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“Now,” said I to Jane, wishing to get rid of this unfortunate éclaircissement as soon as possible, “go after Kate, and be kind to her, and say no more about this absurd thing. I wish you had not worried her about it—you shall stay with us, if you like, dear; but do not say anything more about this ridiculous story; go, there's a love.” “I will do whatever you wish, Uncle,” said Jane; “but I don't see why Kate should say that I wanted to stay here for anything but love of you and Aunty. I am very sorry if you are vexed; for, indeed, indeed, I am happier here than I can be any where else in the world.” And she cried and clung round me, and only left me when by a douce violence I practically asserted my wish that she should go to her sister and Harriet. I looked at Nubley, and I saw two tears roll down his pale furrowed cheeks: he was leaning on the chimney-piece as usual, unconsciously watching them trickling along, and he muttered, “By Heavens ! if I am not shot to-morrow, I will settle all this 7–eh !—”—turning to me, “that's a nice child, Gilbert, if we can keep her from being spoiled... I'll do what I say—I don't care a pice for the apothecary—I'll take Kitty with me, and with her a character for her Pappy. What's the story about the dancing-master, eh?” “Oh,” said I, “a mere joke, I conclude.” “I don't know,” said Nubley, and away went the chin to work; “there must be something in it—eh?—he knows the whole story, but won't peach—good fellow, good fellow—eh— you don't believe it !” “I never, believe evil reports till I have very strong grounds,” said I; “but what shall I do about Sniggs? I have said there was no answer to his note; but that will not, I think, under the circumstances, be satisfactory to Cuthbert.” “Oh " said Nubley, “I will settle that; I’ll send Galen a billet, not over douw, but just to tell him that if he will write his letter to Cuthbert as he proposes, I will save him all farther trouble as to the journey; and he may, to save postage, inform your most quiescent brother, that I shall be with him. Let's see, this is Friday—on Monday with the young ladies— shan't let him into the secret of not taking Jane—eh—don't you see?—put his nose out of joint—a very worthy man, Sniggs—eh—beast—that's what I shall do; so, pen and ink— here they are—suppose my old woman won't be jealous of my travelling with *: settle that—eh—have the maid inisis, will do—eh—perhaps that would be worse. Now, en—”

And so to work went Nubley to give Smiggs his congé, a step he felt himself perfectly authorised to take, and I proceeded in search of Harriet, whom I found in attendance upon our young heroine, who having been hystericised to a proper extent by her excited feelings was in bed, refusing, however, the slightest reconciliation with Jane, and desiring to be left entirely to the care of her favourite Wilkins. I held a brief communing with my wife, who, equally with myself, regretted the explosion, which had brought to our notice that which we meant never to have seen the light. Our only resource was to treat the matter as one of no kind of importance, and attribute Jane's recrimination to a girlish jest; a jest which, at all events, however, had better not have £clated upon such a day. Our mutual resolution was to take no notice whatever of the allegation, and we hoped that before bed-time the sisters, who slept in the same room, might be so far reconciled, that by our avoiding all recurrence to the matter, they might rest in quiet for the night. I went back to Nubley, who showed me the letter he had written to Smiggs, which was reasonable, sensible, and just, and (as he did not write down his floating ideas) sufficiently civil: this was despatched, and we were just entering upon a conversation connected with Cuthbert's position relating to the Gorgon who had so strangely fascinated him, when a gentleman was announced to be in the morning-room, who wished to speak to me. I told the servant I would be with him immediately, feeling sure that Captain Thompson had seized the very earliest moment—scarcely, it is true, compatible with decency—to send his friend to make some arrangement as to the insult he had received: it certainly was as soon after the melancholy ceremony to which he had so feelingly alluded, when he himself called, as might be expected; but I attributed this rapidity of movement to an anxious desire to put himself right, which, as I have already said, I felt convinced was the main object of fixing a quarrel upon somebody, and I hastened down to meet the stranger, delighted beyond measure that Nubley—whose mind was not very excursive—was so much occupied in folding and sealing his letter to Sniggs, that he not only did not question the announcement of the servant, but actually did not hear it. So far so good, thought I; and away I went to give the hero the opportunity of throwing down the gauntlet. When I entered the morning-room—scene of Thompson's late proceeding—l beheld a stout gentlemanly-looking man, evidently just off a journey, enveloped in a comfortable greatcoat, who made a very respectful bow as I entered—the which I did not much like, because, in modern chivalry, it is the fashion for a man to be in manner civil to you, proportionabl to the seriousness of his determination to shoot you throug the head if possible afterwards. The moment I saw him a thought flashed into my mind, which, strange to say, had never entered it before—most strange, under the circumstances—he would, of course, expect me to name a friend, with whom he could confer upon arrangements and details: as to apologising to Captain Thompson, I should as soon have thought of suffering him to horsewhip me: and I declare that when I found myself téte-d-téte and vis-àvis with my visiter, repentance, which in my case generally came too late, filled my mind, that I had not thought of somebody to whom I could apply in such an emergency. “I beg your pardon, Sir,” said the stranger, opening the parley, “for coming here to-day, understanding that there has : o, funeral in the family, but my business admits of no elay.’ “Will you do me the favour to be seated, Sir!” said I. “No, Sir,” said the strange gentleman, “my business will be short. I believe you know Captain Thompson " “I have seen him here a day or two since,” said I, “and am therefore prepared for the nature of your visit.” “Mr. Nubley is, I believe, here?” said the strange gentleman. “He is,” said I; “but as I have already apprised Captain Thompson that the whole of the affair is transferred, at my desire, to myself, I alone am responsible, and you will therefore consider me as the principal in the business.” z “Well, Sir,” said the strange gentleman, “I suppose you have heard some extremely unfavourable reports of the Captain since he has been living here !” “Oh dear, no,” said I; “I have heard nothing against his character: our families have never been on visiting terms; but still—I 3 * “I merely mean to ask, Sir,” said the stranger, “whether you are able to substantiate any imputation against his character 3’” “No,” said I, “none that could possibly interfere with my readiness to treat him as a gentleman ought to be treated, and meet him whenever he chose.” “What I first wanted to know is,” said the stranger, “has he given Mr. Nubley satisfaction ?” “There was no necessity for that,” said I, “because, in

the first place, he called upon Mr. Nubley, and, in the second, I have taken the affair upon myself.” “You see, Sir,” said the strange gentleman, “our way of doing business is going at once to the point. I have come down from London, post, in order to be here to-day, for, from the communication which had reached town, it seemed that time pressed 32 “I presume, Sir,” said I, “that I am speaking to an officer o’” “Yes, Sir,” said the strange gentleman, “you are ; and the urgency of the case rendered it necessary that I should be here as early as possible.” “Well, Sir,” said I, “I think we may cut this matter short—my line is determined upon : I am prepared to meet your friend to-morrow morning at any hour you please; for I am resolved that Mr. Nubley shall hear nothing of the affair till it is over.” “There is no occasion, Sir,” said the strange gentleman, “for meeting my friend, for I have left him snug at Chittagong Lodge, looking after the ladies.” “Well, but,” said I, “surely, after what Captain Thompson has done in the matter, he could spare half an hour from his nieces and cousins.” “Nieces and cousins !” said the strange gentleman: “why, Lord bless your soul, Sir they are no more his nieces and cousins than they are yours. You know what sort of people they are.” - “Sir,” said I, “I believe the grounds of our misunderstanding were some inadvertent expressions on the part of my friend Mr. Nubley; but I really profess to know nothing of the ladies, and would rather, if you please, confine myself to the case in point.” “What,” said my visiter, “the furniture and the wines?” “Sir,” said I, “if you have come here to insult me, and to trifle with my feelings on a day especially and at a season when an outrage of this sort must naturally be more deeply felt, and will be more decidedly resented, say so. I tell you, Sir, that I am ready to meet Captain Thompson at any time and place you will please to appoint, and I will be there with a friend, which probably will cut our business short.” “Meet Captain Thompson, Sir!” said my friend. “I fancy there is some mistake in this. I would give fifty pounds to meet Captain Thompson, as you call him—” “I call him, Sir l’” said I. - “Yes, Sir,” said my friend, “ Captain Thompson, of Chit

tagong Lodge, in the parish of Blissfold, county of Southampton, is, in London, Jimmy Dabbs, alias the Honourable Wilmington Skimminggrove, alias Bluff Jim, alias Teddy the tight one, alias etcetera, etcetera.” “I am in a dream” said I. “Lord bless you, Sir!” said my visiter; “I wanted to see Mr. Nubley about the damage done to his house... We came down after Dabbs about lots of London swindling: never could find him for the last six months—missed him completely—and now he has got off—somebody has put him up— tipped him the office—and in course we have no right to keep. the ladies in custody; but we have taken leave just to beg them to stop for a little, and 22 “This is most extraordinary 1” said I: “I thought I was speaking to an officer who 25 “So you are, Sir,” said my most respectable friend, “to a Bow-street officer, who has been rather thrown out in the chase after Jimmy; and what I came here for was, to know if Mr. Nubley, the gentleman who let him the house, is aware of all that has happened.” “He was there yesterday,” said I. “Did he look at his wine-cellars?” said my friend. “There could have been no particular necessity for his doing that,” said I, “for the cellar-door was walled up.” “Never mind,” said my friend in the greatcoat, “the wall has been pulled down since, and, as I believe, there arn’t three dozen of drinkable liquor in the whole place.” “This,” said I, “alters the whole business. Do me the favour to wait a moment—I'll go and fetch Mr. Nubley. The affair I had taken upon myself was of a totally different nature from this. I have no objection to his being a principal here, although I should have decidedly opposed his standing forward in the other case.” Up-stairs I went—endeavoured as much as possible to enlighten dear Nubley upon the actual state of affairs, and then brought him down to the morning-room, where he found my. worthy guest, whose extremely gentlemanly manner and civilised conduct had led me into the error, that I was speako to a man in a much higher rank in life. t took but little time to make Nubley understand the extent of his misfortunes: at first his horror was extreme, for through the fogginess of his mind, which uniformly prevailed until he had warmed away the mist, he, on the first blush of the business, fancied that somebody had procured the interference of the police to stop the hostile meeting for which

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