“P.S.—Since I finished, a parcel came. What do you think Lorraine has done? He has paid for me to be a life member of a great London library, and sent me the catalogue. I can have out fifteen books at a time. There are hundreds of volumes. I can’t write any more, my back aches so with putting crosses against the books I want to read. The catalogue is rather heavy. I think I shall use one of my books to make a list in of what I want to read during this year. Isn’t it good of Lorraine? Poor Lorraine!”
Having devoured my own letters, I looked up to see how my comrades were enjoying their share of the budget which the Halifax postmaster had faithfully forwarded.
The expression on Dennis O’Moore’s face was so mixed that it puzzled me, but he did not look satisfied with his letter, for he kept drawing it out again, and shaking it, and peeping into the envelope as if he had lost something. At last he put the whole thing into his pocket with a resigned air, and drove his hands through his black curls, saying,
“The squire all over, GOD help him!”
“What has he done now?” I asked.
“Sent me twenty pounds, and forgotten to enclose it!”
“Thus the merry
Danced his Beggar’s Dance to please them,
And, returning, sat down laughing.”—Hiawatha.
“GOD be thanked, the meanest of His creatures
Boasts two soul-sides; one to face the world with,
One to show a woman when he loves her.”
The fact that when we got back to the Water-Lily, Alister found the captain dead drunk in his cabin, sealed our resolution to have nothing more to do with her when we were paid off, and our engagement ended (as had been agreed upon) in the Georgetown harbour. There was no fear that we should fail to get berths as common seamen now, if we wanted them; and there was not a thing to regret about the Slut, except perhaps Alfonso, of whom we were really fond. As it turned out, we had not even to mourn for him, for he cut cable from the Water-Lily too, having plans of his own, about which he made a great deal of mystery and displayed his wonted importance, but whether they were matrimonial or professional, I doubt if even Dennis knew at the time.