“Yes, I think so, if you don’t object.”
“You’ll have a pretty monotonous time of it, judging from his account of Lindsay.”
“Probably. But I am not going over in search of excitement. I’m going to oblige Larry and have a look at the Island.”
“Well, it’s worth looking at, some parts of the year,” conceded Mr. Marshall. “When I’m on Prince Edward Island in the summer I always understand an old Scotch Islander I met once in Winnipeg. He was always talking of ‘the Island.’ Somebody once asked him, ‘What island do you mean?’ He simply looked at that ignorant man. Then he said, ’Why, Prince Edward Island, mon. What other island is there?’ Go if you’d like to. You need a rest after the grind of examinations before settling down to business. And mind you don’t get into any mischief, young sir.”
“Not much likelihood of that in a place like Lindsay, I fancy,” laughed Eric.
“Probably the devil finds as much mischief for idle hands in Lindsay as anywhere else. The worst tragedy I ever heard of happened on a backwoods farm, fifteen miles from a railroad and five from a store. However, I expect your mother’s son to behave himself in the fear of God and man. In all likelihood the worst thing that will happen to you over there will be that some misguided woman will put you to sleep in a spare room bed. And if that does happen may the Lord have mercy on your soul!”
One evening, a month later, Eric Marshall came out of the old, white-washed schoolhouse at Lindsay, and locked the door—which was carved over with initials innumerable, and built of double plank in order that it might withstand all the assaults and batteries to which it might be subjected.
Eric’s pupils had gone home an hour before, but he had stayed to solve some algebra problems, and correct some Latin exercises for his advanced students.
The sun was slanting in warm yellow lines through the thick grove of maples to the west of the building, and the dim green air beneath them burst into golden bloom. A couple of sheep were nibbling the lush grass in a far corner of the play-ground; a cow-bell, somewhere in the maple woods, tinkled faintly and musically, on the still crystal air, which, in spite of its blandness, still retained a touch of the wholesome austerity and poignancy of a Canadian spring. The whole world seemed to have fallen, for the time being, into a pleasant untroubled dream.
The scene was very peaceful and pastoral—almost too much so, the young man thought, with a shrug of his shoulders, as he stood in the worn steps and gazed about him. How was he going to put in a whole month here, he wondered, with a little smile at his own expense.