“Uncle Ben fashions all sorts of wonderful ornaments out of shells,” explained Jenny.
Doria smoked some cigarettes and then descended again. In twenty minutes the boat had gone to sea once more, while Jenny bade Mark good night and retired. She felt it better not to meet her uncles on their arrival, and Brendon agreed with her.
DEATH IN THE CAVE
Alone, Brendon regarded the future with some melancholy, for he believed that only Chance had robbed him of his great hope. Chance, so often a valued servant, now, in the mightiest matter of his life, turned against him. Not for a moment could he or would he compare himself with the man he now regarded as a successful rival; but accident had given Doria superb opportunities while denying to Brendon any opportunity whatever. He told himself, however, that a cleverer man than he would have made opportunities. What was his love worth if it could not triumph over the handicaps of Chance?
He felt ruled out, and he had not even the excuse to impose himself upon Jenny and still seek to win her by pretending that he was better fitted to make her permanently happy than his rival. Indeed he knew that in the long run such a cheerful and versatile soul as Giuseppe was more likely to satisfy Jenny than he, for Doria would have all his time to devote to her, while marriage and a home must be only a part of Brendon’s future existence. There remained his work, and he well knew that, whatever Jenny’s position and independence, he would not leave the business that had brought him renown. Only on one ground he doubted for her, and again and again feared that such an attractive being as Doria might follow the tradition of his race and presently weary of one woman.
Next he considered another aspect of the situation and thought of every word that Jenny had recently spoken. They pointed to one conclusion in his judgment and he believed that when a seemly period had elapsed she would allow herself to love Doria. That was as much as to say she had already begun to do so, if unconsciously. This surprised him, for even granting the obvious fascination of the man, he could hardly believe that the image of her first husband had already begun to grow faint in Jenny’s memory. He remembered her grief and protestations at Princetown; he perceived the deep mourning which she wore. She was indeed young, but her character had never appeared to him youthful or light-hearted. Against that fact, however, he had certainly only known her after her sorrow and loss, and he remembered how she had sung on the moor upon the evening she passed him in the sunset light. She had probably been cheerful and joyous before her husband’s death. But she surely never possessed a frivolous nature. His knowledge of character told him that. And there was strength as well as sweetness in her face. Serious subjects had interested her in