Now the captain of the brig came up to Ichabod and informed him that the goods he demanded had been delivered on board his vessel, and that the brig was ready to sail. It was the time for leave-taking, but Ichabod was tardy. Presently he approached Kate, and drew her to one side.
“Dear lady,” he said, and his voice was hesitating, while a slight flush of embarrassment appeared on his face, “you may have thought, dear lady,” he repeated, “you may have thought that so fair a being as yourself should have attracted during the days we have sailed together—may have attracted, bedad, I mean—the declared admiration even of a fellow like myself, we being so much together; but I had heard your story, fair lady, and of the courtship paid you by Captain Vince of the corvette Badger—whose family I knew in England—and, acknowledging his superior claims, I constantly refrained, though not without great effort (I must say that much for myself, fair lady), from—from—”
“Addressing me, I suppose you mean,” said Kate. “What you say, kind captain, redounds to your honour, and I thank you for your noble consideration, but I feel bound to tell you that there was never anything between me and Captain Vince, and he is now dead.”
The young pirate stepped back suddenly and opened wide his eyes. “What!” he exclaimed, “and all the time you were—”
“Not free,” she interrupted with a smile, “for I have a lover on the island of Barbadoes.”
“Barbadoes,” repeated Captain Ichabod, and he bade Kate a most courteous farewell.
All the good-byes had been said and good wishes had been wished, when, just as he was about to descend to his boat, Captain Ichabod turned to Lucilla. “And it is truly to Barbadoes you go?” he asked.
“Yes,” said she, “I think we shall certainly do that.”
Now his face flushed. “And do you care for that fellow in the cocked hat?”
Here was a cruel situation for poor Lucilla. She must lie or lose two men. She might lose them anyway, but she would not do it of her own free will, and so she lied.
“Not a whit!” said Lucilla.
The eyes of Ichabod brightened as he went down the side of the brig.
BLACKBEARD GIVES GREENWAY SOME DIFFICULT WORK
The great pirate Blackbeard, inactive and taking his ease, was seated on the quarter-deck of his fine vessel, on which he had lately done some sharp work off the harbour of Charles Town. He was now commanding a small fleet. Besides the ship on which he sailed, he had two other vessels, well manned and well laden with supplies from his recent captures. Satisfied with conquest, he was sailing northward to one of his favourite resorts on the North Carolina coast.
To this conquering hero now came Ben Greenway, the Scotchman, touching his hat.
“And what do you want?” cried the burly pirate. “Haven’t they given you your prize-money yet, or isn’t it enough?”