all night with Grandpa; so don't blame the sea, please, Captain John."
"You should have called me; I was waiting for you, Ruth."
"I did n't know it. I'm used to doing things myself. It might have been too late for Milly if I'd waited."
"Thank God, I was n't too late for you."
The boat was at the shore now; and as he spoke Captain John held out his hands to help Ruth down, for, encumbered with her long dress, and still weak from past suffering, she could not spring to land as she used to do in her short gown. For the first time the color deepened in her cheek as she looked into the face before her and read the meaning of the eyes that found her beautiful and dear, and the lips that thanked God for her salvation so fervently.
She did not speak, but let him lift her down, draw her hand through his arm, and lead her up the rocky slope to the little pool that lay waiting for the sun's first rays to wake from its sleep. He paused there, and with his hand on hers said quietly,—
"Ruth, before I go I want to tell you something, and this is a good time and place. While Aunt Mary watched the flowers, I've watched you, and found the girl I've always wanted for my wife. Modest and brave, dutiful and true, that's what I love; could you give me all this, dear, for the little I can offer, and next year sail with Sammy and a very happy man if you say yes?"
"I'm not half good and wise enough for that!