Mr. Delaplaine was troubled far more than he had yet been. His sorrowing niece believed that there was something which might be done for her father, but he, her practical uncle, did not believe that anything could be done. And, even if this were possible, he did not wish to do it. If, by some unheard-of miracle, his niece should be enabled to carry out her scheme, she could not go alone, and thoughts of sailing upon the sea, and the dangers from pirates, storms, and wrecks, were very terrible to the quiet merchant. He could not encourage this night-born scheme of his niece.
“But there is one thing I can do,” cried Kate, “and I must do it this very day. I must go to the Governor’s house, and I pray you, uncle, that you will go with me. I must tell him about my father. I must make him do something which shall keep that Captain Vince from sailing after him and killing him. How I wish I had thought of all this before. But it did not come to me.”
It was not half an hour after that when Kate and her uncle entered the grounds of the Governor’s mansion.
THE GOVERNOR OF JAMAICA
The Governor of Jamaica was much interested in the visit of Kate Bonnet, whom he saw alone in a room adjoining the public apartments. He had met her two or three times before, and had been forced to admit that the young girls of Barbadoes must be pretty and piquant in an extraordinary degree, and he had not wondered that his friend, Captain Vince, should have spoken of her in such an enthusiastic manner.
But now she was different. Her sorrow had given her dignity and had added to her beauty. She quickly told her tale, and he started upright in his chair as he heard it.
“Do you mean,” he exclaimed, “that that pirate, after whom I sent the Badger, is your father? It amazes me! The similarity of names did not strike me; I never imagined any connection between you and the captain of that pirate ship.”
“That’s what Captain Vince said when I last saw him,” remarked Kate.
“It must have astounded him to know it,” exclaimed the Governor, “and I wonder, knowing it, that he consented to obey my orders; and had I been in his place I would have preferred to be dismissed from the service rather than to sail after your father and to destroy him. If I had known what I know now, my orders to Captain Vince would have been very different from what they were. I would have told him to capture your father, and to bring him here to me. It cannot be that he is in his right mind!”
Now Kate was weeping; the terrible words “destroy him,” and the assurance that if she had thought sooner of appealing to the Governor, much misery, or at least the thought of misery, might have been spared her, so affected her that she could not control herself.
The Governor did not attempt to console her. Her sorrow was natural, and it was her right.