A lobster was chosen, quite a nice expensive one; Kitty was desired to go to the nearest greengrocer's shop, in order to secure the crispest lettuce and half a pound of tomatoes; the bottle of claret was also bought, and, laden with these spoils, the girl and the elder lady re-entered the tiny cottage. "Now then, Sukey," called out Mrs. Aylmer, "brisk is the word.
They were out of reach of their longest range muskets. "There ain't no danger now," declared Sukey. "They are not in the game." The breeze continued strong, and the little craft boldly cleft the waters, as it sped forward over the bounding waves. "It's no use to be wearing ourselves out, Fernando," said Terrence. "The good breeze is doin' more for us than a hundred oars could do."
They followed Fernando to the stage coach and cried: "Good bye, Sukey! take good care of Fernando!" and Sukey drawled out: "Who'll take keer o' me?" The last good bye's were said, and the great stage coach rolled on. The impressions of the young frontiersmen on approaching the first town were strange and indescribable. The number of houses and streets quite confused them.
Nearly half way between the horse and the breastworks was a heap of slain, marking the spot where Packenham fell; his horse having retreated some distance before it went down. The battle was over, and Sukey sat down to finish his breakfast which had been interrupted by the stirring event.
One might have travelled far and wide before finding a more pleasant remedy than Sukey; but Dic's ailments were beyond cure, and Sukey's smiles might as well have been wasted upon her brother snowman in the adjacent field. Soon after Dic's arrival, all the family, save Sukey, adjourned to the kitchen, leaving the girl and her "company" to themselves, after the dangerous manner of the times.
The Rectory there was closed for the time and untenanted, the Ellisons having returned some months before to their own enlarged and newly furnished house. There, to be sure, a lodging might have been had at no cost, and Sukey offered it as in duty bound. She knew very well, however, that neither her father nor John could stomach being a guest of Dick's.
Unconsciously to her Dic received the credit for her eased conscience, and she was grateful to him. She was more comfortable, and the evening seemed more like old times than for many months before. Soon after Dic's arrival, Tom rode over to see Sukey Yates. As the hollyhock to the bees, so was Sukey to the country beaux a conspicuous, inviting, easily reached little reservoir of very sweet honey.
"I certainly know what you mean," said Paul, "though I confess I am in a category, as well as the schooner, so far as knowing how it could have happened." "The Sukey and Katy ran away with me, that's the upshot of it.
"I'll have nothing more to do with her. I want to be decent and worthy of Rita. I want to be true to her, and Sukey is apt to lead me in the other direction, without even the excuse on my part of caring for her. An honest man will not deliberately lead himself into temptation." Upon the Sunday previous to Dic's intended departure for New York he visited Rita.
"I wish I could take you, my dear, darling child, for nothing; but the fact is, I cannot, and if I could Sukey would not allow it. Sukey says that a greater stint she will not bear, and twelve pounds ten a quarter cannot be made to go farther than we two poor women make it go, Florence. Do you think you could rise to the sum of fifteen shillings a week if I give you meat every day?"