Press enter after choosing selection

A Fair Field And No Favor

A Fair Field And No Favor image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

"So y ou don't admire the modera Diana?" said Nix(short for 14 cholas), with a quizzical glance at his friend, who bfid been holding forth, as Nix Hrongiy suspected, just for the pleasure of hearing hiiuself talk. "No, I don't," Max L.nswered, stoutly. "I bate girb who go in for mon's sports - tennis, and rowing, and tncycJing, and that sort ot' thing. I see enough oí tliat. When I seok the society of ladies, 1 want somethiug diflórent. " "A little languid loveliness, 1 supposo," said Nix, llipping the aahes off liis eigar. "Well, I hope that tiie eirls who came this uiorning will prove agreeable to your fancy." "Girls!" cried Max, almost bouudng from his chair. "I thought you said thcre were no girls al PunkwasSüt?" "WelJ, there weren't last year. How was I to know that two Vassar students would settle here this season!" "Oh, Lord!" groaned Max. "1 was introduced to them this tnorning while you were out interviewing the captain, üne'a name is Blake - Jessie, I believe. Rather a aioelooking girl if she didn't wear glasses." "Oh, indeed!" murmured Miss Blake, to whoin this conversatiou was distinctly audible. "I supposo I ought to got up and close that window, but I am not going to do it. If those men bave no botter sense than to indulge n personalices ou the front porch, they can take the eonsequenees;" and Miss Jessie turned over on her coucb, swaylng her palmleaf fan and vainly ti-ying to persuade herself that she was Bot listening. "I don't think they will bother us," continued Nïx, with a long pull at his cigar. "I lieanl them say that they came to Punkwasset because they heard thero were no men here." "Humph !" gaid Max. "DM they suppose the place was iuhaKted at all?'1 "The horrid thing!" ejaculated Miss Jessie. "Betty, that: man heard wba't you said this morning." "Did he?" said a sleepy volco from the other side of the room. "Whxit did I say- anything droadfulP" There was a moment's silence, and then the drowsy speaker said faintly: "Wbat man was it, dear? Ithoubt there were no men at Punkwasset." "Did you get the boat?" asked IJix, who had dropped the girls into the waters of oblivion. "Yes. I hadn't auy trouble. We are to go out with the tide before breakfast. The Cap'n says there's fir.-trate tishing down the inlet." Max got up with a prodigious yawn and adüed: "Have you beei to the Post Ofiice ?" "No. 1 only bave two correspoudents. Whoui would you expect to write to you at this early date ?" "I have s givlí to write to," said Max, diolly. Nix burst out lauïiing. "üoo(i lienvens!" he cried. "No wonder you don't want nny more." The follow)np; morning, these two, ciad in the piclurejque negligenco of blue tl aii nel, might have been secn puiling a smali rowboat down the channel in quest of.their tirst day's sport. Was it mere chance that, just at the same moment, anothcr boat shot out trom tlio landing, and .Nix oaught one coo! survcy of Miss Blake's gray cyesi1 "ü d you sce tliat?" he asked, in a hucty iindnrtonc. Max did not couceal his antipathy. It shaped itself into a decided Huniph!" "1 wonder where they got that boat?" oberved Nix, who knew that jaunty craft were scarce about Punkwas-ct. The girls were coziiy seated in a wide rowboat Ihat had cushioued seats, a fresh coat of oMve paint touched up with red, and a stripped awning that ghed a pleasant light on the attractive faces, only lialf-screened by broadbrimined hats, pushed baclc tor the noijce in a jaunty debonair fashion. Max looked the other way. "By Jove!" muttored the more susceptible Nix. "That girl eau pull!" The other hoat had shot lightlv past i them, and Misa Jessie's long feather6trokes were rnliling the water lightly as they glided on. "Maybe you'd like to join them?" eairt Max, sarcastically. "No, I thank you!" said Nix, smil ing. "You are morelikely to do that tbanl." The boat contaioing the girls passod out of sight in the narrows, and the batchelor party went on down the I bay. The bvight fresh mornicg merged into a vrarm noonday, which heated rapiö.ly under the vertical rays of the sun, till every inch of air seemed to quiver like a blast from a furnace. ■Whew!" ejaculated poor Max, mopping palc foi eljuad and weakly wondering whiGh was toe botter, the downpouring Tays of the enn, or the blinding retloetion of tbe water. "This may be fun, Nix, but it's confoundedly uneomfortabB!" "You will get used to it whon vou havo been out scveral times," said Nix, choorily. He was much slronjjer than Max, and did not mind the heat so much. '1 suppose onemay get -used to anything," sa!d Max, feebly. "I should imagine this niicit be i verv good sort of preparation for the ungodly. " Nix laughed, but he stole a furtivo glance at his friend, and began to fel uneasy as he notjeed the gray lino about Max's niouth aiul the unnatnral pallor of his face. "Havo somc gin? er beer, old boy," he said, reaciiíng íor tho lunch hamper. "You will feol botter." "Max triod it, but it was hot, as though it had been siinmering all the morning over a slow life. "üon't you think that you had botter pull in a Jittle, Nix?'' lie asküd, tossing the bewerage ovorboard in disgaat. "Just u8 you say," Nix replied. But he made iiaste to heave up tho anchor, for he knew tlut Jlax would never "squeai" till tho last minute. ■ "I am afnid he is overeóme with the heat," he nmltered, a.s ho pulled away at the oars vitlut venturing any remark. "M:ix i.n" t very strong. 1 ought to liaye knovvn botter than to have brought iiim ouu hore without any warmug." The boat seemed to be making very. little headway. "I don't know vhat's the matter vvith me," said Max, we'akjy. "1 don't feel very well; 1 feltv all right when we left the house." "It's the heat, 1 gueas," Nix said, pulling with all Uis nyght and praying that Max wonid hold ouL till thev got back. Some distance bevond them lav the boat containing the younjladies. It was roekjng lazUy on theewater, ami afar oll' Nix could seo thenutter of a Japanese fan. "Howdo you feel now?"Nix askeil, with a man's idoa of sy-nipnthy. " r-Not very well." wfcs Max's faint reply. "Everything seems to be swimming around." Nix was really irightened now. "Helio, Max!" he cried, dropping the oars and springing into the stern of the boat, for his friend had suddenly sunk back, white and unconscious, a victim oL sunstroke. "1 might have knowu he couldn't stand the racket," Nix muttered, in an agony of self-repnroach. "Nofellow who studied as he has this spring for tho examinations, is ready to come out hero and roughit. What shaü 1 do?" The boat was tgrifting up with tho tide, ind Nix s;iv that they were nearing the other boat. "Helio, there!" ho cried. "Help!" üc was supportina: nlax with ono j hand, while he squeezcd. water out of the boat-sponge and held it to his tiead, uot knowing what etfsc to do. Miss Blake turned1. aronnd, and Nix hailed her aguin. 4h'uting out the trouble. Tiiere was sarely a moment' s delay, and then Hettv iook tho oars in her hands and Jessie.heaved up tliA anchor. The boat came) up alongside and Betty leaned over with a keen, sympathetic glam o at, pooi1 Alax. "Can you lift him in here?" slx; queried. "Jessie, we hd bctter got him out oí the sun as qinoklv as possiblo." A place was clcared for Max in tho stern. Nix made no protest He was only too glad to have auytliing dono for his poor friend. "You had belter come iu, too," said Betty, quietly. "You could not row back in the hot sun. Whatever mado you come out without au awning?" "1 don't know," said Nix, weakly. "I never thought of it." "That is the tirst tliing tobe thought of," said Betty, in a business-like tone, "It is really dangerous to coma out in any othcr way. I am studilying medicino," she added, witli a faint smile. "Pon't be oüeüded if 1 speak ather brusquely." As she spoke, she reached ander tho toot omi Vvr.MSl.t -v .. aMuU uactllv;lllo chest filled with little vials, tho sight of which brought infinite relief to Nix. "Shall I get some ice, Betty?"' asked Jessie, puljing out a little ehest in which their lunch was packed around a good. tized lamp of ,ice. Max was laid down in the bottom of of the boat, and cracked ieo was applied to his ho:ul in a ilainty little handkerchief, wliile tho amateur dootor administercil a timely dose. "You don't iook very well yourself," said Jessie, handing Nix a glass of water, which ho drank vvith consuming thirst. I" do feel a little nunous," he oonfessed, glaneing at his frieml. But all auxicty in that quartei' was soon spent. Max had cvidently lallen into the riglit tmiHtei Nix and Jessie rowod liomo togother. A farmer's wagon conveyed the sick man back to tho house, and as soon as possible he was put to bed amone cool linen sheets in a darkened room, where Betty and her friend tended him till the doctor carne írom town. "I teil you whnt, sir," said tho phycian, when Nix cousulted him about his friend's condition, "Mr. Lessing was fortúnate in having thoso youug ladies with him. He has had the vory best treatmetit and care. Without it he couldn't have pulled through this ordeal. I don't sco that ho needs anything just now but good nursing. " "Yes," said Nix, dubiously; "but where is that to come fromP He can't expect. thoso young ladies to - " "VVhy not!" suiil the doctor, stout]y. ''They aro good, sensible girls - most Vassar girls are. You misrht put tho thing on a 6mple business basis. Your frie d can afl'ord to pay them well, and - " "Don't you thiuk they vvould be offended?" askcd Nix, eagerly. "Certainly not. Miss Blake is going to enter the training school for nurses in thefall." Soit happend that through all the long, hot days which folioweel, Max had a fa,ir young face always in view, and two cool, white hands that tended his bedside with womanly care. He tot well again, and it was one sunny August morning tbal tbe four of thcia- Nix aud Betty, Max and Jessie- set out in ;: ailboat together. Max was thiuk ng how oddly thinge come about as hu gazed at bis pan ion and romemberccl his early un ; tipathy. Jessiu herself was smJling , :it tiio thqugbt ot' how she had ineant lo t:ike down that suporcilious Harvai'd slmlerit, and had ended by becoming his fricnd. "We are well equlpped this time," ' obscrved Nix, as he notod tlio' oomi íorLablo provisions, without wliich i boating, lishing, and so forth, aro tln; groatest delusiön in the world. There was au awning and an icebox, i a medicine chest and plenty of soft cushions, not. to speak o1 fans aud umbiellas. Uut they hail taken ïitii them oue thing whloh would miijcl) bet tor bave beon lef t behind - a sáiL Tlioi-o is no modern contrivanee that eau mako the suHiug of a small i bont safe; and wlien ivgale sprints up, as it did on this occisión, all rui nor precautions go for naiTgkt. "Look out there!" crfed Nix, as the booiu swept around and iiie 1ílM? craft larobud over to one sidu. Muoh goud it did '■ w' a wavninjr! ïho bout went ovèi üko a cocklè-shell, aud in t minuto tlioy vrvro in ibe water. "Put your arms nround my necic," said Nix, oatobing lleity :s sho swepi by htm; 'I can swiin aslwre." "ïake Jess'e. too, tot God 's sabel" cried Max, m a voice of aiouy. "I can 't swlm a stroke!" "tíut I can," said Jossie, taking hold of hlm with a strong, tirm hand. "Xhrow yourself on your back, Mr. Lessing: I can steer you ashore." Ho obeyed her cjuiot voico with every conlidencc, aud once more he ovved bis life to the very. quality of womanhood which he liad once despised- oncu, yes, but now nu more and never again! 'How eau 1 tb ank yon?" be aaid, as they stood together iame nigiit on the moonlighted bt-ach. "How caa 1 presume to ask you for more thun you have done? tíut, Jessie, 1 love you. li you eau give me any hope of ever being wo thy of sucb a wife as you-" " 'Ask, and ye shall recoive,' " sho quoted, with a deiuure suitie. l meant to líate you, Max, but I found out tuero was no use of trving, and I gave it up. " "Then you will uot l'efuse me ïf- Jessie, darling, will you marry me?" She answered in his arms; and he must have gotten hi3 heart's desire, for he held her close, and the night wind whispored to the sea the oft ropeated story of young and happy lovc. They carne home together in tho ïïiooniight, and as they turned a bend in the beach, Jessie langhed softlv. "Look there," she said, pointing to a silhoutte tableau against tho skj-. It was Is' cholas Langs, holding Botty in liis arms. "1 hope they are as happy a.s we


Old News
Ann Arbor Democrat