Three hundred blessed feet was the span of the Coupee. How fervently he wished them three thousand—ay, three million! For every step accorded him a throb, and heart-throbs such as these are among the precious things of life.
Neither of them spoke one word. Common-places were very much out of place, and the things that were in his heart he might not speak—yet.
“Didn’t I say so?” cried Miss Penny, as they stepped ashore on Little Sark. “It’s as easy as winking.”
“I never said it wasn’t,” said Margaret, with a deep breath. “But I doubt if you’d have come across alone, my child.”
“It was certainly pleasanter to have something to hold on to,” said Miss Penny.
And Graeme thought so too.
Little Sark provides ample opportunity for the adventurous scrambler, and Graeme, having tested the novel sensation of those delicious heart-thrills, was eager for more.
They prowled round the old silver mines, and sat on the great rocks at Port Gorey which had in those olden times served for a jetty, while he told them how Peter Le Pelley had mortgaged the island to further his quest after the silver, and how a whole ship-load of it sank within a stone’s throw of the place where they sat, and with it the Seigneur’s hopes and fortunes.
They peered into the old houses and down the disused shafts, lined now with matted growth of ivy and clinging ferns,—the bottomless pits into which the Le Pelley heritage had disappeared. Then he took them for mild refection to Mrs. Mollet’s cottage; and after a rest,—and with their gracious permission, a pipe,—he led them across to the wild south walls of the island, with their great chasms and fissures and tumbled strata, their massive pinnacles, and deep narrow inlets and tunnels where the waves champed and roared in everlasting darkness.
The dogs harried the rabbits untiringly, Punch in long lithe bounds that were a joy to behold; Scamp in panting hysterics which gave over-ample warning of his coming and precluded all possibilities of capture.
Graeme led them down the face of the cliff fronting L’Etac, the great rock island that was once a part of Little Sark itself.
“Once upon a time there was a Coupee across here,” he said. “Some time our Coupee will disappear and Little Sark will be an island also.”
“Not before we get back, I hope,” said Miss Penny.
“Not before we get back, I hope,” said Graeme, for would he not hold Margaret’s hand again on the homeward journey?
Down the cliff, along white saw-teeth of upturned veins of quartz, with Margaret’s hand in his, then back for Miss Penny, till they sat looking down into a deep dark basin, almost circular: lined with the most lovely pink and heliotrope corallines: studded with anemones, brown and red and green: every point and ledge decked with delicately-fronded sea-ferns and mosses: and the whole overhung with threatening masses of rock.