Elsinore would arrive in Seattle with a West still on board.

“But think, dear heart,” I objected.  “The voyage will require months.  Remember what Henley has said: ‘Every kiss we take or give leaves us less of life to live.’”

She pressed her lips to mine.

“We kiss,” she said.

But I was stupid.

* * * * *

“Oh, the weary, weary months,” I complained.  “You dear silly,” she gurgled.  “Don’t you understand?”

“I understand only that it is many a thousand miles from Valparaiso to Seattle ,” I answered.

“You won’t understand,” she challenged.

“I am a fool,” I admitted.  “I am aware of only one thing: I want you.  I want you.”

“You are a dear, but you are very, very stupid,” she said, and as she spoke she caught my hand and pressed the palm of it against her cheek.  “What do you feel?” she asked.

“Hot cheeks—cheeks most hot.”

“I am blushing for what your stupidity compels me to say,” she explained.  “You have already said that such things as licences and ministers obtain in Valparaiso . . . and . . . and, well . . . ”

“You mean . . . ?” I stammered.

“Just that,” she confirmed.

“The honeymoon shall be on the Elsinore from Valparaiso all the way to Seattle ?” I rattled on.

“The many thousands of miles, the weary, weary months,” she teased in my own intonations, until I stifled her teasing with my lips.

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