“Not his fault?” Percival Ford’s thin lips drew tightly together for the moment. “Joe Garland is dissolute and idle. He has always been a wastrel, a profligate.”

“But that’s no reason you should keep on after him the way you do. I’ve watched you from the beginning. The first thing you did when you returned from college and found him working on the plantation as outside luna was to fire him-you with your millions, and he with his sixty dollars a month.”

“Not the first thing,” Percival Ford said judicially, in a tone he was accustomed to use in committee meetings. “I gave him his warning. The superintendent said he was a capable luna. I had no objection to him on that ground. It was what he did outside working hours. He undid my work faster than I could build it up. Of what use were the Sunday schools, the night schools, and the sewing classes, when in the evenings there was Joe Garland with his infernal and eternal tum-tumming of guitar and ukulele, his strong drink, and his hula dancing? After I warned him, I came upon him-I shall never forget it-came upon him, down at the cabins. It was evening. I could hear the hula songs before I saw the scene. And when I did see it, there were the girls, shameless in the moonlight and dancing-the girls upon whom I had worked to teach clean living and right conduct. And there were three girls there, I remember, just graduated from the mission school. Of course I discharged Joe Garland. I know it was the same at Hilo. People said I went out of my way when I persuaded Mason and Fitch to discharge him. But it was the missionaries who requested me to do so. He was undoing their work by his reprehensible example.”

“Afterwards, when he got on the railroad, your railroad, he was discharged without cause,” Kennedy challenged.

“Not so,” was the quick answer. “I had him into my private office and talked with him for half an hour.”

“You discharged him for inefficiency?”

“For immoral living, if you please.”

Dr. Kennedy laughed with a grating sound. “Who the devil gave it to you to be judge and jury? Does landlordism give you control of the immortal souls of those that toil for you? I have been your physician. Am I to expect tomorrow your ukase that I give up Scotch and soda or your patronage? Bah! Ford, you take life too seriously. Besides, when Joe got into that smuggling scrape (he wasn’t in your employ, either), and he sent word to you, asked you to pay his fine, you left him to do his six months’ hard labour on the reef. Don’t forget, you left Joe Garland in the lurch that time. You threw him down, hard; and yet I remember the first day you came to school-we boarded, you were only a day scholar-you had to be initiated. Three times under in the swimming tank-you remember, it was the regular dose every new boy got. And you held back. You denied that you could swim. You were frightened, hysterical-”

“Yes, I know,” Percival Ford said slowly. “I was frightened. And it was a lie, for I could swim… And I was frightened.”

“And you remember who fought for you? who lied for you harder than you could lie, and swore he knew you couldn’t swim? Who jumped into the tank and pulled you out after the first under and was nearly drowned for it by the other boys, who had discovered by that time that you could swim?”

“Of course I know,” the other rejoined coldly. “But a generous act as a boy does not excuse a lifetime of wrong living.”

“He has never done wrong to you?-personally and directly, I mean?”

“No,” was Percival Ford’s answer. “That is what makes my position impregnable. I have no personal spite against him. He is bad, that is all. His life is bad-”

“Which is another way of saying that he does not agree with you in the way life should be lived,” the doctor interrupted.

“Have it that way. It is immaterial. He is an idler-”

“With reason,” was the interruption, “considering the jobs out of which you have knocked him.”

“He is immoral-”

“Oh, hold on now, Ford. Don’t go harping on that. You are pure New England stock. Joe Garland is half Kanaka. Your blood is thin. His is warm. Life is one thing to you, another thing to him. He laughs and sings and dances through life, genial, unselfish, childlike, everybody’s friend. You go through life like a perambulating prayer- wheel, a friend of nobody but the righteous, and the righteous are those who agree with you as to what is right. And after all, who shall say? You live like an anchorite. Joe Garland lives like a good fellow. Who has extracted the most from life? We are paid to live, you know. When the wages are too meagre we throw up the job, which is the cause, believe me, of all rational suicide. Joe Garland would starve to death on the wages you get from life. You see, he is made differently. So would you starve on his wages, which are singing, and love-”

“Lust, if you will pardon me,” was the interruption.

Dr. Kennedy smiled.

“Love, to you, is a word of four letters and a definition which you have extracted from the dictionary. But love, real love, dewy and palpitant and tender, you do not know. If God made you and me, and men and women, believe me He made love, too. But to come back. It’s about time you quit hounding Joe Garland. It is not worthy of you, and it is cowardly. The thing for you to do is to reach out and lend him a hand.”

“Why I, any more than you?” the other demanded. “Why don’t you reach him a hand?”

“I have. I’m reaching him a hand now. I’m trying to get you not to down the Promotion Committee’s proposition of sending him away. I got him the job at Hilo with Mason and Fitch. I’ve got him half a dozen jobs, out of every one of which you drove him. But never mind that. Don’t forget one thing-and a little frankness won’t hurt you-it is not fair play to saddle another fault on Joe Garland; and you know that you, least of all, are the man to do it. Why, man, it’s not good taste. It’s positively indecent.”

“Now I don’t follow you,” Percival Ford answered. “You’re up in the air with some obscure scientific theory of heredity and personal irresponsibility. But how any theory can hold Joe Garland irresponsible for his wrongdoings and at the same time hold me personally responsible for them-more responsible than any one else, including Joe Garland-is beyond me.”

“It’s a matter of delicacy, I suppose, or of taste, that prevents you from following me,” Dr. Kennedy snapped out. “It’s all very well, for the sake of society, tacitly to ignore some things, but you do more than tacitly ignore.”

“What is it, pray, that I tacitly ignore!”

Dr. Kennedy was angry. A deeper red than that of constitutional Scotch and soda suffused his face, as he answered:

“Your father’s son.”

“Now just what do you mean?”

“Damn it, man, you can’t ask me to be plainer spoken than that. But if you will, all right-Isaac Ford’s son-Joe Garland-your brother.”

Percival Ford sat quietly, an annoyed and shocked expression on his face. Kennedy looked at him curiously, then, as the slow minutes dragged by, became embarrassed and frightened.

“My God!” he cried finally, “you don’t mean to tell me that you didn’t know!”

As in answer, Percival Ford’s cheeks turned slowly grey.

“It’s a ghastly joke,” he said; “a ghastly joke.”

The doctor had got himself in hand.

“Everybody knows it,” he said. “I thought you knew it. And since you don’t know it, it’s time you did, and I’m glad of the chance of setting you straight. Joe Garland and you are brothers-half-brothers.”

“It’s a lie,” Ford cried. “You don’t mean it. Joe Garland’s mother was Eliza Kunilio.” (Dr. Kennedy nodded.) “I remember her well, with her duck pond and taro patch. His father was Joseph Garland, the beach-comber.” (Dr. Kennedy shook his head.) “He died only two or three years ago. He used to get drunk. There’s where Joe got his dissoluteness. There’s the heredity for you.”

“And nobody told you,” Kennedy said wonderingly, after a pause.

“Dr. Kennedy, you have said something terrible, which I cannot allow to pass. You must either prove or, or… ”

“Prove it yourself. Turn around and look at him. You’ve got him in profile. Look at his nose. That’s Isaac Ford’s. Yours is a thin edition of it. That’s right. Look. The lines are fuller, but they are all there.”

Percival Ford looked at the Kanaka half-breed who played under the hau tree, and it seemed, as by some illumination, that he was gazing on a wraith of himself. Feature after feature flashed up an

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