At times the troubled and harassed mind of the former captain of the Revenge would have given way under the strain had not Ben Greenway stayed bravely by him; who, although a slow accountant, was sure, and a great help to one who, in these times of hurry and flurry, was extremely rapid and equally uncertain. Blackbeard was everywhere, anxious to complete the unloading and disposal of his goods before the weather changed; but, wherever he went, he remembered that upon the quarter-deck of his fine new ship, the Revenge, there was one who, knowing nothing of nautical matters, was above all suspicion of nautical interferences, and who, although having no authority, represented the most powerful nautical commander in all those seas.
ONE NORTH, ONE SOUTH
If our dear Kate Bonnet had really imagined, in her inexperienced mind, that it would be a matter of days, and perhaps weeks, to procure a vessel in which she, with her uncle and good Dame Charter, could sail forth to save her father, she was wonderfully mistaken. Not a free-footed vessel of any class came into the harbour of Kingston. Sloops and barks and ships in general arrived and departed, but they were all bound by one contract or another, and were not free to sail away, here and there, for a short time or a long time, at the word of a maiden’s will.
Mr. Delaplaine was a rich man, but he was a prudent one, and he had not the money to waste in wild rewards, even if there had been an opportunity for him to offer them. Kate was disconcerted, disappointed, and greatly cast down.
The vengeful Badger was scouring the seas in search of her father, commissioned to destroy him, and eager in his hot passion to do it; and here was she, with a respite for that father, if only she were able to carry it.
Day after day Kate waited for notice of a craft, not only one which might bring Dickory back but one which might carry her away.
The optimism of Dame Charter would not now bear her up, the load which had been put upon it was too big. Everything about her was melancholy and depressed, and Dickory had not come back. So many things had happened since he went away, and so many days had passed, and she had entirely exhausted her plentiful stock of very good reasons why her son had not been able to return to her.
The Governor was very kind; frequently he came to the Delaplaine mansion, and always he brought assurances that, although he had not heard anything from Captain Vince, there was every reason to suppose that before long he would find some way to send him his commands that Captain Bonnet should not be injured, but should be brought back safely to Jamaica.
And then Kate would say, with tears in her eyes: “But, your Excellency, we cannot wait for that; we must go, we must deliver ourselves your message to the captain of the Badger. Who else will do it? And we cannot trust to chance; while we are trusting and hoping, my father may die.”