“You’re what?” gasped the girl sitting up in her nest of feathers.
“I’m a-goin’ to Boston. Jest got time to ketch the clam-train at the depot. Don’t you bother; Cap’n Am’zon’s here and he’ll take care of you till I get back. Betty Gallup’ll be here by six or a little after to do the work. You can have her stop at night, if you want to.”
“Must hurry, Louise,” hastily said Cap’n Abe as he heard the bedcords creak and the patter of the girl’s feet on the matting. “Cap’n Am’zon knows of a craft that’ll sail to-day from Boston and I must jine her crew. Good-bye!”
He was gone. Louise, throwing on the negligee, hurried to the screened window. The fog had breathed upon the wires and clouded them. She heard the door open below, a step on the porch, and then a muffled:
“Bye, Am’zon. Don’t take no wooden money. I’m off.”
A shrouded figure passed up the road and was quickly hidden by the fog.
BOARDED BY PIRATES
Louise could not go back to sleep. She drew the ruffles of the negligee about her throat and removed the sliding screen the better to see into the outer world.
There was a movement in the fog, for the rising breeze ruffled, it. Full daybreak would bring its entire dissipation. Already the mist held a luster heralding the sun. The “hush-hush” of the surf along The Beaches was more insistent now than at any time since Louise had come to Cap’n Abe’s store, while the moan of the breakers on the outer reefs was like the deep notes of a distant organ.
A cock crew, and at his signal outdoor life seemed to awaken. Other chanticleers sounded their alarms; a colt whistled in a paddock and his mother neighed softly from her stall; a cow lowed; then, sweet and clear as a mountain stream, broke forth the whistle of a wild bird in the marsh. This matin of the feathered songster rose higher and higher till he reached the very top note of his scale and then fell again, by cadences, until it mingled with the less compelling calls of other birds.
There was a warm pinkness spreading through the fog in one direction, and Louise knew it must be the reflection of the light upon the eastern horizon. The sun would soon begin a new day’s journey.
The fog was fast thinning, for across the road she could see a spiral of blue smoke, mounting through it from the chimney of a neighbor. The kitchen fire there had just been lighted.
Below, and from the living-rooms behind the store, the girl heard some faint noises as though the early morning tasks of getting in wood and filling the coal scuttle were under way. Uncle Amazon must be “takin’ holt” just as Cap’n Abe said he would.
Louise was curious to see the returned mariner; but it was too early to go down yet. She might really have another nap before she dressed, she thought, yawning behind a pink palm.