Uncle William looked down at her admiringly. “You do put that mighty nice, don’t you? You ’most make me believe I could do it, and I guess mebbe I could. But Andy couldn’t,” he added, with conviction.
The girl followed her thought. “And what does it matter—if he buys the pictures.”
“Well, it matters some,” said Uncle William, slowly. “I dunno ’s I want a liar, not a real liar, ownin’ a picter o’ my house. But if he jest romances, mebbe I could stand it. It does seem different somehow.”
When they parted, she looked at him a little wistfully. “I should like to see him again,” she said, waiting.
“Like enough,” said Uncle William, gently—“like enough. But I reckon he don’t need you just now.” He held her hand, looking down at her kindly.
“I could see him,” she suggested.
“I could come down to the boat. I would be careful not to let him see me.”
Uncle William considered it. “Well, I dunno ’s that would do any harm—if you’re sure you could keep out o’ the way.”
“We’re goin’ by the Halifax boat,” said Uncle William. “I can make better ’rangements that way. I know the captain.”
“Yes?” It was a question.
“Well, I guess ’t you can come. Good night, my dear.” He bent and kissed her gravely.
Her eyes followed the tall figure till it loomed away in the dark.
The boat eased away from the wharf. The invalid on deck gazed back at the city. A little spot of red lay in the hollow of either cheek. Uncle William hovered about, adjusting pillows and rugs. Now and then his eye dropped to the wharf and picked out, casually, a figure that moved in the crowd. “There—that’s a leetle mite easier, ain’t it?”
The young man nodded almost fretfully. “I’m all right, Uncle William. Don’t you fuss any more.” He leaned forward, looking toward the wharf. “Who is that?”
Uncle William pushed up his spectacles and peered. “I don’t seem to see anybody,” he said truthfully. He was gazing with some painstaking in the opposite direction.
“Not there. Look!—She’s gone!” He sank back with a sigh.
“Somebody you knew, like enough?” The question was indifferent.
“I thought it was—her.”
“She, now! She wouldn’t be likely to be down here this time o’ day.”
“No, I suppose not. It was just a fancy.”
“That’s all. You comf’tabul?”
“Yes—” a little impatiently.
“That’s good. Now we’re off.” Uncle William beamed on the water that billowed before and behind. He went off to find the captain.
When he came back, the young man had ceased to look toward the shore. “I made a mistake,” he said regretfully.
“That’s nateral,” said Uncle William. “I s’pose you’ve been thinkin’ of her, off and on, and you jest thought you saw her. I wouldn’t think any—”