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The morning the _Makambo_ entered Sydney harbour, Captain Duncan had another try for Michael. The port doctor's launch was coming alongside, when he nodded up to Daughtry, who was passing along the deck:
"Steward, I'll give you twenty pounds."
"No, sir, thank you, sir," was Dag Daughtry's answer. "I couldn't bear to part with him."
"Twenty-five pounds, then. I can't go beyond that. Besides, there are plenty more Irish terriers in the world."
"That's what I'm thinkin', sir. An' I'll get one for you. Right here in Sydney. An' it won't cost you a penny, sir."
"But I want Killeny Boy," the captain persisted.
"An' so do I, which is the worst of it, sir. Besides, I got him first."
"Twenty-five sovereigns is a lot of money . . . for a dog," Captain Duncan said.
"An' Killeny Boy's a lot of dog . . . for the money," the steward retorted. "Why, sir, cuttin' out all sentiment, his tricks is worth more 'n that. Him not recognizing me when I don't want 'm to is worth fifty pounds of itself. An' there's his countin' an' his singin', an' all the rest of his tricks. Now, no matter how I got him, he didn't have them tricks. Them tricks are mine. I taught him them. He ain't the dog he was when he come on board. He's a whole lot of me now, an' sellin' him would be like sellin' a piece of myself."
"Thirty pounds," said the captain with finality.
"No, sir, thankin' you just the same, sir," was Daughtry's refusal.
And Captain Duncan was forced to turn away in order to greet the port doctor coming over the side.
Scarcely had the _Makambo_ passed quarantine, and while on her way up harbour to dock, when a trim man-of-war launch darted in to her side and a trim lieutenant mounted the _Makambo's_ boarding-ladder. His mission was quickly explained. The _Albatross_, British cruiser of the second class, of which he was fourth lieutenant, had called in at Tulagi with dispatches from the High Commissioner of the English South Seas. A scant twelve hours having intervened between her arrival and the _Makambo's_ departure, the Commissioner of the Solomons and Captain Kellar had been of the opinion that the missing dog had been carried away on the steamer. Knowing that the _Albatross_ would beat her to Sydney, the captain of the _Albatross_ had undertaken to look up the dog. Was the dog, an Irish terrier answering to the name of Michael, on board?
Captain Duncan truthfully admitted that it was, though he most unveraciously shielded Dag Daughtry by repeating his yarn of the dog coming on board of itself. How to return the dog to Captain Kellar?--was the next question; for the _Albatross_ was bound on to New Zealand. Captain Duncan settled the matter.
"The _Makambo_ will be back in Tulagi in eight weeks," he told the lieutenant, "and I'll undertake personally to deliver the dog to its owner. In the meantime we'll take good care of it. Our steward has sort of adopted it, so it will be in good hands."