As if by accident, he carried the paper with him.
If his daughter could have read his thoughts, she would have known that amidst the tumults of hopes and fears that so agitated him was also a determination not to let her eyes rest upon that paper.
A moment later she thought of following him into the library, but she imagined that he wished to be alone, and discreetly yielded to his desire. Besides she was soon reassured by hearing him moving about and opening and closing the window.
At the end of an hour, she decided to look in, and see what Mr. Durrien was doing. She found that he was seated before his desk writing a letter. But she did not see that us he wrote his eyes filled with tears.
A LETTER FROM PARIS.
Since his return to Stockholm, Erik had received every day from all parts of Europe a voluminous correspondence. Some learned society wished for information on some point, or wrote to congratulate him; foreign governments wished to bestow upon him some honor or recompense; ship-owners, or traders, solicited some favor which would serve their interests.
Therefore he was not surprised when he received one morning two letters bearing the Paris postmark.
The first that he opened was an invitation from the Geographical Society of France, asking him and his companions to come and receive a handsome medal, which had been voted in a solemn conclave “to the navigators of the first circumpolar periplus of the arctic seas.”
The second envelope made Erik start, he looked at it. On the box which closed it was a medallion upon which the letters “E.D.” were engraved, surrounded by the motto “Semper idem.”
These initials and devices were also stamped in the corner of the letter enclosed in the envelope, which was that from Mr. Durrien.
The letter read as follows:
“My dear child,—Let me call you this in any case. I have just read in a French newspaper a biography translated from the Swedish language, which has overcome me more than I can tell you. It was your account of yourself. You state that you were picked up at sea about twenty-two years ago by a Norwegian fisherman in the neighborhood of Bergen; that you were tied to a buoy, bearing the name of ‘Cynthia;’ that the especial motive of your arctic voyage was to find a survivor of the vessel of that name—ship wrecked in October, 1858; and then you state that you have returned from the voyage without having been able to gain any information about the matter.
“If all this is true (oh, what would I not give if it is true!), I ask you not to lose a moment in running to the telegraph office and letting me know it. In that case, my child, you can understand my impatience, my anxiety, and my joy. In that case you are my grandson, for whom I have mourned so many years, whom I believed