He didn’t speak, and I turned in his arm to look up at his face. His eyes, which always remind me of the sea, were looking away over it, but he brought them back to meet mine, and pressed my shoulder.
“It is bonnie,” he said, “verra bonnie. But eh, man! if strange land shines like yon, hoo’ll oor ain shores look whenever we win Home?”
“One, two, three, and away!”
We three were fast friends when our voyage ended, and in planning our future we planned to stick together, “Like the three leaves of the shamrock,” as Dennis O’Moore said.
The captain would have kept Alister as one of his crew, but the Scotch lad had definite plans for looking up a cousin on this side of the Atlantic, and pushing his fortunes by the help of his relative, so he did not care to make the return voyage. The captain did not offer the berth to me, but he was very kind, and returned my money, and gave us a written paper testifying to our good conduct and capabilities. He also gave Alister his address, and he and the other officers collected a small sum of money for him as a parting gift.
That afternoon we three crossed the harbour, and went for a walk in the pine-woods. How I longed for Charlie! I would have given anything if he could have been there, warmed through by the hot sun, refreshed by the smell of pines, resting his poor back in the deep moss, and getting excited over the strange flowers that grew wild all round our feet. One never forgets the first time one sees unknown flowers growing wild; and though we were not botanical, like Charlie, we had made ourselves very hot with gathering nosegays by the time that Dennis summoned us to sit down and talk seriously over our affairs. Our place of council was by the side of a lake, which reflected a sky more blue than I had ever seen. It stretched out of sight, and all about it were pines—pines. It was very lovely, and very hot, and very sweet, and the little black flies which swarmed about took tiny bits out of our cheek, and left the blood trickling down, so cleverly, that one did not feel it—till afterwards. We did feel the mosquitoes, and fought with them as well as we could, whilst Dennis O’Moore, defending his own face with a big bunch of jack-in-pulpits striped like tabby cats, explained his plans as follows:
Of course we had no notion of going home awhile. Alister and I had come away on purpose; and for his own part it had always been the longing of his soul to see the world. Times out of mind when he and Barney were on board one of these emigrant ships, that had put into the bay, GOD-speeding an old tenant or acquaintance with good wishes and whisky and what not, he had been more than half inclined to give old Barney and the hooker the slip, and take his luck with the outward bound. And now he was here, and no blame for it, why would he hurry home? The race of the O’Moores was not likely to become