“‘Run away with her.’ To be sure! That is in the blood;” and the old man looked sternly back to the days when Hyde’s father ran away with his own little daughter.
With some anger Lysbet answered his thoughts. “What art thou talking about? What art thou thinking of? Many good men have run away with their wives. This almighty Doctor John ran away with his wife. Did not Ava Willing leave her father’s house and her friends and her faith for him? And did not the Quakers read her out of their Meeting for her marriage?— and I blame them not. Doctor John was no match for Ava Willing. More, too, if thou must look back; remember one May night, when thou and I sat by the Collect in the moonlight, and thou gave me this ring. What did thou say to me that night?”
“’Tis years ago, Lysbet, and If I have forgotten—”
“Forgotten! Well, then, men do forget; but they may be thankful that God has so made women that they do not forget. The words thou said that night have been singing in my heart for fifty years; and yet, if thou must be told, some of those words were about running away with thee;— for, at the first, my father liked thee not.”
“Lysbet! My sweet Lysbet! I have not forgotten. For thy dear sake I will stand by Joris, though in doing so I am sure I shall make some unfriends.”
“Good, my husband. I take leave to say that thou art doing right.”
“Well, then,” said Hyde, “if my grandmother stand by me, and you also, sir; and also Madame Jacobus—”
“Madame Jacobus!” cried Lysbet.
“Yes, indeed!” answered Hyde. “’Tis to her understanding and kindness I owe my opportunity; and she gave me, also, one look which I cannot pretend to misunderstand—a look of clear sympathy—a look that promised help.”
“She is a clever woman,” said Van Heemskirk. “If Joris has her good will it is not to be thrown away.”
“I like her not,” said Lysbet. “With my grandson, with my affairs, why should she meddle? Pray, now, what took thee, Joris, to her house? It is full of idolatries and graven images. Doctor Kunz once wrote to her a letter about them. He said she ought to remember the Second Commandment. And she wrote to him a letter, and told him to trouble himself with his own business. Much anger and shame there might have been out of this, but Angelica Jacobus is rich, and she is generous to the church, and to the poor; and Doctor Kunz said to the elders, ’Let her alone, for there is a savour of righteousness in her;’ and when she heard of that, she was pleased with the Doctor, and sent him one hundred dollars for the Indian Mission. But, Joris, she is no good to thee. I hear many queer stories of her.”
“Downright lies, all of them,” replied Hyde. Then he rose, saying, “I must ride onward. My mother will not sleep until she sees me.”
“It is nearly dark,” said Van Heemskirk, “and to-night thou art in the clouds. The land and the water will be alike to thee. Rest until the morning.”