“Come on, an’ let’s have supper,” he ordered. “I’m ’most starved. One would think from the way you two talk that thar is a menagerie over the way. I don’t care how many girls John has.”
“But I care,” his wife retorted. “And what’s more, I’m going over this very night to see her myself. You are away from home so much, Sam’l, that you see people and have a good time. But with me it’s different. I have to stay right here week in and week out, and see nothing but the same things and the same people. It isn’t very often we have a visitor here, especially at the Hamptons. Yes, I’m going over to see and hear what I can.”
“Yer right, Martha,” the captain agreed. “Ye sartinly do need a change, an’ as I told ye comin’ from the shore ye must take that trip to Fredericton. It’ll do ye a world of good. Flo kin come with me fer a trip, an’ it’ll be nice to have her to look after things an’ cook fer us.”
“And leave another comb to give you trouble, daddy,” the girl replied, while her eyes twinkled with merriment.
“Sure, sure, I don’t mind how many combs ye leave, so long as yer mother lets me alone afterwards.”
When supper was ended, Mrs. Tobin rose from the table.
“Come, Sam’l, fix yourself up,” she ordered, “and let us go over to see that girl.”
“But I’m not goin’,” the captain protested. “I’m not anxious to see her an’ John spoonin’. I want to stay right here at home, an’ have a quiet smoke all to meself. You an’ Flo go along. I’ll look after the dishes.”
“Indeed you won’t stay, Sam’l. You’re going, too. You haven’t seen Mrs. Hampton for some time, and it’s good for you to be neighbourly. She won’t like it one bit if you don’t come. So hurry up with your smoke, and then get ready.”
“Fiddlesticks!” the captain growled as he hunted for his pipe. “I haven’t been home fer days, and then when I do git here ye hustle me right away agin.”
“And you wouldn’t be here now if I hadn’t brought you,” was the retort. “You’re getting more obstinate every day, Sam’l Tobin. I don’t know what’s coming over you.”
“Sense, Martha, jist common sense. I’m seein’ things in a new light. Every time I come home ye keep naggin’ so much at me that I’m always glad when I git on board the boat agin. I wish to goodness I was thar now. Wonder how Eben’s makin’ out.”
“Most likely he’s asleep,” Flo laughingly replied. “I’d like to go on board and surprise him. Wouldn’t it be fun? May I, mother? You and daddy go to Mrs. Hampton’s without me.”
“Indeed you’ll do no such a thing,” her mother sharply replied. “We don’t want another drowning accident here like that one at Benton’s wharf.”
“But I don’t want to drown myself, mother. I’m not like that poor unfortunate girl. She was running away from a man who wanted to marry her. Do you think I’d do such a foolish thing as that? Indeed I wouldn’t. I wish that Lord Somebody-or-other would come my way. I’m sure I wouldn’t drown myself to get clear of him. He wouldn’t get rid of me so easily. I wonder what it feels like to have a Lord’s son in love with you. I think it would be great.”