Tim went away, and very soon returned with an answer.
“You are a foolish mad-cap, and I ought to shut my doors against you; you have half-killed me—spoilt my gown, and I am obliged to keep my bed. Remember, in future, to be sure of the right name before you make an assertion. As for forgiving you, I shall think of it, and when you return to town, you may call and receive my sentence. Cecilia was quite frightened, poor dear girl, what a dear affectionate child she is—she is a treasure to me, and I don’t think I ever could part with her. She sends her regards.
“Come, Timothy, at all events this is better than I expected—but now I’ll tell you what I propose to do. Harcourt was with me yesterday, and he wishes me to go down with him to ——. There will be the assizes, and the county ball, and a great deal of gaiety, and I have an idea that it is just as well to beat the country as the town. I dine with Mr Masterton on Friday. On Saturday I will go down and see Fleta, and on Tuesday or Wednesday I will start with Harcourt to his father’s, where he has promised me a hearty welcome. Was there anything at Coleman Street?”
“Yes, sir; Mr Iving said that he had just received a letter from your correspondent, and that he wished to know if the little girl was well; I told him that she was. Mr Iving laid the letter down on the desk, and I read the postmark, Dublin.”
“Dublin,” replied I. “I should like to find out who Melchior is—and so I will as soon as I can.”
“Well, sir, I have not finished my story. Mr Iving said, ’My correspondent wishes to know whether the education of the little girl is attended to?’ ‘Yes,’ replied I, ‘it is.’ ‘Is she at school?’ ’Yes, she has been at school ever since we have been in London.’ ’Where is she at school?’ inquired he. Now, sir, as I never was asked that question by him before, I did not know whether I ought to give an answer, so I replied, ‘that I did not know.’ ’You know whether she is in London or not, do you not?’ ‘How should I?’ replied I, ’master had put her to school before I put on his liveries.’ ‘Does he never go to see her?’ inquired he. ‘I suppose so,’ said I. ’Then you really know nothing about it?—then look you, my lad, I am anxious to find out where she is at school, and the name of the people, and if you will find out the direction for me, it will be money in your pocket, that’s all.’ ‘Um,’ replied I, ‘but how much?’ ’Why, more than you think for, my man, it will be a ten-pound note.’ ‘That alters the case,’ replied I; ’now I think again, I have an idea that I do remember seeing her address on a letter my master wrote to her.’ ‘Ay,’ replied Mr Iving, ’it’s astonishing how money sharpens the memory. I’ll keep to my bargain; give me the address, and here’s the ten-pound note.’ ’I’m afraid that my master will be angry,’ said I, as if I did not much like to tell him. ’Your master will never know anything about it, and you may serve a long time before he gives you a ten-pound note above your wages.’ ’That’s very true,’ said I, ’sarvice is no inheritance. Well, then, give me the money, and I’ll write it down.’”