Keziah Coffin eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 426 pages of information about Keziah Coffin.

“Well, Mr. Ellery,” said Captain Nat, “I won’t keep you.  I see you’re in a hurry.  Just thought I’d run alongside a minute and say good-by.  Don’t know’s I’ll see you again afore I sail.”

“Before you sail?  You—­you are going away?”

“Yup.  My owners have been after me for a good while, but I wouldn’t leave home on account of dad’s health.  Now he’s gone, I’ve got to be gettin’ back on salt water again.  My ship’s been drydocked and overhauled and she’s in New York now loadin’ for Manila.  It’s a long vy’age, even if I come back direct, which ain’t likely.  So I may not see the old town again for a couple of years.  Take care of yourself, won’t you?  Good men, especially ministers, are scurse, and from what I hear about you I cal’late Trumet needs you.”

“When are you going?”

“Last of next week, most likely.”

“Will you—­shall you go alone?  Are you to be—­to be—­”

“Married?  No.  Grace and I have talked it over and we’ve agreed it’s best to wait till I come back.  You see, dad’s been dead such a little while, and all, that—­well, we’re goin’ to wait, anyhow.  She’ll stay in the old house with Hannah, and I’ve fixed things so she’ll be provided for while I’m gone.  I left it pretty much to her.  If she’d thought it best for us to marry now, I cal’late I should have—­have—­well, done what she wanted.  But she didn’t.  Ah, hum!” he added with a sigh; “she’s a good girl, a mighty good girl.  Well, so long and good luck.”

“Good-by, captain.”

“Good-by.  Er—­I say, Mr. Ellery, how things at the parsonage?  All well there, are you?”


“Er—­Keziah—­Mrs. Coffin, your housekeeper, is she smart?”

“Yes.  She’s well.”

“That’s good.  Say, you might tell her good-by for me, if you want to.  Tell her I wished her all the luck there was.  And—­and—­just say that there ain’t any—­well, that her friend—­say just that, will you?—­her friend said ’twas all right.  She’ll understand; it’s a—­a sort of joke between us.”

“Very good, captain; I’ll tell her.”

“Much obliged.  And just ask her to keep an eye on Grace while I’m gone.  Tell her I leave Gracie under her wing.  Keziah and me are old chums, in a way, you see.”

“Yes.  I’ll tell her that, too.”

“And don’t forget the ‘friend’ part.  Well, so long.”

They shook hands and parted.

Didama and her fellow news-venders distributed the tale of Captain Nat’s sailing broadcast during the next few days.  There was much wonderment at the delayed marriage, but the general verdict was that Captain Eben’s recent death and the proper respect due to it furnished sufficient excuse.  Hannah Poundberry, delighted at being so close to the center of interest, talked and talked, and thus Grace was spared the interviews which would have been a trouble to her.  Nat left town, via the packet, on the following Wednesday.  Within another week

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Keziah Coffin from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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