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Mr Rockfeller became transfixed with the thought of his own generous simplicity. He soliloquised, "I think I must have been born to become the victim of a stronger will than my own. Nature, I am assured, has freaked with me.

"Yes," responded the shrewd Scotsman; "I have been told that before, and have often had reason to be grateful to a kind Providence in not necessarily prohibiting me from occupying a position of trust because of my juvenile appearance." "Very good, very good," said Rockfeller. "And now, captain, I wish at once to offer you command of the first vessel that brought gold from Australia.

"If," said the commander, "you mean these words of holy writ to apply to me, I am gratified, but fear you have under-estimated their grandeur and their real meaning. They pulsate the air, and make the heart throb with a conviction that the world of literature would have been poorer had they not been written. And now, Mr Rockfeller, let us cease further attempts at satire, and get to business.

I feel you are more than a match for me, and the thought of it makes me wish I had been born and reared a Scotchman. I know I am weak, but you may have the shares at any price you name; only don't be too exacting." "Very good," replied Macvie, "they are mine at £1,000." Rockfeller looked aghast, and again appealed to his sense of justice. The bargain was closed at £200 more.

Mr Rockfeller received his fortunate and esteemed captain with much favour, and was not many minutes in his presence before he intimated with an air of generosity that he would sell his shares at par. "I think," said he, "that you ought to hold half the vessel."

"Very good," said Macvie, "I will pay you cash for the number of shares I require to make up my half share, but you must not ask me to pay the original cost price." "Macvie," said Rockfeller, "I wish you to be reminded that I gave you eight shares to work off when you joined me. I fear you allow your national love of money to lure you into forgetfulness."

Mr Rockfeller received him with becoming dignity; but after a few minutes' conversation with the young captain his icy manner melted. He became aware that the man whom he had asked to be seated in the sumptuously-furnished drawing-room was his equal, if not his superior, in knowledge and intelligence. "Your youthful appearance surprises me," said the lord of the manor.

Besides, if you are not satisfied with my services I have a very tempting offer from another firm." At this stage Mr Rockfeller showed signs of nervous twitching, and interposed by assuming an injured air: "Really, Captain Macvie, you must be reasonable, and not talk of other firms bidding for your services.

"I thank you; but may I suggest that this generosity be postponed until you have tested whether I will suit you or not?" said the lucky captain. "No, I will risk that," replied Mr Rockfeller. "And now there is nothing left for me to say except to request that you join the vessel at once; and you have a free hand to do what you consider best with her."