As he spoke he was busily preparing to reef the mainsail, and he consulted hurriedly with the sailors.
At first no one could believe Guy’s prophecies would come true, but in a few moments the cool breeze was distinctly felt, the sun went under a cloud, and the boat began to move. It was a sudden squall, and the clouds thickened and massed themselves into great hills of blackness; the water turned dark and began to rise in little threatening billows, the wind grew stronger and stronger, and then without warning the rain came. Thunder and lightning added to the excitement of the occasion, and in less than fifteen minutes the smooth sunny glare of water was at the mercy of a fearful storm.
The occupants of the boat seemed to know exactly how to behave in these circumstances. Mrs. Elliott and the girls of the party went down into the little cabin, which held them all, but which was very crowded.
Guy Morris took command, and the other boys, and men, too, for that matter, did exactly as he told them.
Ethelyn began to cry. This was really not surprising, as the girl had never before had such an experience and was exceedingly nervous as well as very much frightened.
Mrs. Elliott appreciated this, and putting her arm around the sobbing child, comforted her with great tact and patience.
The storm passed as quickly as it came. There had been danger, both real and plentiful, but no bad results attended, except that everybody was more or less wet with the rain.
The boys were more and the girls less, but to Ethelyn’s surprise, they all seemed to view the whole performance quite as a matter of course, and accepted the situation with the same merry philosophy that they had shown in the morning.
The thermometer had fallen many degrees, and the cold wind against damp clothing caused a most unpleasant sensation.
“It’s an ill wind that blows nobody good,” said Guy. “This breeze will take us home, spinning.”
“I’m glad of it,” said Ethelyn snappishly; “I’ve had quite enough of the sailing party.”
Frank confided to Patty afterward that he felt like responding that the sailing party had had quite enough of her, but instead he said politely:
“Oh, don’t be so easily discouraged! Better luck next time.”
To which Ethelyn replied, still crossly, “There’ll be no next time for me.”
Patty was not sorry when her Elmbridge cousins concluded their visit, and the evening after their departure she sat on the veranda with her father, talking about them.
“It’s a pity,” she said, “that Ethelyn is so ill-tempered; for she’s so pretty and graceful, and she’s really very bright and entertaining when she is pleased. But so much of the time she is displeased, and then there’s no doing anything with her.”