“It’s a little bit funny,” he said. “But I didn’t know you could do it at all. Oh, listen to it!”
He declaimed this, with some pauses:
“TO MY RELATIVE, K. S.
“While I am at my watery work
All up and down the bay,
I think about my brother Kirk
A million times a day.
“All day my job seems play to me,
My duties they are light,
Because I know I’m going to see
My brother Kirk that night.
“I ponder over, at my biz,
How nice he is
(That smile of his!),
And eke his cheerful, open phiz.
“And also I am proud of him,
I sing the praises loud of him,
And all the wondering multitude
At once exclaims: ‘Gee Whiz!’
“It seems this relative of mine
Is going to have a fete.
They tell me that he’ll now be nine,
Instead of half-past eight.
How simply fine!
We’ll dance and dine!
We’ll pass the foaming bowl of wine!
“And here’s our toast
(We proudly boast.
There isn’t any need to urge us):
Hip, Hip, Hooray for Kirkleigh Sturgis!”
Ken gave the three cheers promptly, and then said:
“That one’s silly.
The other’s the way I really feel. Oh, don’t read it aloud!”
Kirk, who had opened his mouth to begin the next page, closed it again, and followed the lines of Braille silently. This is what he read:
“At eight o’clock on the day you were
I found a fairy under a thorn;
He looked at me hard, he looked at me queerly,
And he said, ‘Ah, Ken, you shall love him dearly.’
“I was then myself but a wee small lad,
But I well remember the look that he had;
And I thought that his words came wondrous true,
For whom could I love more dear than you?
“To-day at dawn I was out alone,
I found a wee fairy beside a stone;
And he said, as he looked at me, far above him,
‘Ah, Ken, you have only begun to love him!’”
There could be no possible answer to this but a rush from Kirk and an onslaught of hugs, from which it was long before Ken could disentangle himself.
“Oh, what have I done!” Ken cried. “Yes, of course I mean it, silly! But do, do have a care—we’re all mixed up with the marmalade and the oatmeal, as it is!”
Ken had proclaimed the day a half-holiday for himself, but Kirk was to go with him on the morning trip, and Phil, too, if she wanted to go. She did want, so Applegate Farm was locked up, and three radiant Sturgises walked the warm, white ribbon of Winterbottom Road to the Dutchman. Kirk was allowed to steer the boat, under constant orders from Ken, who compared the wake to an inebriated corkscrew. He also caught a fish over the stern, while Ken was loading up at Bayside. Then, to crown the day’s delight, under the door at Applegate, when they returned, was thrust a silver-edged note from the Maestro, inviting them all to supper at his house, in honor of the occasion.