Becky laughed. “If you had sailor blood in you, you wouldn’t feel that way. Ask Grandfather.”
“The Admiral is prejudiced. He loves—the siren——”
“He would tell you that the sea isn’t a siren. It’s a bold, blustering lass like the Whistling Sally out there in the front yard. Man has tamed her even if he hasn’t quite mastered her.”
“He will never master her. She will go on and on, after we are dead, through the ages, wooing men to—destruction——”
Becky shivered. “I hate to think of things—after we are dead.”
“Do you? I don’t. I like to think way beyond the ages to the time when there shall be no more sea——”
He pulled himself up abruptly. “I am talking rather dismally, I am afraid, about death and destruction. You won’t want to walk with me again.”
“Oh, yes, I shall. And I want to see your pictures.”
“You may not care for them. Lots of people don’t. But I have to work in my own way——”
As they walked back, he told her what he was trying to do. As she listened, Becky seemed to have two minds, one that caught his words, and answered them, and another which went back and back to the things which had happened since she had last walked this bluff with the wind in her face and the sound of the sea in her ears.
It seemed to her as if a lifetime had elapsed since last she had looked at the Sankaty light.
When Becky wrote to Randy, she had a great deal to say about Archibald Cope.
“He is trying to paint the moor. He wants to get its meaning, and then make other people see what it means. He doesn’t look in the least like that, Randy—as if he were finding the spirit of things. He has red hair and wears correct clothes, and says the right things, and you feel as if he ought to be in Wall Street buying bonds. But here he is, refusing to believe that anything he has done is worth while until he does it to his own satisfaction.
“We walked to Tom Never’s Head yesterday. It was one of those clear silver days, a little cloudy and without much color. The cranberries are ripe, and the moor was carpeted with them. When we got to Tom Never’s we sat on the edge of the bluff, and Mr. Cope told me what he meant about the moor. It has its moods, he said. On a quiet, cloudy morning, it is a Quaker lady. With the fog in, it is a White Spirit. There are purple twilights when it is—Cleopatra, and windy nights with the sun going down blood-red, when it is—Medusa—— He says that the trouble with the average picture is that it is just—paint. I am not sure that I understand it all, but it is terribly interesting. And when he had talked a lot about that, he talked of the history of the island. He said that he should never be satisfied until somebody put a bronze statue of an Indian right where we stood, with his back to the sea. And