As agreed upon, the next evening we repaired to the club, and found the two gentlemen ready to receive us. This time the Major refused to play unless it was with me, as I had such good fortune, and no difficulty was made by our opponents. We sat down and played till four o’clock in the morning. At first, notwithstanding our good play, fortune favoured our adversaries; but the luck soon changed, and the result of the evening was, that the Major had a balance in his favour of forty pounds, and I rose a winner of one hundred and seventy-one pounds, so that in two nights we had won three hundred and forty-two pounds. For nearly three weeks this continued, the Major not paying when not convenient, and we quitted Cheltenham with about eight hundred pounds in our pockets; the Major having paid about one hundred and twenty pounds to different people who frequented the club; but they were Irishmen, who were not to be trifled with. I proposed to the Major that we should pay those debts, as there still would be a large surplus: he replied, “Give me the money.” I did so. “Now,” continued he, “so far your scruples are removed, as you will have been strictly honest; but, my dear fellow, if you know how many debts of this sort are due to me, of which I never did touch one farthing, you would feel as I do—that it is excessively foolish to part with money. I have them all booked here, and may some day pay—when convenient; but, at present, most decidedly it is not so.” The Major put the notes into his pocket, and the conversation was dropped.
The next morning we had ordered our horses, when Timothy came up to me, and made a sign, as we were at breakfast, for me to come out. I followed him.
“Oh! sir, I could not help telling you, but there is a gentleman with—”
“With what?” replied I, hastily.
“With your nose, sir, exactly—and in other respects very like you—just about the age your father should be.”
“Where is he, Timothy?” replied I, all my feelings in ’search of my father,’ rushing into my mind.
“Down below, sir, about to set off in a post-chaise and four, now waiting at the door.”
I ran down with my breakfast napkin in my hand, and hastened to the portico of the hotel—he was in his carriage, and the porter was then shutting the door. I looked at him. He was, as Timothy said, very like me indeed, the nose exact. I was breathless, and I continued to gaze.