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Adventure Jack London

Making The Books Come True

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"That I should have a guardian," she interrupted. "But that day will never come. Thank goodness I'm of legal age and able to transact business in my own right. And speaking of business, how do you like my forceful American methods?"

"Mr. Raff, from what I hear, doesn't take kindly to them," he temporized, "and you've certainly set the dry bones rattling for many a day. But what I want to know is if other American women are as successful in business ventures?"

"Luck, 'most all luck," she disclaimed modestly, though her eyes lighted with sudden pleasure; and he knew her boy's vanity had been touched by his trifle of tempered praise.

"Luck be blowed!" broke out the long mate, Sparrowhawk, his face shining with admiration. "It was hard work, that's what it was. We earned our pay. She worked us till we dropped. And we were down with fever half the time. So was she, for that matter, only she wouldn't stay down, and she wouldn't let us stay down. My word, she's a slave-driver--'Just one more heave, Mr. Sparrowhawk, and then you can go to bed for a week',--she to me, and me staggerin' 'round like a dead man, with bilious-green lights flashing inside my head, an' my head just bustin'. I was all in, but I gave that heave right O--and then it was, 'Another heave now, Mr. Sparrowhawk, just another heave.' An' the Lord lumme, the way she made love to old Kina-Kina!"

He shook his head reproachfully, while the laughter died down in his throat to long-drawn chuckles.

"He was older than Telepasse and dirtier," she assured Sheldon, "and I am sure much wickeder. But this isn't work. Let us get through with these lists."

She turned to the waiting black on the steps, -

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"Ogu, you finish along big marster belong white man, you go Not-Not.--Here you, Tangari, you speak 'm along that fella Ogu. He finish he walk about Not-Not. Have you got that, Mr. Munster?"

"But you've broken the recruiting laws," Sheldon said, when the new recruits had marched away to the barracks. "The licenses for the Flibberty and the Emily don't allow for one hundred and fifty. What did Burnett say?"

"He passed them, all of them," she answered. "Captain Munster will tell you what he said--something about being blowed, or words to that effect. Now I must run and wash up. Did the Sydney orders arrive?"

"Yours are in your quarters," Sheldon said. "Hurry, for breakfast is waiting. Let me have your hat and belt. Do, please, allow me. There's only one hook for them, and I know where it is."

She gave him a quick scrutiny that was almost woman-like, then sighed with relief as she unbuckled the heavy belt and passed it to him.

"I doubt if I ever want to see another revolver," she complained. "That one has worn a hole in me, I'm sure. I never dreamed I could get so weary of one."

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