The summer evening had begun to fold the world in its mysterious embrace. Far away in
the west the sun was setting and the last glow of all too fleeting day lingered lovingly on
sea and strand, on the proud promontory of dear old Howth guarding as ever the waters
of the bay, on the weedgrown rocks along Sandymount shore and, last but not least, on
the quiet church whence there streamed forth at times upon the stillness the voice of
prayer to her who is in her pure radiance a beacon ever to the stormtossed heart of man,
Mary, star of the sea.
The three girl friends were seated on the rocks, enjoying the evening scene and the air
which was fresh but not too chilly. Many a time and oft were they wont to come there to
that favourite nook to have a cosy chat beside the sparkling waves and discuss matters
feminine, Cissy Caffrey and Edy Boardman with the baby in the pushcar and Tommy and
Jacky Caffrey, two little curlyheaded boys, dressed in sailor suits with caps to match and
the name H.M.S. Belleisle printed on both. For Tommy and Jacky Caffrey were twins,
scarce four years old and very noisy and spoiled twins sometimes but for all that darling
little fellows with bright merry faces and endearing ways about them. They were
dabbling in the sand with their spades and buckets, building castles as children do, or
playing with their big coloured ball, happy as the day was long. And Edy Boardman was
rocking the chubby baby to and fro in the pushcar while that young gentleman fairly
chuckled with delight. He was but eleven months and nine days old and, though still a
tiny toddler, was just beginning to lisp his first babyish words. Cissy Caffrey bent over to
him to tease his fat little plucks and the dainty dimple in his chin.
--Now, baby, Cissy Caffrey said. Say out big, big. I want a drink of water.
And baby prattled after her:
--A jink a jink a jawbo.
Cissy Caffrey cuddled the wee chap for she was awfully fond of children, so patient with
little sufferers and Tommy Caffrey could never be got to take his castor oil unless it was
Cissy Caffrey that held his nose and promised him the scatty heel of the loaf or brown
bread with golden syrup on. What a persuasive power that girl had! But to be sure baby
Boardman was as good as gold, a perfect little dote in his new fancy bib. None of your
spoilt beauties, Flora MacFlimsy sort, was Cissy Caffrey. A truerhearted lass never drew
the breath of life, always with a laugh in her gipsylike eyes and a frolicsome word on her
cherryripe red lips, a girl lovable in the extreme. And Edy Boardman laughed too at the
quaint language of little brother.
But just then there was a slight altercation between Master Tommy and Master Jacky.
Boys will be boys and our two twins were no exception to this golden rule. The apple of
discord was a certain castle of sand which Master Jacky had built and Master Tommy
would have it right go wrong that it was to be architecturally improved by a frontdoor