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Bucking Fate

By Gordon Young

BILL HAYNES was broke, down and out, flat on his uppers, and a stranger to San Francisco. It was drizzling and cold. The wind lashed its wet whips from off the bay, and Haynes slouched hungrily by the fragrant doors of chowder houses and meditatively hankered for the kind of self-abasement that permits a fellow to brace a strange bartender for hot whisky.

"An empty stomach has no conscience—an empty stomach has no conscience," ran with devilish iteration through his head.

"Aw, the hell it hain't!" Bill Haynes muttered exasperated. And a lone, huddled little figure, neck drawn turtle-fashion into an upturned coat-collar, stopped for an instant and scrutinized the burly Haynes.

The little stranger wheeled and, his dark eyes sharply examining Haynes, came a step or two forward. He spoke, not disagreeably, and with a voice slightly foreign:

"I beeg your par-don. Were you speaking to me?"

Haynes straightened up and gave the stranger a hard, direct look. A little man he was, and his features could not be clearly distinguished under the low-drawn hat-brim, but Haynes was not particular about faces—just then. There was a faint friendliness in the voice, or rather a vague implication that friendliness might be induced.

The man who is busted, broken, down-and-out, who has bucked fate to a losing game, is warmed with hope at everything that looks like a new deal. The battle-cry of the Saxon, wanderer and fighter in strange places, that is, the inner battle-cry, is "Damn Fate!" There is nothing of Oriental fatality in him. He watches for his chance, then takes Fate by the forelock, takes matters into his own hands. Haynes liked to force Fate to a showdown, to take matters into his own hands—big, hard hands they were, too; and, as any savant of the Orient would have told him, he had no favor with the gods of Luck.

"I hadn't," said Haynes with a flickering of intonation that suggested that not all of his buffeting had knocked the sense of humor out of him. "But I prob'bly would've, if I'd thought it'd done any good."

"Just what do you mean by 'good'?" asked the stranger, smiling.

He had white teeth, long rows of white teeth. They came out from under his lips with surprising vividness in the shadows that still blurred his features.

"Well," said Haynes, not loudly, but with full- throated frankness, "I'm busted an' I'm not lazy."

The stranger came another step nearer and slightly cocked his head, while in silence he piercingly scrutinized Haynes' face.

William Haynes—alias, as the police would say, Bill Haynes—was a broad-chested fellow edging up into his thirties. He had a curiously beguiling air of frankness, accentuated by wide blue eyes and the firm well-molded features generally spoken of as "open." But Haynes was not an innocent, hardly. He knew more of the world and of certain of its least reputable people than any young man ought to know if he has hope of saving his reputation.

Haynes was just back from three years in the South Seas, where he had gone—had gone devil- driven by the sheer lust to go to some far place? with the idea of being a trader, only to discover that even a modest trader's outfit ran into the thousands. His resources had never run above a handful of dollars. He found, also, that trading companies did not put out men as agents without knowing more of them than Haynes could prove of himself.

His record was clear, he was reasonably honest—that is, not so honest as to object to giving a five-cent clay pipe to an overly trusting native for a five-dollar mat; but he had no way of proving himself acceptable to a trading company without a trial, and trading companies these days hesitate to give a stranger a trial until he has proved himself. So the circle of exclusion was drawn tight, and Haynes went out as a deck-hand, eventually joined up with a pearler, and had the pirate disappear with both wages and share.

One thing after another had knocked Haynes about. If the situation was hopeless, he would hunch his shoulders and whistle; if not, he would take matters into his own hands. He had come to San Francisco on a windjammer, but with no intentions of remaining there. However, the captain, also the owner, had sold out, and Haynes was set adrift. He got into a friendly poker game to idle an afternoon, and his innocent blue eyes proved so deceptive that he not only held his own, but won ten dollars; and the sharpers had to call in a friendly pickpocket to even matters.

So it happened that Bill Haynes was in a mood to tweak the nose of the devil himself and demand a brazier of coals, when the little foreigner, with his curious, white smile and gentle, foreign voice, thrust his neck up from the depths of a richly furred coat-collar and gave Haynes a searching appraisal.

"Zo your pock-ets are empty an' you are not lazy?" questioned the stranger softly. "An' you are strong." The last was important. It had been said as a matter of fact. Then testingly?"If I loan you twent-y doll-ars, would you pay me back tomorrow?"

"Naw," said Haynes. "I'd spend it t'night. I'd eat."

The stranger laughed softly. There was a curious grace about him—slight and small and wrapped by a heavy coat, though he was. His voice was musically pleasant.

"Zo you are hones'. An' not la-zy," he said slowly, "but timid, perhaps?"

Haynes had never given the matter much thought. But as a usual thing he no more looked where he leaped than does the vagrant grasshopper, and he was as careless of thrift as that sluggard in the fable. He had been in many a fight of his own choosing—and he seemed to have chosen them at times that timidity would scarcely have suggested.

He had been thrown into chains for calling a captain a liar and emerged from a seven-day fast on bread and water to repeat with simple insistence that the captain was a liar—and had gone back to his bread and water. And the captain? Some six months later they chanced to meet on the beach at Apia and before the native police could interfere, the captain—with dripping nose and one rapidly closing eye—had announced in a convincing, though faint voice, somewhat strained, perhaps, by the pressure of five talon-like fingers at his throat, that he had been a liar. But Haynes was only arrested for disturbing the peace, and when he came out of the so-called jail, the captain had gone, and Haynes was requested to remove his own disreputable presence out of the peaceful, law- abiding town. So it had been one thing after another, and now he was being asked in a smooth, ingratiating voice if he were not "timid, perhaps?"

"Well," said Haynes, "I'm damned hungry."

The stranger laughed quietly and, laying a fragile, gloved hand invitingly on the arm of Haynes, led him toward the fishily aromatic door of a chowder house.

When they came into the light, Haynes paused and, in an unembarrassed, matter-of-fact sort of way, looked the little stranger over from head to foot. He was warmly dressed. If Haynes had not been so cold himself he might have noticed, too, that the stranger was richly dressed. The overcoat was lined with fur. The man was very slight and delicate of build, the feet were girlishly small, and he was thin and pale without at all suggesting sickness. Too, he seemed unusually pale to Haynes, who for some years had been accustomed to black and burned men.

The stranger had an almost irritating politeness—so smooth and easy—and a certain quiet, feminine grace. His hands, though gloved, were slender, delicate and sensitive, the voice strangely soft and musical. A slight, carefully trimmed black mustache gave the pale face a touch of masculinity.

Haynes wondered what his game was. But after all, in spite of Haynes' exasperated denial, a hungry stomach is likely to be lacking the finer points of a conscience.

Into the steamy, warm, moist room they went and Haynes straddled the top of a stool. His companion also mounted a stool, loosened his coat, but ate nothing. He merely sat smoking a scented cigaret that rather offended Haynes' respect for tobacco.

There was a strong contrast, almost a dramatic contrast between them: one brawny and rugged and frankly abrupt; the other delicate and slight, with cameo features and a curiously mystifying expression that again and again broadened into a slight smile and vanished inscrutably.

With his characteristic directness, Haynes called for a second bowl of chowder. Having Fate by the forelock, he required still a third to be delivered up to him.

The little stranger did not seem to notice. A kind of dreamy retrospective veil appeared in his eyes from time to time.

"Guess that'll keep my stomach from bumpin' its walls together for a while," Haynes declared as he clapped the third bowl down, having laid aside the spoon to drain the last third of the contents.

"Anything elze?" asked the amiable little stranger.

Haynes admitted that a cigar would be acceptable, and, from a limited selection in the chowder-house case, he chose the fattest and blackest, lighted it, puffed hard and inhaled deeply.

"Now," said Haynes as they came into the street again, "I'm ready to try that timid business."

The stranger handed Haynes a small oblong card.

"My card," he said, smiling and bowing slightly.

Haynes held it near the steam-fogged window and spelled rather than read—


D'Paulizzo eyed him closely, eyed him as if expecting, rather than hoping, that the name might mean something to him.

Haynes grunted quite frankly and asked?

"How'd you say it?"

D'Paulizzo spoke it with elusive fluency. The name rippled from his tongue.

Haynes stared at the card again, then poked it into his pocket.

"All right, Mr. Paulzizy, what's up?"

The little man shrugged his shoulders slightly and asked?

"You would care to zecure ten—fift'n—twent-y doll-ars?"

"You bet!" said Haynes, lifting his face upward in the drizzle and blowing a stream of smoke exuberantly at the sky.

D'Paulizzo scrutinized him again.

Nature seems to have given frank-eyed people a curious compensation. Whereas the shifty-eyed people must snatch furtive glances at any object they are watching, the frank-eyed person can stare steadily ahead, apparently at nothing, and yet very clearly see everything within forty degrees on either side of what appears to be his line of vision. And Haynes, who thought of himself as "nobody's fool," was closely watching the little stranger's face, though deceptively looking down the sidewalk, splotched with lighted windows and shadows.

D'Paulizzo seemed oddly hesitant, speculative. It needed very little at any time to arouse Haynes's distrust of strangers, and though he owed this fellow something for three bowls of clam chowder and a black cigar, yet . . . Well, a full stomach is likely to be quite conscientious!

"You are timid, perhaps?" D'Paulizzo asked softly.

"You said something about twenty bones."

D'Paulizzo edged into a sheltered entrance and Haynes followed.

"You can keep a zecret?" he whispered excitedly.

"Anything but money!"

D'Paulizzo laughed again a little nervously.

"You zhall have that, too. Yes, yes. Twenty doll-ars!"

Haynes thought:

"If he's playin' me for a crooked deal he's awful modest with the bait. Maybe he means to pay it, though." Aloud he said: "Let's hear the dope. Shoot!"

D'Paulizzo drew back, a startled expression on his sensitive face.

"Zhoot? No! No! No zhoot!"

"Aw, cough up, come through, let'er slip! I'm all ears."

By his attitude rather than by his words, Haynes seemed to have succeeded in making it clear to d'Paulizzo that he was waiting to hear of the job that was to be done.

"My wife—you will help me to zecure my wife?" the little man asked quickly, tensely.

"What's the matter with your wife?" demanded Haynes.

He was growing more and more suspicious of this queer little foreigner with the quick, mobile smile, gleaming white teeth and nervous gestures. The whole deal began to look a bit shady.

"My wife—zhe is—ah—a prizoner—"

"Got pinched, eh?" said Haynes with a suggestion of sympathy.

"No, no, no!" D'Paulizzo shouted excitably.

Then he again scrutinized Haynes carefully.

"Quite some actor, this fellow!" murmured a thought within Haynes' head.

D'Paulizzo seemed at last decided upon making Haynes his confidant.

"My wife, zhe is a prizoner in her home—her own houze. I must rescue her!"

"That's a new one," Haynes declared frankly. "What's the matter?" Then inspirationally: "Why don't you tell the police?"

D'Paulizzo lifted his hands and rolled his eyes in an expressive horror.

"The polize! It would be ruinous—to my reputation!"

"Well, you're honest about it, anyway," said Haynes in involuntary admiration.

"You don't understand," he protested.

Haynes drew himself up in an attitude of respectful attention. The little man looked at him again with quizzical intentness, calculatingly.

Then the story came out, anything but smoothly. D'Paulizzo halted from time to time to stare inquiringly, as if to see what impression was being made. Haynes was interested, and he did not say that he was incredulous at the curious tale about the lovely young bride being held a prisoner in her rich, blustering father's home. True, the father did not know of the marriage, but he did know of the love, and he had threatened all manner of dire things upon d'Paulizzo's head if the affection were persisted in.

D'Paulizzo had arranged to meet his bride shortly after two o'clock that morning. She was to slip from the house and they would flee. But d'Paulizzo had to have someone whom he could trust to go along and carry the luggage to the taxicab which would be left a block or so away from the house. D'Paulizzo himself was obviously too frail for a porter's work. He seemed to have worked the plan out very carefully.

"Haven't you any friends?" Haynes demanded.

D'Paulizzo protested that he was without a friend in San Francisco. No one who might serve as a friend knew that he was in the city. There was no one whom he cared to make his confidant.

He had, he explained, met and won the lovely Martha some months before in New York, but at that time she was underage. But recently—so constant and true had been their love—he had come to San Francisco without letting anyone but her own sweet self know of it. He and Martha had slipped across the bay to San Rafael and been married. By ways and means that seem often to be used in suburban towns, arrangements had been made to have the marriage as unobtrusively as possible get into the records. The bear of a parent had grown suspicious and bullied the lovely Martha into an admission that her lover was in the city, but of the marriage he knew nothing.

Haynes was directly blunt in his questioning and the little man felt it necessary to make the rather unsatisfactory explanation that his name was not d'Paulizzo, really, and that Martha used a middle name, so there was nothing in the license or marriage to interest the newspapers.

"You haven't been givin' me a cock an' bull yarn? Goin' a-leave me to hold the sack or somethin'?"

D'Paulizzo, though possibly he did not have a very clear understanding of what Haynes said, protested negatively.

"All right, lead the way! I'll take a chance? once!" said Haynes resolutely.

A stray taxi was picked up and left a block from the Walshingham home. D'Paulizzo showed extreme caution. He expressed fear of the watchfulness of the elder Walshingham and, though the night was dark and wet and the vicinity deserted, he approached the residence furtively.

"She is expecting uz," said d'Paulizzo breathlessly, and not noticing Haynes' hard glance at the plural pronoun.

D'Paulizzo struck a match and held it to a cigaret and, though the match at once took fire, he struck another and extinguished it. A third time he did this.

Haynes grunted softly, enigmatically, as he saw a window on the second floor momentarily lighted in reply to the signal.

"Zhe is ready," said d'Paulizzo, and taking hold of Haynes' arm, began, with restive glance and turnings in all directions, to steal closer to the house.

"Aw you ought a-banged on the door an' told the ol' man to go to the devil—or something," Haynes muttered, disclosing his preference for direct action.

It was too dark to see, of course, but d'Paulizzo seemed to shiver—perhaps at the idea of doing anything of the kind.

A door creaked and a form slowly emerged, dragging laboriously two large and weighted suitcases.

Haynes hesitated long enough to make sure that the person was really a woman, then reached forward to take them.

A loud whisper?


"My darling!"

Then their shadowy forms merged.

Haynes strained his ears to listen. He could catch the sibilant insistence of whispering, but only a phrase now and then was distinguishable.

"Got the things—was watched awfully close? don't suspect—stole out and—can we trust him? Oh, if we should be caught!"

Haynes edged a step nearer. D'Paulizzo was saying?

"Not a soul knows but this fellow—he doesn't know who we really are—motor to Los Angeles? wired for reservations and be on our way to New York."

Haynes tested the weight of the suitcases suspiciously. But he checked himself from speaking.

"Twenty dollars?" Haynes muttered mentally, but grunted aloud.

The little party made its way back to the taxi.

The girl, stepping across the headlights, revealed an unsuspected beauty. Haynes was surprised, almost astonished. She was young and pretty, and seemed really in love with d'Paulizzo. Haynes wondered why.

"To the Ferry Building," said d'Paulizzo to the driver.

As he was putting the suitcases inside, Haynes heard him say to the agitated girl?

"We leave from Oakland."

Haynes climbed to the seat beside the driver. The starter whirred and stopped abruptly.

Haynes had laid an arresting hand on the driver's arm, and the driver looked around in mild surprise.

"See that?" said Haynes, presenting a huge, rough fist about six inches from the driver's nose. "You go to the police station and don't make no fuss about it, either!"

A few minutes later d'Paulizzo glanced skeptically through the door Haynes held open and looked about for the familiar lines of the Ferry Building.

"Zis isn't—what ess the matter?"

"Pile out!" said Haynes sternly. Then to the driver?"Go in there an' bring out a cop."

The girl, who had been leaning forward eagerly, gasped and, caught between a kind of paralysis and hysteria, cried, "Policeman!" in a smothered scream.

D'Paulizzo became elaborately excited. He mingled foreign words with temperamental English, but Haynes did not appear to listen until the little man leaned forward and clutching Haynes' brawny arm, hissed:

"I kill you! I kill you!"

"Aw bunk," said Haynes, brushing away the fragile fingers as he might have struck off a mosquito. "You played me for a sucker—but I'm just a little timid, sometimes, see?"

The driver returned with a big, burly, sleepy man in uniform. The officer came in a flat-footed, matter-of-fact sort of way, not greatly interested, but ready for the odds and ends of duty.

Haynes, ignoring d'Paulizzo's frantic claims for the officer's attention, very bluntly and briefly told how this "guy threw a feed into me," then "rung me in on a little burglary"?a clever piece of work with "the woman planted in the house an' two suitcases full o' loot."

Haynes was a little exhilarated. He felt that his luck had turned at last.

Both d'Paulizzo and the girl talked excitedly to the officer. They were angry, indignant, outraged; and both, parenthetically from second to second, furiously reproached Haynes.

The policeman listened apathetically for a moment or two, then abruptly dragged out the suitcases and with a gesture ordered Haynes to take them.

"Into the station. All of you—you, too!" he added menacingly to the driver.

The girl began the appeal of tears, but she might as well have used an eye-drop on a wooden Indian. D'Paulizzo threatened all manner of reprisals, suits and reports.

"Into the station," the officer repeated, yanking d'Paulizzo out with much the same abruptness as he had removed the suitcases.

The girl followed tearfully.

The officer ranged them before the desk- sergeant, who had watched and listened as best he could from the window.

"Name?" said the sergeant to the little excited man.

D'Paulizzo grew voluble.

"Shut up!" said the sergeant. "Name?"

D'Paulizzo was too excited. He mingled his foreign accent with straightaway English words, and his clear musical voice rose in shrill insistence.

"Shut up!" said the officer. "Put him down as John Doe, Sarg. This gab's only a stall."

"Oh, he's my husband!" the girl screamed, catching hold of d'Paulizzo's arm. "And he isn't an old John Doe! He's Gabriello d'Paulizzo—the great violinist, d'Paulizzo!"

The two officers looked d'Paulizzo over carefully, but their faces did not change expression. The girl watched disappointedly. They had never heard of d'Paulizzo—the great!

"How'd you spell it?" said the sergeant, dipping his pen a-fresh.

"He's d'Paulizzo—d'Paulizzo—the violinist!" she insisted earnestly.

"Paul Izzy," said the sergeant indifferently as he began to write. "Sounds Yiddish."

"You're his wife?" asked the officer.

"Yes!" she said proudly, pressing d'Paulizzo's arm.

"An' you're Mrs. ???"

But the sergeant did not say it.

She cried at him?

"I am the daughter of B. W. Walshingham!"

The sergeant blinked. His dipped pen dripped ink over the "blotter." The other officer dropped his jaw. That was a name they knew something about.

"B. W. Walshingham?" asked the chauffeur incredulously.

"Yes," said the girl, without looking at him. She was glaring at the sergeant.

D'Paulizzo again started to express himself and he tried to illuminate his remarks with gestures. He was very agitated.

"Now you will permit us to go?" said the girl, her pretty nose tilted at an expressive angle and a queenly glare in her eyes.

"Don't be in such a rush—not in such a rush!"

said the sergeant phlegmatically as he reached for a telephone book.

As he gave the number the girl almost screamed:

"No, don't! Don't call him! Please, please!"

Mr. Walshingham came in a surprisingly short time.

He came in storming and swollen with anger. He was a stout, pompous man, slightly bald and very loud of voice. He was also highly offensive in his remarks to d'Paulizzo, whom he called a "cheap Eastside dago Jew" who put on "airs" just because he could "play a fiddle." Mr. Walshingham clenched his fists and seemed about to do violence in the very sanctum of the peace officers' citadel, but d'Paulizzo only shrank timidly.

Till the moment of Mr. Walshingham's arrival, Haynes had been sure that the man and girl were clever crooks. Haynes had a stubborn nature. When he believed a thing, he believed it. But he saw at once that there had been a mistake. And Haynes very much wished that he had not meddled.

"Just because you were of age a week ago yesterday," Mr. Walshingham yelled at his daughter, "I'm not going to let you make a fool of yourself!"

"We are already married!" she said in fearful despair.

Her pretty nose was no longer tilted—upward. The queenly glare was gone from her eyes. Her shoulders drooped. Obviously, she was afraid of her father, and so was d'Paulizzo.

"I don't care if you've married him a thousand times," roared the irate father. "You're going home with me. I've had this fellow looked up. His name isn't d'Paulizzo. He isn't an Italian. He's a low- born Eastside dago Jew that's famous just because he can play a fiddle a little."

Mr. Walshingham glared at the frail little violinist, clenched his fists and stepped forward as if to strike. D'Paulizzo shrank, but he did not whine. He was about the frailest man imaginable, with a sensitive delicacy stamped on his body from slim, narrow feet to the wide, high, white forehead, topped by short black curly hair.

"I know all that," said the girl. "He told me. He worked himself up from the gutter?"

"Played on your sympathy!" snorted Mr. Walshingham.

"I love him!" said the daughter, low but stubbornly.

"You," said Mr. Walshingham to Haynes, extending a hand that Haynes did not see. "I'm glad you had some sense. Here?" and he hastily wrote a check; then, with something of a flourish, extended it to Haynes.

Haynes saw it. And took it.

"Pay bearer $100." Haynes read with the sensation of one who has thirsted in sleep and awakened to find water.

"Is he really somebody? Him?" asked Haynes, jerking his head toward d'Paulizzo.

"Yes," said Mr. Walshingham grudgingly. "He is great on the fiddle, but I won't have him in my family."

"I've married him!" the girl pronounced more distinctly, her head uplifted.

The amused officers grinned at Walshingham's apoplectic anger at this new defiance.

"Come with me!" shouted Walshingham, seizing her arm.

D'Paulizzo started to protest. The girl hung back, but Walshingham shouted threateningly at the violinist:

"You keep away." To the girl: "I'll take you home and lock you up—if I have to drag you by the hair!"

D'Paulizzo uplifted his hands and tore his own hair. The girl appealed to him with eloquent glances, but, though furious, he remained helpless. The officers snickered. It was as good as vaudeville.

Then Walshingham was suddenly confronted by a burly form—a hunched form, the shoulders widespread—that slipped between him and the door. A heavy hard-set face was turned toward him. Haynes out-thrust his jaw, made a quick contemptuous gesture and torn pieces of the check fluttered to the floor.

Truculently he said:

"I got in wrong on this deal. Here's where I square myself. You—just listen to me. This girl's of age an' she married. You got her bluffed an' him, too. But I was hired on this job—three clam chowders an' a cigar—an' if you want a-knock anybody's block off—go ahead!"

The policemen took a step or two forward—not to interfere. No. But irrepressibly drawn closer to see. The policeman, the American policeman, is a dull-looking fellow with a lot of humor under his mask, and, unlike the foreign law-guarder, he doesn't jump at every chance to stop an honest quarrel or drag somebody before the judge. They knew Walshingham. He was a millionaire bully.

D'Paulizzo's face took on a ludicrous expression of incredulity. The girl stared up at Haynes in a kind of surprised adoration. Walshingham, with a trace of haste in the movement, stepped back from the menacing jaw, the more menacing eyes, the most menacing ham- like fists that hung from crooked arms.

"You—why you?" he began placatingly.

"Stow that bunk!" said Haynes. "There's your check"?a gesture toward the torn paper on the floor?"if you want it back, pick up the pieces!"

"Officer," said Walshingham in the tone of command, turning to the sergeant, "arrest that fellow!"

"Nothin' doin'," said the imperturbable sergeant. "The girl's o' age. They're married. I can't stop 'em. An' him"?indicating Haynes and grinning slightly?"you come in here lookin' for a fight. He's waitin' to accommodate you!"

Walshingham muttered, blustered and fussed. His anger grew, but his violence subsided perceptibly, and at last he dashed for the door, swearing that she was no daughter of his and that he would not so much as look at her when she came crawling back on her knees.

A flurry of thanks, compliments and praise descended from all sides upon the embarrassed Haynes.

"Say," he growled awkwardly, picking up the suitcases, "if you people're goin' to Oakland t'night—better be on your way!"

The girl put her hands impulsively against his broad breast and looked up with brimming grateful eyes.

"You are wonderful! Wonderful! You have been magnificent!"

"I've been a fool," said Haynes, frankly embarrassed and awkwardly ending a moment that would be enshrined in his memory for life.

D'Paulizzo spluttered in nervous high spirits, as he tried to say how grateful he was. Haynes pushed by him and put the suitcases once more into the taxi.

D'Paulizzo and the girl with warm words of parting and promises of eternal gratitude got in. The driver jumped to his seat. The car moved off? and Haynes, waving a large, rough hand and smiling broadly, watched them go off in the first faint blush of a drizzling dawn.

Then a blank expression overspread his face. The morning air was quite chilly. The drizzle continued. It was cold. He was again hungry. D'Paulizzo, nervous, excited, had forgotten the promised reward.

"Hell!" said Haynes with ironic humor, as he stared down the empty street. "Them chowders was worth it!"

Buttoning his coat and turning up his collar, hunching his shoulders and stabbing his hands deep into his pockets, he started off down the street and whistled softly, carelessly, to himself. He was broke, down and out, flat on his uppers, and still a stranger to San Francisco.