Having sealed this, and given it to the lad who was to return with the horses, we finished our breakfast, and took a post-chaise on for Dublin, where we arrived late in the evening. During our journey I requested Timothy to narrate what had passed, and by what fortunate chance he had been able to come so opportunely to my rescue.
“If you recollect, Japhet,” replied Timothy, “you had received one or two letters from me, relative to the movements of the gipsy, and stating his intention to carry off the little girl from the boarding-school. My last letter, in which I had informed you that he had succeeded in gaining an entrance into the ladies’ school at Brentford, could not have reached you, as I found by your note that you had set off the same evening. The gipsy, whom I only knew by the name of Will, inquired of me the name by which the little girl was known, and my answer was, Smith; as I took it for granted that, in a large seminary, there must be one, if not more, of that name. Acting upon this, he made inquiries of the maid-servant to whom he paid his addresses, and made very handsome presents, if there was a Miss Smith in the school; she replied, that there were two, one a young lady of sixteen, and the other about twelve years old. Of course the one selected was the younger. Will had seen me in my livery, and his plan was to obtain a similar one, hire a chariot, and go down to Brentford, with a request that Miss Smith might be sent up with him immediately, as you were so ill that you were not expected to live; but previous to his taking this step, he wrote to Melchior, requesting his orders as to how he was to proceed when he had obtained the child. The answer from Melchior arrived. By this time, he had discovered that you were in Ireland, and intended to visit him; perhaps he had you in confinement, for I do not know how long you were there, but the answer desired Will to come over immediately, as there would be in all probability work for him, that would be well paid for. He had now become so intimate with me, that he disguised nothing; he showed me the letter, and I asked him what it meant; he replied that there was somebody to put out of the way, that was clear. It immediately struck me, that you must be the person if such was the case, and I volunteered to go with him, to which, after some difficulty, he consented. We travelled outside the mail, and in four days we arrived at the castle. Will went up to Melchior, who told him what it was that he required. Will consented, and then stated he had another hand with him, which might be necessary, vouching for my doing anything that was required. Melchior sent for me, and I certainly was afraid that he would discover me, but my disguise was too good. I had prepared for it still further, by wearing a wig of light hair, he asked me some questions, and I replied in a surly, dogged tone, which satisfied him. The reward was two hundred pounds, to be shared between us; and, as it was considered advisable that we should not be seen after the affair was over, by the people about the place, we had the horses provided for us. The rest you well know. I was willing to make sure that it was you before I struck the scoundrel, and the first glimpse from the lantern, and your voice, convinced me.”