The Major and Lady Maelstrom walked to the window, and exchanged a few sentences, and then returned. Her ladyship holding up her finger, and saying to him as they came towards me, “Promise me now that you won’t forget.”
“Your ladyship’s slightest wishes are to me imperative commands,” replied the Major, with a graceful bow.
In a quarter of an hour, during which the conversation was animated, we rose to take our leave, when her ladyship came up to me, and offering her hand, said, “Mr Newland, the friendship of Lord Windermear, and the introduction of Major Carbonnell, are more than sufficient to induce me to put your name down on my visiting list. I trust I shall see a great deal of you, and that we shall be great friends.”
I bowed to this handsome announcement, and we retired. As soon as we were out in the square, the Major observed, “You saw her take me on one side—it was to pump. She has no daughters, but about fifty nieces, and match-making is her delight. I told her that I would stake my honour upon your possessing ten thousand a year; how much more I could not say. I was not far wrong, was I?”
I laughed. “What I may be worth, Major, I really cannot say; but I trust that the event will prove that you are not far wrong. Say no more, my dear fellow.”
“I understand—you are not yet of age—of course, have not yet come into possession of your fortune.”
“That is exactly the case, Major. I am now but little more than nineteen.”
“You look older; but there is no getting over baptismal registries with the executors. Newland, you must content yourself for the two next years in playing Moses, and only peep at the promised land.”
We made two or three more calls, and then returned to St James’s Street. “Where shall we go now? By-the-bye, don’t you want to go to your banker’s?”
“I will just stroll down with you, and see if they have paid any money in,” replied I, carelessly.
We called at Drummond’s, and I asked them if there was any money paid in to the credit of Mr Newland.
“Yes, sir,” replied one of the clerks: “there is one thousand pounds paid in yesterday.”
“Very good,” replied I.
“How much do you wish to draw for?” inquired the Major.
“I don’t want any,” replied I. “I have more money than I ought to have in my desk at this moment.”
“Well, then, let us go and order dinner; or perhaps you would like to stroll about a little more; if so, I will go and order the dinner. Here’s Harcourt, that’s lucky. Harcourt my dear fellow, know Mr Newland, my very particular friend. I must leave you now; take his arm, Harcourt, for half an hour, and then join us at dinner at the Piazza.”