“Yes; ’the peace of God which passeth all understanding! May it ever keep your heart and mind through Christ Jesus.’”
“Where are we going to-day, papa?” asked little Elsie the next morning at the breakfast table.
“I do not know yet, my child,” he replied. “I have been thinking,” he continued, addressing the company in general, “that it would probably be better for us to break up into quite small parties, each going its own way, now that the Fair has become so crowded.”
“Yes,” Mr. Dinsmore said, “I will take my wife and daughter with me, if they do not object; you, I presume, will do likewise with your wife and children, and the others—Rosie, Walter, and Evelyn—can make up a third party, and dispose of their time and efforts at sight-seeing as they please.”
At that Mr. Lilburn turned toward Miss Annis Keith and said, with a humorous look and smile, “You and I seem to be left entirely out of the calculation, Miss Keith. Shall we compose a fourth party, and see what we can find to amuse and interest us?”
“Thank you, sir,” she replied; “but are you sure I might not prove a hindrance and burden?”
“Quite sure; and your companionship, if I can secure it, will be all-sufficient for me.”
“Then we will consider the arrangement made, for I should be sorry indeed to intrude my companionship upon those who do not desire it,” she said, with a sportive look at the captain.
“Cousin Ronald,” said the latter gravely, “I think you owe me a vote of thanks for leaving Cousin Annis to you. I am sure it should be accounted a very generous thing for me to do.”
“Certainly, captain, when you have only Cousin Vi, those two half-grown daughters, and two sweet children for your share,” laughed Annis.
“As many as he can keep together,” remarked Walter. “Well, I’m going off by myself, as I happen to know that my sister Rosie and Evelyn have been already engaged by other escorts.”
“Walter, you deserve to be left at home,” said Rosie severely.
“At home?” laughed Walter, “you would have to get me there first.”
“You know what I mean; this yacht is home to us while we are living on it.”
“And a very pleasant one it is; a delightful place to rest in when one is tired; as I realize every evening, coming back to it from the Fair.”
“Then we won’t try to punish you by condemning you to imprisonment in it,” said the captain.
“Papa, I should like to go to the Manufactures and Liberal Arts Building again to-day, unless the rest of our party prefer some other place,” said Grace.
“That would suit me as well as any,” said Violet.
“Me also,” added Lucilla.
“Then that shall be our destination,” returned the captain.