Imágenes de páginas

ould man

and over nd pushed ips as far

alf a one,

his hand, ur finger charm it

an ululaThe cried,

aid Pete. the win

beautiful light of

w went

and his the dead


IN the mists of morning, Grannie had awakened bed with the turfy scraas of the thatch just visible ab and the window-blind like a hazy moon floating on at her side. And, fixing her nightcap, she had sigl said, “I can't elose my eyes for dreaming that the i has come to his end untimeously."

Cæsar yawned, and asked, “What lad?”
"Young Pete, of course," said Grannie.
Cæsar umpht and grunted.

"We were poor ourselves when we began, father." Grannie felt the glare of the old man's eye on he darkness. "Deed, we were; but people forget thing had to borrow to buy our big overshot wheel; we had, And when ould Parson Harrison sent us the first boll we couldn't grind it for want of

Cæsar tugged at the counterpane and said, "Will quiet, woman, and let a hard-working man sleep?" "Then don't be the young man's destruction, Cæsa Cæsar made a contemptuous snort, and pulled clothes about his head.

"Aw, 'deed, father, but the girl might do worse. strapping lad. And, dear heart, the cheerful face It's taking joy to look at-like drawing water from And the laugh at the boy, too—that joyful, it's as hear in the morning as six pigs at a lit

“Then marry the lad yourself, woman, and have do it,” cried Cæsar, and, so saying, he kicked out his leg over to the wall, and began to snore with great vigour


vas bubn Pete's s tearing



THE tide was up in Ramsey Harbour, and rolling on the shore before a fresh sea-breeze with a cold tast salt in it. A steamer lying by the quay was getting u trucks were running on her gangways, the clankin

[merged small][ocr errors]

after-deck stood the emigrants for Kimberley, the Quarks m Glen Rushen, and some of the young Gills from Castlen-stalwart lads, bearing themselves bravely in the midst a circle of their friends, who talked and laughed to make m forget they were on the point of going.

Pete and Phil came up the quay, and were received by a ut of incredulity from Quayle, the harbour-master. “What, you going, too, Mr. Philip?" Philip answered him "No," passed on to the ship.

Pete was still in his stocking cap and Wellington boots, he had a monkey-jacket over his blue guernsey. Except a parcel in a red print handkerchief, this was all his kit luggage. He felt a little lost amid all the bustle, and ked helpless and unhappy. The busy preparations on land shipboard had another effect on Philip. He sniffed the eze off the bay and laughed, and said, "The sea's calling Pete; I've half a mind to go with you."

Pete answered with a watery smile. His high spirits were ing him at last. Five years were a long time to be away, ne built all one's hopes on coming back. So many things ght happen, so many chances might befall. Pete had no _rt for laughter.

Philip had small mind for it, either, after the first rush of salt in his blood was over. He felt at some moments as if What troubled him most was

I itself were inside of him. t he could not, for the life of him, be sorry that Pete was ving the island. Once or twice since they left Sulby he I been startled by the thought that he hated Pete. He w that his lip curled down hard at sight of Pete's solemn e. But Pete never suspected this, and the innocent tenders of the rough fellow was every moment beating it down h blows that cut like ice and burnt like fire.

They were standing by the forecastle head, and talking -ve the loud throbbing of the funnel.


Good-bye, Phil; you've been wonderful good to me—

[blocks in formation]

living. No? But you will, though; you will, I'm you. No nonsense at all, man. Lave it to me to kno Philip's frosty blue eyes began to melt.


And if I come back rich, I'll be your ould friend a much as a common man may; and if I come back p disappointed and done for, I'll not claim you to disgra and if I never come back at all, I'll be saying to mysel dark hour somewhere, 'He'll spake up for you at hom he'll not forget you.'

Philip could hear no more for the puffing of the ste the clanking of the chains.

"Chut! the talk a man will put out when he's thir ould times gone by !"

The first bell rang on the bridge, and the harbour shouted, "All ashore, there!"

"Phil, there's one turn more I'll ask of you, and, if last, it's the biggest.'

"What is it?"

"There's Kate, you know.

Keep an eye on the gi I'm away. Take a slieu round now and then, and pu on her. She'll not give a skute at the heirs the oul telling of; but them young drapers and druggists, plague the life out of the girl. Bate them off, Phil. not worth a fudge with their fists. But don't use no v Just duck the dandy-divils in the harbour-that'll do.' "No harm shall come to her while you are away.' "Swear to it, Phil. Your word's your bond, I kno but give me your hand and swear to it—it'll be more s Philip gave his hand and his oath, and then tried away, for he knew that his face was reddening.

"Wait! There's another while your hand's in Swear that nothing and nobody shall ever come bet


"You know nothing ever will."

"But swear to it, Phil. There's bad tongues goi it'll make me more aisier. Whatever they do, whatev

say, friends and brothers to the last?"

Philip felt a buzzing in his head, and he was so dizzy

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

the shore from the bridge, and the blustering harbour-master called to the bridge from the shore.

"Go and stand on the end of the pier, Phil-just aback of the lighthouse-and I'll put myself at the stern. I want a friend's face to be the last thing I see when I'm going away from the old home."

Philip could bear no more. mastered. It was under his feet.

The hate in his heart was

His flushed face was wet.

The throbbing of the funnels ceased, and all that could be heard was the running of the tide in the harbour and the wash of the waves on the shore. Across the sea the sun came up boldly, "like a guest expected," and down its dancing water-path the steamer moved away. Over the land old Barrule rose up like a sea-king with hoar-frost on his forehead, and the smoke began to lift from the chimneys of the town at his feet.

“Good-bye, little island, good-bye! I'll not forget you. I'm getting kicked out of you, but you've been a good ould mother to me, and, God help me, I'll come back to you yet. So long, little Mona, s'long? I'm laving you, but I'm a Manxman still."

Pete had meant to take off his stocking cap as they passed the lighthouse, and to dash the tears from his eyes like a man. But all that Philip could see from the end of the pier was a figure huddled up at the stern on a coil of rope.


taback of

I want a Ding away

heart was was wet.

t could be

r and the

sun came

s dancing dold Barforehead,

e town at

rget you. good ould you yet. but I'm a

ey passed

ke a man.

ier was a




AUNTIE NAN had grown uneasy because Philip started in life. During the spell of his partnership she had protested and he had coaxed, she had scol had laughed. But when Pete was gone she reme old device, and began to play on Philip through t of his father.

One day the air was full of the sea freshness of Manx November. Philip sniffed it from the 1 breakfast and then gathered up his tackle for cod.

"The boat again, Philip?" said Auntie Na promise me to be back for tea."

Philip gave his promise and kept it. When h after his day's fishing the old lady was waiting for little blue room which she called her own. The s was more than usually dainty and comfortable th bright fire was burning, and everything seemed to l so carefully and nattily. The table was laid with saucers, the kettle was singing on the jockey-bar, Nan herself, in a cap of black lace and a dress of with flounces, was fluttering about with an odour and the light gaiety of a bird.

"Why, what's the meaning of this?" said Phil And the sweet old thing answered, half nerv jokingly, "You don't know? What a child it is, So you don't remember what day it is?"


What day? The fifth of Nov-oh, my birthda clean forgotten it, Auntie."

"Ves and του are one-and-twenty for tea-tir

« AnteriorContinuar »