“The truth and honesty of our sailors are proverbial,” said the lady with one of her blandest smiles. He then accompanied her to the hotel; here matters were quickly arranged, the passage money paid down, and Captain Costigan promised to call for her, and convey her and her effects on board on his return call. This had been so quietly managed—no agent or go between employed—that no person, not even the landlord of the hotel, was aware of her intentions. He was under the impression that the lady, who occupied two of the best rooms in his house, would in all probability remain there for the rest of the summer. This he judged from what she had let fall during a conversation he had had with her an hour after her arrival, and the worthy man was quite taken aback when she paid her bill, and leaning on the arm of Captain Costigan, left his establishment, to take up her quarters on board the good ship, now lying with her anchor apeak in the offing.
From the quarter deck of the “Kaffir Chief,” towards the close of that beautiful summer day, could be seen a magnificent panoramic view of one of the finest harbors in Europe, with the purple-tinted hills of Munster in the distance, and the iron-bound coast standing boldly out on either side, and beaten with the surges which impetuously dashed against the rugged steeps. In stormy weather the billows rolled in from the dark ocean in long arching waves, bursting with a deafening noise on the beething cliffs, and scattering the salt spray hundreds of feet in the air. Then again met the eye the fortifications on Spike Island, Convict Depot, Carlisle Fort, Light House, Camden Fort, Black Point, and the handsome City of Cork, with its bustling streets and its quays and docks, crowded with vessels of all nations, presenting a picture well worth travelling miles to behold. But what a bright change has come over the spirit of the age, since the days of Elizabeth and religious persecution, when Cork was made a howling wilderness, because its inhabitants refused to attend the Protestant places of worship as ordered by law. Verily, in every country, and in every age, mad fanaticism has played such pranks before high heaven as to make even the angels weep for poor humanity. But we live in happier times now, and enjoy that great blessing, liberty of conscience, to its fullest extent.
The wind was fair, and, with every sail set, the gallant bark, on the top of the white crested foam of the rippling waves, floated proudly out to sea, and was soon hull down in the distance, her tall tapering spars fading from view, for the bright orb of day had already sank beneath its ocean bed, and the golden tints of the horizon were fast deepening to the purple shades of night. There were but three other passengers, an old Major of Artillery, a merchant of Cape Town, and a juvenile Ensign of Infantry, going out to join his regiment. There were no other ladies on board; this was a source of infinite satisfaction to the flying