“I had a few lines from Lord Windermear, enclosing your letter.”
“He is well, I hope?”
“Quite well, I believe.”
Mr Masterton then rose, went to an iron safe, and brought out a packet of papers, which he put into my hands. “You will read these with interest, Mr Neville. I am a party to the whole transaction, and must venture to advise you not to appear in England under your own name, until all is settled. Your uncle, I perceive, has begged the same.”
“And I have assented, sir. I have taken a name instead of my real one.”
“May I ask what it is?”
“I call myself Mr Japhet Newland.”
“Well, it is singular, but perhaps as good as any other. I will take it down, in case I have to write to you. Your address is—”
Mr Masterton took my name and address, I took the papers, and then we both took leave of one another, with many expressions of pleasure and good-will.
I returned to the hotel, where I found Timothy waiting for me, with impatience. “Japhet,” said he, “Lord Windermear has not yet left town. I have seen him, for I was called back after I left the house, by the footman, who ran after me—he will be here immediately.”
“Indeed,” replied I. “Pray what sort of person is he, and what did he say to you?”
“He sent for me in the dining-parlour, where he was at breakfast, asked when you arrived, whether you were well, and how long I had been in your service. I replied that I had not been more than two days, and had just put on my liveries. He then desired me to tell Mr Newland that he would call upon him in about two hours. Then, my lord,” replied I, “I had better go and tell him to get out of bed.”
“The lazy dog!” said he, “nearly one o’clock, and not out of bed; well, go then, and get him dressed as fast as you can.”
Shortly afterwards a handsome carriage with greys drew up to the door. His lordship sent in his footman to ask whether Mr Newland was at home. The reply of the waiter was, that there was a young gentleman who had been there two or three days, who had come from making a tour, and his name did begin with an N. “That will do, James; let down the steps.” His lordship alighted, was ushered up stairs, and into my room. There we stood, staring at each other.
“Lord Windermear, I believe,” said I, extending my hand.
“You have recognised me first, John,” said he, taking my hand, and looking earnestly in my face. “Good heavens! is it possible that an awkward boy should have grown up into so handsome a fellow? I shall be proud of my nephew. Did you remember me when I entered the room?”
“To tell the truth, my lord, I did not; but expecting you, I took it for granted that it must be you.”
“Nine years make a great difference, John;—but I forget, I must now call you Japhet. Have you been reading the Bible lately, that you fixed upon that strange name?”