“Oh, don’t grow sentimental. Now that it is all over and not much harm done, let us laugh at it;—but I want to scold you.”
“You did not obey me on that night. I told you to drink no more wine, and after I left, you drank too much, which provoked the quarrel.”
Fernando, who really had no clear idea of the subject-matter of the quarrel, answered:
“I plead guilty, Miss Lane, to being disobedient. Forgive me, and I promise to make amends in the future. Do you know him, Lieutenant Matson?”
“Know Lieutenant Matson? Certainly I do; I have known him for four years. Father has known him longer.”
[Illustration: “YOU SURRENDER EASILY.”]
“Does he ever come here?”
“If he comes while I am here, we will have the fight out.”
“No you won’t.”
“I forbid it.”
“Then I yield.”
“You surrender easily,” and the saucy blue eyes glanced slyly at his face. Fernando was at a loss for some answer. Suddenly she broke in with:
“I must go now. There, I see father on the hill. Won’t you come to tea this evening? Father would like so much to see you.”
Of course he would. He stammered out his thanks, while the fairy-like creature tripped away across the sands, leaving him in a maze of bewilderment. At the crest of the hill, she paused to wave her handkerchief, smiled with ravishing sweetness, and disappeared over the hill with her father.
THE ENGLISHMAN’S DILEMMA.
Morgianna Lane was the brightest gem in the little Maryland village. The romantic mystery which enshrouded her birth seemed only to add to the charm about her. Of course Fernando could not long be in the village without learning that she was not the daughter of Captain Lane, but a sea waif.
Frequently foundlings have some birth mark or scar about them, or there is some letter or significant mark about their clothing by which in after years they may be identified and their parentage made known; but in the case of Morgianna there was no probability of her identity ever being discovered. Her plump little arms were utterly devoid of scar or mark; the clothes found upon the infant had no initial whatever, and were cast aside, just as other worn-out garments.
Fernando Stevens, in due time, called on Captain Lane, whom he found to be as jolly an old Jack Tar as lives. He was greatly amused at the escapade of the student, but cautioned him against his Irish friend.
“I have no doubt this Terrence Malone is a good, noble young fellow; but he has too much native mischief in his composition, and will get you from one scrape into another with marvellous regularity. I don’t mean that you should cut him adrift; but though you sail in company with him, do not allow him to get too far windward of you. When you see he’s going to fly right into the teeth of some rash fate, get on the other tack, that’s all. You did honorably, however, in fighting the duel with Lieutenant Matson, even if he is my friend.”