Philip’s instinct was right and kindly.
He had provided a counter wound to dwarf, at saving intervals, the sting of Aunt Agatha’s frightened revelation. Thereafter, the memory of Philip’s loyal rebuke was to trouble her sorely, temper a little the old intolerance and arouse her keen remorse. The consciousness that Philip disapproved was quite enough.
With a sudden gesture of solicitude, Diane touched the sleeve of his shirt. It was very wet.
“Philip!” she exclaimed, springing to her feet. “We must go back.”
“Lord,” said Philip lazily, “that’s nothing at all. I’m a hydro-aviator.”
She glanced wistfully up into his face.
“You’re right about Carl,” she said. “I’m very sorry.”
Philip felt suddenly that it behooved him to remember a certain resolution.
Later, as he hurried through the rainy wood to his own camp, where the Baron sat huddled in the Indian wagon in a state of deep disgust about the rain, he halted where the trees were thick and lighted his pipe.
“There’s the Baron’s aeroplane at St. Augustine,” he said. “We can go there in the morning. And the old chief will know. His memory’s good for half a century.” Philip flung away his match. “But I can’t for the life of me see which is the lesser of the two evils. If her mother wasn’t married, it was bad enough, of course. But with Theodomir a crown prince—it’s worse if she was!”
And a little later with a sigh—
“A princess! God bless my soul, with my spread-eagle tastes I shouldn’t know in the least what to do with her!”
Huddled in the Indian wagon, the Baron and his secretary talked until daybreak.
“THE MARSHES OF GLYNN”
For the rides over the sun-hot plains, the poling of cypress canoes, the days of hunting and the tanning of hides, there was now a third of fearless strength and endurance. Keela had come with the Mulberry Moon to the home of her foster father, a presence of delicate gravity and shyness which pervaded the lodge like the breath of some vivid wild flower.
“Red-winged Blackbird,” said Carl, one morning, laying aside the flute which had been showering tranquil melody through the quiet beneath the moss-hung oaks, “why are you so quiet?”
“I am ever quiet,” said Red-winged Blackbird with dignity. “Mic-co says it is better so.”
“Mic-co only understands, and even to him I may not always talk.” She went sedately on with the modeling of clay, her slender hands swift, graceful, unfaltering. Mic-co’s lodge abounded in evidences of their deftness.
“You have more grace,” said Carl suddenly, “than any woman I have ever known.”
“Diane!” said Keela with charming and impartial acquiescence.
“Yes, Diane has it, too,” assented Carl, and fell thoughtful, watching Mic-co’s snowy herons flap tamely about the lodge.