“Is it possible that it was empty, miss?”
“I used it and forgot to ring for more.”
All this in the dark.
Thomas hurried away, wishing he could find some magic
spring on board.
For what purpose he could not have told.
As for Kitty, she remained standing by the door, profoundly astonished.
Third day out.
Kitty smiled at the galloping horizon; smiled at the sunny sky; smiled at the deck-steward as he served the refreshing broth; smiled at the tips of her sensible shoes, at her hands, at her neighbors: until Mrs. Crawford could contain her curiosity no longer.
“Kitty Killigrew, what have you been doing?”
“Well, going to do?”—shrewdly.
Kitty gazed at her friend in pained surprise, her blue eyes as innocent as the sea—and as full of hidden mysterious things. “Good gracious! can’t a person be happy and smile?”
“Happy I have no doubt you are; but I’ve studied that smile of yours too closely not to be alarmed by it.”
“Well, what does it say?”
Kitty did not reply to this, but continued smiling—at space this time.
On the ship crossing to Naples in February their chairs on deck had been together; they had become acquainted, and this acquaintance had now ripened into one of those intimate friendships which are really sounder and more lasting than those formed in youth. Crawford had heard of Killigrew as a great and prosperous merchant, and Killigrew had heard of Crawford as a millionaire whose name was very rarely mentioned in the society pages of the Sunday newspapers. Men recognize men at once; it doesn’t take much digging. Before they arrived in Naples they had agreed to take the Sicilian trip together, then up Italy, through France, to England. The scholar and the merchant at play were like two boys out of school; the dry whimsical humor of the Scotsman and the volatile sparkle of the Irishman made them capital foils.
Killigrew dropped his Rodney Stone.
“Say, Crawford,” he began, “after seeing ten thousand saints in ten thousand cathedrals, since February, I’d give a hundred dollars for a ringside ticket to a scrap like that one,”—indicating the volume on his knee.
Crawford lay back and laughed.
“Well,” said his wife, with an amused smile, “why don’t you say it?”
“‘So would I!’”
“Men are quite hopeless,” sighed Mrs. Killigrew, when the laughter had subsided.
“You oughtn’t object to a good shindy, Molly,” slyly observed her husband. “You’ll never forgive me that black eye.”
“I’ll never forgive the country you got it in,”—grimly. “But what’s the harm in a good scrap between two husky fellows, trained to a hair to slam-bang each other?”