The nearer they approached Scarboro the more uncertain she became, and the more sullen Fred Hatfield looked. Ruth watched him a good deal, but so covertly that her girl friends did not notice her abstraction. The short Winter day was beginning to draw in and the red sun was hanging low above the tree-tops when Mr. Cameron announced that the second stop of the train would be their destination.
"Then he must have had something of the girl in him!" cried Hadria. "I didn't mean that, but perhaps it is true." "If he had been a girl, he would have known that conditions do count hideously in one's life. "Do you mean that a girl would have more difficulty in bringing her power to maturity and getting it recognized than a man would have?" asked Fred. "Yes; the odds are too heavy."
Fred had involuntarily stopped short among the bushes to gaze at the prisoner, heedless of the fact that Nat and the other men were just before him, hidden by a screen of hazels. Then the blood seemed to rush back to his breast, for a familiar voice said "Don't tell me.
"What's the matter with you?" called one of the men on the other boat. "What's the matter with YOU?" retorted Fred. "Why didn't you whistle before you turned the end of the island?" "How were we to know anything was there if you didn't let us know? You, yourself, ought to have whistled." The damage to the Black Growler, however, was not to be explained away by abuse or questions.
Henrietta clapped her hands wildly together in an agony of grief. "He is killed he is, I'm sure of it!" said she. "Why do you not tell me so?" "My dear, I trust and believe that he is only stunned." "No, no, no! papa was killed in that way, and I am sure he is! O, Fred, Fred, my own dear, dear brother, my only one! O, I cannot bear it! O, Fred!"
If this boat is yours all you have to do is to come and take it." "It is, all right. That is our boat," said Fred. "If you don't get out I shall have to get some one to put you out." "Don't be so unkind, mister," retorted the leader, while his companions again united in a shout of glee. "There aren't many men around this place that will want to undertake that job.
What a glorious double stroke it would be, after all their years of trying. However, with your title, even in prospective, Fred Milbrey is no rival for you to fear, providing you are on the ground as soon as he, which is why I wish you to stay in New York. I am indeed gratified that you have broken off whatever affair there may have been between you and that music-hall person.
On the preceding Friday all the apparatus, which included a large induction-coil, was shipped from Orange to New York, and on Saturday afternoon Edison, accompanied by Fred Ott, one of his assistants, and myself, went over to install it so as to have it ready for Monday morning.
"I am under a flag of truce, Sir Godfrey," said Fred, quietly. "I thought the Royalist party were gentlemen, and knew the meaning of such a sign." "Ha, ha, ha!" laughed the tall Cavalier by the general's side. "That's a good sharp retort for you, Markham. Well done, youngster! Don't be afraid."
"I don't believe I should see her say anything at all," retorted Fred, with another laugh. "You'd find out how it would be, when you were sent home in disgrace; and you'd be ashamed to be seen in the railway carriage, and by the children in school." "I don't mean to find out anything of the kind," said Fred, and the contest dropped.