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Woman's home companion
Vol. LXIV, No. 6 (1937)

McBride, Maxine
She could reef a sail,   pp. 11-12 PDF (1.1 MB)

Page 11

"The rocks," Jay shouted. "Dead ahead. We're driving on them!"
"STAND by the main braces, matey," Russ said It hadbeen fine to own the Spin. She was the best,
dumping an empty sail bag down on the porch  the fastest of the fleet that freckled Palmer Point Bay
_  l  f       ;    I  i   hite and buff and black in the summer Not the
steps, we re comnng a ou.  aus  or ce  ra on,
suppose. The Spindrift is sold."
"I knew it," Marty said, "from the way you came
up the walk. You looked as though you were climb-
ing stairs in the dark. Toe, heel and no wave resist-
ance." Marty came across the porch in her espadrilles
and linked two brown hands around her brother's arm.
"I'm just being funny. It's not a good attempt. I
mind, a lot. But don't you care-we'll have another
boat sometime. Who bought her?"
"Jay Hardwick," Russ said. "Jay Hardwick, III.
Polo and squash and steeplechasing."
Marty leaned down and retied the espadrille bow-
knot on an ankle unnecessarily and -too tight. "And
now he's acquiring the Spin. I saw him at a dance
at Judy Wolcott's. He came in late and was pointed
out. Very brown from Aiken," Marty said, "very
"That's Jay," Russ said. "He's not a bad guy. We
sat through the same freshman Livy. Pushed Hanni-
bal's elephants over the Alps together. He's pretty
good at polo, according to the pieces ir the paper. A
six-goal man."
Marty's eyes wandered to a faint distant view of
masts in a boatyard. "He can't ever like the Spin as
much as we do, Russ. He won't ever put her in com-
mission himself."
"What do you expect?" Russ tweaked a cropped
spiral of Marty's auburn hair gently. "He'll have
someone do it and very handily too."
They stared relinquishingly at the sun-tipped ripples
on the bay and shook themselves and laughed a little.
least of going broke, Russ had said, was putting the
Spindrift up for sale.
If she had been just another boat, rocking at her
mooring on the seamy blue beyond the Bartlett boat-
house, it wouldn't have mattered so much. From the
day she had slid down the yard ways in foamy skirl,
champagne damp on her aquiline bow, she had been
special. They had won the annual fleet handicap with
her and the sloop squadron races.
"Russell-" Mrs. Bartlett's voice called beyond
the screened veranda door, "your father is coming
home from Boston on the three-fifteen. Can you meet
him at the station?"
"Right on the dot," Russ said. The old roadster
they had used for hauling gear and sail stood shabby
and capable on the drive. "I'm stowing this in the
attic," he picked up the sail bag and nodded toward
t'ie drive, "and running down to Joe Fenton's. He's
supposed to know someone who knows someone who
might use an upstanding young broker's clerk."
"I wish I knew someone who knew someone," Marty
said. "I can make apple strudel and sing in a group."
"You can be our uplift," Russ advised. "Just-be
IT HAD been sudden and unexpected, coming
home from college spring vacation to the ivy-
cowled stone town house on Beacon Street, to learn
that there was no more money. It hadn't mattered to
Marty, leaving college behind and the town house
shuttered and for sale. It had mattered only that there
would be no slim willing Spin tugging at her mooring
on the broken blue beyond the Bartlett boathouse.
Marty regarded the line of thin mast spires in the
distance. The Spin was out on its cradle in the yard,
ready to be put in commission. Yesterday, when it
still belonged to them, she had been down hauling the
tarpaulin close about the deck against rain, talking to
Gunnar, the yard foreman. She jingled a key in a
slacks pocket, a key that belonged to the padlock on the
companionway slide, that belonged to Mr. Jay Hard-
wick now. She might as well fetch it down to Gunnar
for delivery to a rightful owner with brown on his face
from Aiken.
The Spin was nosed between a cabin cruiser and a
broad squat ketch in the yard. The afternoon sun
squinted on her hull, deep-curved in the grasp of
wooden cradle props.
"Been lookin' for you," Gunnar called over from
the deck of the cabin cruiser. "Thought likely you'd
be around. Good day for boat work."
"Swell," Marty nodded. It was just right. Bright,
stiffening wind and clear sun streaking across the
yard on wet amber varnish, setting it, drying the frost-
ing white paint on hulls and houses.
"Russ brought news home this afternoon," Marty
said. "The Spindrift's been sold to a person named
Jay Hardwick."
"Hard-wick?" Gunnar separated it unfamiliarly.
"Does he sail boats?"
"I don't know," Marty said. "He rides around
full tilt on little fast horses after balls. Polo, it's called.

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