Timothy pointed him out to me after breakfast; I could not recollect the face, and yet it appeared that I had seen it before. I went out, and after passing half a dozen streets, I turned round and perceived that the man was dodging me. I took no notice, but being resolved to try him again, I walked to the White Horse Cellar, and took a seat inside a Brentford coach about to start. On my arrival at Brentford I got out, and perceived that the man was on the roof. Of a sudden it flashed on my memory—it was the gipsy who had come to the camp with the communication to Melchior, which induced him to quit it. I recollected him—and his kneeling down by the stream and washing his face. The mystery was solved—Melchior had employed him to find out the residence of Fleta. In all probability they had applied to the false address given by Timothy, and in consequence were trying, by watching my motions, to find out the true one. “You shall be deceived, at all events,” thought I, as I walked on through Brentford until I came to a ladies’ seminary. I rang the bell, and was admitted, stating my wish to know the terms of the school for a young lady, and contrived to make as long a stay as I could, promising to call again, if the relatives of the young lady were as satisfied as I professed to be. On my quitting the house, I perceived that my gipsy attendant was not far off. I took the first stage back, and returned to my lodgings. When I had told all that had occurred to Timothy, he replied, “I think, sir, that if you could replace me for a week or two, I could now be of great service. He does not know me, and if I were to darken my face, and put on a proper dress, I think I should have no difficulty in passing myself off as one of the tribe, knowing their slang, and having been so much with them.”
“But what good do you anticipate, Timothy?”
“My object is to find out where he puts up, and to take the same quarters—make his acquaintance, and find out who Melchior is, and where he lives. My knowledge of him and Nattee may perhaps assist me.”
“You must be careful then, Timothy; for he may know sufficient of our history to suspect you.”
“Let me alone, sir. Do you like my proposal?”
“Yes, I do; you may commence your arrangements immediately.”
I set off on a wild goose chase—and fall in with an old friend.
The next morning Timothy had procured me another valet, and throwing off his liveries, made his appearance in the evening, sending up to say a man wished to speak to me. He was dressed in highlow boots, worsted stockings, greasy leather small clothes, a shag waistcoat, and a blue frock overall. His face was stained of a dark olive, and when he was ushered in, Harcourt, who was sitting at table with me, had not the slightest recognition of him. As Harcourt knew all my secrets, I had confided this; I had not told him what Timothy’s intentions were, as I wished to ascertain whether his disguise was complete. I had merely said I had given Timothy leave for a few days.