She said again, as she gave him her hand at parting, “I’m sorry.”
His laugh was not pleasant. “You’ll be sorrier if you marry Paine.”
“No,” she said, and he carried away with him the look which came into her eyes as she said it, “No, if I marry Randy I shall not be sorry.”
Randy, arriving on the evening boat, caught the ’bus, and found the Admiral in it.
“It’s Randy Paine,” he said, as he climbed in and sat beside the old gentleman.
“My dear boy, God bless you. Becky will be delighted.”
“I was in New York,” was Randy’s easy explanation, “and I couldn’t resist coming up.”
“We read your story, and Mrs. Prime told us how the editor received it. You are by way of being famous, my boy.”
“Well, it’s mighty interesting, sir,” said young Randy.
It was late when they reached the little town, but the west was blood-red above the ridge, with the moor all darkling purple.
Becky was not in the house. “I saw her go down to the beach,” Jane told them.
“In what direction?” Randy asked; “I’ll go after her.”
“She sometimes sits back of the blue boat,” said Jane, “when there’s a wind. But if you don’t find her, Mr. Paine, she’ll be back in time for supper. I told her not to be late. I am having raised rolls and broiled fish, and Mr. and Miss Cope are coming.”
“I’ll find her,” said Randy, and was off.
The moon was making a path of gold across the purple waters, and casting sharp shadows on the sand. The blue boat, high on the beach, had lost its color in the pale light. But there was no other boat, so Randy went towards it. And as he went, he gave the old Indian cry.
Becky, wrapped in her red cape, deep in thoughts of the thing that had happened in the afternoon, heard the cry and doubted her ears.
It came again.
“Randy,” she breathed, and stood up and saw him coming. She ran towards him. “Oh, Randy, Randy.”
She came into his arms as if she belonged there. And he, amazed but rapturous, received her, held her close.
“Oh, oh,” she whispered, “you don’t know how I have wanted you, Randy.”
“It is nothing to the way that I have wanted you, my dear.”
“Really, my sweet.”
The moon was very big and bright. It showed her face white as a rose-leaf against his coat. He scarcely dared to breathe, lest he should frighten her. They stood for a moment in silence, then she said, simply, “You see, it was you, after all, Randy.”
“Yes,” he said, “I see. But when did you find it out?”
“This afternoon. Let’s sit down here out of the wind behind the boat, and I’ll tell you about it——”
But he was not ready yet to let her go. “To have you here—like this.”
[Illustration: “OH, OH,” SHE WHISPERED, “YOU DON’T KNOW HOW I HAVE WANTED YOU”]