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Blow the man down


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Title:BlowTheManDown
ARomanceOfTheCoast-1916
Author:HolmanDay
ReleaseDate:March9,2008[EBook#24793]
LastUpdated:March8,2018
Language:English

***STARTOFTHISPROJECTGUTENBERGEBOOKBLOWTHEMANDOWN***

ProducedbyDavidWidger


BLOWTHEMANDOWN
AROMANCEOFTHECOAST



ByHolmanDay

Copyright,1916,byHarper&Brothers

TOMYGOODFRIEND
CaptainJohnW.Christie
BRITISHMASTERMARINER
WHOHASSUNGALLTHESHANTIES
ANDHASSAILEDALLTHESEAS

“O,blowthemandown,bullies,blowthemandown!
Way-ay,blowthemandown.
O,blowthemandowninLiverpooltown!
Givemesometimetoblowthemandown.”
—OldShantyoftheAtlanticPacketShips.

CONTENTS
BLOWTHEMANDOWN
I~CAPTAINBOYDMAYOGETSOUTOFSOUNDINGS


II~THENCAPTAINMAYOSEESSHOALS
III~THETAVERNOFTHESEAS
IV~OVERTHE“POLLY'S”RAIL
V~ONTHEBRIDGEOFYACHT“OLENIA”
VI~ANDWESAILED
VII~INTOTHEMESSFROMEASTWARD
VIII~LIKEBUGSUNDERATHIMBLE
IX~AMAN'SJOB
X~HOSPITALITY,PERJULIUSMARSTON
XI~AVOICEFROMHUEANDCRY
XII~NOPLACEPORTHESOLESOPTHEIRFEET
XIII~ACAPTAINOPHUMANFLOTSAM
XIV~BEARINGSFORANEWCOURSE
XV~THERULESOFTHEROAD
XVI~MILLIONSANDAMITE
XVII~“EXACTLY!”SAIDMR.FOGG
XVIII~HOWANANNUALMEETINGWASHELD—ONCE!


XIX~THEPRIZEPACKAGEFROMMR.FOGG
XX~TESTINGOUTAMAN
XXI~BITTERPROOFBYMORNINGLIGHT
XXII~SPECIALBUSINESSOFAPASSENGER
XXIII~THEMONSTERTHATSLIPPEDITSLEASH
XXIV~DOWNAGALLOPINGSEA
XXV~AGIRLANDHERDEBTOFHONOR


XXVI~THEFANGSOFOLDRAZEE
XXVII~THETEMPESTTURNSITSCARD
XXVIII~GIRL'SHELPANDMAN'SWORK
XXIX~THETOILERSOFOLDRAZEE
XXX~THEMATTEROPAMONOGRAMINWAX
XXXI~THEBIGFELLOWHIMSELF
XXXII~AGIRL'SDEAR“BECAUSE!”


BLOWTHEMANDOWN


I~CAPTAINBOYDMAYOGETSOUTOF
SOUNDINGS
Wheninsafetyorindoubt,
Alwayskeepasafelookout;
Strivetokeepalevelhead,
Mindyourlightsandmindyourlead.
—Pilot-houseDitty.

Fordayshehadbeenafraidofthatincrediblemadnessofhisasamanfearsa
nameless monster. But he was sure of his strength even while admitting his
weakness.Hewasconfidentthathehadthethingsecurelyinleash.
Thenallatonceithappened!
Withoutprefaceofwordorlookhewhirledandfacedher,sweptherintohis
arms and kissed her. He did not attempt to absolve himself or mitigate his
offensebytellingherthathelovedher.Hewasvoiceless—hecouldnotcontrol
hisspeech.Hedidnotdaretoshowsuchpresumptionastalkoflovemustseem
tobetoher.Heknewhemustnotspeakoflove;suchproffertoherwouldbe
lunacy.Butthisgreaterpresumption,thisblindcaptureofherinhisarms—this
wassomethingwhichhehadnotintendedanymorethanasanemanconsiders
flighttothemoon.
Hedidnotunderstand;hehadbeenhimself—then,instantly,intimemeasured
byafinger-snap,hehadbecomethiswretchwhoseemedtobesomebodyelse.
Hehadceased,foraninsanemoment,tobemasterofallhissenses.Buthe
releasedherassuddenlyashehadseizedher,andstaggeredtothedoorofthe
chart-room,turninghisbackonherandgroaninginsuprememisery.
In that moment of delirium he had insulted his own New England sense of
decencyandhonor.
Hewasafraidtolookbackather.Withanagonyofapprehensionhedreaded
the sound of her voice. He knew well enough that she was striving to get
command of herself, to recover from her utter amazement. He waited. The
outragemusthaveincensedherbeyondmeasure;thesilencewasprolonged.
In theyacht'ssaloonbelow aviolinsangitsverysouloutuponthesummer
night,weavingitsplaintintothesoft,adagioripplingofapiano'schords.
Hesearchedhissoul.Themusic,thatdistant,mellowphrasingofthecallof
love,themusichadunstrunghim.Whilehepacedthebridgebeforehercoming


thatmusichadbeenmeltingtheiceofhisnaturalreserve.Buthedidnotpardon
himselfbecausehehadactedthefool.
Hestaredatthenightframedinthedoorofthechart-house.Littlewaveswere
racingtowardhim,straightfromthemoon,onthesea-line,likeafloodofnew
silverpouringfromtheopendoorofplenty!
But the appealing beauty of that night could not excuse the unconscionable
insulthehadjustofferedher.Heknewit,andshivered.
Shehadcomeandleanedclosetohimovertheoutspreadchart,herbreathon
his cheek—so close to him that a roving tress of her hair flicked him. But
becauseasuddenfirehadleapedfromthetouchtohisbrainwasnoreasonfor
theactbywhichhehadjustdamnedhimselfasapresumptuousbrute.
Forhe,BoydMayo,captainofherfather'syacht,ahireling,hadjustpaidthe
same insulting courtship to Alma Marston that a sailor would proffer to an
oglinggirlonthestreet.
“I'lljumpoverboard,”hestammeredatlast.“I'lltakemyselfoutofyoursight
forever.”
Theominoussilencepersisted.
“I don't ask you to forgive me. It is not a thing which can be forgiven. Tell
them I was insane—and jumped overboard. That will be the truth. I am a
lunatic.”
He lurched through the door. In that desperate moment, in the whirl of his
emotions,thereseemedtobenootherwayoutofhishorriblepredicament.He
hadgrowntolovethegirlwithalltheconsumingpassionofhissoul,realizing
fullyhisblindfollyatthesametime.Hehadbuiltnofalsehopes.Astospeaking
of that love—even betraying it by a glance—he had sheathed himself in the
armorofreservedconstraint;hehadbeensurethathesoonerwouldhavegone
downonhishandsandkneesandbayedthatsilvermoonfromthedeckofthe
yachtOleniathandowhathehadjustdone.
“CaptainMayo!Wait!”
He waited without turning to look at her. Her voice was not steady, but he
couldnotdeterminefromthetonewhatheremotionswere.
“Comebackhere!”
She was obliged to repeat the command with sharper authority before he
obeyed.Heloweredhiseyesandstoodbeforeher,avoicelesssuppliant.
“Why did you do that?” she asked. It was not the contemptuous demand
whichhehadbeenfearing.Hervoicewassolowthatitwasalmostawhisper.


“Idon'tknow,”heconfessed.
The violin sang on; the moon shone in at the door; two strokes, like golden
globulesofsound,fromtheship'sbellsignalednineo'clock.Onlytherhythmof
theengines,assoothingasacat'spurring,andtheslowrolloftheyachtandthe
murmuringofthepartedwavesrevealedthattheOleniawasonherwaythrough
thenight.
“Idon'tknow,”herepeated.“Itdoesn'texcusemetosaythatIcouldnothelp
it.”
Andheunderstoodwomensolittlethathedidnotrealizethathewasmaking
the ages-old plea which has softened feminine rancor ever since the Sabine
womenwereborneawayintheircaptors'armsandforgavetheircaptors.
Shestaredathim,makingoncemoreamaiden'sswiftappraisalofthisyoung
man who had offered himself so humbly as a sacrifice. His brown hands were
crossedinfrontofhimandclutchedconvulsivelyhiswhitecap.Thecapandthe
linenabovethecollarofhisuniformcoatbroughtouttothefullthehueofhis
manlytan.Theredflushofhisshockedcontritiontouchedhischeeks,and,allin
all,whateverthedaughterofJuliusMarston,WallStreetpriestofhighfinance,
may have thought of his effrontery, the melting look she gave him from under
loweredeyelidsindicatedherappreciationofhisoutwardexcellencies.
“Isupposeyouarethoroughlyandproperlyashamedofwhatyouhavedone!”
“I am ashamed—so ashamed that I shall never dare to raise my eyes to you
again.IwilldowhatIpromised.Iwilljumpoverboard.”
“CaptainMayo,lookatme!”
When he obeyed, with the demeanor of a whipped hound, his perturbation
wouldnotallowhimtoshowasmuchappreciationofherasshehaddisplayed
inthesecretstudyofhim,whichshenowpromptlyconcealed.Hesurveyedher
wistfully,withfear.Andamaiden,aftershehasunderstoodthatshehasobtained
mastery over brawn and soul, does not care to be looked at as if she were
Medusa.
Shestoleaside-glanceatherfaceinoneofthemirrors,andthentuckedinto
placeavagrantlockofhairwithashapelyfinger,therebysuggesting,hadthere
been a cynical observer present, that Miss Alma Marston never allowed any
situation,nomatterhowcrucial,totakeherattentionwhollyfromherself.
There was no mistaking it—had that cynical observer been there, he would
havenotedthatshepoutedslightlywhenMayodeclaredhisunutterableshame.
“Youwillnevergetoverthatshame,willyou?”


And Captain Mayo, feverishly anxious to show that he understood the
enormityofhisoffense,anddesiringtoofferpledgeforthefuture,declaredthat
hisshamewouldneverlessen.
Herdarkeyessparkled;whethertherewasmischiefmingledwithresentment,
orwhethertheresentmentquitesupplantedallotheremotions,mighthavebeen
a difficult problem for the cynic. But when she tilted her chin and stared the
offenderfullintheeyes,proppingherplumplittlehandsintheside-pocketsof
herwhitereefer,CaptainMayo,likeamanhitbyacudgel,wasstruckwiththe
suddenandbewilderingknowledgethathedidnotknowmuchaboutwomen,for
sheasked,withaquizzicaldrawl,“Justwhatisthereaboutme,dearcaptain,to
inspirethateverlastingregretwhichseemstobetroublingyousomuch?”
Eventhenhedidnotgraspthefullimportofherprovocativequestion.“Itisn't
you.I'mtheonewhoiswhollytoblame,”hestammered.“Ihavedaredto—But
nomatter.Iknowmyplace.I'llshowyouIknowit.”
“Youdaredto—Whathaveyoudaredtodo—besideswhatyoujustdid?”
“Icannottellyou,MissMarston.Idon'tproposetoinsultyouagain.”
“Icommandyoutotellme,CaptainMayo.”
Hecouldnotcomprehendhermoodintheleastandhisdemeanorshowedit.
Her command had a funny little ripple in it—as of laughter suppressed. There
werequeerquirksatthecornersofherfull,redlips.
“Now straighten up like your real self! I don't like to see you standing that
way.YouknowIliketohaveallthefolksontheyachtslookatourcaptainwhen
wegointoaharbor!Youdidn'tknowit?Well,Ido.Nowwhathaveyoudaredto
do?”
Hedidstraightenthen.“Ihavedaredtofallinlovewithyou,MissMarston.
So have a lot of other fools, I suppose. But I am the worst of all. I am only a
sailor.HowIlostcontrolofmyselfIdon'tknow!”
“Not even now?” Still that unexplainable softness in her voice, that strange
expressiononherface.Beingasailor,helookedonthiscalmasbeingominous
presageofastorm.
“Iamwillingtohaveyoureportmetoyourfather,MissMarston.Iwilltake
mypunishment.Iwillneveroffendyouagain.”
“Youcancontrolyourselfafterthis,canyou?”
“Yes,MissMarston,absolutely.”
She hesitated; she smiled. She lowered her eyelids again and surveyed him
with the satisfied tolerance a pretty woman can so easily extend when


unconquerableardorhaspromptedtorashness.
“Oh, you funny, prim Yankee!” she murmured. “You don't understand even
nowjustwhyyoudidit!”
Hisfacerevealedthathedidnotintheleastunderstand.
“Comehere,”sheinvited.
He went three steps across the narrow cabin and stood in an attitude of
respectfulobediencebeforeher.
“Whatnow,sir?”Itwasqueryevenmoreprovocative—asmilewentwithit.
“Iapologize.Ihavelearnedmylesson.”
“You need to learn a lot—you are very ignorant,” she replied, with
considerabletartness.
“Yes,”heagreed,humbly.
Whathappenedthenwassowhollyoutsidehisreckoningthatthepreceding
events of the evening retired tamely into the background. It had been
conceivablethatrushofpassionmightdrivehimtobreakalltherulesofconduct
his New England conscience had set over him; but what Alma Marston did
overwhelmed him with such stupefaction that he stood there as rigid and
motionless as a belaying-pin in a rack. She put up her arms, pressed her two
handsonhisshoulders,stoodontiptoe,andkissedhimonhislips.
“There, foolish old Yankee,” she said, softly, her mouth close to his; “since
youaresoashamedIgiveyoubackyourkiss—andallismaderightbetweenus,
becausewearejustwherewestartedalittlewhileago.”
Hisamazementhadsobenumbedhimthatevenafterthatsurrenderhestood
there,closetoher,hiscountenanceblank,hisarmsdanglingathisside.
“Whatonearthisthematterwithyou?”sheasked,petulantly.
“Idon'tknow!I—I—Idon'tseemtounderstand.”
“I'mgoingtobehonestwithyou.Youaresohonestyouwillunderstandme,
then,”shetoldhim.Itseemedtohimthathemustbemistaken,buthecertainly
feltherarmswereslippinguphisshouldersandhadmetbehindhisneck.“Isaw
itinyoureyeslongago.Awomanalwaysknows.Iwantedyoutodowhatyou
didto-night.IknewIwouldbeobligedtotemptyou.Icameupherewhilethe
moonandthemusicwouldhelpme.Ididitallonpurpose—Istoodclosetoyou
—forIknewyouwerejustmyslowoldYankeewhowouldnevercomeoutof
hisshelltillIpoked.There!Ihaveconfessed!”
His mad joy did not allow him to see anything of the coquette in that


confession. It all seemed to be consecrated by the love he felt for her—a love
whichwassohonestthatheperceivednoboldnessintheattitudeofthisgirlwho
hadcomesofartomeethim.Hetookherintohisarmsagain,andshereturned
hiskisses.
“Tellmeagain,Boyd,thatyouloveme,”shecoaxed.
“AndyetIhavenorighttoloveyou.Youare—”
“Hush!Hush!TheregoesyourYankeecautiontalking!Iwantlove,forIama
girl.Lovehasn'tanythingtodowithwhatyouareorwhatIam.Notnow!We
willloveeachother—andwait!Youaremybigboy!Aren'tyou?”
Hewasgladtocomplywithherpleatoputsensibletalkfromthemjustthen.
There was nothing sensible he could say. He was holding Julius Marston's
daughterinhisarms,andshewastellinghimthatshelovedhim.Theworldwas
suddenlyupsidedownandhewassurrenderinghimselftothemadpresent.
Intheyacht'ssaloonbelowawomanbegantosing:
“Lovecomeslikeasummersigh,
Softlyo'erusstealing.
Lovecomesandwewonderwhy
Toitsshrinewe'rekneeling.
Lovecomesasthedaysgoby—”

“That'sit,”thegirlmurmured,eagerly.“Wedon'tknowanythingatallabout
whywelove.Folkswhomarryformoneymakebelievelove—Ihavewatched
them—Iknow.Iloveyou.You'remybigboy.That'sall.That'senough.”
Heacceptedthiscomfortingdoctrineunquestioningly.Hersereneacceptance
of the situation, without one wrinkle in her placid brow to indicate that any
future problems annoyed her, did not arouse his wonderment or cause him to
question the depths of her emotions; it only added one more element to the
unrealityoftheentireaffair.
Moonandmusic,silverseaandgloriousnight,andamaidwhohadbeen,in
hissecretthoughts,hisdreamoftheunattainable!
“Will you wait for me—wait till I can make something of myself?” he
demanded.
“Youareyourself—rightnow—that'senough!”
“Butthefuture.Imust—”
“Loveme—lovemenow—that'sallweneedtoask.Thefuturewilltakecare
ofitselfwhenthetimecomes!Haven'tyoureadaboutthegreatloves?Howthey
justforgotthewholepettyworld?Whathaslovetodowithbusinessandmoney
andbargains?Loveinitsplace—businessinitsplace!Andourlovewillbeour
secretuntil—”


Hepardonedherindefiniteness,forwhenshepausedandhesitatedshepressed
herlipstohis,andthatassurancewasenoughforhim.
“Yes—oh yes—Miss Alma!” called a man's voice in the singsong of eager
summons.
“It's Arthur,” she said, with snap of impatience in her voice. “Why won't
peopleletmealone?”
Hereleasedher,andshestoodatarm's-length,herhandsagainsthisbreast.“I
have thought—It seemed to me,” he stammered, “that he—Forgive me, but I
havelovedyouso!Icouldn'tbeartothink—thinkthathe—”
“YouthoughtIcaredforhim!”shechided.“That'sonlythemanmyfatherhas
pickedoutforme!Why,Iwouldn'tevenallowmyfathertoselectayachting-cap
forme,muchlessahusband.I'lltellhimsowhenthetimecomes!”
Mayo'sbrowswrinkledinspiteofhimself.Themorrowseemedtoplaysmall
partinthecalculationsofthismaid.
“Money—that'sallthereistoArthurBeveridge.Myfatherhasenoughmoney
for all of us. And if he is stingy with us—oh, it's easy enough to earn money,
isn'tit?Allmencanearnmoney.”
Captain Mayo, sailor, was not sure of his course in financial waters and did
notreply.
“MissAlma!Isay!Oh,whereareyou?”
“Eventhatsilly,little,dried-upman,”shejeered,withaduckofherheadin
the direction of the drawling voice, “goes down to Wall Street and makes
thousandsandthousandsofdollarswheneverhefeelslikeit.Andyoucouldput
himinyourreeferpocket.Theywillallbeafraidofyouwhenyougodownto
WallStreettomakelotsofmoneyforustwo.Youshallsee!Kissme!Kissme
once!Kissmequick!Herehecomes!”
Heobeyed,releasedher,andwhenBeveridgeshovedhiswizenedfaceinat
thedoortheywerebendingoverthechart.
“Oh,Isay,wehavemissedyou.Theyareaskingforyou.”
Shedidnotturntolookathim.“Ihavesomethingelseonmymind,Arthur,
besides lolling below listening to Wally Dalton fiddle love-tunes. And this
passage,here,CaptainMayo!Whatisit?”Herfingerstrayedidlyacrossafew
hundredmilesofmappedAtlanticOcean.
“It'sHoneymoonChannel,”repliedthenavigator,demurely.Hisnewecstasy
madehimboldenoughtojest.
“Oh,sowearelearningtobeacaptain,MissAlma?”inquiredBeveridgewith


awrysmile.
“It would be better if more yacht-owners knew how to manage their own
craft,”sheinformedhim,withspirit.
“Yes,itmightkeeptheunderstrappersinline,”agreedthemanatthedoor..“I
applyforthepositionoffirstmateafteryouqualify,CaptainAlma.”
“Andthis,yousay,is,CaptainMayo?”shequeried,withouttroublingherself
toreply.Hertonewascrisplymatteroffact.
Beveridge blinked at her and showed the disconcerted uneasiness of a man
whohasintrudedinbusinesshours.
Captain Mayo, watching the white finger rapturously, noted that it was
sweeping from the Arctic Circle to the Tropic Zone. “That's Love Harbor,
reachedthroughthethoroughfareofHope,”heanswered,respectfully.
“Oh,Isay!”exclaimedBeveridge;“thesailorswholaidoutthatcoursemust
havebeenromantic.”
“Sailorshavesoulstocorrespondwiththeirhorizon,Arthur.Wouldyouprefer
suchnamesasCashCoveandMoney-grubChannel?”
Mr. Beveridge cocked an eyebrow and stared at her eloquent back; also, he
cast a glance of no great favor on the stalwart young captain of the Olenia.It
certainly did not occur to Mr. Beveridge that two young folks in love were
makingsportofhim.ThatJuliusMarston'sdaughterwoulddescendtoayacht
captain would have appeared as incredible an enormity as an affair with the
butler.Buttherewassomethingaboutthisintimatecompanionshipofthechartroom which Mr. Beveridge did not relish. Instinct rather than any sane reason
toldhimthathewasnotwanted.
“I'm sorry to break in on your studies, Miss Marston,” he said, a bit stiffly.
“ButIhavebeensentbyyourfathertocallyoutothecabin.”Mr.Beveridge's
air,histoneofprotest,conveyedratherpointedhintthatherresponsibilitiesasa
hostesswerefullyasimportantasherstudiesasanavigator.
“Imustgo,”shewhispered.
Relief was mingled with Captain Mayo's regret. He had feared that this
impetuous young woman might rebel against the summons, even though the
word came from her father. And her persistent stay in his chart-room, even on
the pretext of a fervid interest in the mysteries of navigation, might produce
complications.Thiswonderfulnewjoyinhislifewastooprecioustobemarred
bycomplications.
She trailed her fingers along his hand when she turned from the chart-table,


andthenpinchedhiminfarewellsalute.
“Goodnight,CaptainMayo.I'lltakeanotherlessonto-morrow.”
“Iamatyourservice,”hetoldher.
Theirvoicesbetrayednothing,butBeveridge'skeeneyes—theeyeswhichhad
studiedfacesinthegreatestgameofallwhenfortuneswereatstake—notedthe
looktheyexchanged.Itwaslong-drawn,asexpressiveasalingeringkiss.
Mr. Beveridge, sanctioned in his courtship by Julius Marston, was not
especiallyworriedbyanyinferencesfromthatsoftglance.Hecouldnotblame
evenacoal-heaverwhomightstaretenderlyatMissAlmaMarston,forshewas
especially pleasing to the eye, and he enjoyed looking at her himself. He was
enoughofaphilosophertobewillingtohaveotherfolksenjoythemselvesand
thereby give their approbation to his choice. He excused Captain Mayo. As to
MissMarston,heviewedherfrivolityashedidthatoftheothergirlswhomhe
knew;theyallhadtoomuchtimeontheirhands.
“Givethepoordevilsachance,Alma.Don'ttip'emupsidedown,”headvised,
testily,whenshefollowedhimdowntheladder.Hestoodatthefootandoffered
his hand, but she leaped down the last two steps and did not accept his
assistance. “Now, you have twisted that skipper of ours until he doesn't know
northfromsouth.”
“I do not care much for your emphasis on the 'now,'” she declared,
indignantly. “You seem to intimate that I am going about the world trying to
beguileeverymanIsee.”
“That seems to be the popular indoor and outdoor sport for girls in these
days,”hereturnedwithgoodhumor.“Justamomentago youwereraisingthe
very devil with that fellow up there with your eyes. Of course, practice makes
perfect.Butyou'reagood,kindgirlinyourheart.Don'tmake'emmiserable.”
Mr. Beveridge's commiseration would have been wasted on Captain Boyd
Mayothatevening.Thecaptainsnappedoffthelightinthechart-roomassoon
astheyhaddeparted,andthereinthegloomhetookhishappinesstohisheart,
even as he had taken her delicious self to his breast. He put up his hands and
pressed his face into the palms. He inhaled the delicate, subtle fragrance—a
meresuggestionofperfume—thesweetghostofherpersonality,whichshehad
leftbehind.Hertouchstillthrilledhim,andthewarmthofherlastkisswason
hislips.
Then he went out and climbed the ladder to the bridge. A peep over the
shoulder of the man at the wheel into the mellow glow under the hood of the
binnacle,showedhimthattheOleniawasonhercourse.


“It'sabeautifulnight,Mr.McGaw,”hesaidtothemate,astumpylittleman
with bowed legs, who was pacing to and fro, measuring strides with the
regularityofapendulum.
“Itisthat,sir!”
Mr.McGaw,beforeheanswered,plainlyhaddifficultywithsomethingwhich
bulged in his cheek. He appeared, also, to be considerably surprised by the
captain'sairofvivaciousgaiety.Hissuperiorhadbeenmopingaroundtheship
formanydayswithmelancholyspelledineverylineofhisface.
“Yes,it'sthemostbeautifulandperfectnightIeversaw,Mr.McGaw.”There
wastriumphinthecaptain'sbuoyanttones.
“Mustbeallowedtobewhattheycallastarrynightforaramble,”admitted
themate,tryingtofindspeechtofittheoccasion.
“Iwilltaketherestofthiswatchandthemiddlewatch,Mr.McGaw,”offered
thecaptain.“Iwanttostayupto-night.Ican'tgotosleep.”
TheoffermeantthatCaptainMayoproposedtostayondutyuntilfouro'clock
inthemorning.
MateMcGawfiddledagnarledfingerunderhisnoseandtriedtofindsome
wordsofprotest.ButCaptainMayoaddedacrispcommand.
“Gobelow,Mr.McGaw,andtakeiteasy.Youcanmakeituptomesometime
whenthereisnomoon!”Helaughed.
Whenallthecabinlightswereoutandherealizedthatshemustbeasleep,he
walkedthebridge,exultingbecausehersafetywasinhishands,butsupremely
exultantbecauseshelovedhimandhadtoldhimso.
Obediencehadbeeninthelineofhistraining.
Shehadcommandedhimtoliveandloveinthepresent,allowingthefutureto
takecareofitself,anditaffordedhimasenseofsweetcompanionshiptoobey
her slightest wish when he was apart from her. Therefore, he put aside all
thoughtsofJuliusMarstonandhismillions—JuliusMarston,hismaster,owner
of the yacht which swept on under the moon—that frigid, silent man with the
narrowstripoffrostybeardpointinghischin.
Mayowalkedthebridgeandlivedandloved.


II~THENCAPTAINMAYOSEESSHOALS
There'snaughtuponthestern,there'snaughtuponthelee,
Blowhigh,blowlow,andsosailedwe.
Butthere'saloftyshiptowindward,
Andshe'ssailingfastandfree,
SailingdownalongthecoastofthehighBarbaree.
—AncientShanty.

TheskipperoftheOleniafoundhimselfdabblinginguessesandwonderment
morethanisgoodforamanwhoisexpectedtoobeywithoutaskingthereason
why.
Thatcruiseseemedtobeaseriesofspasmodicalternationsbetweenleisurely
loafingandhustlinghaste.
Thereweredayswhenhewasorderedtoamblealongathalfspeedoffshore.
Then for hours together Julius Marston and his two especial and close
companions,menofaffairs,plainly,menofhiskind,bunchedthemselvesclose
together in their hammock chairs under the poop awning and talked
interminably. Alma Marston and her young friends, chaperoned by an amiable
aunt—so Captain Mayo understood her status in the party—remained
considerately away from the earnest group of three. Arthur Beveridge attached
himselftotheyoungfolks.
Fromthebridgethecaptaincaughtglimpsesofallthisshipboardroutine.The
yacht'ssaunteringsoffshoreseemedapartofthesummervacation.
But the occasional hurryings into harbors, the conferences below with men
who came and went with more or less attempt at secrecy, did not fit with the
vacationsideofthecruise.
Theseconferenceswereoftenfollowedbyorderstothecaptaintothreadinner
reachesofthecoastandtovisitunfrequentedharbors.
Captain Mayo had been prepared for these trips, although he had not been
informedofthereason.ItwashisfirstseasonontheyachtOlenia.Theshipping
broker who had hired him had been searching in his inquiries as to Mayo's
knowledge of the byways of the coast. The young man who had captained
fishermenandcoasterseversincehewasseventeenyearsoldhadfounditeasy
toconvincetheshippingbroker,andtheshippingbrokerhadsenthimonboard
theyachtwithouttheformalityofaninterviewwiththeowner.
Mayowasinformedcurtlythattherewasnoneedofaninterview.Hewastold
thatJuliusMarstonneverbotheredwithdetails.


When Julius Marston had come on board with his party he merely nodded
grim acknowledgment of the salute of his yacht's master, who stood at the
gangway,capinhand.
Theownerhadnevershownanyinterestinthemanagementoftheyacht;he
had remained abaft the main gangway; he had never called the captain into
conferenceregardinganymovementsoftheOlenia.
Captain Mayo, pacing the bridge in the forenoon watch, trying to grasp the
full measure of his fortune after troubled dreams of his master's daughter,
recollectedthathehadneverheardthesoundofJuliusMarston'svoice.Sofaras
personal contact was concerned, the yacht's skipper was evidently as much a
matterofindifferencetotheownerastheyacht'sfunnel.
Orderswerealwaysbroughtforwardbyapaleyoungmanwhowastaciturn
eventorudeness,andbythattraitseemedtocommendhimselftoMarstonasa
safesecretary.
At first, Alma Marston had brought her friends to the bridge. But after the
novelty was gone they seemed to prefer the comfort of chairs astern or the
salooncouches.
ForatimetheattentiveBeveridgehadfollowedherwhenshecameforward;
and then Beveridge discovered that she quite disregarded him in her quest for
informationfromthetallyoungmaninuniform.Shecamealone.
Andafterthatwhathadhappenedhappened.
Shecamealonethatforenoon.Hesawhercoming.Hehadstolenaglanceaft
every time he turned in his walk at the end of the bridge. He leaned low and
reacheddownhishandtoassistheruptheladder.
“Ihavebeennighcrazyallmorning.ButIhadtowaitadecenttimeandlisten
totheirgossipafterbreakfast,”shetoldhim,herfaceclosetohisasshecameup
theladder.“And,besides,myfatherissnappyto-day.Hescoldedmelastnight
forneglectingmyguests.JustasifIwerecalledontositalldayandlistento
NanBurgessappraiseherloversortosingasongeverytimeWallyDaltonhas
his relapse of lovesickness. He has come away to forget her, you know.” She
chuckled,utteringherfunnylittlegurgleofalaughwhichstirredinhim,always,
adesiretosmotheritwithkisses.
Theywenttotheendofthebridge,apartfromthemanatthewheel.
“IhurriedtogotosleeplastnightsothatIcoulddreamofyou,myownbig
boy.”
“Iwalkedthebridgeuntilafterdaylight.Iwantedtostayawake.Icouldnot


beartoletsleeptakeawaymythoughts.”
“Whatistherelikelovetomakethisworldfullofhappiness?Howbrightthe
sunis!Howthewavessparkle!Thosefolkssittingbacktherearelookingatthe
same things we are—or they can look, though they don't seem to have sense
enough.Andaboutalltheynoticeisthatit'sdaylightinsteadofnight.Myfather
andthosemenaretalkingaboutmoney—justmoney—that'sall.AndWallyhas
a headache from drinking too much Scotch. And Nan Burgess doesn't love
anybodywholovesher,Butforus—oh,thisgloriousworld!”
Sheputoutherarmstowardthesunandstaredboldlyatthatblazingorb,as
though she were not satisfied with what her eyes could behold, but desired to
graspandfeelsomeofthegloryofoutdoors.IfCaptainMayohadbeenaswell
versed in psychology as he was in navigation he might have drawn a few
disquietingdeductionsfromthisfrankandunconsciousexpressionofthemood
ofthematerialist.Sheemphasizedthatmoodbyword.
“I'llshowyoumylittleclasp-booksomeday,bigboy.It'swhereIwritemy
verses.Idon'tshowthemtoanybody.Yousee,I'mtellingyoumysecrets!We
musttelleachotheroursecrets,youandI!Ihaveputmyphilosophyofliving
intofourlines.Listen!
“Thefuture?Whyperplexthesoul?Thepast?Forgetitswoeandstrife!Let's
threadeachday,aperfectwhole,UponourrosaryofLife.”
“It'sbeautiful,”hetoldher.
“Isn'titgoodphilosophy?”
“Yes,”headmitted,notdaringtodoubtthehighpriestessofthenewcultto
whichhehadbeencommandeered.
“It saves all this foolish worry. Most of the folks I know are always talking
aboutthe badthings which have happenedtothemorarepeering forwardand
hopingthatgoodthingswillhappen,andtheyneveroncelookdownandadmire
agoldenmomentwhichFatehasdroppedintotheirhands.Yousee,I'mpoetical
thismorning.Whyshouldn'tIbe?Weloveeachother.”
“Idon'tknowhowto talk,”hestammered.“I'monlyasailor.Ineversaida
wordaboutlovetoanygirlinmylife.”
“Areyousureyouhaveneverlovedanybody?Remember,wemusttelleach
otheroursecrets.”
“Never,”hedeclaredwithconvincingfirmness.
She surveyed him, showing the satisfaction a gold-seeker would exhibit in
appraisinganuggetofvirginore.“Butyouaresobigandfine!Andyoumust


havemetsomanyprettygirls!”
He was not restive under this quizzing. “I have told you the truth, Miss
Marston.”
“Forshame,bigboy!'MissMarston,'indeed!IamAlma—Almatoyou.Say
it!Sayitnicely!”
Heflushed.Hestoleashamefacedglanceatthe-wheelsmanandmadeaquick
andapprehensivesurveyofthesacredregionsaft.
“Areyouafraid,afterallIhavesaidtoyou?”
“No,butitseems—Icanhardlybelieve—”
“Sayit.”
“Alma,”hegulped.“Alma,Iloveyou.”
“Youneedsomelessons,bigboy.YouaresoawkwardIthinkyouaretelling
methetruthabouttheothergirls.”
Hedidnotdaretoaskherwhethershehadlovedanyoneelse.Withallthe
passionatejealousyofhissoulhewantedtoaskher.She,whowassosurethat
shecouldinstructhim,musthavelovedsomebody.Hetriedtocomforthimself
bythethoughtthatherknowledgearosefromtheeffortseithermenhadmadeto
winher.
“WehaveourTo-day,”shemurmured.“Goldenhourstillthemooncomesup
—and then perhaps a few silver ones! I don't care what Arthur guesses. My
fatheristoobusytalkingmoneywiththosementoguess.I'mgoingtobewith
youallIcan.Icanarrangeit.I'mstudyingnavigation.”
Shesnuggledagainsttherail,luxuriatinginthesunshine.
“Whoareyou?”sheasked,bluntly.
Thatquestion,comingafterthepledgingoftheiraffection,astonishedhimlike
theloomofaledgeinmid-channel.
“It'senoughformethatyouarejustasyouare,boy!Butyou'renotaprincein
disguise,areyou?”
“I'monlyaYankeesailor,”hetoldher.“Butifyouwon'tthinkthatI'mtrying
totradeonwhatmyfolkshavebeenbeforeme,I'llsaythatmygrandfatherwas
GamalielMayoofMayoport.”
“Thatsoundsgood,butIneverheardofhim.Withallmyphilosophy, I'm a
poorstudentofhistory,sweetheart.”Hertoneandthenameshegavehimtook
thestingoutofherconfession.
“Idon'tbelieveheplayedagreatpartinhistory.Buthebuiltsixteenshipsin


hisday,andourhouseflagcircledtheworldmanytimes.Sixteenbigships,and
thelastonewastheHarvestHome,theChinaclipperthatpaidforherselfthree
timesbeforeanIndianOceanmonsoonswallowedher.”
“Well,ifhemadeallthatmoney,areyougoingtoseaforthefunofit?”
“TherearenomoreYankeewoodenshipsonthesea.Mypoorfatherthought
hewaswisewhenthewoodenshipswerecrowdedoff.Heputhismoneyinto
railroads—andyouknowwhathashappenedtomostofthefolkswhohaveput
theirmoneyintonewrailroads.”
“I'mafraidIdon'tknowmuchaboutbusiness.”
“The hawks caught the doves. It was a game that was played all over New
England.Thefolkswhosemoneybuilttheroadsweresqueezedout.Longbefore
mymotherdiedourmoneywasgone,butmyfatherandIdidnotallowherto
know it. We mortgaged and gave her what she had always been used to. And
whenmyfatherdiedtherewasnothing!”
Her eyes glistened. “That's chivalry,” she cried. “That's the spirit of the
knightsofoldwhenwomenwereconcerned.Iadoreyouforwhatyoudid!”
“ItwasthewaymyfatherandIlookedatit,”hesaid,mildly.“Myfatherwas
not a very practical man, but I always agreed with him. And I am happy now,
earning my own living. Why should I think my grandfather ought to have
workedallhislifesothatIwouldnotneedtowork?”
“I suppose it's different with a big, strong man and a woman. She needs so
muchthatamanmustgiveher.”
CaptainMayobecamepromptlysilent,crestfallen,andembarrassed.Hestared
aft, he looked at the splendid yacht whose finances he managed and whose
extravaganceheknew.Hesawthegirlathisside,andblinkedatthegemswhich
flashedinthesunlightasherfingerstuckedupthelocksofhairwherethebreeze
hadwantoned.
“Ithinkmyfatherworksbecausehelovesit,”shesaid.“Iwishhewouldrest
and enjoy other things more. If mother had lived to influence him perhaps he
would see something else in life instead of merely piling up money. But he
doesn'tlistentome.Hegivesmemoneyandtellsmetogoandplay.Imissmy
mother,boy!Ihaven'tanybodytotalkwith—whounderstands!”
Thereweretearsinhereyes,andhewasgratefulforthem.Hefeltthatshehad
depths in her nature. But keen realization of his position, compared with hers,
distressed him. She stood there, luxury incarnate, mistress of all that money
couldgiveher.


“Anybody can make money,” she declared. “My father and those men are
sitting there and building plans to bring them thousands and thousands of
dollars.Alltheyneedtodoisputtheirheadstogetherandplan.Everynowand
thenIhearafewwords.They'regoingtoownallthesteamboats—orsomething
ofthatkind.Anybodycanmakemoney,Isay,buttherearesofewwhoknow
howtoenjoyit.”
“I have been doing a lot of thinking since last night—Alma.” He hesitated
whenhecametohername,andthenblurteditout.
“Doyouthinkitisreallover-liketotreatmynameasifitwereahurdlethat
you must leap over?” she asked, with her aggravating little chuckle. “Oh, you
havesomuchtolearn!”
“I'mafraidso.Ihaveagreatmanythingsaheadofmetolearnanddo.Ihave
beenthinking.Ihavebeenafraidofthemenwhositandschemeandputalltheir
mindsonmakingmoney.Theydidbitterthingstous,andwedidn'tunderstand
untilitwasallover.ButImustgoamongthemandwatchthemandlearnhowto
makemoney.”
“Don'tbeliketheothers,now,andtalkmoney—money,”shesaid,pettishly.
“Moneyandtheirlove-affairs—that'sthetalkIhaveheardfrommeneversinceI
wasallowedtocomeintothedrawing-roomoutofthenursery!”
“ButImusttalkmoneyalittle,dear.Ihavemywaytomakeintheworld.”
“Thrifty,practical,andYankee!”shejested.“Isupposeyoucan'thelpit!”
“Itisn'tformyself—it'sforyou!”hereturned,wistfully,andwithavoiceand
demeanor he offered himself as Love's sacrifice before her—the old story of
utterdevotion—theancientsacrifice.
“IhaveallIwant,”sheinsisted.
“ButImustbeabletogiveyouwhatyouwant!”
“IwarnyouthatIhatemoney-grubbers!Theyhaven'tasparkofromancein
them.Boyd,you'dbelikealltherestinalittlewhile.Youmustn'tdoit.”
“ButImusthaveposition—meansbeforeIdaretogotoyourfather—ifIever
shallbeabletogotohim!”
“Gotohimforwhat?”
“Toaskhim—tosay—to—well,whenwefeelthatI'minapositionwherewe
canbemarried—”
“Of course we shall be married some day, boy, but all that will take care of
itselfwhenthetimecomes.Butnowyouare—Howoldareyou,Boyd?”


“Twenty-six.”
“And I am nineteen. And what has marriage to do with the love we are
enjoyingrightnow?”
“Whenfolksareinlovetheywanttogetmarried.”
“Granted! But when lovers are wise they will treat romance at first as the
epicuretreatshisglassofgoodwine.Theywillpouritslowlyandholdtheglass
upagainstthelightandadmireitscolor!”Inhergaymoodshepinchedtogether
thumbandforefingerandliftedanimaginaryglasstothesun.“Thentheywill
sniffthebouquet.Ah-h-h,howfragrant!Andafteratimetheywilltakealittle
sip—justaweenylittlesipandholditonthetongueforeversolong.For,when
it is swallowed, what good? Oh, boy, here are you—talking first of all about
marriage!Talkingofthegoodwineoflifeandloveasifitwereafluidsimplyto
satisfythirst.Wearegoingtolove,firstofall!Come,Iwillteachyou.”
He did not know what to say to her. There was a species of abandon in her
gaiety. Her exotic language embarrassed one who had been used to mariners'
laconicdirectnessofspeech.Shelookedathim,teasinghimwithhereyes.He
wasabitrelievedwhenthepale-facedsecretarycamedragginghimselfupthe
ladderandbrokeinonthetête-à-tête.
“Mr.Marston'sordersare,CaptainMayo,thatyouturnhereandgowest.Do
youknowtheusualcourseoftheBeelinesteamers?”
“Yes,sir.”
“Herequestsyoutoturnintowardshoreandfollowthatcourse.”
“Very well, sir.” Captain Mayo walked to the wheel. “Nor' nor'west, Billy,
untilIcangiveyoutheexactcourse.”
“Nor' nor'west!” repeated the wheelsman, throwing her hard over, and the
Olenia came about with a rail-dipping swerve and retraced her way along her
ownwakeofwhitesuds.
MissMarstonprecededthecaptaindowntheladderandwentintothechartroom.“Akiss—quick!”shewhispered.
Heheldherclosetohimforalongmoment.
“Youareamostobedientcaptain,”shesaid.
Whenhereleasedherandwentathistask,sheleaneduponhisshoulderand
watchedhimashestraddledhisparallelsacrossthechart.
“We'llruntoRazeeReef,”hetoldher,eagertomakeherapartnerinallhis
littleconcerns.“TheBeeboatsfetchthewhistlertheresoastolayofftheirnext
leg.Ididn'tknowthatMr.MarstonwasinterestedintheBeeline.”


“I heard him talking about that line,” she said, indifferently. “Sometimes I
listenwhenIhavenothingelsetodo.Heusedanaughtywordaboutsomebody
connectedwiththatcompany—andit'ssoseldomthatheallowshimselftoswear
Ilistenedtoseewhatitwasallabout.Idon'tknowevennow.Idon'tunderstand
such things. But he said if he couldn't buy 'em he'd bu'st 'em. Those were his
words.Notveryelegantlanguage.Butit'sallIremember.”
Beforeheleftthechart-roomMayotookasquintatthebarometer.“I'msorry
he has ordered me in toward the coast,” he said. “The glass is too far below
thirtytosuitme.Ithinkitmeansfog.”
“Butit'ssoclearandbeautiful,”sheprotested.
“It's always especially beautiful at sea before something bad happens,” he
explained,smiling.“Andtherehasbeenabigfog-bankofftos'uth'ardfortwo
days.It'sagooddeallikelife,dear.Alllovely,andthenthefogshutsin!”
“ButIwouldbehappywithyouinthefog,”sheassuredhim.
Heglowedatherwordsandansweredwithhiseyes.
She would have followed him back upon the bridge, but the steward
interceptedher.Hehadwaitedoutsidethechart-room.
“Mr. Marston's compliments, Miss Marston! He requests you to join him at
cards.”
ShepoutedasshegavebackMayo'slookofannoyance,andthenobeyedthe
mandate.
Mr. Marston was stroking his narrow strip of chin beard with thumb and
forefinger when she arrived on the quarter-deck. The men of business were
below,andhemotionedtoahammockchairbesidehim.
“Alma,fortherestofthiscruiseIwantyoutostaybackherewithourguests
where you belong,” he commanded with the directness of attack employed by
JuliusMarstoninhisdealingswiththoseofhisménage.
“Whatdoyoumean,father?”
“That—exactly.Iwasexplicit,wasInot?”
“Butyoudonotintimatethat—thatIhave—”
“Well?” Mr. Marston believed in allowing others to expose their sentiments
beforeheuncoveredhisown.
“You don't suggest that there is anything wrong in my being on the bridge
whereIenjoymyselfsomuch.Iamtryingtolearnsomethingaboutnavigation.”
“Iampayingthatfellowuptheretoattendtoallthat.”


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