"When we got back to the island, and the launch had gone off, Vere and I stood for a minute at the foot of the steps to listen to the roaring of the sea. Vere loves the sea."
As he spoke he thought of something that Hermione did not know.
"The pool was protected, and under the lee of the island it was comparatively calm. But the rain was falling in torrents. There was one fishing-boat in the pool, close to where we were, and as we were standing and listening, Vere said, suddenly, 'Madre, that's Ruffo's boat!' I asked her how she knew--because he has changed into another boat lately--she had told me that. 'I saw his head,' she answered. 'He's there and he's not asleep. Poor boy, in all this rain!' Ruffo has been ill with fever, as I told you, and when Vere said that I remembered it at once."
"Had you told Vere yet?" interposed Artois.
"No. But I did then. Emile, she showed an agitation that--well, it was almost strange, I think. She begged me to make him come into the house and spend the night there, safe from the wind and the rain."
"Yes. He was looking very pale and shaky. The men let him come. They were nice and sympathetic. I think they are fond of the boy."
"Ruffo seems to know how to attract people to him."
"And so Vere played the mother to Ruffo?"