Japhet, in Search of a Father eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 546 pages of information about Japhet, in Search of a Father.
to Melchior.  Even little Fleta had to practise occasionally, as we were preparing for an expedition.  Melchior, who appeared determined to create an effect, left us for three days, and returned with not only dresses for Timothy and me, but also new dresses for the rest of the company; and shortly afterwards, bidding farewell to Nattee and the rest of the gipsies, we all set out—­that is, Melchior, I, Timothy, Fleta, Num, and Jumbo.  Late in the evening we arrived at the little town of ——­, and took up our quarters at a public-house, with the landlord of which Melchior had already made arrangements.

“Well, Timothy,” said I, as soon as we were in bed, “how do you like our new life and prospects?”

“I like it better than Mr Cophagus’s rudimans, and carrying out physic, at all events.  But how does your dignity like turning Merry Andrew, Japhet?”

“To tell you the truth, I do not dislike it.  There is a wildness and a devil-may-care feeling connected with it which is grateful to me at present.  How long it may last I cannot tell; but for a year or two it appears to me that we may be very happy.  At all events, we shall see the world, and have more than one profession to fall back upon.”

“That is true; but there is one thing that annoys me, Japhet, which is, we may have difficulty in leaving these people when we wish.  Besides, you forget that you are losing sight of the principal object you had in view, that is, of ‘finding out your father.’”

“I certainly never expect to find him among the gipsies,” replied I, “for children are at a premium with them.  They steal from others, and are not very likely therefore to leave them at the Foundling.  But I do not know whether I have not as good a chance in our present employment as in any other.  I have often been thinking that as fortune-tellers, we may get hold of many strange secrets; however, we shall see.  Melchior says, that he intends to appear in that character as soon as he has made a harvest in his present one.”

“What do you think of Melchior, now that you have been so much with him?”

“I think him an unprincipled man, but still with many good qualities.  He appears to have a pleasure in deceit, and to have waged war with the world in general.  Still he is generous, and, to a certain degree, confiding; kind in his disposition, and apparently a very good husband.  There is something on his mind which weighs him down occasionally, and checks him in the height of his mirth.  It comes over him like a dark cloud over a bright summer sun; and he is all gloom for a few minutes.  I do not think that he would now commit any great crime; but I have a suspicion that he has done something which is a constant cause of remorse.”

“You are a very good judge of character, Japhet.  But what a dear little child is that Fleta!  She may exclaim with you—­’Who is my father?’”

“Yes, we are both in much the same predicament, and that it is which I believe has so much increased my attachment to her.  We are brother and sister in misfortune, and a sister she ever shall be to me, if such is the will of Heaven.  But we must rise early to-morrow, Tim; so good-night.”

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Japhet, in Search of a Father from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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