Page images
PDF
EPUB

rant." Howard, then, with a view little finesse, to bring you in at the to induce a full share of Phillips's death. Be so kind as to return an confidence, partially disclosed the early answer to this. If I do go to object that rendered him desirous of Whítchurch, it will be in the course sceing the Colonel, and asked the of a week at farthest. servant if he remembered the visit

“I remain, dear Sir, of the lady he described.

“ Your affectionate child, “ Lady-yes; there was but one · · Bridget Levison BeRESFORD." dy who visited my master; and To Michael Levison, Esq. what she had to do with him I don't know; but I believe she was his own Howard turned to the post-mark daughter; at least I found a letter for information; it was nearly oblias makes me think so, though she terated; but after poring over the used to go under the name of Beres- half-effaced characters for a length ford."

of time, he fancied that he could de“ Beresford!" repeated Howard, cypher the remains of what had once in amazement, immediately calling been, " Saturday, July 3, Pimlico," to mind the young female whom, which was about three weeks' antethus denominated, he had been ac rior to the present period. On comcustomed to see seated at the Earl's municating

the result of his inspectable.

tion to Phillips, the latter recollect..“Did she come here on Wednesdayed to have seen a note lying on the morning ?" eagerly demanded he. table, but a few days previously, di

“ Yes, she did, the day my master rected to Miss Beresford, at Pimlico, left town,” answered Phillips. which his master had, at first, given “ In a hackney coach ?”

into his hands, with instructions to “ Yes."

carry it to the office; but shortly “ Drest in black?".

afterward countermanded the order, “ She has been in mourning late. saying, he would himself drop it ly," was the reply

into the letter-box. Phillips had “ 'Tis she-'tis clear---ayć, I have consequently caught but a transient it all,” exclaimed Howard ; “ there view of the superscription, and the is a cruel mistake--the innocent may name, or number, of the particular suffer for the guilty.--I must see this street specified in the address, he woman; where is she to be found ? was totally at a loss to conjecture. what is her address ?"

A map of London, and a court But to this point Phillips protest- guide, were procured, when he deed, and with truth, that his intelli- clared it, to the best of his memory, gence did not extend.

to have been Belgrave Street. It Howard desired to see the letter, was now growing late in the day, which Phillips had alluded to, and get the indefatigable champion of which he now drew from his pocket

. justice and humanity resolved to The contents were as follow: but, prosecute his search and accordto Howard's severe mortification and ingly, after having anticipated Phildisappointment, it bore no date, pro- lips' fidelity and secresy, by a second bably an intentional omission, either fee, and caused him to afford a di. of time or place.

rection where he was to be found,

left the house in the Strand, and, “Dear Sir,---In consequence of the without stopping to take any refreshdeath of Mrs. Beresford, I have just ment on the way, repaired strait to received a very affectionate and ur the south-western extremity of the gent invitation from my grandfather, metropolis. to come and be his nurse, companion, He knocked at every door, asked housekeeper, &c. an offer which, with at every shop, in Belgrave-street, your permission, I propose to accept. without being able to discover the Now, that the old gentleman is so object he was in quest of; but was fast hastening to his grave, I should told, to his consolation, that there coneeive his resentment against you was a row of houses, not far distant, must have died away; though he called Belgrave Terrace, whither he makes no mention of you in his let- proceeded, and went through a simiter, yet his sending for me wears a lar, yet still unsuccessful course of conciliatory aspect, and I hope, by a enquiry; though, from having heard

[ocr errors]

of another street, named Belgrave “ Well, sir, if you will go to Place, he was not in despair. °But, Isaac's warehouse, No. 91, Houndswhen he had visited, without excep- ditch, and ask to see Miss Sarah tion, every house here also, where Cormack, she is sure to be there ; every one agreed in declaring, that and I know_she can tell the place they had never even heard of the where Miss Beresford is gone to live name of Beresford, Howard's spirits at; because, sir, to say the truth, began to fail. One resource, how. Bridget, before she left town, bought ever, was still left. This unfinished part of a ticket in the lottery, a sixstreet was continued a little farther teenth I believe it was, and she told on, under the title of Upper Belgrave my sister Sarah to look after it, and Place. Of these few houses the send her word whether it came up a whole were not habitable, and not blank or a prize." more than the half of them were in With this direction impressed on habited. At five of them Howard his recollection, Howard rose to take had reiterated his usual question, leave, and after making his acknow, and received the usual answer. Two ledgments to the pretty black-eyed more only remained to rest his hope Hibernian for her information, and, on; and he actually experienced a what spoke more eloquently, putting sick

a vous tremor, as he laid his hand on from the house ; but as it was now the knocker of the last door but growing dark he resolved not to traone. Having repeated the signal for vel any farther on his voyage of discoadmission more than once, a young very till the next day; and, harassed girl at length appeared, to answer and fatigued in the greatest degree, to his demand for Miss Beresford. returned to a coffee-house near Buck

.“ Miss Beresford, sir," replied the ingham-gate, where, having ordered girl, civilly,“ did live here, but she dinner, or more properly supper, he has just left us; however, if you took up his abode for the night. will please to walk in, sir,"continued Before ten o'clock on the next she, “ I will ask my mother if she morning Howard was in Houndsknows her address in the country." ditch, where he obtained all the in.

Howard was on the point of ex telligence he was in search of, nameclaiming, "God bless yon, my dear," ly, Miss Beresford's present place of but, repressing the fervent and pre- abode. The direction given to him mature benediction, he contented was simply this :--Miss B. L. Beres. himself with simply expressing his ford, Mr. Beresford, Forest Farm, thanks as he followed his conductor Whitchurch, Hampshire, not more into a neat little parlour, where the than twenty-five miles from London. damsel left him, but returned in a But now a most perplexing diffifew minutes, and seating herself culty presented itself. By, what near to him, began to be very com means could Howard hope to induce municative: "I

am extremely sorry, the young lady and her estimable sir," said she, “ that my mother is father to return to the metropolis ? quite unacquainted with Miss Beres, the latter having quitted it with an ford's direction ; but my sister knows intention, perhaps, never again to it, and if you are particularly anxirevisit the scene of his iniquity and

disgrace; and the former consider“ Yes, particularly anxious," in- ing herself finally established in her terrupted Howard.

then place of residence. It was ob“Well then, sir, perhaps you will vious that neither of them would not mind the trouble of a long walk.” consent to appear to give testimony

No, no, where is your sister ?" on the benevolent principles of jussaid Howard, impatiently.

tice, charity, and a desire to clear " My sister, sir, works at a ready, the fame of an injured female. Had ade linen warehouse in Hounds, the matter been brought indeed to a ditch; the name of the people who public and regular trial, Howard keep it is Isaacs ; do you think you would have been empowered to subwill remember it, sir, or shall I write pæna them as witnesses, but he was it down for you ?"

anxious, for the sake of the countess, “ I shall not fail to remember it," to avoid pushing the question to this assured Howard.

extremity. After pondering on the

qus

circumstance for a length of time, vered to Howard from Lord Annes. he felt that he should be reduced to ley :-have recourse to stratagem for the accomplishment of his purpose; and “Sir, ---Three days have elapsed accordingly determined to put in without my having either seen or practice the following expedient, viz. heard from you on the subject of that Layton should write to Miss our last meeting: if you have proved Beresford, requesting to know the the fallacy of your conjectures and exact number of the lottery ticket suspicions, and wish on your part which she had purchased, since, to decline any further interference, through the negligence of one of do not hesitate to acknowledge it. the clerks, a mistake that might I am sorry to say that my opinion prove of much importance in the has been greatly strengthened since drawing, had arisen, in transcribing I saw you; I could almost declare the figures into their own books. that it was confirmed. Miss JerPreviously to this Howard waited ningham, by her own confession, himself on the proprietor of the of was absent from our house at fice where the ticket had been pur the identical period, during which chased, and made him, in part, privy the circumstances appearing in evito the plot he was carrying on; at dence were said to have taken place: the same time taking out a whole I was anxious that she should estaticket, which he did in the name of blish an alibi, but she asserted that Emma Jerningham, Meliora's mot the object of her walk had been to ther, thereby inducing his consent visit her mother, whom she very opto and connivance in the scheme. portunely met in the street, and ac

When Miss Beresford should have companied some way on the road to answered the first letter satisfacto- Kensington. rily, a second was to be sent, as if “! I am in a state of the most painfrom the lottery contractor, stating, ful suspense; and desire that this that two gentlemen had taken up unfortunate transaction may be furthe whole ticket of the number she ther enquired into, and brought to had chosen prior to her purchase, an issue, with all the speed it may. consequently to the exclusion of Miss

“ Your's, ANNESLEY." Beresford's share in it; and finally, it was planned that Layton, in the To which appeal Howard returncharacter of one of Bish's clerks, ed the following caustic reply: should take a journey into Hampshire, to desire the actual presence “ Make not more haste than good of the young lady in London, as speed, my Lord. The fruit of my being requisite to settle the difficulty; exertions is nearly ripe, but not ready that he should escort her to town, to be gathered immediately. defraying all the expences on the So, my Lord, you could not reroad, which, he was to make it ap- sist the pleasure of teasing Miss pear, was partly the purpose of his Jerningham a little ; forgetting a coming down The lady, on her stupid promise that you made, on arrival in London, after having vi- your honour, as long as three days sited the lottery office, in order to aĝo, not to speak to her on the subdispel any suspicion that could have ject. How convenient it is to have arisen in her mind on the subject, a short memory! Perhaps I shall was to be referred and conveyed to call upon you to discuss this matter the house of Mr. Twiss, in Abing: more seriously, elsewhere. don-street, which he had lent to be

« GODFREY HOWARD, the place of general rendezvous. “Aman of his word yet no Lord!" Leaving the execution of this are rangement in the hands of Twiss and Having dispatched this, Howard Layton, Howard prepared to set out set off in a chaise and four for Doon his journey of pursuit to the Con- ver, that being the road which, actinent, having obtained from Phil-cording to Phillip's information, lips an insight into Levison's intend- Levison had taken; nor was he mised route.

led; for on arriving at Boulogne, Just before his departure for after a remarkably quick and faFrance, however, a note was deli- vourable passage, almost the very

1

first person whom he encountered at the coach stopped in Abingdon-street, the English hotel there, was the was ludicrous in the extreme : his Colonel bimself: Howard instantly sentiments of wonder were mixed recognized him with much real glee, with terror ; he fancied himself in a though the greeting was by no dream; he appeared to entertain no means returned with the same de recollection of the past; he was utgree of cordiality by the other. terly bewildered ; and before he had Howard in answer to Levison's en- collected his ideas, or taken time to quiries, invented some plausible pre- reflect on what he was doing, How

tence for being seen on that side of ard had induced him to alight, and the Channel; and by the time they enter Twiss's house : all he seemed had entered more into conversation, conscious of was that he was in and Howard had invited Levison to England; how he came to be there dine with him in the true John Bull was a question, which was to him instyle, the air of apprehension, of volved in the most imprenetable mys. disturst and reserve which had cha- tery: :he only knew that he was in racterized the behaviour of the lat- London, and that he would rather ter on their first meeting, gradually have been in any other city in the and entirely disappeared. In the world. A multitude of swindled discourse that took place during creditors, of baffled bailifs, of friends dinner, Levison unhesitatingly re- betrayed and plundered by his avamarked that he had quitted London rice, and of ruthless desperadoes, coalmost a week previously to the pre- partners in his villanies, presented sent period; but that owing to a themselves to his dismayed imagina. trunk belonging to him having been tion; and he indignantly demanded left behind at the inn at Dover, he of Howard an explanation of his had been detained most reluctantly, situation. he said, on the French coast, to await Howard, at first, somewhat evaded its arrival.

the question, merely by replying, that Howard exerted himself in being the most noble Colonel should have unusually communicative, and free, an explanation in full, in the course and facetious; and in order to put of an hour, if he could restrain his Levison in complete good humour impatience so long; whereon Leviwith his companion, observed that son became absolutely furious; ache had had a very pleasant game of cused Howard of harbouring some whist on board of the packet: Levi design against his life and property; son instantly asked with much ea ran through the whole vocabulary gerness, if he was fond of cards- of Billingsgate; protested that he Howard replied in the affirmative, would set fire to the premises, if not a pack of cards were procured, and permitted instantly to depart unthey played several rubbers of cas molested ; and, in short, raved and sino, at which Howard, who hardly stamped, and swore, like a maniac. knew any thing of the game, lost Howard listened to this ebullition every thing he played for. During of vengeance, lounging in a listless all this time, Howard continued to position in an arm chair, occasionally supply Levison with potent libations taking a calm of champagne; till having rendered sioned speaker, who having made a him completely insensible of all that pause in his harrangue from absolute was passing around, he had him car. exhaustion of words, as well as of ried on board a vessel, and they physical energy, Howard seized the sailed back for England. The effect moment of silence, thus cooly and of the motion of the vessel on Levi- impressively to address his prisoner, son's intemperance, prevented' him for such in fact he was :-"Colonel from sleeping on the passage; but Levison,-or, I should rather say, being landed on the British shore, no Colonel at all-I beg your pare he sunk exhausted into a profound don, Sir, were you about to speak? slumber; and in this state Howard -I entreat, that you will make yourhad him put into a carriage with six self perfectly easy, with respect to horses, that in little more than seven any apprehensions that you may feel, hours, brought them to town. concerning the security of your life,

The expression of Levison's sen- and property. For the first, I am sations when he opened his eyes, as not aware that it is of any con

sequence to any one, excepting your He ordered, that the two ladies might daughter, the amiable and all-accom- be conducted into the conservatory, plished Miss Beresford, as she is vul- while the Earl and Singleton were garly called ; by the bye, I think it ushered into court, as Howard termed was a pity that you did not give her a spacious apartment, into which mother a title to your own name; it several others opened ; indeed, it is so much prettier-nay, do not in was the peculiar fitness of the arterrupt me, Sir: it would disconcert rangement of the rooms for this me to hear your arguments just now; occasion, that had caused Howard I doubt not that you had wise reasons to adopt Twiss's dwelling for the for the precaution; I only meant to scene of the eclaircissement. offer the hint, in a friendly way, When the Earl, and Singleton, but you're not going to be angry who was a magistrate, and Howard again ?-Suppose we shake hands. and Twiss, had taken their station in No !-well, as you will. But to pro the hall of audience, the proceedings ceed with my defence against the commenced, in due form, and Twiss charge of meditating an attack on was ordered to read over the eviyour fortune. I am really so over dence, as it had been taken down, stocked with the dross myself, that about a week before, to which notes if now you were to take a liking to had since been added by his Lordme, and make me a present of all ship; wherein he accused Miss Meyour property, I should hardly know liora Jerningham as a party conwhat to do with it,-unless, indeed," cerned, from the circumstance of her continued he, “ unless I were to de- being unable to afford, what the posit it with the rightful owners ; Earl considered to be, a satisfactory

for instance, we'll say the Countess account of the employment of the · Annesley--the young Lord Stanton, identical period of time consumed in or a silly, beardless rustic, on board a the execution of the forgery. vessel where I happened to be about Singleton listened attentively to thirty years ago ; I noticed the lad, the recital of the various depositions, because his name chanced to be the and declared, at its conclusion, that same as my own.

You look as appearances went strongly to cri· tounded, my good Sir!-Ha, ha, ha! minate Miss Jerningham. Howard

- that's natural. I believe I did not smiled to himself, as he remembered acquaint you that I am something of how fallacious the magistrate's judgan astrologer ; I have looked into ment wonld soon be proved to have the past, and dived into the future; been, and then, with an air of de

I can tell fortunes by the hand, or ference and respect, proffered his the face; nay, I have been making defence. calculations since we have been here, “ The explanation that I have in which seem to prove, that some one, my power to afford, Gentlemen,' now present, is destined for the gal- said he, “ consists rather of a sinlows! Mr. Twiss, are you aware of gular combination of facts, than in any repugnance that you experience making a verbose and fluent appeal ; at the sight of a rope ? I hope, Lay; but facts are stubborn things. My ton, you have not got a mole behind mode of proceedure, too, will be very the ear."

summary. I shall not detain your In this manner did Howard con attention long, Gentlemen ;" then trive to banter, and play, with Levi- advancing to one of the side doors, son, until such time as he might he called aloud on Thomas Cater, expect the return of the messenger, whom, when he came forward, Howwho had been despatched to all the ard presented to the court, saying, various parties concerned in the de- “This man is the coach-driver, men.velopement of the still unexplained tioned in evidence." Singleton asked circumstance of the forgery; and, Cater a few questions; but finding in little more than an hour from the that his answers tallied precisely time of his arrival, he had the satis with his former testimony, he was faction of learning, that the Earl quickly dismissed. and Countess of Annesley, Mr. Sin Layton was the next witness progleton, brother to the Countess, and duced, who, having repeated'his Meliora, were waiting in the parlour former asseverations, now added, for his promised communication.- “That if a dozen ladies were shewn Eur. Mag. Vol. 82.

F

19

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »