Bessie did not name it. Mrs. Betts’s speculation proved correct. The yacht sailed away in the afternoon. About the time when Mrs. Carnegie was hurriedly dressing to drive with her husband to Hampton over-night, to ensure not missing the mail-boat to Ryde in the morning, that gay and pleasant town was fast receding from Bessie’s view. At dawn the island was out of sight, and when Mr. Carnegie, landing on the pier, sought a boat to carry him and his wife to the Foam, a boatman looked up at him and said, “The Foam, sir? You’ll have much ado to overtake her. She’s halfway to Hastings by this time. She sailed yesterday soon after five o’clock.”
Mr. and Mrs. Carnegie turned away in silence. They had nothing to do but sorrowfully to repair home again. They were more grieved at heart by this disappointment than by any that had preceded it; and all the more did they try to cheer one another.
“Don’t fret, Jane: it hurts me to see you fret,” said the doctor. “It was a nice thought in Bessie, but the chance was a poor one.”
“We have lost her, Thomas; I fear we have lost her,” said his wife. “It is unnatural to pass by our very door, so to speak, and not let us see her. But I don’t blame her.”
“No, no, Bessie is not to blame: Harry Musgrave can tell us better than that. It is Mr. Fairfax—his orders. He forbade her coming, or it might have been managed easily. It is a mistake. He will never win her heart so; and as for ruling her except through her affections, he will have a task. I’m sorry, for the child will not be happy.”
When Mr. and Mrs. Carnegie arrived at home they found Bessie’s letter that had come by post—an abrupt, warm little letter that comforted them for themselves, but troubled them for her exceedingly. “God bless her, dear child!” said her mother. “I am afraid she will cry sadly, Thomas, and nobody to say a loving word to her or give her a kiss.”
“It is a pity; she will have her share of vexations. But she is young and can bear them, with all her life before her. We will answer that pretty letter, that she may have something to encourage her when she gets amongst her grand relations. I suppose it may be a week or ten days first. We have done what we could, Jane, so cheer up, and let it rest.”
BESSIE’S BRINGING HOME.
When Bessie Fairfax realized that the yacht was sailing away from Ryde not to return, and carrying her quite out of reach of pursuit, her spirits sank to zero. It was a perfect evening, and the light on the water was lovely, but to her it was a most melancholy view—when she could see it for the mist that obscured her vision. All her heart desired was being left farther and farther behind, and attraction there was none in Woldshire to which she was going. She looked at her uncle Frederick, silent, absent, sad; she remembered her