“I heard the dog.”
“Terry? I brought him to Judy, and left him outside so he wouldn’t startle the house. Where is my girl—where is she, Anne?”
“Oh, she’s in the library,” said Anne. “I’ll call her. Oh, how happy she will be! How happy she will be!” She sang it like a little song, as she flitted through the hall.
At the same moment the electric bell of the front door thrilled through the house, and the Captain opened the door quickly.
Preceded by a blast of wind, and the scurrying Terry-dog, Launcelot Bart came in. He stood irresolute as he saw the strange man on the rug, and before either could speak, Anne came running back.
Her face was white and her hands were shaking. She did not seem to see Launcelot, but went straight up to Captain Jameson.
“Oh, where is Judy, where is Judy?” she wailed, “she isn’t there.”
“And where is Tommy Tolliver?” demanded Launcelot Bart.
“Gee, Judy, but you can sail a boat.”
Judy with the salt breeze blowing her hair back from her face, with her hand on the tiller, and with her eager eyes sweeping the surface of the moonlighted waters, smiled a little.
“I ought to,” she declared, “father taught me. He said that he didn’t have a son, so he intended that I should know as much as a boy about such things.”
“It’s mighty windy weather.” Tommy was hunched up in the bottom of the boat—and his face had the woebegone look of the inexperienced sailor.
“It’s going to be windier,” said Judy, wisely, “it’s coming now. Look at those clouds.”
Back of the moon a heavy bank of clouds was crested with white, and the waters of the bay heaved sullenly.
Tommy, ignorant little landlubber that he was, began to wish that he had stayed at home, but Judy was exalted, uplifted by the thought of a coming battle with wind and waves. She had fought them so often in the little white boat, but one thing she forgot, that she was not as strong as she had been, and that Tommy was not as helpful as her father.
The start had been very exciting. Judy had pretended to read in the library, and little Anne had gone to bed, and then when the house was still she had crept out, and had met Tommy, and together they had gotten “The Princess” under sail.
But more than once that day Judy’s heart had failed her. The Cause had looked rather silly on second thoughts, and Tommy was so commonplace—but, oh, well, she had promised, and that was the end of it.
Tommy was dreadfully awkward about a boat, too. In spite of his eagerness for a life on the ocean wave, he had never had any practical training and Judy grew impatient more than once at the slow way in which he followed out her orders.
“I would do it myself,” she scolded finally, “only I must save my strength for the trip back. I shall be all alone then, you know.”