"Now that's what I call being decent," said Dad, as soon as the young man had left us. "Did you notice, he didn't wear a uniform? Probably an inspector, or something of the sort, eh, Elizabeth?"
"Well--er--not exactly," I managed to say. "The fact is, Dad, he came over on the boat with me, and--"
"He never spoke to me once the whole trip," I added hastily.
"It was nice of him to wait till I had you with me, wasn't it?"
Dad smiled. "If you think it was, it probably was, my dear," he said.
The nice young man did more than find my missing trunks; he found a custom-house officer, and, after asking me privately which trunks contained my most valuable possessions and how much I had thought of declaring, he succeeded in having them passed through on my own valuation without any undue exposure of their contents.
By this time Dad had grown very respectful. To see his little Elizabeth treated like a queen, while on all sides angry women were having their best gowns pawed over and mussed; was a most wholesome lesson. He paid the thousand and odd dollars duty like a little man.
We'd been saved a lot of bother, and nobody hates a lot of bother more than Dad. So when the trunks were locked and strapped and ready to be sent to our hotel, Dad went up to the nice young man and said: "I'm Tom Middleton, from California, and this is my daughter Elizabeth. We're both very grateful to you, and if you should ever happen to come to California, I hope you'll look us up."