The Boltons Are Very Firm
While all this was going on, as the general opinion in favour of Caldigate was becoming stronger every day, when even Judge Bramber had begun to doubt, the feeling which had always prevailed at Puritan Grange was growing in intensity and converting itself from a conviction into a passion. That the wicked bigamist had falsely and fraudulently robbed her of her daughter was a religion to Mrs. Bolton;—and, as the matter had proceeded, the old banker had become ever more and more submissive to his wife’s feelings. All the Cambridge Boltons were in accord on this subject,—who had never before been in accord on any subject. Robert Bolton, who understood thoroughly each point as it was raised on behalf of Caldigate, was quite sure that the old squire was spending his money freely, his own money and his son’s, with the view of getting the verdict set aside. What was so clear as that Dick Shand and Bagwax, and probably also Smithers from the Stamps and Taxes, were all in the pay of old Caldigate? At this time the defection of Adamson was not known to him, but he did know that a strong case was being made with the Secretary of State. ’If it costs me all I have in the world I will expose them,’ he said up in London to his brother William, the London barrister.
The barrister was not quite in accord with the other Boltons. He also had been disposed to think that Dick Shand and Bagwax might have been bribed by the squire. It was at any rate possible. And the twenty thousand pounds paid to the accusing witnesses had always stuck in his throat when he had endeavoured to believe that Caldigate might be innocent. It seemed to him still that the balance of evidence was against the man who had taken his sister away from her home. But he was willing to leave that to the Secretary of State and to the judge. He