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To Have and To Hold

XI. In Which I Meet An Italian Doctor
THE summer slipped away, and autumn came, with the purple of the grape and
the yellowing corn, the nuts within the forest, and the return of the countless wild
fowl to the marshes and reedy river banks, and still I stayed in Jamestown, and
my wife with me, and still the Santa Teresa rode at anchor in the river below the
fort. If the man whom she brought knew that by tarrying in Virginia he risked his
ruin with the King, yet, with a courage worthy of a better cause, he tarried.
Now and then ships came in, but they were small, belated craft. The most had
left England before the sailing of the Santa Teresa; the rest, private ventures,
trading for clapboard or sassafras, knew nothing of court affairs. Only the Sea
Flower, sailing from London a fortnight after the Santa Teresa, and much delayed
by adverse winds, brought a letter from the deputy treasurer to Yeardley and the
Council. From Rolfe I learned its contents. It spoke of the stir that was made by
the departure from the realm of the King's favorite. "None know where he hath
gone. The King looks dour; 't is hinted that the privy council are as much at sea
as the rest of the world; my Lord of Buckingham saith nothing, but his following -
which of late hath somewhat decayed - is so increased that his antechambers
cannot hold the throngs that come to wait upon him. Some will have it that my
Lord Carnal hath fled the kingdom to escape the Tower; others, that the King
hath sent him on a mission to the King of Spain about this detested Spanish
match; others, that the gadfly hath stung him and he is gone to America, - to
search for Raleigh's gold mine, maybe. This last most improbable; but if 't is so,
and he should touch at Virginia, receive him with all honor. If indeed he is not out
of favor, the Company may find in him a powerful friend; of powerful enemies,
God knows, there is no lack!"
Thus the worthy Master Ferrar. And at the bottom of the letter, among other news
of city and court, mention was made of the disappearance of a ward of the
King's, the Lady Jocelyn Leigh. Strict search had been made, but the unfortunate
lady had not been found. " 'T is whispered that she hath killed herself; also, that
his Majesty had meant to give her in marriage to my Lord Carnal. But that all true
love and virtue and constancy have gone from the age, one might conceive that
the said lord had but fled the court for a while, to indulge his grief in some
solitude of hill and stream and shady vale, - the lost lady being right worthy of
such dole."
In sooth she was, but my lord was not given to such fashion of mourning.
The summer passed, and I did nothing. What was there I could do? I had written
by the Due Return to Sir Edwyn, and to my cousin, the Earl of Northumberland.
The King hated Sir Edwyn as he hated tobacco and witchcraft. "Choose the devil,
but not Sir Edwyn Sandys!" had been his passionate words to the Company the
year before. A certain fifth of November had despoiled my Lord of
Northumberland of wealth, fame, and influence. Small hope there was in those
two. That the Governor and Council, remembering old dangers shared, wished
me well I did not doubt, but that was all. Yeardley had done all he could do, more
than most men would have dared to do, in procuring this delay. There was no