“If our fishing places were only close to each other, so we could fish together, wouldn’t it be fine!” suggested Bobby, one spring day as he and Jimmy sat on a rock below Abel’s cabin, looking expectantly out over the bay, while Abel, with Skipper Ed’s assistance, put the finishing touches upon the big boat in preparation for departure to their fishing places the next morning.
“Yes, wouldn’t it!” exclaimed Jimmy. “If we weren’t so busy, Partner and I would be dreadfully lonesome without you.”
“And if it wasn’t for being busy I’d be dreadfully lonesome without you, too,” admitted Bobby. “I always am, anyhow.”
“Yes,” said Jimmy, “so are we on days when the sea’s so rough we can’t fish.”
“But it’s fine out there, and it’s always fine to get back, isn’t it, Jimmy?”
“Aye, ’tis that!” declared Jimmy.
“But it makes me feel lonesome already,” said Bobby, returning to the original proposition, “to think that I won’t see you and Skipper Ed for so long.”
“What’s this I hear? Lonesome for Partner and me?” asked Skipper Ed, who had finished with the boat and, coming up behind the boys, overheard Bobby’s remark.
“Yes,” said Bobby, “at the fishing.”
“Well, well, now, isn’t that strange!” ejaculated Skipper Ed. “I was thinking the same way, and Abel was thinking that way, too, and we’ve been talking it over!”
“Jimmy and I think ’twould be fine if we could all fish together,” continued Bobby.
“So were we! So were we! A strange coincidence!” declared Skipper Ed. “And Abel thinks it might be arranged.”
“Oh, can it? Can it?” and the boys jumped to their feet.
“I don’t know,” and Skipper Ed’s face assumed a long and gloomy expression as he seated himself upon the rock. “There’s one thing in the way and I couldn’t consent.”
“Why can’t we?” asked Jimmy, in deep disappointment.
“Because,” said Skipper Ed seriously, “I’m not free to consent.”
“Why not? Yes, you are!” coaxed Bobby. “Please do.”
“I’d like to,” said Skipper Ed. “Yes, I’d like to; but you see I’ve got a partner, and one partner can’t go ahead and do things unless the other partner agrees. At any rate he shouldn’t. Do you agree, Partner?”
The boys gave a whoop of joy.
“Then you consent, Partner?” and Skipper Ed’s eyes twinkled humorously.
“Of course I do, Partner!” exclaimed Jimmy. “It’s what I’ve wanted to do right along.”
“Then everything is arranged,” said Skipper Ed. “Abel says there are plenty of fish for all of us around Itigailit Island. Perhaps, then, we’d better go home, Partner, and put things in shipshape for an early start in the morning.”
And so they parted in high glee, Bobby to the cabin to break the good news to Mrs. Abel, and Skipper Ed down the trail toward his own cabin, with Jimmy at his heels.