Elizabeth followed him, feeling very uncomfortable, and after standing for a moment in indecision, went over to him, and sitting down on his knee, put her arm round his neck, saying—
“You are not angry with me, are you? I didn’t think you would mind, or I wouldn’t have done it.”
“Oh! it’s quite immaterial to me, of course, who you send your love to.”
“She was my best friend when I was—in Arendal,” Elizabeth said, avoiding the mention of Beck’s name again.
“I don’t doubt you are on the best possible terms with all these people,” Salve said, impatiently, and making a movement as if he would get up from his seat.
It was Elizabeth who rose first.
“Salve!” she exclaimed, and was about to add more, when he pulled her down to him again, and said in a gentle tone of remorse—
“Forgive me, Elizabeth. I didn’t mean what I said. But I do so hate hearing you talk of these people.”
Elizabeth burst into tears, protesting against his want of confidence in her; and Salve, now thoroughly distressed at the result of his want of self-control, overwhelmed her with tenderness in his endeavours to appease her. He succeeded after a while, and the evening was passed in such sunshine as only succeeds to storm.
After a quarrel of the kind, however, there must be always something left behind, and though Salve was doubly affectionate for many days, afterwards he grew more and more silent, and presently even irritable and moody, and would not go to church on any of the succeeding Sundays while he remained at home.
Elizabeth carried out her intention of accompanying him to Amsterdam, where she paid a visit of several days to the Garvloits, and the pleasure of the trip was only alloyed for her by the change which had come over Salve’s manner, and to which she had now to try and accustom herself as one does to a less brilliant light after having seen the sun.
They were on their way home again, sailing before a light breeze, and under a soft blue sky, out of the busy, shallow Zuyder Zee. Elizabeth was sitting on deck with little Gjert, blooming as a rose, and asking animated questions of the pilot, whom they had been compelled to take on board, about the various flat sandy islands and towns which came in sight from time to time, Salve occasionally stopping in his walk to listen.
By Terschelling the channel from the Zuyder Zee to the North Sea is marked out like a narrow strait with black and red buoys; and even in that calm weather there were foaming breakers the whole way close to the ship on either side. “What must it be like,” Elizabeth asked, in a sort of terror, “in a storm, when the whole sea was driving in?”
“That is a sight it’s better not to see,” replied the pilot.
“But you have to be out, storm or not, pilot?”
“It is my way of getting a living,” he answered, shortly.