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Little miss grouch


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Title:LittleMissGrouch
ANarrativeBasedontheLogofAlexanderForsythSmith's
MaidenTransatlanticVoyage
Author:SamuelHopkinsAdams
Illustrator:R.M.Crosby
ReleaseDate:August1,2007[EBook#22196]
Language:English

***STARTOFTHISPROJECTGUTENBERGEBOOKLITTLEMISSGROUCH***

ProducedbyRogerFrankandtheOnlineDistributed
ProofreadingTeamathttp://www.pgdp.net

"GOOD-NIGHT,SHESAID,"AND--THANKYOU"

"GOOD-NIGHT,SHESAID,"AND—THANKYOU"

LittleMissGrouch
ANARRATIVEBASEDUPONTHE
PRIVATELOGOF
ALEXANDERFORSYTHSMITH'S
MAIDENTRANSATLANTIC
VOYAGE


BY

SAMUELHOPKINSADAMS
WithIllustrationsby
R.M.Crosby
BOSTONANDNEWYORK

HOUGHTONMIFFLINCOMPANY
TheRiversidePressCambridge
1915

COPYRIGHT,1914AND1915,BYTHEBUTTERICKPUBLISHING
COMPANY
COPYRIGHT,1915,BYSAMUELHOPKINSADAMS
ALLRIGHTSRESERVED
PublishedSeptember1915


Illustrations
"GOOD-NIGHT,SHESAID,"AND--THANK
Frontispiece
YOU"
"AREN'TYOUGOINGTOSPEAKTOME?"
38
SURPRISEHELDTHETYRO'STONGUEIN
52
LEASH
"OH,LOOKATTHATADORABLEBABY!"
74
"COULDN'TYOULENDMEFIVE


112
DOLLARS?"
HERKNIGHTKEEPINGWATCHOVER
144
HER
THETYROCURLEDHISLEGSUNDER
166
HIM
"YOU'VECOMETHROUGH,MYBOY"
206


LittleMissGrouch

I
Firstdayout.
Weatherhorrible,uncertainandsqually,butinteresting.
Developmentspromised.
Feelfine.
SMITH'SLOG.
SeveraltugswerepersuasivelynudgingtheClanMacgregoroutfromher pier.
Besidethetoweringflanksofthesea-monster,newestandbiggestofherspecies,
they seemed absurdly inadequate to the job. But they made up for their
insignificance by self-important and fussy puffings and pipings, while, like an
elephant harried by terriers, the vast mass slowly swung outward toward the
open.Fromthepiertherearoseacompositeclamoroffarewell.
The Tyro gazed down upon this lively scene with a feeling of loneliness. No
portionoftheceremonialofpartingappertainedpersonallytohim.Hehadhad
hisfairfractionintheformofacrowdofenthusiasticfriendswhocametosee
himoffonhismaidenvoyage.They,however,retiredearly,actingasescortto
histearfulmotherandsisterwhohadgivenwaytouncontrollablegriefearlyin
theproceedings,onatheoryheld,Ibelieve,bythegeneralityofwomankindin
the face of considerable evidence to the contrary, that a first-time voyager
seldomifevercomesbackalive.Lackingindividualattention,theTyrodecided
to appropriate a share of the communal. Therefore he bowed and waved
indiscriminately, and was distinctly cheered up by a point-blank smile and
handkerchief flutter from a piquant brunette who liked his looks. Most people
likedhislooks,particularlywomen.
Intheforegroundofthedockwasanindividualwhoapparentlydidn't.Hewasa


fashionableandfranticoldish-youngman,whohadburstthroughthebarrierand
nowjiggeduponthepier-headinamannernotcountenancedbytheSocietyfor
StandardizingBallroomDances.AtintervalshemadegesturestowardtheTyro
asifstriving,againstunfairoddsofdistance,tosweephimfromthesurface of
creation. As the Tyro had never before set eyes upon him, this was surprising.
Thesolutionofthemysterycamefromthecrowd,close-pressedabouttheTyro.
It took the form of an unmistakable sniffle, and it somehow contrived to be
indubitablyandratherpitifullyfeminine.TheTyroturned.
At,orratherunderneath,hisleftshoulder,andtryingtopeepoverorpastit,he
beheldasmallportionofamostwoe-begonelittleface,heavilyswathedagainst
thenippingMarchwind.Throughthebecloudingveilhecoulddimlymakeout
thattheeyeswereswollen,thecheeksweremottled;eventhenose—withregret
Istateit—wasredandpuffy.Anunsightly,melancholylittlespectacletowhich
the Tyro's young heart went out in prompt pity. It had a habit of going out in
friendlyandhelpfulwisetoforlornandunconsideredpeople,tothekindoffolk
thatnobodyelsehadtimetobotherabout.
"Whatamessofaface,poorkiddy!"saidtheTyrotohimself.
From the mess came another sniffle and then a gurgle. The Tyro, with a lithe
movement of his body, slipped aside from his position of vantage, and the
pressure of the crowd brought the girl against the rail. Thereupon the Seven
SaltatoryDevilspossessingtheframeofthefranticandfashionabledock-dancer
desertedit,yieldingplacetoademonofvocality.
"Ithinkhe'scallingtoyou,"saidtheTyrointhegirl'sear.
Thegirlshookherheadwithavehemencewhichimpartednotsomuchdenialas
an"I-don't-care-if-he-is"impression.
Stridentlysoundedthevoiceofdistressfromthepier."Pilot-boat,"ityelled,and
repeatedit."Pilot!Pilot!Come—back—pilot-boat."
Again the girl shook her head, this time so violently that her hair—soft, curly,
luxurianthair—loosenedandcloudedaboutherforeheadandears.Inavoiceno
morethanahusky,tremulouswhisper,whichwastooloweventobeintendedto
carryacrossthewideningwater-space,andthereforemanifestlypurposedforthe
establishmentofherownconviction,shesaid:
"Iwo-won't.Iwon't.IWON'T!!!"Atthethirddeclarationshebroughtasaberedgedheeldownsquareuponthemostafflictedtoeofaverysorefootwhichthe
Tyrohadbeennursingsinceacollisioninthesquashcourtsomedaysprevious.


Involuntarilyheutteredacryofanguish,followedbyamonosyllabicquotation
fromtheoriginalAnglo-Saxon.Thegirlturneduponhimabalefulface,while
the long-distance conversationalist on the dock reverted to his original
possessionandfadedfromsightinaseriesofinvolutedspasms.
"Whatdidyousay?"shedemanded,stillinthathushedandcatchyvoice.
"'Hell,'" repeated the Tyro, in a tone of explication, "'is paved with good
intentions.'It'saproverb."
"Iknowthataswellasyoudo,"shewhisperedresentfully."Butwhathasthatto
dowith—withme?"
"Lord!Whataviciouslittlespitfireitis,"saidhetohimself.Then,aloud:"Itwas
my good intention to remove that foot and substitute the other one, which is
betterabletosustain—"
"WasthatyourfootIsteppedon?"
"Itwas.Itisnowapicturesqueandobsoleteruin."
"Ithadnorighttobethere."
"Butthat'swhereI'vealwayskeptit,"heprotested,"rightattheendofthatleg."
"IfyouwantmetosayI'msorry,Iwon't,Iwon't—I—"
"Help!"criedtheTyro."Onemoreofthose'won'ts'andI'macrippleforlife."
Therewasaconvulsivemovementofthefeaturesbeneaththeheavyveil,which
theTyrotooktobethebeginningofasmile.Hewasencouraged.Thetwoyoung
peoplewerepracticallyalonenow,thecrowdhavingmovedforwardforsightof
aFrenchlinersweepingproudlyuptheriver.Thegirlturnedhergazeuponthe
injuredmember.
"DidIreallyhurtyoumuch?"sheasked,stillwhispering.
"Not a bit," lied the Tyro manfully. "I just made that an excuse to get you to
talk."
"Indeed!"Theheadtiltedup,furnishingtotheTyrothedistinctmoulding,under
theblurringfabric,ofadeterminedandresentfulchin."Well,Ican'ttalk.Ican
onlywhisper."
"Sorethroat?"
"No."


"Well,it'snoneofmybusiness,"concededtheTyro."Butyouratherlookedasif
—asifyouwereintrouble,andIthoughtperhapsIcouldhelpyou."
"Idon'twantanyhelp.I'mallright."Toprovewhichshebegantocryagain.
TheTyroledherovertoadeck-chairandmadehersitdown."Ofcourseyouare.
Youjustsitthereandthinkhowall-rightyouareforfiveminutesandthenyou
willbeallright."
"ButI'mnotgoingback.Never!Never!!Nev-ver!!!"
"Certainlynot,"saidtheTyrosoothingly.
"YouspeaktomeasifIwereachild!"
"Soyouare—almost."
"That's what they all think at home. That's why I'm—I'm running away from
them,"shewailed,inafreshaccessofself-commiseration.
"Runningaway!ToEurope?"
"Wheredidyouthinkthisshipwasboundfor?"
"But—allalone?"queriedtheother,thunderstruck.
"All alone?" She contrived to inform her whisper with a malicious mimicry of
hisdismay."Isupposethegirlsyouknowtakethewholefamilyalongwhenthey
runaway.Idiot!"
"Goahead!"heencouragedher."Takeitoutonme.Relieveyourfeelings.You
can'thurtmine."
"Ihaven'tevengotamaidwithme,"mournedthegirl."Shegotleft.F-f-father
willhaveafu-fu-fit!"
"Father was practicing for it, according to my limited powers of observation,
whenlastseen."
"What!Wheredidyouseehim?"
"Wasn't it father who was giving the commendable imitation of a whirling
dervishonthepier-head?"
"Heavens,no!That'sthe—themanI'mrunningawayfrom."
"Theplotthickens.Ithoughtitwasyourfamilyyouwereeluding."
"Everybody!Everything!AndI'mnevercomingback.There'snowaytheycan


getmenow,isthere?"
AreiteratedwordoftheconvulsivehowleronthedockhadstuckintheTyro's
mind."Whataboutthepilot-boat?"
"Oh! Could they? What shall I do? I won't go back. I'll jump overboard first.
Andyoudonothingbutstandtherelikeaninny."
"Many thanks, gentle maiden," returned her companion, unperturbed, "for this
testimonialofconfidenceandesteem.Witheveryinclinationtoaidandabetany
crimeormisdemeanorwithinreach,IneverthelessthinkIoughttobeletinon
thesecretbeforeIcommitmyselffinally."
"It—it'sthatThingonthedock."
"Soyouledmetoinfer."
"Hewantstomarryme."
"Well, America is the land of boundless ambitions," observed the young man
politely.
"Butthey'llmakememarryhimifIstay,"camethehalf-strangledwhisper."I'm
engagedtohim,Itellyou."
"No; you didn't tell me anything of the sort. Why, he's old enough to be your
father."
"Older!"sheasseveratedspitefully."Andhatefullerthanheisold."
"Whydosuchathing?"
"Ididn'tdoit."
"Thenhediditallhimself?Ithoughtittooktwotomakeanengagement."
"Itdoes.Fatherwastheotherone."
"Oh!Fatherisgreatlyimpressedwithouracrobaticfriend'seligibilityasson-inlaw?"
"Well,ofcourse,he'sgotplentyofmoney,andasplendidposition,andallthat.
And I—I—I didn't exactly say 'No.' But when I saw it in the newspapers, all
spreadoutforeverybodytoread—"
"Hello!Itgotintothepapers,didit?"
"Yesterday morning. Father put it in; I know he did. I cried all night, and this
morning I had Marie pack my things, and I made a rush for this old ship, and


they didn't have anything for me but a stuffy little hole 'way down in the hold
somewhere,andIwishIweredead!"
"Oh,cheerup!"counseledtheTyro."I'vegotanawfullydecentstateroom—123
D,andifyouwanttochange—"
"Why,I'm129D.That'sthesamekindofroominthesamepassage.Doyoucall
thatfittolivein?"
Now the Tyro is a person of singularly equable temperament. But to have an
offerwhichhehadmadeonlywithself-sacrificingeffortthuscavalierlyreceived
byared-nosed,blear-eyed,impudentlittlechittermouse(thus,Imustreluctantly
admit, did he mentally characterize his new acquaintance), was just a bit too
much.
"Youdon'thavetoaccepttheoffer,youknow,"heassuredher."Ionlymadeitto
beoffensive.AndasI'veapparentlybeensuccessfulbeyondmyfondesthopes,I
willnowwaftmyselfaway."
There was some kind of struggle in which the lachrymose maiden's whole
anatomyseemedinvolved,andthenaglovedhandwentoutappealingly.
"Meaningthatyou'resorry?"inquiredtheTyrosternly.
Some sounds there are which elude the efforts of the most onomatopœic pen.
Still,asnearlyasmaybe—
"Buh!"saidthedamsel."Buh—huh—huh!"
"Oh,inthatcase."TheTyroturnedback.
Therewasalongpause,whilethegirlstruggledforself-command,duringwhich
hersquirehadtimetoobservewithsomesurprisethatshehadawhitegloveon
herlefthandandatanoneonherright,andthatherapparelseemedtohavebeen
putonwithoutdueregardtothecardinalpointsofthecompass.Throughtheveil
sheperceivedandinterpretedhisappraisal.
"I'madowdyfrump!"shelamented,half-voiced."IdressedmyselfwhileMarie
waspacking.Butyouneedn'tbeso—sosuperciliousaboutit."
"I'mnot,"protestedhe,conscience-stricken.
"Youare!WhenyoulookatmethatwayIhateyou!I'mnotsorryIwasnastyto
you.I'mglad!IwishI'dbeennastier!"
TheTyrobentuponherafascinatedbutbalefulregard."Angelchild,"saidhein
sugaredaccents,"appeasemycuriosity.Answermeonequestion."


"Iwon't.Whatisit?"
"Didyoueverhaveyourearsboxed?"
"Never!"shesaidindignantly.
"Ithoughtasmuch."
"You'dliketodoit,perhaps."
"I'dloveto.Itwoulddome—Imeanyou—somuchgood."
"MaybeI'llletyouifyou'llhelpmegetaway.Iknowthey'llfindme!"Atthe
prospect the melancholy one once more abandoned herself to the tragedy of
existence."Andyoudon'tdoathingbutm-m-makefu-fu-funofme."
ContritionsoftenedtheheartoftheTyro."Oh,lookhere,Niobe,"hebegan.
"Mynameisn'tNiobe!"
"Well,yournature'sdistinctlyNiobish.I'vegottocallyousomething."
"You haven't! You haven't got to ever speak to me again. They'll find me, and
catch me, and send me back, and I'll marry that—that Creature, if that's what
youwant."
Thiswastheargumentumadhominemwithavengeance."Iwant?Whatonearth
haveIgottodowithit?"
"Nothing! Nobody has anything to do with it. Nobody gives a—a—a darn for
me.Oh,IwishIwerebackhome!"
"Nowyou'retalkingsense.Thepilot-boatisyourplay."
"Oh!Andyousaidyou'dhelpme."Andthenthelastbarriergaveway,andthe
floodssweptdownandimmersedspeechforthemoment.
"Oh, come! Brace up, little girl." His voice was all kindness now. "If you're
reallyboundtogetaway—"
"Iam,"camethemuffledvoice.
"Buthaveyougotanyplacetogo?"
"Yes."
"Where?"
"Mymarriedsister'sinLondon."
"Truly?"


"Icanshowyouacablegramifyoudon'tbelieveme."
"That'sallright,then.I'lltakeachance.Nowforonedeep,dark,anddeadlyplot.
If the pilot-boat is after you, they'll look up your name and cabin on the
passengerlist."
"Ididn'tgivemyrealname."
"Oho!Well,yourfathermightwireadescription."
"It'sjustthekindofthinghewoulddo."
"Thereforeyou'dbetterchangeyourclothes."
"No.I'dbetternot.Thisawfulmessisaregulardisguiseforme."
"Andifyoucouldcontrivetostopcrying—"
"I'mgoingtocry,"saidtheyounglady,withconviction,"allthewayover."
"You'llbeacheerfullittleshipmate!"
"Don'tyouconcernyourselfaboutthat,"sheretorted."Afterthepilotleaves,you
needn'thavemeonyourmindatall."
"Thank you. Well, suppose you join me over in yonder secluded corner of the
deckinabouttwohours.Isthereanybodyonboardthatknowsyou?"
"HowdoIknow?Theremightbe."
"Then stay out of the way, and keep muffled up as you are now. Your own
motherwouldn'trecognizeyouthroughthatveil.InfactIdon'tsupposeI'dknow
youmyself,butforyourvoice."
"Oh,Idon'talwayswhisper.ButifItrytotalkoutloudmythroatgetsfunnyand
Iwanttoc-c-cry—"
"Quitit!Stop.Braceup,now.We'llbluffthethingthroughsomehow.Justleave
ittomeanddon'tworry."
"Andnow,"queried theTyroofhimself,as hewatchedtheforlornlittlefigure
outofsight,"whathaveIletmyselfinforthistime?"
Withaviewtogatheringinformationaboutthefunctions,habits,andcapacities
of a pilot-boat, he started down to the office and was seized upon the
companionway by a grizzled and sunbaked man of fifty who greeted him
joyously.


"Sandy!Isityourself?Wellmettoyou!"
"Hello,Dr.Alderson,"returnedtheyoungmanwithwarmth."Goingover?What
luckforme!"
"Why?Needachaperon?"
"Acicerone,anyway.It'smyfirsttrip,andIdon'tknowasoulaboard."
"Oh, you'll know plenty before we're over. A maiden voyager is a sort of pet
aboard ship, particularly if he's an unattached youth. My first was thirty years
ago.Thisismytwenty-seventh."
"Youmustknowallaboutships,then.Tellmeaboutthepilot."
"Whatabouthim?He'susuallyagayoldsaltwhohasn'tbeenoutofsightofland
for—"
"Thatisn'twhatIwanttoknow.Doeshetakepeoplebackwithhim?"
"Hello!What'sthis?Don'twanttobackoutalready,doyou?"
"No.Itisn'tI."
"Somebodywanttogoback?That'seasilyarranged."
"No.Theydon'twanttogoback.Notiftheycanhelpit.Butcouldwordbegot
tothepilottotakeanyoneoff?"
"Oh,yes.Ifitweresentintime.AtelegramtoQuarantinewouldgethim,upto
anhourorsoafterwecastoff.What'sthemystery,Sandy?"
"Tellyoulater.Thanks,eversomuch."
"I'll have you put at my table," called the other after him, as he descended the
broadcompanionway.
Sothepilot-boatschemewasfeasible,then.Iftheunknownweeper'sfatherhad
prompt notice—from the disciple of Terpsichore, for example—he might get
word to the pilot and institute a search. Meditating upon the appearance and
behaviorofthedock-dancer,theTyrodecidedthathe'dgotoanylengthstosee
thethingthroughjustforthepleasureoffrustratinghim.
"Thoughwhatonearthhewantstomarryherfor,Idon'tsee,"hethought."She
oughttomarryanundertaker."
Andhesatdowntowritehismotherapilot-boatletter,assuringherthathehad
thusfarsurvivedtheperilsofthedeepandhadalreadyfoundajobasknight-


errant to the homeliest and most lugubrious girl on the seven seas. At the
warningcallfortheclosingofthemailshehastenedtotherendezvousondeck.
Shewastherebeforehim,stillmuffledup,stillswollenoffeature,andstill,ashe
indignantlyputittohimself,"blubbering."
MeantimetherehadreachedthegiantshipClanMacgregoramessagesignedby
anameofsuchpowerthatthewholestructureofficiallythrilledtoitfromtopto
bottom.Theownerofthenamedemandedtheinstantreturn,intactandingood
order,C.O.D.,ofavaluabledaughter,preferablybypilot-boat,but,ifnecessary,
by running the ship aground and sending said daughter ashore in a breechesbuoy, or by turning back and putting into dock again. In this assumption there
wasperhapssomehyperbole.Butitwasobviousfromthestirofofficialdomthat
thesignerofthedemandwantedhisdaughterverymuchandwasaccustomedto
having his wants respectfully carried out. One feature of the message would
haveconvincedtheTyro,hadheseenit,ofthefatuityoffatherhood.Itdescribed
thefugitiveas"verypretty."
The search was thorough, rigid, and quite unavailing. The reason why it was
unavailingwasthis:Atthemomentwhenthatportionofthechasetowhichthe
promenade deck was apportioned, consisting of the second officer, the purser,
andtwostewards,approachedthesecludednookwheretheTyrostoodguardian
above the feminine Fount of Tears, they beheld and heard only a young man
admonishingastrickengirlinunmistakablyfraternalterms:
"Now,Amy,youmightjustaswellstopthatsniveling.[TheTyrowastakinga
bitofrevengeontheside.]Youcan'tchangeyourstateroom.Thereisn'tanother
to be had on board. And if it's good enough for Mother, I think it ought to be
goodenoughforyou.Dohavesomegumption,Amy,andcutoutthesalty-tear
business.Comeondownandeat."
The pursuit passed on, and an hour later the pilot-boat chugged away
passengerless; for even the mightiest cannot hold indefinitely an ocean liner
settingoutafterapossiblerecord.Almostatthemomentthatthemanofpower
received a message stating positively that his daughter was not on the Clan
Macgregorthatperverselittlepersonwassayingtoherpreserver,who—foolish
youth—hadexpectedsomeexpressionofappreciation:—
"WhatdoyoumeanbycallingmeAmy?Ihatethename."
"Shortfor'amiability,'yourmostobviousquality."
"You'reaperfectpig!"retortedtheladywithconviction.


TheTyromadeheralowbow."Oh,patternofallthegraces,"saidhe,"Iaccept
and appreciate the appellation. The pig is a praiseworthy character. The pig
sufferethlongandiskind.Thepigishumble,pious,ahome-loverandahomestayer.Youneverheardofapigchanginghisheartandrunningawayacrossthe
seas on twelve hours' notice, because things didn't go exactly to suit him. Did
you,now?Thepigismildoftemperandrestrainedofspeech.Healwaysthinks
twice before he grunts. To those that use him gently the pig is friendly and
affectionate. Gratitude makes its home in that soft bosom. Well has the poet
sung:—
"Howrarerthanaserpent'stooth
Itistofindathanklesspig!
"Thepigdoesnotgrouchnorsnapnorstampuponthefeetofthedefenseless.
Finally and above all, he does not give way to useless tears and make red the
lovelypinknessofhisshapelynose.ProudamItobedubbedthePerfectPig."
"Oh!"saidthetearfuldamsel,andpotentialmurderinformedthemonosyllable.
"Seehere,"saidtheTyropersuasively:"tellme,whyareyousocrosswithme?"
"Becauseyoupitiedme."
"Anybodywould.Youlooksohelplessandmiserable."
"I'mnotmuh-muh-miserable!"
"Ibegyourpardon.Ofcourseyou'renot.Anyonecouldseethat."
"Iam.ButIdon'tcare.Iwon'tbepitied.Howdareyoupityme!Ihatepeople
that—thatgoaroundpityingotherpeople."
"I'llpromisenevertodoitagain.Onlysparemylifethistime.NowI'mgoingto
goawayandstopbotheringyou.Butifyoufindthingsgettingtoodullforyou
during the voyage, I'll be around somewhere within call. Good-bye, and good
luck."
Alittlehandwentouttohim—impulsively.
"I am sorry," came the whisper—it was almost free of tragic effect this time
—"andIreallythinkyou—you'reratheradear."
TheTyromarchedawayintherighteousconsciousnessofhavingdonehisfull
dutybyhelplessandunattractivegirlhood.Thegirlretiredpresentlytohercabin,
and made a fair start on her announced policy of crying all the way from
AmericatoEurope.When,however,theshipmetwithaplayfullittlecross-sea


andbegantobobbleandweaveandsplashaboutinthemannerofourtop-heavy
leviathans of travel, she was impelled to take thought of her inner self, and
presentlysoughtthefreshandopenairofthedecklestaworsethingbefallher.
Thereinashelteredangleshesnuggleddeepinherchair,andpresently,braced
by the vivifying air, was by way of almost enjoying herself. And thither fate
drovetheTyro,withrelentlesspurpose,intoherclutches.
With his friend Alderson, who had retrieved him late in the afternoon after he
had unpacked, the Tyro was making rather uncertain weather of it along the
jerkingdeck,whenanunusuallyabruptbuck-jumpexecutedbytheMacgregor
sent him reeling up against the cabin rail at the angle behind which the girl
sheltered.
"Let'sstophereforaminute,"pantedAlderson."Haven'tgotmysea-legsyet."
Therewasapause."DidIseeyoumakingyourselfagreeabletoayoungperson
ofthedangeroussexacoupleofhoursago?"
"Agreeable? Well, judging by results, no. I doubt if Chesterfield himself could
havemadehimselfagreeabletoLittleMissGrouch."
"MissWho?"
"Little Miss Grouch. Don't know her real name. But that's good enough for
descriptive purposes. She's the crossest little patch that ever grew up without
beingproperlyspanked."
"Wheredidyourunacrossher?"
"Oh, she wrecked my pet toe with a guillotine heel because I ventured to
sympathizewithher."
"Oh," commented the experienced Alderson. "Sympathy isn't in much demand
whenoneisseasick."
"Itwasn'tseasickness.Itwasweepsforthevanishedfatherland;suchblubbery
weeps!Poorlittlegirl!"musedtheTyro."Sheisn'tmuchbiggerthanaminute,
andsoforlorn,andsored-nosed,andsohomely,youcouldn'thelpbut—"
At this moment a drunken stagger on the part of the ship slewed the speaker
halfwayaround.Hefoundhimselflookingdownuponasteamer-chair,wherein
layabundleswathedinmanyrugs.Fromthatbundleprotrudedaveiledfaceand
theoutlineofaswollennose,abovewhichapairoffixedeyesblazed,dimmed
butmalevolent,intohis.
"Er—ah—oh,"saidtheTyro,movinghastilyaway."Ifyou'llexcusemeIthink


I'lljuststepovertherailandspeaktoafishIusedtoknow."
"What's the matter?" inquired Alderson suspiciously, following him. "Not
already!"
"Oh,no.Notthat.Worse.ThatbundlealmostunderourfeetwhenIspoke—that
wasLittleMissGrouch."
Aldersontookafurtiveglance."She'sallmummiedup,"hesuggested;"maybe
shedidn'thear."
"Oh,yes,shedid.Trustmyluckforthat.AndIsaidshewashomely.Andsheis.
Oh,Lord,Iwouldn'thavehurtherpoorlittlefeelingsforanything."
"Don't you be too sure about her being so homely. Any woman looks a fright
whenshe'sallbungedupfromcrying."
"What'sthedifference?"saidtheTyromiserably."Aprettygirldon'tliketobe
calledhomelyanymorethanahomelyone."
"There's where you're off, my son," returned Alderson. "She can summon her
looking-glassasawitnessinrebuttal."
"Anyway,I'veputmyfootinituptotheknee!"
"Oh, go up to-morrow when she's feeling better and tell her you were talking
abouttheship'scat."
"I'dshowbettersensebykeepingoutofherwayaltogether."
"You'llneverbeabletodothat,"saidthesea-wiseAlderson."Trytoavoidany
oneonshipboardandyou'llbumpintothatparticularpersoneverywhereyougo,
fromtheengine-roomtotheforepeak.Tentooneshesitsnexttoyouattable."
"I'llhavemyseatchanged,"criedtheotherinpanic."I'lleatinmycabin.I'llfast
fortheweek."
"YoubeagamesportandI'llhelpyouout,"promisedhisfriend."Allhandsto
repelboarders!Hereshecomes!"
LittleMissGrouchboredownuponthemwithhermuch-malignednoseinthe
air. As she maneuvered to pass, the ship, which had reached the climax of its
normalrolltoport,paused,andthendecidedtogoacoupleofdegreesfarther;in
consequenceofwhichtheyoungladyfledwithastifledcryoffurystraightinto
theTyro'swaitingarms.Alderson,truetohispromise,extractedher,setheron
herway,andturnedanxiouslytohisyoungfriend.


"Didshebiteyou?"heinquiredsolicitously.
"No.Yougrabbedherjustintime.Thisaffair,"hecontinuedwithprofoundand
wretchedconviction,"isgoingtobeFatewithacapitalF."
Meantime,intheseclusionofhercabin,thelittleladywasmaturingtheplotof
deep and righteous wrath. "Wait till to-morrow," she muttered, hurling her
apparelfromheranddivingintoherbunk."I'llshowhim,"sheadded,givingthe
pillowaviciouspoke."HesaidIwashomely!(Thump!)Andred-nosed.(Plop!)
Andcrossandugly!(Whack!)AndhecalledmeLittleMissGrouch.And—and
gribblehim!"pursuedthemalignedone,employingthedreadfulanathemaofher
schoolgirldays."Hepitiedme.Pitied!Me!Justwait.I'llbeseasickandhaveit
overwith!AndI'llcryuntilIhaven'tgotanothertearleft.AndthenI'llfixhim.
He's got nice, clear gray eyes, too," concluded the little ogress with tigerish
satisfaction."Ouch!where'sthebell!"
ForseveralhoursLittleMissGrouchcarriedoutherprogrammefaithfullyandat
some pains. Then there came to her the fairy godmother, Sleep, who banished
the goblins, Grief and Temper, and worked her own marvelous witchery upon
the weary girl to such fair purpose that she awoke in the morning transformed
beyond all human, and more particularly all masculine, believing. One look in
herglassassuredherthattheunfailingcharmhadworked.
Shegirdedupherhairandwentforthuponthewar-pathofhersex.

II
Seconddayout.
Agooddealofweatherofonekindandanother.
Mightbecalledawhat-nextsortofday.
IthinkIamgoingtolikethisoldoceanprettywell.
SMITH'SLOG.
Wherebeautyisnot,constancyisnot.ThisperspicuousproverbfromthePersian
(which I made up myself for the occasion) is cited in mitigation of the Tyro's


regrettable fickleness, he—to his shame be it chronicled—having practically
forgotten the woe-begone damsel's very existence within eighteen short hours
afterhisadventureinknight-errantry.Hertear-ravagedanduntidyplainnesshad,
inthatbrieftime,beenexorcisedfrommemorybyamorepotentinterest,thatof
Beautyonherimperialthrone.Settingforththefactsintheirdueorder,itbefell
inthiswise:—
At or about one bell, to be quite nautical, the Tyro awoke from a somewhat
agitatedsleep.
"Holdonaminute!"protestedhe,addressingwhateverPowersmightbewithin
hearing."Stoptheswing.Iwanttogetout!"
Heliftedhisheadandthewallleanedoverandbumpeditbackuponthepillow.
Incidentallyitbumpedhimawake.
"Mustbemorning,"heyawned.Apocket-knifeandtwokeysrolledoffthestand
almost into the yawn. "Some weather," deduced the Tyro. "Now, if I'm ever
goingtobeseasickIsupposethisisthetimetobegin."Hegavethematterone
minute's fair and honorable consideration. "I think I'll be breakfasting," he
decided,anddismissedit.
Having satisfied an admirable appetite in an extensive area of solitude, he
weaved and wobbled up the broad stairs and emerged into the open, where he
stood looking out upon a sea of flecked green and a sky of mottled gray.
Aldersonboredownuponhim,triangulatingthedecklikeasurveyor.
"Trying out my sea-legs," he explained. "How does this strike you as an antibreakfastroll?"
"Hasn'tstruckmethatwayatall,"saidtheTyro."Ifeelfine."
"WelcometotheSocietyofSeaworthySalts!Thesearethetimesthattrymen's
stomachs,ifnottheirsouls.Comealong."
The pair marched back and forth past a row of sparsely inhabited deck-chairs,
meeting in their promenade a sprinkling of the hardier spirits of the ship
community.
"HaveyouseenMissMelancholiathismorning?"askedAlderson.
"No, thank Heaven! I didn't dare go in to breakfast till I'd peeked around the
cornertomakesureshewasn'tthere."
"Wait.She'llcrossyourbowsearlyandoften."


"Don't!Youmakemenervous.Whatabeastshemustthinkme!"
"Here comes a girl now," said his friend maliciously. "Prepare to emulate the
startledfawn."
TheTyroturnedhastily."Oh,that'sallright,"hesaid,reassured."She'swholly
surroundedbyamasculinebodyguard.NofearofitsbeingLittleMissGrouch."
A sudden roll of the ship opened up the phalanx, and there stood, poised, a
WondrousVision;aspectacleofdelightforgodsandmen,andparticularlyfor
theTyro,whothenandthereforgotLittleMissGrouch,forgotAlderson,forgot
hisfamily,hishome,hisaltarsandhisfires,andparticularlyhismanners,and,
staring until his eyes protruded, offered up an audible and fervent prayer to
NeptunethattheClanMacgregormightbreakdowninmid-oceanandnotgetto
portforsixmonths.
"Hello!"saidAlderson."Whythissuddenpassionforalifeontheoceanwave?"
"Didyouseeher?"
"See whom? Oh!" he added, in enlightenment, as the escort surged past them.
"That'sit,isit,myimpressionableyoungfriend?Well,ifyou'replanningtoenter
thoselistsyouwon'tbewithoutcompetition."
The Tyro closed his eyes to recall that flashing vision of youth and loveliness.
Hesawagainthedeliciouslymodeledfacetintedtowarmestpink,afigureblent
of curves and gracious contours, a mouth of delicate mirth, and eyes, wide,
eager,soft,andslantedquaintlyatanangletomaddentheheartofman.
"IstheresuchanangelastheAngelofLaughter?"askedtheTyro.
"NotinanyhierarchythatIknow,"repliedAlderson.
"Thenthereoughttobe.Doyouknowher?"
"Who?TheAngelof—"
"Don'tguyme,Dr.Alderson.Thisisserious."
"Oh,thesesuddenseizuresareseldomfatal."
"Doyouknowher?"persistedtheTyro.
"No."
The Tyro sighed. Meantime there progressed the ceremony of enthroning the
queen in one of the most desirable chairs on the deck, while the bodyguard
fussed eagerly about, tucking in rugs, handing out candy, flowers, and


magazines, and generally making monkeys of itself. (I quote the Tyro's
regrettablecharacterizationoftheseactsofsimplecourtesy.)
"ButIknowsomeofheradmirers,"continuedtheother."Thelop-earedyouthon
therightisyoungSperry,sonofthefamousmillionairephilanthropistandtaxdodger,DiedrickSperry.He'llbeworthtenmillionsoneofthesedays."
"Slug!"saidtheTyroviciously.
"ThathugeyoungsteratherfeetisJournay,guardonlastyear'sPrincetonteam.
He'sanothergildedyouth."
"Unfledgedcub,"growledtheTyro.
"Very nice boy, on the contrary. The bristly-haired specimen who is
ostentatiouslymakingasketchofherisCastletonFlaunt,theillustrator."
"Poseur!"
"Thelanguid,brownmanwiththemustacheisLordGuenn,thepolo-player."
"Cheapsport!"
"Youdon'tseemfavorablyimpressedwiththelady'sfriends."
"Hangherfriends!Iwanttoknowwhosheis."
"Thatalsomightbedone.Doyouseethetallmancomingdownthedeck?"
"Theoldfarmerwiththewispyhair?"
"Precisely.That'farmer'istheablesthonestlawyerinNewYork.Also,heknows
everybody.Oh,JudgeEnderby,"hehailed.
"Howdy, Alderson," responded the iron-gray one. "Glad to see you. Now we
shallhavesomewhist."
"Good!Judge,doyouknowtheprettygirloveryonder,inthatchair?"
Thejudgeputupaneyeglass."Yes,"hesaid.
"Tellmyyoungfriendherewhosheis,willyou?"
"No."
"Whynot?"
Acavernouschuckleissuedfrombetweenthelawyer'srigidwhiskers."Because
Ilikehislooks."
"Well,Ilikehers,sir,"saidtheTyronaïvely.


"Verylikely,youngman.Verylikely.SoI'mhelpingtokeepyououtoftrouble.
Thatchildisprettyenoughtogiveevenanold,dried-upheartlikeminethefaint
echo of a stir. Think of the devastation to a young one like yours. Steer clear,
youngman!Steerclear!"
Andtheiron-grayone,himselfaninveteratesentimentalist,passedon,chuckling
overhistime-worndeviceforquickeningromanceintheheartoftheyoungby
the judicious interposition of obstacles. He strolled over to the center of
attraction, where he was warmly greeted. To the Wondrous Vision he said
something which caused her to glance over at the Tyro. That anxious youth
interpretedthelookasembodyingsomethingofsurprise,and—coulditbe?—a
glintofmischief.
"Nevermind,"saidAlderson,"Idaresaywecanfindsomeway,sometimetodayorto-morrow."
"To-morrow!" broke in the Tyro fretfully. "Do you realize that this voyage is
onlyafive-dayrun?"
"Oh, Youth! Youth!" laughed the older man. "Are you often taken this way,
Sandy?"
TheTyroturneduponhimthecandorofanappealingsmile."Neverinmylife
before,"hesaid."Igiveyoumywordofhonor."
"Inthatcase,"saidhisfriend,withmockseriousness,"thelife-savingexpedition
willtrytogetarescue-linetothecraftindistress."
With obvious hope the Tyro's frank eyes interrogated Judge Enderby as he
returnedfromhisinterview.
"Stillofthesamemind,youngman?"
"Yes,sir."
"Wanttoknowher?"
"Ido,indeed!"
"Verywell.Youhaveyourwish."
"You'regoingtopresentme?"
"I?No,indeed."
"Then—"


"Yousayyouwishtoknowher.Well,youdoknowher.Atleast,shesaysshe
knowsyou.Notallofusattainourheart'sdesiresosimply."
"Know her!" cried the amazed Tyro. "I swear I don't. Why, I could no more
forgetthatface—"
"Don't tell her that or she'll catch you up on it since she knows you have
forgotten."
"Whatishername?"
"Ah,thatI'mforbiddentotell.'Ifhehasforgottenmesoeasily,'saidshe—and
sheseemedreallyhurt—'IthinkIcandispensewithhisfurtheracquaintance.'"
"IfIshouldbreakthroughthatpifflingbodyguardnow—"
"If you want some rather high-priced advice for nothing," said the old and
mischievouslawyer,"don'tdoit.Youmightnotbewellreceived."
"Areyouinthesecret,then?"
"Secret?Isthereanysecret?Averycharminggirlwhosayssheknowsyoufinds
herselfforgottenbyyou.Andyou'vebeenmaladroitenoughtobetraythefact.
Naturallysheisnotpleased.Nothingverymysteriousinthat."
Thereupon the pestered youth retired in distress and dudgeon to his cabin to
formulateacampaign.
Progress, however, seemed slow. It was a very discontented Tyro who, after
luncheon,betookhimselftothespray-soakedweatherrailandstrovetoassuage
hisimpatiencebyathoughtfulcontemplationofthemanyleaguesofoceanstill
remaining to be traversed. From this consideration he was roused by a clear,
low-pitched,andextraordinarilysilveryvoiceathiselbow.
"Aren'tyougoingtospeaktome?"itsaid.


"AREN'TYOUGOINGTOSPEAKTOME?"
"AREN'TYOUGOINGTOSPEAKTOME?"

The Tyro whirled. For a moment he thought that his heart had struck work
permanently, so long did it remain inert in his throat. A sense of the decent
formalitiesoftheoccasionimpelledhimtomakeahastycatchathiscap.Ashe
removed it, an impish windgust snatched it away from his nerveless grasp and
presented it to a large and hungry billow, which straightway swallowed it and
retiredwithahissofacknowledgmentlikeabowingJap.
TheTyropaidnottheslightestheedtohisloss.Withhiseyesfixedfirmlyupon
the bewitching face before him,—these apparitions vanish unless held under
determined regard,—he cautiously reached around and pinched himself. The
Vision interpreted his action, and signalized her appreciation of it by a sort of
beatifiedchuckle.
"Oh,yes;you'reawake,"sheassuredhim,"andI'mreal."
"Wishesdocometrue,"hesaidwiththeprofoundestconviction.
Up went the Vision's quaintly slanted brows in dainty inquiry, with further
disastrousresultstotheyoungman'scardiacmechanism.
"Haveyourscometrue?"
"Youhave,"heaverred.
"Thenyou'regladtoseemeagain?"
Again? Again? Here it behooved him to go cautiously. Inwardly he cursed the
reticence of Judge Enderby with a fervor which would have caused that aged
jurist the keenest delight. Then he made one more despairing call upon the
reserveforcesofmemory.Invain.Still,hemustn'tletherseethat.Playupand
trusttohappychance!
"Glad!" he repeated. "Don't you hear a sound of inner music? That's my heart
singingtheDoxology."
"Verypretty,"thegirlapproved."Howisthepoorfoot?"
"Muchbetter,thankyou.Didyouseethatmurderousassault?"
"Seeit?I?"TheVisionopenedwideeyesofastonishment.
"Yes.Ididn'tnoticeyouinthecrowd."
She gave him a long look of mock-pathetic reproach from under drooped lids.


"Oh,falseandfaithlesscavalier.You'veforgottenme.Already!"
"Onceseeingyou,Icouldn'tforgetyouintenthousandyears,"hecried."There's
somemistake.Idon'tknowyou."
Herlaughterrippledabouthimliketheplayofsunlightmadeaudible.
"Oh,antidotetovanity,lookatme,"shecommanded.
"It'stheveryeasiesttaskevermanwassetto,"heassertedwithsuchearnestness
thatthecolorroseinhercheeks.
"BeforeIvanishforever,I'llgiveyouyourchance.Come!WhoamI?One—two
—thuh-ree-ee."
"Wait!You'reTitania.You'reanUndineoftheAtlantic.You'retheWhiteHope,
becomingly tinged with pink, of American Womanhood. You're the Queen of
Heartsandalltherestofthetrumpsinthedeck.YouarealsoCleopatra,and,and
—HelenofTroy.Butaboveall,ofcourse,tomeyouaretheSphinx."
"And you," she remarked, "are a Perfect Pig. 'The pig is a praiseworthy
character.Thepigsuffereth—'"
"LittleMissGrouch!"Thewordsburstfromhimwiththepropulsiveenergyof
totalamazement.Thenextinstanthewassubmergedinshame.
"Ineversawanyone'searsturnscarletbefore,"sheobserved,withdelicateand
maliciousappreciationofthephenomenon.
"It's a symptom of the last decay of the mind. But are you really the—the
runawaygirl?"
"Ireallyam,thankstoyourhelp."
"Butyoulooksototallydifferent."
"Well,"sheremindedhim."Yousaidyouprobablywouldn'trecognizemewhen
yousawmeagain."
"Idon'twhollybelieveinyouyet.Howdidyouworkthemiracle?"
"Notamiracleatall.Ijusttooktheadviceofachanceacquaintanceandcheered
up."
"Thenpleasestaycheeredupandkeepthisshape.Ilikeitawfully."
"It'sveryhardtobecheerfulwhenoneisforgottenovernight,"shecomplained.
"There's some excuse for me. You didn't have on this—this angel-cloth dress;


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