Many of these stores, situate in wide, handsome streets, were quite city-like in size and in their display of goods.
Dinner at one of the hotels was next in order; after that a delightful sail on the harbor, then around Brant Point and over the bar out into the sea.
Here the boat new before the wind, dancing and rocking on the waves to the intense delight of the older children; but Gracie was afraid till her father took her in his arms and held her fast, assuring her they were in no danger.
As she had unbounded confidence in “papa’s” word, and believed he knew all about the sea, this quieted her fears and made the rest of the sail as thoroughly enjoyable to her as it was to the others.
The drive back to ’Sconset, with the full moon shining on moor and sea, was scarcely less delightful. They reached their cottage home full of enthusiasm over the day’s experiences, ready to do ample justice to a substantial supper, and then for a long delicious night’s sleep.
“And I have loved thee, Ocean!”
Captain Raymond, always an early riser, was out on the bluffs before the sun rose, and in five minutes Max was by his side.
“Ah, my boy, I though you were sound asleep, and would be for an hour yet,” the captain remarked when they had exchanged an affectionate good-morning.
“No, sir, I made up my mind last night that I’d be out in time to see the sun rise right out of the sea,” Max said; “and there he is, just peeping above the waves. There, now he’s fairly up I and see, papa, what a golden glory he sheds upon the waters; they are almost too bright to look at. Isn’t it a fine sight?”
“Yes, well worth the sacrifice of an extra morning nap—at least once in a while.”
“You must have seen it a great many times, papa.”
“Yes, a great many; but it never loses its attraction for me.”
“Oh, look, look, papa!” cried Max; “there’s a fisherman going out; he has his dory down on the beach, and is just watching for the right wave to launch it. I never can see the difference in the waves—why one is better than half a dozen others that he lets pass. Can you, sir?”
“No,” acknowledged the captain; “but let us watch now and try to make out his secret.”
They did watch closely for ten minutes or more, while wave after wave came rushing in and broke along the beach, the fisherman’s eyes all the while intent upon them as he stood motionless beside his boat; then suddenly seeming to see the right one—though to the captain and Max it did not look different from many of its neglected predecessors—he gave his dory a vigorous push that sent it out upon the top of that very wave, leaped into the stern, seized his oars, and with a powerful stroke sent the boat out beyond the breakers.
“Bravo!” cried Max, clapping his hands and laughing with delight; “see, papa, how nicely he rides now on the long swells! How I should like to be able to manage a boat like that. May I learn if I have the chance?”