“Get her to come to London, and make herself as public as possible: go to operas and balls, and theatres; be presented at court; take a stall at every bazaar, and sell charity puff-balls — get as much into the papers as possible. ’The lovely, accomplished, fascinating Miss Cameron, &c., &c.’”
“What do you mean?”
“I will tell you what I mean. The count has forsaken her now; but as soon as he heard that she was somebody, that she was followed and admired, his vanity would be roused, his old sense of property in her would revive, and he would begin once more to draw her into his toils. What the result would be, it is impossible to foretell; but it would at least give us a chance of catching him, and her a chance of resisting him.”
“I don’t think, however, that she would venture on that course herself. I should not dare to propose it to her.”
“No, no. It was only an invention, to deceive myself with the fancy that I was doing something. There would be many objections to such a plan, even if it were practicable. I must still try to find him, and if fresh endeavours should fail, devise fresher still.”
“Thank you a thousand times,” said Hugh. “It is too good of you to take so much trouble.”
“It is my business,” answered Falconer. “Is there not a soul in trouble?”
Hugh went home, full of his new friend. With the clue he had given him, he was able to follow all the windings of Euphra’s behaviour, and to account for almost everything that had taken place. It was quite painful to him to feel that he could be of no immediate service to her; but he could hardly doubt that, before long, Falconer would, in his wisdom and experience, excogitate some mode of procedure in which he might be able to take a part.
He sat down to his novel, which had been making but little progress for some time; for it is hard to write a novel when one is living in the midst of a romance. But the romance, at this time, was not very close to him. It had a past and a possible future, but no present. That same future, however, might at any moment dawn into the present.
In the meantime, teaching the Latin grammar and the English alphabet to young aspirants after the honours of the ministry, was not work inimical to invention, from either the exhaustion of its excitement or the absorption of its interest.
Her yellow hair, beyond compare,
Comes trinkling down her swan-white neck;
And her two eyes, like stars in skies,
Would keep a sinking ship frae wreck.
Oh! Mally’s meek, Mally’s sweet,
Mally’s modest and discreet;
Mally’s rare, Mally’s fair,
Mally’s every way complete.
What arms for innocence but innocence.