That was a great day for the boys; but, before the close of it, Ford Foster had told his friends the news that Joe Hart and his brother Fuz had been invited to visit with him.
“Will they come?” asked Dab.
“Certainly. That kind of boy always comes. Nobody wants to keep him from coming.”
“When do you look for them?”
“Right away. Vacation’s almost gone, you know.”
“Won’t they be ashamed to meet your sister?”
“Not a bit. They’ll try their tricks, even after they get here.”
“All right. We’ll help ’em all we know how. But, boys, I’ll tell you what we must try for.”
“One grand good sailing-party in ‘The Swallow,’ before they get here.”
“Hurrah for that! Annie was wishing for one, only yesterday.”
“We’ll have all of your folks and all of ours. ‘The Swallow’ is plenty big enough.”
“Mother wouldn’t go, and father can’t just now. He’s trying a case. But there’s Annie and Frank and me”—
“And my mother, and Ham and Miranda, and our girls. Ham’ll go, sure. Then we must take Dick Lee along. It’d make him sick if we didn’t.”
“Of course. Ain’t I glad about him! Could we get ready and go to-morrow?”
“Guess not so quick as that. We might by the day after, if the weather’s all right.”
Exactly. There is always a large-sized “if” to be put in, where any thing depends on the weather, Mrs. Kinzer took the matter up with enthusiasm, and so did the girls, Miranda included; and Ford Foster was quite right about his part of the company.
But the weather!
It looked well enough, to unpractised eyes; but Ham Morris shook his head, and went to consult his fishermen friends. There was a good deal of head-shaking done thereupon; for every human barometer among them advised him to wait a day or so, and hardly any two of them gave him the same reason for doing it.
Ford Foster was at the house when Ham made his report, and was a little surprised to see how promptly Dab Kinzer yielded his assent to the verdict.
“Such warm, nice weather as this is,” he remonstrated; “and there isn’t any wind to speak of.”
“There’s too much of it coming,” was Ham’s response; and there was no help for it after that, not even when the mail brought word from “Aunt Maria” that both of her dear boys would arrive in a day or two.
“Our last chance is gone, Annie,” said Ford, when the news came.
“O mother!” she said despondingly, “what shall we do?”
“Have your sail, just the same, and invite your cousins.”
“But the Kinzers”—
“Why, Annie! Mrs. Kinzer will not think of neglecting them. She’s as kind as kind can be.”
“And we are to pay her with Joe and Fuz,” said Ford. “Well, I wish Ham Morris’s storm would come along.”
He only had to wait until the next day for it, and he felt quite contented to be safe on shore while it lasted. There was no call for any laughter at the prophecies of the fishermen after it began to blow. Still the blow was not a long one, and Ham Morris remarked,—