When they were all standing on the shore, Kate did not think it worth while to ask Master Newcombe how he happened to know where she was. But the young man waited for no questions; he went on to tell his story. When he related that it was a man fishing on a pier who had told him that young Mistress Kate Bonnet was stopping with Dame Charter, Kate wondered greatly, for as Dickory had met Master Newcombe, what need had there been for the latter to ask questions about her of a stranger? But she said nothing. And Dickory growled in his soul that he had ever spoken to the man on the pier, except to thank him for the rope he had borrowed.
Martin Newcombe’s story went on, and he told that, having been extremely angered by the conduct and words of Madam Bonnet, he had gone into the town and made inquiries, hoping to hear something of the whereabouts of Mistress Kate. And, having done so, by means of the very obliging person on the pier, he had determined that the daughter of Major Bonnet should have her rights; and he had gone to his own lawyer, who assured him that being a person of recognised respectability, possessing property, he was fully authorized, knowing the wishes of Mistress Kate Bonnet, to go to her step-mother and demand that those wishes be complied with; and if this very reasonable request should be denied, then the lawyer would take up the matter himself, and would see to it that reasonable raiment and the necessities of a young lady should not be withheld from her.
With these instructions, Newcombe had gone to Madam Bonnet and had found that much disturbed lady in a state of partial collapse, which had followed her passion of the morning, and who had declared that nothing in the world would please her better than to get rid of her husband’s daughter and never see her again. And if the creature needed clothes or anything else which belonged to her, a maid should pack them up, and anybody who pleased might take them to any place, provided she heard no more about them or their owner.
In all this she spoke most truthfully, for she hated her step-daughter, both because she was a fine young woman and much regarded by her father, and because she had certain rights to the estate of said father, which his present wife did not wish to recognise, or even to think about. So Martin Newcombe was perfectly welcome to take away such things as would render it unnecessary for the girl to now return to the home in which she had been born. Martin had brought the box, and here he was.
It was not long before Newcombe and the lady of his love were walking away through the little plantation, in order that they might speak by themselves. Dickory looked after them and frowned, but he bravely comforted himself by thinking that he had been the one into whose arms she had dropped, through the blackness of the night and the blackness of the water, knowing in her heart that he would be there ready for her, and also by the thought that it was his shoes and stockings that she wore. Dame Charter saw this frown on her son’s face, but she did not guess the thoughts which were in his mind.