“Oh, we can buy it,” cried Dickory, taking some pieces of gold from his pocket, being coin with which Blackbeard had furnished him, swearing that his first lieutenant could not feel like a true officer without money in his pocket; “take this and fetch the cloth if nothing better can be had.”
“Thank you,” cried Mander; “my wife and daughters can soon fashion it into shape.”
“And,” added Dickory, reflecting a little and remembering the general hues of Lucilla’s face, “if there be choice in colours, let the cloth be pink.”
When Mander and Dickory reached the house they did not stop, but hurried on towards the cave, both of them together, for each thought only of the great joy they were taking with them.
“Come out! Come out!” shouted Mander, as he ran, and before they reached the cave its shuddering inmates had hurried into the light. When the cries and the tears and the embraces were over, Lucilla first looked at Dickory. She started, her face flushed, and she was about to draw back; then she stopped, and advancing held out her hand.
“It cannot be helped,” she said; “anyway, you have seen me before, and I suppose it doesn’t matter. I’m a sailor boy, and have to own up to it. I did hope you would think of me as a young lady, but we are all so happy now that that doesn’t matter. Oh, father!” she cried, “it can’t be; we are not fit to be saved; we must perish here in our wretched rags.”
“Not so,” cried Dickory, with a bow; “I’ve already bought you a gown, and I hope it is pink.”
As they all hurried away, the tale of the hoped-for clothes was told; and although Mrs. Mander wondered how gowns were to be made while a merchantman waited, she said nothing of her doubts, and they all ran gleefully. Lucilla and Dickory being the fleetest led the others, and Dickory said: “Now that I have seen you thus, I shall be almost sorry if that ship can furnish you with common clothes, what you wear becomes you so.”
“Oho!” cried Lucilla, “that’s fine flattery, sir; but I am glad you said it, for that speech has made me feel more like a woman than I have felt since I first put on this sailor’s toggery.”
In the afternoon the boat returned, Mander and Dickory watching on the beach. When it grounded, Davids, Mander’s friend, jumped on shore, bearing in his arms a pile of great coarse sacks. These he threw upon the sand and, handing to Dickory the gold pieces he had given him, said: “The captain sends word that he has no time to look over any goods to give or to sell, but he sends these sacks, out of which the women can fashion themselves gowns, and so come aboard. Then the ship shall be searched for stuffs which will suit their purposes and which they can make at their leisure.”
It was towards the close of the afternoon that all of the Mander family and Dickory came down to the boat which was waiting for them.
“Do you know,” said Dickory, as he and Lucilla stood together on the sand, “that in that gown of gray, with the white sleeves, and the red cord around your waist, you please me better than even you did when you wore your sailor garb?”