But I says: "Stevey," I says, "come off it. We're going to Panama." He wanted to argue it was an unparallelled show, but I took him by the suspenders and ran him down to Portate, arguing, and the populace went in free, and we went aboard the Jane Allen.
We went in the house and sat down by the stove. "As to hotel keeping," I says, "I've talked that over with Pemberton, and Stevey Todd, who was the man that run the emigrant hotel with me, and Pemberton's agreeable, and Stevey Todd don't argue against it. I've been thinking of building on to Pemberton's, and making a big summer hotel. It stands in sight of the sea, and it's a likely spot.
It was a singular crew, and especially in the matter of arguing. They were all older than I. Stevey Todd was a few years older. I recognised Abe Dalrimple here, for he came from Adrian, though I'd seen him but seldom before. Three more I'll name, Kid Sadler, J. R. Craney, and Jimmy Hagan, who was called Irish; for they were ones that I had to do with later.
And yet again there was folks like Kreps and Stevey Todd, say, mild and warm people, and a bit simple, each in his way, and yet they always kept themselves entertained somehow. "All things are one," are they? I couldn't see it either, no more than Sadler. For this is the Kiyi Proposition. You says: "Here's a bad job. Who did it?" I says: "I don't know." You says: "Well, who pays for it?"
Then Pemberton said: "I dare say now you're right there," and Captain Buckingham said nothing, nor looked up. I knew it must be Billy Corliss, though I didn't know him, nor did Uncle Abimelech, nor Stevey Todd. He might have blown down from Labrador, or eloped out of Nova Scotia. Pemberton and Corliss went out together.
I went off and sat down on a coil of rope, and the more I thought it over, the more I didn't make it out. After that I heard lively talking forward a little, and there was Captain Clyde, the bos'n, mate, Stevey Todd, and some others arguing.
It had pink-uniformed soldiery for the city guard, and a fat, warm-tempered Mayor, who used often to come up to the hotel and cool off when something had stuck a pin into his dignity that made him feverish. Stevey Todd was cook and I was manager. Business was good and the company good at the Hotel Helen Mar.
There I put the profits of six years on the West Coast into shares in a ship called the Anaconda, and shipped on her myself as second mate. I found Stevey Todd cooking in a restaurant in San Francisco. He'd gone into gold mines, after getting loose from the Jane Allen. He'd left his profits from the Hotel Helen Mar in the gold mines.
Then Stevey Todd chimed in and made a tidy argument, quoting Scripture to prove that "actions with intent to deceive, and deception pursuant," weren't moral, and, moreover, he says: "Shall we lose our souls because S. A. customs is ridiculous? Tell me that!" "Shucks!" says the mate; "we're saved by grace!" Then Captain Clyde took it up and his argument was beautiful.
I said, as to Madame Bill, I judged something or other pleased her, and by her behaviour to Flannagan it looked as if there was something then which she hadn't liked, though what it might be in either case was more than I could say, but speaking generally it looked hopeful for Stevey Todd, and I stated that same opinion.