She slept but a few hours. They were troubled and feverish hours, disturbe_ith dreams that were intangible, that eluded her, leaving only an impressio_pon her half-awakened senses of something unattainable. She was up an_ressed in the cool of the early morning. The air was invigorating an_teadied somewhat her faculties. However, she was not seeking refreshment o_elp from any source, either external or from within. She was blindl_ollowing whatever impulse moved her, as if she had placed herself in alie_ands for direction, and freed her soul of responsibility.
Most of the people at that early hour were still in bed and asleep. A few, wh_ntended to go over to the Cheniere for mass, were moving about. The lovers,
who had laid their plans the night before, were already strolling toward th_harf. The lady in black, with her Sunday prayer-book, velvet and gold-
clasped, and her Sunday silver beads, was following them at no great distance.
Old Monsieur Farival was up, and was more than half inclined to do anythin_hat suggested itself. He put on his big straw hat, and taking his umbrell_rom the stand in the hall, followed the lady in black, never overtaking her.
The little negro girl who worked Madame Lebrun's sewing-machine was sweepin_he galleries with long, absent-minded strokes of the broom. Edna sent her u_nto the house to awaken Robert.
"Tell him I am going to the Cheniere. The boat is ready; tell him to hurry."
He had soon joined her. She had never sent for him before. She had never aske_or him. She had never seemed to want him before. She did not appear consciou_hat she had done anything unusual in commanding his presence. He wa_pparently equally unconscious of anything extraordinary in the situation. Bu_is face was suffused with a quiet glow when he met her.
They went together back to the kitchen to drink coffee. There was no time t_ait for any nicety of service. They stood outside the window and the coo_assed them their coffee and a roll, which they drank and ate from the window-
sill. Edna said it tasted good.
She had not thought of coffee nor of anything. He told her he had ofte_oticed that she lacked forethought.
"Wasn't it enough to think of going to the Cheniere and waking you up?" sh_aughed. "Do I have to think of everything?—as Leonce says when he's in a ba_umor. I don't blame him; he'd never be in a bad humor if it weren't for me."
They took a short cut across the sands. At a distance they could see th_urious procession moving toward the wharf—the lovers, shoulder to shoulder,
creeping; the lady in black, gaining steadily upon them; old Monsieur Farival,
losing ground inch by inch, and a young barefooted Spanish girl, with a re_erchief on her head and a basket on her arm, bringing up the rear.
Robert knew the girl, and he talked to her a little in the boat. No on_resent understood what they said. Her name was Mariequita. She had a round,
sly, piquant face and pretty black eyes. Her hands were small, and she kep_hem folded over the handle of her basket. Her feet were broad and coarse. Sh_id not strive to hide them. Edna looked at her feet, and noticed the sand an_lime between her brown toes.
Beaudelet grumbled because Mariequita was there, taking up so much room. I_eality he was annoyed at having old Monsieur Farival, who considered himsel_he better sailor of the two. But he he would not quarrel with so old a man a_onsieur Farival, so he quarreled with Mariequita. The girl was deprecatory a_ne moment, appealing to Robert. She was saucy the next, moving her head u_nd down, making "eyes" at Robert and making "mouths" at Beaudelet.
The lovers were all alone. They saw nothing, they heard nothing. The lady i_lack was counting her beads for the third time. Old Monsieur Farival talke_ncessantly of what he knew about handling a boat, and of what Beaudelet di_ot know on the same subject.
Edna liked it all. She looked Mariequita up and down, from her ugly brown toe_o her pretty black eyes, and back again.
"Why does she look at me like that?" inquired the girl of Robert.
"Maybe she thinks you are pretty. Shall I ask her?"
"No. Is she your sweetheart?"
"She's a married lady, and has two children."
"Oh! well! Francisco ran away with Sylvano's wife, who had four children. The_ook all his money and one of the children and stole his boat."
"Does she understand?"
"Are those two married over there—leaning on each other?"
"Of course not," laughed Robert.
"Of course not," echoed Mariequita, with a serious, confirmatory bob of th_ead.
The sun was high up and beginning to bite. The swift breeze seemed to Edna t_ury the sting of it into the pores of her face and hands. Robert held hi_mbrella over her. As they went cutting sidewise through the water, the sail_ellied taut, with the wind filling and overflowing them. Old Monsieur Fariva_aughed sardonically at something as he looked at the sails, and Beaudele_wore at the old man under his breath.
Sailing across the bay to the Cheniere Caminada, Edna felt as if she wer_eing borne away from some anchorage which had held her fast, whose chains ha_een loosening—had snapped the night before when the mystic spirit was abroad,
leaving her free to drift whithersoever she chose to set her sails. Rober_poke to her incessantly; he no longer noticed Mariequita. The girl ha_hrimps in her bamboo basket. They were covered with Spanish moss. She bea_he moss down impatiently, and muttered to herself sullenly.
"Let us go to Grande Terre to-morrow?" said Robert in a low voice.
"What shall we do there?"
"Climb up the hill to the old fort and look at the little wriggling gol_nakes, and watch the lizards sun themselves."
She gazed away toward Grande Terre and thought she would like to be alon_here with Robert, in the sun, listening to the ocean's roar and watching th_limy lizards writhe in and out among the ruins of the old fort.
"And the next day or the next we can sail to the Bayou Brulow," he went on.
"What shall we do there?"
"Anything—cast bait for fish."
"No; we'll go back to Grande Terre. Let the fish alone."
"We'll go wherever you like," he said. "I'll have Tonie come over and help m_atch and trim my boat. We shall not need Beaudelet nor any one. Are yo_fraid of the pirogue?"
"Then I'll take you some night in the pirogue when the moon shines. Maybe you_ulf spirit will whisper to you in which of these islands the treasures ar_idden—direct you to the very spot, perhaps."
"And in a day we should be rich!" she laughed. "I'd give it all to you, th_irate gold and every bit of treasure we could dig up. I think you would kno_ow to spend it. Pirate gold isn't a thing to be hoarded or utilized. It i_omething to squander and throw to the four winds, for the fun of seeing th_olden specks fly."
"We'd share it, and scatter it together," he said. His face flushed.
They all went together up to the quaint little Gothic church of Our Lady o_ourdes, gleaming all brown and yellow with paint in the sun's glare.
Only Beaudelet remained behind, tinkering at his boat, and Mariequita walke_way with her basket of shrimps, casting a look of childish ill humor an_eproach at Robert from the corner of her eye.