He was right. The friend, the chosen and most intimate friend of their younger son would ever have been an object of interest to Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton. That he was the son of the same good man who had acted so benevolently towards Eleanor and her orphan children, who had soothed her dying bed, and reconciled the parting sinner to her Maker, added weight to the simple yet pathetic eloquence with which Herbert had related his story. The injury he had sustained excited their just indignation, and if the benevolence of their kind hearts had required fresh incentives, the unfeigned grief of Ellen, as the tale of the old man was related to her, would have given it.
“Oh, that I had it in my power to offer a sufficient sum to tempt the sordid and selfish being in whose possession Llangwillan now is,” she was heard one day to exclaim, when she imagined herself alone, “that I might but restore it to Mr. Myrvin; that I might feel that good old man was passing his latter years in the spot and amongst all those he so much loved; that Arthur could break the chain that now so bitterly and painfully distresses him. Dear, dear Mr. Myrvin, oh, how little did I imagine, when my thoughts have wandered to you and Arthur, who was such a dear consoling friend in my childish sorrow, that misery such as this had been your portion; and I can do nothing, nothing to prove how often I have thought of and loved you both—and my dear mother’s grave, in the midst of strangers,” and she wept bitterly, little imagining her soliloquy had been overheard by her aunt and uncle, who were almost surprised at her vivid remembrance of those whom for the last seven years she had scarcely seen, and of whom she so seldom heard; but it heightened their desire to be of service to him who had once been so kind a friend to their family.
The contents of Percy’s letter, to the rather alarming and mysterious nature of which we have already alluded, will be found in the next chapter.
“Malison, dear Malison, congratulate me; the game is in my own hands!” exclaimed Miss Grahame one morning as she entered the private room of her confidant, about a week after the receipt of the letters we have mentioned, with every feature expressing triumphant yet malignant glee.