Kate sat long into the night, her letter in her hand. Here was a lover who loved her; a lover who had just sent to her not only love, but life; a lover who had no intention of leaving her because of her overshadowing sorrow, but who had lifted that sorrow and had come to her again. Ay more, she knew that if the sorrow had not been lifted he would have come to her again.
The Governor of Jamaica was a man of hearty sympathies, and these worked so strongly in him that when Kate and her uncle came to bring him the good news, he kissed her and vowed that he had not heard anything so cheering for many a year.
“I have been greatly afraid of that Vince,” he said. “Although I did not mention it, I have been greatly afraid of him; he is a terrible fellow when he is crossed, and so hot-headed that it is easy to cross him. There were so many chances of his catching your father and so few chances of my orders catching him. But it is all right now; you will be able to reach your father before Vince can possibly get to him, even should he be able to do him injury in his present position. Your father, my dear, must have been as mad as a March hare to embark upon a career of a pirate when all the time his heart was really turned to ways of peace, to planting, to mercantile pursuits, to domestic joys.”
Here, now, was to be a voyage of conquest. No matter what his plans were; no matter what he said; no matter what he might lose, or how he might suffer by being taken into captivity and being carried away, Major Stede Bonnet, late of Bridgetown and still later connected with some erratic voyages upon the high seas, was to be taken prisoner by his daughter and carried away to Spanish Town, where the actions of his disordered mind were to be condoned and where he would be safe from all vengeful Vinces and from all temptations of the flaunting skull and bones.
It was a bright morning when, with a fair wind upon her starboard bow, the sloop Belinda, bearing the jubilant three, sailed southward on her course to the coast of Honduras; and it was upon that same morning that the good ship Revenge, bearing the pirate Blackbeard and his handsomely uniformed lieutenant, sailed northward, the same fair wind upon her port bow.
A PROJECTED MARRIAGE
Strange as it may appear, Dickory Charter was not a very unhappy young fellow as he stood in his fine uniform on the quarter-deck of the Revenge, the fresh breeze ruffling his brown curls when he lifted his heavy cocked hat.