“There, take that,” she said. “It’s a piece Jim left on the kitchen window-sill.”
“But is it right for me to take it?” David asked.
“Sure it’s right. Didn’t Jim agree to feed and lodge you for one year? You can’t live without tobacco. It’s a part of your food, see? If Jim says anything about it, I’ll soon settle him.”
“You are a good girl,” David returned, as with trembling hands he hastily whittled off a few slices of tobacco with an old knife, and filled his pipe. “This will put new life into me. I can never repay you for your kindness.”
ONE, AT LEAST, RINGS TRUE
With the small boat pulled well upon the beach, Lois Sinclair stood for a few moments looking out over the water. Her eyes were fixed upon a little boat in the distance containing two people, an old man and a young girl. The wind, which was steadily increasing, tossed her wavy, luxuriant hair over her brow, while several tresses fell across her cheeks, flushed by the recent rowing. She knew that she should be home, for supper would be waiting and her father would be impatient. But she hesitated. Her thoughts were out there on the water where she loved to be. The twang of the wind as it swept through the trees along the shore, and the beat of the surf upon the gravelly beach were music sweet to her ears.
At length, with one more lingering glance out upon the river, she turned and walked along a path leading from the shore. She moved slowly, for she was not at all anxious to reach the house situated about two hundred yards beyond. And yet it was an attractive house, well-built, and cosy in appearance, designed both for summer and winter use. A spacious verandah swept the front and ends, over which clambered a luxuriant growth of wild grape vines. Large trees of ash, elm, and maple spread their expansive branches over the well-kept lawn, providing an excellent shade when the sun was hot. Altogether, it was a most delightful spot to spend the summer months away from the smoke and confusion of the city.
The place, however, did not altogether appeal to Lois Sinclair. If she had needed rest, the situation would have been ideal. But it was activity she desired, and not luxurious ease such as so many crave, especially two young men lolling on the verandah awaiting her coming. Even though one was her brother, she could not restrain a feeling of contempt as she looked upon their white faces, soft hands, and immaculate clothes. Why should men, she asked herself, be so ready and willing to give themselves completely up to effeminate habits when their blood was hot within them, and the great Open was calling them with such a strong insistent voice?
The young woman’s arrival brought one of the young men to his feet, with the offer of a hammock.
“Please do not trouble yourself,” she told him. “I must hurry and get ready for dinner. I know that father is very angry with me.”