“I will not, Japhet; but only tell me what has passed, and what you intend to do?”
“That I will, Timothy, with pleasure;” and I then stated all that had passed between his lordship and me.
“And now, you observe, Timothy, I have gained what I desired, an introduction into the best society.”
“And the means of keeping up your appearance,” echoed Timothy, rubbing his hands. “A thousand pounds will last a long while.”
“It will last a very long while, Tim, for I never will touch it; it would be swindling.”
“So it would,” replied Tim, his countenance falling; “well, I never thought of that.”
“I have thought of much more, Tim; recollect I must, in a very short time, be exposed to Lord Windermear, for the real Mr Neville will soon come home.”
“Good heavens! what will become of us?” replied Timothy, with alarm in his countenance.
“Nothing can hurt you, Tim, the anger will be all upon me; but I am prepared to face it, and I would face twice as much for the distant hope of finding my father. Whatever Lord Windermear may feel inclined to do, he can do nothing; and my possession of the secret will ensure even more than my safety; it will afford me his protection, if I demand it.”
“I hope it may prove so,” replied Timothy, “but I feel a little frightened.”
“I do not; to-morrow I shall give my letter of introduction, and then I will prosecute my search. So now, my dear Tim, good-night.”
The next morning, I lost no time in presenting my letter of introduction to Major Carbonnell. He lived in apartments on the first floor in St James’s Street, and I found him at breakfast, in a silk dressing gown. I had made up my mind that a little independence always carries with it an air of fashion. When I entered, therefore, I looked at him with a knowing air, and dropping the letter down on the table before him, said, “There’s something for you to read, Major; and, in the meantime, I’ll refresh myself on this chair;” suiting the action to the word, I threw myself on a chair, amusing myself with tapping the sides of my boots with a small cane which I carried in my hand.
Major Carbonnell, upon whom I cast a furtive eye more than once during the time that he was reading the letter, was a person of about thirty-five years of age, well-looking, but disfigured by the size of his whiskers, which advanced to the corners of his mouth, and met under his throat. He was tall and well made, and with an air of fashion about him that was undeniable. His linen was beautifully, clean and carefully arranged, and he had as many rings on his fingers, and, when he was dressed, chains and trinkets, as ever were put on by a lady.
“My dear sir, allow me the honour of making at once your most intimate acquaintance,” said he, rising from his chair, and offering his hand, as soon as he had perused the letter. “Any friend of Lord Windermear’s would be welcome, but when he brings such an extra recommendation in his own appearance, he becomes doubly so.”