“Could she have thought me ill-bred or impertinent?” he muttered to himself.
Thought? About him?
Poor Dab Kinzer! Annie Foster had so much else to think of just then; for she was compelled to go over, for Ford’s benefit, the whole story of her tribulations at her uncle’s, and the many rudenesses of Joe Hart and his brother Fuz.
“They ought to be drowned,” said Ford indignantly.
“In ink,” added Annie. “Just as they drowned my poor cuffs and collars.”
A CRUISE IN “THE SWALLOW.”
“Look at Dabney Kinzer,” said Jenny Walters to her mother, in church, the next morning. “Did you ever see anybody’s hair as smooth as that?”
Smooth it was, certainly; and he looked, all over, as if he had given all the care in the world to his personal appearance. How was Annie Foster to guess that he had gotten himself up so unusually on her account? She did not guess it; but when she met him at the church-door, after service, she was careful to address him as “Mr. Kinzer,” and that made poor Dabney blush to his very eyes.
“There!” he exclaimed: “I know it.”
“Know what?” asked Annie.
“Know what you’re thinking.”
“Do you, indeed?”
“Yes: you think I’m like the crabs.”
“What do you mean?”
“You think I was green enough till you spoke to me, and now I’m boiled red in the face.”
Annie could not help laughing,—a little, quiet, Sunday-morning sort of a laugh; but she was beginning to think her brother’s friend was not a bad specimen of a Long Island “country boy.”
She briskly turned away the small remains of that conversation from crabs and their color; but she told her mother, on their way home, she was sure Dabney would be a capital associate for Ford.
That young gentleman was tremendously of the same opinion. He had come home, the previous evening, from a long conference with Dab, brimful of the proposed yachting cruise; and his father had freely given his consent, much against the inclinations of Mrs. Foster.
“My dear,” said the lawyer, “I feel sure a woman of Mrs. Kinzer’s unusual good sense would not permit her son to go out in that way if she did not feel safe about him. He has been brought up to it, you know; and so has the colored boy who is to go with them.”
“Yes, mother,” argued Ford: “there isn’t half the danger there is in driving around New York in a carriage.”
“There might be a storm,” she timidly suggested.
“The horses might run away.”
“Or you might get upset.”
“So might a carriage.”
The end of it all was, however, that Ford was to go, and Annie was more than half sorry she could not go with them. In fact, she said so to Dabney himself, as soon as her little laugh was ended, that Sunday morning.