Page:While the Billy Boils, 1913.djvu/234

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rough, awkward chap. I was gone on that girl, and no joking; and I felt quite proud to think she was a countrywoman of mine. But I wouldn't let her know that, for I felt sure she'd only laugh.

'Well, things went on till I got the offer of two or three years' work on a station up near the border, and I had to go, for I was hard up; besides, I wanted to get away. Stopping round where she was only made me miserable.

'The night I left they were all down at the station to see me off―including the girl I was gone on. When the train was ready to start she was standing away by herself on the dark end of the platform, and my sister kept nudging me and winking, and fooling about, but I didn't know what she was driving at. At last she said:

"Go and speak to her, you noodle; go and say good-bye to Edie."

'So I went up to where she was, and, when the others turned their backs―

"Well, good-bye, Miss Brown," I said, holding out my hand; "I don't suppose I'll ever see you again, for Lord knows when I'll be back. Thank you for coming to see me off."

'Just then she turned her face to the light, and I saw she was crying. She was trembling all over. Suddenly she said, "Jack! Jack!" just like that, and held up her arms like this.'

Mitchell was speaking in a tone of voice that didn't belong to him, and his mate looked up. Mitchell's face was solemn, and his eyes were fixed on the fire.

'I suppose you gave her a good hug then, and a kiss?' asked the mate.