’He who sighs for
a glass without G,
Take away L and that is he.’”
It took much more urging to get Phil to yield, but finally, on a promise of the master of Greenwood that he should wed so soon as he returned, he gave a half-hearted consent. Over the rum a letter to Sir William Howe was written by Evatt, and he and Phil arranged to be up and away betimes in the morning.
“That gets him well out of the way,” remarked Evatt, as in his bedroom he stripped off his clothes. “Now to be as successful with Miss Blushing Innocence.”
Philemon and Evatt were in the saddle by five the next morning and a little more than an hour later held consultation with Bagby. Everything except Phil’s intended mission was quickly told him.
“Jingo!” he remarked, and then whistled. “Why, ’t is stealing? Is n’t there to be no law in the land? When do they plot to rob us?”
“They meet this evenin’ ter scheme it, an’ a body can’t tell when they’ll act.”
“’T won’t likely be to-night, but I’ll keep guard myself, all the same, and some of the Invincibles shall watch every night.”
This warning given, and a bite taken at the tavern by way of breakfast, the ride to Amboy was made in quick time. Here a boat was secured, and the two were rowed off to the “Asia” as she lay inside the Hook. Evatt had a long conference with her captain in his cabin, and apparently won consent to his plan; for when he returned on deck, a cutter was cleared away, and Phil was told it would put him on the tender which was to carry him to Boston. With many a longing glance at the shore, he bade good-by to Evatt, who cheered him by predictions of reward and speedy return.
Philemon gone, Evatt remained a short time in conference with the chaplain of the man-of-war, and then returned to Amboy. Once more taking horse, he set off on his return to Greenwood, arriving there in the heat of the afternoon. He was forced, by the absence of all the working force in the hayfield, to stable his horse himself, and then he walked toward what he had already observed from the saddle,—Janice, seated upon a garden bench under a poplar on the lawn, making artificial flowers. Let it be acknowledged that until the appearance of Evatt the girl had worked languidly, and had allowed long pauses of idleness while she meditated, but with his advent she became the embodiment of industry.
“Odd’s life!” the man ejaculated as he sat down beside the worker. “’Twixt love’s heat and an August sun, your lover, Janice, has come nigh to dissolving.”
Janice, with hands that shook, essayed to snip out a rose petal which her own cheeks matched in tint.
Evatt removed first his hat and then his wig, that he might mop his head. Having replaced the hirsute ornament, he continued: “And thy father is as hot for thy marriage with that yokel. He set the day yestere’en.”