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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 432 pages of information about Japhet, in Search of a Father.

“My lord!” replied I, rising with dignity; “this is the greatest affront you have put upon me yet; still I will name the price by which I will solemnly bind myself, by all my future hopes of finding my father in this world, and of finding an eternal Father in the next, and that price, my lord, is a return of your good opinion.”

His lordship also rose, and walked up and down the room with much agitation in his manner.  “What am I to make of you, Mr Newland?”

“My lord, if I were a swindler, I should have taken your money; if I had wished to avail myself of the secret, I might have escaped with all the documents, and made my own terms.  I am, my lord, nothing more than an abandoned child, trying all he can to find his father” My feelings overpowered me, and I burst into tears.  As soon as I could recover myself, I addressed his lordship, who had been watching me in silence, and not without emotion.  “I have one thing more to say to you, my lord.”  I then mentioned the conversation between Mr Estcourt and myself, and pointed out the propriety of not making him a party to the important secret.

His lordship allowed me to proceed without interruption, and after a few moments’ thought said, “I believe that you are right, Mr Newland; and I now begin to think that it was better that this secret should have been entrusted to you than to him.  You have now conferred an obligation on me, and may command me.  I believe you to be honest, but a little mad, and I beg your pardon for the pain which I have occasioned you.”

“My lord, I am more than satisfied.”

“Can I be of any assistance to you, Mr Newland?”

“If, my lord, you could at all assist me, or direct me in my search—­”

“There I am afraid I can be of little use; but I will give you the means of prosecuting your search, and in so doing, I am doing but an act of justice, for in introducing you to Major Carbonnell, I am aware that I must have very much increased your expenses.  It was an error which must be repaired, and therefore, Mr Newland, I beg you will consider the money at the bank as yours, and make use of it to enable you to obtain your ardent wish.”

“My lord—­”

“I will not be denied, Mr Newland; and if you feel any delicacy on the subject, you may take it as a loan, to be repaid when you find it convenient.  Do not, for a moment, consider that it is given to you because you possess an important secret, for I will trust entirely to your honour on that score.”

“Indeed, my lord,” replied I, “your kindness overwhelms me, and I feel as if, in you, I had already almost found a father.  Excuse me, my lord, but did your lordship ever—­ever—­”

“I know what you would say, my poor fellow:  no, I never did.  I never was blessed with children.  Had I been, I should not have felt that I was disgraced by having one resembling you.  Allow me to entreat you, Mr Newland, that you do not suffer the mystery of your birth to weigh so heavily on your mind; and now I wish you good morning, and if you think I can be useful to you, I beg that you will not fail to let me know.”

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