And at the prospect her head drooped heavily.
“Then you’ll want to wear this at your wedding.”
The Boy drew his hand out of his pocket, threw a walrus-string over her bent head, and when she could see clear again, her Katharine medal was swinging below her waist, and “the Boston man” was gone.
She stared with blinded eyes out of the window, till suddenly in the mist one face was clear. The Boy! Standing still down there in the hurly-burly, hands in pockets, staring at the ship.
Suddenly Sister Winifred, her black veil swirling in the wind. An orderly from St. Mary’s Hospital following with a little trunk. At the gangway she is stopped by the purser, asked some questions, smiles at first and shakes her head, and then in dismay clasps her hands, seeming to plead, while the whistle shrieks.
Muckluck turned and flew down the dark little stair, threaded her way in and out among the bystanders on the wharf till she reached the Sister’s side. The nun was saying that she not only had no money, but that a Yukon purser must surely know the Sisters were forbidden to carry it. He could not doubt but the passage money would be made good when they got to Holy Cross. But the purser was a new man, and when Mac and others who knew the Yukon custom expostulated, he hustled them aside and told Sister Winifred to stand back, the gangway was going up. It was then the Boy came and spoke to the man, finally drew out some money and paid the fare. The nun, not recognising him, too bewildered by this rough passage with the world even to thank the stranger, stood motionless, grasping Kaviak’s hand—two children, you would say—her long veil blowing, hurrying on before her to that haven in the waste, the mission at Holy Cross.
Again the Boy was delaying the upward swing of the gangway: the nun’s trunk must come on board. Two men rushed for it while he held down the gang.
“Mustn’t cry,” he said to Muckluck. “You’ll see Sister Winifred again.”
“Not for that I cry. Ah, I never shall have happiness!”
“Yes, that trunk!” he called.
In the babel of voices shouting from ship and shore, the Boy heard Princess Muckluck saying, with catches in her breath:
“I always knew I would get no luck!”
“Ah! I was a bad child. The baddest of all the Pymeut children.”
“Yes, yes, they’ve got it now!” the Boy shouted up to the Captain. Then low, and smiling absently: “What did you do that was so bad. Princess?”
“Me? I—I mocked at the geese. It was the summer they were so late; and as they flew past Pymeut I—yes, I mocked at them.”
A swaying and breaking of the crowd, the little trunk flung on board, the men rushing back to the wharf, the gang lifted, and the last Lower River boat swung out into the ice-flecked stream.
Keen to piercing a cry rang out—Muckluck’s: