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Cappy Ricks Retires   By: (1880-1957)

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[Illustration: But, in time, Cappy would find her a rich husband]

Cappy Ricks Retires

But that doesn't keep him from coming back stronger than ever

By Peter B. Kyne


But, in time, Cappy would find her a rich husband

(Excerpt from the log of Capt. Matt Peasley:) "I am alone on the ship all the rest are now dead "

He always shouted when telephoning

"Two million dollars!" cried J. Augustus Redell



If you have read previous tales of the Blue Star Navigation Company and the various brisk individuals connected therewith, you will recall one Michael J. Murphy, who first came to the attention of Cappy Ricks at the time he, the said Murphy, was chief kicker of the barkentine Retriever under Captain Matt Peasley. Subsequently, when Matt Peasley presented in his person indubitable evidence of the wisdom of the old saw that you cannot keep a good man down, Michael J. became skipper of the Retriever . This berth he continued to occupy with pleasure and profit to all concerned, until a small financial tidal wave, which began with Matt Peasley's purchase, at a ridiculously low figure, of the Oriental Steamship Company's huge freighter, Narcissus , swept the cunning Matthew into the presidency of the Blue Star Navigation Company; whereupon Matt designed to take Murphy out of the Retriever and have him try his hand in steam as master of the Narcissus .

The same financial tidal wave had swept Cappy Ricks out of the presidency of the Blue Star Navigation Company presumably far up the beach to a place in the sun, where he was to bask for the remainder of his old age as president emeritus of all his companies. However, if there was one thing about Cappy you could depend upon absolutely it was the consistency of his inconsistency. For, having announced his retirement, his very next move was to bewail his inability to retire. He insisted upon clinging to the business like a barnacle to a ship, and was always very much in evidence whenever any deal of the slightest importance was about to be consummated. Indeed, he was never so thoroughly in command as when, his first burst of enthusiasm anent the acquisition of the Narcissus at fifty per cent. of her value having passed, he discovered that his son in law planned to order Mike Murphy off the quarter deck of the Retriever onto the bridge of the Narcissus , while an unknown answering to the name of Terence Reardon had been selected for her chief engineer.

Cappy listened to Matt Peasley's announcement; then with a propitiatory "Ahem! Hum! Harump h h h!" he hitched himself forward in his chair and gazed at Matt over the rims of his spectacles.

"Tell me, Matt," he demanded presently, "who is this man Reardon? I do not recall such an engineer in our employ and I thought I knew them all."

"He is not in our employ, sir. He has been chief engineer of the Arab for the past eight years, and prior to that he was chief of the Narcissus . It was Reardon who told me what ailed her. She's a hog on coal, and the Oriental steamship people used to nag him about the fuel bills. Their port engineer didn't agree with Reardon as to what was wrong with her, so he left. He assures me that if her condensers are retubed she'll burn from seven to ten tons of coal less per day."

"Hum! So you're going to give him the job for telling you something our own port engineer would have told us after an examination."

"No, sir, I'm going to give him the job because he has earned it. He gave me some very valuable information about the wretched condition of her electric light plant and a crack, cunningly concealed, in the after web of her crank shaft "

"Oh, by thunder," piped Cappy, "that's worth knowing! Ship a new crank shaft, Matt, and save the Blue Star a salvage bill sooner or later."

"All that inside information will not only save us money in the future," Matt continued, "but it enabled me to drive a closer bargain when dealing with MacCandless, of the Oriental Steamship Company... Continue reading book >>

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