Composed as the man's features
were, there was still an expression upon them which startled the
woman. It brought her out of her chair, even if it did not bring an
audible question to her lips.
"I was delayed, Aunt 'Cretia," he said. "No; nothing new about the
_Seamew_ or about business. It's--there's trouble up to the Balls'."
He knew her first thought would be for the health of the two old
people, and he had to explain a little more.
"They are all right--Cap'n Ira and Aunt Prue. It's about Sh--Ida
"Tunis! Nothing has happened to the girl?"
He must take Aunt Lucretia into his confidence--at least, to some
extent. Just how much could he tell her? How much dared he tell her?
From somebody, he felt sure, she would hear about this other girl
who had appeared to claim kinship with the Balls and demand that
Sheila give over to her the place she had with Cap'n Ira and
Prudence. For Ida May Bostwick was going to talk. Tunis knew that
well enough. Although he had warned her sternly that evening against
talking, he knew well enough that after the girl had recovered from
her first fright she would spit out the venomous tale that she had
already concocted in her mind about Sheila and himself.