The Unspeakable Perk
"Pooh!" said Thatcher Brewster.
Thatcher Brewster's "Pooh!" is generally recognized in the realm of high finance as
carrying weight. It is not derisive or contemptuous; it is dismissive. The subject of it
simply ceases to exist. In the present instance, it was so mild as scarcely to stir the smoke
from his after-dinner cigar, yet it had all the intent, if not the effect, of finality. The
reason why it hadn't the effect was that it was directed at Thatcher Brewster's daughter.
"Perhaps not quite so much 'Pooh!' as you think," was that damsel's reception of the
"A bug-hunter from nowhere! Don't I know that type?" said the magnate, who
confounded all scientists with inventors, the capital-seeking inventor being the bane and
torment of his life.
"He knew about the Dutch blockade."
"Or pretended he did. I'm afraid my Pollipet has let herself romanticize a little."
"Romanticize!" The girl laughed. "If you could see him, dad! Romance and my poor little
beetle man don't live in the same world."
Out of the realm of memory, where the echoes come and go by no known law, sounded
his voice in her ear: "'That which thy servant is, that he is for you.'" Dim doubt forthwith
began to cloud the bright certainty of Miss Brewster's verdict.
"If he's gone to all the trouble that I told you of, it must be that he has some good reason
for wanting to get us safely out," she argued to her father.
"Perhaps he feels that his peace of mind would be more assured if you were in some other
country," he teased. "No, my dear, I'm not leaving a full-manned yacht in a foreign
harbor and smuggling myself out of a friendly country on the say-so of an unknown
adviser, whose chief ability seems to lie in the hundred-yard dash."
"I think that's unfair and ungrateful. If a man with a sword--"
"When I begin a row, I stay with it," said Mr. Brewster grimly. "Quitters and I don't pull
"Then I'm to tell him 'No'?"
"Not so positively at all. I shall say, 'No, thank you,' in my very nicest way, and say that
you're very grateful and appreciative and not at all the growly old bear of a dad that you