|Set Display||Please Turn On Your Virtual Bookmarks||Help Support This Site||Table of Contents||Jack London|
"Sure, you bet," said Captain Jorgensen. "This cook-feller, Hanson, pretty quick I smash him up an' fire him, then you can come along . . . and the bow-wow, too." Here he dropped a hearty, wholesome hand of toil down to a caress of Michael's head. "That's one fine bow-wow. A bow-wow is good on a scow when all hands sleep alongside the dock or in an anchor watch."
"Fire Hanson now," Dag Daughtry urged.
But Captain Jorgensen shook his slow head slowly. "First I smash him up."
"Then smash him now and fire him," Daughtry persisted. "There he is right now at the corner of the bar."
"No. He must give me reason. I got plenty of reason. But I want reason all hands can see. I want him make me smash him, so that all hands say, 'Hurrah, Captain, you done right.' Then you get the job, Daughtry."
Had Captain Jorgensen not been dilatory in his contemplated smashing, and had not Hanson delayed in giving sufficient provocation for a smashing, Michael would have accompanied Steward upon the schooner, _Howard_, and all Michael's subsequent experiences would have been totally different from what they were destined to be. But destined they were, by chance and by combinations of chance events over which Michael had no control and of which he had no more awareness than had Steward himself. At that period, the subsequent stage career and nightmare of cruelty for Michael was beyond any wildest forecast or apprehension. And as to forecasting Dag Daughtry's fate, along with Kwaque, no maddest drug-dream could have approximated it.