“’Gin’ral, shake hands with this ‘ere boy,’ says the man with the skeered eyes. ‘If he is a Yankey he’s a decent lad—what—what?’
“The Gin’ral shook hands with Jack an’, says he: ’Young man, I have no doubt o’ ‘yer curidge or yer decency.’
“A grand pair o’ hosses an’ a closed coach druv up an’ the ol’ what-whatter an’ two other men got into it an’ hustled off ’cross the field towards the pike which it looked as if they was in a hurry. ‘Fore he were out o’ sight a military amb’lance druv up. Preston come over to us an’ says he:
“‘We better be goin’.’
“‘Do ye know who he were?’ asks Jack.
“‘If ye know ye better fergit it,’ says Preston.
“‘How could I? He were the King o’ England,’ says Jack. ’I knowed him by the look o’ his eyes.’
“‘Sart’in sure,’ says I. ‘He’s the man that wus bein’ toted in a chair.’
“‘Hush! I tell ye to fergit it,’ says Preston.
“‘I can fergit all but the fact that he behaved like a gentleman,’ says Jack.
“’I ‘spose he were usin’ his private brain,’ says I.”
This, with some slight changes in spelling, paragraphing and punctuation, is the account which Solomon Binkus gave of the most exciting adventure these two friends had met with.
Preston came to Jack and whispered: “The outcome is a great surprise to the other side. Young Clarke is a dead shot. An injured officer of the English army may cause unexpected embarrassment. But you have time enough and no haste. You can take the post chaise and reach the ship well ahead of her sailing.”
“I am of a mind not to go with you,” Jack said to Solomon. “When I go, I shall take Margaret with me.”
So it happened that Jack returned to London while Solomon waited for the post chaise to Deal.
THE LADY OF THE HIDDEN FACE
Next morning at ten, the door boy at his lodgings informed Jack that a lady was waiting to see him in the parlor. The lady was deeply veiled. She did not speak, but arose as he entered the room and handed him a note. She was tall and erect with a fine carriage. Her silence was impressive, her costume admirable.
The note in a script unfamiliar to the young man was as follows:
“You will find Margaret waiting in a coach at eleven to-day at the corner of Harley Street and Twickenham Road.”
The veiled lady walked to the door and turned and stood looking at him.
Her attitude said clearly: “Well, what is your answer ?”
“I will be there at eleven,” said the young man. The veiled lady nodded, as if to indicate that her mission was ended, and withdrew.