Fourth of July was a bright, clear day, warm, but very pleasant, with a good stiff breeze blowing. Patty was up early, and when Ethelyn came downstairs, she found her cousin, with the aid of Mancy and Pansy, packing up what seemed to be luncheon enough for the whole party.
“Doesn’t anybody else take anything?” she inquired.
“Oh, yes,” said Patty, “they all do. I’m only taking cold chicken and stuffed eggs. You’ve no idea what an appetite sailing gives you.”
Ethelyn looked very pretty in a yachting suit of white serge, while Patty’s sailor gown was of more prosaic blue flannel, trimmed with white braid.
“That’s a sweet dress, Ethelyn,” said Patty, “but I’m awfully afraid you’ll spoil it. You know we don’t go in a beautiful yacht, all white paint and polished brass; we go in a big old schooner that’s roomy and safe but not overly clean.”
“Oh, it doesn’t matter,” said Ethelyn; “I dare say I shall spoil it, but I’ve nothing else that’s just right to wear.”
“All aboard!” shouted a cheery voice, and Kenneth Harper’s laughing face appeared in the doorway.
“Oh, good-morning!” cried Patty, smiling gaily back at him; “I’m so glad to see you. This is my cousin, Miss St. Clair. Ethelyn, may I present Mr. Harper?”
Immediately Ethelyn assumed a coquettish and simpering demeanour.
“I’ve met Mr. Harper before,” she said; “though I dare say he doesn’t remember me.”
“Oh, yes, indeed I do,” said Kenneth gallantly. “We met at a reception in the city, and I am delighted to see you again, especially on such a jolly occasion as I feel sure to-day is going to be.”
“Do you think it is quite safe?” said Ethelyn, with what she considered a charming timidity. “I’ve never been sailing, you know, and I’m not very brave.”
“Oh, pshaw! of course it’s safe, barring accidents; but you’re always liable to those, even in an automobile. Hello! here comes Hepworth. Glad to see you, old chap.”
Mr. Hepworth received a general storm of glad greetings, was presented to the strangers, and announced himself as ready to carry baskets, boxes, rugs, wraps, or whatever was to be transported.
Mr. Fairfield, as general manager, portioned out the luggage, and then, each picking up his individual charge, they started off. On the way they met the Elliott family similarly equipped and equally enthusiastic, and the whole crowd proceeded down to the wharf. There they found about thirty young people awaiting them. All the girls of the Tea Club were there; and all the boys, who insisted on calling themselves honorary members of the club.
“It’s a beautiful day,” said Guy Morris, “but no good at all for sailing. The breeze has died down entirely, and I don’t believe it will come up again all day.”
“That’s real cheerful, isn’t it?” said Frank Elliott. “I should be inclined to doubt it myself, but Guy is such a weatherwise genius, and he almost never makes a mistake in his prognostications.”