“We’re not through them yet then?”
“Through? Bless me no, we’re only just starting, but there’s no use hurrying. Tide’s right, and we have plenty of time.”
“I feel as if I’d been lost and found again,” said Miss Penny. “If Mr. Pixley comes along we’ll induce him in here and leave him to find his way out.”
“It would take more than you to get Mr. Pixley in here, Hennie,” said Margaret quietly. “He’d never venture off the roads, even if he risked his life in reaching Sark. He’s much too careful of himself.”
“He thinks a good deal more of himself than I do,” said Miss Penny. “With all deference to you, Meg, since he’s a relative, I consider him a jolly old humbug.”
The days were packed with enjoyment for Graeme; not less for Miss Penny; nor—illuminated and titillated with a conposed expectancy as to whither all this might be leading her—for Margaret herself.
Graeme took the joyful burden of their proper entertainment entirely on his own shoulders. He reaped in full now the harvest of his lonely wanderings, and compared those former gloomy days with these golden ones with a heart so jubilant that the light of it shone in his eyes and in his face, and made him fairly radiant.
“That young man grows handsomer every day,” was Miss Penny’s appreciative comment, in the privacy of hair-brushing.
Margaret expressed no opinion.
“I thought him uncommonly good-looking as soon as I set eyes on him, but he’s growing upon me. I do hope, for his sake, that I shan’t fall in love with him.”
And at that a tiny gleam of a smile hovered for a moment in the curves of Margaret’s lips, behind the silken screen of her hair.
No trouble was too great for him if it added to their pleasure. He provisioned their expeditions with lavish discrimination. He forgot nothing,—not even the salt. He carried burdens and kindled fires for the boiling of kettles, and saw to their comfort and more, in every possible way. He assisted them up and down steep places, and Margaret’s hand grew accustomed to the steady strength of his. She came to look for the helping hand whenever the ways grew difficult. At times she—yes, actually, she caught herself grudging Hennie-Penny what seemed to her too long an appropriation of it.
Never surely were the beauties of Sark seen under happier auspices, or through eyes attuned to more lively appreciation. For love-lit eyes see all things lovely, and no more perfect loveliness of sea and rock and flower and sky may be found than such as go to the making of this little isle of Sark.
He guided their more active energies through the anemone-studded and sponge-fringed caves under the Gouliots; through the long rough-polished, sea-scoured passages of the Boutiques; down the seamed cliffs at Les Fontaines and Grande Greve; along the precarious tracks and iron rings into Derrible; with the assistance of a rope, into Le Pot. And for rest-times they spent long delightful afternoons sitting among the blazing gorse cushions of the Eperquerie, and on that great rock that elbows Tintageu into the waves, and looks down on the one side on Port du Moulin and the Autelets, and on the other into Pegane Bay and Port a la Jument.