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Join date: 14 de jun. de 2022


He doubted it but he nodded at her, smiling in return.

He took the buttered scone she proffered him and found it good, and had another, and by the time he had eaten a cake that melted in his mouth he was laughing inside, thinking, By gum! they just want to see me now, all them in the kitchen. They just want to see me now. And wait till I tell Janie. My! who would believe it? She had asked if he was willing to learn to manage her affairs. God! just give him the chance. By lad! he had fallen on his feet at last. It wouldn’t matter now if the boatyard never made a go of it. But he hoped it would, for Jimmy’s sake. He mentioned the boatyard to her now. It was when she said, ‘I mustn’t keep you any longer, Mr Connor, you have a long walk home. But I will leave you to think over my proposition. Perhaps tomorrow evening you will tell me what you have decided. If your answer is favourable I can put you in touch with a man who would teach you book-keeping and the rudiments of management. And perhaps you could attend night school. But we can discuss that later’

He rose to his feet, saying, ‘I’m not more than ten minutes’ hard tramp from my home now; I’m . . . I’m on the waterfront.’

She raised her eyebrows as she repeated, ‘The waterfront?’

‘Yes.’ He squared his shoulders. ‘I became interested in a boatyard, a very small one mind.’ He smiled as he nodded at her. ‘A pocket handkerchief, some folks would call it, but nevertheless it’s big enough to make a keel and scullers and such like. There’s a house of sorts attached. I . . . I took it for my brother. He’s served his time in boat building, small boats that is, the same line, scullers, wherries and such, and it’s always been his dream to have a place of his own where he could build. So I heard of this concern. The man had died, and . . . and it was going reasonable, so I took a chance.’

Her face was stretching into a wide smile, her lips were apart showing a set of strong white teeth. ‘Well, well!’ She inclined her head towards him. ‘I wasn’t wrong, was I? You do have business acumen. Where is this place?’

‘Oh, it’s yon side of the mill dam. It’s so small you wouldn’t be able to see it, not among all the other yards along there. It used to belong to a Mr. Kilpatrick.’

‘Kilpatrick?’ She shook her head. ‘I don’t recall hearing the name. But . . . but I’m very interested in your enterprise. I must come and see it some time.’

‘Yes, yes, do that.’

She walked with him to the door and although the maid was standing ready to open it she herself let him out, saying, ‘Good night, Mr Connor. We will reopen this subject tomorrow evening.’


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