Christopher and Columbus HTML version
And so, on a late September afternoon, the St. Luke, sliding away from her moorings,
relieved Uncle Arthur of his burden.
It was final this time, for the two alien enemies once out of it would not be let into
England again till after the war. The enemies themselves knew it was final; and the
same knowledge that made Uncle Arthur feel so pleasant as he walked home across
his park from golf to tea that for a moment he was actually of a mind to kiss Aunt Alice
when he got in, and perhaps even address her in the language of resuscitated passion,
which in Uncle Arthur's mouth was Old Girl,—an idea he abandoned, however, in case it
should make her self-satisfied and tiresome—the same knowledge that produced these
amiable effects in Uncle Arthur, made his alien nieces cling very close together as they
leaned over the side of the St. Luke hungrily watching the people on the wharf.
For they loved England. They loved it with the love of youth whose enthusiasms have
been led by an adored teacher always in one direction. And they were leaving that
adored teacher, their mother, in England. It seemed like losing her a second time to go
away, so far away, and leave her there. It was nonsense, they knew, to feel like that.
She was with them just the same; wherever they went now she would be with them, and
they could hear her saying at that very moment, "Little darlings, don't cry...." But it was a
gloomy, drizzling afternoon, the sort of afternoon anybody might be expected to cry on,
and not one of the people waving handkerchiefs were waving handkerchiefs to them.
"We ought to have hired somebody," thought Anna-Rose, eyeing the handkerchiefs with
miserable little eyes.
"I believe I've gone and caught a cold," remarked Anna-Felicitas in her gentle, staid
voice, for she was having a good deal of bother with her eyes and her nose, and could
no longer conceal the fact that she was sniffing.
Anna-Rose discreetly didn't look at her. Then she suddenly whipped out her
handkerchief and waved it violently.
Anna-Felicitas forgot her eyes and nose and craned her head forward. "Who are you
waving to?" she asked, astonished.
"Good-bye!" cried Anna-Rose, waving, "Good-bye! Good-bye!"
"Who? Where? Who are you talking to?" asked Anna-Felicitas. "Has any one come to
see us off?"
"Good-bye! Good-bye!" cried Anna-Rose.