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An Orkney Maid by Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr

That scheme would please Boris


"Why

wilt thou marry any man? Thou wilt be rich."

"One must do as the rest of the world does--and the world has the fashion of marrying."

"Money rules love."

"No!"

"Yes! Bolon Flett had only scorn for his poor little wife until her uncle left her two thousand pounds. Since then, no word is long enough or good enough for her excellencies. Money opens the eyes as well as the heart. What then, if I make Boris rich?"

"Boris is too proud to take money from thee and I will not be sold to any man!"

"Wilt thou wait until my meaning is given thee--flying off in a temper like a foolish woman!"

"I am sorry--speak thy meaning."

"Sit down. Thou art not begging anything."

"Not from thee. I have thy love."

"And thine is mine. This is my plan. Above all things Boris loves a stirring, money-making business. I am going to ask him to take me as his partner. Tired am I of living on my past. How many boats has Boris?"

"Thou knowest he has but one, but she is large and swift, and does as much business as McLeod's three little sloops."

"Schooners."

"Schooners,

then--little ones!"

"Well then, there is a new kind of boat which thou hast never seen. She is driven by steam, not wind, she goes swiftly, all winds are fair to her, and she cares little for storms."

"I saw a ship like that when I was in Edinburgh. She lay in Leith harbour, and the whole school went to Leith to see her come in."

"If Boris will be my partner, I will lay my luck to his, and I will buy a steam ship, a large coaster--dost thou see?"

Then with a laugh she cried: "I see, I see! Then thou can easily beat the sloops or schooners, that have nothing but sails. Good is that, very good!"

"Just so. We can make two trips for their one. No one can trade against us."

"McLeod may buy steam ships."

"I have learned all about him. His fortune is in real estate, mostly in Edinburgh. It takes a lifetime to sell property in Edinburgh. We shall have got all there is to get before McLeod could compete with Vedder and Ragnor."

"That scheme would please Boris, I know."

"A boat could be built on the Clyde in about four months, I think. Shall I speak to Boris?"

"Yes, Boris will not fly in the face of good fortune; but mind this--it is easier to begin that reel than it will be to end it. One thing I do not like--thou wert angry with Boris, now thou wilt take him for a partner."


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