As for the landlord, he did endeavour to catch a few hours’ brief repose; but as he dreamed that the Hungarian nobleman came in the likeness of a great toad, and sat upon his chest, feeling like the weight of a mountain, while he, the landlord, tried to scream and cry for help, but found that he could neither do one thing nor the other, we may guess that his repose did not at all invigorate him.
As he himself expressed it, he got up all of a shake, with a strong impression that he was a very ill-used individual, indeed, to have had the nightmare in the day time.
And now we will return to the cottage where the Bannerworth family were at all events, making themselves quite as happy as they did at their ancient mansion, in order to see what is there passing, and how Dr. Chillingworth made an effort to get up some evidence of something that the Bannerworth family knew nothing of, therefore could not very well be expected to render him much assistance. That he did, however, make what he considered an important discovery, we shall perceive in the course of the ensuing chapter, in which it will be seen that the best hidden things will, by the merest accident, sometimes come to light, and that, too, when least expected by any one at all connected with the result.
THE DISCOVERY OF THE POCKET BOOK OF MARMADUKE BANNERWORTH.—ITS MYSTERIOUS CONTENTS.
The little episode had just taken place which we have recorded between the old admiral and Jack Pringle, when Henry Bannerworth and Charles Holland stepped aside to converse.
“Charles,” said Henry, “it has become absolutely necessary that I should put an end to this state of dependence in which we all live upon your uncle. It is too bad to think, that because, through fighting the battles of his country, he has amassed some money, we are to eat it up.”
“My dear friend,” said Charles, “does it not strike you, that it would be a great deal worse than too bad, if my uncle could not do what he liked with his own?”
“Yes; but, Charles, that is not the question.”
“I think it is, though I know not what other question you can make of it.”
“We have all talked it over, my mother, my brother, and Flora; and my brother and I have determined, if this state of things should last much longer, to find out some means of honourable exertion by which we may, at all events, maintain ourselves without being burdensome to any.”
“Well, well, we will talk of that another time.”
“Nay, but hear me; we were thinking that if we went into some branch of the public service, your uncle would have the pleasure, such we are quite sure it would be to him, of assisting us greatly by his name and influence.”
“Well, well, Henry, that’s all very well; but for a little time do not throw up the old man and make him unhappy. I believe I am his only relative in the world, and, as he has often said, he intended leaving me heir to all he possesses, you see there is no harm done by you receiving a small portion of it beforehand.”