“Mr. Donaster is a gentleman, and the son of a gentleman, so you must not refer to him in such an offensive manner. I absolutely forbid it.”
“He may be a gentleman according to the standard of some, but not according to mine. He is nothing but an unbearable cad, and with no more character than a jelly-fish. And to think of my having to put up with a thing like that for the rest of my life. Why, I would rather be dead.”
“It would be almost a relief to me if you were,” and Mrs. Randall gave a deep sigh of despair. “A daughter as wilful as you will only bring disgrace upon her parents.”
“I am surprised at your saying such a thing,” the girl replied. “One would almost imagine you are not my mother at all, you are so heartless. Would a real mother be willing to sacrifice her only daughter?”
Mrs. Randall gave a sudden start, and looked keenly into the eyes of the girl standing so defiantly before her. “Does she suspect anything?” she asked herself. Then she gave a nervous laugh, and resumed her seat.
“Leave me alone now,” she ordered. “I see it is no use talking to you any more to-night, you are so unreasonable and headstrong. Your father will have to take you in hand. He will soon knock this nonsense out of your head. He is determined that you shall marry Mr. Donaster, and you might as well make up your mind to that first as last.”
“Mother, I shall go now. But let me tell you, as I shall tell daddy, that nothing on earth can make me marry the man I do not love.”
“Tut, tut. Love has nothing to do with marriages these days,” Mrs. Randall impatiently replied. “There is no such a thing as love in marriage, it is merely a matter of convenience.”
“If I believed that, I should never marry, mother.”
“And don’t you?”
“Indeed I do not.”
“What do you know about love?”
“I know, perhaps, more than you think.” The girl’s face was now deeply flushed, and this her mother noted.
“Jess, what is the meaning of this? Is there someone else in whom you are interested besides Mr. Donaster? Tell me. I must know the truth at once. It is no use trying to conceal it from me.”
The girl’s eyes dropped, and she turned her face partly away to hide her emotion.
“In Mr. Donaster I am not even interested,” she confessed. “But in another, I am more than interested, for I love him with my whole heart. There, you now know the truth, and so you can say and do what you like. Goodnight.”
Without another word, the girl turned and hurried out of the room, leaving her mother speechless with anger and amazement.
The “Eb an’ Flo”
Just how it happened Samuel Tobin, owner and captain of the “Eb and Flo,” was never able to explain with any degree of clearness. He knew that he was on his knees, scrubbing the floor of the little cabin and humming