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Kindred of the Dust by Peter B. Kyne

KINDRED OF THE DUST

by

PETER B. KYNE

Author of _Cappy Ricks_, _The Valley of the Giants_, _Webster--Man's Man_, etc.

Illustrated by Dean Cornwell

1920

TO IRENE

MY DEAR, TYRANNICAL, PRACTICAL LITTLE FOSTER-SISTER

WITHOUT WHOSE AID AND COMFORT, HOOTS, CHEERS AND UNAUTHORIZED STRIKES, THE QUANTITY AND QUALITY OF MY ALLEGED LITERARY OUTPUT WOULD BE APPRECIABLY DIMINISHED, THIS BOOK IS AFFECTIONATELY

DEDICATED

THE ILLUSTRATIONS

Hector McKaye was bred of an acquisitive race

She stole to the old square piano and sang for him

Donald bowed his head, "I can't give her up, father"

"I'm a man without a home and you've just _got_ to take me in, Nan"

I

In the living-room of The Dreamerie, his home on Tyee Head, Hector McKaye, owner of the Tyee Lumber Company and familiarly known as "The Laird," was wont to sit in his hours of leisure, smoking and building castles in Spain--for his son Donald. Here he planned the acquisition of more timber and the installation of an electric-light plant to furnish light, heat, and power to his own town of Port Agnew; ever and anon he would gaze through the plate-glass windows out to sea and watch for his ships to come home. Whenever The Laird put his dreams behind him, he always looked seaward. In the course of time, his home-bound skippers, sighting the white house on the headland and knowing that The Laird was apt to be up there watching, formed the habit of doing something that pleased their owner mightily. When the northwest trades held steady and true, and while the tide was still at the flood, they would scorn the services of the tug that went out to meet them and come ramping into the bight, all their white sails set and the glory of the sun upon them; as they swept past, far below The Laird, they would dip his house-flag--a burgee, scarlet-edged, with a fir tree embroidered in green on a field of white--the symbol to the world that here was a McKaye ship. And when the house-flag fluttered half-way to the deck and climbed again to the masthead, the soul of Hector McKaye would thrill.

"Guid lads! My bonny brave lads!" he would murmur aloud, with just a touch of his parents' accent, and press a button which discharged an ancient brass cannon mounted at the edge of the cliff. Whenever he saw one of his ships in the offing--and he could identify his ships as far as he could see them--he ordered the gardener to load this cannon.

Presently the masters began to dip the house-flag when outward bound, and discovered that, whether The Laird sat at his desk in the mill office or watched from the cliff, they drew an answering salute.

This was their hail and farewell.

One morning, the barkentine Hathor, towing out for Delagoa Bay, dipped her house-flag, and the watch at their stations bent their gaze upon the house on the cliff. Long they waited but no answering salute greeted the acknowledgment of their affectionate and willing service.


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