“Why should I know?” she enquired, “and what reason have you for asking me such a question?”
Mr. Sinclair, however, did not deign to make any explanation, but puffed away at his cigar. Lois took this as a direct insult and started to leave the table. She wished to get away by herself that she might think it all over.
“And where does old Crazy David come in?” her father asked. “What interest has he in that concern?”
“I have not the slightest idea,” Lois impatiently replied. “Why do you expect me to understand such things?”
“But you should know. You see that old man every day, and are so interested in his welfare. Surely he must have told you something, and if he did not you should have tried to find out. Remember, you are my daughter, and my interest should be your first concern. Both you and Dick think that you have no responsibilities in life, and that I will always provide for you. If we are not careful that new company will put us out of business; so you two must do all you can to help me. Something must be done to cheek that concern and I want you to assist me. As it is, I am working in the dark and do not know what to expect next, or who are the ones working against me. Is it old David who is merely acting the part of a fool, or is it that young man who pretended to be a hired hand, who worked awhile for Simon Squabbles? There is something queer about the whole thing, and I am nearly crazy trying to puzzle it all out.”
To these words Lois made no reply. She quietly left the table and made her way out of the house and walked down to the shore. Here she felt more at home, and the stillness which reigned over land and water soothed her, bringing a restful peace to her heart and mind.
A good home, plenty of well-cooked food, and proper attention did much for old David. His strength, and health improved, and although he lost nothing of his interest in the falls, he was quite content to listen more to the sound drifting down the valley instead of visiting the place as often as formerly. The spot he liked best of all was the cosy corner on the verandah, just outside the window of his room. Here the vines clambered up over the sides, forming a shelter from the burning sun and a refuge from the wind when the days were cool.
Jasper was a frequent visitor at the Haven, and he was not slow to notice the change that had come over David. Hitherto the old man had been content to listen to the voice of the falls and utter brief and almost mystic words about what the water would do. But latterly he had given greater vent to his thoughts and enlarged upon the plans he had been revolving in his mind.