“How very lovely!” murmured Margaret.
“A good omen for certain,” said Miss Penny. “Even Johnnie Vautrin couldn’t make any ill news out of that. It was your wedding arch, Meg.”
“Well, that’s the first time I ever saw a white rainbow,” said Graeme to the captain.
“First time I ever saw one myself, sir.”
“Not very common then.”
“Never heard of one before.”
“We’re evidently in luck.”
“Mebbe, but we won’t crow till we’ve made the Creux. Kip your eyes skinned, lads!”
“Ay, ay, zur!” and the crew lined the bulwarks on their knees, with their chins on the rail, their eyes peering into the puzzling veil in front, and their ears alert for the wash of wave on rock.
They were going slow, hardly moving in fact at times, waiting to pick up their course as any possible mark should come into view, with muttered comments from the puzzled lookouts, and an occasional growl of dissent from views propounded by the younger members, while the passengers all stood in silent discomfort as though ready for contingencies.
For the tides and currents in those seas are strange and gruesome. Even as they lay, apparently motionless, with the sea as smooth as oil all round them, there came a sudden turmoil, and they were in a wild race of waters, with bubbling coils and swirls and frothing gouts of foam from rocks that lay fathoms deep below.
“La Grune,” growled one of the keen-eyed watchers, and was discounted at once by doubtful growls from the rest.
Then a black ledge loomed through the mist and faded again before they had more than a glimpse of it.
“Les Dents,” ventured one.
“Hautes Boues,”—so divergent were their views.
A sound of waters and another dark loom of rock.
“Sercul,” said one.
“L’Etac,” said another.
Then the engine bell tanged sharply, and they went ahead. The captain had seen more than the rest and knew where he was, and they all breathed more freely. And presently, with a wide berth to the dangers of the south-east coast, they nosed slowly in again, picked up La Conchee without dissentients, and so into Creux Harbour in a way that seemed to Graeme little short of marvellous.
“Fogs at sea are beastly—there is no other word for it—but all the same I’m glad we saw the Wedding-Bow,” said Miss Penny.
They had fixed on the Wednesday following the last time of asking, for their wedding-day. But when they came to discuss the matter with Mrs. Carre, it was found that an alteration would be necessary.
“Ah, but that will not do,” said their landlady, who was in high feather at so unique an event taking place in her cottage, so to speak, though, as a matter of fact, the festivities were to be carried out within the ampler precincts of the Red House. “You see, old Mr. Hamon he iss died very sudden—”