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THE BLENDEN HALL

in the cutter for a stroll in Deal. When they returned to the boat. Lieutenant Painter was missing. Nothing whatever was heard of him for two days, and Captain Greig felt seriously alarmed. Then a boatman brought off a letter in which the gallant lieutenant explained that he had been

 

most actively engaged not only in beginning but in finishing a courtship and that it was his intention to join the ship before dinner when he would do himself the honor to introduce Mrs. Painter to the captain and passengers. He requested that a larger cabin could be prepared, in which he could "stow away his better half."

 

There was great excitement and curiosity in the cuddy of the Blenden Hall as the dinner-hour drew near. The impetuous romance of the brisk Lieutenant Painter was sensational. At length a boat was pulled alongside, and a chair rigged and lowered from the lofty deck. The boatswain piped, and the lovely burden was safely hoisted to the poop, followed by the beaming lieutenant, who scrambled up the gangway. First impressions were favorable. The bride was young and handsome. Her physical charms were so robust, however, that she stood a foot taller than her bantam of a husband, and the audience was amused when she grasped his arm and heartily exclaimed: