Big Sam raised his eyebrows and his face assumed a look of trouble.
“It grieves me greatly, Mistress Bonnet,” he said, “but the man has gone. He was ordered not to wait here.”
“Shout after him!” cried Kate; “call him back!”
Sam stepped to the rail and looked over the water. “He is too far away,” he said, “but I will try.” And then he shouted, but the man paid no attention, and kept on rowing to shore.
“I thought it was too far,” he said, “but your father will be back soon; he sent that message to me. And now, fair mistress, what can we do for you? Shall it be that we send you some supper? Or, as your cabin is ready, would you prefer to step down to it and wait there for your father?”
“No,” said she, “I will wait here for my father. I want nothing.”
So, with a bow he strode away, and presently Dickory came back. She drew near to him and whispered. “Dickory,” she said, “what shall I do? Shall I scream and wave my handkerchief? Perhaps they may see and hear me from the town.”
“No,” said Dickory, “I would not do that. The night is coming on, and the sky is cloudy. And besides, if you make a noise, those fellows might do something.”
“Oh, Dickory, what shall I do?”
“You must wait for your father,” he said; “he must be here soon, and the moment you see him, call to him and make him take you to shore. You should both of you get away from this vessel as soon as you can.”
For a moment the girl reflected. “Dickory,” said she, “I wish you would take a message for me to Master Martin Newcombe. He may be able to get here to me even before my father arrives.”
Dickory Charter knew Mr. Newcombe, and he had heard what many people had talked about, that he was courting Major Bonnet’s daughter. The day before Dickory would not have cared who the young planter was courting, but this evening, even to his own surprise, he cared very much. He was intensely interested in Kate, and he did not desire to help Martin Newcombe to take an interest in her. Besides, he spoke honestly as he said: “And who would there be to take care of you? No, indeed, I will not leave you.”
“Then row to the town,” said she, “and have a boat sent for me.”
He shook his head. “No,” he said, “I will not leave you.”
Her eyes flashed. “You should do what you are commanded to do!” and in her excitement she almost forgot to whisper.
He shook his head and left her.
THE TWO CLOCKS
It was already beginning to grow dark. She sat, and she sat; she waited, and she waited; and at last she wept, but very quietly. Her father did not come; Ben Greenway was not there; and even that Charter boy had gone. A man came aft to her; a mild-faced, elderly man, with further offers of refreshment and an invitation to go below out of the night air. But she would have nothing; and as she sadly waited and gently wept, it began to grow truly dark. Presently, as she sat, one arm leaning on the rail, she heard a voice close to her ear, and she gave a great start.