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.
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.”