“This lady has it,” said Mrs. Darke, pointing to Loveday; “I have been telling her she need have no fears for her young kinswoman in your hands, Captain.”
He swore a round oath to that effect, and looking at the sleeping maiden, again swore that she was the choicest piece of goods ever confided to him, and that he knew better than let such an article arrive damaged. Mr. Van Draagen ought to come down handsomely for such an extra fine sample; but in the meantime he accepted the rouleau of guineas that Loveday handed to him, the proceeds, as she told Mrs. Darke, of my Lady’s winnings last night at loo.
All was ready. Poor Aurelia was swathed from head to foot in a large mantle, like the chrysalis whose name she bore, the two sailors took her up between them, carried her to their boat, and laid her along in the stern. Then they pushed off and rowed down the river. Loveday looked up and looked down, then sank on the steps, convulsed with grief, sobbing bitterly. “She said He could deliver her from the mouth of lions! And He has not,” she murmured under her breath, in utter misery and hopelessness.
CHAPTER XXXIV. DOWN THE RIVER.
The lioness, ye may move her
To give o’er her prey,
But ye’ll ne’er stop a lover,
He will find out the way.
Elizabeth Delavie and her little brother were standing in the bay window of their hotel, gazing eagerly along the street in hopes of seeing the Major return, when Sir Amyas was seen riding hastily up on his charger, in full accoutrements, with a soldier following. In another moment he had dashed up stairs, and saying, “Sister, read that!” put into Betty’s hand a slip of paper on which was written in pencil—
“If Sir A. B. would not have his true love kidnapped to the plantations, he had best keep watch on the river gate of Mistress Darke’s garden at Greenwich. No time to lose.”
“Who brought you this?” demanded Betty, as well as she could speak for horror.
“My mother’s little negro boy, Syphax. He says Mrs. Loveday, her waiting-woman, gave it to him privately on the stairs, as she was about to get into a sedan, telling him I would give him a crown if he gave it me as I came off parade.”
“Noon! Is there time?”
“Barely, but there shall be time. There is no time to seek your father.”
“No, but I must come with you.”
“The water is the quickest way. There are stairs near. I’ll send my fellow to secure a boat.”
“I will be ready instantly, while you tell your uncle. It might be better if he came.”