"Doctors say all nervous women should smoke," she said. "Soothes them." But Cora, cooking in the little kitchen, squinting into a kettle's depths through a film of cigarette smoke, outraged his sense of fitness. It was incongruous, offensive. The time, and occupation, and environment, together with the limply dangling cigarette, gave her an incredibly rowdy look.
And You, Mem" this to Cousin Eugenie "the place for you's your bed. I'll kinnle a fire ben the hoose in a jiffey. And syne ye'll have breakfast ye'll hae a cup o' tea wi' me now, for the kettle's just on the boil. Awa' wi' ye. Dickson," and she stamped her foot.
But one morning, before the Flamingo had finished with her calls on the ports of the Texan rivers, a matter happened on board of her which stirred the pulse of her being to a very different gait. The steward who brought Captain Kettle's early coffee coughed, and evidently wanted an invitation to speak. "Well? said Kettle. "It's about Mr. Hamilton, sir. I can't find 'im anywheres."
"Kettle's boilin' I'll have it made in a jiffy. No, Murty, you will not sit on that table. Pounds of bath-brick 'ave gone into me tables this last week." "Ye have them always that white I do not see how ye'd want them to be whiter," remarked Murty, gazing round him. "But I niver see anything to aiqual the shine ye have on them tins an' copper.
McGillicuddy's iron rule, did not approve of Kettle's breach of discipline and hatched a scheme to catch him. With a countenance as inscrutable as the Sphinx, he stepped to the telephone booth, shut the door carefully, and held a short conversation over the wire with Mrs. McGillicuddy.
But Balliot brooded over the injuries he had received at the hands of this truculent little sailor, and they grew none the smaller from being held in memory. Kettle's own method of reporting his doings, too, was not calculated to endear him to the authorities. He steamed down to headquarters at Leopoldville, went ashore, and swung into the Commandant's house with easy contempt and assurance.
He wafted an evil odor before him as he advanced, and he came up and stood with one foot on Kettle's breast in the attitude of a conqueror.
The fresh trail, which it was afterward ascertained had been made by raiders from Black Kettle's village of Cheyennes, and by some Arapahoes, led into the valley of the Washita, and growing fresher as the night wore on, finally brought the Osages upon a campfire, still smoldering, which, it was concluded, had been built by the Indian boys acting as herders of the ponies during the previous day.
Not that his going was any loss to Springvale. But Dodd will never trouble you again. He cast his lot with the Dog Indians of the plains, and one of them used him for a shield in Custer's battle with Black Kettle's band last December. He had not even Indian burial.
McGillicuddy boldly propounded this theory to Mrs. Fortescue while the latter was dressing for dinner on the first evening of Kettle's incarceration. The Colonel, in the next room, going through the same process of dressing, could hear every word through the open door. "It's Patrick McGillicuddy that had a hand in it, mum," said Mrs. McGillicuddy wrathfully.