It struck four by Saint Paul’s as Doctor Hodges, accompanied by Leonard and Nizza Macascree, issued from his dwelling, and proceeded towards Wood-street. The party was followed by a man leading a couple of horses, equipped with pillions, and furnished with saddle-bags, partly filled with the scanty luggage which the apprentice and the piper’s daughter took with them. A slight haze, indicative of the intense heat about to follow, hung round the lower part of the cathedral, but its topmost pinnacles glittered in the beams of the newly-risen sun. As Leonard gazed at the central tower, he descried Solomon Eagle on its summit, and pointed him out to Hodges. Motioning the apprentice, in a manner that could not be misunderstood, to halt, the enthusiast vanished, and in another moment appeared upon the roof, and descended to the battlements, overlooking the spot where the little party stood. This was at the northwest corner of the cathedral, at a short distance from the portico. The enthusiast had a small sack in his hand, and calling to Nizza Macascree to take it, flung it to the ground. The ringing sound which it made on its fall proved that it contained gold or silver, while its size showed that the amount must be considerable. Nizza looked at it in astonishment, but did not offer to touch it.
“Take it!” thundered Solomon Eagle; “it is your dowry.” And perceiving she hesitated to comply with the injunction, he shouted to Leonard. “Give it her. I have no use for gold. May it make you and her happy!”
“I know not where he can have obtained this money,” observed Hodges; “but I am sure in no unlawful manner, and I therefore counsel Nizza to accept the boon. It may be of the greatest use to her at some future time.”
His scruples being thus overcome, Leonard took the sack, and placed it in one of the saddle-bags.
“You can examine it at your leisure,” remarked Hodges to Nizza. “We have no more time to lose.”