Captain Vince frowned black as night, and clapped his hand to his sword-hilt; but the pale merchant made no movement of defence, and the captain, striking his clinched fist against the table, dashed from the room. Before he reached his ship he had sworn a solemn oath: he vowed that he would follow that pirate ship; he would kill, burn, destroy, annihilate, but out of the storm and the fire he would pick unharmed the father of the girl who had entranced him and had spurned him. He laughed savagely as he thought of it. With that dolt of a father in his hands, a man wearing always around his neck the hangman’s noose, he would hold the card which would give him the game. What Mistress Kate Bonnet might say or do; what she might like or might not like; what her ideas about honour might be or might not be, it would be a very different thing when he, her imperious lover, should hold the end of that noose in his hand. She might weep, she might rave, but come what would, she was the man’s daughter, and she would be Lady Vince.
So he went on board the Badger, and he cursed and he commanded and he raged; and his officers and his men, when the hurried violence of his commands gave them a chance to speak to each other, muttered that they pitied that pirate and his crew when the Badger came up with them.
Clouds settled down upon the home of Mr. Delaplaine. There were no visitors, there was no music, there seemed to be no sunshine. The beautiful fabrics, the jewels, and the feathers were seen no more. It was Kate of the broken heart who wandered under the trees and among the blossoms, and knew not that there existed such things as cooling shade and sweet fragrance. She could not be comforted, for, although her uncle told her that he had had information that her father’s ship had sailed northward, and that it was, therefore, likely that the corvette would not overtake him, she could not forget that, whatever of good or evil befell that father, he was a pirate, and he had deserted her.
So they said but little, the uncle and the niece, who sorrowed quietly.
Dame Charter was in a strange state of mind. During the frequent visits of Captain Vince she had been apprehensive and troubled, and her only comfort was that the Badger had merely touched at this port to refit, and that she must soon sail away and take with her her captain. The good woman had begun to expect and to hope for the return of Dickory, but later she had blessed her stars that he was not there. He was a fiery boy, her brave son, but it would have been a terrible thing for him to become involved with an officer in the navy, a man with a long, keen sword.
Now that the captain had raged himself away from the Delaplaine house her spirits rose, and her great fear was that the corvette might not leave port before the brig came in. If Dickory should hear of the things that captain had said—but she banished such thoughts from her mind, she could not bear them.