trusted to her keeping it too, or have been exposed and undone. The very thought filled me with horror.
But I was not so unhappy neither, as it fell out, for Amy was not with us, and that was my deliverance indeed; yet we had another chance to get over still. As I resolved to put off the voyage, so I resolved to put off the visit, you may be sure, going upon this principle, namely, that I was fixed in it that the girl had seen her last of me, and should never see me more.
However, to bring myself well off, and, withal, to see, if I could, a little farther into the matter, I sent my friend the Quaker to the captain's lady to make the visit promised, and to make my excuse that I could not possibly wait on her, for that I was very much out of order; and in the end of the discourse I bade her insinuate to them that she was afraid I should not be able to get ready to go the voyage as soon as the captain would be obliged to go, and that perhaps we might put it off to his next voyage. I did not let the Quaker into any other reason for it than that I was indisposed; and not knowing what other face to put upon that part, I made her believe that I thought I was a-breeding.
It was easy to put that into her head, and she of course hinted to the captain's lady that she found me so very ill that she was afraid I would miscarry, and then, to be sure, I could not think of going.
She went, and she managed that part very dexterously, as I knew she would, though she knew not a word of the grand reason of my indisposition; but I was all sunk and dead-hearted again when she told me she could not understand the meaning of one thing in her visit, namely, that the young woman, as she called her, that was with the captain's lady, and who she called sister, was most impertinently inquisitive into things; as who I was? how long I had been in England? where I had lived? and the like; and that, above all the rest, she inquired if I did not live once at the other end of the town.
'I thought her inquiries so out of the way', says the honest Quaker, 'that I gave her not the least satisfaction; but, as I saw by thy answers on board the ship, when she talked of thee, that thou didst not incline to let her be acquainted with thee, so I was resolved that she should not be much the wiser for me; and, when she asked me if thou ever lived'st here or there, I always said, No, but that thou wast a Dutch lady, and was going home again to thy family, and lived abroad.'
I thanked her very heartily for that part, and indeed she served me in it more than I let her know she did: in a word, she thwarted the girl so cleverly, that if she had known the whole affair she could not have done it better.
But, I must acknowledge, all this put me upon the rack again, and I was quite discouraged, not at all doubting but that the jade had a right scent of things, and that she knew and remembered my face, but had artfully concealed her knowledge of me till she might perhaps do it more to my disadvantage. I told all this to Amy, for she was all the relief I had. The poor soul (Amy) was ready to hang herself, that, as she said, she had been the occasion of it all; and that if I was ruined (which was the word I always used to her), she had ruined me; and she tormented herself about it so much, that I was sometimes fain to comfort her and myself too.
What Amy vexed herself at was, chiefly, that she should be surprised