This union of sentiment was increased by common habits, and professional careers so long and so closely united, as to be almost identical. Nothing was easier, consequently, than for Sir Gervaise Oakes to comprehend the workings of Admiral Bluewater's mind, as the latter endeavoured to believe he had been fairly treated by the existing government.
"When a man can persuade himself into all the nonsense connected with the jus divinum," thought Sir Gervaise, "it is doing no great violence to common sense to persuade himself into all its usually admitted consequences." Then, again, would interpose his recollections of Bluewater's integrity and simplicity of character, to reassure him, and give him more cheering hopes for the result.
Geoffrey Cleveland had the reputation of being like his mother; and, furnished with this clue, the fact suddenly flashed on Bluewater's mind, that the being whom Mildred so nearly and strikingly resembled, was a deceased sister of the Duchess, and a beloved cousin of his own.
The disparity in this respect would probably have been greater against the latter, had it not been for the manner in which M. des Prez succeeded in doubling on his enemies. Little need be said in explanation of the parts of this battle that have not been distinctly related. At this sight, Bluewater's loyalty to the Stuarts could resist no longer.
"I thought as much, Sir Gervaise I thought your secretary could never lean to the doctrine of 'passive obedience and non-resistance. That's a principle which would hardly suit sailors, Admiral Bluewater." Admiral Bluewater's line, full, blue eye, lighted with an expression approaching irony; but he made no other answer than a slight inclination of the head.
There is a charm in youth, that no other period of life possesses; infancy, with its helpless beauty, scarcely seizing upon the imagination and senses with an equal force. Both the young persons in question, possessed this advantage in a high degree; and had there been no other peculiarity, the sight might readily have proved pleasing to one of Bluewater's benevolence and truth of feeling.
"Ah! there go Bluewater's signals, at last! a certain proof that he is about to put himself in communication with us." "I have been a good deal surprised, sir," observed Greenly, a little drily, though with great respect of manner, "that you have not ordered the rear-admiral to make more sail.
Although he endeavoured to shake off the painful doubts that beset him, and to appear as cheerful as became an officer who had just performed a brilliant exploit, the vice-admiral found it difficult to conceal the shock he had received from Bluewater's communication.
They passed Bluewater's Drift at two in the morning, and were at Van Hayden's farm at half-past. At three they left the Modder River far behind them, and at a quarter past four they swept down the main street of the little township of Jacobsdal, their horses weak and weary and all mottled with foam. There was a police patrol in the street. "Has any one passed?" cried the sergeant.
The latter, however, was less disposed to excuse himself by such a process, inasmuch as he felt certain that the rear-admiral's feelings were in the matter he communicated, let the manner have been what it might. "I do not think we can attribute any thing to Admiral Bluewater's absence of mind, on this occasion, sir," answered Wycherly, with generous frankness.