On hearing from you that you persist in your offer to assume complete responsibility for my nephew, I will hand him over to your care at once. I cannot pretend that I shall be sorry to see the last of him, for I am not a hypocrite. I may add that his clothes are in rather a sorry state. I had intended to equip him upon his entering the office of my old friend Mr. Hitchcock and with that intention I have been letting him wear out what he has. This, I may say, he has done most effectually.
I am, Sir,
To which Mr. Ogilvie replied:
Dear Mr. Lidderdale,
I accept full responsibility for Mark and for Mark’s money. Send both of them along whenever you like. I’m not going to embark on another controversy about the “rights” of boys. I’ve exhausted every argument on this subject since Mark involved me in his drastic measures of a month ago. But please let me assure you that I will do my best for him and that I am convinced he will do his best for me.
Mark rarely visited his uncle and aunt after he went to live at Meade Cantorum; and the break was made complete soon afterward when the living of Wych-on-the-Wold was accepted by Mr. Ogilvie, so complete indeed that he never saw his relations again. Uncle Henry died five years later; Aunt Helen went to live at St. Leonard’s, where she took up palmistry and became indispensable to the success of charitable bazaars in East Sussex.