“I cannot understand these paltry excuses; there are, it appears, two pieces of lace missing. I must remand you for further examination, sir; and you also, sir,” said the magistrate, to Major Carbonnell; “for if he is a swindler, you must be an accomplice.”
“Sir,” replied Major Carbonnell, sneeringly, “you are certainly a very good judge of a gentleman, when you happen by accident to be in his company. With your leave, I will send a note to another confederate.”
The Major then wrote a note to Lord Windermear, which he despatched by Timothy, who, hearing I was in trouble, had accompanied the Major. And while he was away, the Major and I sat down, he giving himself all manner of airs, much to the annoyance of the magistrate, who at last threatened to commit him immediately. “You’ll repent this,” replied the Major, who perceived Lord Windermear coming in.
“You shall repent it, sir, by God,” cried the magistrate, in a great passion.
“Put five shillings in the box for swearing, Mr B——. You fine other people,” said the Major. “Here is my other confederate, Lord Windermear.”
“Carbonnell,” said Lord Windermear, “what is all this?”
“Nothing, my lord, except that our friend Newland is taken up for shoplifting, because he thought proper to run after a pretty woman’s carriage; and I am accused by his worship of being his confederate. I could forgive his suspicions of Mr Newland in that plight; but as for his taking me for one of the swell mob, it proves a great deficiency of judgment; perhaps he will commit your lordship also, as he may not be aware that your lordship’s person is above caption.”
“I can assure you, sir,” said Lord Windermear, proudly, “that this is my relative, Major Carbonnell, and the other is my friend, Mr Newland. I will bail them for any sum you please.”
The magistrate felt astonished and annoyed, for, after all, he had only done his duty. Before he could reply, a man came from the shop to say that the laces had been found all right. Lord Windermear then took me aside, and I narrated what had happened. He recollected the story of Fleta in my narrative of my life, and felt that I was right in trying to find out who the lady was. The magistrate now apologised for the detention, but explained to his lordship how I had before made my appearance upon another charge, and with a low bow we were dismissed.
“My dear Mr Newland,” said his lordship, “I trust that this will be a warning to you, not to run after other people’s noses and ear-rings; at the same time, I will certainly keep a look-out for those very ear-rings myself. Major, I wish you a good morning.”
His lordship then shook us both by the hand, and saying that he should be glad to see more of me than he latterly had done, stepped into his carriage and drove off.
“What the devil did his lordship mean about ear-rings, Newland?” inquired the Major.