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as mild as a pet lamb's. He came into
port with a dirty ship and a mutinous
crew and calling them all mister.
He was very much distressed that
evening when he came back from
"She isn't satisfied yet," he told
Widow Jerrold. "She says I got to
stop smoking, too. I smoked since
I was a kid. It's hard it's hard."
"A good woman's love is worth
fighting to win, Capt Israel," re
marked Widow Jerrold.
He brightened up at that Widow
Abigail had promised to let him ask
her to marry him the next time the
ship came in, provided he hadn't
smoked in the meantime. However,
a contretemps marked his arrival.
His men had mutinied flatly, and he
had knocked one of them down, re
duced the remainder to subjection
and got things in apple-pie order.
The news spread fast and far. Capt.
Israel received the worst tongue
lashing Widow Abigail had ever given
"She says I'm a backslider," re
marked the captain to Widow Jer
rold, "She says I'll have to start in
again and fake a new record."
"But think of the joy of winning
Widow Abigail," said Widow Jerrold.
"Think of the happiness of sitting
down to dinner with her every even
ing, of seeing her dear face opposite
your own. Think of spending a whole
life in Widow Abigail's company,
Captain Israel. There aren't many
,women like Widow Abigail."
'No," said the captain, Staring at
Widow Jerrold rather doubtfully. I
as the only boarder left that sum
mer, and I watched them intently.
Something seemed to be in Widow
Jerrold's mind, but I wasn't sure
what it was. Certainly Widow Jer-
rold was a good woman; she had
ibeen a great consolation to Captain
Israel in his times of trouble, and she
was always urging him to try to
make himself worthy of Widow Abi
gail, although the two women were
pot on speaking terms.
The next time Captain Israel cama
home I never saw such a change in
any man. He had lost a good many
pounds, his face was pale and his
eyes sunken, and his voice had be
come a husky rattle.
"Widow Abigail says I've got to
put myself to another test," he said.
"She don't believe it's genuine. She
says she can't marry a man she ain't
sure of, and how does she know I
don't drink and smoke and cuss when
I'm aboard, and then put on all the
new ways for her. She says I've got
to go and live with her sister, Mrs.
I sympathized deeply with Captain
Israel. He had been so cozy and com
fortable for years at Widow Jerrold's,
and now he had to take up his Quar
ters with Mrs. Primm, another of Bid
deford's ancient families. Mrs. Primm
was stricter even than Widow Abi
gail, and she could scent a puff of a
cigarette across a ten-acre field.
"She'll lose him if she drives him
too hard," I said to Widow Jerrold.
I shall never forget the enigmatical
smile with which she favored me.
"Some women know when they're
well off, and some don't," she an
The captain took it very hard, but
Widow Abigail was adamant. I saw
him standing miserably in the middle
of his room, looking about him at his
trophies. There was the cabinet of
shells that he had brought from the
Bahamas, and the whale's tooth, and
sharp-skin whip, the assegais from
Zululand and the warclubs from the
Solomons. The captain's personal
possessions were wrapped in a little
bundle; they were the least of all.
Widow Jerrold came downstairs.
"Can I help you to pack, Captain Is
rael?" she inquired in her mouse-like
"No no, thank you," he stammer
ed. "I take it hard, Mrs. Jerrold, but
I'm going. There's nothing you
Widow Jerrold looked at the cap
tain in .a singular way. He looked a