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fired only a few random shots, one of which passed through

source:work and rest networkedit:sciencetime:2023-12-02 06:51:01

But (you may be asking) how on earth did all this come about? What happened in Kings Port on the day following that important swim which Hortense and John took together in the waters of the harbor?

fired only a few random shots, one of which passed through

I wish that I could tell you all that happened, but I can only tell you of the outside of things; the inside was wholly invisible and inaudible to me, although we may be sure, I think, that when the circles that widened from Hortense's plunge reached the shores of the town, there must have been in certain quarters a considerable splashing. I presume that John communicated to somebody the news of his broken engagement; for if he omitted to do so, with the wedding invitations to be out the next day, he was remiss beyond excuse, and I think this very unlikely; and I also presume (with some evidence to go on) that Hortense did not, in the somewhat critical juncture of her fortunes, allow the grass to grow under her feet--if such an expression may be used of a person who is shut up in the stateroom of a steam yacht. To me John Mayrant made no sign of any sort by word or in writing, and this is the highest proof he ever gave me of his own delicacy, and also of his reliance upon mine; for he must have been pretty sure that I had overheard those last destiny-deciding words spoken between himself and Hortense in the boat, as we reached the Hermana's gangway. In John's place almost any man, even Beverly Rodgers, would have either dropped a hint at the moment, or later sent me some line to the effect that the incident was, of course, "between ourselves." That would have been both permissible and practical; but there it was, the difference between John of Kings Port and us others; he was not practical when it came to something "between gentlemen," as he would have said. The finest flower of breeding blossoms above the level of the practical, and that is why you do not find it growing in the huge truck-garden of our age, save in corners where it has not yet been uprooted. John's silence to me was something that I liked very much, and he must have found that it was not misplaced.

fired only a few random shots, one of which passed through

The first external splash of the few that I have to narrate was a negative manifestation, and occurred at breakfast: Juno supposed if the wedding invitations would be out later in the day. The next splash was somewhat louder on, was at dinner, when Juno inquired of Mrs. Trevise if she had received any wedding invitation. At tea time was very decided splashing. No invitation had come to anybody. Juno had called at five of the St. Michael houses and got in at none of them, and there was a rumor that the Hermana had disappeared from the harbor. So far, none of the splashing had wet me but I now came in for a light sprinkle.

fired only a few random shots, one of which passed through

"Were you not on board that boat yesterday?" Juno inquired; and to see her look at me you might have gathered that I was suspected of sinking the vessel.

"A most delightful occasion!" I exclaimed, filling my face with a bright blankness.

"Isn't he awful to speak that way about Sunday!" said the up-country bride.

This was a chance for the poetess, and she took it. "To me," she mused, "every day seems fraught with an equal holiness."

"But I should think," observed the Briton, "that you could knock off a hymn better on Sundays."

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