[Illustration: With his back towards them sat the Admiral.]
“Hornaby!” This was the Admiral’s Christian name.
He turned and stared at her stupidly. The look was pitiful. She flung herself before him.
“Forgive me, Hornaby! I never thought—I mean, it was all a—”
“Practical joke,” suggested Sam.
“No, no. I meant to go, but I have come back. Hornaby, can you forgive me?”
He raised her up, and drew her towards him very tenderly.
“I—I thought it had killed me,” he muttered hoarsely. “Emily, I have treated you badly.”
Sam discreetly withdrew.
THAT A VERY LITTLE TEA MAY SUFFICE TO ELEVATE A MAN.
Next morning Mr. Fogo was aroused from sleep by the rattle of breakfast-cups, and the voice of Caleb singing below—
“O, Amble es a fine
town, wi’ ships in the bay,
An’ I wish wi’ my heart I was on’y there to-day;
I wish wi’ my heart I was far away from here,
A-sittin’ in my parlour, an’ a-talkin’ to my dear.”
This was Caleb’s signal for his master to rise; and he would pipe out his old sea-staves as long as Mr. Fogo cared to listen. Often, of an evening, the two would sit by the hour, Caleb trolling lustily with red cheeks, while his master beat time with his pipe stem, and joined feebly in the chorus—
“Then ’tes home,
dearie, home—O, ’tes home I wants
My tawps’les are h’isted, an’ I must out to sea.
Then ’tes home, dearie, home!”
Mr. Fogo arose and looked forth at the window. The morning was perfect; the air fresh with dew and the scent of awakening roses. Across the creek the old hull lay as peacefully as ever.
“I will explore it this very morning,” thought Mr. Fogo to himself.
The resolve was still strong as he descended to breakfast. Caleb was still singing—
“O, ef et be a lass,
she shall wear a goulden ring;
An’ ef et be a lad, he shall live to sarve hes king;
Wi’ hes buckles, an’ hes butes, an’ hes little jacket blue,
He shall walk the quarter-deck, as hes daddy used to do.
Then ’tes home—”
“Mornin’, sir, an’ axin’ your pardon for singin’ o’ Sunday. How be feelin’ arter et?—as Grace said to her cheeld when her rubbed in the cough-mixtur’ an’ made ’un swaller the lineament.”
“Do you mean after the ghost?”
“Iss, sir. There’s no dead body about, so ghost et were. I were a-thinkin’, wi’ your lave, sir, I’d go down to Troy to church this mornin’; I wants to be exercised a bit arter all this witchcraf’.”
Mr. Fogo wondered at this proposal to go to church for exercise, but readily granted leave. Nor was it until Caleb had departed that “exorcised” occurred to him as a varia lectio.