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John Oxenham
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 199 pages of information about Pearl of Pearl Island.

They stood for a time watching, and presently both their feet were tapping to the quickstep of the rest.

“Let’s have a shot at it,” said Charles.  “Will you?” and he looked down at her.

“I’d love to,” and in a moment they were whirling in the circle with the rest, but with a grace that none there could rival,—­gallant dancers as the Sark boys and girls are.

“Delightful!” murmured Charles Svendt.  “You dance like an angel, and we fit splendidly,” and Hennie Penny found a man’s arm about her decidedly and delightfully more inspiriting than all the arms of all the schoolgirls in the world, and danced as she had never danced before.

So swift and light and smooth and graceful was their flight that before long the rest tailed off and all stood propped against the walls to watch them.

“We’ve got the floor all to ourselves,” murmured Miss Penny at last, as she woke to the fact.

“We’ve licked them into fits on their own ground,” he laughed in her ear.  “You can dance and no mistake.  It’s a treat to dance with a really good dancer.”

“I think we ought to stop.  We’re stopping their fun,” said Hennie Penny, and when he led her to a seat the rest of the room all clapped their enjoyment.

Graeme and Margaret danced a round or two to endorse the festivities, but they were not in it with Pixley and Hennie Penny, and they soon dropped out and clapped heartily with the rest.

When Charles Svendt, later on, suggested another dance, Miss Penny bade him go and dance with one of the Sark girls.

“But I don’t want to dance with any of them.  Besides, I don’t know any of ’em, and I couldn’t talk to her if I did.”

“Oh yes, you can.  They all speak English.”

“Do they now?  It don’t sound like it.  Come on, Miss Penny.  They wouldn’t enjoy it and I wouldn’t enjoy it, and I never enjoyed anything so much in my life as that last round.”

So Hennie took pity on him, and they danced many times amid great applause.

“Awfully good of you!” said Charles Svendt, as the dawn came peeping in through the east windows and the open front door; and Mrs. Carre, as Mistress of the Ceremonies, and a very tired one at that, bluffly informed the company that it was time to go home.

“I’ve enjoyed it immensely,” said Hennie Penny, and if her face was any index to her feelings, there was no mistake about it.

XX

None of them will ever forget that great day.

Still less is any of them likely to forget the day that followed.

As dancing only ceased when the sun was about rising, before-breakfast bathing was declared off for that day, and they arranged to meet later on and stroll quietly down to Dixcart Bay during the morning and all bathe together there.  Charles Svendt laughingly prepared them for an exhibition of incompetence by stating that his swimming wasn’t a patch on his dancing, but that he could get along.  Miss Penny gaily gave him points as to her own peculiar methods of swimming, which, as we know, demanded instant and easy touch of sand or stone at any moment of the halting progression.  He confessed to a like prejudice in favour of something solid within reach of his sinking capacity, and they agreed to help one another.

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