Mr. Delaplaine was a little troubled by the promised visit from Barbadoes. He had heard of Master Newcombe as being a most estimable young man, but the fault about him, in his opinion, was that he resided not in Jamaica. For a long time the good merchant had lived his own life, with no one to love him, and he now had with him his sister’s child, whom he had come to look upon as a daughter, and he did not wish to give her up. It was true that it might be possible, under favourable pressure, to induce young Newcombe to come to Jamaica and settle there, but this was all very vague. Had he had his own way, he would have driven from Kate every thought of love or marriage until the time when his new clerk, Dickory Charter, had become a young merchant of good standing, worthy of such a wife. Then he might have been willing to give Kate to Dickory, and Dickory would have given her to him, and they might have all been happy. That is, if that hare-brained Bonnet did not come home.
The Delaplaine family did not go much into society at that time, for people had known about the pirate and his ship, the Revenge, and the pursuit upon which Captain Vince of the royal corvette Badger had been sent. They had all heard, too, of the death of Captain Vince, and some of them were not quite certain whether he had been killed by the pirate Bonnet or another desperado equally dangerous. Knowing all this, although if they had not known it they would scarcely have found it out from the speech of their neighbours, the Delaplaines kept much to themselves. And they were happy, and the keynote of their happiness was struck by Kate, whose thankful heart could never forget the death of Captain Vince.
Mr. Delaplaine made his proper visit to Spanish Town, to carry his thanks and to tell the Governor how things had happened to him; and the Governor still showed his interest in Mistress Kate Bonnet, and expressed his regret that she had not come with her uncle, which was a very natural wish indeed for a governor of good taste.
This is a chapter of happenings, and the next happening was a letter from that good man, Ben Greenway, and it told the most wonderful, splendid, and glorious news that had ever been told under the bright sun of the beautiful West Indies. It told that Captain Stede Bonnet was no longer a pirate, and that Kate was no longer a pirate’s daughter. These happy people did not join hands and dance and sing over the great news, but Kate’s joy was so great that she might have done all these things without knowing it, so thankful was she that once again she had a father. This rapture so far outshone her relief at the news of the death of Captain Vince that she almost forgot that that wicked man was safe and dead. Kate was in such a state of wild delight that she insisted that her uncle should make another visit to the Governor’s house and take her with him, that she herself might carry the Governor the good news; and the Governor said such heart-warming things when he heard it that Kate kissed him in very joy. But as Dickory was not of the party, this incident was not entered as part of the proceedings.