“That is what I shall do if necessary,” said Margaret.
“Oh, my child! How would you live?” her mother asked.
“I will answer that question for her, if you will let me,” said Franklin. “If she needs it, she shall have an allowance out of my purse.”
“Thank you, but that would raise a scandal,” said the woman.
“Oh, Your Ladyship, I am old enough to be her grandfather.”
“I wish to go with Jack, if you know where he is,” Margaret declared, looking up into the face of the philosopher.
“I think he is pushing toward America,” Franklin answered. “Being alarmed at the condition of his adversary, I advised him to slip away. A ship went yesterday. Probably he’s on it. He had no chance to see me or to pick up his baggage.”
“I shall follow him soon,” the girl declared.
“If you will only contain yourself, you will get along with your father very well,” said Lady Hare. “I know him better than you. He has promised to take you to America in December. You must wait and be patient. After all, your father has a large claim upon you.”
“I think you will do well to wait, my child,” said the philosopher. “Jack will keep and you are both young. Fathers are like other children. They make mistakes—they even do wrong now and then. They have to be forgiven and allowed a chance to repent and improve their conduct. Your father is a good man. Try to win him to your cause.”
“And die a maiden,” said the girl with a sigh.
“Impossible!” Franklin exclaimed.
“I shall marry Jack or never marry. I would rather be his wife than the Queen of England.”
“This is surely the age of romance,” said the smiling philosopher as the ladies alighted at their door. “I wish I were young again.”
On his voyage to New York, Jack wrote long letters to Margaret and to Doctor Franklin, which were deposited in the Post-Office on his arrival, the tenth of March. He observed a great change in the spirit of the people. They were no longer content with words. The ferment was showing itself in acts of open and violent disorder. The statue of George III, near the Battery, was treated to a volley of decayed eggs, in the evening of his arrival. This hot blood was due to the effort to prevent free speech in the colonies and the proposal to send political prisoners to England for trial.
Jack took the first boat to Albany and found Solomon working on the Irons farm. In his diary he tells of the delightful days of rest he enjoyed with his family. Solomon had told them of the great adventure but Jack would have little to say of it, having no pride in that achievement.
Soon the scout left on a mission for the Committee of Safety to distant settlements in the great north bush.