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