A good many of Mrs. Kinzer’s lady friends, young and old, deemed it their duty to come and do that very thing within the next few days. Then the sewing-circle took the matter up, and both the baby and its mother were provided for as they never had been before. It would have taken more languages than two, to fairly express the gratitude of the poor Alsatians. As for the rest of them, out there on the bar, they were speedily taken off, and carried to “the city,” none of them being seriously the worse for their sufferings, after all. Ham Morris declared that the family he had brought ashore “came just in time to help him out with his fall work, and he didn’t see any charity in it.”
Good for Ham!
It was the right way to feel about it, but Dab Kinzer thought he could see something in it that looked like “charity” when he met his tired-out brother-in-law on his late return from that second trip across the bay.
Real charity never cares to make an exhibition of itself.
They were pretty thoroughly worn out, both of them; but they carefully moored “The Swallow” in her usual berth before they left her.
She had effectually “discharged her cargo,” over on the sand-island; but they Had enough of a load to carry home, in the shape of empty baskets and things of that sort.
“Is every thing out of the locker, Dab?” inquired Ham.
“All but the jug. I say, did you know it was nearly half full? Would it do any hurt to leave it here?”
“The jug? No, not if you just pour out the rest of the apple-jack over the side.”
“Make the fish drunk.”
“Well, it sha’n’t do that for anybody else, if I can help it.”
“Well, if it’s good for water-soaked people, I guess it can’t hurt the fish.”
“Empty it, Dab. Empty it, and come along. The doctor wasn’t so far wrong, and I was glad to have it with me. Seemed to do some of ’em a power of good. But medicine’s medicine, and I only wish some people I know of would remember it.”
“Some of ’em do a good deal of that kind of doctoring.”
The condemned liquor was already gurgling from the mouth of the demijohn into the salt water, and neither fish nor eel came forward to get a share of it. They were probably all feeling pretty well that night. When the demijohn was empty and the cork replaced, it was set down again in the “cabin;” and that was left unlocked, for there was no more danger in it for anybody. Dab and Ham were altogether too tired to take any pains there was no call for.
Dab’s mind must have been tired, as well as his body; for he decided to postpone until the morrow the report he had to make about the tramp. He was strongly of the opinion that the latter had not seen him to recognize him; and, at all events, the matter could wait.
So it came to pass that all the shore, and the road that led away from it, and the village the road led into, were deserted and silent, an hour or so later, when a stoutly-built “cat-boat,” with her one sail lowered, was quietly sculled up the inlet.