to take the sheaf of bulrushes from Ruth's arms, followed by the rest, all ashamed and repentant now that a word had shown them the hard life going on beside their idle, care-free ones.
Captain John longed to follow, but walked into the house, growling to himself with a grim look,—
"That girl has no more heart than a butterfly, and I'd like to see her squirm on a pin! Poor Ruth! we'll settle that matter, and bury old Ben like an admiral, hang me if we don't!"
He was so busy talking the affair over with Aunt Mary that he did not see the girl flit by to wait for her boat on the beach, having steadily refused the money offered her, though she accepted the apologies in the kindest spirit.
The beach at this hour of the day was left to the nurses and maids who bathed and gossiped while the little people played in the sand or paddled in the sea. Several were splashing about, and one German governess was scolding violently because while she was in the bath-house her charge, a little girl of six, had rashly ventured out in a flat-bottomed tub, as they called the small boats used by the gentlemen to reach the yachts anchored in deep water.
Ruth saw the child's danger at a glance, for the tide was going out, carrying the frail cockle-shell rapidly away, while the child risked an upset every moment by stretching her arms to the women on the shore and calling them to help her.
None dared to try, but all stood and wrung their hands, screaming like sea-gulls, till the girl, throwing