“I must write to Maria at once, for it won’t do to let those boys make trouble between us.”
Annie looked at her with an expression of face which very plainly said,—
“Nobody in the wide world could have the heart to quarrel with you.”
A RESCUE, AND A GRAND GOOD TIME.
Dab Kinzer and his friend were prompt enough coming to the rescue of their unfortunate fellow-lubber; but to get him out of the queer wreck he had made of that punt looked like a tough task to both of them, and they said as much.
“I isn’t drownin’,” exclaimed Dick heroically, as the other boat was pulled alongside of him. “Jest you take your scoop-net, and save dem crabs.”
“They won’t drown,” said Ford.
“But they’ll get away,” said Dab, as he snatched up the scoop. “Dick’s head is perfectly level on that point.”
The side-boards of the old punt were under water half the time, but the crabs were pretty well penned in. Even a couple of them, that had mistaken Dick’s wool for another sheep’s-head, were secured without difficulty, in spite of the firmness with which they clung to their prize.
“What luck he’d been having!” said Ford.
“He always does,” said Dab. “I say, Dick, how’ll I scoop you in?”
“Has you done got all de crabs?”
“Every pinner of ’em.”
“Den you jest wait a minute.”
Waiting was all that was left them to do, for the shining black face and woolly head disappeared almost instantly.
“He’s sunk,” exclaimed Ford.
“There he comes,” replied Dab: “he’d swum ashore from here, and not half try. Why, I could swim twice as far as that myself, and he can beat me.”
“Could you? I couldn’t.”
That was the first time Dab had heard his city acquaintance make a confession of inability, and he could see a more than usually thoughtful expression on his face. The coolness and skill of Dick Lee, in his hour of disaster, had not been thrown away upon him.
“If I had my clothes off,” said Ford, “I believe I’d try that on.”
“Dab Kinzer, you’s de bes’ feller dar is. But wot’ll we do wid de old boat?” burst out Dick, on coming to the surface.
“Let the tide carry her in while we’re crabbing. She isn’t worth mending, but we’ll tow her home.”
“All right,” said Dick, as he grasped the gunwale of Dab’s boat, and began to climb over.
“Hold on, Dick.”
“I is a-holdin’ on.”
“I mean, wait a bit. Ain’t you wet?”
“Of course I’s wet.”
“Well, then, you stay in there till you get dry It’s well you didn’t have your new clothes on.”
“Ain’t I glad ’bout dem!” enthusiastically ex-claimed the young African. “Nebber mind dese clo’es. De water on ’em’s all good, dry water, like de res’ ob de bay.”