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The Settlers: A Tale of Virginia

William Henry Giles Kingston

  Produced by Nick Hodson of London, England

  The Settlers, A Tale of Virginia, by William H G Kingston.


  A book of moderate length, six and a half hours to read aloud, in whichwe meet several persons well known to our history books, such as theIndian Princess, Pocahontas. Lots of activity. Dated in Jacobeantimes.




  The abode of Captain Amyas Layton overlooked the whole of PlymouthSound. It stood on the eastern side near its northern end, on thewood-covered heights which rise above that magnificent estuary. Fromthe windows could be seen the town of Plymouth, with its inner harbour,on which floated many a stout bark of varied rig and size; some engagedin the coasting trade, others just arrived from foreign voyages, andothers destined to carry the flag of England to far-off lands. In frontof the house had been set up a tall flagstaff, which the captain waswont on high days and holidays to deck with gay banners, or at othertimes to employ in making signals to vessels in the Sound. The groundswere surrounded by a moat with a drawbridge, above which was a gatewayadorned with curiously carved images once serving as the figure-heads oftwo Spanish galleys. The house itself, constructed chiefly of aframework of massive timber, filled in with stone or brick, had nopretensions to architectural beauty, albeit its wide, projecting eaves,its large chimneys, and latticed windows, with its neat, well-keptgarden full of gay flowers, gave it a picturesque and quaint appearance.Above the low wall on the inner side of the moat, was planted a batteryof brass cannon, elaborately ornamented, and evidently also taken fromthe Spaniards; though they were placed there as trophies of victorieswon rather than for use. In truth, the old seaman's dwelling, full asit was of many other warlike engines, had no pretensions to thecharacter of a fortress; it had been his fancy to gather within itswalls the spoils of many a hard-fought fight to remind him of days goneby, especially when he had sailed out of Plymouth Sound in his stoutbark in company with the gallant Lord Howard, Drake, Frobisher, Hawkins,and other brave seamen whose names are known to fame, to make fierceonslaught on the vaunting Spaniards, as their proud Armada swept up theChannel. The porch at the front entrance was adorned with Spanishhandiwork--a portion of the stern-gallery of the huge _Saint Nicholas_;while at each corner of the building were fixed other parts of thatmighty galleon, or of some other ship of the many which had been, byGod's good providence, delivered into the hands of those whom thehaughty Spaniards came vainly threatening to enslave.

  The house contained a good-sized dining-hall. At one end was a broadfireplace, and mantelpiece supported by richly carved figures, alsotaken from the stern-gallery of a Spanish bark. Above it appeared themodel of the _Golden Lion_, the captain's own ship. The walls wereadorned with breastplates and morions, swords and matchlocks, hugepistols, with other weapons of curious form, and three banners capturedfrom the foe, regarded by the captain as the chiefest of his trophies.Here, too, were also bows and arrows, spears and clubs, and variousimplements, remembrances of the last voyage he had made to America.

  The captain was walking to and fro in the shade. In his hand was a longpipe with a huge bowl, from which he ever and anon sucked up a mouthfulof smoke, which, as he again puffed it out, rose in light wreaths abovehis head. Sometimes, as he sent them forth slowly, now from one side ofhis mouth, now from the other, as a ship fires her broadsides at herfoes, he would stop and gaze at the vanishing vapour, his thoughtsapparently wandering to distant times and regions far away, now taking aglance down the Sound to watch for any tall ship which might be comingup from the westward, now looking along the road.

  His countenance, though that of a man still hale and hearty, showedsigns of many a hard fight with human foes and fierce storms, as far asit could be distinguished amid the curling locks which hung down frombeneath the low-crowned hat adorned by a single feather, and the bushybeard and long mustachios still but slightly grizzled. His doublet andcloak were richly embroidered, though the gold lace was somewhattarnished; his breeches, fastened at the knee, were of ampleproportions, while boots of buskin form encased his feet. A man of warfrom his youth, though enjoying his ease, he even now wore girded to hisside his trusty sword without which he was never known to stir outsidehis door.

  At length he stopped; as his eye glanced along the road leading fromPlymouth. "Marry, who can those be coming up the hill?" he said tohimself. "They seem to be making for this--a well-grown youth and ayoungster--by their habits and appearance they are I judge of gentlebirth." As he spoke, the captain advanced towards the gateway to givethe young strangers a welcome, should it be their purpose to pay him avisit. The elder was of a tall and graceful figure, with delicatefeatures, a slight moustache appearing on his lip; his habit, that of agallant of the day, though modest and free from extravagance.

  The younger was of a stronger build; his countenance exhibiting a boldand daring spirit, full of life and animation, and not wanting ingood-humour.

  "Whom seek you, young sirs?" asked the old seaman, as the youths drewnear.

  "One Captain Amyas Layton, an please you, sir," answered the elder ofthe two. "We were told in Plymouth town, where we arrived last night onhorseback from Dartmouth, that we should find his residence in thisdirection; and if I mistake not, we stand even now before him."

  "You are right in your conjectures, young sirs," answered CaptainLayton; "I am the man you seek, and whoever you are and whatever yourobject, believing it to be an honest one, I give you greeting. Enter,for after your walk this warm summer's day you need rest andrefreshment; the first you may take at once--the second you shall haveas soon as my daughter Cicely returns from Plymouth, whither she hasgone a-marketing, with our servant Barnaby, on our old nag Sampson,which I called after a Spanish carvel I sank out yonder--but of thatanon. Come in."

  The captain, without waiting to make further inquiries of the strangers,led the way into the hall, where he bade them take their seats in twocarved oak chairs on either side of the fireplace--albeit the warmth ofthe day permitted not a fire to be burning there. The young men,removing their beavers, obeyed him.

  "Though more substantial fare be wanting, I can serve you with a stoupof Canary, young sirs; and your walk, judging by my own taste, willrender such acceptable," said the captain. Assuring him that they werein no way fatigued, they declined the wine on the plea of the earlyhour, and their not having been in the habit of drinking aught except aglass of ale at dinner or supper.

  "A prudent custom for those not advanced in life," he observed; "andnow, young sirs, to what cause am I indebted for this visit?"

  "We have a long story to narrate, kind sir," answered the elder youth,"and we would first, tell you our names, and whence we come; which, inyour hospitable kindness, you have not yet inquired. We are the sons ofyour old shipmate Captain Vaughan Audley, who, it has been supposed forthe last ten years or more, perished among those who formed the firstsettlement in Virginia, planted by the brave Sir Walter Raleigh. Forthat long period our dear mother, notwithstanding the reports whichreached her, has never altogether abandoned the hope that he might bealive; and though compelled to assume widow's weeds, she has remainedfaithful to his memory and refused again to wed."

  "A true wife and honest woman, such as I delight to honour," observedthe captain; "but alack! I received too certain news of my oldcomrade's death to make me doubt that he had passed away to that betterland where we all hope to meet."

  "Truly, our mother, notwithstanding her expressions to the contrary, hadbegun to be
lieve the same," answered the young man; "when about ten daysgone by, there came to the gate of our house near Dartmouth, where wehave lived since our father's departure, a seaman somewhat advanced inlife, whose pallid face spoke of sickness, and his tattered garments ofpoverty long suffered. His name, he told us, was Richard Batten. Hehad wandered, he said, over all parts of the known globe; but though hispockets had been often filled with Spanish gold, they had again beenquickly emptied through his own folly, and the greed of pretendedfriends; gambling, drinking, and other similar pursuits being his bane.He now begged a crust and a draught of beer, or even of water, withleave to lie down in an outhouse that he might rest his weary limbs. Welistened to his sad tale, and being sure that he spoke the truth,invited him into the house and placed before him a hearty meal, towhich, however, he seemed scarcely able to do justice, so far gone washe with sickness. Still the little he ate revived him, and he talked onwith my brother Gilbert here--a ready listener. At first he spoke onlyof voyages made long ago, but at length he told him of one he had latelyperformed across the Atlantic in a ship to obtain sassafras, and tradewith the natives of Virginia. The name immediately aroused Gilbert'sattention, who called me to listen to what the seaman was saying. Hehad sailed in April from Milford Haven, on board the _Speedwell_,Captain Martin Pring, a ship of about fifty tons, the year after ourpresent King James came to the throne, and in company with her went the_Discoverer_, bark of the same size, commanded by Captain Brown. Theywere victualled for eight months, and laden with all sorts of apparel,gewgaws and baubles proper to trade with the inhabitants of the countrywhither they were going. Arriving off the coast of Virginia in June,they entered a great gulf, where they found people on both sides, withwhom they had much intercourse. Here they were engaged in loading theirbark with sassafras, much to their satisfaction.

  "Batten, however, while searching for sassafras, having wandered awayfrom his companions, thinking to return, got yet farther from them, andat length, overcome with fatigue, fell asleep. On awaking he found thatit was night. When daylight returned, clouds covered the sky, and,still thinking to get back to the ship, he went on all day, but againfailed to see the great river in which she rode.

  "Having his gun and ammunition, he was able to shoot some birds andanimals, and with the fruits he found growing on the trees he sustainedlife. Thus for three days more he wandered up and down, till he atlength reached the river; when to his dismay, he could nowhere see theship. Having no doubt that she had sailed, he now set off along theshore, hoping to overtake her in case she had brought up at any otherplace. He was pushing on bravely, when he saw before him a large partyof Indians; to fight with them was useless--he held out his hand, whichthe chief took, and showed by signs that he would be his friend. Hetried to inquire for the ship, but the Indians made him understand thatshe had gone away and that it was best for him to remain with them. Hethought so likewise, and agreed to live with them, and to hunt and fishas they did.

  "After some time they set off up the country, where larger game was tobe found. Having husbanded his powder, as long as that lasted he wasable to shoot several deer; but when that was gone, and he could nolonger help the Indians, they treated him with less kindness than atfirst. This made him resolve to try and escape; he had got somedistance from their camp, when he encountered another party of Indians,of a different tribe to those with whom he had been living. Theycarried him off a long way through the woods, till they reached theircamp, when he was taken before their chief. A council was held, as hesupposed, to decide whether he was to live or to be put to death. Hewas fully expecting to die, when a person whom he had not before seenappeared, and addressed him. On looking up at the stranger's face,greatly to his surprise he saw that he was a white man. Batten inquiredwhom he was.

  "`A heart-broken exile--one who can feel for you,' was the answer; `butfear not for your life--for that I will plead, as I have interest withthe chief, though for years I have been kept a prisoner without hope ofescape.'

  "Who think you, Captain Layton, was the stranger who now spoke toBatten? He was no other than our father, Captain Vaughan Audley, whosailed with Sir Richard Grenville, Mr Dane, and Mr Cavendish on boardthe _Roebuck_ with many other ships in company. When Sir Richardreturned to England, our father had remained with upwards of a hundredmen with Governor Dane at Roanoke, where they fixed their abode andbuilt a fort. The Indians, who had hitherto been friendly, formed,however, a league against them. They were expecting assistance fromEngland, when one night the fort was stormed; most of the people wereput to the sword, but the life of our father was preserved by a chiefwhom he had befriended when, on a former occasion, that chief had falleninto the hands of the English. The chief, carrying him to his canoe,concealed him from his companions and conveyed him far away up theriver. Here landing, he concealed him in his own wigwam, where he wascured of his hurts; but our father had not from that time seen a whiteface till he met with Batten.

  "Batten's life, as our father promised, was saved; though the Indiansshowed otherwise but little regard for him, and this made him wish toescape should he have the opportunity. He told his purpose to ourfather, and promised, should he succeed, to carry home the intelligenceto his friends of his being alive. Some time afterwards, Batten said,he managed to escape from the Indians, when he made his way towards theseashore. Lying hid in a thick bush for fear of being discovered by thenatives, he one day caught sight of a party of Englishmen advancing atno great distance off. Delighted at the thoughts of meeting hiscountrymen, he was about to rush out of his place of concealment, whenhe saw a large body of Indians coming towards them. He waited to seethe result, when to his horror the Indians drew their bows, and beforethe strangers were aware of their danger, every man among them waspierced by an arrow. Some fell dead; others drew their swords; but withterrific war-whoops the Indians, setting on them, killed the whole withtheir tomahawks.

  "Batten gave up all hopes of saving his life, but, wishing to put offthe fatal moment, he remained concealed till near nightfall, when theIndians cutting off the scalps of the slain, went away inland, singing asong of triumph. He now stole out of his hiding-place, and ran on allnight, intending to build a raft and make his way along the coast, whenjust at day-break, as he reached the shore, great was his joy todiscover an English boat with two men in her. He rushed towards them,and gave an account of the way he had seen the Englishmen murdered. Nosooner did they hear this than they shoved off from the shore and pulledwith all their might down the river. For several days they continuedtoiling, till they reached their bark, the _Sally Rose_ which lay someway down towards its mouth; but the master, on hearing that the pilotand all the officers had been killed, forthwith weighed anchor, and,setting sail, stood for England. The _Sally Rose_ sprang a leak, andscarcely could she be kept afloat till, coming up Channel, they enteredthe port of Dartmouth. Here landing, Batten was making his way withouta groat in his pocket to London, when Providence directed him to ourdoor.

  "On hearing this strange narrative, I sent Gilbert to fetch our motherand sister Lettice, who listened to it with breathless interest; andgetting such answers as we could from the seaman to the questions put tohim, we were all convinced that he had given us a faithful account, andthat our father was really alive. We now earnestly consulted with himwhat to do; not forgetting to seek for guidance from on high as to thebest means for recovering our father. Gilbert was for setting outforthwith, taking Batten as his companion, and getting on board thefirst ship sailing for America; but even had our mother agreed toGilbert's proposal, it was impracticable, as the old sailor was becomingworse and worse. We sent for the apothecary, and did all we could torestore his waning strength; but all was in vain, and before the nextday was over he had breathed his last.

  "We were now much troubled, for the means on which we had depended fordiscovering our father had thus been lost. We had no one with whom toconsult; we talked and talked, but could come to no conclusion. `Wewill pray to God for guidance
,' said our mother, `we will now, mychildren, go to rest; and to-morrow morning we will meet, with the hopethat light will be afforded us to direct our course.'

  "Her first words the following morning when she entered the parlourwere: `Praise be to God--he has not left me any longer in doubt what todo--I have bethought me of Captain Amyas Layton, who resides not farfrom Plymouth. He and your father have often been shipmates, and he isamong the oldest of his friends, and will give you sound advice on thesubject. I would wish you to set out forthwith for Plymouth, and toplace the whole matter before him. Tell him that I will expend all mymeans towards fitting out a ship to send to Virginia with trustworthypersons to search for your father. It may be, though, for the loveCaptain Layton bore him, that he will afford further means if necessaryfor the purpose.'"

  "That will I right gladly," exclaimed the captain, starting up, andtaking three or four paces between the chairs in which the youngbrothers were sitting--first looking at one and then at the other; "youtwo are Audleys--I recognise your father's features in both yourcountenances. There are few men whose memory I hold in greater love oresteem, and I will not say that to recover him I would hazard half myfortune, for the whole of it I would gladly give to bring him back, andold as I am, will sail forth myself in command of a ship to Virginiashould a younger man of sufficient experience be wanting. You, youngsir, I perceive by your dress and looks, have not been to sea; or youwould be the proper person to sail in search of the missing one."

  "No, sir," answered Vaughan, "but I have been for some time a student atCambridge, where I have diligently studied mathematics, and being wellacquainted with the mode by which ships are navigated, although I amignorant of the duties of a seaman, I might, with the aid of a sailingmaster, be able without difficulty to reach the country of which Battentold us. Gilbert has already made two voyages to the Thames, and one asfar as the Firth of Forth, so that he is not altogether ignorant of seaaffairs, and lacks not willingness for the purpose."

  "So I should judge," observed the captain, casting an approving look atGilbert; "I like your spirit, young man; and you may trust to me that Iwill do all I can to forward your views. Had my son Roger been at home,the matter might quickly have been arranged; but he has long been goneon a voyage to the East Indies with Sir Edward Michaelbourn, on boardthe _Tiger_, a stout ship, in which Captain John Davis sailed as pilot.There went also a pinnace named the _Tiger's Whelp_. I would the goodship were back again, for Roger is my only son, and his sister Cicelybegins to fret about him."

  "Gladly would I serve under your son, should he before long return andbe willing to sail for Virginia," replied Vaughan.

  "Would you be as willing to serve under me, young sir?" asked thecaptain, glancing from under his shaggy eyebrows at Vaughan; "forverily, should not Roger soon come back, I should be greatly inclined tofit out a stout ship, and take Cicely on board and all my householdgoods, and to settle down in the New World. Cicely has her brother'sspirit, and will be well pleased to engage in such a venture; as I willpromise her to leave directions for Roger to join us should he returnafter we have sailed."

  "I could desire nothing better, Captain Layton," answered the young man;"our mother will indeed rejoice to hear that you have been so ready tocomply with her request. What you propose far surpasses herexpectations."

  Captain Amyas Layton had been a man of action all his life, and age hadnot quenched his ardour. While pacing up and down, his thoughts wererapidly at work; every now and then he addressed his young guests,evidently turning over in his mind the various plans which suggestedthemselves.

  "My old shipmate Captain George Weymouth is now in England," he said, "Iwill write to learn his opinion. I have another friend, CaptainBartholomew Gosnell. I know not if he has again sailed since his lastvoyage to America; if not, I will find him out. He will, to acertainty, have useful information to give us."

  Thus the captain ran over the names of various brave commanders, who hadat different times visited the shores of North America. He counted muchalso, he said, on Captain John Davis, who had sailed along those coasts;though he had gained his chief renown in the northern seas, amid theice-mountains which float there throughout the year--his name havingbeen given to those straits through which he passed into that region ofcold. Vaughan and Gilbert had been listening attentively to all hesaid, desiring to report the same to their mother and Lettice, when thesound of a horse's hoofs were heard in the paved yard by the side of thehouse.

  "Here comes Cicely with Barnaby, and we shall ere long have dinner, forwhich I doubt not, my young friends, you will be ready," observed thecaptain.

  Gilbert acknowledged that his appetite was becoming somewhat keen; butVaughan made no remark. He was of an age to watch with some interestfor the appearance of Mistress Cicely Layton, though of her existence hehad not heard till her father mentioned her.

  He had not long to wait before a side-door opened, and a young damselwith straw hat on head and riding-habit fitting closely to a gracefulform, entered the hall. She turned a surprised glance at the strangers,and then gave an inquiring one at her father, who forthwith made knowntheir guests to her as the sons of an old friend; on which she put forthher hand and frankly welcomed them. The colour of her cheek heightenedslightly as Vaughan, with the accustomed gallantry of the day, pressedher hand to his lips, and especially as his eyes met hers with a glanceof admiration in them which her beauty had inspired. Truly, CicelyLayton was a maiden formed in nature's most perfect mould--at least, sothought Vaughan Audley. Gilbert also considered her a very sweet girl,though not equal in all respects to his sister Lettice, who was fairerand somewhat taller and more graceful; but then Gilbert always declaredthat Lettice was perfection itself.

  Having delivered certain messages she had brought from Plymouth for herfather, Cicely addressed a few remarks to the young gentlemen; then,saying that she must go to prepare for serving up the dinner, which, asit was near noon, ought soon to be on the table, she dropped a courtesyand left the room. Each time the door opened, Vaughan turned his eyesin that direction, expecting to see Mistress Cicely enter; but firstcame a waiting-maid to spread a damask table-cloth of snowy whiteness,and then came Barnaby Toplight with knives and forks; then Becky cameback with plates. "This must be she," thought Vaughan; but no--it wasBarnaby again with a huge covered dish, followed by Becky with otherviands.

  At length the door again opened, and Mistress Cicely tripped in, herriding-dress laid aside. She was habited in silken attire, her richtresses falling back from her fair brow, her neck surrounded by a laceruff of wondrous whiteness. The captain having said grace, desired hisguests to fall to on the viands placed before them; though Vaughanseemed often to forget to eat, while conversing with Mistress Cicely;Gilbert meantime finding ample subject for conversation with her father.

  Dinner occupied no great length of time, though the captain insisted onhis friends sitting with him to share a bottle of Canary, which heordered Barnaby to bring from the cellar, that they might drink successto their proposed voyage to Virginia. The young men then rose, offeringto return to Plymouth, but their host would on no account hear of it,declaring that they must remain till he could see certain friends inPlymouth with whom he desired to consult about their projected voyage.They without hesitation accepted his proffered hospitality; possibly thesatisfaction the elder felt in Mistress Cicely's company might haveassisted in deciding him to remain, instead of returning home. Indeed,he considered it would be better to wait, that he might carry somecertain information to his mother as to the progress made in the matter.

  In the evening Mistress Cicely invited him to stroll forth into theneighbouring woods, beneath whose shade the sea-breeze which rippled thesurface of the Sound might be fully enjoyed. Their conversation neednot be repeated; for Cicely talked much of her gallant brother, and wassure that Master Audley would be well pleased to make his acquaintancewhen he should return from the East Indies. "Though, alack! I know notwhen that will be," she added, with a

  The captain and Gilbert followed, talking on various interestingsubjects. The captain was highly pleased with Gilbert, who reminded himgreatly of his father.

  "I knew him when he was no older than you are," observed the former. "Aright gallant youth he was. Already he had been in two or more battles,and had made two voyages to the Spanish main. He married young, and Ithought would have given up the ocean; but, like many others, wastempted to go forth in search of fortune, intending, I believe, thatyour mother should follow when he had founded a home for her in theWestern World."

  "I have heard my mother say, sir," said Gilbert, "that my father was buttwenty-five when he sailed for Virginia, leaving me an infant, and mybrother and sister still small children; so that even my brother has norecollection of his appearance."

  The captain had led Gilbert to a knoll, a favourite resort, whence hecould gaze over the Sound far away across its southern entrance. Hepulled out his pipe and tobacco-pouch from his capacious pocket, andbegan, as was his wont, to smoke right lustily, giving utterance withdeliberation, at intervals, as becomes a man thus employed, to variousremarks touching the matter in hand. He soon found that Gilbert, youngas he was, possessed a fair amount of nautical knowledge, and was notignorant of the higher branch of navigation, which he had studied whileat home, with the assistance of his brother Vaughan.

  "You will make a brave seaman, my lad, if Heaven wills that your life ispreserved," observed Captain Layton; "all you want is experience, and onthe ocean alone can you obtain that."

  "Had it not been for the unwillingness of my mother to part with me, Ishould have gone ere this on a long voyage," answered Gilbert. "It wasnot without difficulty that she would consent to my making the shorttrips of which I have told you; though now that I have a sacred duty toperform, she will allow me to go. As we were unable to obtain the exactposition of the region where Batten met our father, we must expect toencounter no small amount of difficulty and labour before we discoverhim."

  "We must search for the crew of the vessel in which Batten returned, forthey may be able to give us the information we require," observed thecaptain; and he further explained how he proposed setting about makingthe search.

  While he had been speaking, Gilbert's eye had been turned towards thesouth-west. "Look there, sir!" he exclaimed, suddenly; "I have been forsome time watching a ship running in for the Sound, and I lately caughtsight of a smaller one following her."

  "I see them, my lad; they are standing boldly on, as if they well knewthe port," said the captain. "I fear lest my hopes may mock me, butthis is about the time I have been expecting my son, who sailed withJohn Davis for India, to return, unless any unexpected accident shouldhave delayed them. Those two ships are, as far as I can judge at thisdistance, the size of the _Tiger_ and the _Tiger's Whelp_."

  Still the captain sat on, yet doubting whether he was right. The shipsrapidly approached, for the wind was fresh and fair. Now they camegliding up the Sound, the larger leading some way ahead of the smaller.The captain, as he watched them, gave expression to his hopes anddoubts.

  "See! see! sir," exclaimed Gilbert, whose eyes were unusually sharp;"there is a flag at the mainmast-head of the tall ship. On it I discernthe figure of a tiger, and if I mistake not, the smaller bears one ofthe same description."

  "Then there can be no doubt about the matter," exclaimed Captain Layton."We will at once return home. Go find your brother and my daughter;tell them the news, and bid them forthwith join us."

  While the captain walked on to the house, Gilbert went, as he wasdirected, in search of Vaughan and Cicely. They, too, had been seatedon a bank some way further on, watching the ships, but neither hadsuspected what they were. Indeed, so absorbed were they in their ownconversation, that they had not even observed Gilbert's approach.Cicely started when she heard his voice, and on receiving theintelligence he brought, rose quickly, and, accompanied by the brothers,hastened homewards.

  "The news seems almost too good to be true; but, alack!" she added, witha sigh, as if the thought had just struck her, "suppose he is not onboard--what a blow will it be to my poor father! Roger is his only son;and he has ever looked forward with pride to the thought of his becominga great navigator like Sir Francis Drake or Sir Thomas Cavendish."

  Vaughan endeavoured to reassure her.

  "My fears are foolish and wrong," said Cicely; "but if you knew how welove him, and how worthy he is of our love, you would understand myanxious fears as to his safety."

  "I can understand them, and sympathise with you fully," said Vaughan.His reply seemed to please her.

  On reaching the house, they found that the captain had already gone downto the beach, where his boat lay; and, his anxiety not allowing him towait for the young men, he had rowed off to the headmost ship, which hadnow come to an anchor, the crew being busily engaged in furling sails.Poor Cicely had thus a still longer time to wait till her anxiety wasrelieved, or till she might learn the worst. She insisted on going downto the beach, to which Vaughan and Gilbert accompanied her. At lengththe captain's skiff was seen to leave the side of the ship. He had goneby himself, but now they discovered, when the skiff got nearer theshore, another person, who stood up and waved a handkerchief. Cicelyclasped her hands, then cried out with joy, "It is Roger! it is Roger!"and presently, the boat reaching the shore, Roger leaped out, and hissister was clasped in his arms.

  Releasing herself, she introduced him to Vaughan and Gilbert, of whom hehad already heard from his father, as well as the object of their visit."And so, young sirs, you have work cut out for me, I understand, andintend not to let the grass grow under my feet," he exclaimed, in ahearty tone. "All I can say is that I am ready to follow my father'swishes in the matter."

  "I am truly thankful to you, sir," replied Vaughan, as he and Rogershook hands; and looking in each other's faces, they both thought, "weshall be friends." Vaughan admired Roger's bold and manly countenance,possessing, as it did, a frank and amiable expression; his well-knitframe showing him to be the possessor of great strength; while Rogerthought Vaughan a noble young fellow, of gentle breeding.

  The young men having assisted in securing the skiff, the party returnedto the house, where Roger gave them a brief account of his voyage, forthe captain was eager to know how it had fared with him.

  They had, however, matter of more pressing importance to talk about, andbefore they retired to rest that night, their plans for the future hadbeen discussed, and some which were afterwards carried out had beendetermined on.