Page:Moll Flanders (1906 edition).djvu/393

This page has been validated.
361
THE LIFE OF ROXANA

so by the girl, as she called her; I mean surprised into a discovery of herself to the girl; which indeed was a false step of Amy's, and so I had often told her. But it was to no purpose to talk of that now, the business was, how to get clear of the girl's suspicions, and of the girl too, for it looked more threatening every day than other; and, if I was uneasy at what Amy had told me of her rambling and rattling to her (Amy), I had a thousand times as much reason to be uneasy now, when she had chopped upon me so unhappily as this; and not only had seen my face, but knew too where I lived, what name I went by, and the like.

And I am not come to the worst of it yet neither, for a few days after my friend the Quaker had made her visit, and excused me on the account of indisposition, as if they had done it in over and above kindness, because they had been told I was not well, they come both directly to my lodgings to visit me: the captain's wife and my daughter (who she called sister), and the captain, to show them the place; the captain only brought them to the door, put them in, and went away upon some business.

Had not the kind Quaker, in a lucky moment, come running in before them, they had not only clapped in upon me, in the parlour, as it had been a surprise, but which would have been a thousand times worse, had seen Amy with me; I think if that had happened, I had had no remedy but to take the girl by herself, and have made myself known to her, which would have been all distraction.

But the Quaker, a lucky creature to me, happened to see them come to the door, before they rung the bell, and, instead of going to let them in, came running in with some confusion in her countenance, and told me who was a-coming; at which Amy run first and I after her, and bid the Quaker come up as soon as she had let them in.

I was going to bid her deny me, but it came into my thoughts, that having been represented so much out of order, it would have looked very odd; besides, I knew the honest Quaker, though she would do anything else for me, would not lie for me, and it would have been hard to have desired it of her.

After she had let them in, and brought them into the parlour, she came up to Amy and I, who were hardly out of the fright, and yet were congratulating one another that Amy was not surprised again.

They paid their visit in form, and I received them as formally, but took occasion two or three times to hint that I was so ill that I was afraid I should not be able to go to Holland, at least not so soon as the captain must go off; and made my compliment how sorry I was to be disappointed of the advantage of their company and assistance in the voyage; and sometimes I talked as if I thought I might stay till the captain returned, and would be ready to go again; then the Quaker put in, that then I might be too far gone, meaning with child, that I should not venture at all; and then (as if she should be pleased with it) added, she hoped I would stay and lie in at her house; so as this carried its own face with it, 'twas well enough.

But it was now high time to talk of this to my husband, which, however, was not the greatest difficulty before me; for after this and other chat had taken up some time, the young fool began her tattle again; and two or three times she brought it in, that I was so like a lady that she had the honour to know at the other end of the town, that she could not put that lady out of her mind when I was by, and once or twice I fancied the girl