The girl pointed out at sea.
“It’s a-comin’ on dreadful foggy,” she said, gloomily.
Daddy and I looked at one another, and we stared at the dark pall that was sweeping in, raw and chilly. Of course we at once knew its significance. It must surely detain the Snowbird on its return journey.
Just then an old fisherman came up, touching his cap.
“Beggin’ yer pardon, sor,” he said. “Is yer after findin’ th’ doctor gettin’ any better?”
“I can hardly tell you,” answered Daddy, impatiently. “I know very little about such things, but he looks very badly to me.”
“Oh! The pity of it!” exclaimed the man. “I tells yer, sor, it’s a sad day, a real sad day fer Sweetapple Cove.”
“Damn Sweetapple Cove!” Daddy shouted right in the poor fellow’s face with such energy that he leaped back in alarm.
But Susie had taken hold of Daddy’s arm.
“Now you come erlong o’ me, sor,” she said, soothingly, as if she had spoken to a child. “Don’t yer be gettin’ excited. Yer needs a good cup o’ tea real bad, I’m a-thinkin’, and a smoke. Yer ain’t had a seegar to-day, and men folks is apt to get awful grumpy when they doesn’t get ter smoke. Come erlong now, there’s a good man.”
Strange to say, Daddy went with her, willingly enough, after I had kissed him. He didn’t resent Susie’s manner at all. As I watched he stopped after going a few yards, and looked out at sea, beyond the entrance of the cove. Everything was disappearing in a dull greyness that was beginning to blot out the rocky cliffs, and he turned to the girl.
“My boat will never get back to-night,” he said, “and I suppose that to-morrow will be worse. It always is. I wonder whether there is another such beastly country in the world?”
“I’ve heerd tell,” remarked Susie, sagaciously, “as how they is some places as has been fixed so them as lives in ’em will sure know what a good place Heaven is when they gits to it.”
Dr. Frank Johnson to Mrs. Charlotte Johnson
I had expected to sail away from St. John’s on the twentieth to return to you before resuming the hard search for something to keep together the body and soul which struggling young doctors without means have so hard a time to maintain in their proper relation. Since the old Chandernagore limped into St. John’s with its bow stove in, after that terrible collision, and the underwriters decided that she was hopelessly damaged, my prospects have been those of a man living on a pittance and merely entitled to his passage home and a trifle of salary.