Saint Ronan's Well, by Walter Scott

Chapter 21

Perplexities.

For revels, dances, masks, and merry hours,

Fore-run fair Love, strewing his way with flowers.

Love’s Labour’s Lost.

Worthies, away — the scene begins to cloud.

Ibidem.

Mr. Touchwood, and his inseparable friend, Mr. Cargill, wandered on amidst the gay groups we have described, the former censuring with great scorn the frequent attempts which he observed towards an imitation of the costume of the East, and appealing with self-complacence to his own superior representation, as he greeted, in Moorish and in Persic, the several turban’d figures who passed his way; while the clergyman, whose mind seemed to labour with some weighty and important project, looked in every direction for the fair representative of Helena, but in vain. At length he caught a glimpse of the memorable shawl, which had drawn forth so learned a discussion from his companion; and, starting from Touchwood’s side with a degree of anxious alertness totally foreign to his usual habits, he endeavoured to join the person by whom it was worn.

“By the Lord,” said his companion, “the Doctor is beside himself! — the parson is mad! — the divine is out of his senses, that is clear; and how the devil can he, who scarce can find his road from the Cleikum to his own manse, venture himself unprotected into such a scene of confusion? — he might as well pretend to cross the Atlantic without a pilot — I must push off in chase of him, lest worse come of it.”

But the traveller was prevented from executing his friendly purpose by a sort of crowd which came rushing down the alley, the centre of which was occupied by Captain MacTurk, in the very act of bullying two pseudo Highlanders, for having presumed to lay aside their breeches before they had acquired the Gaelic language. The sounds of contempt and insult with which the genuine Celt was overwhelming the unfortunate impostors, were not, indeed, intelligible otherwise than from the tone and manner of the speaker; but these intimated so much displeasure, that the plaided forms whose unadvised choice of a disguise had provoked it — two raw lads from a certain great manufacturing town — heartily repented their temerity, and were in the act of seeking for the speediest exit from the gardens; rather choosing to resign their share of the dinner, than to abide the farther consequences that might follow from the displeasure of this highland Termagant.

Touchwood had scarcely extricated himself from this impediment, and again commenced his researches after the clergyman, when his course was once more interrupted by a sort of pressgang, headed by Sir Bingo Binks, who, in order to play his character of a drunken boatswain to the life, seemed certainly drunk enough, however little of a seaman. His cheer sounded more like a view-hollo than a hail, when, with a volley of such oaths as would have blown a whole fleet of the Bethel Union out of the water, he ordered Touchwood “to come under his lee, and be d —— d; for, smash his old timbers, he must go to sea again, for as weather-beaten a hulk as he was.”

Touchwood answered instantly, “To sea with all my heart, but not with a land-lubber for commander. — Harkye, brother, do you know how much of a horse’s furniture belongs to a ship?”

“Come, none of your quizzing, my old buck,” said Sir Bingo —“What the devil has a ship to do with horse’s furniture? — Do you think we belong to the horse-marines? — ha! ha! I think you’re matched, brother.”

“Why, you son of a fresh-water gudgeon,” replied the traveller, “that never in your life sailed farther than the Isle of Dogs, do you pretend to play a sailor, and not know the bridle of the bow-line, and the saddle of the boltsprit, and the bit for the cable, and the girth to hoist the rigging, and the whip to serve for small tackle? — There is a trick for you to find out an Abram-man, and save sixpence when he begs of you as a disbanded seaman. — Get along with you! or the constable shall be charged with the whole pressgang to man the workhouse.”

A general laugh arose at the detection of the swaggering boatswain; and all that the Baronet had for it was to sneak off, saying, “D— n the old quiz, who the devil thought to have heard so much slang from an old muslin nightcap!”

Touchwood being now an object of some attention, was followed by two or three stragglers, whom he endeavoured to rid himself of the best way he could, testifying an impatience a little inconsistent with the decorum of his Oriental demeanour, but which arose from his desire to rejoin his companion, and some apprehension of inconvenience which he feared Cargill might sustain during his absence. For, being in fact as good-natured a man as any in the world, Mr. Touchwood was at the same time one of the most conceited, and was very apt to suppose, that his presence, advice, and assistance, were of the most indispensable consequence to those with whom he lived; and that not only on great emergencies, but even in the most ordinary occurrences of life.

Meantime, Mr. Cargill, whom he sought in vain, was, on his part, anxiously keeping in sight of the beautiful Indian shawl, which served as a flag to announce to him the vessel which he held in chase. At length he approached so close as to say, in an anxious whisper, “Miss Mowbray — Miss Mowbray — I must speak with you.”

“And what would you have with Miss Mowbray?” said the fair wearer of the beautiful shawl, but without turning round her head.

“I have a secret — an important secret, of which to make you aware; but it is not for this place. — Do not turn from me! — Your happiness in this, and perhaps in the next life, depends on your listening to me.”

The lady led the way, as if to give him an opportunity of speaking with her more privately, to one of those old-fashioned and deeply-embowered recesses, which are commonly found in such gardens as that of Shaws-Castle; and, with her shawl wrapped around her head, so as in some degree to conceal her features, she stood before Mr. Cargill in the doubtful light and shadow of a huge platanus tree, which formed the canopy of the arbour, and seemed to await the communication he had promised.

“Report says,” said the clergyman, speaking in an eager and hurried manner, yet with a low voice, and like one desirous of being heard by her whom he addressed, and by no one else — “Report says that you are about to be married.”

“And is report kind enough to say to whom?” answered the lady, with a tone of indifference which seemed to astound her interrogator.

“Young lady,” he answered, with a solemn voice, “had this levity been sworn to me, I could never have believed it! Have you forgot the circumstances in which you stand? — Have you forgotten that my promise of secrecy, sinful perhaps even in that degree, was but a conditional promise? — or did you think that a being so sequestered as I am was already dead to the world, even while he was walking upon its surface? — Know, young lady, that I am indeed dead to the pleasures and the ordinary business of life, but I am even therefore the more alive to its duties.”

“Upon my honour, sir, unless you are pleased to be more explicit, it is impossible for me either to answer or understand you,” said the lady; “you speak too seriously for a masquerade pleasantry, and yet not clearly enough to make your earnest comprehensible.”

“Is this sullenness, Miss Mowbray?” said the clergyman, with increased animation; “Is it levity? — Or is it alienation of mind? — Even after a fever of the brain, we retain a recollection of the causes of our illness. — Come, you must and do understand me, when I say, that I will not consent to your committing a great crime to attain temporal wealth and rank, no, not to make you an empress. My path is a clear one; and should I hear a whisper breathed of your alliance with this Earl, or whatever he may be, rely upon it, that I will withdraw the veil, and make your brother, your bridegroom, and the whole world, acquainted with the situation in which you stand, and the impossibility of your forming the alliance which you propose to yourself, I am compelled to say, against the laws of God and man.”

“But, sir — sir,” answered the lady, rather eagerly than anxiously, “you have not yet told me what business you have with my marriage, or what arguments you can bring against it.”

“Madam,” replied Mr. Cargill, “in your present state of mind, and in such a scene as this, I cannot enter upon a topic for which the season is unfit, and you, I am sorry to say, are totally unprepared. It is enough that you know the grounds on which you stand. At a fitter opportunity, I will, as it is my duty, lay before you the enormity of what you are said to have meditated, with the freedom which becomes one, who, however humble, is appointed to explain to his fellow-creatures the laws of his Maker. In the meantime, I am not afraid that you will take any hasty step, after such a warning as this.”

So saying, he turned from the lady with that dignity which a conscious discharge of duty confers, yet, at the same time, with a sense of deep pain, inflicted by the careless levity of her whom he addressed. She did not any longer attempt to detain him, but made her escape from the arbour by one alley, as she heard voices which seemed to approach it from another. The clergyman, who took the opposite direction, met in full encounter a whispering and tittering pair, who seemed, at his sudden appearance, to check their tone of familiarity, and assume an appearance of greater distance towards each other. The lady was no other than the fair Queen of the Amazons, who seemed to have adopted the recent partiality of Titania towards Bully Bottom, being in conference such and so close as we have described, with the late representative of the Athenian weaver, whom his recent visit to his chamber had metamorphosed into the more gallant disguise of an ancient Spanish cavalier. He now appeared with cloak and drooping plume, sword, poniard, and guitar, richly dressed at all points, as for a serenade beneath his mistress’s window; a silk mask at the breast of his embroidered doublet hung ready to be assumed in case of intrusion, as an appropriate part of the national dress.

It sometimes happened to Mr. Cargill, as we believe it may chance to other men much subject to absence of mind, that, contrary to their wont, and much after the manner of a sunbeam suddenly piercing a deep mist, and illuminating one particular object in the landscape, some sudden recollection rushes upon them, and seems to compel them to act under it, as under the influence of complete certainty and conviction. Mr. Cargill had no sooner set eyes on the Spanish cavalier, in whom he neither knew the Earl of Etherington, nor recognised Bully Bottom, than with hasty emotion he seized on his reluctant hand, and exclaimed, with a mixture of eagerness and solemnity, “I rejoice to see you! — Heaven has sent you here in its own good time.”

“I thank you, sir,” replied Lord Etherington, very coldly, “I believe you have the joy of the meeting entirely on your side, as I cannot remember having seen you before.”

“Is not your name Bulmer?” said the clergyman. “I— I know — I am sometimes apt to make mistakes — But I am sure your name is Bulmer?”

“Not that ever I or my godfathers heard of — my name was Bottom half an hour ago — perhaps that makes the confusion,” answered the Earl, with very cold and distant politeness; —“Permit me to pass, sir, that I may attend the lady.”

“Quite unnecessary,” answered Lady Binks; “I leave you to adjust your mutual recollections with your new old friend, my lord — he seems to have something to say.” So saying, the lady walked on, not perhaps sorry of an opportunity to show apparent indifference for his lordship’s society in the presence of one who had surprised them in what might seem a moment of exuberant intimacy.

“You detain me, sir,” said the Earl of Etherington to Mr. Cargill, who, bewildered and uncertain, still kept himself placed so directly before the young nobleman, as to make it impossible for him to pass, without absolutely pushing him to one side. “I must really attend the lady,” he added, making another effort to walk on.

“Young man,” said Mr. Cargill, “you cannot disguise yourself from me. I am sure — my mind assures me, that you are that very Bulmer whom Heaven hath sent here to prevent crime.”

“And you,” said Lord Etherington, “whom my mind assures me I never saw in my life, are sent hither by the devil, I think, to create confusion.”

“I beg pardon, sir,” said the clergyman, staggered by the calm and pertinacious denial of the Earl —“I beg pardon if I am in a mistake — that is, if I am really in a mistake — but I am not — I am sure I am not! — That look — that smile — I am NOT mistaken. You are Valentine Bulmer — the very Valentine Bulmer whom I— but I will not make your private affairs any part of this exposition — enough, you are Valentine Bulmer.”

“Valentine? — Valentine?” answered Lord Etherington, impatiently — “I am neither Valentine nor Orson — I wish you good-morning, sir.”

“Stay, sir, stay, I charge you,” said the clergyman; “if you are unwilling to be known yourself, it may be because you have forgotten who I am — Let me name myself as the Reverend Josiah Cargill, minister of St. Ronan’s.”

“If you bear a character so venerable, sir,” replied the young nobleman — “in which, however, I am not in the least interested — I think when you make your morning draught a little too potent, it might be as well for you to stay at home and sleep it off, before coming into company.”

“In the name of Heaven, young gentleman,” said Mr. Cargill, “lay aside this untimely and unseemly jesting! and tell me if you be not — as I cannot but still believe you to be — that same youth, who, seven years since, left in my deposit a solemn secret, which, if I should unfold to the wrong person, woe would be my own heart, and evil the consequences which might ensue!”

“You are very pressing with me, sir,” said the Earl; “and, in exchange, I will be equally frank with you. — I am not the man whom you mistake me for, and you may go seek him where you will — It will be still more lucky for you if you chance to find your own wits in the course of your researches; for I must tell you plainly, I think they are gone somewhat astray.” So saying, with a gesture expressive of a determined purpose to pass on, Mr. Cargill had no alternative but to make way, and suffer him to proceed.

The worthy clergyman stood as if rooted to the ground, and, with his usual habit of thinking aloud exclaimed to himself, “My fancy has played me many a bewildering trick, but this is the most extraordinary of them all! — What can this young man think of me? It must have been my conversation with that unhappy young lady that has made such an impression upon me as to deceive my very eyesight, and causes me to connect with her history the face of the next person that I met — What must the stranger think of me!”

“Why, what every one thinks of thee that knows thee, prophet,” said the friendly voice of Touchwood, accompanying his speech with an awakening slap on the clergyman’s shoulder; “and that is, that thou art an unfortunate philosopher of Laputa, who has lost his flapper in the throng. — Come along — having me once more by your side, you need fear nothing. Why, now I look at you closer, you look as if you had seen a basilisk — not that there is any such thing, otherwise I must have seen it myself, in the course of my travels — but you seem pale and frightened — What the devil is the matter?”

“Nothing,” answered the clergyman, “except that I have even this very moment made an egregious fool of myself.”

“Pooh, pooh, that is nothing to sigh over, prophet. — Every man does so at least twice in the four-and-twenty hours,” said Touchwood.

“But I had nearly betrayed to a stranger, a secret deeply concerning the honour of an ancient family.”

“That was wrong, Doctor,” said Touchwood; “take care of that in future; and, indeed, I would advise you not to speak even to your beadle, Johnie Tirlsneck, until you have assured yourself, by at least three pertinent questions and answers, that you have the said Johnie corporeally and substantially in presence before you, and that your fancy has not invested some stranger with honest Johnie’s singed periwig and threadbare brown joseph — Come along — come along.”

So saying, he hurried forward the perplexed clergyman, who in vain made all the excuses he could think of in order to effect his escape from the scene of gaiety, in which he was so unexpectedly involved. He pleaded headache; and his friend assured him that a mouthful of food, and a glass of wine, would mend it. He stated he had business; and Touchwood replied that he could have none but composing his next sermon, and reminded him that it was two days till Sunday. At length, Mr. Cargill confessed that he had some reluctance again to see the stranger, on whom he had endeavoured with such pertinacity to fix an acquaintance, which he was now well assured existed only in his own imagination. The traveller treated his scruples with scorn, and said, that guests meeting in this general manner, had no more to do with each other than if they were assembled in a caravansary.

“So that you need not say a word to him in the way of apology or otherwise — or, what will be still better, I, who have seen so much of the world, will make the pretty speech for you.” As they spoke, he dragged the divine towards the house, where they were now summoned by the appointed signal, and where the company were assembling in the old saloon already noticed, previous to passing into the dining-room, where the refreshments were prepared. “Now, Doctor,” continued the busy friend of Mr. Cargill, “let us see which of all these people has been the subject of your blunder. Is it yon animal of a Highlandman? — or the impertinent brute that wants to be thought a boatswain? — or which of them all is it? — Ay, here they come, two and two, Newgate fashion — the young Lord of the Manor with old Lady Penelope — does he set up for Ulysses, I wonder? — The Earl of Etherington with Lady Bingo — methinks it should have been with Miss Mowbray.”

“The Earl of what, did you say?” quoth the clergyman, anxiously. “How is it you titled that young man in the Spanish dress?”

“Oho!” said the traveller; “what, I have discovered the goblin that has scared you? — Come along — come along — I will make you acquainted with him.” So saying, he dragged him towards Lord Etherington; and before the divine could make his negative intelligible, the ceremony of introduction had taken place. “My Lord Etherington, allow me to present Mr. Cargill, minister of this parish — a learned gentleman, whose head is often in the Holy Land, when his person seems present among his friends. He suffers extremely, my lord, under the sense of mistaking your lordship for the Lord knows who; but when you are acquainted with him, you will find that he can make a hundred stranger mistakes than that, so we hope that your lordship will take no prejudice or offence.”

“There can be no offence taken where no offence is intended,” said Lord Etherington, with much urbanity. “It is I who ought to beg the reverend gentleman’s pardon, for hurrying from him without allowing him to make a complete eclaircissement. I beg his pardon for an abruptness which the place and the time — for I was immediately engaged in a lady’s service — rendered unavoidable.”

Mr. Cargill gazed on the young nobleman as he pronounced these words, with the easy indifference of one who apologizes to an inferior in order to maintain his own character for politeness, but with perfect indifference whether his excuses are or are not held satisfactory. And as the clergyman gazed, the belief which had so strongly clung to him that the Earl of Etherington and young Valentine Bulmer were the same individual person, melted away like frostwork before the morning sun, and that so completely, that he marvelled at himself for having ever entertained it. Some strong resemblance of features there must have been to have led him into such a delusion; but the person, the tone, the manner of expression, were absolutely different; and his attention being now especially directed towards these particulars, Mr. Cargill was inclined to think the two personages almost totally dissimilar.

The clergyman had now only to make his apology, and fall back from the head of the table to some lower seat, which his modesty would have preferred, when he was suddenly seized upon by the Lady Penelope Penfeather, who, detaining him in the most elegant and persuasive manner possible, insisted that they should be introduced to each other by Mr. Mowbray, and that Mr. Cargill should sit beside her at table. — She had heard so much of his learning — so much of his excellent character — desired so much to make his acquaintance, that she could not think of losing an opportunity, which Mr. Cargill’s learned seclusion rendered so very rare — in a word, catching the Black Lion was the order of the day; and her ladyship having trapped her prey, soon sat triumphant with him by her side.

A second separation was thus effected betwixt Touchwood and his friend; for the former, not being included in the invitation, or, indeed, at all noticed by Lady Penelope, was obliged to find room at a lower part of the table, where he excited much surprise by the dexterity with which he dispatched boiled rice with chop-sticks.

Mr. Cargill being thus exposed, without a consort, to the fire of Lady Penelope, speedily found it so brisk and incessant, as to drive his complaisance, little tried as it had been for many years by small talk, almost to extremity. She began by begging him to draw his chair close, for an instinctive terror of fine ladies had made him keep his distance. At the same time, she hoped “he was not afraid of her as an Episcopalian; her father had belonged to that communion; for,” she added, with what was intended for an arch smile, “we were somewhat naughty in the forty-five, as you may have heard; but all that was over, and she was sure Mr. Cargill was too liberal to entertain any dislike or shyness on that score. — She could assure him she was far from disliking the Presbyterian form — indeed she had often wished to hear it, where she was sure to be both delighted and edified” (here a gracious smile) “in the church of St. Ronan’s — and hoped to do so whenever Mr. Mowbray had got a stove, which he had ordered from Edinburgh, on purpose to air his pew for her accommodation.”

All this, which was spoken with wreathed smiles and nods, and so much civility as to remind the clergyman of a cup of tea over-sweetened to conceal its want of strength, and flavour, required and received no farther answer than an accommodating look and acquiescent bow.

“Ah, Mr. Cargill,” continued the inexhaustible Lady Penelope, “your profession has so many demands on the heart as well as the understanding — is so much connected with the kindnesses and charities of our nature — with our best and purest feelings, Mr. Cargill! You know what Goldsmith says:—

——‘to his duty prompt at every call,

He watch’d, and wept, and felt, and pray’d for all.’

And then Dryden has such a picture of a parish priest, so inimitable, one would think, did we not hear now and then of some living mortal presuming to emulate its features,” (here another insinuating nod and expressive smile.)

“‘Refined himself to soul to curb the sense,

And almost made a sin of abstinence.

Yet had his aspect nothing of severe,

But such a face as promised him sincere;

Nothing reserved or sullen was to see,

But sweet regard and pleasing sanctity.’”

While her ladyship declaimed, the clergyman’s wandering eye confessed his absent mind; his thoughts travelling, perhaps, to accomplish a truce betwixt Saladin and Conrade of Mountserrat, unless they chanced to be occupied with some occurrences of that very day, so that the lady was obliged to recall her indocile auditor with the leading question, “You are well acquainted with Dryden, of course, Mr. Cargill?”

“I have not the honour, madam,” said Mr. Cargill, starting from his reverie, and but half understanding the question he replied to.

“Sir!” said the lady in surprise.

“Madam! — my lady!” answered Mr. Cargill, in embarrassment.

“I asked you if you admired Dryden; — but you learned men are so absent — perhaps you thought I said Leyden.”

“A lamp too early quenched, madam,” said Mr Cargill; “I knew him well.”

“And so did I,” eagerly replied the lady of the cerulean buskin; “he spoke ten languages — how mortifying to poor me, Mr. Cargill, who could only boast of five! — but I have studied a little since that time — I must have you to help me in my studies, Mr. Cargill — it will be charitable — but perhaps you are afraid of a female pupil?”

A thrill, arising from former recollections, passed through poor Cargill’s mind, with as much acuteness as the pass of a rapier might have done through his body; and we cannot help remarking, that a forward prater in society, like a busy bustler in a crowd, besides all other general points of annoyance, is eternally rubbing upon some tender point, and galling men’s feelings, without knowing or regarding it.

“You must assist me, besides, in my little charities, Mr. Cargill, now that you and I are become so well acquainted. — There is that Anne Heggie — I sent her a trifle yesterday, but I am told — I should not mention it, but only one would not have the little they have to bestow lavished on an improper object — I am told she is not quite proper — an unwedded mother, in short, Mr. Cargill — and it would be especially unbecoming in me to encourage profligacy.”

“I believe, madam,” said the clergyman, gravely, “the poor woman’s distress may justify your ladyship’s bounty, even if her conduct has been faulty.”

“O, I am no prude, neither, I assure you, Mr. Cargill,” answered the Lady Penelope. “I never withdraw my countenance from any one but on the most irrefragable grounds. I could tell you of an intimate friend of my own, whom I have supported against the whole clamour of the people at the Well, because I believe, from the bottom of my soul, she is only thoughtless — nothing in the world but thoughtless — O Mr. Cargill, how can you look across the table so intelligently? — who would have thought it of you? — Oh fie, to make such personal applications!”

“Upon my word, madam, I am quite at a loss to comprehend”——

“Oh fie, fie, Mr. Cargill,” throwing in as much censure and surprise as a confidential whisper can convey —“you looked at my Lady Binks — I know what you think, but you are quite wrong, I assure you; you are entirely wrong. — I wish she would not flirt quite so much with that young Lord Etherington though, Mr. Cargill — her situation is particular. — Indeed, I believe she wears out his patience; for see he is leaving the room before we sit down — how singular! — And then, do you not think it very odd, too, that Miss Mowbray has not come down to us?”

“Miss Mowbray! — what of Miss Mowbray — is she not here?” said Mr. Cargill, starting, and with an expression of interest which he had not yet bestowed on any of her ladyship’s liberal communications.

“Ay, poor Miss Mowbray,” said Lady Penelope, lowering her voice, and shaking her head; “she has not appeared — her brother went up stairs a few minutes since, I believe, to bring her down, and so we are all left here to look at each other. — How very awkward! — But you know Clara Mowbray.”

“I, madam?” said Mr. Cargill, who was now sufficiently attentive; “I really — I know Miss Mowbray — that is, I knew her some years since — but your ladyship knows she has been long in bad health — uncertain health at least, and I have seen nothing of the young lady for a very long time.”

“I know it, my dear Mr. Cargill — I know it,” continued the Lady Penelope, in the same tone of deep sympathy, “I know it; and most unhappy surely have been the circumstances that have separated her from your advice and friendly counsel. — All this I am aware of — and to say truth, it has been chiefly on poor Clara’s account that I have been giving you the trouble of fixing an acquaintance upon you. — You and I together, Mr. Cargill, might do wonders to cure her unhappy state of mind — I am sure we might — that is, if you could bring your mind to repose absolute confidence in me.”

“Has Miss Mowbray desired your ladyship to converse with me upon any subject which interests her?” said the clergyman, with more cautious shrewdness than Lady Penelope had suspected him of possessing. “I will in that case be happy to hear the nature of her communication; and whatever my poor services can perform, your ladyship may command them.”

“I— I— I cannot just assert,” said her ladyship with hesitation, “that I have Miss Mowbray’s direct instructions to speak to you, Mr. Cargill, upon the present subject. But my affection for the dear girl is so very great — and then, you know, the inconveniences which may arise from this match.”

“From which match, Lady Penelope?” said Mr. Cargill.

“Nay, now, Mr. Cargill, you really carry the privilege of Scotland too far — I have not put a single question to you, but what you have answered by another — let us converse intelligibly for five minutes, if you can but condescend so far.”

“For any length of time which your ladyship may please to command,” said Mr. Cargill, “provided the subject regard your ladyship’s own affairs or mine — could I suppose these last for a moment likely to interest you.”

“Out upon you,” said the lady, laughing affectedly; “you should really have been a Catholic priest instead of a Presbyterian. What an invaluable father confessor have the fair sex lost in you, Mr. Cargill, and how dexterously you would have evaded any cross-examinations which might have committed your penitents!”

“Your ladyship’s raillery is far too severe for me to withstand or reply to,” said Mr. Cargill, bowing with more ease than her ladyship expected; and, retiring gently backward, he extricated himself from a conversation which he began to find somewhat embarrassing.

At that moment a murmur of surprise took place in the apartment, which was just entered by Miss Mowbray, leaning on her brother’s arm. The cause of this murmur will be best understood, by narrating what had passed betwixt the brother and sister.

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Last updated Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at 22:29