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Rm of Griffiths, Keane, and Co.; yet altho

CHAPTER I. POOR JACK. "As ye sweep through the deep While the stormy
winds do blow, While the battle rages loud and long, And the stormy
winds do blow." CAMPBELL. "Just two years this very day since poor Jack
Mackenzie sailed
away from England in the _Ocean Pride_." Mr. Richards, of the tough old
firm of Griffin, Keane, and Co., Solicitors, London, talked more to
himself than to any one within hearing. As he spoke he straightened
himself up from his desk in a weary kind of way, and began to mend his
pen: they used quills in those good old times. "Just two years! How the
time flies! And we're not getting any younger. Are we, partner?" Whether
Mr. Keane heard
what he said or not, he certainly did not reply immediately. He was
standing by the window, gazing out into
the half-dark, fog-shaded street. "Fog, fog, fog!" he
grunted peevishly; "nothing but fog and gloom.
Been nothing else all winter; and now that spring has all but come, why
it's fog, fog, fog, just the same! Tired of it--sick of it!" Then he
turned sharply round, exclaiming, "What did you say about Jack
and about growing younger?" Mr. Richards smiled a conciliatory
smile. He was the junior partner though the older man--if that is not a
paradox--for his share in the firm was not a quarter as large as
Keane's, who was really Keane by name
and keen by

nature, of small stature, with dark hair turning gray, active,
and a trifle suspicious. Mr. Richards was delightfully different in
every way--a round rosy face that might have belonged
to some old sea-captain, a bald and rosy forehead,
hair as white as drifted snow,
and a pair of blue eyes that always seemed brimming
over with kindness and good-humour. "I was talking more to my pen than
to you,"
he said quietly. "But what's given you Jack on the
brain, eh?" "Oh, nothing--nothing in particular, that is. I happened to
turn to his account, that is all." "Bother him. Yes, and but for you,
Richards, never an account should _he_ have had with _us_." "Well, Jack
gets round me somehow. He is not half a bad lad, with his d

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