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- West Wind Drift - 60/60 -


said Peter. "Well, I guess I'll be on my way. I've got a busy day tomorrow, setting up the Trigger Island Pioneer,--and as I belong to that almost extinct species known as the bachelor, I am forced to be my own alarm clock. Going my way, Abel?"

"Good night, Ruth," said Landover. "Give the Lieutenant Governor a good smack for me,--and tell him he is still in my will."

"Umph!" grunted Fitts. "I'd like to know what you've got to leave the little beggar. Your letter of credit?"

"Certainly not," replied Landover. "Something worth while, Fittsy, my boy. I am making it now. It's going to be a hobby-horse, if I live long enough to finish it. Good night, Perce. 'Night, everybody."

When the last of the company had departed, Ruth and Percival stood for a long time in silence, listening to the far-off thrumming of a Spanish guitar, their tranquil gaze fixed on the murky shadow that marked the line of trees along the shore, her head resting lightly against his shoulder, his arm about her waist.

"What are you thinking of, dear?" she asked at last.

"Peter's dream," he replied. "It has put an idea into my head. The day that ship down there sails out to sea with her courageous little crew, I shall start laying the keel for another just like her."

Neither spoke for many seconds. Then she said, a deep, solemn note in her voice: "I understand, Perce."

They went into the house. Later they stole tiptoe to the side of the crib where slept the sturdy, sun-kissed babe. The two middle fingers of a chubby hand were in his mouth. With one hand Percival shaded the pitch candle he had brought from the kitchen. She leaned over and gently touched the smooth, warm cheek.

"I--I can't believe he is real, Perce," she whispered.

"He isn't," whispered he. "He is something out of a fairy story. Nothing as wonderful as he is can possibly be real."

THE END


West Wind Drift - 60/60

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