“But what would you advise, sir?”
“Advice—bad as physic—nobody takes it—Ireland—wild place—no law—better go back—leave all to me—find out—and so on.”
This advice I certainly could not consent to follow.
We argued the matter over for some time, and then it was agreed that we should proceed together. I was informed by Mr Cophagus that he had retired with a very handsome fortune, and was living in the country, about ten miles from the metropolis; that he had been summoned to attend the funeral of a maiden aunt in Dublin, who had left him executor and residuary legatee, but that he knew nothing of her circumstances. He was still a bachelor, and amused himself in giving advice and medicines gratis to the poor people of the village in which he resided, there being no resident practitioner within some distance. He liked the country very much, but there was one objection to it—the cattle. He had not forgotten the mad bull. At a very late hour we retired to our beds: the next morning the weather had moderated, and, on the arrival of the mail we embarked, and had a very good passage over. On my arrival at Dublin I directed my steps to the F——t Hotel, as the best place to make inquiries relative to Mr De Benyon. Mr Cophagus also put up at the same hotel, and we agreed to share a sitting-room.
“Waiter,” said I, “do you know a Mr De Benyon?”
“Yes, sir,” replied he; “there is one of the De Benyons at the hotel at this moment.”
“Is he a married man?”
“Yes—with a large family.”
“What is his Christian name?”
“I really cannot tell, sir; but I’ll find out for you by to-morrow morning.”
“When does he leave?”
“To-morrow, I believe.”
“Do you know where he goes?”
“Yes, sir, to his own seat.”
The waiter left the room. “Won’t do, Japhet,” said Cophagus. “Large family—don’t want more—hard times, and so on.”
“No,” replied I, “it does not exactly answer; but I may from him obtain further intelligence.”
“Won’t do, Japhet—try another way—large family—want all uncle’s money—um—never tell—good night.”
This remark of Mr Cophagus gave me an idea, upon which I proceeded the next morning. I sent in my card, requesting the honour of speaking to Mr De Benyon, stating that I had come over to Ireland on business of importance, but that, as I must be back if possible by term time, it would perhaps save much expense and trouble. The waiter took in the message. “Back by term time—it must be some legal gentleman. Show him up,” said Mr De Benyon.
I walked in with a business-like air. “Mr De Benyon, I believe?”
“Yes, sir; will you do me the favour to take a chair?”
I seated myself, and drew out my memorandum-book.
“My object, Mr De Benyon, in troubling you, is to ascertain a few particulars relative to your family, which we cannot so easily find out in England. There is a property which it is supposed may be claimed by one of the De Benyons, but which we cannot ascertain until we have a little search into the genealogical tree.”