There was little sleep for Becky that night. The storm tore around the tiny house, but its foundations were firm, and it did not shake. The wind whistled as if the wooden figure in the front yard had suddenly come to life and was madly making up for the silence of a half-century.
So George had followed her. He had found her out, and there was no way of escape. She would have to see him, hear him. She would have to set herself against the charm of that quick voice, those sparkling eyes. There would be no one to save her now. Randy was far away. She must make her fight alone.
She turned restlessly. Why should she fight? What, after all, did George mean to her? A chain of broken dreams? A husk of golden armor? Georgie-Porgie—who had kissed and run away.
She was listless at breakfast. The storm was over, and the Admiral was making plans for a picnic the next day to Altar Rock. “Hot coffee and lobster sandwiches, and a view of the sea on a day like this.”
Becky smiled. “Grandfather,” she said, “I believe you are happy because you keep your head in the stars and your feet on the ground.”
“What’s the connection, my dear?”
“Well, lobster sandwiches and a view of the sea. So many people can’t enjoy both. They are either lobster-sandwich people, or view-of-the-sea people.”
“Which shows their limitations,” said the Admiral, promptly; “the people of Pepys’ time were eloquent over a pigeon pie or a poem. The good Lord gave us both of them. Why not?”
It was after breakfast that a note was brought to Becky. The boy would wait.
“I am here,”
George wrote, “and I shall stay until I see you.
put me off. Don’t shut your heart against me. I am very unhappy.
May I come?”
She wrote an immediate answer. She would see him in the afternoon. The Admiral would be riding over to Nantucket. He had some business affairs to attend to—a meeting at the bank. Jane would be busy in her kitchen with the baking. The coast would be clear. There would be no need, if George came in the afternoon, to explain his presence.
Having dispatched her note, and with the morning before her, she was assailed by restlessness. She welcomed Archibald Cope’s invitation from the adjoining porch. He sang it in the words of the old song,
“Madam, will you walk!
Madam, will you talk?
Madam, will you walk and talk
“Where shall we go?”
She loved the walk to the lighthouse. In the spring there was Scotch broom on the bluffs—yellow as gold, with the blue beyond. In summer wild roses, deep pink, scenting the air with their fresh fragrance. But, perhaps, she loved it best on a day like this, with the breakers on the beach below, racing in like white horses, and with the winter gulls, dark against the brightness of the morning.