“I am so glad to see you again before you sail,” she said. “One thing was forgotten: You may see my father; his cruise may be over and he may be, even now, preparing for me to come back to Bridgetown. If this be so, urge him rather to come here. I had not thought of your seeing him, Dickory, and I did not write to him, but you will know what to say. You have heard that woman talk of me, and you well know I cannot go back to my old home.”
“Oh, I will say all that!” he exclaimed. “It will be the same thing as if you had written him a long letter. And now I must run back, for the boat is ready to take me down the river to the port.”
“Dickory,” said she, and she put out her hand—he had never held that hand before—“you are so true, Dickory, you are so noble; you are going—” it was in her mind to say “you are going as my knight-errant,” but she deemed that unsuitable, and she changed it to—“you are going to do so much for me.”
She stopped for a moment, and then she said: “You know I told you you should not call me Kate, being so much younger; but, as you are so much younger, you may kiss me if you like.”
CAPTAIN CHRISTOPHER VINCE
It was truly surprising to see the change which came over the spirits of our young Kate Bonnet when she heard that the King and Queen had sailed from Kingston port. She was gay, she was talkative, she sang songs, she skipped in the paths of the garden. One might have supposed she was so happy to get rid of the young man on the brig which had sailed away. And yet, the news she might hear when that young man came back was likely to be far worse than any misgivings which had entered her mind. Kate’s high spirits delighted her uncle. This child of his sister had grown more lovely than even her mother had ever been.
Now came days of delight which Kate had never dreamed of. She had not known that there were such shops in Spanish Town, which, although a youngish town, had already drawn to itself the fashion and the needs of fashion of that prosperous colony. With Dame Charter, and often also with her uncle in company, this bright young girl hovered over fair fabrics which were spread before her; circled about jewels, gems, and feathers, and revelled in tender colours as would a butterfly among the blossoms, dipping and tasting as she flew.
There were some fine folk in Spanish Town, and with this pleasant society of the capital Mr. Delaplaine renewed his previous intercourse and Kate soon learned the pleasures of a colonial social circle, whose attractions, brought from afar, had been warmed into a more cheerful glow in this bright West Indian atmosphere.
To add to the brilliancy of the new life into which Kate now entered, there came into the port an English corvette—the Badger—for refitting. From this welcome man-of-war there flitted up the river to Spanish Town gallant officers, young and older; and in their flitting they flitted into the drawing-room of the rich merchant Delaplaine, and there were some of them who soon found that there were no drawing-rooms in all the town where they could talk with, walk with, and perchance dance with such a fine girl as Mistress Kate Bonnet.