"We might go over to the island and have a chowder-party or a fish-fry some moonlight night. I have n't been here for several years, but it used to be great fun, and I suppose we can do it now," suggested Miss Ellery with the laugh.
"By Jove, we will! And look up Christie; ask her when she comes round," said Mr. Fred, the youthful dude, untwining his languid legs as if the prospect put a little life into him.
"Of course we pay for any trouble we give; these people will do anything for money," began Miss Ellery; but Captain John, as they called the sailor, held up his hand with a warning, "Hush! she's coming," as Ruth's weather-beaten brown hat turned the corner.
She paused a moment to drop the empty baskets, shake her skirts, and put up a black braid that had fallen down; then, with the air of one resolved to do a distasteful task as quickly as possible, she came up the steps, held out the rough basket cover, and said in a clear voice,—
"Would any of the ladies like some fresh lilies? Ten cents a bunch."
A murmur from the ladies expressed their admiration of the beautiful flowers, and the gentlemen pressed forward to buy and present every bunch with gallant haste. Ruth's eyes shone as the money fell into her hand, and several voices begged her to bring more lilies while they lasted.
"I didn't know the darlings would grow in salt water," said Miss Ellery, as she fondly gazed upon the cluster Mr. Fred had just offered her.