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The Queen's Cup eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 332 pages of information about The Queen's Cup.

“Yes, she is a nice-looking boat,” Bertha agreed, “and if her sails were white and her ropes neat and trim, she would look like a yacht, except for those big yards.”

“Her skipper must be a lubber to have the ropes hanging about like that.  Of course, he may have had bad weather in crossing the bay, but if he had any pride in the craft, he might at least have got her into a good deal better trim while coming in from the Needles.  Still, all that could be remedied in an hour’s work, and certainly she is as pretty a trader as ever I saw.  How did your mother seem this afternoon, Bertha?”

“About the same, I think.  I don’t feel at all anxious about her, because I have often seen her like this before.  I think really, Frank, that she is quite well enough to go up to town; but she knows that I am enjoying myself so much that she does not like to take me away.  I have no doubt that she will find herself better by Saturday, when, you know, we arranged some time back that we would go up.  You won’t be long before you come, will you?”

“Certainly not.  Directly you have landed I shall take the Osprey to Gosport, and lay her up there.  I need not stop to see that done.  I can trust Hawkins to see her stripped and everything taken on shore; and, of course, the people at the yard are responsible for hauling her up.  I shall probably be in town the same evening; but, if you like, and think that your mother is only stopping for you, we will go across to Southampton at once.”

“Oh, no, I am sure that she would not like that; and I don’t want to lose my last three days here.  Of course, when we get home at the end of next week, and you are settled down there, too, you will be a great deal over at Greendale, but it won’t be as it is here.”

“Not by a long way.  However, we shall be able to look forward to the spring, Bertha, when I shall have you all to myself on board, and we shall go on a long cruise together; though I do think that it is ridiculous that I should have to wait until then.”

“Not at all ridiculous, sir.  You say that you are perfectly happy—­and everyone says that an engagement is the happiest time in one’s life—­and besides, it is partly your own fault; you have made me so fond of the Osprey that I have quite made up my mind that nothing could possibly be so nice as to spend our honeymoon on board her, and to go where we like, and to do as we like, without being bothered by meeting people one does not care for.  And, besides, if you should get tired of my company, we might ask Jack Harley and Amy to come to us for a month or so.”

“I don’t think that it will be necessary for us to do that,” he laughed.  “Starting as we shall in the middle of March, we shan’t find it too hot in the Mediterranean before we turn our head homewards; and I think we shall find plenty to amuse us between Gibraltar and Jaffa.”

“No, three months won’t be too much, Frank.  Tomorrow is the dinner at the clubhouse, isn’t it?”

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