became smaller, then they
ceased. Doctor Sheldon was, of course, as jolly
and friendly as ever, and Bradley, when he drove over
from Orham on a legal errand, made it a point to come
and see him. But, aside from those, and Sarah
Macomber, and, of course, Elizabeth Berry, no one
When he walked, as he did occasionally
now that his legs were stronger they had
quite recovered from the strain put upon them by the
Foam Flake’s outbreak up and down
the sidewalk from Judge Knowles’ corner to the
end of the Fair Harbor fence, the people whom he met
seldom stopped to chat with him. Or, if they did,
the chat was always brief and, on their part, uneasy.
They acted, so it seemed to him, guilty, as if they
were doing something they should not do, something
they were not at all anxious to have people see them
do. And when he drove with Judah down to the
store the group there no longer hailed him with shouts
of welcome. They spoke to him, mentioned the weather
perhaps, grinned in embarrassed fashion, but they did
not ask him to sit down and join them. And when
his back was turned, when he left the store, he had
the feeling that there were whispered comments and
It was all impalpable, there was nothing
openly hostile, no one said anything to which he could
take exception he only wished they would;
but he felt the hostility nevertheless.
And among the feminine element it
was even more evident. When he went to church,
as he did semi-occasionally, as he walked down the
aisle he felt that the rustle of Sunday black silks
and bonnet strings which preceded and followed him
was a whisper of respectable and self-righteous disapproval.
It was not all imagination, he caught glimpses of sidelong
looks and headshakes which meant something, and that
something not applause. Once the Reverend Mr.
Dishup took for his text Psalm xxxix, the sixth verse,
“He heapeth up riches and knoweth not who shall
gather them.” The sermon dealt with, among
others, the individual who in his lifetime amassed
wealth, not knowing that, after his death, other individuals
scheming and unscrupulous would strive to divert that
wealth from the rightful heirs for their own benefit.
It was a rather dull sermon and Sears, his attention
wandering, happened to turn his head suddenly and
look at the rest of the congregation. It seemed
to him that at least a quarter of the heads in that
congregation were turned in his direction. Now,
meeting his gaze, they swung back, to stare with noticeable
rigidity at the minister.
Over at the Fair Harbor his comings
and goings were no longer events to cause pleasurable
interest and excitement. The change there was
quite as evident. Miss Snowden and Mrs. Brackett,
leaders of their clique, always greeted him politely
enough, but they did not, individually or collectively,
ask his advice or offer theirs. There were smiles,
significant nods, knowing looks exchanged, especially,
he thought or imagined, when he and Miss Berry were
together. Cordelia Berry was almost cold toward
him. Yet, so far as he knew, he had done nothing
to offend her.
He spoke to Elizabeth about her mother’s
attitude toward him. She said it was his imagination.
“It may be,” she said,
“that you don’t consult her quite enough
about Fair Harbor matters, Cap’n Kendrick.
Mother is sensitive, she is matron here, you know;
perhaps we haven’t paid as much deference to
her opinion as we should. Poor mother, she does
try so hard, but she isn’t fitted for business,
and knows it.”
That Sunday, after his return from
church, the captain asked Judah a point blank question.
“Judah,” he said, “I
want you to tell me the truth. What is the matter
with me, nowadays? The whole ship’s company
here in Bayport are givin’ me the cold shoulder.
Don’t tell me you haven’t noticed it; a
blind man could notice it. What’s wrong
with me? What have I done? Or what do they
say I’ve done?”
Judah was very much embarrassed.
His trouble showed in his face above the whiskers.
He had been bending over the cookstove singing at the
top of his lungs the interminable chantey dealing
with the fortunes of one Reuben Ranzo.
“’Ranzo was no
Ranzo, boys, Ranzo!
Ranzo was a tailor,
Ranzo, boys, Ranzo!
“’Oh, poor Reuben
Hurrah for Reuben Ranzo!
“’Ranzo was no
Ranzo, boys, Ranzo!
He shipped on board a whaler,
Ranzo, boys, Ranzo!’”
And so on, forever and forever.
Judah had reached the point where:
“They set him holy-stonin’,
Ranzo, boys, Ranzo!
And cared not for his groanin’,
Ranzo, boys, Ranzo!
Hurrah for ’
“Eh? Did you say somethin’, Cap’n
Sears repeated his question, and then,
as no answer seemed to be forthcoming, repeated it
once more, with an order to “step lively.”
Judah groaned and shook his head.
“I’ve been sort of afraid
you might think somethin’ was queer, Cap’n
Sears,” he admitted. “I was hopin’
you wouldn’t, though, not till it begun to blow
over. All them kind of things do blow over, give
’em time. One voyage I took to
Shanghai, seems to me ’twas, either that or Rooshy
somewheres there was a ship’s carpenter
aboard and word got spread around that he had a wooden
leg. Now he didn’t, you know; matter of
fact, all he had out of the way with him was a kind
of er er sheet-iron
stove lid, as you might call it, riveted onto the top
of his head. He was in the Mexican war, seemed
so, and one of them cannon balls had caved in his
upper deck, you understand, and them doctors they ”
“Here, here, Judah! I didn’t
ask you about any iron-headed carpenters, did I?”
“No; no, you never, Cap’n
Sears. But what I started to say was that ”
“All right, but you stick to
what I want you to say. Tell me what’s the
matter with me in Bayport?”
Judah groaned again. “It
’tain’t so much that there’s any
great that’s wrong along of you, Cap’n,”
he said, “as ‘tis that there ain’t
nothin’ but what’s so everlastin’
right with another feller. That’s the way
I size it up, and I’ve been takin’ observations
for quite a spell. Bayport folks are spendin’
seven days in the week lovin’ this Egbert Phillips.
Consequentially they ain’t got much time left
to love you in. Fools? Course they be, and
I’ve told some of ’em so till I’ve
got a sore throat hollerin’. But, by the
“Judah! Has Phillips been saying things
“Hey? Him? No, no,
no! He don’t say nothin’ about nobody
no time, nothin’ out of the way, that is.
He’s always praisin’ of you up, so they
tell me, and excusin’ you and forgivin’
“Forgivin’ me? What do you mean by
“Hold on! don’t get mad
at me, Cap’n Sears. I mean when they
say what a pity ’tis that he, the man whose
wife owned all this Seymour property and the fifty
thousand dollars and such when they go to
poorin’ him and heavin’ overboard hints
about how other folks have the spendin’ of that
money and all he just smiles, sad but sort
of sweet, and says it’s all right, his dear
Lobelia done what seemed to her proper, and if he has
to suffer a little grain, why, never mind....
That’s the way he talks.”
“But where do I come in on that?”
“Well well, you don’t
really, Cap’n Sears. Course you don’t.
But you you have got the handlin’
of that money, you know. And you are gettin’
wages for skipperin’ the Fair Harbor. I’ve
heard it said not by him, oh, creepin’,
no! but by others, that he ought
to have that skipper’s job, if anybody had.
Lots of folks seem to cal’late he’d ought
to own the Harbor. But instead of that
he don’t own nothin’, they say, and scratches
along in two rooms, down to Joe Macomber’s, and,
underneath all his sufferin’, he’s just
as sweet and uncomplainin’ and long-endurin’
and and high-toned and sociable and and ”
“Yes, yes. I see.
Do they say anything more? What about my bein’
Elizabeth Berry’s trustee?”
Mr. Cahoon paused before replying.
“Well, they do seem to hold that against you
some, I’m afraid,” he admitted reluctantly.
“I don’t know why they do. And they
don’t say much in front of me no more, ’cause,
they realize, I cal’late, that I’m about
ready to knock a few of ’em into the scuppers.
But it it just don’t help you none,
Cap’n, takin’ care of that money of Elizabeth’s
don’t. And it does help that Eg man....
Why? Don’t ask me. I I’m
sick and disgusted. I shan’t go to no
church vestry to hear him lecture on Eyetalian paintin’
or or glazin’, or whatever ’tis.
And have you noticed how they bow down and worship
him over to the Fair Harbor? Have you noticed
Cordelia Berry? She’s makin’ a dum
fool of herself, ain’t she? Not that that’s
a very hard job.”
Judah’s explanations did not
explain much, but they did help to increase Sears’
vague suspicions. He had noticed no
one could help noticing the ever-growing
popularity of Mr. Phillips. It was quite as evident
as the decline of his own. What he suspected
was that the two were connected and that, somehow
or other, the smooth gentleman who boarded and lodged
with the Macombers was responsible, knowingly, calculatingly
responsible for the change.
Yet it seemed so absurd, that suspicion.
He and Phillips met frequently, sometimes at church,
or oftenest at the Harbor Egbert’s
visits there were daily now, and he dined or supped
with the Berrys and the “inmates” at least
twice a week. And always the Phillips manner was
kind and gracious and urbane. Always he inquired
solicitously concerning the captain’s health.
There was never a hint of hostility, never a trace
of resentment or envy. And always, too, Sears
emerged from one of those encounters with a feeling
that he had had a little the worst of it, that his
seafaring manners and blunt habit of speech made him
appear at a marked disadvantage in comparison with
this easy, suave, gracefully elegant personage.
And so many of those meetings took place in the presence
of Elizabeth Berry.
Elizabeth liked Egbert, there was
no doubt of that. Once when she and the captain
were together in the Fair Harbor office Phillips entered.
Sears and Elizabeth were bending over the ledger and
Egbert opened the door. Sears and the young lady
were not in the least embarrassed of course
there was not the slightest reason why they should
be but, oddly enough, Phillips seemed to
be. He stepped back, coughed, fidgeted with the
latch, and then began to apologize.
“I I really beg your
pardon,” he said. “I am sorry....
I didn’t know I didn’t realize I’m
Elizabeth looked at him in surprise.
“But there is nothing for you to be sorry about,”
she declared. “What is it? I don’t
Egbert still retained his hold upon
the latch with one hand. His hat, gloves and
cane were in the other. It is perhaps the best
indication of his standing in the community, the fact
that, having lived in Bayport for some weeks and being
by his own confession a poor man, he could still go
gloved and caned on week days as well as Sundays and
not be subject to ridicule even by the Saturday night
gang in Eliphalet Bassett’s store.
He fidgeted with the latch and turned as if to go.
“I should have knocked, of course,”
he protested. “It was most careless of
me. I do hope you understand. I will come ah later.”
“But I don’t understand,”
repeated the puzzled Elizabeth. “It was
perfectly all right, your coming in. There is
no reason why you should knock. The cap’n
and I were going over the bills, that’s all.”
Mr. Phillips looked well, he looked queer.
“Oh!” he said. “Yes yes,
of course. But one doesn’t always care to
be interrupted in even in business matters ah sometimes.”
Elizabeth laughed. “I’m
sure I don’t mind,” she said. “Those
business matters weren’t so frightfully important.”
“I’m so glad. You
ease my conscience, Elizabeth. Thank you....
But I am afraid the captain minds more than you do.
He looks as if he didn’t like interruptions.
Now do you, Captain Kendrick?”
Sears was ruffled. The man always
did rub him the wrong way, and now, for the first
time, he heard him address Miss Berry by her Christian
name. There was no real reason why he should not,
almost every one in Bayport did, but Sears did not
like it nevertheless.
“You don’t fancy interruptions,
Captain,” repeated the smiling Egbert.
“Now do you? Ha, ha! Confess.”
For the moment Sears forgot to be diplomatic.
“That depends, I guess,” he answered shortly.
“Depends? You see, I told
you, Elizabeth. Depends upon what? We must
make him tell us the whole truth, mustn’t we,
Elizabeth? What does it depend upon, Captain
Kendrick; the ah situation the
nature of the business or the companion?
Now which? Ha, ha!”
Sears answered without taking time to consider.
“Upon who interrupts, maybe,”
he snapped. Then he would have given something
to have recalled the words, for Elizabeth turned and
looked at him. She flushed.
Egbert’s serenity, however, was quite undented.
“Oh, dear me!” he exclaimed,
in mock alarm. “After that I shall have
to go. And I shall take great pains to close the
door behind me. Ha, ha! Au revoir, Elizabeth.
He went out, keeping his promise concerning
the closing of the door. Elizabeth continued
to look at her companion.
“Now why in the world,”
she asked, “did you speak to him like that?”
Sears frowned. “Oh, I don’t
know,” he answered. “He he
riles me sometimes.”
“Yes.... Yes, I should
judge so. I have noticed it before. You don’t
like him for some reason or other. What is the
He hesitated. Aside from Judge
Knowles’ distrust and dislike which
he could not mention to her there was no
very valid reason, nothing but what she would have
called prejudice. So he hesitated and reddened.
She went on. “I like
him,” she declared. “He is a gentleman.
He is always polite and considerate as
he was just now about breaking in on our business
talk. What did you dislike about that?”
“Well, I well oh, nothin’,
“I think nothing certainly.
He is an old friend of mother’s and of the people
here in the Harbor. They all like him very much.
I am sorry that you don’t and that you spoke
to him as you did. I didn’t think you took
unreasonable dislikes. It doesn’t seem like
you, Cap’n Kendrick.”
So once more Sears felt himself to
have been put in a bad position and to have lost ground
while Phillips gained it. And, brooding over the
affair, he decided that he must be more careful.
If he were not so much in Elizabeth’s company
there would be no opportunity for insinuations by
Egbert Phillips, or any one else. So he put a
strong check upon his inclination to see the young
woman, and, overconscientious as he was so likely
to be, began almost to avoid her. Except when
business of one kind or another made it necessary he
did not visit the Harbor. It cost him many pangs
and made him miserable, but he stuck to his resolution.
She should not be talked about in connection with
him if he could help it.
He had had several talks with Bradley
and with her about her legacy from Judge Knowles.
The twenty-thousand was, so he discovered, already
well invested in good securities and it was Bradley’s
opinion, as well as his own, that it should not be
disturbed. The bonds were deposited in the vaults
of the Harniss bank, and were perfectly safe.
On dividend dates he and Miss Berry could cut and
check up the coupons together. So far his duties
as trustee were not burdensome. Bradley had invested
Cordelia’s five thousand for her, so the Berry
family’s finances were stable. In Bayport
they were now regarded as “well off.”
Cordelia was invited to supper at Captain Elkhanah
Wingate’s, a sure sign that the hall-mark of
wealth and aristocracy had been stamped upon her.
At that supper, to which Elizabeth also was invited
but did not attend, Mr. Egbert Phillips shone resplendent.
Egbert was not wealthy, a fact which he took pains
to let every one know, but when he talked, as he did
most of the evening, Mrs. Wingate and her feminine
guests sat in an adoring trance and, after these guests
had gone, the hostess stood by the parlor window gazing
wistfully after them.
Her husband was unlocking the door
of a certain closet upon the shelf of which was kept
a certain bottle and accompanying glasses. The
closet had not been opened before that evening, as
the Reverend and Mrs. Dishup had been among the dinner
“Elkhanah,” observed Mrs.
Wingate, dreamily, “I do think Mr. Phillips is
the most elegant man I ever saw in my life. His
language and his manners they
Captain Elkhanah nodded. “He’s pretty
slick,” he agreed.
If he expected by thus agreeing to
please his wife, he must have been disappointed.
“Oh, don’t say
’slick’!” she snapped. “I
do wish you wouldn’t use such countrified words.”
“Countrified! Well, I am country, ain’t
I? So are you, so far as that goes. So was
he once when he was teachin’ a one-horse
singin’ school in this very town.”
“Well, perhaps. But he
has got over it. And it would pay you to take
lessons from him, and learn not to say ‘slick’
Her husband grunted. “Pay!”
he repeated. “I’ll wait till he pays
me the twenty dollars he borrowed of me two weeks
ago. He wasn’t too citified to do that.”
Mrs. Wingate stalked to the stairs.
“I’m ashamed of you,” she declared.
“You know what a struggle he is having, and how
splendid and uncomplaining he is. And you a rich
man! Any one would think you never saw twenty
Captain Elkhanah poured himself a
judicious dose from the bottle.
“Maybe I never will see
that twenty again,” he observed with a
“Oh, you you disgust me!”
“Oh, go ”
“What? What are you trying to say to
“Go to bed,” said the captain, and took