Christopher and Columbus HTML version
Nothing more was seen of the submarine.
The German ladies were certain the captain had somehow let them know he had them
on board, and were as full of the credit of having saved the ship as if it had been Sodom
and Gomorrah instead of a ship, and they the one just man whose presence would have
saved those cities if he had been in them; and the American passengers were equally
sure that the submarine, on thinking it over, had decided that President Wilson was not
a man to be trifled with, and had gone in search of some prey which would not have the
might and majesty of America at its back.
As the day went on, and the St. Luke left off zig-zagging, the relief of those on board
was the relief of a reprieve from death. Almost everybody was cured of sea-sickness,
and quite everybody was ready to overwhelm his neighbour with cordiality and
benevolence. Rich people didn't mind poor people, and came along from the first class
and talked to them just as if they had been the same flesh and blood as themselves. A
billionairess native to Chicago, who had crossed the Atlantic forty times without
speaking to a soul, an achievement she was as justly proud of as an artist is of his best
creations, actually asked somebody in a dingy mackintosh, whose little boy still looked
pale, if he had been frightened; and an exclusive young man from Boston talked quite a
long while to an English lady without first having made sure that she was well-
connected. What could have been more like heaven? The tone on the St. Luke that day
was very like what the tone in the kingdom of heaven must be in its simple politeness.
"And so you see," said Anna-Rose, who was fond of philosophizing in season and out of
season, and particularly out of season, "how good comes out of evil."
She made this observation about four o'clock in the afternoon to Anna-Felicitas in an
interval of absence on the part of Mr. Twist—such, the amiable stranger had told them,
was his name—who had gone to see about tea being brought up to them; and Anna-
Felicitas, able by now to sit up and take notice, the hours of fresh air having done their
work, smiled the ready, watery, foolishly happy smile of the convalescent. It was so nice
not to feel ill; it was so nice not to have to be saved. If she had been able to talk much,
she would have philosophized too, about the number and size of one's negative
blessings—all the things one hasn't got, all the very horrid things; why, there's no end to
them once you begin to count up, she thought, waterily happy, and yet people grumble.
Anna-Felicitas was in that cleaned-out, beatific, convalescent mood in which one is sure
one will never grumble again. She smiled at anybody who happened to pass by and
catch her eye. She would have smiled just like that, with just that friendly, boneless
familiarity at the devil if he had appeared, or even at Uncle Arthur himself.
The twins, as a result of the submarine's activities, were having the pleasantest day
they had had for months. It was the realization of this that caused Anna-Rose's remark