It was a day for forgettin’ things, though. Ever sailed up the Scotty River on a perfect August day, with the sun on the green hills, a sea breeze tryin’ to follow the tide in, and the white gulls swingin’ lazy overhead? It’s worth doin’. Then back again, roundin’ Ocean Point about sunset, with the White Islands all tinted up pink off there, and the old Atlantic as smooth as a skatin’ rink as far out as you can see, and streaked with more colors than a crazy cubist can sling,—some peaceful picture.
But what a jar to find Aunty, grim and forbidding waitin’ on the dock. She never says a word until we’d landed and everyone but me had started for the house. Then I got mine.
“Boy,” says she icy, “take off that hat!”
I does it reluctant.
“Humph!” says she. “William! I thought so.” That’s all; but she says it mighty expressive.
The programme for the followin’ day included a ten o’clock start, and I’d been down to the boat ever since breakfast, tidyin’ things up and sort of wonderin’. About nine-fifteen, though, young Hollister comes wanderin’ down by his lonesome.
“It’s all off,” says he. “Miss Verona and her aunt have gone.”
“Eh?” says I, gawpin’. “Gone?”
“Early this morning,” says he. “I don’t quite understand why; something about Verona’s being out on the water so much, I believe. Gone to the mountains. And—er—by the way, Tucker is around again. Here he comes now.”
“He gets the jumper, then,” says I, peelin’ it off. “I guess I’m due back on Broadway.”
“It’s mighty good of you to help out,” says Payne, “and I—I want to do the right thing in the way of——”
“You have,” says I. “You’ve helped me have the time of my life. Put up the kale, Hollister. If you’ll land me at the Harbor, I’ll call it square.”
He don’t want to let it stand that way; but I insists. As I climbs out on the Yacht Club float, where he’d picked me up, he puts out his hand friendly.
“And, say,” says I, “how about Miss Vee?”
“Why,” says he, “I’m very sorry she couldn’t stay longer.”
“Me too,” says I. “Some girl, eh?”
Payne nods hearty, and we swaps a final grip.
Well, it was great! My one miscue was not wearin’ a wig.
CUTTING IN ON THE BLISS
We thought it was all over too. That’s the way it is in plays and books, where they don’t gen’rally take ’em beyond the final clinch, leavin’ you to fill in the bliss ad lib. But here we’d seen ’em clear through the let-no-man-put-asunder stage, even watched ’em dodge the rice and confetti in their dash to the limousine.
“Thank goodness that’s through with!” remarks Mother, without makin’ any bones of it.
Course, her reg’lar cue was to fall on Father’s neck and weep; but, then, I expect Mrs. Cheyne Ballard’s one of the kind you can’t write any form sheet for. She’s a lively, bunchy little party, all jump and go and jingle, who looks like she might have been married herself only day before yesterday.