When she looked up again she spoke about what she had come to ask him for; the authority to bring back her father wherever she might find him, and to defend him from the attacks of all persons, whoever they might be, until she reached Jamaica. And then she told him how she would seek for her father on every sea.
The Governor sat and pondered. The father of such a girl should be saved from the terrible fate awaiting him, if the thing could possibly be done. And yet, what a difficult, almost hopeless thing it was to do. To find a pirate, a fierce and bloody pirate, and bring him back unharmed to his daughter’s arms and to reasonable restraint.
He spoke earnestly. “What you propose,” he said, “you cannot do. It would be impossible for you to find your father; and if you did, no matter who might be with you, and no matter how successful you might be with him, his crew would not let him go. But there is one thing which might be done. The Badger will report at different stations, and her course and present cruising ground might be discovered. Thus I might send a despatch to Captain Vince, ordering him not to harm your father, but to take him prisoner, and to bring him here to be dealt with.”
Kate sprang to her feet.
“An order to Captain Vince!” she exclaimed, “an order to withhold his hand from my father? Ah, sir, your goodness is great, this is far more than I had dared to expect! When I last saw Captain Vince he left me in a great rage, but, knowing that he would respect your order, I would dare his rage. If his revengeful hand should be withheld from my father I would fear nothing.”
“I beg you to be seated,” said the Governor, “and let me assure you, that in offering to send this order to Captain Vince I do not in the least expect you to take it. But there is one thing I do not understand. Why should the captain have left you in a great rage? Perhaps I have not a right to ask this, but it seems to me to have some bearing upon his alacrity in setting forth in pursuit of the Revenge.”
“I fear,” said Kate, “that this may be true; I do not deem it improper for me to say to you, sir, that Captain Vince made me an offer of marriage, and that in order to induce me to accept it he offered, should he come up with the Revenge, to spare my father and to let him go free, visiting the punishment he was sent to inflict upon the rest of the people in the ship.”
“I am surprised,” said the Governor, “to hear you say that; such an action would have been direct disobedience to his orders. It would have been disloyalty, which not even the possession of your fair hand could justify. And you refused his offer?”
“That did I,” said Kate, her face flushing at the recollection of the unpleasant interview with the captain; “I cared not for him, and even had I, I would not have consented to wed a man who offered me his dishonour as a bribe for doing so. Not even for my father’s life would I become the bride of such a one!”