‘Harry!’ I cried, ’how dare you think so meanly of me? I who have been delighting in the thought of pouring all my little wealth at your feet, and bidding you freight a new ship with it; but perhaps you are too proud—you will refuse it?’
‘Nay, I refuse neither it nor thee, my Lucy,’ he said, ’the less because I can counterpoise my darling’s little purse with something weightier.’ And he told us briefly how in his captivity he had risen very high in his Moorish master’s favour, having had the good fortune to save the man’s life at the risk of his own.
’There were two rascals set on my master to murder him, for certain precious jewels that he wore,’ said he; ’and I had the luck to lay them both low, though I got this little remembrance first from the fiercest of them,’ touching as he spoke the scar upon his cheek. ’And with that stroke,’ he went on, ’I purchased my freedom, and something more; for the Moor conferred on me freely those gems that the thieves had coveted; they are worth a little fortune. After this my only care was to find a ship to bring me home; of which I was almost in despair, when the good Maret came to my rescue, which he effected with great skill and boldness. Nor do I know how I could have got you clear of London, but for his readiness to help me once again.’
This was Harry’s history, which he made very dry and short; for he hates to dwell on his own doings or sufferings. I have got from him since many particulars of the story, and I think it were more worthy of pen and ink than this poor tale of our homely joys and sorrows, but he thinks not so; and it is at his bidding I have written all this last part, telling how he brought us safely out of London.
HOW LUCIA DWELLS IN ENGLAND, AND ALTHEA OTHERWHERE.
There is little more to write now. I did not care to cross Harry’s wish in the matter of our wedding, to which both the good Mary Giles and Althea herself urged me to consent; only I had always hoped that my father Truelocke himself should join our hands; and when I whispered this to Harry, he said, ’If you cannot be content without it, sweetheart, my father shall marry us over again when we get to Dent-dale. But I will not go back to England till I can call you wife.’
So my last defence fell; and wedded we were on board the Diamond, a good English ship that we found lying at Calais, according to Harry’s intelligence. I did not forget that promise of his, and in due time I held him to it; but before I wind up mine own story I will relate that of my sister; for our lives, that have run so long in one channel, are divided now, since Althea sailed not with us to England; and I will show the reason presently.