“I could not see Banks,” he said, “but I left a few words on a scrap of paper, saying that it was I who had taken the money. Otherwise he would have been in a terrible taking, when he discovered that it was gone.”
“That is right good news, indeed, lad. For twelve years I have set aside half my rents, so that in those bags in your holsters there are six years’ income, and the interest of that money, laid out in good mortgages, will suffice amply for my wants in a country like Sweden, where life is simple and living cheap. The money itself shall remain untouched, for your use, should our hopes fail and the estates be lost for all time. That is indeed a weight off my mind.
“And you are, I hope, in equally good case, Jervoise, for if not, you know that I would gladly share with you?”
“I am in very good case, Sir Marmaduke, though I none the less thank you for your offer. I too have, as you know, put aside half my income. My estates are not so large as those of Lynnwood. Their acreage may be as large, but a good deal of it is mountain land, worth but little. My fund, therefore, is not as large as yours, but it amounts to a good round sum; and as I hope, either in the army or in some other way, to earn an income for myself, it is ample. I shall be sorry to divert it from the use for which I intended it, but that cannot now be helped. I have had the pleasure, year by year, of putting it by for the king’s use, and, now that circumstances have changed, it will be equally useful to myself.”
“Do you know this country well, Jervoise?”
“Personally I know nothing about it, save that the sun tells me that, at present, I am travelling south, Sir Marmaduke. But, for the last few days I have been so closely studying a map, that I know the name of every town and village on the various routes.”
“And whither think you of going?”
“To London or Southampton. Strangers are far less noticed in large towns than in small, and we could hardly hope to find a ship, bound for Sweden, in any of the Dorset or Devon ports.”
After much discussion, the party agreed that it would be best to make for Southampton. The road thither was less frequented than that leading to London, and there were fewer towns to be passed, and less chance of interruption. Mr. Jervoise had brought with him a valise and suit of clothes for Sir Marmaduke, of sober cut and fashion. They avoided all large towns and, at the places where they put up, represented themselves as traders travelling from the Midlands to the southern coast, and they arrived at Southampton without having excited the smallest suspicion. Indeed, throughout the journey, they had heard no word of the affray near Chapel le Frith, and knew, therefore, that the news had not travelled as fast as they had.
At Southampton, however, they had scarcely put up at an inn when the landlord said: