Then she paused a moment as the memory of that meeting swept over her, while the arms of her friend stole around her.
Continuing, she said: “When ready to start for England, we, as you know, made arrangements to stop a day or two with our friends in Indiana. When you were presented, my husband recognized you instantly by the name and description given of you by his friend. When you sang that first song, he guessed your secret and told me his thought, and helped me to work the stratagem to lure you here. When he reached Port Natal, he tried to invent some plausible reason to induce Mr. Jordan to come here, but he could not; and so has hurried to get the mill working, and now both are on the way, and I must meet them. Jack and Rose are going with me; will you?”
The arms of Margaret Hazleton were clinging to Grace, and the tears were raining down her face. So soon as she could speak, she said:
“And so, while I thought you were my best friend, you have really been my guardian angel. I came with you because I hoped to find the noble man who had self-exiled himself, and all the time when I thought I was disguising my heart, your clear eyes have been reading it. I remember now in Texas the boys were always talking of a famous Jim who had lived with them, but I never dreamed that he was your husband.
“My gratitude to you and your grand husband is bankrupt, but now no matter. The first thing to do is to be on our way—only, do Mr. and Mrs. Browning also know my secret?”
“Not at all,” said Grace. “Until just now they did not even know that Mr. Jordan was with my husband, but I will tell Rose all that may be necessary.”
All left that day, in due time reached Naples, and engaged ample quarters before the “Pallas” entered the bay.
As the “Pallas” passed out of the canal upon the broad-breasted Mediterranean, Jordan noticed the change in the motion of the ship, and said to Sedgwick: “Jim, old friend, we is back agin on ther waters whar men first learned ter be sailors, aren’t we?”