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Wyndham's Pal

Harold Edward Bindloss

213 pages
Library of Alexandria
The breeze had dropped as the tide ebbed, and Red Rose plunged languidly across the shining swell. Faint mist obscured the horizon and the yachts engaged in the fifty-mile race had vanished, although Wyndham thought he had not long since distinguished a sail in the distance. He was curious about this because if he had seen canvas it was Deva's, and her skipper had probably seen Red Rose. The rest of the fleet was scattered about to the north. Wyndham had noted their positions carefully before the haze rolled up. He wanted to win and meant to leave nothing to chance. In the meantime, the yacht crept slowly through the sparkling water, close-hauled to a light wind that Wyndham knew would not last. Her canvas, tapering in a tall white pyramid, swayed with a regular heave against the sky. In her shadow, the sea was a cool, luminous green, but the sun was hot and Wyndham had taken off his coat. He wore a white jersey, blue trousers, and very neat white shoes. His age was twenty-six, his figure was thin but athletic, and the molding of his face was good. On the whole, he was a handsome man and was generally marked by a careless, twinkling smile. The smile, however, was to some extent deceptive, and at times his blue eyes were hard. Wyndham was popular; he had a way of inspiring confidence, and knew and used his talent. Marston, who sat on the yacht's coaming, splicing a rope, trusted Wyndham far. Marston's round face was burned red and generally wore a look of tranquil good-humor; his mouth was large and his eyes were calm. People thought him dull and he was not clever, but Wyndham knew his comrade's stability. Although Bob was honest and trustful, he was firm. It was characteristic that the splice he slowly made was very neat. Their paid hand was occupied at the clanking pump, for Red Rose had shipped some water while the breeze was fresh. This was not remarkable, since the boat was small, but Wyndham knew, though Marston did not, that a quantity of water had come in between her working planks. She was old and needed repairs Wyndham could not afford. For all that, he hoped to win the Commodore's cup. He had particular grounds for wanting the cup, and Wyndham's habit was to get what he wanted.