Tern-sheets. He unshipped his oars and began to pull. "Ay. I heard 'em
whackin' the door with a deal o' tow-row. They was going it like billy-O
when I came past the Town Quay. But one mustn' complain, May-mornin's."
"I wasn' complaining," said the woman; "I was just remarking. How's
Maria?" "She's nicely, thank you." "And the children?" "Brave." "I've
put up sixpennyworth of nicey in four packets--that's one apiece--and
I've written the name on each, for you to take home to 'em." She fumbled
in her reticule and produced the packets. The peppermint-drops and
brandy-balls were wrapped in clean white paper, and the names written in
a thin Italian hand. John thanked her and stowed them in his trousers
pockets. "You'll give my love to Maria? I take it very kindly her
letting you come for me like this." "Oh, as for that--" began John, and
broke off; "I don't call to mind that ever I saw a more handsome morning
for the time o' year." They had made this expedition together more than
a score of times, and always found the same difficulty in conversing.
The boat moved easily past the town, the jetties above it, and the
vessels that lay off them awaiting their cargoes; it turned the corner
and glided by woods where the larches were green, the sycamores dusted
with bronze, the wild cherry-trees white with blossom, and all voluble.
Every little bird seemed ready to burst his throat that morning with the
deal he had to say. But these two--the man especially--had nothing to
say, yet ached for words. "Nance Treweek's married," the woman managed
to tell him at last. "I was thinking it likely, by the way she carried
on last Maying." "That wasn' the man. She've kept company with two since
him, and mated with a fourth man altogether--quite a different sort, in
the commercial traveller line." "Did he wear a seal weskit?" "Well, he
might have; but not to my knowl
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