She stepped out on the porch for a moment as Captain Prescott was saying good-night. The moonlight was falling weirdly through the big trees, stretching itself over the grass in shapes that seemed to spell unearthly things. And there were mystical lights on the water down there, flitting about with the movement of the stream as ghosts might flit. Because it looked so other-world-like she wondered if it knew what it had just missed. She had never thought anything about water save as something to look beautiful and have a good time on. It seemed now that perhaps it knew a great deal about things of which she knew nothing at all.
“Oh, I say, jolly night, isn’t it?” he exclaimed as they stood at the head of the steps.
“Yes,” said Kate grimly, “pleasant weather, isn’t it?” and laughed oddly.
“It’s great about your friend coming; Miss—?”
“Forrest.” She spoke it decisively.
“She arrived this afternoon?”
“Yes, unexpectedly. I was never more surprised in my life than when I looked up and saw Ann standing there.” Katie was not too impressed to resist toying a little with the situation.
“Oh, is that so? I thought—” But he was too well-bred to press it.
“Of course,” she hastened to patch together her thread, “of course, as I told Wayne, I knew that Ann was coming. But I didn’t really expect her until day after to-morrow. You see, there have been complications.”
“Oh, I see. Well, at any rate it’s great that she’s here. She will be with you for the summer?”
“Ann’s plans are a little uncertain,” Kate informed him.
“I hope she’ll not find it dull. Does she care for golf?”
“U—m, I—Ann has never played much, I believe. You see she has lived so much in Europe—on the Continent—places where they don’t play golf! And then Ann is not very strong.”
“Then this is just the place for her. Great place for loafing, you know. I hope she is fond of the water?”
Kate was leaning against one of the pillars, still looking down toward the river. It might have been the moonlight made her look so strange as she said, with a smile of the same quality as those shadows on the grass: “Why yes; in fact, Ann’s fondness for the water was the first thing I ever noticed about her. I think I might even say it was the water drew us together.”
“Oh, well then, that is great. We can take the boat and do all sorts of jolly things. Now I wonder—about a horse for her. She rides?”
“Perhaps you had better make no plans for Ann,” she suddenly advised. “It really would not surprise me at all if she went away to-morrow. There is a great deal of uncertainty about the whole thing. In fact, Ann has had a great deal of trouble.”
“I’m sorry,” he said with a simplicity she liked in him.
“Yes, a great deal of trouble. Last year both her father and mother died, which was a great blow to her.”