It was his theory that most men were honest; he believed that at bottom they wanted honest things, and if you gave them these they would buy of you, and come back and buy again and again, until you were an influential and rich man. He believed in the measure "heaped full and running over." All through his life and now in his old age he enjoyed the respect and approval of every one who knew him.
He was a mean man, the stingiest I ever met, and he was as dishonest and unscrupulous as a Paris thief. I copied all the letters connected with the case I had in hand, and this enabled me to get to the bottom of the traitor's plot. He wrote letters himself, not only to England and Scotland, but to people in the South, sending them to Bermuda and Nassau.
There was a small gravelly strand at the bottom of the little bay, where most of the party landed to be more at their ease, and the only position from which they could possibly be seen was a point on the river directly opposite.
And, in a couple of hours more, Captain Jonathan and Captain Jacob and the mate and all the men had the Industry afloat again and were warping her back to her wharf. There was no great harm done; only some marks of scraping and bumping and the anchor down at the bottom of the river. Then Captain Jonathan and Captain Jacob went home to dinner, and pretty soon all the men went, too.
Of course they made it without any more trouble than Noodles giving a last try at the friendly mud, as though wanting to really find out whether it did have any bottom down below or not. And when they took some sticks, and scraped the worst of the sticky mess off his face, Noodles promised to be a sight indeed.
Very strange things happen then, I assure you. Some day I will tell you how the boatswain of a ship I once sailed in rove the end of the devil's tail through a link of the chain, made a Flemish knot at the end to stop it, and let go the anchor. So the devil went to the bottom by the run.
"Unfortunately there was never any breakfast to be had, but the rain-water in the bottom of the boat, warm as it was and tasting of rotting wood, saved us from more frightful trial.
"But why ?" began Katherine, then stopped short, remembering that she did not want to ask questions, nor to seek information. "But why wasn't I saved before, were you going to say?" said Mary. "Because I would not let myself be. The fact is, down at the bottom I am a coward, just that and nothing more.
The voice, shriller than ever cried, "Alfred! here you leave the lodge alone! Where are you, old gadabout?" At this moment, Pipelet was about placing his right foot on the landing-place of the first story; he remained petrified, his head turned toward the bottom of the stairs, his mouth open, his eyes fixed, his foot raised. "Alfred!" cried Mrs. Pipelet anew.
She was like Barney in so many ways; strong like Barney in her relentless devotion to duty; she had Barney's fine sense of honour, of righteousness, and Barney's superb courage, and, more than anything else, the same unfathomable heart of love. One could never get to the bottom of it. No matter what the drain, there would still be love there.