It was not until now that the upper half of the man came back into the boat. His arms were wet and dirty, and he washed them over the side. In his right hand he held something, and he washed that in the river too. It was money. He chinked it once, and he blew upon it once, and he spat upon it once, — “for luck,” he hoarsely said — before he put it in his pocket.


The girl turned her face towards him with a start, and rowed in silence. Her face was very pale. He was a hook-nosed man, and with that and his bright eyes and his ruffled head, bore a certain likeness to a roused bird of prey.

“Take that thing off your face.”

She put it back.

“Here! and give me hold of the sculls. I’ll take the rest of the spell.”

“No, no, father! No! I can’t indeed. Father! — I cannot sit so near it!”

He was moving towards her to change places, but her terrified expostulation stopped him and he resumed his seat.

“What hurt can it do you?”

“None, none. But I cannot bear it.”

“It’s my belief you hate the sight of the very river.”

“I — I do not like it, father.”

“As if it wasn’t your living! As if it wasn’t meat and drink to you!”

At these latter words the girl shivered again, and for a moment paused in her rowing, seeming to turn deadly faint. It escaped his attention, for he was glancing over the stern at something the boat had in tow.

“How can you be so thankless to your best friend, Lizzie? The very fire that warmed you when you were a babby, was picked out of the river alongside the coal barges. The very basket that you slept in, the tide washed ashore. The very rockers that I put it upon to make a cradle of it, I cut out of a piece of wood that drifted from some ship or another.”

Lizzie took her right hand from the scull it held, and touched her lips with it, and for a moment held it out lovingly towards him; then, without speaking, she resumed her rowing, as another boat of similar appearance, though in rather better trim, came out from a dark place and dropped softly alongside.

“In luck again, Gaffer?” said a man with a squinting leer, who sculled her and who was alone. “I know’d you was in luck again, by your wake as you come down.”

“Ah!” replied the other, drily. “So you’re out, are you?”

“Yes, pardner.”

There was now a tender yellow moonlight on the river, and the new comer, keeping half his boat’s length astern of the other boat, looked hard at its track.

“I says to myself,” he went on, “directly you hove in view, Yonder’s Gaffer, and in luck again, by George if he ain’t! Scull it is, pardner — don’t fret yourself — I didn’t touch him.” This was in answer to a quick

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