Page:Moll Flanders (1906 edition).djvu/391

This page has been validated.
359
THE LIFE OF ROXANA

from us women; and, by-and-by, the captain carried him out upon the quarter-deck, and left us all by ourselves in the great cabin. Then we began to be a little freer one with another, and I began to be a little revived by a sudden fancy of my own—namely, I thought I perceived that the girl did not know me, and the chief reason of my having such a notion was because I did not perceive the least disorder in her countenance, or the least change in her carriage, no confusion, no hesitation in her discourse; nor, which I had my eye particularly upon, did I observe that she fixed her eyes much upon me, that is to say, not singling me out to look steadily at me, as I thought would have been the case, but that she rather singled out my friend the Quaker, and chatted with her on several things; but I observed, too, that it was all about indifferent matters.

This greatly encouraged me, and I began to be a little cheerful; but I was knocked down again as with a thunderclap, when turning to the captain's wife, and discoursing of me, she said to her, 'Sister, I cannot but think my lady to be very much like such a person.' Then she named the person, and the captain's wife said she thought so too. The girl replied again, she was sure she had seen me before, but she could not recollect where; I answered (though her speech was not directed to me) that I fancied she had not seen me before in England, but asked if she had lived in Holland. She said, No, no, she had never been out of England, and I added, that she could not then have known me in England, unless it was very lately, for I had lived at Rotterdam a great while. This carried me out of that part of the broil pretty well, and to make it go off better, when a little Dutch boy came Into the cabin, who belonged to the captain, and who I easily perceived to be Dutch, I jested and talked Dutch to him, and was merry about the boy, that is to say, as merry as the consternation I was still in would let me be.

However, I began to be thoroughly convinced by this time that the girl did not know me, which was an infinite satisfaction to me, or, at least, that though she had some notion of me, yet that she did not think anything about my being who I was, and which, perhaps, she would have been as glad to have known as I would have been surprised if she had; indeed, it was evident that, had she suspected anything of the truth, she would not have been able to have concealed it.

Thus this meeting went off, and, you may be sure, I was resolved, if once I got off of it, she should never see me again to revive her fancy; but I was mistaken there too, as you shall hear. After we had been on board, the captain's lady carried us home to her house, which was but just on shore, and treated us there again very handsomely, and made us promise that we would come again and see her before we went to concert our affairs for the voyage and the like, for she assured us that both she and her sister went the voyage at that time for our company, and I thought to myself, 'Then you'll never go the voyage at all'; for I saw from that moment that it would be no way convenient for my ladyship to go with them, for that frequent conversation might bring me to her mind, and she would certainly claim her kindred to me in a few days, as indeed would have been the case.

It is hardly possible for me to conceive what would have been our part in this affair had my woman Amy gone with me on board this ship; it had certainly blown up the whole affair, and I must for ever after have been this girl's vassal, that is to say, have let her into the secret, and