Grimsby was late in coming, and when he did at length arrive, it was almost noon. He carried a small grip in his hand, which he placed upon the deck, and went down into the cabin where Eben was preparing dinner.
“Hello,” he accosted. “Thought I was never coming, I s’pose?”
Eben grinned as he turned from the frying-pan where several pieces of bacon were sizzling. He had always liked Grimsby, and the thought of the ten dollars made him more friendly than ever.
“Guess yer in time fer dinner, Gabe,” he replied.
“Yer always on time fer that, eh?”
“Indeed I am. My! that bacon smells good. And what bread! Did your mother make it?”
“No, Flo cooked that. She certainly does know how to make bread. But, fall to, now, an’ help yerself. This bacon’s done.”
A gentle breeze favoured the “Eb and Flo” as she left her wharf, ran up through the Narrows, and headed out into Grand Bay. It was a perfect summer afternoon, and Grimsby, seated on deck, with his back against the cabin, smoked a cigar to his heart’s content. It was a Club Special he was smoking, a rare treat to him. But with so much money in his pocket, he had indulged himself that morning by buying a box of his favourite brand. He felt very prosperous, and contented with himself and the whole world.
“Did ye ever smoke?” he asked Eben, who was standing at the wheel.
“Naw. I tried it once, but it made me sick. Dad licked me fer it, too.”
“My, ye miss a lot in life,” and Grimsby gave a sigh of satisfaction as he blew a cloud of smoke into the air. “Smoking is a great soother of the nerves, it certainly is.”
“Ma doesn’t like terbaccer,” Eben volunteered. “She says it smells up the house awful. Flo says she’ll never marry a man who smokes.”
“She won’t, eh?” and Grimsby laughed outright. “I s’pose she’ll make her husband buy her chocolates instead.”
“Most likely. Flo’s mighty fond of choc’lates. She’d eat ’em all the time if she could git ’em. She’s allus beggin’ me to bring her a box every time we come from the city.”
“She’s just like all girls; they like sweet things. That’s the reason, I guess, they like me. I’m always sweet with the girls. It pays. Hand me that grip, will yon? I want to show you something I’ve got for a pretty girl.”
Eben reached over, and handed the grip to Grimsby. The latter slowly opened it, and brought forth a box, wrapped up in paper. He untied the string, and held forth a box of chocolates for Eben’s inspection.