[Illustration: “Phil—Phil!” Kirk was saying then.]
“Roses in the moonlight,
To-night all thine.”
That was the tune, to be sure! The Maestro was on his feet. He walked slowly to the open French window.
“What—what right have you to come here whistling—that?” he breathed. He wheeled suddenly on Kirk. “Did you sing it to him?” he demanded. “Is this—what is this?”
“I didn’t,” said Kirk, quickly; “Oh, I didn’t.”
The air seemed tense, burdened with something that hovered there in the stillness of the waiting garden.
“I can think of no one,” said the stranger, slowly, “who has a better right to whistle it here.”
The Maestro grasped the man’s arm fiercely.
“Turn around!” he said. “What do you mean? What can you mean—unless—” He flung his arm suddenly before his eyes, as he met the other’s gaze.
“Martin!” he said, in a voice so low that no one but Kirk heard it. And they stood there, quite still in the pale September sunset—the Maestro with his arm across his eyes; the mate of the Celestine with his hands clasped behind him and his lips still shaping the tune of the song his father had made for him.
Ken, within the room, swung Kirk into his arms.
“The library door’s open,” he whispered to Felicia. “Cut—as fast as ever you can!”
The little living-room of Applegate Farm bloomed once more into firelit warmth. It seemed almost to hold forth, kindly welcoming arms to its children, together again.
“What shall we talk about first?” Felicia sighed, sinking into the hearth chair, with Kirk on her lap. “I never knew so many wildly exciting things to happen all at once!”
It came about, of course, that they talked first of Kirk; but his adventures went hand in hand with the other adventure, and the talk flew back and forth between the Flying Dutchman and the Celestine, Kirk and Mr. Martin—or Martin, the Maestro’s son.
“And it was the same old Celestine!” Ken marveled; “that’s the queer part.” He fidgeted with the tongs for a moment and then said, “You didn’t know I once nearly ran away to sea on her, did you?”
Two incredulous voices answered in the negative.
“It was when I was very, very young,” said Ken, removed by six months of hard experience from his escapade, “and very foolish. Never mind about it. But who’d have thought she’d restore all our friends and relatives to us in this way! By the way, where’s the ill-starred Dutchman?”
“Up at Bedford,” Kirk said.
“Let her stay there,” said Ken. “The season’s over here, for the Sturgis Water Line. And I’m afraid of that boat. When I go up after Mother I’ll try to sell the thing for what I can get.”