Mr Scratton was one of those personages who never spoke except on business; and, having no business to transact with a girl of twelve years old, he never spoke at all, except when necessity rendered it imperative. Amber was, therefore, left to her own reflections. What they all were, I cannot tell, but one certainly was, that travelling in a chaise for two days with Mr Scratton was not very agreeable. Most happy was she when they drove up to the door of Mr John Forster’s new habitation. The old gentleman, who had calculated the hour of her arrival after the receipt of a letter from her companion, was there to receive her. Amber, who had been prepossessed in his favour by Edward Forster, who had told her that in his brother she would find a protector and indulgent parent, ran up to him when she entered the room, and burst into tears as the injunctions of Edward Forster returned to her memory. John Forster took her in his arms and kissed her. “My little girl,” said he, “what my brother was, such will I be to you. Consider me as your father; for his memory, and I hope soon, for your own sake, I shall rejoice to be so.”
After an hour, by which time Amber had recovered her serenity, and become almost cheerful, she was consigned to the charge of Mrs Smith, the housekeeper, and John Forster hastened back to his chambers and his clients, to make up for so much lost time.
It was not long before the old gentleman discovered that the trouble and expense which he had incurred to please his brother was the occasion of pleasure and gratification. He no longer felt isolated in the world: in short, he had a home, where a beaming eye met his return, and an affectionate heart ministered to his wishes; where his well known rap at the door was a source of delight, and his departure one of regret.
In a few months Amber had entwined herself round the old man’s heart: the best masters were procured for her, and all the affection of a doting parent upon an only child was bestowed by him who, when the proposition was made, had declared that “it was bad enough to maintain children of one’s own begetting.”
Bless my soul! how poor authors are obliged to gallop about. Now I must be off again to India, and get on board of the Bombay Castle.
“A green and gilded snake had wreathed
Who, with her head, nimble in threats, approach’d
The opening of his mouth.”
The Bombay Castle arrived at Madras without further adventure. A few hours after she had anchored, all the passengers, receiving kind messages from, or escorted on shore by their relatives or consignees, had landed; all, with the exception of the three Miss Revels, whose anxiety to land was increased by the departure of the others, and the unpleasant situation in which they were placed, by remaining a clog upon