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.

The contents of the papers told me all that was necessary to enable me to support the character which I had assumed.  The reason why the party, whom I was supposed to be, was intrusted with it, was, that he was in a direct line, eventually heir, and the question was whether he would waive his claim with the others, and allow death to bury crime in oblivion.  I felt that were I in his position I should so do—­and therefore was prepared to give an answer to his lordship.  I sealed up the papers, dressed myself, and went to dinner; and after the cloth was removed, Lord Windermear, first rising and turning the key in the door, said to me, in a low voice, “You have read the papers, and what those, nearly as much interested as you are in this lamentable business, have decided upon.  Tell me, what is your opinion?”

“My opinion, my lord, is, that I wish I had never known what has come to light this day—­that it will be most advisable never to recur to the subject, and that the proposals made are, in my opinion, most judicious, and should be acted upon.”

“That is well,” replied his lordship; “then all are agreed, and I am proud to find you possessed of such honour and good feeling.  We now drop the subject for ever.  Are you inclined to leave town with me, or what do you intend to do?”

“I prefer remaining in town, if your lordship will introduce me to some of the families of your acquaintance.  Of course I know no one now.”

“Very true; I will introduce you, as agreed, as Mr Newland.  It may be as well that you do not know any of our relations, whom I have made to suppose, that you are still abroad—­and it would be awkward, when you take your right name by-and-bye.  Do you mean to see your mother?”

“Impossible, my lord, at present; by-and-bye I hope to be able.”

“Perhaps it’s all for the best.  I will now write one note to Major Carbonnell, introducing you as my particular friend, and requesting that he will make London agreeable.  He knows everybody, and will take you everywhere.”

“When does your lordship start for the country?”

“To-morrow; so we may as well part to-night.  By-the-by, you have credit at Drummond’s, in the name of Newland, for a thousand pounds; the longer you make it last you the better.”

His lordship gave me the letter of introduction.  I returned to him the sealed packet, shook hands with him, and took my departure.

“Well, sir,” said Timothy, rubbing his hands, as he stood before me, “what is the news; for I am dying to hear it—­and what is this secret?”

“With regard to the secret, Tim, a secret it must remain.  I dare not tell it even to you.”  Timothy looked rather grave at this reply.  “No, Timothy, as a man of honour, I cannot.”  My conscience smote me when I made use of the term; for, as a man of honour, I had no business to be in possession of it.  “My dear Timothy, I have done wrong already, do not ask me to do worse.”

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