Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Chapter 21: Happy endings

John Holbrook's quest has done its thing, and he has attained actual maturity.
"All his uncertainty had disappeared, and his steady eye and voice plainly revealed the core of strength that Kit had always sensed beneath his gentleness. In the days of his captivity, of which he never spoke, in the waiting for a chance to escape, and in the weary hunted trail down the Connecticut River, John had found his answers."
And as long as he's not mooning after Kit, William Ashby isn't really so bad.
"She and William spent their evenings in happy planning, and their contentment was good to see. Kit had never found William so likeable before."
So with both her cousins married off, Kit's ready to move forward with her get-out-of-Dodge plan. She's going back to Barbados, and she's going to do it by selling her fancy dresses and actually working for a living. "She would not be going back as Sir Francis Tyler's granddaughter."


Spring shows up. And as anyone who's gone through one of those suddenly-beautiful days knows, it makes the whole world look different. (See the post pic, taken on an 80-degree March day in downtown Boston.)
"All at once Kit was aware that this New England, which had shown her the miracle of autumn and the white wonder of snow, had a new secret in store."

"Was this what strengthened these New Englanders to endure the winter, the knowledge that summer's return would be all the richer for the waiting?"

"She did not want to leave this place, after all."
Not just the world, but the people in it.
"Had Hannah known when she herself had not even suspected? It was not escape that she had dreamed about, it was love. And love was Nat."

"Nat is New England too, she thought, like John Holbrook and Uncle Matthew. Why have I never seen that he is one of them? Under that offhand way of his, there is the same rock. Hannah leaned on it for years. And I refused to see."
That whole leaving thing? Maybe not. "From that moment in the meadow Kit ceased to plan at all. She only waited."

And if you wait long enough, and keep hanging around the docks, sooner or later you're going to run into the captain of a brand new ship: "A seaman in a blue coat bent to check a row of barrels, and as he straightened up, even before he turned or before she consciously recognized him, Kit began to run."

Nat gets straight to the point: "Kit? It is Kit, isn't it, not Mistress Ashby?"

And then he reveals the new ship's name:
"Oh, she's not named after Hannah. I hadn't gone ten miles down the river that day before I knew I'd left the real witch behind.... "Now you'll both have to wait. I'm not going to disappoint her, Kit. When I take you on board the Witch, it's going to be for keeps."

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