Isabel Revel had very different feelings on the subject—she was her own mistress, and her manner to Newton was more cordial, more confidential than before. She had not forgotten that Newton had shown the same regard and partiality for her when she was going out to India, and afterwards, when in distress; he had been her friend and admirer when in adversity. She knew his feelings towards her, and she had appreciated his delicacy and forbearance. Lately she had seriously analysed her own, and her analysis was wound up by a mental acknowledgment that her wealth would be valueless, if she could not share it with Newton Forster.
At the request of Mrs Enderby, the poop cabins were engaged for Isabel and herself. Their time for preparation was short; but one day more having been obtained from Captain Oughton, through the influence of Newton, Mrs Enderby and Isabel embarked, and the Windsor Castle spread her canvas, sailing away from pestilence and death.
“Britannia needs no bulwark,
No towers along the steep,
Her march is o’er the mountain waves,
Her home is on the deep.”
The Windsor Castle ploughed through the vast ocean of waters before a propitious gale, laden with treasure, in the safe arrival of which so many were interested. But what were all the valuables stowed away in her frame, in the opinion of Newton Forster, in comparison with the lovely being who had entrusted them with her safe conduct to her native country! The extreme precautions adopted or suggested by Newton for security during the night—his nervous anxiety during the day—became a source of laughter and ridicule to Captain Oughton; who once observed to him,—“Newton, my boy, I see how the land lies, but depend upon it the old ship won’t tumble overboard a bit sooner than before; so one reef in the top-sails will be quiet sufficient.”
Indeed, although they “never mentioned it,” it was impossible for either of them to disguise their feelings. Their very attempts at concealment only rendered them more palpable to everyone on board. Captain Oughton, who was very partial to Newton, rejoiced in his good fortune. He had no objection to young people falling or being in love on board of his ship, although he would not have sanctioned or permitted a marriage to take place during the period that a young lady was under his protection. Once landed on Deal beach, as he observed, they might “buckle to” as soon as they pleased.
The Windsor Castle was within two hundred miles of the Mauritius, when a strange vessel was discovered on the weather beam, bearing down to them with all the canvas she could spread. Her appearance was warlike; but what her force might be, it was impossible to ascertain at the distance she was off, and the position which she then offered, being nearly “end on.”