“Some time or other I’d be glad to have you,” replied Dab very politely, “but not this trip.”
“We mean to go right across the bay, and try some fishing.”
“Couldn’t I fish?”
“Well, no, I don’t think you could.”
“Why couldn’t I?”
“Because,—well, because, most likely, you’d be too sea-sick by the time we got there.”
Just then a low, clear voice, behind Dabney, quietly remarked, “How smooth his hair is!”
Dab’s face turned red again.
Annie Foster had heard it as distinctly as he had; and she walked right away with her mother, for fear she should laugh again.
“It’s my own hair, Jenny Walters,” said Dab almost savagely, as he turned around.
“I should hope it was.”
“I should like to know what you go to church for, anyhow.”
“To hear people talk about sailing and fishing. How much do you s’pose a young lady like Miss Foster cares about small boys?”
“Or little girls, either? Not much; but Annie and I mean to have a good sail before long.”
“Annie and I!”
Jenny’s pert little nose seemed to turn up more than ever, as she walked away, for she had not beaten her old playfellow quite as badly as usual. There were several sharp things on the very tip or her tongue, but she was too much put out and vexed to try to say them just then.
Dab made the rest of his way home without any further haps or mishaps. A sail on the bay was nothing so new or wonderful for him to look forward to, and so that Sunday went by a good deal like all his other Sundays.
As for Ford Foster, on the contrary, his mind was in a stew and turmoil all day. In fact, just after tea that evening, his father asked him,—
“What book is that you are reading, Ford?”
“Captain Cook’s Voyages.”
“And the other, in your lap?”
“Well, you might have worse books than they
are, that’s a fact, even for
Sunday, though you ought to have better; but which of them do you and
Dabney Kinzer mean to imitate to-morrow?”
“Crusoe!” promptly responded Ford.
“I see. And so you’ve got Dick Lee to go along as your man Friday.”
“He’s Dab’s man, not mine.”
“Oh! and you mean to be Crusoe number two? Well, don’t get cast away on any desolate island, that’s all.”
Ford slipped into the library, and put the books away. It had been Samantha Kinzer’s room, and had plenty of book-shelves, in addition to the elegant “cases” Mr. Foster had brought from the city with him; for Samantha was inclined to be of a literary turn of mind. All the cases and shelves were full too; but not on any one of them was Ford Foster able to discover a volume he cared to take out with him in place of “Cook” or “Crusoe.”
The next morning, within half an hour after breakfast, every member of the two families was down at the landing, to see their young sailors make their start; and they were all compelled to admit that Dab and Dick seemed to know precisely what they were about.