I was leaning idly against a post
on my front veranda, watching the sun dancing and
scintillating on the sea; listening the while to the
birds in the woods behind me as they quarrelled and
fought over the choosing of their lady-loves for the
I was thinking of how the time had
flown and of the many things that had happened since
first I set foot in Golden Crescent, not so much as
a short year ago.
Already a month had slipped by since
I had wished good-bye to little Rita, happy,
merry, little, laughing Rita, and her great,
handsome giant of a husband, Joe; holding the end
of the rope ladder for them, from my rowing boat,
as they clambered aboard the Siwash, at the
start of their six months’ honeymoon trip of
pleasure and sight-seeing.
What an itinerary that big, boyish
fellow had arranged for the sweet, little woman he
had won! Vancouver, Victoria, Seattle, San
Francisco, Los Angeles, all the big cities in the
States right through to New York, then back again
over the Great Lakes, across the Western Prairies,
up over the Rockies and home: home to the
pretty bungalow that was already well on the way toward
completion, out there on the promontory just below
their grand-dad’s place.
A warning toot from the Cloochman
awoke me from my reveries. I ran to my small
boat and pulled out as she came speeding into the Bay.
There was little cargo, and less mail one
single letter. But what a wonder of wonders
that letter was! It was for me, and, oh! how
my heart beat! It was in the handwriting I had
seen only a few months before but had learned to know
I tore the envelope into pieces in
my haste to be at the contents.
Dear George, it ran,
Reta and Joe (Mr. & Mrs. Clark) called
to see me. If you only could see the happiness
of them, how you would rejoice! knowing that you had
brought it all about.
Every day from now, look for me at
the little cottage across the rustic bridge; for,
some day, I shall be there. Golden Crescent is
ever in my thoughts.
Good-bye for the present, my brave
and very gallant gentleman.
In my little rowing boat, out there
in the Bay, I cried to God in thankfulness for all
Every day I looked across to Mary’s
bungalow, wondering if this would be the day.
I was loth to sleep, lest she should
arrive without my knowing of it. I could hardly
bear to leave home for even an hour in case she should
come when I was away. And yet, so
Late one afternoon, I was standing
on Clark’s veranda, chatting with Margaret over
a letter that had arrived from Rita; when I noticed
a fast-moving launch dart into the Bay full speed,
straight for my landing, lower a dinghy, land some
people, then turn and speed out again almost before
my brain could grasp the full purport.
I dashed suddenly away from my old
lady friend, without so much as a word of explanation.
I tumbled into my boat and rowed furiously for home.
How I railed at that long half-hour! To think
of it, Mary in Golden Crescent half-an-hour
and I had not yet spoken to her!
I jumped ashore at last, ran up the
rocks and into her house without ceremony.
“Mary, Mary!” I called. “Where
And all I heard in answer, was a sigh.
I pushed in to the front parlour,
where Mary, my Mary, was.
She was standing by the window and had been gazing
dreamily out into the Bay. She turned to me in
all the charm of her golden loveliness, holding out
her hands to me in silent welcome.
I took her hands in mine and we looked
into each other’s eyes for just a moment, then
I caught her to me and crushed her in my embrace.
“Mary, Mary, Mary!”
I cried brokenly. “Mary, Mary!”
Gently and shyly, but smiling in her
gladness, she freed herself from my enfolding arms.
“George, sit down,
dear. I have much to tell you before before ”
A blush spread over her cheeks and
she turned away in embarrassment.
“ Before what, Mary?” I craved.
“Before I can listen to you.
“George! I love you
with all my heart. I have always loved you, I
could not help myself. That, I think, is why
I quarrelled with you so, at first.
But I was afraid that my loving would avail me little
and would probably cause you pain, for I was pledged
to marry a man I did not love; and, because of that
pledge, I was not free to give my love to any other
“George! that man
is dead now. He died a month ago in a street
riot with some natives in Cairo.
“All his sins are covered up
with him,” she sighed. “And, after
all, maybe Harry Brammerton was not ”
“Harry Brammerton! ”
I cried, springing up in a tremble of excitement.
“My God! Oh, my God! I thought, I, I
understood, I I oh,
I clutched at the table for support
as the awful truth began to dawn on me.
Mary rose in alarm.
“Why! What is it?
What have I said? George, didn’t
you know? Didn’t I tell you before?
You have heard of him? you are acquainted
with him, Viscount Harry Brammerton ”
“Oh! Mary, Mary,”
I cried huskily, “please, please do
not go on. It is more than I can bear now.
“I didn’t know.
I, I am that man’s brother.
I am George Brammerton.”
She stood ever so quietly.
“You! You!” she whispered.
And that was all.
Thus we stood, stricken, speechless, under
the cloud of the unexpected, the almost impossible
that had come upon us.
Yet Mary, or rather Rosemary, was
the first to regain her composure. Kindly, sweetly,
she came over to me and placed her hands on my shoulders.
Her brown eyes were wells of sympathy and tenderness.
“George, we each
must fight this out alone. Come back to me in
the morning. I shall be waiting for you then.”
And I left her.
But it seemed to me as if the morning would never
Unable to bear the burden of my thoughts
longer amid the confines of my rooms, I went out at
last into the moonlight, to wait the coming of the
As I stood out on the cliffs, where
old Jake Meaghan so often used to sit listening to
Mary’s music, she came to me; fairylike,
white-robed, all tenderness, all softness and palpitating
“George, my George,”
she whispered, “I could not wait till morning
either. And why should we wait, when my
father’s and your father’s pledge, the
vow they made for you and for me, although
we have not known it till now, need not
be broken after all.”
I caught her up and kissed her lips,
her eyes, her hair, again and again, until
she gasped, thinking I should never cease.
With our arms around each other, we
waited on the cliffs for the sunrise. We watched
it come up in all its rosy loveliness, paling the
dying moon and setting the waters of the Bay ablaze.
“And we must leave all this,
my Lady Rosemary?” I said, with a sigh of regret.
“For a time, yes!
But not altogether, George; not always; for the little
bungalow behind us is mine now, ours; a
gift last Christmas to me from my father’s dear
American friend, my friend, Colonel Sol Dorry, with
whom, in Wyoming, I spent the happiest of all my girlhood
I exclaimed, as an unsatisfied little thought kept
recurring to me, refusing to be set aside even in the
midst of our great happiness, “there
is a little maid ‘in the North Countree’
in whom I am deeply interested. The last I heard
of her, she had been jilted by her lover. Didn’t
he ever come back to her?”
“It is getting near to breakfast-time;
so, if George, Earl of Brammerton and Hazelmere, Storekeeper
at Golden Crescent, runs over home and listens very
attentively while he is burning his porridge and boiling
his tea, he may hear of what happened to
that sweet, little maid.”
And, sure enough, as I stood, with
my sleeves rolled up, stirring oatmeal and water that
threatened every minute to stick to the bottom of
the pot; there came through my open window the sounds
of the bewitching voice of Rosemary, my
own, my charming Lady Rosemary:
A maid there is in the North Countree;
A coy little, glad little
maid is she.
Her cheeks are aglow with a rosy hue,
For her knight proved true,
as good knights should be.
And, day by day, as their vows renew,
Her spinning wheel purrs and
the threads weave through;
It purrs. It purrs. It purrs
and the threads weave through.