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Harrigan   By: (1892-1944)

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First Page:

HARRIGAN

MAX BRAND

1918

Also by Max Brand: BLACK JACK; TROUBLE KID; CLUNG; THUNDER MOON; THE STINGAREE; RIPPON RIDES DOUBLE; ON THE TRAIL OF FOUR; STEVE TRAIN'S ORDEAL; LARRAMEE'S RANCH; RIDE THE WILD TRAIL; THE GUNS OF DORKING HOLLOW; TORTURE TRAIL; THE GENTLE GUNMAN; THE GARDEN OF EDEN; GOLDEN LIGHTNING; THE STRANGER; MIGHTY LOBO

CHAPTER 1

"That fellow with the red hair," said the police captain as he pointed.

"I'll watch him," the sergeant answered.

The captain had raided two opium dens the day before, and the pride of accomplishment puffed his chest. He would have given advice to the sheriff of Oahu that evening.

He went on: "I can pick some men out of the crowd by the way they walk, and others by their eyes. That fellow has it written all over him."

The red headed man came nearer through the crowd. Because of the warmth, he had stuffed his soft hat into a back pocket, and now the light from a window shone steadily on his hair and made a fire of it, a danger signal. He encountered the searching glances of the two officers and answered with cold, measuring eyes, like the gaze of a prize fighter who waits for a blow. The sergeant turned to his superior with a grunt.

"You're right," he nodded.

"Trail him," said the captain, "and take a man with you. If that fellow gets into trouble, you may need help."

He stepped into his automobile and the sergeant beckoned to a nearby policeman.

"Akana," he said, "we have a man sized job tonight. Are you feeling fit?"

The Kanaka smiled without enthusiasm.

"The man of the red hair?"

The sergeant nodded, and Akana tightened his belt. He had eaten fish baked in ti leaves that evening.

He suggested: "Morley has little to do. His beat is quiet. Shall I tell him to come with us?"

"No," grinned the sergeant, and then looked up and watched the broad shoulders of the red haired man, who advanced through the crowd as the prow of a ship lunges through the waves. "Go get Morley," he said abruptly.

But Harrigan went on his way without misgivings, not that he forgot the policeman, but he was accustomed to stand under the suspicious eye of the law. In all the course of his wanderings it had been upon him. His coming was to the men in uniform like the sound of the battle trumpet to the cavalry horse. This, however, was Harrigan's first night in Honolulu, and there was much to see, much to do. He had rambled through the streets; now he was headed for the Ivilei district. Instinct brought him there, the still, small voice which had guided him from trouble to trouble all his life.

At a corner he stopped to watch a group of Kanakas who passed him, wreathed with leis and thrumming their ukuleles. They sang in their soft, many voweled language and the sound was to Harrigan like the rush and lapse of water on a beach, infinitely soothing and as lazy as the atmosphere of Honolulu. All things are subdued in the strange city where East and West meet in the middle of the Pacific. The gayest crowds cannot quite disturb the brooding peace which is like the promise of sleep and rest at sunset. It was not pleasing to Harrigan. He frowned and drew a quick, impatient breath, muttering: "I'm not long for this joint. I gotta be moving."

He joined a crowd which eddied toward the center of Ivilei. In there it was better. Negro soldiers, marines from the Maryland , Kanakas, Chinamen, Japanese, Portuguese, Americans; a score of nationalities and complexions rubbed shoulders as they wandered aimlessly among the many bright painted cottages.

Yet even in that careless throng of pleasure seekers no one rubbed shoulders with Harrigan. The flame of his hair was like a red lamp which warned them away. Or perhaps it was his eye, which seemed to linger for a cold, incurious instant on every face that approached. He picked out the prettiest of the girls who sat at the windows chatting with all who passed. He did not have to shoulder to win a way through the crowd of her admirers.

She was a hap haoli , with the fine features of the Caucasian and the black of hair and eye which shows the islander... Continue reading book >>




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