Harrigan

Produced by Suzanne Shell, Anuradha Valsa Raj, and Project
Distributed Proofreaders

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. A rounded elbow rested
on the sill of the window; her chin was cupped in her hand.

“Send these away,” said Harrigan, and leaned an elbow beside hers.

“Oh,” she murmured; then: “And if I send them away?”

“I’ll reward you.”

“Reward?”

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