Miss Daphne’s eyes, if he could only have seen them, held a twinkle of mirth, and her smile was a little more pronounced than usual.
“I think,” she said, softly, “that she is a very lovable, attractive girl. I am quite relieved, brother, not to have a boy in the house.”
Kit wakened the following morning with the sunlight calling to her. It was early, but back on the farm the girls usually rose about five. There did not seem to be any one stirring yet, so she dressed quietly, and found her way down-stairs. The Dean kept a cook, gardener and second girl. Kit heard Delia, the latter, singing in the dining-room and went out at once to make friends with her.
“Is it very far down the bluff to the shore, Delia?” she asked, eagerly. “I’m dying to climb down there, if I have time before breakfast.”
“Sure, Miss, it’s as easy as rolling off a log. You take the roundabout way through the garden, and the little path, behind the tool shed, and you just follow it until you can’t go any farther, and there’s the bluff. I haven’t been down myself, but Dan says there’s a little path you take to the shore if you don’t mind scrambling a bit.”
Kit waved good-bye to her and went in search of the path. She found Dan, the gardener, raking up leaves in the back garden. He was a plump rosy-cheeked old Irishman, his face wrinkled like a winter pippin, and he lifted his cap at her approach with a smile of frank curiosity and approval.
A half-grown black retriever came bounding to meet her, his nose and forepaws tipped with white.
“That’s a welcome he’s giving you you wouldn’t have had if you’d been a boy, Miss,” Danny said, shrewdly. “I’m glad to meet you, and hope you’ll like it here.”
Kit was stroking Sandy’s silky curls. His real name he told her was Lysander. Anything that the Dean had the naming of received the benediction of ancient Greece, but Sandy, in his puppyhood, had managed to acquire a happy diminutive.
“I don’t see,” Kit said, laughingly, “why you dreaded a boy coming. I know some awfully nice boys back home, and there’s one specially”—she paused just a moment, before she added—“named Billie. He’s kind of related to us, because his grandfather married Cousin Roxy, and she’s my father’s cousin. It’s a little bit hard to figure it out, but still we’re related, and we’re very, very good friends. I think he’s just the kind of a boy the Dean expected to see, but perhaps he’ll get used to me. Do you think he will?”
“Sure, it’s like asking me could he get used to the sunshine,” answered Danny, gallantly.—“If you leave it to Sandy to find the shore, he’ll take you the quickest way.”
ALL SANDY’S FAULT
Everything was so different from the Connecticut verdure and underbrush. Instead of the thick, lush growth which came from richly watered black loam, here one found sand cherries and little dwarf willows and beeches springing up from the sand. Tall sword grass waved almost like Cousin Roxy’s striped ribbon grass in the home garden, and wild sunflowers showed like golden glow here and there.