Catching sight of the bewildered beauty of poor Anna, and the no less bewildered dignity of Herr Kreutzer, being dazzled by the former, as was everyone in sight, and being quite as anxious to make friends among prospective German citizens as among those of his own country (a German vote is likely to be useful, now and then, on Mulberry Street) he offered her a cup, and, as she took it automatically, would have poured some wine into it with a gallant smile. Kreutzer took the cup out of her hand and passed it back to him.
“Bitte,” he said, calmly. “I thank you. My daughter does not care for wine.”
Moresco, angered, gave him a black scowl and took the cup.
“By Jove,” said the youth who had, upon the dock, picked up Herr Kreutzer’s bag. He was standing on the promenade-deck, above, beside his very, very stately mother, who, over-dressed and full of scorn for the whole world, was complaining because her doctor’s orders had suggested traveling upon so slow and old a ship. “There’s that stunning little German girl down there. Isn’t she a picture? Gee! Her old man wouldn’t let her drink with that black dago—not that she wanted to. But bully for Professor Pretzel!” “How very vulgar!” said his mother, looking down at the small, animated scene before her with disfavor. “Mere immigrants.”
“I s’pose our folks were, sometime,” John Vanderlyn replied. “But isn’t she a corker, mother?”
“John, your language is too shocking! Please see about our deck-chairs,” Mrs. Vanderlyn replied.
Under a brilliant summer sky the ocean heaved in mighty swells. Anna, on one of the most delightful mornings of this ideal voyage to America, found the port side of the ship unpleasant, because of the sun’s brilliance. From every tiny facet of the water, which a brisk breeze crinkled, the light flashed at her eyes with the quick vividness of electric sparks, and almost blinded her. Not even her graceful, slender, and (surprising on that steerage-deck) beautifully white hand, now curved against her brow, could so shade her vision as to enable her to look upon the sea in search of the far sail which the lookout in the crow’s nest had just reported to the bridge in a long, droning hail. Her curiosity in the passing stranger had been aroused by the keen interest which the more fortunately situated, on the promenade-deck, above, had shown by crowding to their rail. They were, as she could see from her humbler portion of the ship, talking of the far craft interestedly; but from her station, owing either to its lack of altitude or to the more dazzling glitter of the sea, due to the differing angle of her vision, she failed to catch a glimpse of it. The glare made her give up the search.