“All right,” cried the ostler.
“I beg your pardon, sir,—” said I, addressing the gentleman in the carriage, who perceiving a napkin in my hand, probably took me for one of the waiters, for he replied very abruptly, ‘I have remembered you;’ and pulling up the glass, away whirled the chariot, the nave of the hind wheel striking me a blow on the thigh which numbed it so, that it was with difficulty I could limp up to our apartments, when I threw myself on the sofa in a state of madness and despair.
“Good heavens, Newland, what is the matter?” cried the Major.
“Matter,” replied I, faintly. “I have seen my father.”
“Your father, Newland? you must be mad. He was dead before you could recollect him—at least so you told me. How then, even if it were his ghost, could you have recognised him?”
The Major’s remarks reminded me of the imprudence I had been guilty of.
“Major,” replied I, “I believe I am very absurd; but he was so like me, and I have so often longed after my father, so long wished to see him face to face—that—that—I’m a great fool, that’s the fact.”
“You must go to the next world, my good fellow, to meet him face to face, that’s clear; and I presume, upon a little consideration, you will feel inclined to postpone your journey. Very often in your sleep I have heard you talk about your father, and wondered why you should think so much about him.”
“I cannot help it,” replied I. “From my earliest days my father has ever been in my thoughts.”
“I can only say, that very few sons are half so dutiful to their fathers’ memories—but finish your breakfast, and then we start for London.”
I complied with his request as well as I could, and we were soon on our road. I fell into a reverie—my object was to again find out this person, and I quietly directed Timothy to ascertain from the post-boys the directions he gave at the last stage. The Major perceiving me not inclined to talk, made but few observations; one, however struck me. “Windermear,” said he, “I recollect one day, when I was praising you, said carelessly, ’that you were a fine young man, but a little tete montee upon one point.’ I see now it must have been upon this.” I made no reply, but it certainly was a strange circumstance that the Major never had any suspicions on this point—yet he certainly never had. We had once or twice talked over my affairs. I had led him to suppose that my father and mother died in my infancy, and that I should have had a large fortune when I came of age; but this had been entirely by indirect replies, not by positive assertions; the fact was, that the Major, who was an adept in all deceit, never had an idea that he could have been deceived by one so young, so prepossessing, and apparently so ingenuous as myself. He had, in fact, deceived himself. His ideas of my fortune arose entirely from my asking him, whether he would