“No wonder he produced masterpieces,” said Graeme, delighting in it all. “The view alone is an inspiration.”
Then he took them up to Old Government House for lunch and a rest in the garden, and then away to the Arcade to the jeweller’s shop, which proved adequate to all his demands;—for Margaret, a half-hoop of diamonds which the jeweller, with an air of sincerity, assured them were as fine stones as he had ever seen in the course of a long and prosperous career. Which ring Margaret would thenceforth value before all her others, though in the simple matter of intrinsic worth her jewel-case could beat it hollow.—And a plain gold circlet which, when she got it, would be more precious to her than all the rest put together.—And for Miss Penny, in spite of her protestations, a handsome signet ring which, when cornered, she chose in preference to a more feminine jewel, and which was left to be engraved with her family crest and motto.
“I have never adopted the habit of rings,” she said, as they drifted towards the ice-shop. “Chiefly, perhaps, because I never had any worth wearing. But I’ve always thought I would like to wear a crest signet. I shall prize this, Mr. Graeme, as the very greatest treasure I have—”
“Until someone gives you a plain gold one, Hennie, and that will put all the rest into the shade,” said Margaret.
“Ah!” said Miss Penny.
Their journey home—that is, to Sark—that day was not entirely without incident. For when they got down to the quay, Sark had disappeared completely, and Herm and Jethou were no more than wan ghosts of their natural selves, in a dense white mist.
“Ah-ha! Here is our old friend of Tintageu,” said Graeme jovially. “Well, I must confess to bearing him no ill-feeling—if he doesn’t land us on a rock this time. Going, captain?”
“Oh yess, we go. I think it will lift,” said Captain Bichard.
“Don’t run us on a rock anyway.”
“I won’d run you on no rock. I coult smell my way across;” and they started, feeling their way cautiously past Castle Cornet, into the open, where black jaws lined with white teeth lie in wait for the unwary.
And just as they got to the south of Jethou they saw a sight the like of which none of them had ever seen before, nor, from the exclamations about them, had any of the rest.
The mist in front was like a soft white curtain, and upon it, straight ahead of their bows, appeared suddenly a mighty silver bow, not a rainbow, because there was no rain and so there were no colours. But, like the bow they had seen from Beleme Cliff, this also was a perfect circle, all but a tiny segment where it appeared to rest upon the sea, and its only colour was a dazzling silvery sheen which waxed as they watched it in breathless silence. Then it waned, bit by bit, till at last it was gone, and only the white mist curtain remained.