The child’s expression as she looked up at the admiral made him apprehend another rush.
“Steady, Jewel, steady. Remember we aren’t wearing our bathing-suits. Which are we going to do, row or sail?”
“Oh, sail,” cried the child, “and it’ll never be the first time again! Could you wait while I get Anna Belle?”
Like a flash Jewel sprang from the boat and fled up the wharf and lawn.
Mr. Evringham smiled and shook his head at his daughter. “A creature of fire and dew,” he said.
“I don’t know how to thank you for all your goodness to her,” said Julia simply.
“It would offend me to be thanked for anything I did for Jewel,” he returned.
“I understand. She is your own flesh and blood. But what I feel chiefly grateful for is the wisdom of your kindness. I believe you will never spoil her. I should rather we had remained poor and struggling than to have that.”
Mr. Evringham gave the speaker a direct look in which appeared a trace of humor.
“I think I am slightly inclined,” he returned, “to overlook the fact that you and Harry have any rights in Jewel which should be respected; but theoretically I do acknowledge them, and it is going to be my study not to spoil her. I have an idea that we couldn’t,” he added.
“Oh, yes, we could,” returned Julia, “very easily.”
“Well, there aren’t quite enough of us to try,” said the broker. “I believe while we’re waiting for Jewel, I’ll just step up to the house and get some one to send that telegram to Harry.”
“Oh, yes!” exclaimed Julia eagerly; and in a minute she was left alone, swaying up and down on the lapping water, in the salt, sunny breeze, while the JEWEL pulled at the mooring as if eager to try its snowy wings; and happy were the grateful, prayerful thoughts that swelled her heart.
One stormy evening Harry Evringham blew into the farmhouse, wet from his drive from the station, and was severally hugged, kissed, and shaken by the three who waited eagerly to receive him. The month that ensued was perhaps the happiest that had ever come into the lives of either of the quartette; certainly it was the happiest period to the married pair who had waited ten years for their wedding trip.
The days were filled with rowing, sailing, swimming, riding, driving, picnics, walks, talks, and dolce far niente evenings, when the wind was still and the moon silvered field and sea.
The happy hours were winged, the goldenrod strewed the land with sunshine, and August slipped away.
One morning when Jewel awoke it was with a sensation that the day was important. She looked over at Anna Belle and shook her gently. “Wake up, dearie,” she said. “‘Green pastures are before me,’ it’s my birthday.”