A STORY FOR GIRLS
BY FANNIE E. NEWBERRY
"Our Faith, a star, shone o'er a rocky height;
The billows rose, and she was quenched in night."
A. L. BURT COMPANY, PUBLISHERS.
By A. I. BRADLEY & CO
OF A HAPPY VISIT,
LET ME DEDICATE TO YOU, MY COUSINS
H. S. AND W. FASSETT,
THIS LITTLE BOOK
WITH MY AFFECTIONATE REGARDS
I. Debby has a Caller
II. The Leave-taking
III. New Surroundings
V. "On the Bay of Biscay, O!"
VI. Portuguese Towns and Heroes
VII. Kite-flying and Gibraltar
VIII. Nightmare and Gossip
IX. A Game of Gromets
X. Mrs. Windemere's Dinner
XI. A Sunday at Sea
XII. The Story of a Wreck
XIII. Algiers and Andy
XV. Tropical Evenings
XVII. Lady Moreham Speaks
XVIII. Last Days Together
XIX. Old Ties and New
XX. In Old Bombay
XXI. Friends Ashore
XXII. In Elephanta's Caves
DEBBY HAS A CALLER.
"And they're twins, you say?"
"Yes'm, two of 'em, and as putty as twin blooms on a stalk, 'm."
The second speaker was a large, corpulent woman, with a voluminous
white apron tied about her voluminous waist. She stood deferentially
before the prospective roomer who had asked the question, to whom she
was showing the accommodations of her house, with interpolations of a
private nature, on a subject too near her heart, to-day, to be ignored
even with strangers. As she stood nodding her head with an emphasis
that threatened to dislodge the smart cap with purple ribbons, which
she had rather hastily assumed when summoned to the door, the caller
mentally decided that here was a good soul, indeed, but rather
loquacious to be the sole guardian of two girls "putty as twin blooms."
She, herself, was tall and slender, and wore her rich street costume
with an easy elegance, as if fine clothing were too much a matter of
course to excite her interest. But upon her face were lines which
showed that, at some time, she had looked long and deeply into the
hollow eyes of trouble, possibly despair. Even the smile now curving
her well-turned lips lacked the joyousness of youth, though in years
she seemed well on the sunny side of early middle age. She was
evidently in no hurry this morning, and finding her possible landlady
so ready to talk, bent an attentive ear that was most flattering to the
"I knew," she said, sinking into a rattan chair tied up with blue
ribbons, like an over-dressed baby, "that these rooms had an air which
suggested youth and beauty. I don't wonder your heart is sore to lose
"Ah, it's broke it is, 'm!" the voice breaking in sympathy, "for I've
looked upon 'em as my own, entirely, and it's nigh to eighteen year,
now. Their mother, just a slip of a girl herself, 'm, had only time
for a long look at her babbies before she begun to sink, and when she
see, herself, 'twas the end, she whispered, 'Debby'—I was right over
her, 'm, leaving the babbies to anybody, for little they were to me
then, beside the dear young mistress—so she says, says she, 'Debby!'
and I says, very soft-like, 'Yes, Miss Helen,'—'cause, mind you, I'd
been her maid afore she was merrit at all, and I allays forgot when I
wasn't thinkin', and give her the old name—and I says, 'Yes, Miss
Helen?' And then she smiles up at me just as bright as on her wellest
days, 'm, and says, 'Call 'em Faith and Hope,' Debby; that's what they
would be to me if—and not rightly onderstandin' of her, I breaks in,
'Faith and Hope? Call what faith and hope?' For, thinkses I, 'she
may be luny with the fever.' But no, she says faint-like, but clear
and sound as a bell, 'Call my babies so. Let their names be Faith and
Hope, and when their poor father comes home, say it was my wish, and he
must not grieve too much, for he will have Faith and Hope always with
him.' And then the poor dear sinks off again and never rightly comes
to, till she's clean gone."
"And their father was on a voyage, then?"
"Yes 'm, second mate of the 'International.' He's cap'n now, 'm, with
an interest in the steamship, and they do say they ain't many that's so
dreadfully much finer in the big P. & O. lines—leastwise so I've heerd
tell, 'm, and I guess they ain't no mistake about it, nuther."
"And you have mothered his babies all these years?"
"I have, 'm, yes. In course when it come time for their schoolin' I
had to let 'em go. 'Twas then Cap'n Hosmer was going to give up this
house, 'cause 'twa'n't no use a-keepin' it while they was off, but thet
made me put my wits to work, and I planned a plan as I ain't seen fit
to find no fault with to this day. I ups and merries John Gunter,
what's been a-hangin' around a year or more, and I says, 'We'll take
the house off your hands, Cap'n. I've made up a notion to keep
lodgers, and then that'll give my girls a place to come to, and git fed
up, a holidays—don't you see, sir? And at that he laughs and says,
says he—for he's a man what's sound and sweet clear through, like a
hard cabbage, 'm, no rotten nowhere—and he says: 'A good plan, Debby,
and I'll rent your two best rooms for my daughters now, and pay a year
in advance,' and so 'twas done, 'm. And so's went the last five year,
them a-coming and going, jest like the sunshine in Aprile, but now—"
Again the always husky voice broke, and the white apron was turned into
a handkerchief for the nonce.
"Now you are going to lose them, you say?"
"Yes'm. They're to ship with their father for the long cruise—that
is, I s'pose I oughter say they're a-goin with him on the long v'yage
"I presume he gets lonely for them too, poor man!"
"In course he do, 'm—I sees thet plain—and I can't really say a word,
only—hist! I believes it's 'em, now. If that ain't my Miss Hope's
rush through the hall then I'll—"
An unmistakable breeze and clatter, in which fresh young voices could
be plainly heard, sounded without, and, as both women faced the door,
it was flung somewhat violently open, and a young creature appeared in
its frame who seemed the incarnation of joy and brightness.
Involuntarily the lady murmured "Hope!" for the young girl's great
brown eyes were alight with fun, and her red-brown hair seemed to laugh
sympathetically in every curly lock and tangle, while her parted lips
showed teeth like bits of alabaster polished to splendor.
She had scarcely entered when there seemed to be two of her, for her
sister, close behind, was so perfect a counterpart that no one, unless
a keen observer, could detect a difference. The stranger was a keen
observer and noticed that, while eyes, teeth, hair, and rich complexion
were identical, also the height and build, the expression was quite
different. Where the first-comer was alert, bird-like, and possibly
inclining to sharpness, the second was more dreamy, peaceful, and slow.
She had called the one "Hope," and saw, with quick pleasure, that she
was right, for as the girl stopped suddenly, abashed at finding a
stranger in the room, Mrs. Gunter said apologetically—
"I was jest takin' this lady through, Miss Hope. She thowt as she
might be a-wantin' of these after you an' Miss Faith was a-gone, maybe.
Mrs. Rollston it is."
Each young girl acknowledged the introduction with a pleasant little
nod, and a murmured, "Happy to meet you, Mrs. Rollston," so precisely
similar in voice and manner that she could not help an amused smile;
yet, even here she could detect that same subtle difference in the
expression. Hope's nod was accompanied by a blithe glance, keen, yet
inviting, Faith's with a softly-inquiring, yet half-indifferent look,
as if some undercurrent of thought were still unstirred. She felt that
Hope appropriated her friendliness as a matter of course, while Faith,
though not repelling it, maintained a fine reserve which might, or
might not, vanish like hoar-frost in the first sun-ray of affection.
She said gently, "Your kind Mrs. Gunter has been telling me something
of your plans. It takes a great deal out of a house when young people
"Dear old Deb! She doesn't realize what a lot of care it will take off
her shoulders, though," cried Hope, quickly. "It will give her hours
and hours for Gyp and the lodgers. You see,"—laughing and dimpling
till Mrs. Rollston longed to kiss her,—"I put the dog first."
"Which does not hurt my feelings yet, whatever it may do later,"
returned that lady in kind. "And when do you sail, may I ask?"
"To-morrow morning. I'm so glad we're to start by daylight. We're
going to take Debby out, and send her back in the pilot boat, aren't
"You nearly promised, you know, Debby," put in the one addressed,
seeing dissent in her eye.
"But not quite, honey. I allays feels it's a temptin' of Proverdance
for such a shaped woman as I be to set foot on things what goes
a-rockin' around on the water. I like to feel good solid earth under
them feet!" and she peered quizzically over her round person at her
huge carpet slippers, and shook her head with a chuckle of amusement.
"I've watched them frisky little steam critters 'fore now, and they're
most dujeous like to a babby jest a-larnin' to walk, or a tipsy man
a-tryin' to steer straight when he sees double. No, thankee kindly,
but I guess I'll say good-by ashore, where I can cry it out comfortable
after you're gone."
"Foolish old Debby!" laughed Hope, while Faith looked with a sweet
regret at her dear old nurse, but did not speak.
"Do you know," said the stranger, who was about leaving, her business
having been long finished, "I am wondering how it happened that these
names were bestowed just as they are. Can you tell me, Mrs. Gunter?
It would seem as if the babies must have shown their dispositions when
very young—or was it a happy chance?"
Deborah laughed with unction. It was a story she was fond of telling.
They had just descended the stairs and she opened a door into a
snug-looking sitting-room off the hall as she said—
"Well, jest set you down again for a minute, 'm, if you please, and
I'll tell you. I ain't good for much at standin' long—too many pounds
to hold up. Here, 'm, this is the best chair—now I'll tell ye. Fact
is, I was in a real pupplex over them names for a time. First, I was
a-goin' to wait till their fayther got home, but they kept a-growin' so
fast thet it didn't seem right not to have 'em named. I was real
worrited for a spell till, all at once, I found out that they was
named—yes, and I'd done it myself! 'Twas like this: When they'd begin
to be a stir in the crib, and I was right busy, I'd say to my shadder,
'I hope it isn't this one, 'cause she wouldn't keep still a blessed
minute'; or I'd say, 'I've faith to b'lieve it's that one, for she'll
coo and play with her toes till I gets ready.' 'Twas allays jest
so—'I hope,' or 'I've faith,' every time. And soon as it come to me,
why, I jest named the obstreperous one Hope and the quiet one
Faith—don't you see?"
"I do. It was bright of you, too. It really means that the names came
by nature, so fit like a glove, of course. But I must be off at once.
Thank you for a pleasant morning, Mrs. Gunter! I will bring my husband
around to-morrow for his approval, if he can spare the time. At any
rate, I think I am not too hasty in saying we will take the rooms. We
will, if you please, pay by the week in advance, as he is only here on
business, and our departure may, necessarily, be sudden. Good-morning."
She departed, followed by the smiles and curtesies of Mrs. Gunter, but
not till the latter had found time to whisper huskily, "Aren't they
sweet girls, 'm, and do you wonder it breaks me in pieces to lose 'm?"
to which she responded heartily,
"Indeed, I can fully understand your grief. They are delightful, and
singularly alike. If I were to describe each in a word, I should say
Hope is radiant, Faith lovely, and both are charming!"
There were lively times in the Portsea lodging-house, next morning.
The many last small tasks that crowd upon the out-going voyager had
kept even Hope too busy to talk much, and she at length stopped
breathlessly, to cry, as she jammed her dressing-sacque and tooth-brush
into an already over-crowded bag,
"Dear me! Faith, have you a spot for my hair-brush? It won't fold up
nor crush down, and this crocodile is just gorged. I don't know that I
can ever snap his jaws to in the world!"
Faith looked and smiled an assent.
"Toss it over! If your alligator-grip is full I can find room in this
telescope, but I hope it won't break my scent bottle."
"Oh, alligator—yes, but what's the difference? The creatures look
alike in the pictures, I'm sure. That's a darling! Now, if I can ever
find the eye for this hook—oh, thank you! How calm you are. Why, my
hands fairly shake with nervousness. Now I believe I'm ready."
"I too," returned Faith, taking up her gloves and smiling at Deborah,
who just then opened the door, displaying eyes swollen with weeping and
cap awry, and who observed sobbingly,
"The new lady—Mrs. Rollston—is below, and asked if you was gone. I
thowt as likely she was a-wantin' to see you again, if you don't mind,
though she didn't really ask for you. Will you be pleased to come
"Yes indeed!" cried Hope. "Where did I put that umbrella? Oh, I
remember! It's tied to the steamer trunk. We may as well take our
luggage all down, as we go so soon."
"Yes," said Faith, who had already lifted the telescope and a linen
rug-holder, embroidered with her initials, and calmly sailed out, while
Hope buzzed aimlessly about, picking up sundry small belongings, during
which time Debby shouldered her heavier packages and followed. The
girls allowed no dissimilarity in their costumes, to the smallest
detail, but for convenience' sake had selected their traps and luggage
as unlike as possible. When Hope reached the drawing-room Mrs.
Rollston was making to Faith a half-apology for her early visit.
"I knew, if I could time my call exactly right, I would not bother you.
There is always a breathing-space while waiting for the cab, and—"
"And you have exactly hit it!" broke in Hope, coming forward to give
her greeting, as Faith turned away. "We are pleased to meet you again."
"Thank you. I find myself, in my idle time here, waiting upon my
husband's business, taking more interest than is perhaps strictly
allowable in you both. Can you pardon me?"
"Freely," said Faith, "and we return it. Hope and I had a smart
discussion over you, last night. She says you are an American."
"Does she?" turning swiftly to the sister. "What makes you think so,
"Your manner, your dress, and your accent," was the prompt reply though
the girl flushed a little in embarrassment.
"But how do you young English girls so well understand these points of
"Oh, but we're not English girls!" cried Hope.
"That is, not entirely," qualified Faith. "Our mother was English—"
"But our father's American!" Hope finished the sentence with a
triumphant air, and her visitor laughed.
"You seem proud of it, too," she said.
"I am. Faith does not care so much, but I'm very glad it is so. We
went across with father and Debby once, and stayed a year. It was such
a pleasant time! Father's people live in an old town they call
Lynn—such a pretty, shady place, with a drowsy air that wakes into
real life two or three times a day, when the factory people stream
through the streets—for you see they make shoes there."
"Do they?" asked the lady with a peculiar smile, as if this were not
great news to her.
"Yes. Uncle Albert's house, where we lived, was almost hidden beneath
great elm trees, and he and Aunt Clarice were so good to us."
"And we kept bees," put in Faith, looking exactly like her twin in her
sudden animation. "I used to help uncle swarm them myself."
"And we went down to Boston every few weeks," Hope crowded in again,
"and that was fine. I love Boston. Its narrow, crooked streets make
me think of our own Portsmouth, here, but with a difference. And oh!
the gardens, and the Common, and the Museum—"
"The cab's at the dure," announced Debby in an abused voice, feeling
that this lively talk was scarce seemly in view of the near separation
to follow. Debby cherished grief, and felt it a Christian duty to make
much of it, perhaps because her sunny nature would of itself throw it
off too lightly.
At her word all was quickly changed. The two girls forgot the strange
woman to hug the dear old nurse, and finally were escorted by both to
the cab door, Hope crying heartily, Faith showing only misty eyes and
quivering lips, but looking paler than her sister.
It had been arranged that Captain Hosmer, whose business had kept him
with his steamer overnight, should meet his daughters at the pier, and
the cabman had his directions, so whipped up and was off without delay,
leaving poor Debby almost a senseless heap upon the door-step—an
old-fashioned green door on a retired street in the more ancient part
of the suburb—while Mrs. Rollston, in some dismay, bent over her.
But before the house disappeared from view Faith's straining eyes saw
the two slowly mounting the steps together and turned in great content
to say, "I'm glad that friendly lady is to be at Debby's. She has just
helped the poor dear up the steps as kindly as possible. Poor Debby!
She will miss us."
"Yes." Hope's quick tears were already somewhat stayed, and she now
looked brightly out, as they clattered across the bridge into the town
of Portsmouth proper and began to circle swiftly through the narrow
"But she will feel better in a day or two. And oh! Faith, I can't help
being glad that we are going, can you? We leave Debby, but we go with
father, and such a fine voyage is enough to make any one happy. Ought
we to feel all sorry?"
"No, indeed! Why should we? As you say, we are to go with our father.
That alone is a great delight."
"And, by the way, that lady never told us whether she was American, or
not, did she?"
"Sure enough! Well, we may never see her again, so what does it
matter? I hope we will, though, for I liked her."
"And so did I," was Hope's emphatic rejoinder.
Captain Hosmer opened the cab door for them himself, and gave them the
gaze of wondering approval which he reserved for these fair daughters.
To him their growth, development, and beauty seemed something magical,
incomprehensible. He had left them in the lank, homely, tooth-shedding
period, at the time he placed them in school, and when he returned to
see them graduated, here were two blooming maidens on the very
borderland of charming womanhood. The usual love and pride of a father
was in him a rapture made up of the love given to his very own, and
also of the admiration that a man, little thrown among women, is apt to
feel for those of his fireside. Then, too, these were the relics of a
wife most fondly cherished, and he constantly saw in them traits and
expressions which brought her to mind, and filled his heart with
They, in turn, fairly adored the tall, brawny man, whose whole bearing
bespoke self-restraint, and the calm exercise of authority, and if his
attitude towards them was both chivalrous and tender, theirs to him was
fondly admiring and respectful.
"I've been waiting for you ten minutes," he said, flinging his cigar
away. Then he beckoned to a sailor who, cap in hand, stood by, and
giving him a low order, led the girls off at a brisk pace, saying,
"Jack will see to your luggage; I've something to show you before we
With one on either arm he walked them rapidly among the bales, boxes,
cordage, wagons, lumber, and people crowding the wharf, then turned
abruptly townwards, entered a short, lane-like street, and finally
stopped at a low, quaint-looking old shop, leaning in a tired manner
against a larger building beyond, thus throwing its doors and windows
into such oblique angles that Hope declared it made her feel dizzy. A
little dark man—doubtless to match the little dark house—bowed with
much suavity in the doorway, as if expecting them, and the captain at
once addressed him.
"Here we are, Beppo! Bring them along, and be quick about it." But,
though his words were commanding, his eyes twinkled at the man, who,
ducking his black head once more, disappeared within.
The girls peered into the doorway, from which issued a by-no-means
agreeable odor, and their father asked, laughingly.
"Shall we go in?"
"I think not," said Faith, holding her handkerchief to her dainty
little nose, "but what are those queer—why!" She jumped and caught at
her father, for some one had seemed to ask in a gruff voice, right at
her ear, "What d'ye want?"
Her father laughed outright.
"Scared you, eh? Look out, Hope!" for the latter had stepped inside.
She answered merrily.
"Oh, Faith, come! What you heard was a parrot. And there are a lot of
birds—oh! and cats—such queer ones. Do come and see."
But at this minute, from some inner apartment Beppo reappeared, a cage
in either hand. In one perched a parrot of gorgeous plumage, in the
other crouched a beautiful Angora cat, large and tawny, its great brush
of a tail curled disconsolately about its ears.
"What a lovely kitten!" cried Faith, "and so frightened. Poor, poor
"And such a saucy parrot!" chimed in Hope. "Isn't it handsome, though?"
"He talka—oh, mocha he talka," observed Beppo, holding the cages on
high with a prideful air. "An' he pussa ver' fine, yes."
"Well, girls, which do you like the better?" said the captain. "I know
it's the thing to give presents to out-going travelers, and I want to
do everything shipshape. But flowers are a nuisance the second day
out, and fruit a drug, so I thought a pet was the thing. It's only to
decide which it shall be."
"Oh, if we can't have both, do let's take the parrot; don't you say so,
"Why, if you wish it, of course, dear, but"—her gaze rested
lingeringly upon the other cage.
"But you want the Persian cat, I see, daughter," put in the captain.
"Well, well, let's have both, Beppo. We'll find some place to stow
'em, no doubt. Have you somebody by to carry them to the steamer?"
"Me go," cried the man, grinning broadly in delight over this trade,
"me vife she stay—me go."
"But couldn't I carry the poor kitten in my arms, she seems to feel
being a prisoner so?" asked Faith, distressed for the pet she loved
"He might scratch you," said the captain, but Beppo shook his head.
"Noa, noa, he gooda; but he getta waya. Dis safa. Betta go cagea."
"Drat the cage!" shouted a hoarse voice, and Faith nearly fell over
backwards, while Hope danced up and down in merry laughter.
"It's my parrot! Oh, father, does he swear? What will we do with
The captain was silently shaking with merriment, but drew himself
together and turned sternly to the man. "Beppo, you declared that was
a refined, clean-talking bird—now, didn't you? I told you it was for
a young lady."
The man's face fell and he broke into profuse apologies, which grew
more unintelligible as they increased in vehemence. Out of it all they
managed to gather that this was the parrot's worst expression, and only
lately learned of a "badda carpentiera," who had found difficulty in
fashioning the wooden cage he was making, and had used "badda wodda" in
consequence. Hope could scarcely wait till he had finished to cry,
"But, father, it isn't a real swear-word, now, is it? And anyhow we
can teach him to do better. Do, do let me have him!"
Her father gave her a merry glance.
"They say some women really like to hear a man use strong
expressions—now, it can't be you are like that—or is it that you want
somebody to reform, eh? However, if you can stand it I can—sailors
have to get used to such things. I can't say I've ever found it really
necessary to swear though, as some of them maintain. I can do a
considerable amount of ordering in the worst storm going, and remember
to rule my tongue as well as my crew. In fact, I won't have anything
of the kind aboard, so, my dear, if your bird begins by breaking my
rules, what then?"
"I shall teach him better. Parrots say what they are taught, and if he
does not hear it, he won't talk it."
"Well, then, if you'll take him in hand—come on, Beppo, we must be
moving," and the little procession began its march.
Faith drew a long breath of relief.
"Well," she remarked, with a dainty lifting of the brows that always
made the captain think of his girl-wife, so long lost to him, "I'm
decidedly grateful that my cat cannot talk. He won't be able to
disgrace us, at least."
"Oh, Hope, I wish they wouldn't! Doesn't it seem too hard? Those poor
mothers and sisters—"
"And sweethearts," added Hope under her breath, watching with great
eyes. "I don't mind so much those that make so much noise about it,
like that big woman by the post, but this little group over here; they
do feel awfully, and my heart aches for them."
The girls were standing on the deck of the "International," watching
the last adieux on shore. A small squad of British soldiery were about
embarking, and the home friends were gathered on the wharf, waiting for
a last glimpse of their beloved boys. The "big woman" Hope mentioned
had made such violent demonstrations, insisting upon following her
red-cheeked son about and weeping on his shoulder, that he had fled
before the laughter of his brothers-in-arms, and hidden in some nook on
board, leaving her to find solace in a vile-looking black pipe, which
she was just lighting with an equanimity that did not suggest an
entirely heart-broken condition. The group mentioned consisting of the
intelligent-looking young officer in charge of the squad, and three
women, who were evidently mother, sister, and friend.
They visited in low tones till the last minute, but at the final
separation the poor mother turned from her red-coat's embrace, nearly
fainting in her daughter's arms, and the poor fellow, looking back at
the three pale faces, had staggered a little in his own walk, as if
overcome by emotion, as he rallied his men for embarkation. Just as
the gang-plank slid inside upon its rollers, however, something
happened which brought back the ever-ready laughter to the girls' lips.
A young exquisite, with a monocle who had been hovering around one
party, in which were two or three pretty girls whose sly fun at his
expense he was too dense to appreciate, thought it would be a cunning
thing to fling after them the handkerchief he had pretended to drench
with regretful tears; but being very close to the edge of the wharf he
miscalculated his balance, and would have toppled into the water, but
that a burly tar, standing close by, caught him by his waistband and
dragged him back to safety, swearing a round oath at him for his
The poor little dandy's natty straw hat and monocle were lost, though,
but worse yet was the shout of laughter that arose from ship and shore,
at his expense, mingled with cheers for the big sailor. Crestfallen
enough, he was glad to sink back into the crowd and become
inconspicuous, for once. But no one on the steamer gave him further
attention, for, as they swung out into deep water with that majestic
motion in which a great vessel seems to courtesy to the deep, there was
too much of great interest to look at.
The girls had thoroughly examined their fine stateroom, which opened
from their father's cabin, a day or so before, and now, having hastily
deposited the cat, parrot, and luggage within in its doors, were
prepared to spend this first hour of their journey in making good use
of their eyes. It happened to be a fine day, clear and mild, with
little air stirring, and even the most tearful of the passengers soon
began to feel the influence of the fine air and lively scenes about
As they passed Fort Monckton some regimental band was practising a
martial air, which came in softened strains across the water, and it
seemed as if Spithead roadway were fairly alive with craft of every
description, from a gun-ship seeking dry dock for repairs, to a slender
racing wherry, whose one occupant, bareheaded and armed, flung up an
oar in greeting, as the stately "International" steamed by.
Hope turned almost reluctantly from all this life and movement to watch
the fertile shores of the Isle of Wight, but Faith fell at once under
their spell, and could scarcely be persuaded to talk, so busy were her
eyes noting the rich verdure and picturesqueness of the wooded scene.
As they neared Cowes she pointed to a massive tower, which loomed up
amid the thick verdure, and observed,
"See, Hope, there's Osborne House, one of our queen's castles, isn't it
"Yes," said Hope, "and there's a sloop flying an American flag—see?
Ah! it's saluting—now watch our colors, Faith; isn't that pretty? And
aren't you glad we sail under both? There's a book named 'Under Two
Flags,' and I've wondered what it is about. Our father's steamer sails
under both the American and British, and I'm so proud of both I want to
huzza every time I see them!"
The breeze was freshening by this, so that they felt the need of more
wraps, and decided to go below for them. As they slowly paced across
the broad deck their eyes roved from group to group, and they began
already to decide which would, and would not, be desirable
acquaintances. In turn, many eyes followed them, and they caught such
expressions as—"Did you ever see such a resemblance? How beautiful
they are, and how exactly alike," and the whisper, "Who are they?"
passed from lip to lip, for, having roamed all over this great ocean
hotel more than once, when "visiting papa," the twins now went about
with an assurance few passengers had yet attained to.
Besides the sight of two mere girls apparently unattended, is a most
unusual thing abroad, and so our sisters seemed, this morning, for
their father was too busy with his many duties to attend upon them when
he knew they were perfectly at home, here. As they entered their
pretty cabin, for so the English oftenest designate a first-class
stateroom, a pitiful "miew," long drawn out, and at once answered by a
hoarse "Shut up!" greeted their ears. The poor kitten was evidently
suffering, and the naughty parrot scolding her for complaining.
"It's a wicked shame to keep my fine Angora in that cage!" cried Faith,
with unusual spirit, "And you must teach that rude fellow not to scold
Hope smiled good-naturedly.
"How can I help his talking, dear? But why can't we let kitty out,
now? Shut the door and have her get used to it here, first. How
pretty this room is! Wasn't it lovely of father to fit it up freshly
"Of course it was!" cried a well-known bass voice, and a blue-capped
head appeared at the inner door. "Going to let Puss out, girlies?"
asked the captain. "Wait, I'll assist you."
He was soon down upon his knees fumbling with the cage, the girls
watching him in eager anticipation; and this seems an excellent
opportunity to describe the pretty apartment. It was about twelve feet
square, and its two narrow white bedsteads were set side by side
beneath the starboard portholes, and safely screwed to the floor,
leaving a narrow space beyond, which gave opportunity to reach the
convenient wardrobe there. In one corner, at the foot of the beds, was
the stationary wash-stand with cleated shelves above, and a cunning
pigeon-hole arrangement for shoes below—"Anything but footless boots
clattering around in a gale!" said Captain Hosmer. In the other corner
was a dear little toilet-stand, built in securely, and fitted below
with triangular drawers, which shut fast with a click, and were opened
with a spring. Its top was beveled out into fanciful squares and
rounds, into which deep trays for toilet articles were secured, and,
above, a mirror of goodly size was also screwed to place. Between
these was the door that led to a narrow corridor leading directly to
the deck in one direction, to one of the saloons in the other.
Along the wall space, opposite the wardrobe, were light racks for
books, wraps, and knick-knacks, and below a long seat, or lounge,
covered in white dimity, with its flounce reaching to the floor. The
top to this could be raised, and the space beneath made a most handy
place for the bestowal of cloaks and gowns. All the decorating of
walls and panels was in white and pale green, pricked out with gold;
and a small door close beside the bed-heads opened into the captain's
This was a foot or two larger, and of irregular shape, its deck-wall
forming a swell, in which were three broad windows which gave a view of
the sea for a full half-circle of the horizon. It also overlooked the
forward deck, the watchful lookout on the bridge, the busy sailors at
their tasks, and gave glimpses of the steerage at long range. It was
richly paneled in leather, with much gilding, the draperies were of
crimson damask, and the seat which followed the window's swell was
cushioned in crimson plush, all of which gave it a snug, shut-in look.
A large table with a constant litter of maps, charts, sextants,
log-books, pipes, and tobacco jars, occupied the center, and
comfortable chairs were placed around in careless order. There were a
few books in some wall-shelves, a violin case in one corner—which
instrument the captain loved to practise on, though he was no
proficient—and one or two pretty India cabinets of lacquered work,
containing odd specimens, and fine curios from many countries.
His sleeping apartment, off at one side, which filled in the irregular
triangle left from the rounded end, was a mere closet with a narrow
bunk, "hard as iron," as Faith often disconsolately remarked, and a
folding bath. The captain asked no personal luxuries, yet no father
ever lived who was more lavish in bestowing every refinement of dainty
living upon his daughters.
The girls liked to speak of his cabin as the "library," and mostly did
so, much to its owner's amusement, who seldom read any book except the
log, or the daily writings of the weather on sea and sky.
"There!" he said, as he succeeded in loosening the cage door. "Now
come out, Mr. Puss, and make friends. What are you going to name him,
"What would you, father? It ought to be a Persian name, oughtn't it?"
"That might do—if you don't get too much of a jaw-breaker, child.
Remember, I'm not learned."
"The idea! When you can rattle off those Indian names that I cannot
understand at all, Just as if they were everyday Hatties and Kitties
"Oh, of course. I'm used to them. But Persian's another thing, I
suppose. Come, kitty, don't be afraid—whew!" for, in spite of
coaxing, the frightened creature made a dash past him, as he would have
stroked its silky coat, and disappeared under the white valance of the
Instantly Faith was on her knees, diving after, but nearly fell over
with laughter when Mr. Parrot called out promptly, in a shocked voice,
"Oh, for shame!"
Amid the laughter the captain remarked quickly, "I have it! Who was
that Persian poet you were reading about the other night, in Portsea,
Faith? Why not name him that? Don't you remember, he was said to be
rather a shy, retiring man. Now, kitty, here, seems to have the same
Faith was now scrambling out, warm and tumbled, Puss safe in her arms,
but only half yielding to restraint, and, smiling at her father's funny
glance, she answered, gasping a little with her exertions,
"It was Hafiz, papa. I had thought of Ali Baba, but that always
suggests the forty thieves, you know, and I wouldn't like my pretty
Angora to be accused of stealing even cream—father, do you suppose
"Bless us! Just as likely as not. Wait, I'll send Joey for some milk
at once," touching an electric button just above the seat. "I see Mr.
Parrot has his dinner in his cage. Well, shall it be Hafiz?"
"I believe that will do," returned Faith slowly, "and what will you
name your bird, Hope?"
"Oh, I'm not going so far for a name as all that, only to America, and
I shall call him Texas."
Her father, smiling at her ideas of distance, joined Faith in her
surprised question, "But why?"
"Why? Because I've always thought, from things I've read about Texas,
that it's a jolly, wide-awake state, but not over-refined, perhaps. It
has always seemed to me they did rather dreadful things there, but in
an off-hand, good-natured sort of way, that made them seem more funny
than really bad. I don't think I can make it quite plain to you, but
that's the way my parrot acts. He is not so wicked as he seems, and I
shall certainly call him Texas."
At this instant the boy, who had been electrically summoned, appeared.
He was a Japanese, with a good face, now in a broad smile as he
received his orders, and the quick glance by which he took in the
pretty room and its lively occupants was alert and well pleased. He
had waited upon the captain for years, spoke perfect English, and was
the most faithful and good-tempered of lackeys. He soon reappeared
with some rich-looking milk, which poor Hafiz eagerly began to lap, so
soon as Faith had poured some into a saucer, and for the first time a
soft purring sounded from his white-collared throat.
"There!" said his little mistress, watching him in great satisfaction,
"he really was half starved. Now, don't you see how like our Persian
poet he is, father? You remember Hafiz liked to sing of all
comfortable things—good living, and so on. Here is my Hafiz doing the
"Only his language is not entirely comprehensible," laughed her sister.
"Could you have understood the real poet any better?" was the arch
response, and Hope had to acknowledge that, for all practical purposes,
the Angora Hafiz was as intelligible as his namesake.
When they went back upon deck Faith had the pacified Hafiz in her arms,
and was inclined to sympathize with her sister, who could not carry
Texas about in that manner. But Hope needed no consolation. "Possibly
I cannot, yet," she allowed, "but wait a while. I intend to tame
Texas, and then I shall have him to perch on my wrist like a falcon.
And, just now, I don't know that I care to be hampered by any sort of a
baby," laughing mischievously, for Faith looked quite motherly, with
the kitten wrapped in a fold of her cape.
They had come above to see the lighthouse and Hurst Castle, at the
opening into the Channel, which seemed to be held out from the mainland
by a long, thin arm of soil. The Channel here narrows to about a mile
in width, and these objects loom up conspicuously to the starboard of
the outbound steamer. As they stood watching from the hurricane deck,
to which they had ascended, and admiring not only the bright scene
before them, but also the splendor and cleanliness of their father's
ship, a boyish voice was heard to exclaim,
"Well, I've explored as far as they'll let me, and I say she's a dandy!
I believe she'll compare pretty well with the P. & O. liners, after
all, don't you, Bess?" And up through the companionway came a head in
a yachting-cap, followed by a slender boy in gray, with a frank, but
He gave the girls a keen glance, which they more modestly returned, and
they privately decided, after a second look, that his eyes were fine
and his smile a pleasant one, if he was slightly snub-nosed and
Just behind him came the "Bess" of his question, a rather delicate
young lady in appearance, possibly in her early twenties, the boy being
at least four years younger. She was not pretty, but as her eyes
lighted upon the sisters, she too smiled so pleasantly, they were at
once drawn to her, and returned the wordless greeting with more than
civility. Then Hope broke out, impulsively,
"We are watching the lighthouse. Doesn't it loom up well? Almost as
if we were going to run into it."
"True enough," returned "Bess," as both drew nearer, and the boy added,
"You've got an Angora, haven't you? We left one at home, didn't we,
Bess? He's a splendid fellow, Chimmie Fadden is!"
"Chimmie Fadden? What a funny name!" laughed the twins in chorus.
"It's out of a story," he explained, "a Van Bibber story, and really
means Jimmy, you know, but that's the way the boy pronounced it
himself. He acts timid," this in reference to Hafiz, who burrowed
under Faith's arm, resenting his advances.
"Yes, he doesn't like it on board, at all. It's all too strange, yet.
Father gave him to me just before we started, and he hasn't become used
to anything—not even me."
"And I've a parrot," put in Hope. "He takes it out in scolding. I
shall not dare have him on deck until he gets over his sulks, and will
talk nice things. So far, he is a bit rude and outspoken for polite
Their light talk and laughter seemed to break all ice between them, if
there had been any to break, and the young lady asked,
"Do you go far? I noticed you on the forward deck. It is seldom one
sees two people so exactly alike. Can even your own mother tell you
"Our mother we have never known, she died when we were so little," said
Faith gently, "but Debby, our nurse, always knew, and so does father.
Very few others do, though."
"Is your father with you?"
"Oh, yes, indeed!" laughed Hope. "We couldn't very well do without
"Oh, I know, I know. He's the captain! Isn't he now?" cried the
boy. "I heard the head steward saying something to another officer
about the captain's daughters. Haven't I made a good guess?"
"You certainly have," said Faith.
"Then your name is Hosmer," added the boy, triumphantly. "I've been
over nearly the whole steamer, and she's fine! And I know our captain
quite well, and like him first-rate, already."
"Oh, you do?" laughed his sister. "Well, now you have ferreted out who
these young ladies are, I think we ought to introduce ourselves. This
is my brother, Dwight Vanderhoff, of New York City, America, and I am
his sister Elizabeth, generally shortened to Bess. We are going with
our mother and uncle, Mr. Dwight Lawrence, for whom this youngster is
named, to India, and intend to make an extended tour. We have been on
the Continent and in the British Isles for three or four months, and
haven't lost any of our Yankee enthusiasm and curiosity yet, as you
"And we're American, too!" cried Hope.
"And English," added Faith.
"Why, how is that?"
The latter explained.
"Well, if that isn't jolly!" said Dwight. "To be sure, this steamer's
the 'International,' and sails under both flags. I noticed our old
'star-spangled' along with the Union Jack, and wondered. Do you see,
"Of course I see, and am delighted. I shall consider it a good omen
for our voyage."
"Especially as she carries Faith and Hope with her," remarked the
latter, with a merry glance at her sister.
"Certainly," returned Bess obliviously, but Dwight broke in,
"Wait! You mean something special by that; I see it in your eyes. Let
me guess again. Faith and hope—faith and hope—I once knew a girl
named Faith—say! I'll bet a cooky those are your names. Aren't they,
"Right again!" laughed Hope, while he jumped about, clapping his hands
"Hear that, Bess Vanderhoff? Uncle always said I was a regular Yankee
for guessing, and that shows it. But those are stunning names for
"Dwight, Dwight! What an expression to describe those lovely words."
"Well, it was rather off, Bess. I beg your pardon, Miss Faith and
Miss—but which is which, and how will I know if you tell me? It's a
regular Chinese puzzle, for you are precisely the same until you speak,
and then there's a difference. For you," he pointed towards Hope,
"look somehow—well, jollier, I guess it is."
"Don't be personal, Dwight," admonished his sister.
"But it's a personal subject, sis, how can I help it? May I make one
more try at it?"
"As many as you like," laughed Hope.
"Well, then, if you're named as you ought to be you are Hope, because
you look it, and she—"
He was interrupted by a little cry from Faith, who had been watching
the scenery more closely than the others. They followed her gaze and
were silenced a while by the impressive scene, for the Channel was
opening broadly before them, its cold green waves curling into
foam-tipped breakers, while the Needles, those natural turrets of the
deep, rose in stately fashion from the waters, seemingly in their very
path, as if here the bold voyager must needs be challenged before
venturing further. The narrow Solent was passed and a wider roadway
was to be theirs for many a day. But after a little, Dwight's
irrepressible spirits broke out afresh, and he returned to the charge,
evidently determined to be at no loss when addressing these girls, whom
he secretly chose as companions for Bess and himself out of the whole
passenger list. He finished his guess concerning Hope, and once more
proved his right to American citizenship.
"But why do I look my name?" she asked curiously.
"Can't tell; you just do, that's all. I'm a guesser, but I can't
explain why, at all.
"You may know me by my cat—Hafiz the poet, at your service," said her
"But when you don't have the cat, Miss Faith? One of you ought to tie
on a pink ribbon somewhere, and one a blue."
"Yes, and then we'd be like the old woman with her eggs," put in Bess.
"It would be sink or swim—pink or blue—but which? I think I'd rather
learn you by closer observation, and you mustn't mind if I stare a good
deal for a time.
"Oh, no, people always do stare," said Hope nonchalantly, which was,
indeed, the truth. The sisters had become so used to this attention in
public that they were able to appear unconscious of it always, whether
really so or not. For, being sensible girls, they did not attribute
this at all to their fair, fresh faces, but to the resemblance between
them, enough of a novelty in this world of diversities to be always
They were well out into the Channel when summoned to luncheon, and only
waited long enough for a good look back at the beautifully wooded
shores before they went below. The first meal at sea is always an
interesting one. It is a matter of great moment to many in what part
of the saloon they will be assigned a place, and of course the special
honor of sitting at the captain's table is desired by all, though
attained by few.
As they were descending towards the cabin, to join their father, Faith,
ever thoughtful of others, said in a low voice.
"Don't you wish we could have the Vanderhoff party at our table, Hope?"
"True enough. It would be fine! Let's ask father."
"But you know he leaves all that to Mr. Malcolm, and I don't believe we
ought to meddle."
Mr. Malcolm was the head steward, and it was an excellent rule of
Captain Hosmer's to interfere as little as possible with the special
prerogatives of his officers, who in turn always tried their best to
please him. Mr. Malcolm knew his duties thoroughly, and did them.
This the girls knew, hence the disclaimer from thoughtful Faith,
"Oh dear! It would be so pleasant. And father ought to have a say
about his own table—"
"But you know he's always consulted, dear, and by this time everything
"Well, we might be consulted, too."
"Why, Hope! When he has planned everything to make it pleasant for us."
Hope's pout died out into a shamefaced smile.
"There, there! Consider it unsaid, Miss Wisdom. Guess I can
appreciate the dear man, myself—and there he is looking for us now."
Quite over her pet, she ran to meet him, and his tender smile met their
"Ah, girlies, I was just coming for you. I'll see you in to the table
and join you presently. Just now I'm busy, but Malcolm and Joey will
look after you. I didn't forget that my little girls were along when
we fixed up the table-list, and you'll see they are not all ponderous
elderly people with titles, this time. Come on!"
The sisters exchanged glances, and Hope in a spasm of repentance,
murmured, "Oh papa, you're too good to us!" which he only half caught
as Faith just then remarked,
"But Hafiz—I'll have to—"
"Here, Jack,"—to a passing attendant,—"take this kitten to my cabin,
and see that the door is shut into the large stateroom, off. Hafiz and
Texas are better apart until time has cemented their friendship," he
added, with a twinkle, turning again to his daughters. "Now hurry!"
and he raced them merrily down the companion-way, and through the after
saloon, to the great apartment set out with table after table, in a
bewildering vista of white linen, glittering silver, and shining
As they stepped to their places Hope nearly gave a hop of pleasure, for
on one side were Bess and Dwight, with a tall lady whom Bess greatly
resembled, and a rather magnificent gentleman, whose whole air bespoke
one used to power, to luxury, and to travel.
The others consisted of two or three officers, an outgoing Indian
official who wrote Sir before his name, a famous traveler, a minister
from America, and a Russian writer of note. The ladies were fewer,
there being only three besides Mrs. Vanderhoff. One was the wife of
the English baronet, and the other two seemed traveling together, but
in what relation was not apparent. One was past middle life, and
fine-looking, with snowy hair, brilliant eyes, and a polished speech
and manner. The other was, as the sisters rather hastily decided, not
prepossessing in appearance, having a reserved and haughty manner. She
seldom spoke, and was either preoccupied, or indifferent.
The captain, with a courteous general greeting, introduced his
daughters, then seated them, one on either side of his own place, when,
with a word to Joey, whose manner was eagerly attentive, he hastened
back to his post, leaving them to their own devices. Bess at once
presented them to her mother and uncle, the latter in turn mentioning
the names of the Indian official, Sir Wilbur Lawton, his wife and the
traveler, whose famous cognomen may not be written here. Then he
glanced half inquiringly at the two ladies, who were evidently
strangers to him, when she of the white hair said gracefully,
"And let me present to all, my friend, Lady Moreham."
Then, as her companion did not return the favor, she added, "And I am
The younger people were too well trained to monopolize conversation,
but listened with pleasure to the talk between the gentlemen concerning
hunting of "big game" in India, with which both the traveler and Sir
Wilbur seemed well acquainted, Mr. Lawrence asking intelligent
questions, and the Russian whose name was almost unpronounceable,
putting in a broken sentence, or two, now and then. The ladies mostly
listened, also, but occasionally the two who were companions conversed
in low tones. Lady Lawton, who was extremely fleshy, devoted herself
exclusively to her luncheon.
The twins, meanwhile, made their observations with the promptitude of
youth. They liked Mrs. Vanderhoff, whose manner was quiet and
sensible, in accord with her dress and appearance, and they also
fancied Mrs. Poinsett, but the one called Lady Moreham they decided was
disagreeable, and too proud of her rank to be sociable. They were glad
she sat at the further end of the table, and Hope remarked, as she bent
forward for the pepper-box. "There's a regular specimen of your
British aristocracy, Faith Hosmer. You must feel proud of it!"
But Faith only smiled, as she murmured in return, "Judge not!" then,
with her charming smile, answered Mr. Lawrence's question with a "No,
sir, it is our first trip to India. We have often been to Cowes, or
Plymouth, with father, but never far from English shores, except once,
when we spent a year in Massachusetts, at the time he was mate of the
"Ah, in what part? Boston, I presume?"
"Yes, sir, Boston, Lynn, Salem; but we lived at Lynn."
Here Bess broke in to briefly explain the double nationality claimed by
the girls, and for a rather embarrassing minute the attention of the
table seemed concentrated upon them. Amid the fusillade of question
and comment Hope noticed Lady Moreham's eyes suddenly flash and
soften—she could almost have thought there were tears in them, indeed.
But why? At any rate, she began to think there might be some redeeming
traits, even in this "specimen of British aristocracy."
"ON THE BAY OF BISCAY, O!"
The meal was scarcely over, when there was a perceptible change in the
movement of the steamship, for, no longer sheltered by the Isle of
Wight, they soon discovered that what they had always heard of the
broad English Channel is true, and found it one of the roughest sheets
of water known. Faith soon began to look "white around the gills," as
Mr. Malcolm teasingly informed her, and when she said she "thought she
would go and look after Hafiz," Hope rallied and ridiculed her, well
backed by Dwight, who was a born sailor; but Bess evidently sympathized
with her, and began herself to look wan.
Faith had gone indoors—they were on the forward deck upon which the
captain's cabin, or "library," opened, and Hope had been watching her
zig-zag progress across it, laughing merrily, when, with the suddenness
of a lightning-stroke, everything grew black and began to spin around
her. She looked helplessly at Dwight, whose grinning face was like
that of a whirling dervish, made a little lurch forward, and would have
fallen, but that watchful Mr. Malcolm caught her just in time. He at
once sent a boy for the stewardess, and they soon had the
half-unconscious girl safe inside her own stateroom door, where Faith
looked up drowsily from her little bed to remark,
"Why, what's the matter? Did she get hurt?"
"Oh, no, only faint," returned the woman smiling broadly, while she
unfastened Hope's gown and assisted her upon the other bed. "There's
the pair of you."
"Two fools!" remarked the parrot, with such appropriateness that even
Hope had to join feebly in the woman's jolly laughter, while Faith
plucked up strength to gibe a little in return for her sister's attack
"There, now, all you've got to do is to lie still," said the
stewardess, as she turned away. "Why, you little kitten! Where did
you come from?" for Hafiz, curled down snugly by Faith, had just
attracted her notice. "Is he yours, Miss Faith?"
"Yes, Martha. Papa gave him to me, and do let papa know, please, how
sick we are, so that he can look in on us when he has time," she added,
for, unaccustomed to illness, she felt they were almost in danger of
their lives, now.
When, however, a little later, their father peered in with a laughing
face to rally them, and declared in cheery tones that they were "just
getting their sea-legs, and would be good sailors in a day or two,"
they took heart, and both soon drowsed off into hazy slumber. But
neither wanted any dinner that night, and did not attempt much exertion
until late the next day. Hope awoke, feeling much brighter, and felt
that the motion was not so distressing as yesterday. She looked across
at Faith, who lay with closed eyes, pale indeed, but peaceful.
"Are you awake?" she whispered.
"Yes," returned her sister, opening her eyes only to close them at
once. "I'm awake, but it's the queerest thing. So long as I keep my
eyes closed I'm quite comfortable, but when I open them I feel as if I
were in a high swing just ready to tumble out; and when Texas gets to
pitching around in his cage, and hanging fairly upside down, and
whirling around like a crazy thing, it makes me a great deal worse."
"Poor Texas! I don't think he's very happy himself. I wonder, are
birds ever seasick, really? I've heard they often mope and die on
shipboard, but is it seasickness?"
"I'm sure I don't know—but let's not talk about it! What time do you
suppose it is, Hope?"
"Oh, somewhere along in the afternoon. Somebody says there's no time
at sea—it's all now. Heigh-ho! I've half a mind to get up and
dress—why-y, what's that?"
Sure enough! Even Faith opened her eyes wide to stare upward, for
there was something sliding through one of the portholes above their
heads, and dropping softly downwards—a small package done up in
crinkly pink paper, and tied neatly about with blue lutestring.
"It's father!" cried Hope, as she scrambled to her knees to peer out,
but she could see nobody on the narrow guards without.
Meanwhile Faith grasped the little packet and began to untie it,
forgetting her illness in her eagerness.
The paper, when opened, disclosed two sea biscuits—the square, thin
kind, like a soda cracker—and upon each was painted a tiny marine view
in water-colors, while beneath was a couplet done in fanciful
lettering. One read,
"Hope for a season bade the world farewell,
And Freedom shrieked—as Kosciusko fell,"
while the other bore the legend,
"Our Faith, a star, shone o'er a rocky height;
The billows rose, and she was quenched in night."
"How absurd! How funny! Who did it?" they cried in concert,
forgetting all ill feelings as they laughed till the tears came.
"It never was father," said Hope, when she could get her voice. "The
dear man couldn't repeat a line of poetry to save his life. That one
about Kosciusko used to be in one of our school speakers, don't you
"Yes, it's Campbell's." Faith always remembered more accurately than
her sister, while the latter learned more readily. "But who would ever
think of applying it so oddly? The play on our names is bright enough,
but—I'll tell you, I'll tell you! It was that boy—Dwight Vanderhoff.
I just believe it! He is clever, I'm sure, and his uncle could help
"As likely as not—or Mr. Malcolm—but no, I don't believe he would.
He is full of fun, but dignified too, and he never forgets we are the
captain's daughters. It must be that boy! Martha Jordan says he
hasn't been ill a minute, and that he knows everybody on shipboard,
already, and they all like him."
The stewardess was fond of the girls, and in her frequent visits had
brought them every bit of news she could pick up, to lighten their
confinement. She appeared while they were conjecturing, and said,
"Aha! Well, aren't you?"
"Almost," said Faith, as both began telling the story of their package.
Martha appeared much interested, but there was a look on her honest
face that seemed to say she was not so densely ignorant of the matter
as she pretended to be, and, while she assisted them into their long,
flannel-lined ulsters and close caps, for a visit to the upper deck,
where she declared the fresh wind would blow their last qualms away,
they tried to learn just what she did know, but without success.
Giving it up, finally, Hope proposed that they wear the sea-biscuit as
ornaments, and see who should look most conscious when they drew near.
"A good idea! And where is that box of ribbons? Let's find a pink and
blue, if we can."
"Tell me where you put it and I'll look," said Martha, much amused,
and, when found, she punched a hole through one corner of the pasty
squares, and tied each to a button of the ulsters. Hope's was pink,
and Faith's blue.
Thus equipped, she started them up the companion-way, and seeing they
were reasonably firm on their feet, went about her business, chuckling
to herself as if greatly enjoying something. As they appeared above,
they received a merry greeting from their father, who sat chatting with
Mr. Lawrence to leeward of a smokestack, which gave a grateful warmth,
as the day was a typical November one, gray and chill.
Both gentlemen sprang up to offer chairs, and congratulate them upon
their courage in venturing out, and they were barely seated, when up
came Dwight, trying to keep under a most amazing grin that persisted in
stretching his mouth from ear to ear.
"Well, this is good!" he cried, shaking hands with a nourish. "I knew,
if you'd just make a try at it, you'd be all right. If everybody would
stick it out and stay on deck, as I do, there'd be no such thing as
"Oh, the conceit of him!" laughed his uncle. "Stick it out, indeed!
Why, you don't know what it means, you healthy young rascal. You have
the stomach of a goat!"
To divert attention, possibly, Dwight suddenly turned to the girls, and
inspected them with apparent curiosity.
"You seem to be decorated, this afternoon," he remarked in a
non-committal tone, "and got on your pink and blue ribbons, I declare!"
His gaze rested on the sea-biscuit, and he lowered his eyelids to hide
the laugh behind them.
"You didn't know we had decorations on this ship?" asked Hope
teasingly. "Only a few get them. They are for good conduct under
trying conditions. We have been ill, but not disagreeably ill.
There's a difference."
The gentlemen were looking at the painted squares, now, and her father
said, "What's that nonsense, my dear? What are they, anyhow?"
"Just something the stormy petrels dropped through our porthole," said
Faith, gravely taking up the tale. "Aren't they pretty?"
"H'm! Quite so." Mr. Lawrence was also indulging in a long look.
"Did a merman paint them for you? And what sea-king got up that
poetry? It seems well selected, if not entirely original." He glanced
at his nephew quizzically, and added, "I suppose the other name of that
Freedom who shrieked was Dwight, wasn't it? Pretty well, sir, pretty
well! I recognize the work. Your style is original, Mr. Artist
"And didn't you help him one bit, Mr. Lawrence?" asked Faith.
"Did not even know of it, Miss Hosmer."
"Then I call it a mighty smart performance!" cried Hope in a tone of
finality which brought a hearty laugh from the group.
"Clever enough!" decided the captain, as he spelled out the twisted
lines, and chuckled over them. "You're quite an artist, young man. I
remember, a few years back, I had a whole crew of the long-haired
profession aboard, and a jolly, turbulent set they were. They
decorated the ship from stem to gudgeon in all sorts of unexpected
places, and almost disorganized my Lascars, snatching them off duty to
pose as models. I had to threaten to driven 'em below at the rope's
end, and batten down the hatches, to bring them to reason. But they
made fun for us the whole voyage, and I was sorry to see the last of
them at Gibraltar."
The steamer was now in the broad Bay of Biscay, which washes the bold
shores of France and Spain, and the water had that compact hue of dark
azure, with occasional greenish lights, that tells of deep soundings.
As they forged ahead, to the steady drum-beat of the engines, the broad
swirl of water, churned into foam by the great propellers at the stern,
marked their path as far back as the eye could reach. The weather was
fitful, and the sky cleared somewhat toward sunset, but its light was
cold, and threatening clouds hung close upon its edge. The treacherous
weather predicted of the bay might be upon them soon, though as yet it
had been "all plain sailing," as the captain observed.
"It's either here, or on the Indian seas," he said laughingly.
"Somewhere, we'll have to take it! It is not often we get through
without a little shaking up, somewhere. 'Twould scarcely be possible
in so long a voyage."
"About how long does it take you?" asked Mr. Lawrence, lazily watching
the line of faint silvery blue, streaking the horizon.
"Oh, I usually make it inside of thirty days, when our stops aren't too
long," returned the captain. "Of course the P. & O. liners, being
mail-carriers, do it in much less time. But they're built for speed,
and make fewer stops. Then, we tramp steamers always give them the
right of way in harbor—hello!"
He rose to his feet, his keen eyes looking off to starboard, while at
the same instant came a cry from the lookout, "Sail to starboard, aft!"
The others, following the captain's gaze, saw something like a faint
smudge growing on the horizon's line against the faintly tinted hue,
and, even as they watched, it deepened to a waving plume.
"Come!" said he, and they followed him to the bridge, where, giving
each a turn at the glass, they watched the plume until a shape was
attached to it, and it grew into a graceful steamship, its funnels
belching black, and its sails gleaming like shadowy shapes of vapor
till they grew near enough to become defined, and materialized by
"It's one of the liners now—a P. & O!" cried the captain with some
excitement. "Isn't she a lady, though? Watch her gait! She's as
steady and swift as the stars in their courses. You'll see her colors
He sang out an order or two, then turned to answer Faith who, with her
eyes fixed on the rapidly nearing steamer, asked dreamily,
"What does P. & O. stand for, papa?"
"Why, don't you know? For goodness' sake, child, what an odd question
for a seaman's daughter to ask!"
"But I surely don't know. I never heard anything but P. & O. and I
never even thought to ask before."
"Well, it's Peninsular and Oriental, of course—there, see her colors?
Those four triangles in blue, white, yellow, and red, at her masthead.
Watch while we salute her!"
The beautiful courtesy was given and exchanged, the great steamer
passing at so close range that they could see the clustered groups upon
her immense decks, note the fluttering handkerchiefs, and hear their
cheers, in response to those from the "International," ringing faint,
yet clear, across the watery space between.
"That's the 'London,'" said the captain dropping his glass after a
long, admiring gaze, "and, by the way, the old 'London,' a fine,
staunch vessel, was wrecked in this very bay years ago."
They watched the leviathan, with its hundreds of passengers, a long
time, but at length its greater speed carried it from view in the
darkening night, and they were presently reminded, by the signal, that
it was time to dress for dinner.
The "International" would have seemed odd, in many respects, to one
used only to the trans-Atlantic steamers, for, though entirely
officered by English-speaking whites, its crew consisted largely of
Malays and Lascars, while the waiters were mostly Japanese and
Bengalese, wearing a costume compounded of their native gowns and the
white aprons of European waiters. The maids, under Mrs. Jordan, were
also East Indian women, and they were very picturesque in their saris,
or head coverings, of gay colors, with brilliant teeth gleaming out of
their swarthy faces, and eyes like beads for blackness. Even the boys
who answered bell-calls and polished the brasses and the shoes, were
from Soudan or Bombay, and the stokers down in the engine-room were
Seedees, black as the coals they kept flinging into those yawning red
mouths, which made one think of an opening into the great pit of Hades.
These Seedees are as near a salamander as a human being can be,
perhaps, and certainly they will endure heat that would soon kill a
white man. Sometimes, in those southern seas, the temperature of the
furnace-room is something unthinkable, yet they endure it; though, as
soon as their relief appears, they will fling their steaming, and
almost naked, bodies into the scuppers, to let the rush of water wash
them into coolness, once more. It was understood that the girls were
not to visit any of the lower regions of the ship, without the company
of some officer, but Mr. Malcolm was very accommodating, so, matronized
by Mrs. Vanderhoff, her party and the twins managed to peep into nearly
every hole and corner before the voyage was over. Even where they did
not care to go Dwight would penetrate, if by crawling or climbing he
could reach the spot.
Before bedtime the steamer had changed its course to westward, and as
it encountered a stiff head wind its progress was labored and slow.
Most of the passengers early "sought the seclusion that the cabin
grants," as Dwight mockingly observed, but, sheltered in the snug
pilot-house, our girls, with himself and Bess, rode out the "storm," as
Faith called it (though the gray old steersman laughed at the idea),
until a late hour. All day there had been a flock of sea-gulls
following them, and, attracted by the light, they sometimes dashed
against the windows, startling the girls and delighting Dwight. They
will follow a steamer much as a fly does a horse, always keeping at
just about such a distance, though one would think, in their
sky-circling and ocean-dipping, they must lose time occasionally. As
these birds of the sea glide down a billow, then skim lightly up again,
it would seem they must sometimes be caught in the swirl of foam and
borne under, but no! Every time, no matter with what fusilade of spray
the wave breaks, Mr. Seagull rises, lightly triumphant, with not so
much as a silver feather wetted by salt water!
The night grew very dark, and the sea was turbulent. The late
supper—a fourth meal always served on board the "International"—was
something of a scramble, but our young people enjoyed it, as few of the
older passengers were present, and though an occasional fit of
squeamishness disturbed both twins, while Bess had to disappear
suddenly, Dwight ate calmly on of everything offered, with an
equanimity that tickled Joey, and excited the envy of all. The saloons
looked deserted, and only a few mustered for a short look at the light
on Finisterre. After seeing it, our girls decided bed was a good
place, but Faith thought she had scarcely dropped asleep, though hours
had fled, when something seemed to shake her into consciousness, and
Hope's agitated voice whispered, "Oh, what is that?"
It was a hoarse, awful, prolonged bellow, as of some giant ox in sore
distress, and when it would stop, occasionally, faint and far would
come another bellow, mellowed by distance, but sounding unspeakably
eerie and frightsome. A bell, too, seemed to be tolling a knell for
something, and there was a constant rush of feet on deck, mingled with
trumpeted orders and the rattle of cordage. Yet the steamer did not
seem to be pitching about at all, as it was when they retired. Could
they be going down, and were those awful noises calls for help? And
where could they be to have answers coming over the waves like that?
"Oh dear!" sighed Hope. "What can it all mean? Do see if papa is in
his cabin; you're on that side."
"Of course he isn't!" answered her sister, more calmly. "When there's
danger he's always at his post. And do you suppose, if there was real
danger for us, that he wouldn't come and let us know? I can trust my
"Well, so can I," snapped Hope, so disgusted at this superior tone she
half forgot her fright. "But it might be that he couldn't get to us,
Faith Hosmer! He might be washed overboard."
Something in the idea of her big, cool father being washed off the
decks of this staunch ship somehow amused Faith, who really was not
much alarmed, and she could not help laughing, which gave fresh offense
to her sister, who, breaking into tears, exclaimed, "You're a heartless
girl, and ought to be ashamed!"
"Why, Hope!" A soft arm stole around her neck and a little figure
"cuddled" close. "You're all wrought up, but really I don't think it's
so bad. See how quiet the ship is. I presume we're caught in a fog,
or something. Just as likely as not we're off the light, yet, and that
is a bell-buoy, or something."
"Dear! I'd like to call a bell-boy, and ask," giggled Hope, a bit
hysterical. "Hark! there's papa now."
In an instant the two girls were on their feet peering into the
"Oh, papa, what is it?" cried Hope.
"What's what, my dear?" coming nearer, and showing himself wrapped in
tarpaulins from head to heels. "D'ye mean that old tooter?" laughing
lightly. "Nothing at all, except that we're in a fog and the horn's
got a chill. Now turn in, quick, before you get one, too, and go to
sleep, dearies; your father's watching."
"Hope," said her sister, after they had lain still a while. "I think
that's a beautiful thought! 'Your father's watching.' It means two
fathers for us, dear, and One of them cannot make a mistake, even in a
fog. Good night and pleasant dreams. I'm going to sleep."
They kissed and curled down contentedly, sleeping like babies all
night. Father was watching!
PORTUGUESE TOWNS AND HEROES.
The fog had delayed them some hours, but when the girls awoke, late the
next morning, there was not a vestige of it left, save an extra
brilliance in the clear air, while the engines were pounding away in a
brave effort to bring them into Lisbon by the schedule. As noon
approached, and the pale tan of the coast line grew upon them, all was
animation on board, for any landing when voyaging by sea, is an event,
and especially so when the stay is to be of several hours duration.
Our twins dragged out their flat steamer trunks from under their beds,
and pulled out their prettiest street costumes, glad to discard the
useful ulster for a light jacket and hat. They were told the weather
would be mild on shore, though it was November, and they were delighted
to feel themselves really "dressed up" again, as Hope remarked.
"Do you know," put in her sister ruminantly, "there's ever so much
difference between being dressed up and well dressed. Now there's Mrs.
Vanderhoff; she never is really dressed up, but I have not yet seen her
when she was not well dressed for the occasion."
"Faith, if you get to moralizing I shall go distracted! Where did we
put our jeweled hat pins? I've looked and looked, and—oh, there they
are right under my nose. Goodness! is that a rap?—Ah, is it you, Miss
Bess? Come right in. How fine you look in your shore clothes!"
"Shore clothes? That's good! Country people talk about store clothes
at home, but I never heard of shore clothes, before."
"Well, it's my invention—an inspiration of the moment. I'll make you
a present of it. Do you know, Faith, we'll have to buy some new
handkerchiefs, or have ours laundered in some way. I never used so
many in my life."
"You might do as the Carrollton girls, from Chicago, did when they were
abroad, last year," remarked Bess with a laugh. "There were so many of
them that the laundry bills were dreadful, so they concluded to wash
out their own handkerchiefs. Of course they had no way of ironing
them, so, while they were still very wet, they would plaster them up
against the window-panes in the sun, to dry. They said the embroidered
ones would come out beautifully, just as if nicely pressed on the wrong
side. It got so they would look at the window panes the first thing,
when they reached a hotel, or pension, to see if they were large enough
for drying-boards. And when they visited the Tuileries, as they all
stood in silence, gazing at the great fountain, the lovely flowers, and
the lawn of velvet, Minnie suddenly broke out, 'What a beautiful place
to dry our handkerchiefs, girls!'"
"How ridiculous!" cried Faith. "I hope no such practical thought will
mar the romance of our visit to Lisbon, to-day."
"Oh, nothing could take your romance away," said Hope. "A little more
practicality wouldn't hurt you. But come, I'm ready. Let's go up and
see the blessed land, even if it is only Portuguese soil."
Thus talking and laughing they hastened deckwards, and many eyes turned
upon them with pleasure as they appeared, so bright and rosy, and
unconscious of anything but the enjoyment in hand. Even Lady Moreham's
face relaxed, and her eyes followed them with a wistful expression, as
she remarked, sotto voce, "How sweetly they look!"
"Sweet, you mean," hinted Mrs. Poinsett at her elbow, with a
deferential air, yet decided tone.
The other turned with a quick, impatient sigh, and half-resentful
manner, but in a moment moved closer and said humbly,
"Thank you for the correction! Do not let my smallest errors escape
Mrs. Poinsett bent her dignified head.
"I obey you, my lady, though it is hard for both of us."
"Yes, everything is hard, but no matter."
And now all eyes were gazing shorewards, for Lisbon presents a
beautiful appearance when approached from the water, rising, as she
does, in terraces which overlook the noble Tagus, and are in turn
overlooked by the Sierras, ending in the Peak of Lisbon, at its mouth.
Arriving thus, one does not see the filth and squalor, the tumble-down
buildings, unpaved streets, or many poor mean houses tucked in among
the grander ones. Lisbon has sometimes been called "The Sultana of the
West," and the comparison is apt enough, for like many a sultana her
first appearance is conspicuously beautiful, but she will not bear too
close inspection. Her jewels are often mere colored glass, her
embroideries tawdry, and her garments not over clean.
But in the brilliant sunshine of this glowing noon Portugal's capital
sat throned in majesty, and the passengers were enthusiastic in their
"Come!" cried Dwight, appearing like a bombshell in their midst. "Are
you ready, girls? We're going ashore together, and while the captain
runs about on his affairs, uncle and mother are going to trot us around
wherever we want to go. Then, by and by, we're to meet him in the
Place of Commerce, and go for dinner at the Braganza. He and uncle
have fixed it all up. Hip, hooray! Won't it be jolly to be on land
But it proved slow work making their way in, for the river's mouth,
which broadens into a noble harbor, was choked with the shipping of
many lands, which had doubtless been detained by the fog of last night.
As the young people leaned over the guard rail, it was great fun to
watch the crowd of clumsy little native boats, laden with fruit and
wine, which were hovering about the steamer, and getting in the way of
everybody, while crying their wares. Many of these boatmen seemed as
dark in complexion as any East Indian on board, and nearly all wore
ear-rings, generally of silver, in the dingy lobes of their ears. They
seemed noisy and quarrelsome, and often shrieked what seemed like
terrible imprecations at each other, shaking their fists and scowling
darkly, only to be laughing carelessly the next minute, as if nothing
mattered. Dwight was about motioning one man to fling him up a bunch
of figs, in exchange for the silver coin in his fingers, when his uncle
called them to the other side of the deck, which was just as well, for
it would have had to be a splendid toss and catch had he secured them.
Mr. Lawrence wanted to point out the difference between a clumsy coast
lugger just putting out to sea, and a clean little clipper-built
English yacht coming in. He said,
"It is a difference that you will see in almost everything here. The
Portuguese do not know the meaning of the word thrift, as we understand
it, and if cleanliness is not next to godliness with them, it certainly
is next to royalty, for it never descends to the common people."
When, at last, they went on shore and left the wharves behind, most of
the bustle died away, and they could see that Mr. Lawrence had only
told the truth, in the easy way in which all business seemed to be
But they found much to admire and enjoy in the odd costumes and people
they were constantly meeting; more, as Hope rather contemptuously
remarked, than in the buildings, which were "just like houses anywhere."
She was right enough, for this is largely true on the seaward side of
Lisbon. Her quaintness, and squalor also, lie further inland, where
the old quarters are to be found.
"So you don't think Lisbon has many novelties, Miss Hosmer?" laughed
Mr. Lawrence, who thought there was more fun in the young people than
in scenes that were not new to him. "Just wait a bit! We are coming
to something now."
He led the way into a pleasant enclosure, or placa, as they call it
there, saying carelessly, "Let's cross to the other side."
They started briskly enough, but in a minute Hope flung out a hand as
if for support.
"Oh, I can't stand up another minute!" she cried. "It makes me
But Dwight caught her arm and laughingly urged her on, stumbling and
protesting, for this is known as Rolling Motion Square, and is paved in
gray-blue stone to represent billows in motion. So complete is the
effect that those who are still giddy from ocean travel find it a trial
to walk across it.
"Dwight," called his mother admonishingly, "you will weary the patience
of these young ladies. Come and help your mother a minute, can't you?"
"Of course I can, mommy, provided Miss Hope will release me, but she is
clinging awfully tight just now!"
Amid the laughter his uncle sent him forward with a push, and offered
his own arm.
"Get out, you rascal! We're nearly across, Miss Hosmer, and I'm very
glad of an opportunity to monopolize you for a little. I see you are
not greatly impressed with Portugal; you don't like it so well
as—well, Lynn, for instance?"
"Now you are laughing at me, but indeed I do not! Do you know, Mr.
Lawrence, I have always wished we girls were Americans in real
earnest—to live there, you understand. I love England, too, but while
I was with Uncle Albert at Lynn, he used to talk to me a great deal
about that grand United States and it seems to me a wonderful land.
Faith was not so strong as I, and used to stay in more—you see, uncle
was not really in the busy part, but well out where it was more like
the country—and she did not go about with him as I did. Once he took
me to Plymouth, and when he showed me that rock with the railing around
it, and told me about those Pilgrim fathers braving the sea and
savages, just to worship God as they thought was right, it seemed to me
as if my whole soul bowed down in reverence! From that minute I was an
American girl—a New England girl—and I have kept true to my father's
country ever since."
"I think," said Mr. Lawrence, thoughtfully, "that there is something in
the foundation of our New England which gives it an interest beyond
that of almost any region known, and it certainly appeals to any nature
which has an enthusiasm for the heroic and noble. Many countries have
been acquired through bloodshed, by conquest and because of greed and
glory, but a country whose foundations were laid in the rights of
conscience only, whose progenitors took God alone for their Leader, and
his rules and service for their code—who came in peace and poverty,
demanding nothing but the right to live and die true men—ah! no wonder
New England is proud of her forefathers."
"What Portuguese hero are you lecturing about now, uncle?" called back
Dwight, saucily, but was at once suppressed by his mother. Hope
"We have found better heroes than those old Portuguese fighters, we
think; haven't we, Mr. Lawrence?"
"Yes. Still, there is one man whom I greatly admire, of this nation,
and I think we will visit his statue next. What do you know about Luiz
de Camoes, or, as we write it, Camoens, Dwight?"
"Gracious! Nothing at all; never heard of him. Was he a fighter?"
"Hardly. At any rate he did his fighting in a noble way—rather like
heaping coals of fire I should say. He was a writer."
"Oh, tell us about him, uncle."
"What! A lecture? But that is not admissible in polite society."
"Now, don't tease. You know we are all dying to hear about him.
"Dying?" put in Mrs. Vanderhoff. "How extravagantly you talk, my son."
"Well, crazy, then."
She laughed hopelessly.
"Go on, pray," she said to her brother. "He simply leaps from the
frying-pan into the fire."
"De Camoens," he said, "was by no means without faults, but he was
gifted, generous, forgiving, and brave. He was foolish enough to love
a lady too near the throne, and on that account was banished, and
endured many hardships for years. Yet he did not let this dampen his
love of country, and his loyalty to the government. Though an exile,
he wrote a romantic epic extolling the deeds of his countrymen in all
ages, which has become a great classic, and has made both them and
himself immortal. I call that a generous deed! He died poor and
unnoticed, but now his people make an idol of him, and his statue is
one of the sights of Lisbon."
"Did he live here?" asked Faith. "That is, when he was not in exile?"
"Yes, this was his home."
"And his poem was the Lusiad," added Mrs. Vanderhoff.
"Why, I've heard of that!" cried Dwight. "We had something about it in
"And here," said Mr. Lawrence, pointing down a street into which they
had turned, "you catch your first glimpse of his statue. Poor fellow!
I wonder if he knows of the tardy recognition, wherever he is now?"
They stood some time before this monument to an unfortunate genius,
then started on a lively exploration of the streets and shops, which
was perhaps more interesting to the ladies than to their escort. At
any rate it was with something like a sigh of relief that he at length
glanced at his watch, and declared it was time to meet the captain in
the Place of Commerce, close by.
This is a conspicuous square in Lisbon, and they had already visited
some of its arcaded shops, but without taking special note of its
attractions. Now they had leisure to stroll about and admire the fine
public buildings, and the exquisite flowers and foliage. Quite
suddenly they came upon the captain who was, to the great astonishment
of his daughters, walking leisurely about in company with Lady Moreham
and Mrs. Poinsett. They all stopped to exchange greetings, and finally
wandered over to the open side of the square, where is a fine view of
the Tagus, with its varied shipping and busy shores. As they were
turning to make their way to the hotel for dinner, Faith found herself
beside the English lady, who said in a gentle voice, which seemed oddly
out of place with her reserved, almost haughty, manner,
"Have you enjoyed the afternoon, my child?"
"Very much, thank you," said Faith. "There are so many queer-looking
people, and it is diverting to visit all these open booths, and try to
understand their jargon and make them understand ours. I feel in a
"Then you have not traveled largely?"
"Very little, my lady."
"I heard you and your sister speak of being in the United States some
time, did I not?"
"Oh yes, a year. Our father was born there."
"And you were in Boston?"
"Yes, many times."
"Did you ever go to any of the suburbs—Brookline, for instance?"
"I was there twice. We had friends living there. Isn't it a charming
place? It made me think of some of our prettiest English towns."
"Oh, it is better—that is, I have heard it spoken of as a little
paradise. Did you go about considerable?"
Faith glanced at her, surprised by several things. First, there was a
wistful note in her voice which seemed singular when speaking of a town
never visited; second, with all her precise use of language, once in a
while this woman of the highest aristocracy made an odd slip in a
grammatical way. She was a somewhat puzzling compound. Faith answered,
"A little. We rode up on Corey's Hill, of course, and around by the
reservoir, and out towards Jamaica Pond—but you do not know, perhaps—"
"Go on, pray! I like to hear it." The woman's manner was almost
breathless with eagerness, and Faith, wondering still more, continued.
"I enjoyed as much as anything just wandering around alone, and looking
at the lovely homes. I never was quite sure when I was in a real
street, or in a private way, till I saw the signs up, and I used to
wonder why these beautiful little lanes were labeled, 'Dangerous,' till
uncle told me it was because they were private property, and the town
would not be responsible for accidents that might happen there. My
friend lived in a park, with several houses set down at random, and
pretty drives through it, and another little girl I visited lived well
up the hill, and when she wanted to come down town in winter she just
tucked herself up on a little sled, and coasted all the way. I thought
that must be great fun!"
Lady Moreham's eyes were all alight.
"I love to hear you tell about it!" she said. "Some other time we will
talk some more. Your father is beckoning you to hurry, now, and there
is my friend waiting for me impatiently. But did you ever hear of
Hale's story, The Man Without a Country? Hale is an American writer."
"I have heard of him, but have not read that story," returned the girl.
"It is a sad one—a very sad one! Good-by. Thank you for a pleasant
stroll. I will see you again."
She passed swiftly ahead, to join Mrs. Poinsett, and Faith turned aside
to her own party, but when they joked her on making a conquest of the
titled lady she only smiled dreamily, and saw an eager face, filled
with almost girlish life, begging for childish particulars about a
modest place in far-away New England.
It was after sunset when, their excellent dinner over, they returned on
board the dear old steamer, which seemed really like home as Joey
smiled a welcome, Mr. Malcolm called a greeting down from the guards,
and two or three of the babies ran from their ayahs' sides, along the
deck, to meet them. Even the Bengali boy grinned, as he cleared away
some paper bags and fruit skins, and a little Mohammedan, who had been
making a perch to which Texas could be chained when on deck, came with
deep salaams to beg that they would step and see if it were
satisfactory. They expressed themselves much pleased, but Faith
pointed to the long chain attached, and said.
"I don't like that! It makes me think of dungeons and criminals."
"But we'd lose him without it," urged Hope.
"I suppose so. I'm glad, though, my pet is a cat, and does not need
chains or cages, I'm going to tell the babies a story in the little
saloon, Hope, if you want me. They like it before they have to go to
An hour or so later the girls were resting idly in their own stateroom,
when Faith asked, suddenly. "What do you think of my lady? Do you
like her any better?"
"You mean Lady Moreham? Yes, I think I do. What was she saying to
you, anyhow, in the placa?"
"Not much. Simply asking questions. I did the talking."
"I thought at first she was horrid—proud and cross, you
know,"—continued Hope, who was lolling indolently on the
dimity-covered seat, in a loose gown, "but I'm not so certain of it,
now. There's something about her—I wonder if father ever knew her
before? He seems friendly with her, don't you think?"
"Oh, he's friendly with everybody; it's his business to be. And, of
course, she is an important personage. But she kept me talking about
Brookline, to-day—you remember the pretty place just out from Boston
don't you?—and it seemed odd she should care about it. And did you
notice, yesterday, whenever we spoke of—"
"Yes, I did. You can't mention America but she wakes up. Other times
she doesn't even seem to hear. Perhaps she has been there, after all."
"Possibly. I wonder what she is going out to India for?"
"Oh, to join her husband, probably. That's what all the ladies go for,
A tap at the door and their father's voice.
"Oh no, papa," cried Hope, throwing the door open. "We are up yet, and
as wide awake as hawks."
"All right! Get into your ulsters, and come up to the pilot-house.
There's a fresh breeze springing up from N.N.E. that will send us
spinning on our way, when we can catch it. As soon as we get a good
offing, you'll see as pretty a sight as you need ever expect to—the
old 'International' under full canvas making her eighteen knots an hour
for Gibraltar—lively now!"
In a moment they were beside him, hastening to the elevated turret,
with its outlook in every direction, and presently the girls were
enchanted to watch the lively rattling of ropes and shrouds, the rapid
unfurling of the great sails, that snapped to place as if clapping
giant hands in joy. When these caught the breeze and braced themselves
to duty, there was a sort of thrill along the good ship, as if she had
responded with one quick heart-beat. Then, fair, still, magnificent,
she glided away, leaving the twinkling lights of city and harbor to
fade out in distance—first those low on the water, then the street
lights on the terraces, and lastly one lone gleam in a distant tower
that, like a friendly eye, still gazed after them when, far out in the
open, they sailed smoothly on, the fires banked, and Steam gracefully
yielding place to his older brother, Wind.
KITE-FLYING AND GIBRALTAR.
When they awoke, next morning, the engines were at work again, and
their heavy thud, thud, was mingled with the swash of water, as the
Bengali boys washed down decks, while a rattling of spars and creaking
of cordage showed that sails were being set, or lowered.
Hope, always wide awake at once, sprang from her little white couch to
find that it was difficult to keep her footing on the sliding plane of
her stateroom floor, but slipping into gown and ulster as quickly as
possible, and bracing herself with extended hands through the narrow
passageway to the deck, she was soon outside, gasping a little in the
fresh wind that met her full in the face and caught her breath away.
For the ship was now headed for the Straits, and steaming almost in the
teeth of the brisk northeaster.
There was not a hint of land, as far as the eye could see, and the
waters, of a deep, cold blue, were white-capped to the horizon's edge.
She felt dizzy, and most uncertain on her feet, but not six feet
distant was a heap of low camp-chairs, huddled together out of the way
of the still dripping deck planks. If she could reach one and get to
leeward of that capstan—but what should she hold on to meanwhile?
And, even as she asked herself the question, the goodly steamer,
happening to dip her lowest courtesy to a rude in-coming wave of giant
proportions, shipped its combing crest, that poured through the
latticed guard-rail and swirled across the deck, with a force, that
sent poor Hope a drenched, doubled-up little heap of helplessness,
pounding right into the midst of the chair-stack.
Before she had time to cry out, however, she was caught up, and her
father's voice, hoarse and frightened, asked quickly,
"Are you hurt, love?—Are you hurt?"
As she looked up into his anxious face, pale beneath the sun-bronze,
Hope fully realized how deeply her father loved her, and answered in a
much subdued voice,
"No, papa—not much. I think I've barked my knees and bumped my head,
but I guess that's all—except the wetting!" shivering a little.
"Yes, you mustn't take cold. I'll help you right back, and send Martha
to you. You'd better crawl into your little nest again as soon as
you're thoroughly dry, and don't venture outside again until I come and
get you, my storm-bird."
"Father," she said, as he was about leaving her at the cabin door, "do
you never sleep? I left you up at midnight, and I find you up at
"Sleep? Oh, yes, sometimes. That's the last thing a captain thinks
of, though. If I should sleep too much it might mean an eternal sleep
for my passengers and crew. Now hurry into bed and get warm, chicken.
I'll see that you have some hot chocolate at once."
It was nearly two hours later, and Hope had quite slept off the effects
of her wetting, when the two girls ventured forth again, but now the
motion was still and even, and the old ship steady as a house floor,
for they were under the lee of Cape Trafalgar, making swift time for
Tarifa and the Straits.
As the girls sat lazily, after their morning's outlook, in the pleasant
saloon, amid a group of ladies and children, listening to the cheerful
chatter going on about them, and laughing at the antics of the little
tots playing about in charge of their gaily-turbaned Indian ayahs, or
nurses, Dwight came in, all excitement, and cried,
"Come, girls, we're going to have an exhibition. Loo Wing has made an
elegant kite—regular Chinese one, you know—and we're going to fly it
from the after-deck. Hurry up!"
They hastily followed his rush around the guards, and after them
trailed all the children old enough to run alone, and many of the
mothers, for anything new is welcome at sea. On the after-deck they
found the captain, Mr. Lawrence, Mr. Malcolm, and other passengers,
assisting the cook's boy, Loo Wing, inputting the last touches to a
singular erection of red, yellow, and purple, made of crinkled paper,
which looked like a hybrid creature, half bird, half dragon.
Loo Wing had it in hand, and Mr. Lawrence was adjusting its immensely
long tail, while the captain was paying out twine from a stick.
"Oh, uncle!" called Dwight in an agonized voice, "you know I was to
start it. Loo Wing promised I should."
"Well, well, who said you weren't? We're only making ready. But be
careful and not let it get tangled in the rigging," was quickly
"No, indeed!" cried the boy, trembling with excitement, as he received
from the smiling oriental the gaudy thing, and started for the taffrail
eager to see it off on its aerial journey.
But he was in too great a hurry, and despite warning cries from Captain
Hosmer, Loo Wing, and the Bengali boy, who was supposed to be polishing
the brass rod of the taffrail, he sent the kite up just in season for a
contrary puff of wind to catch its extended wings, and blow it squarely
into the topmost shrouds and ratlines of the mizzen-mast, where,
entangled in the network of ropes, it fluttered helplessly.
Poor Dwight was almost beyond speaking in his despair, when the little
Bengali, with a swift, beseeching look at his captain, sprang forward
and ran up the rope-ladder with the lithe, quick motion of a monkey.
"Oh, don't let him!" cried Faith, but her father only laughed.
"He's used to it, don't worry!" he said, and thus assured, they watched
the brown lad's dizzy climb until the kite was reached. Here, hanging
on by his toes, apparently, to the cross-bar, he bent over and loosened
the erratic flyer. Then, holding it far out, he looked down for
"Shall he let her go, Master Dwight?" said the captain. "It's your
kite to command. Here's the twine, and hang tight, if he does, for
'twill give you a strong pull."
"Yes, let her fly!" cried Dwight, excitedly, bracing himself and gazing
The little Indian waited for a favorable instant, then with a prolonged
"Hi-yi!" that drew the attention of all on board, gave it a light toss
to leeward, which sent it off like a bird, indeed. Luckily, it had not
been torn by its temporary delay, and now, caught aft by the wind, it
sailed up and away with a force that fairly dragged Dwight across the
deck until, laughing heartily, the captain eased him by a grasp on the
twine, until he could "get another cinch," as the lad explained, and
pay it out more rapidly.
It really made a beautiful appearance against the blue sky, with its
gay colors and extended wings, and Loo Wing clapped his hands in
delight, while the passengers cheered lustily. They watched it till it
was a mere speck in the canopy, and Dwight greatly amused the little
ones by sending up "letters," or bits of white paper, on the twine.
But after an hour or two of this fun, the captain sang out,
"Better tie your bird to the taffrail and take a look for'ards pretty
soon. 'Twill pay for the trouble."
They acted upon his advice, making a rush for the forward deck, and saw
that it was well worth a longer journey than from end to end of a great
They were nearing the Straits; already Tarifa's white fortress was
smiling in friendly fashion across the narrowing waters, while, on the
other hand, the hazy spurs of Atlas outlined the African coast. And as
they gazed delightedly, with much laughter over the roughening waves,
which made it necessary for them to wedge themselves into convenient
nooks in order to stand upright, they saw great Gibraltar looming up
somber, massive, and gray-blue, with the frown of a giant defying the
No wonder the ancients thought these opposite heights, so impregnable,
so sentinel-like, were gates set by the gods to define earth's outer
boundaries, beyond which the most daring mariner must never sail.
As our friends watched the broad slope of Calpe, lying in the full
sunshine of a brilliant noon, its ledges bristling with bastions and
cannon, above the little town which seems to nestle beneath in
contented safety, Faith turned to her sister with kindling eyes.
"Now, aren't you proud of our mother, England? Where in all the world
is there such another fortress commanding the entrance to two oceans,
and looking down upon two continents, I'd like to know?"
Hope looked up in amazement.
"Well, Faith, I never heard you soar into such eloquence, before. You
have subjugated me! What shall I do? Sing 'God save the Queen,' or
shout 'For England and St. George'? I'm at your service. But then,"
she added mischievously, "I don't think it was such a wonderful thing
for its garrison to hold out over three years, as our history tells us
they did, for what could all the warships France and Spain might bring,
ever accomplish against that solid rock?"
"Ah! but it was a gallant resistance, just the same!" cried Mr.
Lawrence, as he joined them. "There has, perhaps, never been such a
fierce and prolonged bombardment as that, and Europe looked on with
wonder, as every resource of two great nations was brought to bear
against that garrison of seven thousand men, who could not be starved,
nor conquered. It looked black for them, sometimes, but British
endurance and red-hot shot won the day, and the carnage on board those
ill-fated vessels during the last of the fierce engagement was beyond
anything recorded in history. They simply had to give it up!"
As they now slowly steamed up the beautiful bay it was almost like
sailing over a mill-pond, after the past roughness, for it lay still
beneath the vertical sun, and was thronged with shipping of every
description and nationality. Presently there came a reverberation that
seemed to ricochet from rock and wave, and a little girl cried blankly,
"Oh dear! Are they firing at us?"
But an officer called out,
"No, it's a Russian corvette, saluting. See its dragon flag of black
and yellow? Now—watch!"
He pointed shorewards just as a puff of white smoke issued from an
innocent-looking clump of trees on the rocky hillside, which preceded
the sound of an answering boom from the iron lips of the fortress.
This was repeated many times, the hoarse cannon barks alternating
between gun-ship and shore, in an awe-inspiring exchange of courtesies.
As the girls grew used to the thunderous sounds they delighted to
speculate from which bastion, or ledge, or flowering bush, would come
that little puff of smoke, to be followed by the lightning and thunder
of man's invention, scarcely less terrible than those of nature's cloud
"I'm glad to have seen it," said Faith somewhat tremulously, when the
salvo was over. "It gives one some idea of what it might be if that
fortress were really firing for business. Just think how dreadful!"
"But do tell me," cried her sister, "how can trees and shrubs grow so
luxuriantly on that rocky soil, and what keeps the houses from blowing
off some of those steep cliffs? Do you know, I never supposed there
were any houses, before. I thought, from the pictures, that the rock
went straight up out of the water, with the fort stuck on top, like a
thimble on a big chocolate caramel. But here's a regular town."
Mr. Lawrence laughed.
"It's odd, the ideas we get of places till we see them! To be sure,
the rock is nearly perpendicular to the north and east, but here, as
you see, it makes a long slope to the water's edge, and the cliff is
broken into many elevations. Of course, you'll go ashore and take a
closer look at it all?"
"Yes, father's going with us. We'll be here quite a while to take on
coal, and he wants us to see the galleries, and the signal-station."
"And I want to see the tailless monkeys," added Dwight, as he joined
them. "We'll have a procession to brag of, for nearly everybody's
going ashore. Mr. Malcolm's to lead the van with the children, he
says, and Mrs. Campbell is to close up the rear of his section, while
mother follows with ours. They've been laughing about it over there.
Ah, there's Bess beckoning! Be sure and join us, girls."
"Yes, when father comes. Goody! here he is. We're all ready, papa."
"So am I, but you'll have to wait till I've attended to my papers—but
it won't take long. Just follow on."
The passengers were soon streaming shorewards over the long pier, and
sniffing with delight the fresh odor of flowers that filled the air,
which, to Hope, was a continual wonder, for she could not yet accept
the fact of lovely English gardens on this gray old rock.
A walk through the paved streets, with their home-like dwellings,
stores, churches, and official buildings only increased this wonder,
and her stock of adjectives was soon exhausted. Mr. Malcolm,
naturally, led them first to the market, where business called him, and
here the girls were specially interested in the flowers, some of the
booths being fancifully arranged with a bewildering display.
The people they met seemed of every complexion and country, from groups
of tourists in the latest fashion to a couple of long-robed Parsees,
with their funny little caps perched above their black polls. Bess
indicated another passer-by, and said in a low tone, "What an old maid
of a man!" and certainly, with his straight gown, and a high comb stuck
up in his back hair which was coiled into a tight knot, the
dark-skinned fellow did strongly suggest a typical spinster.
Even Hope looked pleased, and Faith's eyes glittered as a small company
of British soldiery, from the barracks, in red coats and white helmets,
and with fresh young faces, came clattering down the street, and
returned the greetings of the gentlemen, and smiles of the ladies, with
their military salute, and a second glance in the direction of their
pretty young countrywomen.
Some of the party, who were not good climbers, had been accommodated
with donkeys at the hotel, before starting for the galleries, but many
walked, and it was a long and somewhat straggling procession.
The galleries mentioned are long passageways, cut through the solid
rock, and pierced with portholes at regular intervals, so that the
gun-muzzles, which peer through them, can command town, bay, and
neutral ground. Faith, whose reverence for this old citadel grew every
minute, felt that the clatter of the donkey's heels, the gay calling
back and forth, and the cries of the children ought, in these dim
tunnels, to be hushed into awed silence. But no one else seemed so
impressed, though the men made measurements and discussed the labor and
expense of such enginery, as if it were a great achievement.
As they emerged she found herself close by Lady Moreham, also walking,
who remarked carelessly,
"You look solemn, Miss Hosmer."
"Do I? I think all this strength and power are wonderful, don't you,
"Yes, and awful! It oppresses me. When England lays her hand on
anything it is a heavy hand. The victim must yield, or die."
"And yet, surely our people are comfortable and wisely ruled? We are a
"Perhaps—of course. I was speaking of her in the abstract, merely.
But is it not true that the marked characteristic of all Englishmen is
tyranny? Don't they rule wherever they go? Aren't they always and
everywhere the dominant class—the oppressors? Watch the British
tourist in any far country. Does he ever conform to its customs in the
least? No, he forces them to come to his ways. You will see this in
every port we enter, every hotel we visit. English ideas govern
"But why shouldn't they?" asked Faith, feeling as if rather beyond her
depth, but bound to be loyal to her country. "If they have conquered
these people, haven't they the right to make laws for them?"
"Oh, laws! Yes. But not to strip them of all originality, all
independent thought and manner. They need not change their tastes,
their habits, their traditions—but there! what does a girl like you
know, or care, about all this, to be sure? Your wings have never felt
the cold shears of British superiority, nor your heart been wounded by
the sneers and scorn of her aristocracy."
She smiled bitterly, and Faith was puzzled to know what she could mean
when she, herself, was a distinguished member of the class she seemed
to take issue with.
They were separated then, and Faith borne on by the younger ones, but
as she looked out over the bay, with its forest of shipping, and down
at the terraced streets just below, she thought it a strange thing that
so favored a woman should rail at her own country and kinsmen. It
oppressed her loyal little heart, for she had begun to like the titled
lady, and hated to find so grave a flaw in her nature.
The signal house, perched like an eagle's nest on its rocky spur,
proved intensely interesting, though it was difficult to remember what
all the instruments were for, while the signal flags and their many
combinations were a complete mystery. Perhaps they enjoyed all the
more the visit to the tailless monkeys, that Dwight insisted upon
later, where they did not expect to be learned, but only to look and
laugh to their young hearts' content.
Dwight was anxious to own one, but his uncle resisted his entreaties,
declaring that monkeys—with, or without tails—would be a drug in the
market long before they returned to New York.
It was late afternoon when they steamed out of the New Mole, and as
they looked back upon the precipitous eastern face of Gibraltar, and
watched the signal station, which now seemed sitting on a mere
knife-edge of rock, and the roads winding up like paths for birds to
light on, it did not seem as if they could have found them so roomy
when on the spot. In dreamy mood Faith watched the surf, ceaselessly
beating itself against that massive wall, only to fall back bruised and
broken. It saddened her, and she was not surprised, after the first
shock of it, to see that Lady Moreham, standing near by, was gazing
also, with tear-filled eyes.
As Faith discovered her emotion, the lady, believing herself
unobserved, turned with a gesture that was eloquent of despair, and
Faith heard her murmuring, "It is like my life—oh! pitiless, pitiless."
Half frightened, the girl slipped behind an intervening barrier, and
"Poor lady!" she thought, almost in tears herself. "I would not have
her know I heard for anything. What can make her so unhappy? She
seems to have no friends, no country. I do not believe it is pride,
either, nor any feeling of rank and exclusiveness that keeps her so
shut in, else why should she be so pleasant to me? It is some great
misery, I'm sure. God help, and pity her!"
NIGHTMARE AND GOSSIP.
I think it must have been half nightmare, or perhaps too much frozen
pudding at dinner, after the long warm tramp up Gibraltar's steep
sides; at any rate it all happened just as I tell you. Hope retired
somewhat earlier than the rest, leaving Faith in the saloon, where the
passengers were enjoying an impromptu concert given by a Romany man and
his two daughters, who had come on board at Gibraltar to exhibit their
skill with mandolin, tambourine, voice, and guitar.
It grew a bit monotonous and shrill, after the novelty wore off, and as
Hope had become interested in a book some one had lent her, which told
about the old pirates of Algiers and their traffic in Christian slaves,
she stole away to her stateroom, slipped into a loose gown, and turning
on the electric light at her bedhead, settled down for an enjoyable
It proved to be a blood-curdling narrative, filled with the accounts of
helpless crews butchered by pirates and their passengers, men, women,
and children carried off in chains, to be sold as slaves in the wicked
old Algerian city. Yet, though so thrilling, she was very tired, and
in time it was difficult to keep her place and realize just what it was
all about. Half mechanically, at last, she turned off the light and
lay back on her pillow where, in less time than it takes to tell it,
she was sound asleep. Still, however, the pirates of her book mingled
with her dreams, which were so horrible she struggled into
wakefulness—to find herself drenched with perspiration while shivering
with horror. Anxious for companionship to counteract the effect of
these evil visions, she reached out an arm to the other little bed and
With a shock she discovered that the bed was smooth and empty; it had
not been occupied. At the same instant she became aware of whispering
voices just without the porthole above her bed, and a sentence or two
proved they were not English-speaking voices, either, but those of
orientals, of whom, as you know, there were many on shipboard. At
first she could not understand a word, they spoke so low and rapidly,
but presently she heard with clearness the sentence,
"But ee mus' be kill eef she do care! It can no be help, now."
Then more whispers, and then again, distinctly, one urging the other to
attend to the matter at once, the quicker the better, "foh eet gotta
be," and a word or two about the "Capitan Sahib," which she could not
But, in her abnormal, excited state, she had heard enough. Trembling
from the tragedies of sleep, she thought she had fallen into the
greater ones of reality. These men were going to kill somebody—and
"she" was to feel dreadfully about it. It must be that the "Capitan
Sahib" was to fall a victim to their mutinous designs!
Almost paralyzed with horror she lay still an instant, incapable of
movement, then there was a rushing back of suspended animation as she
felt that Faith might already have suffered, that her father's life was
now in danger and there was not an instant to lose. Upon her prompt
action might depend his life, and the safety of all on board.
Casting off her own terror with the resolve of desperation, she sprang
up and sped into the cabin. It was dark and empty. She passed through
it into the little stateroom, and with a whispered, "Papa! Papa!" felt
along the bunk. It too was empty and untumbled.
Oh, was she too late?
Still under the mental influence that made her believe hours must have
passed during her dreamings, she felt it must be nearing morning
now—that it was the depth of the night, in those darkest watches when
all evil deeds are done, and she was stiff and cold with terror. She
slipped out upon the deck, lying still and shadowy under its awnings,
sped across it like a shadow herself, and so on and up to the bridge.
Her father, calmly talking with one of his officers, saw the swift,
silent rush, and the next instant heard an agonized, "O father!
father!" as the poor child threw herself into his arms, Then, clinging
tightly, she broke out again before he could speak.
"Oh, save sister! Be quick and save her!"
"Save her? What—where—what ails you, child? What has happened?"
"And save yourself! Get the men together—the white men—"
"My child, are you asleep? What is the matter—where have you been?
Why, you are shaking like a leaf!"
He drew her to one side, and the officer discreetly vanished. Hope
begged again, "Save her, oh, save Faith!"
"Faith? Aren't you Faith? I thought you were. Is this my dauntless
Hope, then? Why, how strange! Tell me everything."
"It's those awful Lascars, papa. I've always been afraid of them, they
look so big and black. They're planning to kill somebody—to kill
you—and Faith is gone already."
"Gone? What nonsense is this? She's in the cabin, likely. You must
have a nightmare, Hope!"
"But isn't it most morning, papa?"
"Not anywhere near it—nor midnight either. Faith is somewhere about,
and as for killing—absurd! This isn't one bit like you, child.
Haven't you been dreaming?"
She told him then of her horrible awakening, and repeated the talk she
had heard below the porthole.
"Humph!" he said. "You're mistaken in their designs, but they
certainly had no business in that part of the ship. I must see about
that. Come; I'll take you in and hunt up sister." This was said in a
rather loud voice, made stern by his surprise and annoyance. In a
moment it softened. "There, there, don't tremble so, my child; it's
all right, and everybody is safe enough."
He led her into the cabin, quickly flooded it with electric light, and,
summoning a boy, sent him for Mrs. Jordan, who soon appeared. Briefly
mentioning that his daughter had a slight chill and he would leave her
to look after the child, he started off. Hope was scarcely tucked up
again when her sister came in, looking rather conscious, and blushing a
"Are you ill, dear?" she cried. "Papa said you had a nightmare and a
chill. He is quite upset, and a little cross."
"Oh, where have you been?" returned Hope reproachfully. "I was so
frightened when I found you gone."
"Gone? Why, I haven't been in, yet. You went to bed so early, Hope!
It's only about half-past ten. I've been walking the deck—it's a
lovely night, as soft and warm as can be."
"With Dwight?" asked Hope languidly, for in Martha Jordan's practised
hands she was growing warm and drowsy again.
"N-no, not Dwight," answered Faith hesitantly. "I'll tell you about it
soon. Here comes papa."
She opened the door into his cabin, and gave a cry of horrified
surprise. "Oh, oh! how did it happen?"
"What?" shrieked Hope, all nerves again.
"There! Be quiet now," said her father, and entered quickly, carrying
a limp little bundle of fawn and white.
"Hafiz! It's Hafiz! What has happened? Is he dead?"
"I'm afraid he is. Your Lascars turned out to be our Mohammedans, Huri
and his brother, two as faithful creatures as I have on board. It
seems Hafiz, for some reason, found himself weary of first-cabin
passage, so made his way into the fo'castle, where a dog belonging to
one of the men took after him, and hurt him badly. Huri found him and
saw he must be finished, but hated to do it, and, with his brother, was
discussing the matter while looking for you girls. Faith, where have
you been this last hour or so?"
The girl's eyes were flooded with tears for her lost pet, and
involuntarily his face softened as he turned to her. She flushed a
little, but answered at once, "On the upper deck, sir."
"Ah! that was you then? I saw the couple promenading there. Well,
well, you'd better keep with your sister after this, and look after
your own passengers," with a glance at the dead cat, "instead of mine,
eh? Now, now, Hope, don't cry so!" for, quite worn out by all this
excitement, the girl was sobbing in a somewhat hysterical manner.
"Yes, that's enough!" cried Martha in her hearty way. "No use crying
over spilled milk, nor dead pets—even when they're Persian cats.
You'll find there are one or two more in the world, I guess. Now just
cuddle down there and keep still, or we'll have to give you a dose of
something to quiet you, and it's bitter stuff to take, I can tell you.
Perhaps, if you'll just curl in beside her, Miss Faith, she'll ease
The stewardess was right, for when Hope felt her twin's tender arms
about her she soon grew quiet, and as soon as they were alone whispered
with much interest, "But who was with you on deck, Faith?"
"Well I'll tell you, and it's nothing to make such a fuss over, either.
Do you remember that young officer we saw bidding his mother and sister
good-by at Portsmouth—the ones that were so quiet about it?"
"Oh, yes; and his sweetheart too."
"No, that was his cousin, who lives with them. I got acquainted with
him to-night, and he is a real gentleman. We were walking up and down,
and he was telling me about his people, and his service in India. He
is to be a sort of traveling officer to take out recruits, you see.
He's delighted with the appointment, but his father was lost in a
monsoon on the Indian Ocean, a few years ago, and it nearly killed his
mother to let him go—she is sort of superstitious about it. Don't you
remember how she fainted?"
"Yes, indeed. Poor lady! And he is nice, is he?"
"Yes and intelligent, but bashful. He said he had often watched us,
and can never tell us apart, but he thinks he'll be able to, after
"Oh, he does?" giggled Hope. "I'll wager I could fool him any day, if
I tried. Well, you gave me a nice fright while you were having such a
good time," and thereupon she told her tale as you have just heard it,
and so short a step is it from tragedy to comedy, especially in youth,
that they both laughed over it until they fell asleep.
Meanwhile, on deck, a watchful father saw a young man standing near the
gunwale in idle contemplation of the horizon, and accosted him with a
pleasant word to which the other responded with readiness, though his
manner was somewhat diffident. The two talked some time, the older man
becoming more and more interested in a youth who, with a real manliness
of character, was yet as bashful as a schoolboy. Before the
conversation ended Captain Hosmer was convinced there was not only "no
harm in the fellow," but that he was a young man worth cultivating,
and, as he finally left him, chuckled to himself.
"Ah! these girls. They require an awful sight of looking after, but
sometimes their instincts are as good as our judgments. Faith is a
little woman with her mother's own purity. How she used to worry for
fear I should grow hard and wicked in my rough life. Ah! my Helen,
wherever you are, to-night, know that I am trying to keep myself
steering straight for the Port that you have reached—and, God helping
me, I will bring the babies safe along, too!"
He bowed his head on his hands a minute, and the old steersman,
watching him, thought, with affectionate sympathy.
"The capt'n's tired to-night, and no wonder. Wish he'd turn in and get
a good rest for once, Never saw a man so faithful, bless him! Glad
he's got them nice little girls to make him brace up these
days—sometimes I think as he's getting old too fast."
The next morning the twins were late in rising only to find it a
summer's day, apparently, so balmy indeed that the deck seemed to be
blossoming out into a flower-bed, as group after group of ladies
appeared in gay lawns and organdies, while all the Mohammedan helpers
were busy stretching double awnings where there had been single ones,
or none at all, and rigging up the punkahs in the saloons. These odd
fans, which England has borrowed, name and all, from her East Indian
colonies, were, on the "International," tricolored (red, white, and
blue) strips of cloth, stretched over light wire frames of a
rectangular shape, which were attached to the ceiling and also, by
means of a long rope, to a black-eyed Bengali boy who sat just outside
the door, on deck, and kept them waving by a slow, constant jerk and
pull, which was so regular that Faith declared the boy slept half the
time, and possibly she was right. The ocean lay peacefully about them,
its color almost an indigo, so deeply blue was it in the shadow of the
vessel, but out a little way silvered by the vertical sun, which shone
with a blinding splendor that made colored eye-glasses a relief to the
It is in such weather that mischief breeds on shipboard, and gossip is
rife. The idle passengers, by this time mostly on speaking terms,
begin to let the common metal of their real make-up show through the
nickel-plating of the first interchange of courtesies.
There was a group whom our special friends had not yet mingled with
quite freely, though always meeting them in pleasant fashion, but as
everybody clustered sociably on the forward deck, this morning, anxious
to catch the ship's own breeze, if no other, they might naturally
become better acquainted. Of these only a few affect our little
history, therefore need description; first, a mother and two daughters
going out to the husband and father in India. Mrs. Windemere was a
little woman with an habitually scared expression and retiring manner,
but her daughters, both well towards thirty, must have taken after the
father, for they were domineering with her and self-assertive
everywhere. They claimed relationship with some person who bore a
title, and were given to talking a good deal about their aristocratic
relatives, and they dressed conspicuously, demanded constant attention
from any gentlemen present, and were full of news and rumors.
With them was a young woman of like age, whom they familiarly called
Zaidee, who had spent much time in India, and had caught its languor,
possibly. She was more agreeable in manner and pretended indifference
to all that the "girls," as she called them, were interested in;
dressed quietly, but in excellent taste, and talked in her dreamy,
drawling voice in a way that seemed to interest all who listened,
especially the gentlemen, who were usually grouped around her chair
whenever she appeared on deck. There were plenty of these, from Indian
officials of rank to subalterns and young gentlemen of fortune, either
with or without tutors, but who seemed much more interested in
flirtations than scenery.
English girls do not, as a rule, assume the airs of womanhood so early
as do many American maidens—to their credit be it said—and neither
Hope nor Faith had ever thought of considering themselves young ladies.
Though nearing eighteen their gowns were still of ankle length and
their hair in simple braids, while, as we have seen, they enjoyed
frolicking with Dwight as if not a day older. Elizabeth Vanderhoff,
too, though two years older, was still a girl at heart, and had not yet
discovered that no company was complete without its young men.
The officer who had been walking with Faith, last night, was also a
boyish fellow, fair and fresh of face and had been more attracted to
our girls and their frolics than to the older young ladies, with more
social airs and graces. Though Faith had felt somewhat confused, last
night, at her father's raillery, her meeting and talk with the modest
young fellow was innocent enough, in intention, had there been no one
to misconstrue it, but in a carping world we must learn to avoid even
the appearance of evil.
It happened that the little disturbance caused by Hope's bad dreams had
not been quite unnoted, and was to bring rather disagreeable
consequences, as we shall see. But, this morning, there was no hint of
trouble in the air and, gathered under the deck awnings, the passengers
presented a scene pretty and peaceful enough.
Faith, industriously inclined, was at work on a piece of embroidery,
Hope had the piratical book in her hand, but was leaning idly back,
watching Mrs. Vanderhoff, who was playing with one of the little tots,
and visiting in desultory fashion with Bess, who was trying a new
stitch in crochet and interposed a count, or two, between syllables.
The Windemere family, all with their work, except Mrs. Campbell, who
never seemed to have anything to do, were at a little distance—the two
young ladies talking to the distinguished traveler previously
mentioned, who seemed a trifle bored, and Mrs. Campbell being talked to
by a couple of government attachés, whose boyish laughter rang out
Presently, the officer of Faith's acquaintance, whose name was
Carnegie, came towards the former group and bashfully bade her a
good-morning which she brightly returned, hastening to present him to
her sister and friends. Soon they were all in animated chat, and the
young attachés in Mrs. Campbell's vicinity began to look that way with
somewhat longing glances.
At length one of them, with some light excuse, sauntered away from her
side, made a slow tour of the deck, and finally drew near our three
girls; saying in passing.
"I've been looking for you, Carnegie."
The other, not having noticed the by-play, turned with a smile, and
"Have you? I've been down among my men most of the morning. One of
the poor fellows is ill. Not seasick, you understand, but a fever, I'm
afraid." Then as the schemer came to a stop he said bashfully, "May I
present Mr. Donelson, ladies?" and introductions followed.
Naturally Mr. Donelson was pleased at his success, and flung a laughing
glance of triumph back at his comrade, who still sat at the lady's
feet, though he, too, was beginning to fidget and look about for a way
of escape. Mrs. Campbell had seen all with eyes that seemed to notice
nothing, and was indignant enough, for she was inordinately vain, and
desired attention even from boys, if no other was forthcoming. To have
any one preferred before her was gall to her foolish pride. Besides
the traveler, whom she was inclined to make a hero of, had seen, too,
and though pretending still to talk to the Misses Laura and Janet
Windemere, his eyes were twinkling with appreciation.
Mrs. Campbell was not a malicious woman, unless thwarted in her own
plans; then she could be absolutely pitiless, and cared for neither
truth nor justice in carrying out her spiteful revenges. Ridicule was
something she could not endure, and to feel herself slighted made a
fury of her. Yet her outward self-control was perfect. Now, with a
dreamy look in her large blue-gray orbs, she gazed out to seaward, and
remarked as if in a ruminant mood,
"I think, take them all together, we have a rather stupid set of
passengers, this trip, don't you, Mr. Allyne?"
"I don't know," returned the attaché, "are they? Fact is, I haven't
made much headway with the ladies yet, but the men are jolly enough in
the smoking-room—without being too jolly, you understand."
"Oh, of course; they are mostly gentlemen, I presume. Indeed I've
scarcely noticed them, myself"—"Ah! Mrs. Campbell!"—"with a few
exceptions of course," giving him an effective glance. "But the girls
are not much to boast of. That Miss Vanderhoff is positively homely."
"Do you think so? I know she has no special beauty to attract one, but
she looks bright and good-tempered, I'm sure, and I like her voice,
"Not too well. Those American voices are not to my taste. They
threaten my ear-drums."
"Do you call hers sharp, though, Mrs. Campbell? It's clear, I know,
and decided, but——"
She waved the subject aside, as if it were not worth discussing longer,
"What do you think of the twinnies?"
Her tone, though laughingly contemptuous, was gentleness itself, and
young Allyne looked up, rather puzzled.
"Why, they seem nice, sweet girls; don't you think so?"
"One can't always tell by looks," was the ambiguous reply, and then she
began to laugh, as if in great amusement over some recollection.
Meanwhile the Windemere girls and the traveler had turned and were
listening, as Mrs. Campbell meant they should.
"What pleases you, Zaidee?" asked Laura, the older, settling her
eyeglasses anew, the better to gaze at her friend.
"Oh, an amusing incident that occurred last night. I happened to see a
part, and easily drew the rest out of Mr. Frazer by adroit questioning,
for, I assure you, it made me curious."
Mr. Frazer was the purser, and the one who had stood talking with
Captain Hosmer when Hope ran out to him, the night before.
"What is it?" asked both girls in a breath, and the traveler added,
with a laugh,
"Yes, indeed, if any one knows anything funny on shipboard it is a
bounden duty to tell it."
"Well, I hardly know whether you could call this funny, or
tragic—perhaps serio-comic is the word," returned Mrs. Campbell in her
smooth little drawl, with its expression of amused indifference, which
always stimulated the interest of the listener. "It was exciting,
anyhow. Somewhere well along towards midnight, last evening, a certain
young lady—a mere girl indeed—was promenading the deck with a strange
young man, when her sister, probably knowing the girl's propensities,
rose from her bed, rushed out to her father, who was at his post,"—she
cast an eye upward towards the bridge—"and begged of him to 'save
sister,' upon which, rather sternly, he marched her back to her cabin
and, hunting up the other one, took her from her escort and led her
inside also, where I imagine there was a scene. At any rate the
stewardess was busy in there for some time, and when I asked what had
happened, she said, 'Only hysterics, ma'am; they're common enough.'
But as I happened to know where she was, and what had just happened, I
did not treat the matter so lightly. Of course it was an exaggeration
of the other girl, but it showed that some people who seem very
innocent will bear looking after. Too bad that pretty girls must spoil
everything by being vain and—well, careless! But the two I mention
are very unconventional."
The Windemeres, mother and daughters, listened with groans of horror,
the attaché with a troubled look, and the traveler with a gravity that
was almost stern. Quite unnoted by the absorbed group, another also
heard, for Lady Moreham, seemingly absorbed in a book and hidden by
some projection of the deck, had dropped the volume and was scowling
savagely. She was not taken with these young women, for at first they
had distinctly snubbed her, and later, having learned her title, had so
suddenly changed to fawning and flattery that she was thoroughly
After an instant the traveler spoke abruptly,
"Do you say you heard and saw this yourself, Mrs. Campbell?"
"A part of it—yes, sir." How small a part she did not mention. "The
rest was made comprehensible by Mr. Frazer's explanation."
"I cannot believe that one of the ship's officers would speak ill of
the captain's daughters, madam—and that you refer to them we all
"Speak ill? Oh, he did not—and who has, indeed? Ill? What can you
mean? I merely mentioned it as a funny, melodramatic sort of
performance, just like a foolish little girl. Of course there was
nothing really out of the way, only a bit of imprudence—and without a
mother, or chaperone, what can one expect?"
"You speak of what I was about to mention; they have no mother. That
is enough to make any older woman feel it her motherly duty to guard
and counsel them, I'm sure," was the calm reply. "We all must agree on
"Yes, indeed!" ventured Mrs. Windemere in her small voice. "Poor young
"I don't think they seem to need your pity, mother!" cried Janet
sharply, looking across at the merry group, in which were the Hosmer
sisters. "Not in that way, at any rate."
"And," added Mrs. Campbell with an exaggerated drawl, "we who are not
of an age to look upon them in a motherly light may not appreciate all
those feelings. They amuse me, to be sure, but I had scarcely thought
of adopting them."
"Nor their father, either?" put in the attaché clumsily, hoping to
raise a laugh and dispel the thunder in the air. But he only drew the
lightning upon himself. She gave him one look that silenced him, and,
lifting the fan in her lap, said languidly,
"How very warm it is! Strange how little the most of us understand the
necessity of fitting our conversation to the weather, if we would be
agreeable. Discussions and personalities, if ever allowable, are only
suited to a zero temperature. Have you noticed the flying-fish, this
morning? How delightful it must be to plunge into that cool water
to-day! I wonder if they fly out into the heat just for the fun of
cooling off afterwards?"
"Quite a suggestion, Mrs. Campbell!" laughed the traveler. "I believe
I'll try it," and, bowing lightly, with a flash of the eyes that met
her own in quick defiance, he turned away.
As he passed around the bulkhead screening Lady Moreham, she rose and
said in a low voice,
"I want to thank you! Many a life has been ruined by base
insinuations. A vain woman's tongue is a merciless weapon. I like the
little sisters, and believe them pure-hearted children. It was wicked!"
"I agree with you, my lady. But you see they are monopolizing the
attention to-day, which is a social crime!" and, with a sarcastic
smile, he passed on.
Meanwhile, undreaming of this "capful of wind" that might become a
tornado, our girls thoroughly enjoyed themselves in a lively, wholly
unsentimental way, pleased with the company and their own happy youth;
and not suspecting that in this same soft, silky atmosphere which
breeds both the exquisite Paradise-bird and the deadly cobra, might be
found, not only friendliness, but also that "envy, malice, and
uncharitableness" which the honest-hearted are least able to guard
against, in their utter lack of comprehension.
A GAME OF GROMETS.
"Who wants to pitch gromets?" cried Dwight. (He pronounced it as if
spelled "gruments," as most sea-going men do spell it, we believe, but
let us follow the dictionary!) "Mr. Malcolm's offered a prize for the
one that lands it square in the bucket the most times, and Uncle Dwight
says he'll give a consolation prize to the poor wretch who doesn't hit
"What's gromets?" asked young Donelson, springing up.
"Oh, don't you know?" said Hope. "Father used to play it with us when
we were little—you know what the gromets themselves are, don't you?"
"Haven't an idea?"
"Why, rope rings—Dwight, Dwight! Isn't that one sticking out of your
pocket? See how firm and neat it is!"
"Well, it's just pitching those into a bucket, set a long way off. If
you can make it go into the bucket plump, it counts you 10; lodging
anywhere on the edge or bail is 2, and inside the chalk ring drawn
around the bucket is 1—at least, that's our game."
"Of the ring? Oh, nothing at all; and five throws outside will put out
till next innings. Each side has a certain number of trials, you see."
"Why, that's something like quoits."
"Well, so it is—sea quoits."
"That's easy, I'm sure."
"Oh is it? Wait till you try it!"
"You, see there's a special twist"—began Faith, but her sister stopped
"No, no, don't tell. Let him try it first; it's easy, you know!" and,
laughing mischievously, she ran after Dwight.
Pretty soon two tawny boys appeared, one with an ordinary fire-bucket,
such as are seen hung everywhere on shipboard, and the other with a
cluster of rope rings hung on one arm. Behind them came Hope, with Mr.
Malcolm and Dwight in tow, the former carrying a small blackboard; all
in great good-humor over something.
"I am requested to announce," called out the steward in a high
"lecture-hall voice," as Dwight named it, "that all those present who
wish to pitch gromets are invited to join the game. Each side will
select a captain; Huri and Tegeloo, here, will pick up the rings that
go astray; I will chalk up the tally on this blackboard, and after the
game is over the persons showing the biggest and smallest scores shall
be given prizes by the captains of the winning and losing teams. Speak
up for your captains, please!"
"Why not have the twin sisters?" called out Mr. Lawrence, and at the
same instant a voice proposed, "Mrs. Campbell for one!"
But this suggestion was drowned in a shout of applause.
"Yes, yes, let it be the twins—the captain's daughters!" and so it was
Blushing and beautiful, the girls stood up opposite each other, and
began calling up their teams.
"Mrs. Vanderhoff," cried Hope.
"Lady Moreham," said Faith.
"Oh but see—see here!" laughingly protested Mr. Lawrence. "Is this
fair play to us men? I want to join this game somehow, if—"
"Mr. Lawrence!" shouted Hope archly, showing her pretty teeth and
"Mr. Traveler!" quickly added Faith, only of course she gave the man's
own distinguished name.
And so they proceeded, while, quite without intention but with no less
offense, Mrs. Campbell and the young attaché were not called until the
He sprang up eagerly enough, but she barely glanced around.
"Thanks," she drawled, "but it is too warm to play; don't you think so,
Now, the young fellow did not think so, by any means, but he felt it
would be rude to leave the lady alone, and besides he would make an odd
one on Faith's side. So he sank back into his chair again with a
reluctant, "Much obliged, but I'll look on a while," and the game
proceeded without them.
It was rather warm work, but luckily a breeze had arisen which somewhat
cooled their flushed cheeks. Presently the captain strolled along and
stood near, to watch the players, laughing silently as he noted the
awkward work they made of it.
"Why don't you join us, Captain?" cried Mrs. Vanderhoff. "Come, Hope,
call up your father," but Faith returned quickly,
"No, indeed! Papa can bucket it every time. It wouldn't be fair to
our side at all."
"No, Captain," called Mr. Lawrence, who could not get the twist of the
wrist that makes the square toss, and was in convulsions over his own
awkwardness, "don't you come and show us up to ignominy by contrast.
Your daughters are proficient enough to prove what their teacher may
be, and I hate to be so outdone."
"I'm catching on, though, uncle Dwight—don't you see?" cried his
nephew, and amid a shout of laughter Mr. Malcolm released the boy's
gromet from the bucket-bail, remarking, "Catching on's the word, sir!"
as he marked up a large 2 opposite the lad's name.
It was funny to watch the different ones, and Huri's eyes danced with
enjoyment as he ran after the wilder tosses with swift feet. Timid
Mrs. Windemere would advance to position, look all about in dazed
fashion, gather her skirts closely as if about to breast a hurricane,
then with a long breath would shut her eyes tightly, and surge
forward—when the gromet would either drop ignobly at her feet, or go
madly flying off to right or left, perhaps hitting poor little Tegeloo
on the nose. Mr. Donelson assumed an airy indifference and a careless
toss, and lo! the contrary thing went whirling between his feet, aft.
Lady Moreham actually burst into laughter as, after careful aim in a
judicial manner Mrs. Poinsett set hers spinning—and knocked Captain
Hosmer's cap off, while all were convulsed as she, herself, after slow
and accurate aiming, sent the ring square against poor Texas, chained
to his perch, knocking him down and causing his hoarse and naughty
comment, "You old fool!" in quick return.
So it went merrily on, the girls, Dwight, and the traveler making
several half-scores, and the rest occasionally tallying. Mrs.
Windemere had never succeeded in getting even the direction, when,
after several throws, she took her position once more, protesting it
was of no use, she did her side more harm than good.
"And remember, if you fail this time you'll be put out!" shouted Laura,
The little lady looked distressed, but Faith leaned over and whispered
"Did you ever make tatting, Mrs. Windemere?"
"Why, yes, of course I have," surprisedly, wondering what tatting could
have to do with the present game.
"Make believe you're throwing your shuttle and then let the gromet fly.
Be quick and firm!" she added, pretending to fix a loose pin at the
lady's throat. "Remember!"
Mrs. Windemere turned towards the goal with a helpless air, but obeyed,
and heard a sort of gasp, then a shout that rent the air. She opened
her eyes and looked around dazedly. Her gromet was in the bucket, and
amid the wild cheering Mr. Malcolm was chalking up a 10 nearly a foot
long. This gave the score to Faith's side and Mrs. Windemere was
declared the prize winner.
Mr. Allyne could not resist the excitement and hurried up with his
congratulations, while even Mrs. Campbell smiled and grew better
natured as she, too, came forward and with graceful tact, of which she
was a mistress, caught a ribbon from her waist, wound it about one of
the gromets, and setting it lightly upon the victor's head led her to a
"Behold our queen!" she shouted merrily, and all joined in the huzzas
that followed, while little Mrs. Windemere, who had never received so
much notice in her whole life, actually had to wipe the springing tears
from her eyes.
Then Mr. Malcolm appeared with the prize, and what do you suppose it
was? A lively young porker, nestled down in a lidded basket streaming
with gay ribbons!
Amid shouts of laughter Faith gravely presented the prize, always
referring to it delicately as "our hampered friend," in supposed
reference to the basket, or perhaps, as Mr. Lawrence slyly remarked,
"to the other quarters of the beast." She solemnly informed the winner
that from time immemorial live prisoners had been considered specially
acceptable gifts along the Mediterranean shores, and suggested that, if
she should not know what to do with hers, she might be magnanimous,
make a feast, and call her neighbors in, at which there was great
cheering and clapping.
"Dear me!" said Mrs. Windemere, taking the piggy-wiggy, who really
behaved quite well, only squealing occasionally by way of emphasis, "I
never made a speech in my life, but I'm ever so much obliged, and I
should be delighted to give you all a feast of roast pig, if our
captain will furnish the cook and the extras."
"The ship, with all its men and stores, is at your disposal, madam,"
said Captain Hosmer, doffing his cap with a low bow.
"Then," cried the little lady, rising to the occasion, and looking
really pretty with her pink cheeks and brightening eyes, "I invite you
all, victors and vanquished, players and non-combatants, to dine on
roast pig with Captain Hosmer and myself, to-night at seven o'clock."
"We accept!" came in a tremendous shout from deck-house to bow.
"And may Heaven have mercy on our digestions!" added Mrs. Campbell,
rolling up her eyes in horror. "Roast pig in this weather!"
But Laura turned to her younger sister with enthusiasm.
"Do look at ma! Did you ever see her so bright and jolly? She looks
downright pretty. She can hold her own better than I thought she
"You are seeing her under altogether new conditions, you know," said
Mrs. Campbell sweetly, as she stepped off with light tread and
non-committal face towards a merrily-laughing group, further on.
"Now, what did she mean by that?" asked Janet in a puzzled tone. "I do
wish Zaidee wouldn't be so mysterious!"
"Mysterious?" snapped Laura, who was quicker than her sister. "Why not
wish she needn't be so hateful?"
Yet she followed the woman, who could always lead in spite of her
peculiar disposition, because of innate charm and tact.
They found the merriment to be over the fact that Mr. Lawrence had the
smallest score, and must accept his own prize, already in the hands of
"Oh, that's too bad!" he cried, weary from his exertions and merriment.
"Why rub it in so hard? Is it not enough to be beaten by these
youngsters—must I also be made the laughing-stock of passengers and
crew? Ah! 'tis indeed a cruelty to load a falling man!"
"Well, uncle, if you're going to quote Wolsey, keep on," laughed his
niece mischievously. "'I charge thee fling away ambition!' You see
you have soared too high, my lord."
"Et tu Brute?" He turned upon her quickly. "Well, well, 'complete
my shame.' Where is the prize orator, anyhow?"
"Here, here!" called Hope, coming rapidly forward from a conference
with Mr. Malcolm; and amidst a sudden hush she said in a gentle,
serious tone, as if reluctantly discharging an imperative duty,
"The prize we have to offer you needs no explanation. As it is
familiar to you I will only say it appropriately illustrates one word
you have amply understood to-day, and that word is—whipped!"
She held aloft one of those clock-work toys one may pick up in Germany,
or Switzerland—a severe dame in a flapping cap, with a youngster
across her knee whom she vigorously belabors with a neat little bundle
of switches. Mr. Lawrence took it with meek 'Thank you,' and amidst
the laughter, explained,
"I bought the thing as an object-lesson for a friend at home who, does
not believe in corporal punishment for her spoiled child, and to-day
thought I would divert it to the purpose of a consolation prize for
some of you fellows who couldn't pitch gromets. Like most people who
dig a pit for others I have fallen into it myself! And now—may I give
this to one of the babies? I never want to see it again."
"I think you may," laughed Hope, and a little curly-pate close by was
made happy with the toy, which seemed destined to manifold uses.
MRS. WINDEMERE'S DINNER.
"Well, it is almost time for the Lamb dinner," remarked Mr. Lawrence,
late that afternoon, to the group about him under the awning of the
after-deck, from which they were watching the sunset, some lounging in
the easy steamer-chairs, others in the hammocks which had been
stretched in every available space, and still others, among whom was
Dwight, resting full length on the large Persian rug, which had been
laid in the center of the deck planks. For the heat, and still, easy
motion made every one lazy.
Upon hearing this remark the boy looked up.
"Lamb dinner? I thought it was pig this morning. It hasn't changed
into sheep, I hope?"
"And must I really explain my observation to a lad about entering the
High School?" cried his uncle reproachfully. "I'll warrant Bess
knows—and somebody else, too!" catching the gleam in Hope's eye.
"Oh, yes, I understand, in a way," returned Bess. "Let's see, Charles
Lamb, the writer, was very fond of roast pig, wasn't he?"
"Was he, Miss Hope?"
"Yes, sir, and wrote an essay upon it which has become a classic."
"Oh, of course! I'd almost forgotten that," put in Bess, hastily.
"And I'm free to confess I never knew it," added her brother. "Fact
is, I begin to think I didn't learn much in school, anyhow—that is,
much that I've needed since. I've picked up more about geography and
history on this trip than all I ever learned there."
"No, no, not quite that, my boy! You simply have digested what then
you only swallowed. Don't you know what Channing says—'It is not
enough to cram ourselves with a great load of collections—we must chew
them over again'? The fact is, nothing can ever be quite learned until
it is experienced. I may be taught from a book that water expands in
freezing, but I cannot realize that fact till I, sometime, leave water
in a pitcher and find it broken next morning. Then I know, in a way
never to be forgotten, about this scientific truth. So it is in
geography; we have always taken in certain facts regarding the relative
positions of land and water, mountain and plain, but if we had
attempted to go anywhere, with absolutely no guide but memory, nine out
of ten of us would be lost on the first stage of the journey. You are
now simply assimilating what you learned at school, and making the
facts, which you took on trust then, part and parcel of your actual
experience now. It seems to me one of the best ways to study geography
at home is to travel on paper. That comes nearest the real thing. Map
out a route, buy your tickets (in imagination), take your conveyance,
and on the way see everything possible to be gleaned from those eyes
which have gone before, and left a record of their impressions. Try
and think if you would see in the same way, and what else might be
observed by quick eyes, natural to occur in that part of the globe. If
one has imagination he may almost believe, in time, that he has really
visited the places so studied.
"I knew a young fellow, once, who lived in an insignificant town in
Vermont, and had never been fifty miles from home, yet who kept up such
journeys for years, and many a time, in talking with him, I, the real
traveler, would learn facts about certain localities where I had been,
from him who never set foot near them. Just to prove him, once, I
said, 'Are you acquainted with Salt Lake City?' 'Pretty well,' he
answered modestly. Having spent a summer or two there, myself, I
thought I would try and trip him up, so said, carelessly, 'When I stood
in front of Brigham Young's Square and looked at that great town on my
left'—but there he interrupted me, quick as a flash, 'You mean looked
down upon the town at your right, don't you? Brigham's Square is on
what is called the North Bench, and standing before it you must
overlook the larger part of the city lying upon your right.' Of course
this was correct, and I had to acknowledge that he really knew as much
about many localities as I, who had visited them. But he was unusual."
"Well," said Dwight slowly, "what I have to complain of about travelers
is that they don't tell the little things—the details, you know. I
suppose it seems silly to them to say whether they went on board a
steamer in a boat, or across a gangway, or up a flight of steps, or to
describe just how a car looks when they travel by rail, but I used to
wish they would. And when I write my book of travels I'm going to!"
"I would," said his sister encouragingly.
"Well, you wait! But say, uncle, there are some books in your library
at home that you used to have when you were a boy, I reckon, for the
pictures look about a century old, but I used to like to read them ever
so much, and since I came abroad I've been finding out how well they
describe the things that happen to a traveler even to-day. For
instance, when you and I went from Cadiz to Ronda by diligence."
"Oh, you mean the Rollo books—Rollo's Tour in Europe?" laughed Mr.
Lawrence. "How I did pore over those when I was a little boy! Yes,
they do go into details, that's a fact. Somebody's advice to Rollo
always to follow the crowd when bewildered at some great railway
terminus often occurs to me, still, and is acted upon with perfect
"But don't you think travelers who write for publication sometimes draw
the long bow a bit?" asked Lieutenant Carnegie in his diffident way.
"Oh, never!" cried a voice from the guardrail, and the Traveler held up
a beseeching hand as he came forward. "Don't take away our reputation
for veracity, I pray you! With the public's confidence lost to us what
could we do? We are all truthful—even to Du Chaillu and Gulliver."
Every one laughed, and the young man, blushing a little, returned,
"Well, I was thinking especially of one or two I've read, lately. For
instance, thirty miles a day is quite a tramp for an ordinary man on
good level roads, without luggage; and when a traveler tells me he
makes sixty over hills, or marshes, weighted down with camp supplies,
who wasn't brought up a soldier, either, why, I just begin to compare
it with my own experiences and say—"
"Here lies a great man, don't you?" put in Dwight.
"Well, yes, that's about it."
"Oh, but you must remember that often he can only judge of the distance
made by his feelings," laughed the Traveler. "It seems sixty miles,
"I don't doubt that," cried Carnegie, showing handsome teeth in a
smile. "I thought there must be some way of getting around it. But if
he had said thirty-five miles I'd have believed him, and thought him a
mighty good tramper into the bargain."
"Yet many who have never tramped under knapsack, blankets, and
tent-cloth would say, 'That's nothing!' and our poor voyager, who
really had made a record, would be consigned to oblivion. In all art,
even that of writing facts, one must exaggerate a little in order to
make the effect life-size—so to say."
"That's true enough," said Mrs. Vanderhoff. "It is so easy to sit
still and pass judgment upon those who exert themselves. When I hear a
person criticising a painting, a story, a building, a song who could
not draw a straight line, write a sentence correctly, build a cob-house
on just proportions, nor keep the key through 'Yankee Doodle,' I long
to insist upon his making a practical trial in such things before
daring to make a criticism. Yet it is a fact that artistic people of
every grade and type have to writhe under the criticisms of
ignoramuses, who could not accomplish the piece of work they scathingly
denounce if their lives depended upon it. I pick up a book and fling
it aside with the comment, 'It's not worth reading!' or I look over a
great vessel like this and say, 'How clumsily built!' but what if I
were doomed to write a similar book, to plan a great steamer—just
think of the results! I would never criticise again."
"It would be a pretty good scheme," laughed Mr. Lawrence. "Make these
bilious critics prove their right to the title by doing the work. I
could really enjoy their agonies on occasion."
"But would you have no criticisms, then?" asked Mrs. Campbell. "Would
not that mean stagnation in effort? There must be something to spur
one on to better work, mustn't there?"
"I doubt if unintelligent criticism often does prove an incentive,"
said the Traveler. "'Let me be judged by my peers' is a universal
sentiment with the conscientious in any employment."
"Yes, Rachel," put in Mr. Lawrence, smiling at his sister, "if Captain
Hosmer should criticise the ship we would build we might endure it, but
if—well, Mr. Donelson, for instance, ventured to elevate his nose we
would naturally think he knew nothing about it, and would not even try
to please him."
"How could he elevate his nose?" asked Mrs. Campbell innocently, in a
whisper that sent the Windemere girls off into giggles, for Mr.
Donelson's nose was not only long but slightly hooked, besides.
Evidently Mrs. Campbell had not quite forgiven the attaché for his
desertion of the morning.
"But if I'm not mistaken we're all competent to judge of a good dinner,
if we couldn't cook one," laughed the young man in return, not having
caught her comment, and he pointed to Tegeloo who, smiling and
important, was bowing before Mrs. Windemere.
"Dinner is served to madam!" he announced with a flourish and an odd
accent, while, at the same instant, Captain Hosmer gallantly offered
"May I have the pleasure? Our dinner is waiting, I believe, Mrs.
Windemere," and amid much merriment and excitement, the other gentlemen
quickly sought partners and followed.
By a previous understanding with Mr. Malcolm, Mrs. Windemere and party
were offered the places of the four young people at the captain's
table, and they "went down a peg," as Dwight put it, to another,
entirely filled with the younger portion of the guests. If there was a
little more learning and elegance, perhaps, at the former, there was a
vast amount of fun and nonsense at the latter. Every one in the saloon
was supplied with at least one thin slice from the prize pig which,
roasted whole and holding an ear of corn in its teeth, was gaily
decorated with the flags of England and the United States. It was held
high for inspection before the carving began, and many a joke ran
around, from table to table, upon the fine appearance of his porcine
At some of the tables wine flowed freely, and a few of the young men
soon ordered it at the one where our girls were seated. It is more
commonly used at meals abroad than with middle-class Americans at home,
and nearly all partook. Neither Bess nor Dwight, however, would take
it and, seeing this, Faith and Hope, caring little about it, also
declined, though they had never been taught conscientious scruples
regarding its use. No special comment was made upon this, but when
Chester Carnegie also turned down his glass the young attachés began a
running fire of jests at his expense; Mr. Allyne especially, who soon
showed the influence of his champagne, leading off with some sharply
The lieutenant said as little as possible in return, but occasionally a
witty reply would turn the laugh against his opponent, who grew
disagreeable and really quarrelsome, as the wine affected him more and
Seeing this, Carnegie attempted to ignore the whole matter, and turning
to Faith, who sat next him, began talking in a lowered tone, hoping
Allyne would understand that he was now going too far and so drop the
But a man in liquor is an irresponsible being, and Allyne, under the
polish of education and training, possessed the nature of a bully—he
was tyrannical and contentious. Choosing now to assume that Carnegie's
partial turning away and low-voiced conversation were intended to
insult him, he straightened up, and looking fiercely across the table,
with eyes already watery from the heady fumes of the strong wine,
tapped sharply with his glass and said in too loud a tone for the
place, "Carnegie, I was talking to you."
The lieutenant turned his head a trifle, and bowed coolly.
"Excuse me till later, please; I am engaged with Miss Hosmer at
The other laughed out in a disagreeable manner. While alone with Mrs.
Campbell, that afternoon, he had easily extracted the name of the young
man with whom one of the twins (neither knew which one) had been
promenading the deck, the evening before, and now, mingled with his
rising wrath towards him, was the confused memory of the woman's subtle
When sober, Mr. Allyne was usually a gentleman, but in his cups he
became little short of a ruffian in manner. He laughed significantly.
"Engaged with, or to?" he asked with insolence. "It had better be to
from reports, I should say!"
Instantly the lieutenant, pale as death, was on his feet, while Faith,
gasping a little, leaned back in her chair, as white and almost
fainting. Hope and Dwight, round-eyed and not half comprehending,
stared amazedly, while Donelson, realizing that his companion was quite
beside himself, also sprang up and laying a firm hand on Allyne's arm,
"Don't, Carnegie—for heaven's sake don't make a scene! I'll get him
away. He'll be in the dust for this, to-morrow. Come, Tom, you must
go with me instantly."
They were attracting attention. Captain Hosmer's eyes were fixed
sternly upon them, for though he had not heard a word he could see that
something was wrong, and Faith's white face startled him. He felt
there was some disturbance which frightened her, but perhaps
fortunately, never dreamed she could be at all concerned in the matter.
The Traveler, however, who held the key to the situation, and had
caught a sentence or two, on his part, looked sternly at Mrs. Campbell
who, suave and unruffled, was monopolizing Mr. Lawrence and evidently
amusing him, too.
There might have been worse trouble but for young Carnegie's
moderation. The instant Donelson's plea was made he realized that for
Faith's sake, if not Allyne's, he must be cautious, so said only, "I
leave him to you now, Mr. Donelson," and seated himself, while the
attaché, partly by force and partly by coaxing, succeeded in dragging
the foolish fellow from the room without further display.
"What was the matter with that young sprout of an attaché?" asked the
captain later in the evening, as he and his daughters met for a quiet
little visit in the library. "Too much champagne?"
Hope looked quickly at her sister, whose face was turned away, and as
she did not respond, answered lightly, "I believe so. He was
quarrelsome, and Mr. Donelson wanted to get him away before he—before
he made trouble."
"H'm! With whom was he quarreling?"
Faith, back in the shadow, was still unresponsive, and Hope thinking
she ought to be the one to answer, let some indignation creep into her
own voice as she said,
"Oh, that Mr. Carnegie."
"What, Carnegie? I had taken him for a decent, modest sort of fellow.
But any one who will get into a drunken brawl before ladies—"
Faith turned quickly. She was quite white.
"Father, Mr. Carnegie had not been drinking. He did not touch the wine
and—and I'm the only one to blame." She burst into tears and, hiding
her face in both hands, started to run into her own stateroom, but her
father caught her and, with a tender arm about her waist, drew her down
upon his knee.
"I don't understand you, daughter," he said in a voice of yearning
tenderness, for whenever his children were in trouble, it always seemed
to him that his fair young wife stood at his elbow inciting him to
gentleness. "I don't understand, but I must. Why should two heady
young fools quarrel over my little girl? She is no coquette, I'm sure."
"Papa," put in Hope, for her sister was sobbing helplessly upon his
shoulder, "Faith is not to blame, and I don't half understand it,
myself, but I'll tell you just what happened—" and she did, much as it
has been repeated here.
Her father listened with a darkening face.
"Some cursed gossip!" he muttered as she finished, while Faith managed
"I didn't mean any harm, papa. I talked to him just as we do to
Dwight, and he told me about his home, and what he is going to do in
India. You might have heard every word, papa!"
"Of course, of course, I understand. Only, I ought to have warned you;
a steamer is a perfect hot-bed of gossip on a long voyage like this.
But how did that scapegrace get hold of—wait! Hasn't he been with
that little Mrs. Campbell most of the day?"
"Yes, he has," said Hope. "They wouldn't play gromets with us, you
remember; she said it was too warm."
"Too warm, indeed! I'd like to consign such mischief-makers to a
hotter place. Well, well, don't worry now. I begin to comprehend it
"But how should Mrs. Campbell know, papa?"
"Because she was pacing the deck herself, or sitting in a corner. I
saw her under a smokestack with that Russian—no fit companion either.
Had to leave his own country because of his record. She's a nice one
to talk—but that's the very kind. Now, see here! After this you
girls keep close company, and stay in tow of Mrs. Vanderhoff, or Lady
Moreham, and then you'll be all right. You'll mind now?"
"Yes we will, father, but tell me something. Did you know Lady Moreham
before this trip? I thought—" He turned a quizzical look upon Hope's
eager face, and laughed a little.
"Better think more about things that concern yourself, little one, and
not be speculating about my passengers, or you'll get to be another
Mrs. Campbell," and, kissing both girls, he gently seated Faith in his
large chair and hurried out.
A SUNDAY AT SEA.
There is something in a Sunday at sea, in calm weather which must
impress the most thoughtless. The clean, well-regulated ship seems to
take on an air of extra self-respect, the men, in fresh attire, go more
quietly about their duties, the well-dressed passengers are less noisy
and demonstrative, even the steerage puts on a slightly brighter look
on Sunday morning, and for the time being the seeming calmness and
content give one a delightful sense of rest.
Captain Hosmer, like most good sailors, had a deep reverence for his
Maker, and for that religion, "pure and undefiled," which inspiration
teaches. No one living the precarious life of the seaman can well help
an abiding sense of personal dependence upon some Power greater than
the most furious forces of the deep, and when this dependence becomes
childlike and sincere, rather than a mere superstition born of terror,
it gives a man that spirit Christ so lovingly inculcated, in which the
soul rests, secure and still, within the bosom of the Father.
Though Captain Hosmer had some of the roughnesses born of an
adventurous life, he was at heart a sincere believer, and in joy or
danger turned instinctively to his Maker in gratitude, or supplication.
Though not brought up an Episcopalian, he followed the practice
customary on board British vessels, and held service, reading from the
Prayer-book every Sunday morning.
To-day, the passengers gathered in the handsome saloon were glad to see
the doors flung wide and the punkahs vigorously waving, for it was very
warm. Scarcely a person was absent; even Mr. Allyne, looking a bit
pale and reserved, sat back in one corner, half screened by his
companion, and near the open doors and windows, clustered the servants
and such part of the crew as were off duty, their dark faces and
turbaned heads forming an artistic contrast to the whiter-skinned race
who sat within.
At the precise hour named, the captain, exquisitely trim in his dark
uniform, with his kindly, weatherbeaten, but clean-shaven face, took
his place by one of the tables and looking gently around with his keen,
pleasant eyes, began the slow, impressive reading of the special
prayers assigned to the seamen's service. Faith and Hope had never
seen him in this role before, and the former felt her eyes fill, while
the latter suddenly put out a hand and clasped her twin's in a little
ecstasy of admiring appreciation. Neither had even looked towards
young Allyne, nor Chester Carnegie. The latter, grave and attentive,
sat near one of the open doors and followed the service without a
glance about him. It was an hour of gentle solemnity, which affected
even the lightest heart.
Allyne had wakened wretched, with a headache, only to be told by his
friend of the grave misdemeanors of last night.
"And," added Donelson, "the captain came to ask me about it later, but
you were asleep, so we let you alone."
"Heavens! Did I make such a beast of myself, Jack? You certainly
"Not a particle. Believe me, it's serious. The little girls were
white as paper, and Carnegie looked like the marble gladiator. I tell
you, you're in a pickle."
Allyne groaned and turned over in his bunk.
"Why didn't you stop me in time?" he questioned fiercely, with an oath.
"Oh, you needn't swear at me, Tom Allyne! I'm not your keeper. When
you know what champagne does for you, why don't you stop yourself in
"Why don't I? Because then I don't know enough to stop, idiot! The
first glass goes to my head, I tell you."
"Then you'd better not touch the first glass," returned Donelson
airily, as he vigorously plied his military brushes to his sleek brown
poll. "It's a misfortune to be so weak in the upper story, Tom."
"Humph! I'd rather be weak in liquor than when sober," was muttered
from the bunk.
Donelson turned quickly.
"See here, young man, if you want to quarrel with your best friend, all
right! I've stood by you so far, and dragged you out of the deepest
danger, but if you get too abusive—good-by! You may shift for
"Well then, shut up and let me think, can't you? I know you're all
right, Jack, but my head aches terribly, and this muss nearly drives me
mad. Why can't you be sympathetic and advise me, instead of harrowing
me up so mercilessly."
The other laughed.
"Well, by gracious! I do feel for you, Tom. But what can I do about
"Well, go and bring Carnegie here, for the first thing, can't you?"
"Bring Carnegie to you? I like that! Why, man alive, do you realize
that under that bashful girl-look of his there is a spirit that
wouldn't flinch at anything where honor is concerned? Watch his square
jaw and the set of his lips. Bring him to you! You'll have to go to
Carnegie, and eat some humble-pie into the bargain, Tom."
"I don't believe it."
"All right! Perhaps I lie. Just the same, I'll not do any such
errand, even for you, that's certain. I know my man, if you don't.
And, now, I'm going to the barber-shop, and you can have all the time
there is to think it over."
So the situation rested when the parties concerned met under the same
roof to listen to, possibly in some cases, to join in solemn prayer to
God. It was a few minutes after the service when the two young men
most concerned met face to face in one of the dim and narrow
passageways connecting the saloons. Allyne stopped and Carnegie, after
an instant's hesitation, did likewise.
"I understand," began the former trying to laugh, "that you and I had a
little falling out, last night."
"You and I? Not at all," was the prompt answer. "Your quarrel is not
with me; you simply insulted Miss Hosmer who, fortunately, has a father
to protect her. Make your peace with him."
Allyne flushed darkly.
"You don't mince your words, sir."
"I have no reason to—nor is there any reason for our talking the thing
over. It is not my privilege to take it up, as I see plainly now; but
if you are a man you will go straight to Captain Hosmer and apologize."
"Oh, I will? It's very easy to tell another man to put his head into
the lion's mouth, isn't it? If he does not know the whole, what's the
use of rousing him up? Better let it drop."
"That's where you'll make a huge mistake. I believe he knows all about
"Has he told you so?"
"Certainly not. We haven't discussed the matter. My belief comes from
"Don't finish! We'll have no names mentioned, if you please. You have
simply misunderstood the character of one or two people to an almost
inexcusable extent. Settle your quarrel with him, then, if you wish
it, and I'll ignore my part in it entirely. But if you act the cad—"
"Well, what then?"
"Then the matter is not ended."
"Indeed!" began Allyne, with a sneer, but a second look into the
other's face, as he braced himself against the wall, even in the half
darkness, convinced him that it would be better to let the affair drop
for the present, at least, as he could now note well not only the
square jaw to which his friend had referred, but also a flash of the
blue eyes that looked dangerous.
He turned away abruptly and with a "Very well," hurried onwards. But
as he went slowly out, crossed the forward deck, mounted the
companionway to the upper deck, and continued still upwards to the
bridge, where he could see the captain standing, the glass at his eyes,
his thoughts were busy, and they were not pleasant thoughts, you may be
Captain Hosmer seemed too absorbed in something he was examining
through his binocular to notice him, however, and just as Allyne,
somewhat reluctantly, spoke his name, the watch sang out,
"Sail on the port bow, sir."
"Is she anchored, or drifting, Ferris?" called back the captain.
"Drifting, I think, sir. Should judge it's a wreck."
"We must alter our course and make for her then," he said, turning to
the steersman. Then, with a swift look at Allyne who stood a step
"Anything particular, sir?"
"Only a word to explain—"
"Last night? Well," sternly, "what excuse have you to make?"
Allyne shrugged his shoulders.
"I was not myself, sir. Your champagne was too heady."
"H'm! 'Twas made for men, I reckon. You did not exactly act the part
of one, it seems to me. Her Majesty's officials ought to have at least
the manners of a gentleman."
"You are hard on me, Captain Hosmer!"
"A man is apt to be hard where his daughters are lightly treated."
"I came to apologize. Do you wish me to see the young ladies in
"By no means! Keep as far from them as possible is all I ask. They
have their friends."
He turned quickly to an officer awaiting commands, and paid no further
attention as Allyne moodily withdrew. The young man saw that the men
were about to launch one of the boats, and that some of the crew were
now making ready to raise the dingey to position on the davits, while
others were hastening to take their seats within it. The passengers,
getting wind of some excitement, were hurrying sternwards, and he
pushed along with them, glad to forget his sore feelings for a minute.
Carnegie, followed by Dwight, pushed past him, alert and eager, and he
saw the twins with a group of ladies, watching with all their eyes.
Even his own chum, Donelson, was chatting at ease with two East Indian
officials, absorbed and forgetful. Tom Allyne felt decidedly left out,
and it was not a pleasant sensation to one who had been accustomed to
considering himself a good fellow and desirable companion.
He leaned against the bulwark, a lonely figure in the midst of all this
lively bustle, and wished impotently that he could have let well enough
alone—and by well enough he doubtless meant both the champagne and
Mrs. Campbell—thus preserving the pleasant relations of yesterday. A
steamship soon becomes the world itself to its passengers, and the
little events of each day assume an exaggerated importance. To be at
odds with one's fellows on board means a rather desolate position for
the young person fond of society, and this one moodily wished the
miserable voyage over as he blinked in the sunshine, with his back to
The dingey, with its human freight, was smoothly lowered to the water's
edge, and rowed swiftly away, the captain, standing straight and tall
in the stern, turning back to touch his cap with a smile, as the cheers
resounded, but his eyes were upon two young faces who forgot to wave
handkerchiefs, even, so absorbed were they to catch his slightest
glance. The boat looked a slender thing to breast the might of that
great sea, if only half aroused, and though it was far from heavy
to-day an occasional puff of wind sent the waves up in little swirls of
foam, and seemed ready to drown it in spray. As the fires were banked
to stay the ship's course, the swarthy Seedees swarmed out for a breath
of air, and all who could find a glass, among crew or passengers, were
looking towards one spot. They could distinguish the floating hulk
with the naked eye, but only those with powerful lenses could say
positively that there seemed no life about it. After watching the
dingey until it melted into the outlines of the larger hull, they
formed into groups beneath the awnings, to speculate upon this wreck
and to hear yarns of others, each more thrilling than the last, till
the sisters began to fear they should never see their father safe again.
Allyne, happening to turn from his sullen survey, saw that the
Windemere girls, Mrs. Campbell, and two or three of the men were seated
close by. As he turned, Mrs. Campbell said pleasantly, but with
something of sarcasm in her tone,
"Aren't you well, Mr. Allyne? This is the first time I've seen you
"Yes, thank you, I'm well except for a headache."
"Headache? Indeed!" She laughed lightly, and her manner made him wince.
"You seem to find it amusing," he said resentfully.
She laughed outright.
"Why, you're really cross! Is that the way a generous dinner affects
you? Now, roast pig never goes to my head at all—does, it Janet?"
Her mocking angered him in his present mood, but he had learned caution
from last night and, simply bowing, walked off without a reply. Under
his breath, however, he anathematized a woman who could so easily lead
a man into trouble, only to make merry over his discomfiture.
THE STORY OF A WRECK.
The day which had begun in Sabbath stillness, so far as wind and
weather were concerned, was destined to end in a far different manner.
The dingey had scarcely reached the drifting vessel when the wind began
to freshen into a decided blow. Clouds rolled up from the southwest,
and it grew rapidly darker. Many of the passengers retired to their
staterooms, but the twins, consumed with anxiety for their father,
would not leave the deck, and Lady Moreham, Mr. Lawrence, Bessie, and
Dwight remained with them, the other ladies being obliged to retire.
Presently, as the group watched, talking in subdued tones, amid the
increasing noise of the coming storm, the watch sang out the glad news
of the captain's boat in sight, and the girls, straining their gaze
across the hillocks of gray-black waters beneath the angry sky, could
see the tiny thing approaching. Sometimes it seemed fairly swallowed
in the trough of the sea, again it rose on the crest, only apparently
to topple into oblivion the next instant—yet in spite of wind and wave
making its sure and steady way to the great home ship, and safety.
At length it was alongside, and, amid ringing cheers, the captain came
aboard, wet to the skin, and waving back the eager girls, whose eyes
were wet with tears of relief.
"Don't touch me, daughters; I'll give you a chill. And the first thing
necessary is to see to our rescued man. Come to me presently."
They had just a glimpse of this person as he was carried forward by
four men, but that glimpse was one never to be forgotten. The haggard
face, with the dark skin drawn like a mummy's across the prominent
bones, the lips stiff and blackened, between which the teeth shone
whitely, the eyes sunken and but half closed, gave it a horrible
"Oh!" whispered Faith in distressed tones, "Isn't he already dead?"
"Not quite," was the response. "We'll bring him around, I reckon, but
it was a close call."
When all duties were discharged and the captain, in dry clothing, sat
before a substantial supper in his own cabin, Joey was sent for the
girls, who gladly joined him without loss of time.
"Sit down," he cried gaily, between big mouth-fills. "I know you are
quivering with curiosity—I can see it sticking out all over you. Just
let me fill up this gaping void a little, and then I'll tell you a
story that will make your two eyes like stars start from their spheres,
and all the rest of it. But now I must eat."
They waited patiently, and presently, leaning comfortably back, with
his third cup of coffee in his hand, he told them what follows:
"We thought, when we reached the sunken, dismasted hull, that of course
she was abandoned, but concluded to board her, and see if there was
anything of value inside. We made her out to be a tartan, probably
with an Arab, or African, crew and it was evident she had been through
a heavy storm, for her masts were washed clean overboard, and her
bulwarks stove in. We could not distinguish a soul aboard, and if she
had carried boats they were gone, but as we went down into the hatchway
we came upon a sight that I wouldn't care for you to see. It was a
dark 'tween-decks cabin, and the stench, as we descended, was simply
horrible! At my first step I stumbled over something that sent a
shudder through me, and when I lighted a match and looked around the
sight made me crawl. Two poor wretches lay there, both dead, as we
thought, but after giving them a thorough examination I decided there
was a spark left in this poor fellow, at least, and after working over
him a while we were sure of it. The other could not be revived, so we
weighted his feet, and let him slide the plank to his watery grave.
But that wasn't all—however I guess I won't tell any more. It's
downright gruesome, and I've got to go up and take a lookout, for we're
likely to have a wild night."
"Oh yes, yes, father!" they begged. "Don't leave us cut off short like
this. We want to hear it all."
"Well, we managed to find a lantern, so that we could go on with our
investigations. Evidently, there had been foul play of some kind, for
the cabin plainly showed signs of a fierce scrimmage. There was blood
on the walls and floor; one or two rusty weapons lay about, and on one
was human hair. I shouldn't have thought to look further, but a cry
from Tower called me into the bit of an after-cabin, fitted up with
bunks, and there lying flat, face downwards and head towards the door,
as if she had fallen while running out, was an Arab woman."
"And she was dead?" whispered Hope hoarsely.
"Yes, and in the bunk was her baby, a little thing not many months old.
I tell you, it was pitiful!"
"Oh!" breathed Faith, "do you suppose it was left to starve?"
"I'm afraid so. I think the mother heard the fighting and started to
run out, leaving her child safely hidden, when her husband was
attacked, but was felled by a blow on the head. We saw the marks."
"Horrible!" Hope covered her eyes, and the captain sprang up.
"I ought not to have told you. It was bad enough to see it myself,
hardened as I am. Now I must go. Do you want one of the women to come
and stay with you?"
"No," said both, and he hurried out, but at the door was arrested by
"One question more—did you bury them too, papa?"
"In the same way?"
She drew a long, sighing breath as he disappeared, and turning clasped
Faith close with a sob of overwrought feeling. The sisters could not
talk much over the hideous tale. The night was shutting down wild and
stormy, and the labored motion of the good steamship already showed
that she was meeting heavier seas than they had yet encountered. Yet,
singularly, neither felt seasick, as yet. The intense anxiety until
their father's return, and the deep interest in his narration since,
had driven all physical feeling from their minds.
But, after a little, Faith said in a hushed voice, "I'm going to bed,
Hope. I couldn't talk to anybody in the saloon, and it's too wild to
be on deck, so I might as well.
"I'll go too," said Hope, "but let's just take a look out, at least."
She suddenly turned off the electric switch leaving the cabin in total
darkness, then drew her sister to the broad swell of windows looking
out upon the forward deck. It was bare enough tonight. All the
awnings were closely furled and the chairs stowed away in snug stacks,
while not a figure could be seen where all had been light, warmth and
cheer, a few hours earlier. Only one or two of the incandescent lights
were on, and beyond that feeble glow there seemed a great void of
darkness and storm. The gloom shut in the steamer's world as with a
thick curtain; not a star was visible, but now and then a white swirl
of foam gleamed for a second through the murk, and then, with a
creaking and groaning as if in pain, the good ship lurched, trembled,
and as the wave broke with an indescribable noise, steadied herself
once more, to plunge onward as fast as steam could force her in the
teeth of wind and wave.
Some days later, when the almost perished man had regained
consciousness and a modicum of strength, the girls were told the rest
of his story, which I will give you here.
He was first-mate of the "Shiraz," a tartan, which, to be explicit, is
a small coasting vessel peculiar to the Mediterranean Sea, used
principally for conveying stock, and sometimes other merchandise.
This, headed for the Balearics, had shipped a crew at Algiers, the
captain being forced to take what he could pick up in a hurry. He was
a Corsican, and seems to have been a cruel man, though his mate loyally
made the best of him, and insisted he was a good captain.
But, be that as it might, some failure in rations and water made the
crew surly and ready to break out into open grumbling upon any
pretense, so that, when they encountered a fierce squall, and sprung a
leak, it was almost impossible to keep them at the pumps, until terror
of their own lives forced them to yield to discipline.
But, though they finally succeeded in stopping the leak, this was not
accomplished until the mainsail had been carried away by the heavy sea,
and other injuries sustained. It was a terrible time for all, and the
crew, exhausted and overworked on insufficient food, were only held to
their tasks by the captain and mates standing over them with loaded
In some unknown way one of them discovered a hogshead of arrack, the
East Indian whisky, and, unseen by the officers, they tapped it and
secretly helped themselves.
The fiery, stuff changed them from men into demons, and that night they
mutinied. The second mate, who was upon deck, attempted to check their
rush, but was felled with a cutlass and kicked overboard. Next, they
made for the cabin, where the captain and mate were sitting, while the
former's wife and child were asleep in the adjoining apartment.
There was a sharp, desperate encounter in the small space, in which
they were quickly over-powered. But when the mate was struck senseless
he rolled under the large table, and must have escaped further notice,
for after despatching the captain and his screaming wife, the mutineers
evidently took at once to the boats, and left the dismasted hulk to
founder with its gruesome freight.
But the storm was over by that time, and it had drifted for two days
and nights, at least, by the mate's reckoning, during which he had lain
unconscious, wondrously preserved from death.
What was the fate of the seamen thus deserting no one could tell, but
with men insensate from arrack, even should they have escaped immediate
danger from the sea, they could hardly make port safely in a small open
It was more than probable that the mate was the only one left of the
ill-fated crew. Captain Hosmer was unable to take the tartan in tow on
account of the storm, but marked its location to report it at Algiers,
that wreckers might be sent to save the cargo and sink the hulk that it
should no longer be a menace and danger to every passing craft.
"How delightful this is!" murmured Faith early next morning, after
hours of storm-tossed uneasiness and dread. "Did you ever hear such
awful noises as we had all night? I'm almost afraid to look, for fear
everything is broken in here."
Hope, wide awake in an instant, returned,
"It is astonishingly still now, isn't it? I wonder what it means.
Even the engines have stopped—don't you hear?"
"How can I hear stillness?" laughed Faith. "I do perceive that they've
stopped, though. Yes, we must have come safely into port
somewhere—why, I wonder if it is Algiers?"
Hope rose up on one elbow, in some excitement, then gave a cry.
"Why, look at the cage—and where is Texas?" and Faith, rising also,
saw that the bottom had dropped out of the parrot's home and lay, with
its contents, but not its inmate, upon the floor amid some broken glass
"The storm has done it! Where can Texas be? Oh, I hope he is not
"Good-morning!" croaked a voice at their very ears, and there, on the
thick nickel rim surrounding one of the portholes just above their
heads, perched Texas, dignified and imperturbable as ever.
Both girls broke into laughter, and tried to coax him down, but
unvailingly. He sat in a solemn quiet such as he seldom showed in his
cage, and clung to his slippery place with an air that said, "I have
known trouble and insecurity enough. Now that I have a foothold, poor
as it is, I mean to keep it," and though he returned to their coaxing
civil enough responses, he could not be tempted even to perch upon
Hope's white wrist, which was usually a proud privilege to his birdship.
"Well," she said, giving it up, "I mean to see what has happened and
where we are at, as those American newspapers put it. We must be safe
somewhere, for they are washing down decks just as usual."
"I wonder if father slept a wink all night," said Faith. "If he didn't
then he is probably resting now, so we must be careful not to disturb
"That's true. I'll be like a mouse!" Hope was hurrying into a pink
robe de chambre, which the girls best liked to call a pajama, and now
slipped her feet into a pair of little Turkish slippers, all toe and
sole, and opening the communicating door, peered into the library. It
was empty, but her father's tarpaulins, in a heap on the floor, just
outside his stateroom door, showed he was within, so she moved very
softly across to the broad outlook of windows.
In a minute she went flying back in silent swiftness. "Come, Faith,"
she whispered excitedly, "it's the finest thing you ever saw!"
Soon both pajamaed figures were looking with great eyes at the novel
scene before them. They found themselves anchored in some large harbor
amid a forest of shipping, much of it the oddest they had ever seen.
Instead of the straight, strong masts they were accustomed to, here
were those that shot up so tall and slender they seemed to bend over of
their own weight, like a young sapling. To these rapier-like masts
were fastened sails of quaint square shape and dingy hues, or of sharp
triangular form, which they learned afterwards were the lateen sails
they had read of, but never seen. The prows of these small vessels
were all so oddly curved and shaped, while the figureheads suggested
nightmare fancies of the brain. Off a little way rose a fine walled
city that seemed made all of marble, at first glance. Just now, in
this early light, it was coldly white like a cemetery, but presently
the sun shot his first warm beam over the horizon's edge, and lo! a
transformation. The towering whiteness now blushed into rosy hues, the
black-green of the foliage lightened to a delicate tint, while bits of
gay colors here and there suggested parks and gardens filled with
bloom. The cemetery had become a Palace Beautiful.
The girls gazed a long time, then, a bit chilled, for the night's gale
had greatly cooled the air, they crept back, to sleep a while longer,
in spite of the well-meant advice of Texas. "Get up, lazyheads!"
austerely flung down from the porthole.
ALGIERS AND ANDY.
It was several hours later before they went ashore, the special party
that the girls were in being led by Mr. Lawrence, and consisting of the
four young people. Mrs. Vanderhoff had been quite upset by the storm,
and was not equal to any exertion yet, which was, indeed, the condition
of several of the passengers.
Even Mr. Lawrence looked pale, and laughingly owned to "being a little
shaky in his gait." But he thought himself equal to a jaunt in the
city, especially such an odd, quaint one as Algiers.
Captain Hosmer took them ashore in his own gig, but left them on the
quay, for he was full of business. He said they might take their time,
as he did not expect to get up steam again much before night, and
slipped a coin into each of the girl's hands, telling them to use it
"for fun." Then, explaining that by the time they were ready to board
her again the steamer would doubtless be in her slip, and thus easily
reached, he lifted his cap and was off.
"How strange it all is!" cried Bess, with a slow delighted survey.
"This street we are in might be a part of New York, or of London, so
far as buildings go, but the old Egyptian fashions and people, the open
booths, and the queer old street venders are all mixed through it,
somehow, until it seems as unreal as a dream.
"Yes," laughed Hope; "it makes me think of a girl dressed in a Paris
gown, but wearing a mishmak, like our ayahs on the ship."
"It's the new grafted upon the old," observed Mr. Lawrence, "and we are
now coming to what is all old."
He led the way into a narrow lane-like street, which seemed mostly a
succession of rude steps, leading upwards.
Here they had to move one side and hug the wall, to make way for a
donkey-train, with heavily laden panniers, which was being goaded along
by dark-skinned boys, who, as Dwight remarked, seemed to wear all their
clothes on their heads, where the heavy turban was coiled by the yard,
while thence to the waist was scarcely any covering. Their black eyes
gleamed good-naturedly, however, and when Mr. Lawrence flung a handful
of small coin among them they scrambled vivaciously, salaamed to him
and to the girls, and showed every white tooth with pleasure at the
"Dear me! It seems to be all climb here," remarked Faith wearily,
after an hour or two of the rough native streets, which divide the old
town and make it like a different place, as compared with the new.
"Yes, it's climbing, either way you take it," said Dwight. "You can't
even have the fun of sliding down-hill after getting up, for these
steps are so rough you've got to pick your way every instant, or take a
tumble. Now, what is that? Did you ever see anything so queer? Why,
what is it?"
Even Mr. Lawrence was nonplussed for a moment, but presently broke into
laughter, in which he was quickly joined by the rest, for the queer
figure approaching turned out to be a vender of monkeys, and he had
certainly chosen a most novel device for carrying his lively burden. A
tall branch of considerable size had been freshly cut from an olive
tree, and its leaves still hung, coldly-gray, and only half wilted,
from the twigs.
Among this foliage were clustered a dozen or more of the little
creatures, each fastened by one leg to prevent escape. This tree-like
branch was carried straight upward, like a flag-staff, by a stalwart
Mohammedan who, with his burnous wrapped about him, in all the dignity
of a Roman senator, stalked steadily ahead, once in a while breaking
into an odd cry that told his wares, but, as Mr. Lawrence suggested,
sounded more like the slogan of a Scottish chieftain going into battle.
Altogether, he was an odd and striking spectacle.
They stopped the man to parley with him, and in a mixture of French and
Arabic he managed to inform Mr. Lawrence that his monkeys were well
trained and tamed, and that they came from the Vallée des Singes,
not far away.
"Oh!" breathed Faith in an aside to her sister, as the men were
conferring, "aren't they the cunningest things? And so little! Hope,
I've a great mind to buy one in place of poor Hafiz. Don't you think
it would be fun?"
"Y-yes, of course. But aren't they dreadfully mischievous?"
"All the more fun, then! I certainly am going to buy one. Father said
the money he gave us was to be spent for fun, and there's nothing
funnier than a monkey."
Faith looked and felt like a naughty child. It was seldom she asserted
herself against the known inclinations of others, and when she did she
could be really obstinate. Hope's objections only increased her desire
"Mr. Lawrence," she cried eagerly, "do ask him the price of this wee
thing on the lowest branch—the one that has such a forsaken look. My
heart aches for him!"
"But I thought you wanted a funny one, Faith," put in her sister.
"Now, this looks much jollier; see how he jumps about and grimaces."
But Faith's tender heart was touched by the mournful look of the
smaller creature, and she felt, somehow, that she could better justify
her purchase if compassion helped to sway her, for, though no one
really opposed her, she felt denial in the air, and was quite certain
she might meet it from her father upon her return to the ship with this
new pet. So she went on rapidly, "Yes, I want this one. With good
care and petting he will grow happier, I'm sure. Then he really looks
as if he had a conscience."
Mr. Lawrence laughed.
"Be not deceived by that long visage, Miss Hosmer. I have a foreboding
that he will prove a terror. Time will tell."
Dwight was of course wild to invest, also, but his uncle said,
"No, my boy! One monkey is a good many. Wait and see how this will
turn out. There's no end to the opportunities for monkey deals in this
part of the world. They are a drug on the market."
Meanwhile, the stately vender set his tree against a wall and began
gravely untying the wizened little specimen from his branch, then
handed him into the eagerly outstretched hands of Faith with a superb
smile, as if he were some great potentate conferring a priceless boon
upon a beloved subject. Not that he was anything but the poorest
fellah, with scarce a sou to his credit, but this is Oriental
mannerism, and most impressive mannerism it is, too.
He then raised his finger and addressed a regular harangue to the
creature, who, with tail curled about Faith's wrist, sat gravely upon
his two palms and listened. The tiny beast was so moveless, so
attentive, and so solemn, its master so earnest and impressive that all
looked on wonderingly until, having finished his remarks, the Arab gave
a last shake of his dingy finger monkeywards, salaamed low to the
party, then shouldering his burden stalked on once more, the little
captive looking after him for a minute, and then wrinkling up his mummy
visage to give a weak, babyish cry.
"Oh, dear! He's going to be homesick," groaned Faith, almost repenting
of her bargain. "See him cry after the man! What shall I do with him?"
"Let me take him," urged Dwight. "I'll button him up in my jacket and
he'll forget and go to sleep, and then, when he wakes, he'll be all
"Do you think so? Well, here he is—but tie the string tight to
something, so that you won't lose him, please."
"Of course—to my buttonhole, here. There Mr. Monkey, you can't
complain of that for a nest—see here! Don't scratch so, you little
varmint! You'll tear my shirt front to smithereens."
For a time there certainly was danger of such a catastrophe, but by
soothing and petting the tiny thing was at length appeased, and settled
down to slumber, while Dwight, in great content over his odd burden,
trudged along with the rest, wishing more than ever that the little
treasure were his very own.
They had a delightful stroll of three hours up and down the queer
scrambling streets of the old town, stopping now and then to buy fruit,
or curios, of the merchants in the open booths, sitting cross-legged
and solemn over their long pipes, and seeming so utterly indifferent to
purchasers, until they were in danger of losing them, when they woke to
eager gesticulation and gabble.
Occasionally, they peered into the doors of the native schools, where
the scholars squatted on shelves about the dim room, and were graduated
as to size, the largest sitting nearest the ceiling.
"For all the world," whispered Hope, "like a cupboard full of china
Next to this, perhaps, would be a group that only needed framing to
make a picture, where two grave men, each wrapped in his burnous, sat
Turk-fashion, playing checkers before a low doorway, while back in the
shadow an indistinct figure, in flowing white drapery, touched the
strings of some instrument which sent out a sound of thin tinkling,
that could scarcely be called music because so tuneless and monotonous.
In places the streets were so very narrow, dark, and filthy, and the
few figures slid away into the windowless house walls in so ghostlike a
fashion, that the girls hesitated a little before following their guide.
"I feel a good deal as if I were going through a graveyard," whispered
Bess once, "only it's one where the inmates sometimes walk!"
"Yes," said Mr. Lawrence, and told her how a French author who has
written well and largely of this odd corner of the earth, called these
steep dark streets, "mysterious staircases leading to silence," which
greatly impressed them all as entirely descriptive of their weirdness.
Hunger at length drove them back to the fine new town, with its broad,
well-paved streets, gas and electric lights, gay awnings, and beautiful
parks and squares where grew a very luxury of blossoms. They were all
quite ready for rest and dinner, and felt they had found both in the
great dining-room of an elegant hotel, where the only foreign things
were the punkahs and the turbaned waiters, for the tables, glittering
in silver and crystal, the richly frescoed walls, the surrounding
galleries lined with blooming plants, the military band playing there,
and the many uniformed officers among the guests at table, suggested
only French dominion and Parisian luxury and fashion. Indeed, as Mr.
Lawrence explained, Algeria is a French colony, and its fortified walls
are manned and guarded by French soldiers, only.
The dinner was exquisitely cooked and served, and all were enjoying it
as only youth and good digestion, stimulated by exercise, can, when
something happened—Mr. Monkey awoke. Dwight felt his wriggles, but
hoped he would calm down again after a little, as he had before. The
rest of the party, absorbed in their dinner, had nearly forgotten the
stranger, and Bess, when she saw an uneasy movement or two on her
brother's part, thought he had taken too large and hot a mouthful of
the red curry, and gave him a protesting glance for his greediness.
The next instant there was a worse convulsion, and just under his
necktie suddenly appeared a tiny apish head. Before any one could do
more than gasp the whole monkey was out of prison, and, with a leap to
Dwight's shoulder, began taking observations; then seeing the food on
his plate made a dive for it.
Both Dwight and Mr. Lawrence interfered to stop him, but the creature
was brought up short by his bit of rope, fastened to the lad's
buttonhole, and began crying loudly as he hung suspended by one leg for
With a scarlet face Dwight jerked him upright, and tried to slip him
into a pocket; but by this time Mr. Monkey's ire was up, and he scorned
to be thus concealed. People all about were looking and laughing,
while the head-waiter was bearing down upon them with a threatening
eye. Faith, conscience-stricken, and too well aware that she ought to
bear the brunt other new pet's misbehavior, rather than Dwight, looked
on miserably, as red as he, while Hope giggled wildly, and Bess looked
Dwight made another clutch at the creature, which evaded him and, with
a rapid movement, wound the rope around his neck so tightly that he
choked, and began to turn black in the face. Mr. Lawrence, who, though
mortified by the sensation they were creating, could not restrain his
laughter, now sprang to his nephew's aid, and was about to cut the
strangling cord when another flashing movement unwound it, and left the
lad's windpipe intact.
Thoroughly angry now, Dwight caught the apish thing, and, boxing its
ears till it howled, stuffed it into his pocket and hurried from the
room, his dinner forgotten in his chagrin.
"Oh, oh!" moaned Faith, cowering disconsolately over her plate, "what
can I do, Mr. Lawrence? Poor Dwight! It's all my fault. And he was
so hungry. Can't we give it to somebody, or—or wring its neck, if
it must be? It's too bad!"
"Well, it is a somewhat upsetting episode," he agreed, still shaking
inwardly, "but it may serve one good purpose. Dwight will cease his
teasing to own one of the pesky things, I imagine. And don't worry
over his dinner, Miss Faith. He's eaten enough already to keep him
from starvation, I'm sure, and I'll see that he returns to finish after
the guests have thinned somewhat. Poor boy! He's had monkey enough
for to-day, I'll warrant."
They soon left the table, for Faith could not eat another mouthful, and
all felt anxious to know how the battle had ended. They at length
found Dwight sitting dejectedly in one of the veranda chairs, his hair
tumbled, coat torn, and necktie awry, and his face as long as his arm.
The monkey, quite as solemn, was tied to a post, and sat pensively
holding its chops in its skinny palms and eyeing its new master with
"So you've conquered?" laughed Mr. Lawrence, while Faith began humbly
to beg pardon, but was quickly interrupted.
"What for?" asked Dwight brusquely. "You couldn't help it because he's
a fool, could you?"
"No, no, Dwight—not that! Only a monkey," cried Hope, delighting in
the scene. "You and Faith both wanted a funny one, you know, and
you've got it, so what's the use of fretting? I'll tell you—let's
give him to the next beggar that follows us, shall we, Faith?
"No," said the girl with sudden resolution, "I'll take care of him,
She stepped close to the troubled mite and untying the rope, gently
lifted it to her arms, softly stroking it and speaking in a low, cooing
voice. Both touch and glance proved magnetic, and soon it had curled
down in the shelter of her arms and gave no more trouble.
After Dwight had finished his interrupted repast Mr. Lawrence said
there was one more place, not far distant, that he wanted them
particularly to visit, and all somewhat reluctantly followed him into a
church that, though handsome, looked too thoroughly English to seem
interesting amid old-world quaintness. But they were to find
themselves mistaken. It proved to be, indeed, an English chapel, but
it was still more—a memorial to all English-speaking people who once
suffered martyrdom in this city, when it boasted its thousands of
Christian slaves brought from doomed vessels by the dreaded Corsairs;
also of those who have died more happily, as free men, in later years.
As they strolled quietly about the interesting building, beneath the
stained-glass windows, reading these various records, which are
inscribed on precious marbles in high colors, that make a dado around
the walls, Hope gave a little cry and eagerly beckoned Dwight, who had
fallen behind. He came at once, and both read with intense
satisfaction a glowing tribute to a certain American consul from our
own United States, who once "rendered eminent services to the British
nation"—so read the inscription—by friendly help to the British
Consul, who was held in chains by the Dey, and his family expelled to
lonely and terrified isolation far in the interior. A grateful nation
had erected the tablet.
"Good!" whispered Dwight, then as if to relieve their excited feelings,
the two gravely shook hands.
"What means this ceremony?" asked Mr. Lawrence with amusement, as he
looked on surprisedly, and Dwight, pointing to the mural tablet,
answered with dignity,
"We were just showing our pride in our two countries, uncle," and in
spite of the disarray caused by his little unpleasantness with the
monkey, Dwight at that moment looked so noble that his uncle could not
help a quick, "Bless you, my boy!" as he laid a hand lovingly upon the
When on board the "International" once more, our friends separated for
needed rest, and the sisters entered the library, to find their father
busy over a wilderness of papers spread out upon the large table in the
center. But he took leisure to give them a hearty greeting, and cried
"You never can guess what I found for you in Algiers!"
"Nor you what I found in Algiers," returned Faith quickly, keeping a
firm hold on the little captive, who was now hidden beneath her lace
"You found? Have you been buying me a present, girlie?" laughed her
father with eager interest.
"Why, n—no, not exactly," stammered Faith, somewhat taken aback, and
growing decidedly warm in her efforts to keep the beast quiet. "Only
"What's the matter with your hands? Can't you keep 'em still under
that gauze thing?" asked her father suspiciously, while Hope, expectant
and amused, looked on with dancing eyes.
"Yes only—oh! Hope, I can't hold him, he scratches so—a-auch!" and
in spite of herself she dropped the spunky mite which, like a streak of
lightning, dashed across the room and up Captain Hosmer's leg, into his
coat pocket. The yard of twine, still attached to him, hung outside,
and the astonished man, seeing only the streak and the string, sprang
up with a shout of dismay.
"A snake!" he cried. "A snake! What are you doing with a snake?"
Hope, in a paroxysm, fell back upon the window seat, Faith, between
laughter and dismay, tried to explain, and poor little Monsieur Siege,
nearly scared out of his wits, darted from the inhospitable pocket up
the chair-back, then leaped to the top of the window, where, feeling
secure, he hung himself up to the curtain-rod by his tail, and
proceeded to scold, like a perfect virago.
The captain looked at him, glanced down at his pocket saw the "snake"
had gone, but thumping it once or twice to make sure turned upon Faith,
his face red and puckered, yet with a gleam of fun in his eye that
detracted from the fierceness of his mien.
"You little greenhorn! Have you been buying a nasty monkey?" he
"Oh, papa! I'm sorry if you're not pleased. I thought, now poor Hafiz
is dead—and Hope has Texas—oh see, see! Ha, ha! I must laugh.
Isn't that the cutest thing you ever saw?"
For the shriveled witch, taking in the whole scene, had drawn himself
up as nearly like the captain as possible and with one wee fist doubled
up, was thumping his own little hams, an exact imitation of the man's
gesture. In spite of himself, Captain Hosmer burst into laughter, Hope
fairly rolled, and Faith, relieved and delighted, let the merry peals
ring out, till Tegeloo, busy with some duty just outside, shook his
little fat sides, and showed all his ivories in sympathy.
Faith and her pet had won the day, and when her father broke out,
"Where did you get such a Handy-Andy?" she cried quickly,
"There, you've named him, father, you've named him! I have been
wondering what to call him, and that's just the thing. Handy-Andy he
And Handy-Andy he was, but this soon became shortened to Andy alone,
and by that name we will speak of his monkeyship in future.
 Vale of Monkeys.
 Egyptian peasant.
"But," said the captain, at length, "you haven't guessed yet what I
have for you."
"Sure enough!" cried Hope, suddenly sitting upright. "Is it a sari for
each, or a fez, or—"
"Or a pajama?" laughed Faith.
"No, you are miles away! It's something that is precious, that you can
share equally, and that did not cost me a penny. There! I've given
you pointers enough for the dullest guesser."
"And only made it harder!" said Hope.
"Let's see, it's precious, and to be shared, and cost nothing? I
didn't suppose one could even pick up a pebble, in Algiers, without its
"Well, this is not a pebble," returned the father.
"Oh, may we ask questions?" cried Faith. "Like the game of 'Twenty
Questions,' you know?" and, at his nod, she continued excitedly, "Is it
animal, vegetable, or mineral?"
"Well, one might almost say all three," said their father slowly, "for
its principal ingredient is certainly vegetable, yet with it is a
strong impress of what may be made from a mineral, and neither would be
of the least use, but for the animal, which combines the two, to make
them what they are."
"Dear! dear! It grows harder and harder," groaned Hope. "Is its
principal element fire, air, earth, or water?"
"Well, you've rather caught me there," laughed the father. "Let me
see—there may be fire of a certain kind in it, though it's not yet
visible; of course it is permeated with air, like everything else, and,
judging from its appearance, I should think there was considerable
earth about it—" laughing amusedly—"but water? Well, no—it has
crossed water, no doubt, but—"
"Papa, it's a book!" Hope burst out with conviction. "The paper is
vegetable, the ink mineral, and the fire is—is—well, genius, you
know, and—wait! I'll ask another question; can it be opened and shut?"
"It can be open—yes. But shut? I hardly see how—"
"Why, surely, papa, you can shut a book," put in Faith.
"But it isn't a book," returned the captain blandly, at which both
stared in dumb amazement.
"Not a book? Oh dear!" they sighed in concert.
Their father laughed outright.
"Why don't you ask some more questions?" he cried teasingly.
"Oh, because it seems as if every one mixed us up worse. I was so
sure it was a book," groaned Hope, quite crestfallen.
"Well then, is it useful or ornamental?"
"Now, that's a poser!" He ruminated a minute, then said, "It's useful,
certainly, but not just what you'd call ornamental. One wouldn't save
it for an ornament—not this one, anyway, but simply for its contents—"
"I have it, I have it!" Faith actually jumped up and down.
"It's a letter! It's a letter from Debby! Now, isn't it? Your
'contents' gave it away. Say I'm right, father—come, now!"
"Well, you are. You've guessed it, that's certain."
"Humph!" sneered Hope, distinctly miffed, "who couldn't, after you'd
fairly told it? I knew all the time it was a book, or a letter, or
"You should have said so sooner, Miss Hindsight," laughed her father.
"But I confess you came pretty close to it, my dear. And here it is.
From Debby, surely, because from Portsmouth, but this elegant modern
writing is never hers in the world. She has evidently engaged some
friend to write that address, and it's a neat one."
"Father, you said there was earth about it; how can that be?" broke in
Hope, scarcely mollified, as yet.
He held it up, and pointed to its worn condition, and two or three
"Isn't there earth for you?" he laughed. "What is earth but soil?"
"Oh—h!" cried Hope, "is that fair—to play upon words so?"
"Let's call it square anyhow, sweetheart, and you read it aloud to
sister and me, won't you?"
Hope could do no less than comply, and the bulky missive was received
by the listeners with as much respectful enjoyment as if it had been a
neat-appearing, well-worded epistle, instead of the rambling,
disjointed, much-soiled, and oddly-expressed letter that it was. The
good woman began and ended every paragraph with lamentations and
longings over her darlings, and the lines between told of her 'good'
and 'bad' lodgers, as she distinctly divided them, her few pleasure
jaunts, and some of the gossip of the neighborhood, only a few words of
which concern this little history.
"You'll recklict," she wrote, "the leddy what come jest a dey or too
before yoo saled? Well, shees heer yit and I like 'er best ov al. She
ain't to say real lively, yoo no, but shese good compny, and ken talk
good on most enny sub-jick, and she ain't abuv spending a 'our with old
Debby now'n then either. She is thee wun what is riting yure names on
this verry letter—ain't it good ov 'er?"
"Who is this lodger?" asked the captain. "I don't remember seeing her."
The girls looked at each other inquiringly.
"Don't you remember, Hope?"
"I didn't suppose you'd forget, Faith!" were their simultaneous
remarks, as each began to laugh.
"No," said Hope then, "I can't remember at all; but I know she was
looking at our rooms just the day before we sailed, and we thought her
very ladylike and pleasant. Don't you know how interested she seemed
in our voyage, and how we thought her an American, then recalled
afterwards that we had not found out whether she was or not?"
"Yes, it does come back to me," said Faith, and the talk drifted into
other home matters, not essential here.
The next day was more sultry than any they had yet experienced, and the
decks were filled with loungers. Hope and Bess, however, were deeply
occupied over some new stitch in embroidery, that one was teaching the
other, and Faith, who had been romping with the little ones till warm
and weary, thought, while resting in a deep steamer-chair by herself,
that she would give dear old Debby's letter a second reading. As she
drew it from her pocket for that purpose, and removed the envelope, a
little puff of wind caught the latter from her lap, and sent it lightly
skimming down the deck. Faith, quite unheeding, read on, smiling over
her nurse's peculiar spelling, and the envelope sped along its way
unchecked, an unconscious instrument of fate. As if heaven-directed,
it presently swerved a trifle from its first course, fluttered to and
fro an instant, then neared a woman, who sat listlessly by herself, her
arms resting upon those of her chair and her eyes, dark and sad,
fastened upon the far horizon. There was a tense quiet in her attitude
that seemed to cover something most unlike quietude within.
A slight noise at her side broke the spell of her gloomy musing and,
glancing down, she saw the bit of stiff paper lying motionless beside
her, and thinking it something she might herself have dropped, reached
idly down and picked it up.
But at the first glance she was as one electrified. Sitting upright,
pallid and eager, she gazed at the superscription, her face growing
radiant with hope and joy. At length she rose and, turning about,
looked forward along the deck, gay with its groups in light clothing,
its covering awnings, and its little children with their picturesque
A short way off sat Faith, smiling over her letter, and to her went
Lady Moreham, a soft expression upon her face that made it lovely.
"My dear," she said, as the girl looked up brightly, "is this yours?"
Faith glanced at the envelope, which the speaker did not offer to
"Why, yes. Did I drop it? Oh, it blew away. Thank you for returning
As she spoke she rose, with instinctive courtesy, and offered her
chair, bringing another from a little distance for herself. Lady
Moreham accepted it with an absent manner, and, sinking into it, said
quickly, with agitation in her tones,
"I must ask you a question or two, but not out of curiosity, believe
me. Was this address written by some one you know—a friend?"
"Yes and no, my lady. We have met the one who wrote it—Hope and
I—but neither of us can recall her name;" and thereupon she told
something of her old nurse, and the coming of the new lodger, just
before their departure on this journey.
Lady Moreham listened with breathless interest, her eyes intent upon
the envelope, which she still held. As Faith touched lightly upon the
appearance of the stranger, she said briefly.
"Tell me more, please. Describe everything about her. Was she tall,
or short? What colored hair and eyes? What sort of voice?"
"A flutey voice, like some birds I've listened to," returned the girl
ruminantly, "but with something a bit odd and different in her speech
that made us think her an American, and Hope even spoke of it; but just
then the carriage came to take us to the wharf, and she forgot to
"Yes, yes," cried the other eagerly, "and she was tall and slender?"
"Very, and a fine figure, we thought. She had light brown hair, and
"Yes, her eyes—" Lady Moreham was bending forward with bated breath,
and Faith watched her wonderingly as she continued, "When she looked at
you, listening to what you had to say, was there any peculiarity?"
"Only that they were not of the same size nor color," laughed the girl,
"and she had a way of dropping her head a little, and looking up
sidewise like a bird."
"True, true!" breathed the lady, "and as you say one eye was brown and
Faith nodded acquiescence, but smiled to herself, knowing she had said
nothing of the kind.
"But you cannot remember her name?"
"No, neither of us. We only saw her for a few minutes, once or twice,
A little cloud fell over the lady's face, and after a perplexed gaze,
in which her eyes, fixed upon Faith, seemed to look through and beyond
her, she rose abruptly, said in her usual reserved manner, "Thank you
for your information," and walked away.
Faith, looking after her wonderingly, saw young Allyne standing near,
his eyes turned wistfully upon herself. She flushed a little, and so
did he; then, with an impulsive movement, he made a step forward.
"Miss Hosmer," he began quickly, "I've wanted to say a word to your
sister for some time, but no opportunity has offered. Perhaps it will
be just as well to say it to you?"
Faith bowed, not comprehending, and he went on rapidly, as if to hurry
over a disagreeable duty,
"I feel that I was inexcusable, the other evening, in my reference to
your sister, and I can't understand myself at all. I suppose she
doesn't care what I think of her—good, bad, or indifferent—but I want
you, at least, to know that I do think her one of the sweetest, most
modest, girls I ever saw—too reserved and quiet, indeed, if she has a
Faith's drooped eyes were dancing. She knew the young man believed
himself to be speaking to Hope, about herself, and that, to be quite
fair, she ought to undeceive him at once. But a spirit of mischief had
taken possession of her and she felt he deserved some punishment.
Besides, it is so rare a chance when one can talk oneself over with a
person who has not learned one's identity! So she answered brusquely,
in Hope's own manner,
"I couldn't understand it, either, and it will be hard to make my
sister listen. She is a bit inflexible, at times. If you knew her
better you could never have hurt her so. She is not a flirt, by any
"I know it!" groaned Allyne, thoroughly shamed and penitent. "I knew
it then, but—I may as well own up—it was the champagne."
"More shame to you!" declared Faith with unusual decision. "That is no
excuse at all, for if it makes you do and say things to regret later.
Why don't you simply let it alone?"
He looked at her with a derisive laugh.
"Why don't I?" he began, then catching her earnest expression, checked
himself. "That's good logic, I suppose," he added.
"More—it's good sense," she argued. "I love oranges, for instance,
but they make me ill. Do you suppose I go on eating them? That would
be too foolish! Yet men are supposed to have more strength and
self-control than women."
The attaché drew up a chair and dropped into it, not loth to linger,
even to be lectured.
"I don't think men have more of such strength though," he said. "Their
superiority is physical, not mental."
"They ought to be ashamed to own it!" cried Faith. "The two should go
"Well, we are ashamed—I am ashamed!" smiling upon her. "Yet we are
willing to give you girls all the credit you like for your decision of
character, only caring to retain just a little vanity on account of our
own endurance in other ways. And you'll have to own there isn't one of
you who likes a Molly Coddle!"
"Is it being a Molly Coddle to be strong and true to yourself?"
"Oh, well, you put it nicely, but just look at the fellows who will sit
by and never join in the wine and the fun—aren't they a rather
"Is my father feeble?" asked Faith, turning such a sweetly arch and
tender face upon him that the young man felt his heart thump.
"Well no—hardly!" he laughed.
"Yet he knows enough to leave all liquor alone, and believes himself
the stronger for it. And don't you, yourself, feel a bit safer on
board this steamer, to know he can perfectly control himself?"
Allyne tapped his chair arm and ruminated.
"He certainly is no Molly Coddle!" he observed, finally, with a vivid
remembrance of the captain's stern visage and curt manner upon a
certain uncomfortable occasion. "I think I never looked at the matter
quite in this light before, Miss Hosmer. Nearly every one I meet takes
wine, and I've been disgusted with myself that I couldn't keep my head
so long as others did when drinking. It never occurred to me to keep
my head by not drinking at all! That's worth considering. Thank you
for a kind word and good thought!"
"You are welcome!" smiled the girl rising. "And I'll leave you to
digest it while I go and read to Mrs. Blakely."
"Mrs. Blakely! That old lady with the green goggles?"
"What, in goodness' name do you find to admire in her? I thought she
was a cranky old invalid."
"Well, she is not very young, nor handsome, nor pleasant, and she has
trouble with her eyes—but that's just why I do read to her. Now, nice
strong people with good eyes, and manners—like yourself, for instance,
don't need such attention. You can amuse yourselves;" and with a
laughing glance, and little mocking courtesy, she slipped away.
He looked after her with admiring eyes.
"She hit me there!" he owned inwardly. "But even her scorn is
pleasant. Gad! I can congratulate myself that she isn't the one I
insulted. She would never have forgiven me—that's certain! As it is,
this little girl may intercede with her sister and make it easier
there. I'm glad I had the sand to speak out, anyhow!"
He had been seated some time, lost in thoughts that could not harm him,
when Hope came tripping by, intent on finding Dwight, with whom she had
some scheme on hand, her eyes dancing with fun and expectation.
Allyne, looking up, thought his vis-a-vis of a short time since was
back again, the arch, laughing expression with which she had left him
not yet cold on her face. "I have thought it all out," he said
quickly, "and you are right. I mean to try it, at least."
Hope stopped, with a cold stare of astonishment.
"Try it?" she repeated blankly.
"Yes," his face falling like the barometer before a storm. "Surely,
you have not forgotten! I'll try going without entirely, if you tell
me to. It is best, and you are right. But, if I do, may I not count
upon your friendship to help me? And you surely will make it right
with your sister, also? Though I may value yours the most, I can never
feel right until that is straightened out."
Hope saw there was something she did not comprehend, but from former
experiences concluded she could pretty accurately conjecture what had
gone before. In some way this bold offender had seen and talked to
Faith, won her soft heart to pardon, and was now suing for her own
forgiveness, with the belief that she and Faith had talked it over, and
only thus could her full friendship be secured. She would lead him on
to fuller confession before committing herself. It would serve him
rightly for his insolence! Because her sister was soft-hearted was no
reason she should be, and when he offended one he must learn that he
"I don't know that I can make it right with her," she said guardedly.
"Why should I try?"
"Oh, but you seemed so forgiving a moment since," he urged. "You
haven't repented of it so soon, I'm sure."
"I did, did I?" thought Hope, still more puzzled but bound not to show
it—then aloud, "But girls sometimes change their minds."
"In a half hour? Then, where is that decision you boast of? No, if
you are weak enough to do that, there is no use in my trying."
"Trying what?" wondered Hope, and said vaguely, "The two cases are
"Perhaps not, but how could you consistently call me weak to yield to
wine, if you are to be helpful and kind one minute, and scornful the
next? You said you would help me to win over Miss Faith, and I thought
you also tacitly promised me help in another way. Are you going back
on everything, now?"
"No, indeed!" cried Hope, fully comprehending at last. ("So he talked
Faith over, thinking it was I—and she let him think so—sly puss! I
didn't believe it was in her!") Then aloud, "I will do what I can, of
course, but Faith, though seeming so gentle, has a strain of
"Yes, you hinted at that before."
("Indeed!" laughed the girl inside, "how well she did it!")
"But she is so fond of you, and I long to be friends with both."
"Yes?" interpolated Hope, with an indifferent accent.
"Yes," strongly; "but if I can't have her friendship, I still plead for
yours. You can help me—you have helped me already."
"But if she won't listen to me?" queried the girl, keeping her amused
"Then give it up, and I will bear her displeasure; but don't double it
by adding your own."
"Then, possibly, I had better not say anything—"
"And keep the matter to ourselves?" eagerly.
"Why, y-yes, for the present, at least."
"All right! I'm willing. Only you'll ignore me when she's by, I'm
Hope turned suddenly away, almost unable to control her laughter.
"I ought to ignore you always," she said, "but—"
"But you won't, I'm sure! And, in time, even she will see how I have
improved, and relent towards me."
"Do you think so?" asked Hope in a smothered tone.
"Indeed I do! She is too sweet and fine a girl to hold resentment, I'm
sure. I'll win her over yet!"
"Well, you might try," said the naughty girl in a tone of doubtful
assent, "but my sister is not one to be trifled with, and you were wise
to come to me. If you ever do speak to her, I wouldn't advise you to
repeat this conversation—" and, chuckling amusedly, Hope sped on her
way, leaving Allyne in great contentment of mind. He looked after her
with a smile.
"It was lucky I tackled the right one!" he muttered. "The other is
lovely; I suppose, but I like a little more force and fire. In spite
of their resemblance it's easy enough to tell them apart when one is
really interested. Well, I must keep my promise, now, and behave
myself—that is clear!"
Our voyagers thought they had already known something of torrid heat, but
the next few days was to show that, as yet, they had only begun to
appreciate it; for there is but one hotter zone on earth than this in
which the Red Sea lies, and that contains the Persian Gulf and Senegambia.
As they steamed into the Suez Canal, upon leaving uninteresting Port
Said, every one was brought to the decks by curiosity and interest. This
world-renowned ditch, which has revolutionized the commerce and travel of
the whole earth, begins with much breadth and promise, but soon narrows
down to a watery roadway, scarcely wider than a city street, where
meeting vessels cannot pass, except as one hugs the siding, and at night
the "International" was obliged to "tie up," as the captain expressed it,
that there need be no danger of collisions.
Its great propelling screw churned the narrow stream into waves that wore
away the sandy banks on either side, and the cries of the flamingoes,
storks, and pelicans, inhabiting the marshes, were constantly in the ears
of the deck loungers.
Dwight, perhaps, was the one who wrested the most fun from the situation,
for while the rest soon grew weary of the monotony, and lethargic with
the heat, groaning aloud every time they had to seek the siding in order
to let some great train of laden boats go by, he found fresh enjoyment in
every stop, and in blouse and knickerbockers, with bare feet, paddled
about on the moist banks, making friends with the half-clothed
camel-drivers, whose patient beasts knelt so obediently to be loaded with
the silt deposits taken from the bed of the canal, and collecting items
of interest in regard to this artery of commerce which might have made
even its founder open his eyes. The girls profited by his researches,
and it was, indeed, a common thing for any passenger, when asking
questions about "De Lessep's Ditch," to hear, "Oh, ask Dwight! He knows
Both here, and on the Red Sea, into which they entered on the third
morning, the staterooms and cabins, in spite of waving punkahs, were
almost intolerable, and nobody could get up life enough to do more than
lounge feebly on the upper decks in their lightest clothing, reading the
lightest literature. At night, mattresses were laid on deck, and most of
the men slept there, while our twin sisters gladly took to their father's
cabin floor and a folded comforter, with the great windows wide to catch
every breath of air.
Hemmed in upon these sluggish waters, swept by no wide sea breeze, but
only by an occasional sluggish puff from the sun-dried deserts of the
shore, they realized fully what torrid heat means. This long stretch of
southern travel is perhaps the most wearisome part of the long journey,
yet there were sometimes scenes and sights of the dark hours that almost
compensated. One night, there was a phosphorescent and electrical
display that could never be forgotten. The sultry air was surcharged
with the magic fluid, which made itself evident in most unexpected ways
and places. Points of dull iron about the steamer would suddenly break
into a soft glow, like an astral lamp silently lighted by unseen hands;
certain fabrics crackled fiercely at the touch, and soft waves of light
flitted over exposed surfaces, only half perceived till gone. The slow
moving waves of the sea glowed and sparkled in phosphorescent fire, and
the sky was a constantly changing curtain, upon which were thrown lights
and shadows, rays and wrinkles of every hue. Far above, in the deep
blue-black of the wonderful canopy, blazed the brilliant Southern
constellations—the Cross gleaming in white splendor midway between
horizon and zenith.
The girls, grouped with others, watched well into the nights, that were
too hot for sleep, and in these still, solemn watches small resentments
were forgotten, and friendships that could not be bounded by an ocean
voyage, grew apace.
While the younger passengers enjoyed with little care, the older, finding
deeper significance in Nature's wonders, also watched and waited. Before
they had left the Canal, however, Lady Moreham, with Faith's forgotten
envelope in her pocket, sought Captain Hosmer on one of those breathless
evenings when he fretted from inaction, and asked abruptly,
"Captain, do you remember Clara?"
"Your sister? Certainly. She was a little girl when we were young folks
"Yes, but only four years younger, after all, and the dearest child! We
corresponded for years until—my trouble."
The captain eyed her with an amused smile.
"It seems a little strange to hear you call it that!"
"But what else was it? The bitterest trouble!"
"So it seems—yes. But how did you so completely lose sight of your
"I stopped writing. They had no address. There were only Jane and Clara
left, and Jane was absorbed in her own family. I sometimes think Clara
might have understood and helped me; she was different from the rest and
so fond of me."
"It was a foolish thing to cut yourself off so thoroughly, my friend."
"You don't need to tell me that—but neither can you ever understand how
my pride was wounded, and how mortifying it was, after all my boasts of
the glories in store for us, to have to confess what I was subjected to,
that I might be fit to live among their high-mightinesses!"
"It certainly was hard, but was it right to let them think that, perhaps,
you had become too proud to associate with your own family?"
"Oh, I know, I know, it was a horrid thing to do, and I have been well
punished for it, but I felt, in my resentful shame, that I wanted to fly
from every one who had ever known me. It was so belittling—so
despicable! Some trials make us nobler, and awaken the sympathy of our
friends; other excite only ridicule. Mine were utterly ridiculous and
common to others though bitter to me. But I have suffered through my
pride—oh, how I have suffered!"
"You were always given to exaggerating things Anna—beg pardon! Lady——"
"No, no, use the old name—I like it! Aren't you the one friend left me?
I want no titles from you. They are worse than nonsense between such
life-long friends. And what a 'sounding brass' any title of mine must
seem to you, anyhow! But we're wandering from the subject. My sister
Clara wrote a peculiar hand, plain, large, and straight up and down, yet
rather handsome. I've never seen writing just like it—until a few days
ago—and after turning the matter over and over to no purpose, I
concluded to come to you. An envelope addressed to the Misses Hosmer,
and postmarked Portsmouth, England was blown along the deck to my side,
lately, and when I absently picked it up it was, apparently, to see my
sister's writing before me. I asked your daughter Faith who wrote that
address, and she said a lodger of her old nurse's, but could not tell the
name—had forgotten it. But she described my sister, Clara Leroy, as
perfectly as I could. What does it mean? More than that, she said she
and Hope both thought her an American. Is it possible my own Clara may
be hunting me up in England? It seems too good to believe!"
"It is strange!" assented the captain, with some excitement. "And to
think my girls have forgotten her name—what a pity! But they must
remember it. I'll set their wits at work. Your sister! Why, this is
like a story."
"It is better than that; it means life and hope to me. Oh, if I am
deceiving myself!" sighed the lady. "That is what has made me hesitate
about speaking to you—I was so afraid it was only my imagination, and I
could not bear to think of disappointment. But the more I study the
writing the surer I am. Every time I look at that envelope I feel surer
and safer! You don't know how it braces me to bear with Duncan's
"Why 'strangeness'? I thought we had agreed that his letters have simply
been lost, and, if he is in India, he will be as glad to see you as you
him, didn't we?"
"Oh, if I could be certain of that!"
"I shouldn't allow myself to think anything else."
"It is so easy to talk when it is not our own trouble!"
The captain smiled patiently.
"Did you keep that envelope?"
"Yes. Faith didn't seem to notice."
"That is right. And I'll think it over. We can mail a letter at
Ismailia, but no answer could reach you until we get to Bombay. I
suppose we might wire, but we only stop, there—dear me! I keep
forgetting we have no address except Debby's, and she would go all to
pieces over a telegram. Do you know whether Clara's still single?"
"No, I don't."
"Sort of a wild-goose chase, at the best! It will have to be a letter, I
"How a small difficulty looms into a fate in a case like this! I must
cling to this clue, though, till convinced it is a false one; I cannot
give it up so lightly."
"Of course not. And I'll think up something—trust me. Why don't you
write yourself, Anna? Make it a note that would mean something to Clara,
and nothing to others, and I'll send it to Debby, putting in a line
myself. That will be best, and then we need not say anything to the
girls, as you are so anxious to keep it all from them."
She bent her head in meditation.
"I was, at first, because I did not know them; now I do not so much care.
They are lovely girls, my friend, and so sensible! There comes Hope
now—I recognize her laugh. Well, help me in this, and you will but
forge another link in the long chain of favors I owe you. Good-night!"
"None o' that, now! I don't keep a log-book on little kindnesses—just
pass 'em along down the line, say I. And don't you give up the ship, my
lady! That's good sailor-like advice! Good-night to you, and good luck!"
The proposed plan was carried out, and the double enclosure quietly
mailed at the Arabic town upon Lake Timseh, which looked so fresh and
green to the wearied eyes of our friends, after the dismal marshes and
clayey banks of the canal. But all beauty has its blemishes, and the
other name for this lake suggests the blemish on Ismailia's shores. It
is "Crocodile Pool," and our young people spent their time mainly in
watching a couple of these monster saurians as they stolidly followed the
steamer, through the whole day, eagerly snapping up the refuse of the
caboose in their great ugly-looking jaws.
Without event, or incident, they steamed through Bab-el-Mandib, by the
lighthouse on Perim, and eastward across the Gulf of Aden. As for the
town of that name, on its northern shore, opinions were divided. Faith
shuddered at its desolation, Hope thought it bold and striking, while Mr.
Lawrence said that, "If Dante had seen it he would have been saved a deal
of trouble, for he could simply have described its rocky wilds for his
Inferno!" All blessed the fresher atmosphere and brisker breezes of the
Indian Ocean, which, if warm, are bearable, and awoke from the lethargy
of a sultriness which was like that of an overheated, airless room, to
life and interest, once more.
It was nearing night, after a day of intense calm, with the mercury close
upon the century mark, and the passengers, eager for air, crowded the
upper decks. The captain stood long, with glass in hand, scanning the
horizon, and made his dinner a short affair.
"Do you know," said Faith, glancing up at the twilight sky, "there's a
strange feeling in the atmosphere, to-night? I can't tell what it is,
but, though it is so sultry that I can scarcely breathe, at times a cold
shiver runs down my spine, and I believe it is dread, or fear."
"Goodness!" said Hope, turning to look at her, "you're not going to have
a fever, are you?"
"I hope not," said Chester Carnegie, with a laugh, "for I've felt the
"Sympathetic suggestion possibly," mused Mr. Lawrence, with an absent
air, as he leaned over the guard-rail.
"Well, I feel oppressed, too," observed Bess, looking moodily seawards.
"I wouldn't wonder if something is brooding over us. A big storm, or—"
"More sharks," suggested Dwight.
"I always supposed they were under us—that is, the sea kind," put in Mr.
Allyne, appearing out of the dusk, accompanied by his friend. "Of course
there are land sharks, but—"
"Not on this ship!" cried Hope promptly.
"Glad to have my fears relieved," flashing a glance at her.
"And, if you'll let me, I was going to say storm, or pestilence,"
continued Bess in a resigned tone.
"Well, I stopped worrying over that when my sick man kindly refrained
from developing smallpox, or ship fever," said Carnegie, sinking down
upon a cushion between Bess and Faith. "I was anxious for a day or two,
though, and so was our surgeon."
"And he is quite well again?" asked Mrs. Vanderhoff.
"Convalescing, thank you. We consider him entirely out of—Ah! that was
He referred to a flash of lightning that seemed to rend the heavens,
followed by a terrific report that made the girls cower close together.
"There is going to be a storm," exclaimed Mr. Lawrence, coining close
to the group. "I would not wonder if it is a fierce one, too. There has
been a strangeness in the air for the past half hour, as the girls have
remarked. Shall we go inside?"
"Oh, not yet," said Mrs. Vanderhoff, "What a delicious little breeze!"
She turned to catch it full in the face, and gasped as she pointed to the
horizon. At the same instant the lookout sounded a warning, echoed by a
quick command from the bridge, and instantly all was activity on board.
Mr. Malcolm, as he hurried past the group, called out,
"Run for the saloon! It's a cyclone," and there was an immediate
stampede below, while the Hindu boys ran nimbly about the decks, stowing
away chairs and furling awnings.
Our girls sought shelter with the rest, in the main saloon, and amid its
brilliant lights and merry company could scarcely believe in that one
swift, southward glance at the strange fast-coming gloom, under which the
waves were beginning to seethe, in the distance. There had been one
appalling cloud driving upwards in their very faces, with pall-black
centers, and edges of cold gray that seemed to curl and writhe like giant
lips, intense with scorn and rage.
But sound remained to them, if sight was removed. As they heard the
shriek of the fierce, whirling blasts, the rush and hiss of astonished
waves whipped into terrible activity, the creaking of beams and timbers
suddenly strained to their utmost capacity, the flap and rattle of sails
furled with lightning rapidity, and, above all else, the increasing roar,
indescribably awful, that was mingled of electricity set free into wide
spaces and vapor pent into dire cloud-shapes driven by mighty winds,
whose form no man can imagine, whose might only God can guess, they grew
silent and gathered in groups, awestricken and still.
At this intense moment, when even the men looked pallid in the arc-light,
Dwight suddenly pointed down the saloon, and broke into a hysterical
giggle that seemed almost blasphemous at such a time. The next to catch
it up was Hope, and in an instant the gale of laughter within almost
equalled the gale of wind without. For, running nimbly down the long
room, came a tiny figure. Sometimes it was on two legs and sometimes on
three, the fourth extremity being occupied with a small hand-glass, which
it clutched in its left forepaw.
On its head, set disreputably awry, was a fine flower-laden bonnet, a
little evening affair, belonging to Mrs. Campbell, and around its neck
trailed a long sash-ribbon of Laura Windemere's. Out from the French
roses of the stylish hat peered the solemn old-man face of Andy, the
monkey, and he was making as fast for his beloved mistress as three feet
could carry him.
Evidently the little wretch had broken bounds and helped himself from the
neighboring staterooms. Faith, red and confused, made a dive for him,
and caught off the bonnet, but with a shrill cry he clung to the
handglass, and ran up to the top of a cabinet, where he calmly wound the
long ribbon around his swart body, and, after scolding the assembled
company for a moment or so, proceeded to admire himself in the glass,
with all the vanity of a Broadway belle.
At just this instant the storm burst with awful fury, and the great ship
careened until it was impossible to keep one's footing. Faith, watching
the mischievous monkey, as she stood in the center of the floor, was
taken unaware and flung with violence to one side, where she might have
been cruelly hurt against the hard wall, but for the amazing quickness of
Chester Carnegie, who flung himself between just in time to save her from
the blow. In the instant that he held her thus a blinding glare seemed
to wrap them in white fire, and with it a crashing peal of thunder
stunned them into deafness, then all was utter darkness.
For a second it seemed to each that earth and sea stood still, and
neither quite knew if life were still left to them, but the next instant
a cry rent the air—a cry frightful enough on land, doubly horrible on
the wide ocean—the cry of "Fire!"
"Silence!" came in deep tones from the doorway, and before the first
paralysis of the dread alarm had time to become a panic, the captain's
irresistible voice caught their attention. He held a lantern aloft
and, after just one shriek of terror, the women, mostly prostrate on
the floor, turned to listen, while the men braced themselves to conquer
"Silence!" said the captain, steadying himself between the lintels of
the door, while the great steamer plunged, rolled, and pitched, like a
thing gone mad. "The ship has been struck by lightning, and the lights
put out. We are in the midst of a cloud charged with electricity, and
must stand the darkness for a little. The fire was discovered at once,
and will soon be subdued. If we can stand a few seconds of this we
will be safe. Keep where you are, and hug the floor, It's the safest
Above the roar of the storm his voice sounded calm and steady, the only
familiar thing in this swift upheaval. Poor little Andy, who had been
clinging by tail and claws to his perch, not even dropping the
handglass, seemed to think help had come with the man he had grown very
fond of by this, so he quickly scrambled down and fled to the big
pocket of Captain Hosmer's reefer, a movement almost unnoted by the man
in his preoccupation. For, practised in self-control as he was, our
brave captain knew this was a crucial instant and it needed all his
reserve strength to meet it.
They were wrapped in dangers, and all the elements, except earth, were
warring against them. The cyclone on the Indian Ocean is a terrible
destroyer, and the best-built vessel stands little chance of escape
when meeting its fury.
The group within the radius of his lantern's light were obedient,
though, and he had a swift vision of Carnegie gently steadying Faith
into a seat, and another less welcome one of Allyne bracing Hope, who
was on her knees against the wall.
It was but instantaneous, like every change of that eventful night.
The next, he had handed the lantern to Mr. Malcolm with a word of
suggestion, and was off to other duties. Crash after crash showed how
the good ship was yielding to the tempest's fury; and the wild tramp of
excited feet outside, and above, made the huddled women shudder in face
of the desperate fear that a fire upon the sea always awakens. But it
had to be borne in inaction, for to move about in this furious pitching
and swaying was utterly impossible to the unpractised.
Only low moans and sobs broke the silence which succeeded to this
tempestuous outburst, till suddenly a shrieking figure came tumbling
into the room and, with hair unbound and garments disarranged, fairly
rolled into their midst.
"Oh, save me! Save me!" she shrieked wildly. "We're all going to the
bottom! We're all burning up! Save me!"
It was Mrs. Campbell, the dignified, the indifferent. She had retired
with a headache, only to be awakened by this crashing, and the cry of
fire, and she seemed utterly beside herself with terror. A beautiful
woman by day, when carefully gowned and controlled, she was a veritable
hag just now! It seemed as if terror and dismay let loose her
unbeautiful soul to dominate her well-kept body. She looked older, by
a score of years, and was as unlike her usual elegant self as possible.
Faith shrank a little.
"Oh!" she murmured, "Speak to her, Mr. Carnegie—help her—make her
keep still. If we must die, let us go decently, at least."
Almost involuntarily he grasped her hand in appreciation.
"Yes," he returned, "but I could do no good with her. She does not
like me. I do not believe we will be lost. I trust in your father,
and in the Father of us all. Besides, the worst is over. It is still
to what it was a moment since."
"But the fire?" she whispered, with a shiver.
"That must be conquered!" He spoke with decision. "So far it is only
among some loose shavings in the carpenter's quarters, and they will
soon extinguish it. Do not worry about that."
Meanwhile, Mr. Lawrence had seized the shrieking woman in time to save
her from a fall, and quickly pressed her back into a nest of pillows on
a wide divan which, being screwed to position, was a safe resting-place.
"Be silent, madam!" he said authoritatively. "Hysterics will only
hinder matters. The ship is in safe hands, and we can help most by
keeping still right here, and leaving the officers free to work for us
outside." Then, raising his voice, he began in deep tones that
glorious psalm of faith and trust, which has comforted so many in like
"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore will we not fear though the earth be removed, and though the
mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters
thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the
swelling thereof. There is a river, the streams whereof shall make
glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the Most
High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall
help her and that right early."
As the strong, beautiful words fell from the heights of a soul lifted
above fear by faith, the cries ceased, and a hush fell upon all. Then
Carnegie's young voice joined in and Faith's trembled after, until
nearly all were repeating, in slow, reverent voices the words of David.
Even Mrs. Campbell, though cowering and shivering, ceased from louder
As Hope's voice caught up the Word, Allyne turned and looked into her
white young face, suffering and terrified, yet self-controlled, then
secretly clutching a fold of her gown, as she sat on the floor beside
him in such a position that he could wedge her into a safe corner, he
too joined in the solemn recitation, thinking inside his perturbed soul,
"If we go down into the deep I will cling to her pure skirts; then if I
cannot save her life, possibly she can save my soul!"
Evidently, there was need of regenerating grace here; but even his
puerile thought may prove it had already begun. A longing for purity
and salvation, however dully expressed, is a longing for Christ, and
the hitherto self-satisfied existence of this favored young man was
being crossed by contrary streams and currents that had changed its
contented flow, and stirred up deeper soil than had ever, hitherto,
Out of unpromising material—even the dust of the earth—God knew how
to create man "but little lower than the angels." Out of a nature
seemingly given over to selfishness and sensuality he sometimes forges
lofty souls, which can do and dare for righteousness' sake.
One can scarcely give the details of such an hour as followed that
fierce storm-burst. It was soon discovered that the lightning had
struck in more than one part of the ship, killing one or two animals,
and setting fires in three places. Everything was intensely dry after
the scorching suns of the past week, and the mischief might be great.
But Captain Hosmer governed his crew more through their respect for him
as a man than their fear of him as an officer, and not one, in all this
fright and turmoil, thought of disobeying his voice. Calm and steady
himself, he steadied others; having always put responsibility, without
interference, upon his inferior officers, they now assumed such
responsibility with an intelligent sense of its meaning, and each stood
to his place as firmly as the captain, himself.
The fire brigade was promptly at work, by detachments, in all three
places, with bucket and hose; the engineers, though lightnings played
fiercely about their ironwork and electrical apparatus, stood manfully
by, knowing they were looking death in the face, but exemplifying
Paul's command, "Quit ye like men; be strong."
Even the passengers needed only the restraint of voice and gesture. No
threats, nor bars, except for a moment among the steerage people, had
been necessary. The discipline was perfect.
After a short space, that could not be measured by the clock so intense
and strained had it been, there was a lessening of the enveloping
flashes, instantaneous thunder, and crashing timbers, and, though the
wind was blowing fiercely and the vessel lurching and shivering beneath
their feet, they could feel an appreciable lifting of the tension. The
worst was over.
But the exciting sounds of the fire fighters did not cease, and the
whisper ran around that, though one of the outbursts had been subdued,
the others were in a lower part of the vessel, one especially being
most difficult to get at, and that the constant sound of chopping, now
audible since the fiercer snapping of masts and spars had ceased, was
caused by cutting away certain portions of the woodwork necessary
before it could be reached by the firemen. If it should take long to
reach it, what would be the result?
Mr. Carnegie, at this, started up, and seemed about to go outside, when
Faith's soft voice arrested him.
"Father wished us all to stay here," she said reproachfully.
He turned back, with a movement full of agonized uncertainty.
"I know," he murmured, "but—"
He stood irresolute, with his perplexed face turning from the outer
door to her own up-looking eyes.
"And if he needs you he certainly will let you know," she added, with
He smiled, and reseated himself beside her.
"You are right, as usual, Miss Faith. He certainly knows—"
"Knows what?" she asked at length, as his sentence remained unfinished.
"Knows that I am here and ready," he returned, with a smile, but she
noticed that his eyes often sought the door, and his manner was that of
one alert for action.
The women, who had children asleep in the staterooms, had run to them
with the first alarm, and these, with the ayahs and babies, now began
creeping back into the saloon, longing for fellowship in this trying
hour; while, the first dire shock over, the men of cool thoughtfulness,
like the Traveler, Mr. Lawrence, Carnegie, and a few others, began
making all of them as comfortable as possible, forming them into
compact groups, guarded from the danger of breaking furniture,
woodwork, and glass, by their own watchfulness, as they made a cordon
around them. Many were unable to lift their heads from illness, and
others went from hysterics into fainting fits.
These required most of the attention of Martha Jordan and her women,
but Dwight, soon rallying from his first fright, and always both nimble
and steady of foot, proved of real assistance, fetching and carrying
equal to Tegeloo, who went through his duties with the calm stoicism of
the Oriental in the face of death. After a little, Faith and Hope also
joined in the "Relief Corps," as he named it, while Bess fought her own
sickness bravely that she might care for her mother, whose heart action
was imperfect. To their great delight the electric lights suddenly
blazed out again, greatly relieving the distress of the situation, for
its horrors had been doubled by darkness. At the same instant the
captain appeared among them and amid a clamor of questions, requests,
and suggestions, held up a hand for silence, and called loudly,
"Listen, please! You have all behaved so well in this trial that I
want to trust you in full, and ask your further help and forbearance.
The storm is not over, and the fire is not out, but I believe we shall
weather both in safety. In case we cannot extinguish the fires, the
boats are ready to be lowered at a minute's notice, and all can get
safely off. You shall know in time. Meanwhile, get together whatever
you most want to save, and I will send you life-preservers to put on.
Let the men go for the valuables, when possible, and the women all stay
here. It is the safest place for them. There's no occasion for a
panic, and I don't expect any. If our staunch old ship can stand the
strain of these last few minutes so well she isn't going back on us
now, I'll swear!"
His voice broke a trifle, and he turned to his daughters, who were now
close together, their arms about each other.
"What shall I send from the cabin to you, girlies?" he whispered.
"Tegeloo shall bring you your treasures here."
"There's poor Texas, if he isn't killed already," said Hope.
"And Andy," added Faith, when suddenly out popped the monkey's head
from the reefer pocket, and, looking-glass still in hand, he scrambled
down into Faith's lap.
"Why—why!" cried the astonished captain, "Was it Andy? I thought
something wriggled once or twice, but concluded 'twas only imagination.
Well, I declare! Whose glass is that?"
"I don't know, papa. He had on Mrs. Campbell's dress hat, and
somebody's sash, but—"
A sudden distraction came in the shape of Janet Windemere, who burst
into their midst all excitement, followed by Mrs. Windemere, pallid and
weeping silently, as she wrung her hands in despair.
"Captain—Captain Hosmer!" cried the former in a rasping voice. "We
have been robbed! We've been getting our things together, and our
"Robbed?" muttered the captain dazedly, then with indignation he broke
out, "I don't believe it! My men are all honest, and have been working
like Trojans, to the last man-Jack of them. There's some mistake—you
must have mislaid it."
"No, we always kept it in mother's dressing-case, but Laura carelessly
left it open and the whole glass is gone. It must have been somebody
that knew, for we never told a soul—"
"Knew what?" asked the man in a resigned tone. "What has your
looking-glass and your mother's dressing-case got to do with your
money, anyhow? I thought you said that was stolen."
"Of course. You see, for safety we put our money and letter of credit
inside the back of the hand-mirror, and—"
He turned and flashed a look from Andy, serenely admiring himself, to
"Oh, oh!" she cried distressfully, "is this it?"
She tried to snatch the thing from Andy's hand, but he held on with a
determined clutch and howled, even threatening her with his teeth. It
was the prettiest toy he had seen for many a day!
"Yes, that's it. You wretched little beast! See! He's spoiled
Laura's ribbon too."
"See here, sir!" said the captain indignantly, as he boxed the
creature's ears. "You'll have to learn better manners, if you stay
aboard this craft. Thieves aren't allowed."
Poor Andy, perforce, yielded to higher authority, and crawled under the
soft arm of his mistress, crying like a baby, while the captain handed
the glass to Mrs. Windemere, saying brusquely,
"Better find a new place for your money now, and secure it about your
person somewhere—you may need it."
"Oh, Captain, are we going to the bottom?" she moaned.
"If I thought we were would I tell you to secure your money?" he
answered crisply. Then, turning to his daughters, "I'll send you your
ulsters and life-preservers—and Texas; but let the trinkets go. They
only weight one down, and they look pretty small to-night! You'll take
to the boats if the rest do, and then I'll give you my papers."
"Why give them to us, papa?" asked Hope, innocently.
He looked at her with a strange expression, but did not answer.
Instead, he turned to an officer who had entered and, after one glance,
"Yes, I'm coming. Don't speak!" and hurried after him, but as he
passed Carnegie a look passed between them, and the young officer at
once arose and followed him outside.
Hope turned to her sister, white to the lips.
"What did he mean, Faith? Why are we to take those papers?"
"I don't understand—exactly."
"But you think—"
"I think he means to stay by his ship."
Faith spoke low and tremulously.
"To the death?" whispered Hope in awe-stricken accents.
They gazed into each other's eyes, and drew closer. Hope clutched
Faith's hand, and the complaining monkey gave a last babyish little
cry, and snuggled down in the warmth of their nestling forms, his
sorrows quickly forgotten in slumber. He was safe so long as his
mistress held him. Suddenly a thought came to Faith. She looked down
at the mite, then upwards, and her eyes were like radiant stars in her
pale young face.
"See!" she said, "he feels safe with me, and does not mind the storm;
father feels safe with his ship; you and I with our father, and all of
us with God. It is a chain of safety. Let's give up worrying and stay
by papa, trusting in Jesus. If it is best to save us, He will do so;
if not, we will go to sleep just this way—together, and in His arms!"
"Yes," assented Hope softly, pressing lovingly to the side of her twin.
"Yes, all together, and in His arms!"
So mischievous Andy redeemed his naughtiness by teaching a timely
lesson of peaceful trust.
LADY MOREHAM SPEAKS.
Tegeloo brought Texas, with the ulsters, and told how he had found the
bird cowering in its battered cage, which had been tossed headlong into
the middle of the cabin, where it, fortunately, lodged between the
bedsteads, being wedged in so closely as to escape further harm. The
poor parrot looked sick enough, and was so subdued he came at once to
Hope's wrist, with none of his usual feints and caprices, nestling up
to her in a satisfied manner, as he plaintively muttered, "Poor Texas!
Poor little Texas!" in response to her caresses.
Then, after a little, came a new phrase his mistress had long been
trying to teach him, but which, with the obstinacy of his kind, he
would never repeat. It came very softly now, as he tilted about on her
white wrist, and cocked his head around with a sidelong, upward glance,
"Oh, hear!" she cried delighted. "Isn't that sweet of him? Dear
Texas! Hope's pretty Texas! Was he nearly frightened to death in the
She forgot terror and surrounding discomforts for one minute, the next
her heart stood still, as two sailors entered with a quantity of
life-preservers, and amid rising clamor and confusion, the passengers
began their preparations for departure by the boats. The storm's fury
seemed to have spent itself, and the fiercer noises outside were no
longer audible, only that steady chopping—chopping, that no one really
understood. Perhaps this only intensified the heart-broken sobbings of
the women and children, and the occasional groanings of strong men, who
could no longer control their sense of helpless misery. Hope, sprang
to her feet, her nerves giving way at last. "Oh, this is awful!" she
muttered, turning her head wildly to left and right, like a creature
suddenly caged. "I begin to feel the fire, Faith—don't you? It is
She was on the point of breaking into a hysterical shriek when a hand
was laid upon her arm, and Lady Moreham said quickly,
"No, my child! It is only the closeness after a storm; not the fire.
That is far away, and still smothered between walls in the hold. It
may never break out, if they can get at it before it burns through to
the air. They are working manfully, and will do everything to save us,
and your brave father is at their head."
"Oh, if I could see papa! If I could be sure he is safe! He never
thinks of himself where there is danger."
She was trembling all over, and Faith, catching her excitement, pressed
closer, wide-eyed and shivering. Lady Moreham saw that, though they
had been brave as mature women, so far, they were breaking down under
the strain, unsupported by any older and stronger relative. The
atmosphere was enervating here, and emotion is contagious. Glancing
quickly around, she formed her resolution, and throwing an arm around
each, said gently,
"Come! I have often heard you speak of the library. We can go there
and be more quiet, and it will give us a better lookout on the forward
deck. Won't you invite me to go there with you?"
"But papa—if he should look for us here?"
"I will send him a message. Ah, here's Mr. Allyne—have you come to
tell us something?" for there was a desperate look in the young man's'
face that startled her.
"No, only—good-by! They need more help below, and I am going down.
You have these young ladies in charge, Madam?"
"Yes. And tell their father he will find the three of us in his own
cabin when he needs us." Her eyes, sharp and imperative, questioned
him—"Is there great danger?" But she did not speak.
He bowed gravely, and said, as if in response to her request. "I will
tell him." Then, as Hope followed the lady, he gently intercepted her.
"Please shake hands once more," he said, and with out a word she laid
her icy palm to his.
He bowed over it respectfully.
"God bless you for the good, pure girl you are! Good-by."
He hurried out and Hope, dazed and dumb, followed the others. They
found the little room, where they had passed so many homelike hours,
sadly demoralized. One of the great windows was shivered to splinters,
and through it projected a heavy spar, now safely wedged from further
harm, and as they gazed out through the other great panes, it was upon
a scene of intense desolation. The deck was quite empty, all the crew
being busy below, but it was one mass of broken timbers, fallen sails,
and all the debris of a half-wrecked vessel. But as the fresh air met
their faces, it braced them to new courage, and each looked curiously
Above, the sky was already clearing and the ragged-edged clouds were
rolling northwards, leaving clear spaces which rapidly enlarged. The
sea, black and turbulent, still rolled heavily, but with diminishing
motion, and its spray made everything damp about them. Turning on the
lights, Lady Moreham said briskly, "We must have a blanket, or
something, to shut out the storm. Where will I find one?"
"Right in our room—I'll get it," said Faith, feeling safer and better
already in the home-like place, and soon the open window was well
covered, the chairs wiped out and drawn close together, and Hope sank
into one, Texas still clutching her wrist, with a long sigh of
"It seems safer here, anyhow!" she murmured. "If papa could only be
The lady smiled.
"And I was just thinking how glad I was that he is not here, but that I
could be so certain he was just where he ought to be to insure the
safety of us all. How proud you must be of him, tonight! He is a
true, brave man, and I am proud to call him my friend. Did you know we
were schoolmates together?"
Hope looked up quickly, interested in spite of herself.
"That is it, then? I felt sure there was something, but he always
avoided our questions. Was it when you were a young lady."
"No, a little girl. We lived in the same neighborhood."
"You did? Why—but papa lived in America, near Boston."
"So did I."
"Then you are American!" cried the girl, triumphantly.
The lady laughed a little.
"Have you guessed it? Yes, I was born on a small hill farm in
Massachusetts, and when a wee child used to trudge, barefooted, across
our pasture-lot to a little unpainted schoolhouse, on the cross-roads."
"You, Lady Moreham?" breathed Faith in amazement.
"Ah, yes, it was I," sighed the lady. "So memory tells me, at least,
but I can scarcely believe that the happy, care-free little creature,
who chased butterflies, and gathered the trailing arbutus in Spring,
and waded through the gorgeous October leaves in Fall, was my weary
"And you really liked being—being—"
My lady laughed out at Hope's embarrassment in framing her question.
"Oh! Didn't I like it? I had two sisters and a brother. One sister
was a baby, and when the rest of us had done our 'stints' for the day,
we used to take her out with us in her little four-wheeled wagon father
had made her, and play by the hour—oh, so happily! I used to play at
being queen, I remember, and make crowns out of burdock burs, stuck
together, setting them on very softly over my curls in the coronation
scene, because they pricked me so. But in spite of the hurt I would
persist in wearing them. I sometimes wonder, is all that we do in
childhood but a foreshadowing of what is to follow? My crowns have
always cut me cruelly, but pride has kept me wearing them."
She drew herself up quickly, as if she had been thinking aloud, and
"Your grandfather's farm adjoined ours, and your father and I were
playmates, and great friends. We were seldom separated till later,
when I was a strong, rosy-cheeked girl of sixteen and he a strapping
young lad, with a hankering for the sea. Well, we went our ways—he to
sail as cabin-boy in a merchantman, I to journey up to Boston and seek
service with some nice family."
"Service!" murmured Hope, involuntarily.
"It sounds queer, doesn't it? Yes, that was what I expected to do, and
I was proud to be able to help at home, for the little farm was not
productive, and the 'lien' on it was heavy. But I did not 'work out,'
after all—in that way—my sister, who was now married and living in
Lynn, found a place for me in the factory there. Like Hannah, I often
was seen sitting at the window binding shoes."
"Oh! In Lynn. No wonder you were so interested when we talked about
"You noticed, did you, Brighteyes? Well, there I worked for two years,
and there I—married."
She stopped as if done with the subject, and the girls, half-forgetful
of their peril, looked at her in blank disappointment. It is a long
step from a dingy shoe-factory in a New England town to a lordly
country-seat in Old England, and both had fondly hoped to have it
bridged while this communicative mood was on. But the lips had closed
sternly, and Lady Moreham, seemingly quite forgetful of her young
auditors, was gazing far away. Faith ventured, at length, to jog her
"You asked me, once, a good deal about Brookline—were you there too?"
The lady nodded, then turned and looked at her with a quizzical glance.
"Ah, child, never be so curious to hear a sad story! Every one has
griefs enough to bear without appropriating other people's. Yes, we
did live in Brookline for several happy years—my husband and I. Our
home was the porter's lodge of one of those fine places you used to
admire. We were both young, hopeful, and strong. He was well
educated, but could not endure clerkly confinement, and thought himself
fortunate to be so well housed and have such healthy work. He was born
in England, and we used to laugh together because, in some vague way,
which we scarcely cared to fully understand, my husband was distantly
related to the nobility. That was the phrase—'related to the
nobility'—how we used to make fun of it, and pretend to trace out the
connection! Once, at Christmas, I presented him with a family tree,
and a peerage-book. The latter was something I had written up myself,
and such nonsense, but it made us fun for many weeks. We could laugh
at anything in those days. Duncan really had no more idea of
inheriting a title and estate at that time than I, a farm-bred girl,
had myself. He was a thorough American, who loved his country, and
because his parents had died and left him alone in the world, he was
all the more helpful and self-reliant. How his eyes used to twinkle
when we sat on our little porch, at evening, as he would say with a
flourish, 'Yes, this is all well enough, Anna, but wait till you see
our ancestral halls across the sea!' and then his laugh would ring out
like the boy he was. But it is the unexpected that always happens. If
we had counted on any such thing—"
"And after all it came true?" broke in Hope eagerly.
"Yes, it came true." Lady Moreham's voice sank to a sorrowful strain.
"I shall never forget the day the news came! We had eaten our little
supper—just the two of us, for we had no children,—and Duncan, after
his custom, unfolded his newspaper to read, while I took the dishes
from the table and washed them at the little white sink near by. I
used to hear if there was any news worth the telling, and when he broke
out excitedly, 'Why, Anna, listen to this!' I only turned silently,
expecting to hear of some wonderful new invention, for that was a few
years ago when the marvels of electricity were developing so rapidly,
and Duncan was deeply interested in them. Instead, he read an
advertisement, inserted by a London law firm, where his own name
appeared with the usual promise that he would hear of something to his
advantage, if he would write to their address.
"I went over to him and sat on the arm of his chair, as we discussed
it, full of wonder and conjectures, and more in earnest over the fun of
it than any possible advantage it might bring—for God knows, we were
happy enough! We only wanted to be let alone."
She spoke with extreme bitterness, and the girls looked at her,
astonished. It was difficult to believe any one could prefer plain
comfort in a porter's lodge to a title and estates.
"But you wrote?" questioned Faith, eager to hear the whole.
"Of course. We were as foolish as all the rest of the world! We
thought happiness and gold and honor the three Graces, instead of
Faith, Hope, and Charity," smiling into the girls' excited faces.
"And isn't happiness?"—began Hope, but she shook her head.
"Not worldly happiness—no. It is too brief, too treacherous. If one
learns to depend upon that, one is doomed to perpetual disappointment.
I have long understood that contentment is better than what we call
happiness—much better. Yes, we wrote, laughing together over the
possibility that our ancestral home might be seeking us, but believing
nothing of the kind. How we did joke over our united efforts at
composing it! He was the scholar, but I suggested all sorts of
long-stilted sentences to him, which he modified to suit himself. He
used to think me bright in those days. When it was signed, addressed,
and sealed, we looked into each other's eyes.
"'I wonder if we'll ever regret this?' said Duncan, serious for the
first time. He was always more grave than I, and used often to curb my
high spirits—who would think it now?
"'Fiddle-faddle! Regret a pot of money, or a Queen's commission as
Field-marshal?' I asked flippantly.
"'Yet the pot of money might not make us really better off, and the
Queen's commission might take me away from you,' he said, and stooped
to kiss me.
"I don't know what came over me, then. A sudden fear seemed to
contract my heart. I caught him about the neck, declaring we could not
be happier than we were.
"'Throw the letter into the fire, Duncan!' I cried. 'It may separate
us, and I'd rather have you than all the world besides!' He held me
close a minute, then laughed a little.
"What geese we are! How could anything separate us, if we don't let
it? You know very well any advantage would cease to be one the minute
it came between us. We will send the letter, but we will use our own
judgment about whatever it brings us.'
"So it was sent, and—what is that? Tegeloo, what is it? are we to
take to the boats, after all? Why are they shouting so?"
She rose, and the girls after her. Tegeloo, seemingly deprived of
speech, was motioning wildly at the door leading to the saloon. They
dashed past him into the roomful of people cheering, shouting, crying,
praying, and kissing, in a perfect frenzy of relief.
Some one, with a face far blacker than the Hindu boy's, caught each
girl by the hand.
"Girlies," cried a well-known voice. "We are safe—the fire is out!"
Then turning quickly, "Friends, let's sing 'Old Hundred,'—hearty now!"
The words were scarcely out of his mouth, when, as with one impulse,
all broke into the grand old measure. Nobody pitched the tune, nor
started it—it started itself! Mrs. Campbell sang it on her knees,
with streaming eyes and hair, the captain and his daughters sang it
locked in each other's arms, and the Traveler, seeing Lady Moreham left
momently alone, clasped her hand in brotherly fashion, and joined his
fine bass to her uncultivated treble, never thinking of discords. So
may the Redeemed some day sing the Doxology in Heavenly courts, safe
not only from death, but better still, safe from the life we know of
When the "Amen," had died into silence the captain said, happily,
"Now, good people, get yourselves to bed as quick as you can. The
storm is over, the fire is out, and though the poor old girl is so
battered up she's lost her beauty, her heart's still in the right
place—her engines are working all right, in spite of the cyclone! Now
hustle, every one of you—breakfast won't be served till ten
o'clock—and Heaven bless and keep us all!"
LAST DAYS TOGETHER.
There was something indescribably disheartening in the looks of the
dismasted "International" as the twins came forth, refreshed by several
hours of welcome slumber, after the long agony of the past night. The
carpenters were already hard at work cutting away the sad remnants of
the graceful, tapering mizzen-mast, which had been one of the beauties
of the comely steamer, and a considerable space had been cleared for
the passengers over which awnings were stretched; but the approach to
it was somewhat choked and difficult.
Faith was first to reach the deck, and as she approached, young Allyne
stepped forward from behind a rubbish heap, and said eagerly,
"I'm glad to see you out, at last! It's a beautiful morning after the
storm. Let me pilot you across these chips to that nice chair."
"Thank you," was Faith's rather stiff response. But he would not give
her time to be cool and unfriendly.
"Would you ever believe it could have been so dreadful last night?" he
rattled on. "But you were very brave, Miss Hosmer!"
"Was I?" asked Faith, almost overpowered by his friendliness.
"Yes, you and your sister both were, for the matter of that—and by the
way, how is Texas this morning?"
Faith's eyes began to dance. She mistrusted he had taken her for her
sister again and, following his glance, became sure of it; for Hope was
now approaching, along with Dwight, and the instant Tom Allyne's eyes
fell upon her he felt intuitively that she was the girl he had been
really waiting for, and his quick, annoyed glance proved the fact to
Faith. She did not feel so chagrined over it as she might, had she
greatly cared for his liking, and answered briskly,
"You mean Andy, don't you? Texas is the parrot, and belongs to Hope.
There she comes now—shall we go to her?"
Nothing loth, Mr. Allyne followed her lead, and, as he stood talking
with the two, made a closer survey than ever before, resolving that he
would not make this mistake again. Had he ever made it before? The
question, suddenly occurring to his inner consciousness, rather
startled him. He would not mind pouring his thoughts out to Hope, who
was so frank and jolly, but he felt rather afraid of this other girl,
whom he had once offended. Yet, the longer he compared the two, as he
stood opposite in merry conversation, addressing first one, then the
other, the more certain he felt that Hope was not the girl in whom he
had confided a few evenings since. And if not, what a donkey he had
made of himself!
He tried to remember just what had passed, and grew silent and
uncomfortable as he made the effort. How was it Dwight never mixed the
two? He began to feel that keen, observing eyes were pretty good
things to have. He should certainly cultivate his own, in future! As
this undercurrent of musings reached definite conclusion, he broke out,
"I'll know you apart after this, or know the reason why!"
"And how?" asked Dwight.
"Well, how do you, my boy?" was the quick counter-question.
Thus caught, the boy flushed and grinned broadly.
"Oh, I don't have to tell," he objected, with a shake of the head.
They all naturally began to insist, however, and he at length yielded,
with the outburst, "Well, if it makes anybody mad, I can't help it."
"Of course not!" laughed Allyne. "Personal remarks are bound to make
somebody mad, but that's just what makes them spicy. Proceed, young
"Well then," slowly, "just watch the two for a minute, and make them
laugh—" Of course, at this, they with the others standing near, did
break into laughter—"there! Can't you see? Hope shows all her teeth,
and a big dimple in the corner of her mouth; Faith smiles just enough
to show a little of hers, and there isn't any dimple. So, when I'm not
sure, I just say something funny, and if the mouth is big and dimpled,
I know it's Hope without any mistake. Now, I knew you'd be mad, but
what on earth ails Faith? She looks madder than you do?"
It was a fact. Hope had drawn herself up, not half pleased to have the
size of her mouth—which was a sensitive feature—so questioned; but
Faith had turned entirely away with sudden coolness, miffed because she
did not look jolly, and display a dimple like the special one, the
possession of which she had always envied her sister. It was an
exhibition of female weakness entirely unexpected by Tom Allyne, and
for some reason pleased him wonderfully. He turned from one to the
other, full of hypocritical glee, though the face he then bent upon
Dwight was severe in the extreme.
"See here, sir! Don't you know better than to say such things? Why,
you as much as insinuate that one or the other of these young ladies
has a blemish! Now that—"
"See here!" broke out poor Dwight, not entirely sure who was most
abusing him, "who set me up to saying what I did, anyhow? I think it's
downright mean for you all to turn on a fellow so! You all promised
not to be mad, and now see you!"
"You are right," said Faith, turning quickly. "I am ashamed of myself
for minding such a trifle! But I do sometimes get tired of being
reminded that Hope is so much nicer and jollier than I."
"And I that Faith is so much more refined and ladylike!" added the
other. Then both broke into laughter, Hope's white teeth and deep
dimple showing plainly, and Faith's half-sad sweetness veiling her
merriment to a tamer expression.
"It would spoil everything if you were either of you one whit
different," cried Allyne, with fervor. "And, Dwight, I want to thank
you for letting me into your little secret. I can never be deceived
"Are you certain of that?" asked Mr. Carnegie, as he joined the group.
"I wish I could be so sure! But come, let's drop personalities. I've
been sent to ask you to join a reading-club—"
"A reading-club?" shouted everybody.
"Yes. It is Mrs. Poinsett's hour to read to Lady Moreham, and she
kindly suggested our joining them. Would you like to?"
"Lady Moreham? How wonderful!" murmured Allyne, and the sisters
exchanged meaning glances.
But Dwight looked dubious.
"I'd rather hear one of Quint's yarns," he remarked, frankly.
Quint was a good-natured sailor, with a broad saber cut on one cheek
that would have ruined his looks for some, but made him only the more
interesting to Dwight. Besides, he had a capacity for reeling off
yarns, that was irresistible, and even Hope's charms paled before his
The boy now went below to find the man, and the girls started with
Carnegie for the main saloon. After a few steps the latter looked back
over his shoulder, and saw Allyne gazing somewhat moodily after them.
"Aren't you coming?" he asked pleasantly, turning back.
"Am I wanted?" was returned quickly.
"Of course, if you like to go," laughed the young officer, and Allyne
Their loitering had widened the space between them and the girls, and
suddenly Tom Allyne began, in a low voice,
"Carnegie, I haven't had an opportunity before, so now I make haste to
say that I thank you for showing me that a fellow need not be of the
namby-pamby kind because he lets the stuff alone. I used to think that
boys with any spirit must drink and carouse, occasionally, but I've
learned better now. I watched you last night."
The other turned with a rapid movement.
"Yes, you were cool and brave. When the captain needed volunteers you
worked like a Trojan, and never flinched. And I believe you knew the
special danger too, as well as——"
"Sh-h!" Carnegie glanced about with an alarmed air. "Did you know
"I began to suspect soon after we went to work, and a low word of the
captain to his mate, which I, too, caught, convinced me. You see, we
were packed close in there! It wasn't any too safe."
Chester Carnegie's eyes were upon him.
"And you praise me for bravery when you were there and knew it all?" he
said. "I begin to think somebody else is no coward, either, Allyne!"
He held out his hand, and they clasped silently. Then the latter said,
in a deprecating tone,
"Personal fear is not my weakness. I wonder, Carnegie, if these
passengers will ever know how close that fire came to your consignment
of ammunition, last night."
"No, never! How did you suspect my share in the matter?"
"You were the first to offer your services. You persisted in working
at a spot from which the rest of us had been warned, and the captain
allowed it. I knew there must be method in your madness."
"You were right; it was a personal duty, and I could not have done
otherwise. But you had no such motive, Allyne, and yet, understanding
the danger, as you evidently did, you stood to your work as close to me
as you could get. I like a brave man!"
"Well, if it has wiped out old scores, Carnegie—"
"It has. But come—they are beckoning. I'll tell you something,
however. After it was over, last night, and the captain and I were
congratulating ourselves, he remarked, with a jerk of his thumb toward
your grimy self, 'That young man's head is too cool to be muddled up
with the devil's brew. I'm sorry about that!'"
The last words were whispered hurriedly, and there was no time to
respond, but Allyne's face shone as the ladies greeted them, with merry
reproaches for their laggardness, and soon all were seated, quietly
listening to Mrs. Poinsett, who was an excellent reader. Faith was not
so good a listener, that morning, however. It was an exquisite day,
after the storm. The air was of a crystal purity and delicious
coolness, the sea, rough enough to attract the gaze, yet not so rough
as to distract the nerves, and the sky's soft blue was occasionally
flecked with small, faint cloudlets, that seemed like distant flocks of
sheep, grazing in heavenly meadows. Only the battered ship beneath
them recalled the fury of last night's stormburst. But as the memory
of those anxious hours swept over her she looked at Lady Moreham, and
wondered that she should so have opened her heart in that time of
waiting, for just now she seemed as stately and unapproachable as ever.
Then, too, it was so tantalizing that her story should have been broken
off in the middle, and left there. Would they ever hear its close? It
did not seem likely. Moved out of herself by the nearness of death,
the titled dame had reverted to childish days, speaking her thoughts
aloud. Probably nothing would induce her to speak again.
"However," thought Faith, "father knows and perhaps he'll tell us some
day, when he gets a minute's leisure—that is, if he can be convinced
that she would not care. What an honorable man he is! We would never
have known a lisp from his lips."
But it was a busy time with the captain. Only a day or so out from
Bombay, now, he was straining every nerve to restore the vessel to
something like her normal condition before they should enter port, and
it seemed to his daughters that they could scarcely get a daily
greeting from him, even, in his intense absorption. But they could
wait, for, once on shore, he would have more leisure, as the steamer
would be laid up for repairs, and the really saddening thought, now,
was that so soon these friends of a month must all separate, to go
their various ways.
The Vanderhoff party intended soon to start for Poonah, Mr. Carnegie
must take his men to Lucknow, the two attachés were to remain for the
present at the Secretariat, the Windemeres would meet friends at
Magpore, while the Traveler declared vaguely and laughingly that he
would be "off to the jungles," in a day or two. Lady Moreham said
little of her plans.
"I shall let circumstances govern me," she answered courteously to all
questions, and no one ventured to interrogate her further.
OLD TIES AND NEW.
The next two days were glowing, as to weather, and filled with
intensest life. There were trunks to pack, loaned articles to hunt up,
or return, neglected stitches to take, and a vast amount of friendly
visiting to be crowded in.
On shipboard one fully appreciates the old adage that "Blessings
brighten as they take their flight." Even the tiresome become
interesting when we feel we may never see them again, while the
hobbies, or crankiness of the singular become entirely bearable, when
they are about to be lost sight of forever. As death brings out the
virtues, and veils the defects, of our friends, so does the nearness
of, possibly, eternal separation produce the same effect, on shipboard.
We love those who have become dear to us with an almost clinging
tenderness, and we grow tolerant to affectionateness even of those not
Faith forgot that Dwight had sometimes been rude and Bess contrary;
both girls now thoroughly realized that beneath her coolness and
seeming superiority Lady Moreham carried a crushed and tender heart,
and Hope knew that she should miss even Mrs. Windemere's pathetic,
patient little voice.
As they finally steamed by the lighthouse, and fixed eager eyes upon
the city of their destination, many of these were dimmed with regret
and sadness. Even Mrs. Campbell, who had been very quiet of late,
looked sober as she leaned against the bulwark, handsomer than ever in
her plain traveling suit of tan, and Carnegie, between Lady Moreham and
Faith, felt his heart fail him as he thought of the lonely, busy life
before him for the next two years. And then? He turned to the girl
with a smile that concealed only partially the quiver of his lips.
"Do you know, it is just thirty days since I first saw you, and it is
difficult to believe that I have not known you always. I remember, you
and Miss Hope were standing together, on deck, and I thought how
marvelously alike you were, but I have never once mistaken one for the
She glanced up, half timidly.
"I remember you said you should know us apart, but when I told Hope,
she thought she could deceive you at any time."
"Well, she knows better now!" he returned meaningly.
"Why? Did she ever try it?"
"Yes, once." He laughed enjoyably.
"She did. And she never told me!"
"Certainly not, for she failed entirely. I thought she would want to
keep it to herself, so I never betrayed her."
"That was nice of you, Mr. Carnegie!"
"Only commonly decent, it seems to me. And, you see, I have told now."
"Told what?" asked Hope, approaching, with something very like a scowl
on her bright face. "I do wish, Faith, that you'd look better after
that Andy of yours! I happened to drop my best veil within his reach,
and before I could stop him he had torn it to shreds. Texas doesn't
act that way."
"You shall have mine," said Faith, promptly. "Poor Andy! I can't help
liking him all the more, because everybody is down on him. My veil is
just like yours, dear, so take it, and I'll go without. I don't care
much for veils, anyhow, and we can be different in so little a thing as
that, I'm sure."
Hope gave her an odd look.
"If that was the only thing we are different in!" she said instantly.
"I'll never be so good as you, no matter how hard I try. And it's no
matter about the veil at all! Do you know, it is exactly a month since
we left home? It seems years when I think of Debby and the old
school-days, yet the hours have seemed to fly sometimes, too."
"That's the odd thing about voyaging," observed the Traveler, as he
joined them. "It sends our past out of our minds with its novelties,
making it seem far away, yet there are few lagging hours, and Time
never stands still."
"Is that always true?" asked Lady Moreham, turning quickly. "I have
not found it so."
He looked at her with a kindly smile. It had become subtly understood
among a few that this aristocratic lady had a past, and not a happy
"I think it as true as any general statement," he responded. "But I
can also understand that insistent memories could never take such a
strong hold of one as during the enforced leisure of long trips by
land, or water. It would be a severe punishment for the remorseful, to
condemn them to a voyage around the Horn in an old-fashioned sailing
vessel. I think they would be ready for confession and hanging by the
time they landed! But there's compensation in every situation, and the
unhappy traveler, while remembering too much, perhaps, will also learn
to readjust himself, and so make the future easier. Reflection is a
good thing only when it lights up the future as well as the past."
The lady smiled, with more lightness than was her wont, and let a hand
drop gently upon the shoulder of the girl beside her. "With Faith to
guide?" she asked; then, looking at the other sister, "And Hope to
cheer?" Then, more seriously, "It is a good thought, but one that has
only come to me lately."
A rattle of boyish feet, and Dwight was among them.
"Most there, aren't we?" he cried with boyish eagerness. Then, growing
sober, "But what's the reason nice things always have a bad side, too?
It's just horrid to have to leave you all! Why, I felt like crying
even to say good-by to Quint, Huri, and Tegeloo."
"But you're not to start the good-byes up here yet," put in Carnegie,
hurriedly. "We shall not really separate for a day or two, and there's
no use in prolonging the agony."
He spoke with feeling, and a glance passed between the elders.
A moment later, as the young people strolled onwards together, at the
call of Bess, to watch the state barge of some native prince as it
sailed slowly by, its dusky crew shouting greetings. Lady Moreham,
looking after them, said, slowly,
"How lovely youth is when it is lovely!"
"True, my lady, and there we see it at its best. Those girls are
charming, and it need surprise no one if these fine young fellows seek
them out, and hate to be separated. Carnegie seems of fine grain, and
little Miss Faith is as modest as a violet. She is your favorite, I
"Oh, I would not say that! I find myself very much attracted to both,
but there is something about Faith—a sympathy and tenderness,
perhaps,—that is soothing when one's heart is sore. Hope is
wonderfully entertaining, and brightens you up, but Faith seems to
understand without telling, and somehow makes you feel happier—more at
peace with yourself. I wish they were both my own!"
He let his mild gaze rest upon her.
"Lady Moreham, I am not an inquisitive man, but several times I have
been on the point of asking you a question." He could see that she
shrank, but continued obliviously, "Have you any kinsman by the name of
Duncan Glendower Moreham, from Kent, England?"
She turned with a gasp, white to the lips.
"Why?" she whispered with an effort, "Why?"
"Because," he returned, not looking at her, "I traveled and hunted with
him one whole season, two years ago. I sometimes exchange letters with
him, and have his address now. He seemed to me a restless, wretched
man, trying to drown some mental suffering in physical activity. He
gave no title with his name, and, like the rest of us, lived in the
most absolute simplicity, but I noticed the crest on his linen, and in
some books. I knew him to be an English peer."
With a visible effort the woman controlled herself.
"Yes," she said in a voice strange in her own ears, "Yes, I know him.
Would—would you give me his address?"
He took out a card from his vest pocket, wrote a line or two, and
handed it to her in silence. As she read it her face grew almost
radiant with surprised delight.
"Here?" she murmured. "So near?"
She seemed incapable of further speech, and, seeing it, the gentleman
"You will pardon my officiousness. He is here in India, not many miles
out from Bombay, and I shall see him very soon. Am I to mention you?
I might—" he hesitated for the right words—"I could only say the
pleasantest things of you, and the most general, but I am his friend,
whom he claims to like and respect. If I am meddling with what is none
of my business—"
"No, no, you are all that is helpful and kind! Let me think—no, I
won't think—I have thought too much, and sometimes first impulses are
best. I will trust you fully. You have tact, you know the world. I
feel that you have guessed out a great deal of what it is hard to bring
myself to talk about. But this much I will say—the man you mention
was—no, is—my husband! For the rest, go to my good friend, the
captain; he will tell you all. Good-by, and thank you from my heart!"
They clasped hands silently—the two strangers whose life-threads had
been permitted to cross, just now, for some divine purpose, then the
woman, stirred to the depths, went to her stateroom, and the man stood
still for a time, looking out to sea. "Life is a wonder," he mused, "a
succession of surprises. When Duncan brought his men to the relief of
a stranger, set upon and nearly overwhelmed by an angry Chinese mob,
that day in Muen Yan's district, he did not imagine what might come of
it to his own advantage. I felt, from the minute I heard Lady
Moreham's name, that I had gotten hold of the other end of Duncan's
mystery, and I have not watched her so closely for nothing, all this
voyage. My misguided friend and his over-proud wife will meet more
happily than they parted, or I am much mistaken. I must wire him the
minute I touch land."
Just down the deck the girls were laughing merrily, as Hope, teased
into it by her sister, who was curious to know why she had failed in
personating herself, told the story with keen enjoyment of her own
"It was away back," she began, "as much as three weeks ago, and Faith
had been real mean and shut herself up with a book. In fact, nobody
seemed real nice and ready for fun, and I couldn't find Dwight to plan
things, so I sat moping on deck when I saw Mr. Carnegie coming along,
looking almost as glum as I, and the thought crossed my mind that we
might mutually cheer each other—and then, like a flash, I determined
to pretend to be Faith. I looked up in a sweet, meek way with a
"Like this—" interpolated Carnegie, with a smirk that sent them all
"I couldn't look like that if I tried!" indignantly. "And you mustn't
"I was only illustrating. Picture stories always take better with
children. But beg pardon! Go on."
"Humph! Well, he took my bait with alacrity," giving the young man a
defiant look, "so I began to talk to him as soon as he had got settled
in his chair. I asked him whether he preferred Longfellow, or
Tennyson," with a laughing glance at her discomfited sister, who had a
little weakness for displaying her knowledge of poetry. "I didn't dare
go into any of those other fellows, like—oh, Keats, say, or—or—well
any of 'em—but I knew about the 'Building of the Ship,' and there's
lots of guessing about Browning anyhow, so I thought I might steer
clear of snags, if I managed well. Mr. Carnegie seemed ready enough to
talk about them both, but oh! what a dance he did lead me! He called
me Miss Faith, right enough, but when he asked me to repeat again, in
that charming manner I knew so well, those fine lines from Jean Ingelow
that I had given him yesterday, I began to tremble. He seemed
astonished when I asked vaguely—'What lines?' and remarked that he had
never supposed me forgetful before. Then he began talking about Ibsen,
and I gave up. 'Oh! for goodness' sake, stop!' I cried, 'I'm not Faith
at all.' 'I knew it,' he said calmly, 'and thought I could soon make
you own up. Now, aren't you ashamed of yourself?' And I was!"
"And yet tried the same game on me!" commented Allyne in a low tone,
but with reproachful emphasis.
She turned a laughing face upon him.
"Oh, no, that was different. You deceived yourself. Would you have me
go about setting everybody straight?"
"Not at all. All I ask is that you will set me straight."
"Indeed!" cried Hope, "but that is asking a good deal."
IN OLD BOMBAY.
"I never expected it to look like this," remarked Faith in a
dissatisfied tone, as they entered the carriage for their first
explorations in Bombay, a day or so later.
She spoke to the air, perhaps, but her father answered the comment.
"Isn't it fine enough to please you, daughter?" as he took his seat
opposite the two girls in a handsome victoria, that would not have
disgraced the most aristocratic drive in London.
"Fine enough? It's too fine!" put in Hope with emphasis. "It's as
Englishy as Portsmouth itself, so far. We expected to see coolies, and
palanquins, and bungalows, and cobras, and—"
"Well, you need not hanker long after the last-named," laughed her
father, "for there is a snake-charmer this minute, and I don't doubt he
has a fine collection about him somewhere."
"In his boots, perhaps," suggested Faith slily, as they all turned to
gaze at the dark-skinned fellow in dingy white turban and loin-cloth,
who squatted on the sidewalk before one of those high modern buildings
which had excited Faith's comment, a long pipe at his lips and a basket
at his side, from which peeped an ugly flat head with darting tongue.
"Ugh!" she shuddered, turning another way, "I don't care for your
cobras, Hope, and everybody knows that bungalows aren't to be found in
city streets. But as for the coolies and palanquins, of course—"
"You have them both!" laughed the captain, pointing down the narrower
street into which they had just entered.
All laughed with him, while the black bearers trotted by, as suddenly,
from between the curtains of this box-like carriage, out popped a
tennis cap, while a well-known voice shouted a boyish "Hello!" as a
hand was waved in greeting.
"It's Dwight—Hello! Hello!" Hope shouted back, waving her white
parasol vigorously. "Isn't he the greatest boy?"
"I wonder if he'll turn up on that bullock cart, too. He seems
omnipresent!" laughed the captain, as they whirled by. "When are they
off for Poonah?"
"I suppose to-day, but perhaps not till night," returned Faith.
"Did you ever see anything like that? If you call this Englishy, Hope."
"No, I don't. Things are beginning to look quite Indiany, since we
left those fine new streets, I confess."
They were now slowly threading their way among the teeming crowds of a
narrow place where it seemed as if the odd-looking houses upon each
side had emptied all their occupants out before their doors. Men but
half-clothed spread out their wares, or plied their trades, in full
view of all, and children with no clothes at all paddled their bare
black feet in the gutters, or sat cross-legged, rolling marbles over
the paving stones. Presently, Faith pointed with a significant smile,
and as they drove slowly by a teeming doorway, each gazed with
astonished curiosity at the characteristic scene.
The central figure was a man in the barber's hands, who was just then
calmly lathering his customer's face in the full gaze of all, while
close by a straight, lithe, young Indian woman, with a bright-eyed baby
sitting astride her hips, stopped to sell the two a handful of figs,
from the fruit-tray balanced lightly above the gay cotton sari
confining her dark locks.
"The men seem to have the best time of it here," remarked the girl in
low tones. "The idea of that poor girl carrying so much about with
her. I should think her baby was enough!"
"Yes, but that is better than being harnessed up with a donkey," said
her father, bending forward to give the driver some instructions.
Faith looked at him with an astonished gaze.
"I never heard you speak of marriage like that before," she said
"Marriage?" He looked at her with a dazed expression, then broke into
a hearty laugh. "So you thought my donkey was a husband? A queer
mistake that! No, I meant the real thing—the four-legged donkey—and
I literally mean that poor women are often used with donkeys to do the
same kind of work."
"Shameful!" cried Hope indignantly.
"That is by no means the worst that woman has to bear in this country.
I thank God my daughters came to a Christian land. A girl is of little
account here, except to bear burdens, or wait on her lord and master.
And when her husband dies she is to be deeply pitied. Married when but
a small child, she goes into her husband's family to be cared for by
his people, until old enough to be his wife in reality. Sometimes she
is well treated, sometimes not. If he does not happen to fancy her as
she grows older, her lot is little better than that of a slave, and she
is beaten and abused by the other more favored women. But this is
bliss compared with her condition should her husband die. Then, all
her ornaments, which she loves as little children love glittering toys,
are torn off, her head is shaved, she is made to look as hideous as
possible, and cannot take part in any enjoyments or festivities
whatever, but must run away and hide from every man, even her nearest
of kin. But she is not only barred from every pleasure, but from all
affection, as well. Her lord's death is laid at her door, and his
family take every occasion to load her with reproaches, because if she
had not been wicked in some other existence he would not have been lost
to her now. It is not much wonder that the poor things used to be
ready to die with him on the funeral pyre, for when they decided to do
that, they were loaded with jewels and praises, everybody flattered
them and told them that, because of their devotion, not only the
husband, but all his relatives, would have better places in Paradise,
and reign forever. So, intoxicated with all this notice, and delighted
with her splendid attire, the benighted little creature, who never gets
beyond childhood in intellect, felt she would rather have a short life
and a merry one, and so often committed Suttee."
"And don't they do so now?" asked Hope.
"No, it is abolished by law—British law.
"But they burn their dead yet, don't they?" was Faith's question, as
she listened with sympathetic shivers.
"Yes. Some day, when I get time we will go to the Ganges and see some
of their strange burial ceremonies—that is, if you can stand it,
"Oh yes, but I do think there are some dreadful things in this world,
"True, darling, and there would have been more dreadful, if the blessed
Son of God had not come to teach us better ways. Man, left to himself,
is always a savage. God and good women, both, have helped him to be
He spoke reverently, touching the visor of his cap involuntarily. When
he thought of good women, memory always recalled the wife he had loved,
and his soul blessed her memory.
They had now left the new town far behind them, and were slowly passing
between expressionless house walls, with soiled awnings stretched above
the lane-like street. The whole population seemed to live out of
doors, and the cooking, hammering, tailoring, baby-tending, and
lounging, was all done at so close range that the horses could scarcely
keep from stepping on the merchants, and the carriage was in danger of
making a wreck of his stock of goods. The houses, which seemed only to
serve as backgrounds to all this teeming life, were of all colors—red,
green, orange, and blue—and between the queer, many-shaped roof-tops
waved the feathery crowns of date trees, the glossy foliage of the fig,
and the stately fronds of the palm—but these were of scanter growth
just here, though what there were, swarmed with kites, crows,
parakeets, and even squirrels, while dogs "by the million," as Hope
remarked, and cattle, and monkeys, and goats, were on every spot where
babies and larger children had left an inch of room.
As they penetrated further into the native portion of the city, Captain
Hosmer called the girls' attention to the many shrines, where some one
was always standing with clasped hands and bent head, engaged in
prayers to Parvati, perhaps, or Vishnu—for the image in the shrine
differed—and to the peculiar reverence which every Hindu shows to the
cow, a sacred animal to them. The gentle creature seems actually one
of the family, possibly prized even more than the children, for it
furnishes them with food, drink and fuel and receives in return the
first notice and care.
"The orthodox Hindu will feed his cow before he does himself," said the
captain. "And as he does so, he will repeat a little invocation, and
when he meets one on the road he will touch her sleek side and then his
own forehead, that so her blessings may be upon his head."
"And let his daughters be treated worse than dogs," breathed Hope in
"Father," said Faith with sudden fervor. "I am ashamed of myself that
I ever begrudged the little bit of missionary money I used to give at
Sunday-school. If I could have realized how much these people need to
be taught better, I would have given four times as much, and weighted
it with prayers. Why, I think it is awful!"
"And yet this land is far advanced in decency and civilization compared
with many," was the reply. "With the missionary, the trained nurse,
and the railroad, India is in a fair way to become thoroughly
enlightened before a half-century has rolled away. The trouble is that
she clings so to her own cherished ideas of caste, and of worship.
Personally the Hindostanee is a good fellow—gentle, charitable, and a
loyal friend—but he is so priest-ridden, and so filled with
superstitions and notions, that it is almost impossible to get any
sense, far less any Christianity, into his pate. I have a large
respect for those who stay here year by year, braving a climate that is
enough to take all the life out of the strongest, and laboring with
this prejudiced people, just because it is their duty. Folks oughtn't
to begrudge them a few pennies, saved from candy or ribbons, my dear."
"No," said Faith, leaning back and closing her eyes a moment. "What a
glare it is!" she murmured wearily. "The sun is so hot, and the light
so white and blinding; then the houses are so dreadfully blue and pink,
and the crows and people so black, and the dogs so greedy, and
everything so noisy, it makes my head ache!"
"It is wearing, daughter, and one can't stand too much of it at
once." He gave another order, and they presently came into a wider
street, that was almost like a viaduct for shelter, as awnings were
stretched above it the whole length. There was scarcely any life here,
and the high stone walls of wealthy homes shut them in, with only an
occasional balcony, or latticed window, to break the monotony of their
"Here live the native families of the highest caste," explained the
captain, "and inside are beautiful courts, with flowers and fountains,
where they lounge and live, as the lower classes do in the streets.
But it is cooler here, if not so lively."
"Delicious!" murmured Faith enjoyingly, still resting her eyes where
there was little to see.
They turned from this shaded way into one of the new streets and, as
the carriage suddenly stopped with an exclamation from her father, she
looked up to see Huri, Tegeloo, and a half-dozen other Mohammedans of
the "International," bowing to the ground before them, their white
teeth showing in their fine dark faces, full of joy and devotion. On
Tegeloo's wrist perched Texas, while a little black head popped up from
a fold of Huri's mantle, and both bird and monkey began a noisy
greeting in their own tongues—which meant a vociferous "Hello!" from
the former and a chuckling cry from the latter. Warned by past
experience the girls had left their pets on shipboard, in care of these
faithful servants, who now were evidently giving them an airing.
"How nice of you, Tegeloo!" cried Hope, stroking the parrot, who
grunted with satisfaction, and informed her many times that he was
still, "Poor Texas, pretty Texas!" nipping her finger gently as he
sidled and snuggled, while Andy leaped to Faith's lap, and was so
determined to stay that he had to be removed by force, soft-hearted
Faith looking back at the crying baby with the expression of a mother
bereft of her child.
"Andy got swell-head!" laughed Huri, as he stroked him into submission,
"Andy like to ride in big carriage. He no walk!" at which resentful
Andy gave him a sounding slap that promptly ended his comments.
As the Hosmers returned to the hotel, each noted a handsome carriage
before the door, with liveried outriders, and while themselves
alighting young Allyne and his friend, Mr. Donelson, came down the
steps to reach it, but, seeing our party, made haste to intercept them.
"We've just been to call on you," cried the former, his face radiant at
the fortunate meeting, "and were about departing utterly crestfallen.
Do you notice our style?" with a merry glance at the grand equipage.
"Notice it! It fills all the horizon," laughed Hope, with reddening
cheeks. "We supposed that the Governor-General, at the very least, had
come to bid us welcome, and inquire after our health. Of course we
could not admit the idea that he had come here for any other purpose."
"Well, we may not be the Governor-General—who, by the way, might not
feel like a journey from Calcutta just for a friendly call even upon
two charming young ladies," observed Mr. Donelson, "but I haven't a
doubt you'll find us quite as interesting!"
"And a great deal younger," added Allyne suggestively.
"Oh! such conceit," cried Faith, as they bubbled over with laughter.
"And we're much obliged for your valuable information," added Hope,
rather taken aback at her own blunder.
"About the location of the Residency, or our relative ages?" asked
"We make no charge for either!" continued Donelson, airily.
"Better come back inside then, gentlemen," proposed the captain. "It's
a bit warm here."
But they felt they must get back for dinner, now, though it evidently
cost Allyne something to decline.
"We will sometime meet again?" he questioned, as he clasped Hope's hand
and looked beseechingly into her eyes.
"Possibly," she returned, flushing slightly, then with a mischievous
glance, "But are you certain which of us you are speaking to? Have you
learned to distinguish us yet?"
"I have—perfectly!" was the tart response. "When the rose gives me a
taste of its thorns it is you; Miss Faith is never sarcastic."
"But,"—quickly—"I like thorns! They give zest to the loveliest rose."
"Come," admonished her father in a dry tone, "this glare and glitter
will give you a headache. It isn't healthy."
The girls somewhat slowly followed him in. The young men rode away.
In the heart of one was a deadly fear that, by one hour's foolishness,
he might have forfeited some privileges which had become most precious
in his sight of late. The other broke into his musings with a ruthless
"The captain does not specially favor us, Tom."
"I am sure he treated us politely," was returned with some resentment.
"Yes, too politely. I wouldn't get foolish in that direction, my boy;
it won't work."
Tom Allyne did not answer, and his face was sober. But presently its
expression lightened. He recalled what Carnegie had said of the
captain's comment, after that dreadful night of fire and flood, and
"I've got to prove myself a man first," he told himself, "and it won't
be an easy thing to do, with my surroundings. Is she worth it?" Then,
as the color flamed into his cheeks, "Heaven help me to be worthy of
her! And remember that you are worth saving, or you wouldn't have been
given this chance, Tom Allyne!"
It was late the next afternoon when, trying to keep cool in their shady
balcony in sheer white gowns of India lawn, another guest was
announced, and to the surprise of both Mr. Carnegie entered, with the
"Why, we thought you had gone on!" said Faith, with a flush, doubtless
produced by the heat, which was great.
"I expected to," returned Carnegie, as the others exchanged greetings,
the captain appearing in a duck coat and trousers which quite
transformed him, "but found a day's reprieve awaiting me, which has
lengthened out, as my men have had to undergo some formalities of
registration here. I have been too busy to see you sooner, though it
was hard to keep away. I met old Quint on the street to-day, and
really longed to shake hands with him, just because he was from the
'International.' How attached I did get to that dear old steamer!"
"Yes, these attachments to steamers are really wonderful!" observed the
Traveler with a dry air that sent the captain and Hope off into a peal
of merriment, while the other young people looked very sheepish. But
Carnegie soon rallied.
"I think they are, myself!" he allowed with frankness. "And I don't
propose to let the attachment die out in my case, either," he added
boldly. "Captain Hosmer, may I write to you and your daughters
The captain gave him a keen glance, which presently broadened into a
"I shall be happy to hear from you," he said heartily, "but I am not a
very good correspondent, myself. I usually get Faith, here, to answer
my letters. Of course she may not make them so interesting as I
should, but, barring a little too much tendency to long words and
poetical quotations, she does very well. Yes, indeed, let us hear
occasionally, Mr. Carnegie. I shall be interested to learn how you
succeed in your new work."
Though all were smiling at the captain's raillery, Carnegie turned an
earnest face upon him.
"I have some idea that I may go back with you. You will have to be
here much longer than you had intended, won't you?"
"Considerably longer, yes. All right, if you can. The old
'International' will give you a welcome."
The two callers lingered almost beyond the limits of etiquette, and
when they separated it was with an "Au revoir" from the young officer.
"I won't say good-by," he declared; "I shall see you again."
It was a day or so later. The Hosmers had taken the little steam
launch for a trip to the island of Elephanta, containing the famous
caves of the same name. It was a glorious morning, and the short trip
over the dancing, dazzling waves to the pretty islet, with its steep
banks and waving palms, was a delightful one. As they landed, the
captain pointed out the mangrove swamps, and the rich growth of wild
indigo and Karunda bushes, while Hope went wild over the splendid
butterflies, which settled down in showers before them, transforming
the green bushes into great nosegays of purple, crimson, and orange
bloom. Only, these blossoms constantly changed and shifted, with
feathery, fluttering movements and kaleidoscopic changes.
Birds were many and brilliant, also, and to add to this animal life a
horde of dark-skinned little Hindu boys started up at every turn,
clamoring to sell the party all sorts of odd collections, from jungle
flowers to the gilded wood lice, the name of which condemns them,
though they are really beautiful insects, until death robs them of
their glow, and makes them as repulsive as others of their kin.
"Haven't I heard that snakes abound here?" asked Faith timorously, as
they ascended the stone steps leading up the hill from the swampland
below. "Don't they kill a good many every year?"
Her father smiled knowingly, and, as they reached the top, turned to an
English soldier in charge, and said laughingly, "My daughter, here,
imagines you keep snakes on hand—the idea!"
The other seemed to find some fun in the remark, and grinned broadly.
"The young ladies need have no fear," he returned politely, as he
touched his white helmet.
But, as the girls passed on, he detained the Captain with a wink. "I
see you know," he whispered, "but don't be worried. We've just been
the rounds and killed three, and I don't believe any more will trouble
us to-day. Just keep your eyes open, though, for they make the
ninety-sixth this season. We'll soon get it up to the century mark;
but it isn't like it used to be, when four and five hundred made the
yearly score." His tone was positively regretful, though he referred
to the cobra, deadliest of serpents, and the curse of every bright bit
of glade and forest in India. It crawls out from its holes in the
caverns of this island of Elephanta, and, with the miasma just as
deadly that rises from the swamps, makes any residence upon its
lovely-seeming hillsides a constant menace. But where will not people
stay if prompted by self-interest? The dwellers on the sides of
Vesuvius do not lie awake to wait for its eruption, and the dwellers on
Elephanta do not step any more gingerly in their bare feet because at
any moment a sting may end their career.
If "Death stalketh abroad at noonday," we always imagine he is on his
way to some other fireside; ours is not to be invaded.
But the captain needed no warning. He had seen to it that the girls
were thickly shod for their tramp, and he himself carried a cane with a
heavy silver top, while his eyes, trained to close observation, seldom
missed seeing what they were looking for. He soon overtook the girls,
and preceded them down the stone steps into the cavern, upon which most
of these poisonous reptiles are encountered in that special vicinity.
If one will visit a region devoted to a god whose power is
represented by a hooded serpent, he should not complain at meeting the
real thing, occasionally. Elephanta is dedicated to Shiva, the
Destroyer, her attributes being imaged in the person of the cobra.
"Ugh! How gloomy!" muttered Hope, as they descended into the damp,
cool cavern, keeping close to her father, but letting her roving eyes
take in the mass of carving on every side.
"What does it all mean, papa?" asked Faith, also drawing closer.
"It is grand, and horrible!"
"Dose be gods," replied the native guide, giving her a reproachful
look. "It is one s'rine to deir memory."
"Dear me! I wouldn't want to remember them," she went on quaintly, not
noticing his look. "I am only afraid I shall, in my dreams. How can
any people believe that supreme power can take such shapes as these?"
Her father looked thoughtful.
"Yet, after all, it is not so strange. When I think of the cruel
forces in nature man had to overcome in early days, with his constant
terror of the many he could not in the least understand—like
electricity, or wind, even—and his danger from savage beasts and
deadly reptiles, is it any wonder he got hold of but one idea,—that of
power? It took a Saviour to fully teach him love and salvation. Even
the prophets and priests couldn't make him fully understand. No, I
don't wonder the ancients tried to propitiate all these harmful forces
and begged for their mercy—poor wretches!"
As he spoke, in a low tone, they were passing slowly around the gloomy
place at the heels of the guide, and shudderingly gazing at the hideous
representations of a barbaric faith which seemed starting out of the
shadows under the upheld torches. At first they could scarcely
separate the crowding figures, so intermingled were they, but
presently, as their eyes became more accustomed to the weird lights and
shades, they could separate them into distinct groups and figures.
Before one gigantic, but peculiar form, which is the central one in
that cavern, they lingered long, while the guide explained that this
image is an attempt to show how perfectly the highest of their gods,
Brahma, unites both sexes, in character and personality. One side
gives the image of a man, rugged and muscular, the other, that of a
woman, softly molded, and with long braids of hair.
Into the midst of their still and thoughtful survey broke the noise of
frivolous talk and laughter, and another party were heard at the
opening. They did not at once enter. They seemed far more occupied in
making arrangements for some prospective merry-making than in any study
of these curious relics. The girls could hear talk of champagne-cup
and curry, and suddenly a voice sounded which made them look at each
"That is Mrs. Campbell," said Hope. "What is she doing here?"
IN ELEPHANTA'S CAVES.
As she spoke some of the party began to descend. A man's voice, with a
drawling accent, made some remark about its being "a beastly hole," and
another, of a heartier bass tone added,
"You've hit it, Campbell. It is a 'beastly hole,' and the beasts are
cobras, at your service. They kill a dozen or so a day, here."
"Heavens!" screamed a woman, "and you expect us to go down to certain
death there? How ungallant!"—and amid such laughter and persiflage
half a dozen men and women descended.
"But really, are there snakes?" asked Mrs. Campbell's languid tones,
curiously like her husband's, without his coarseness—for this heavy,
beefy, blear-eyed man was undoubtedly the husband whom she had never
cared to mention on shipboard.—"You know I am deathly afraid of them.
I should faint if I saw one."
Her voice showed real agitation, but her husband laughed uproariously.
Evidently he was under the influence of liquor. The girls, after one
glance at him, shrank back into the shadow, hoping they would not be
recognized by the wife. For the first time in their acquaintance of
the woman, they pitied her. To be that man's daily companion was a
Just as Mrs. Campbell's dainty foot touched the stone floor of the
cavern, the captain saw a gliding motion in the uncertain light, and,
with the readiness of the man used to coping with danger, he sprang
forward and struck at something dark and slender, that might have been
but a crevice in the uneven floor. But it was no crevice. A hissing
sound issued from the silent, creeping thing, and with shrieks of
consternation the women fled back up the stairway, while Mr. Campbell
and the other man leaped to one corner, to get beyond the reach of its
"Stay where you are!" shouted the captain to his daughters. "I'll
never let it get away;" and they could hear the whistle of his labored
breathing, and the loud whacking of his stick, as they cowered behind
the guide, white with terror.
It was over in a moment, and the reptile, inert and helpless, was
stretched half-way across the entrance room. The captain stood upright
and wiped his forehead.
"Come, girlies," he said, trying to speak cheerily, "let's get out of
here. We've seen enough, I guess!"
Nothing loth, they quickly followed him up the steps while the
trembling men and the guide gathered carefully around the now harmless
reptile. Amid the consternation of the ladies above, who had widely
scattered in their terror, the three were about departing unnoticed,
when Mrs. Campbell recognized them and called out,
"Is that you, Captain Hosmer—and did you kill that horrid snake. I
might have known it! You have a way of being on hand when you are
He lifted his cap, and, as the girls hesitated, she came up to them
with a really sweet look on her face.
"Don't hurry away, girls! You don't know how good it seems to see you
again. I have been almost homesick ever since we landed. You know the
Windemeres have gone on, but I found Mr. Campbell here waiting for me.
She was interrupted by a coarse laugh, and her husband appeared,
ascending the steps. Turning to him, she said in a dignified tone,
"Rufus, these are Captain Hosmer and his daughters, of the
'International.' I want you to meet them, then we will try and
persuade them to eat tiffin with us, provided we can think of eating
after such an adventure!"
As she spoke he came fully into view, and suddenly flirted out one hand
from behind his coat, paying no heed to her remark. To her horror, she
saw it was the dead snake he was thus playing with, and, knowing him of
old, she turned pale.
"Rufus!" she cried warningly, backing up a step.
He gave a tantalizing laugh, and gave the repulsive thing another
flirt, which brought it near her face. With a shriek of dismay she
broke into a run, feeling, as she did so, that she had made a great
mistake. He started after her, every step taking them further from the
group, where she might have had protection from his vicious teasing.
"Stop!" thundered the captain, seeing the woman's wild face, "Stop, or
you'll do her a mischief," but, laughing so loudly that he could hear
nothing else, the brute kept on.
Mrs. Campbell, wildly excited, could not keep up this pace long, and as
she faltered, in hopes to dodge and turn back, he drew nearer and gave
the snake a fling. It whizzed about her head, and she gave an awful
shriek of horror as she felt its slimy folds about her neck. It was
too much! Never a strong woman, and morbidly afraid of these cobras,
living or dead, she sank down in a faint, just before her amazed
husband, who nearly stumbled over her inert body.
"Bless us! If she hasn't fainted," he muttered stupidly, as he bent
over her, too muddled to understand all he had done.
The captain reached them before he had done more than stupidly gaze at
her, and unceremoniously flinging him one side, said, "Give her air,
you brute! It's lucky for you if you haven't killed her!"
He laid her back on the grass, flinging the snake far away, and the
excited women gathered around. Just at this instant the launch sounded
its summons for departure, and Captain Hosmer knew, if he would meet an
important engagement at noon, he must not let her sail without him.
Meanwhile, the drunken husband was bridling and threatening, claiming
that the man had insulted him—yes, "actually had the audacity to lay
hands on him, begad!" The captain did not notice him any more than if
he had been a puppy snarling at his heels.
"We'll have to go," he said to one of the women, who looked more
sensible than the rest. "A little water will revive her, but another
such fright may be the death of her, with her heart giving out like
that. You look after her, and get her home—" He stopped. "Poor
creature! Where on earth is there a home for her?" With a stern
visage he offered an arm to each of his daughters.
"We'll have to hurry, girlies. We must leave her to her friends. But
mind me! Before I ever let one of you marry a drinking man I'll shut
you up in the hold of the old 'International,' and batten down the
hatches! Do you hear?"
Neither attempted to answer, but Hope looked sober as he helped them
aboard the launch, which was all steamed up ready for the start. The
first person they saw was the Traveler.
"Well met!" he cried gaily, as they shook hands with the cordiality of
old friends. "You've been visiting false gods, I see."
"Yes, and where have you strayed from?" returned the captain, trying to
throw off disagreeable impressions.
The Traveler mentioned a resort further on, at which the launch also
stopped for passengers, and Hope, rallying a little, remarked,
"It's odd enough! We supposed almost everybody was going on from
Bombay, and we would be the only ones left, but they all seem to
linger, and appear in the most unexpected places."
"That's a way we have in Bombay," laughed the gentleman. "But I really
have a good reason—a delay in the preparation of my outfit. I left my
card for you this morning, with my final farewell pencilled upon it,
for I expect to leave before dark. Meanwhile, have you seen Lady
"No, not since we landed. She is one who has seemed to drop out of
sight most unaccountably."
"I did not suppose you had, for she and Mrs. Poinsett left very
hurriedly last night."
"Indeed! For where?"
"Delhi, at first. The fact is, she joins her husband there—a friend
of my own, by the way. A telegram from him hastened her going, and one
of my reasons for calling was to give you her adieux, and all sorts of
kind messages. I also left a letter from her to the Misses Hosmer at
"A letter for us—how charming!" cried Faith, while Hope nodded
But the captain, with a glance at his daughters, said lightly,
"And nothing for me?"
"I think she hoped to see you, Captain, but doubtless her letter
explains everything. Did you know the old Madam is dead?"
"No! You don't say so. And is that why Lord Duncan—"
The Traveler shook his head. "I am a good deal in the dark about the
particulars, but I learned something of the drift of affairs from the
husband's own lips. I know he repented deeply of yielding such
implicit obedience to that proud old woman's wishes. But she ruled all
of her kin with a rod of iron. And to such a nature as Lady Moreham's
the constant restraint, the sarcastic comments, and the vigilant
training to which she was subjected, must have been terribly irksome.
I can at least vaguely understand it, and I have her permission to ask
you for her side of the affair."
"Yes," assented the captain. "Well, well I am glad the embargo is
removed. It was that separation that the old dame insisted upon, which
broke her heart. It was bad enough to be so completely cut off from
all her own family, but when her husband, himself, consented that she
should be banished for a season, to be properly molded and made over by
Mrs. Poinsett, while he traveled in foreign lands, it was the last
hold. She never could grip her anchor to any faith in God or man, for
a time, and I think she hated everybody—at any rate everybody in the
"And we thought her proud of her rank!" murmured Faith. "Do you
remember that first day when we called her 'a specimen of British
"I remember when I did," was the honest answer. "It was a foolish
thing to say, and I have regretted it ever since."
"We can never judge with absolute correctness," mused the Traveler,
with his kindly smile.
"But papa, hasn't she any home relatives left to her—not even a
sister?" asked Faith, and unconsciously her arm stole about the waist
of her beloved twin.
"I hope she has," was the answer, as the rugged sailor's face turned
fondly towards the two. "I have a notion that her letter will explain
how, all unconsciously, my little girls have been a link between her
and her dear old home."
"We?" cried both, "how wonderful! How could we? Do tell us!"
"Let the letter tell," said the captain, and the Traveler remarked in a
reverent tone, as he gazed thoughtfully over the beautiful sheet of
"We journey side by side, and our lives meet and separate without
apparent thought, or design. It is God who writes the completed story,
and seals the sequel with His own 'AMEN.'"