“As for hatin’, Tamsin,” he said gravely, “’tain’t right. Us shud love our neighbours, Scriptur’ says; an’ I reckon that includes tenants. I’ the matter o’ hes despisin’ us, I dunno as you’m right nuther. He’s fash’nubble, o’ cou’se; but very conformable, considerin’—very conformable. You bain’t sorry us let Kit’s House, eh, Tamsin? Not hankerin’—”
“I doubt, my dear, we’m poor hands to take care of ‘ee, Paul an’ me. Us talks et over togither at times, an’ agrees ‘twas wrong not to ha’ sent ‘ee away to school. Us got a whack o’ handbills down, wan time, from different places. You wudn’ believe et, my dear,” he went on, with something like a laugh, “but Paul an’ me a’most came to words over they handbills. ‘Tes a curious fac’, but at the places where they allowed most holidays, they was most partic’lar about takin’ your own spoon and fork, an’ Paul was a stickler agen that. Et grew to be a matter o’ prenciple wi’ Paul that wheriver you went you shudn’ take your own spoon and fork. So us niver came to no understandin’. I doubt ‘twas selfish an’ us can’t understand maidens an’ their ways; but say, my dear, ef there’s anything can be set right, an’ us’ll try—”
“No, no. Let me sit here beside you, and I shall be better presently.”
She drew a low stool to his side, and sat with her head against his knee, and her dark eyes watching the fire. Peter laid one hand gently on her hair, and wound the brown locks around his fingers.
“All right now?” he asked, after several minutes had passed with no sound but the ticking of the clock.
“All right beside you, brother. It is always all right beside you.”
HOW A LADY AND A YOUTH, BEING SEPARATED FROM THEIR COMPANY, VISITED A SHIP THAT HELD NOTHING BUT WATER.
Mr. Fogo and Paul performed the journey back to Kit’s House in silence; for Paul was yet wondering at his sister’s behaviour, and Mr. Fogo busy with thoughts he could hardly have interpreted. As they drew near the little quay, they discerned through the darkness, now fast creeping over the river, a boat pushed off by a solitary figure that jumped aboard and began to pull towards them.
“Ahoy, there!” It was Caleb’s voice.
“Ahoy, Caleb!” shouted Paul in answer; “anything wrong?”
“Have ’ee seen maaster?”
“Iss, an’ got un safe an’ sound.”
Caleb peered through the gloom and descried Mr. Fogo. Whatever relief this may have been to his feelings, it called forth no expression beyond a grunt. He turned his boat and pulled back in time to help his master ashore. Paul was dismissed with some words of thanks which he declared unnecessary. He would row back in Mr. Fogo’s boat, he said, if he might be allowed, and would bring her down in the early morning. With this and a hearty “Good-night” he left the pair to walk up to the house together.