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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 350 pages of information about Basil.

NOTE BY THE EDITOR.

* There are some lines of writing beyond this point; but they are illegible.

LETTERS IN CONCLUSION.

LETTER I.

FROM WILLIAM PENHALE, MINER, AT BARTALLOCK, IN CORNWALL, TO HIS WIFE IN LONDON.

MY DEAR MARY,

I received your letter yesterday, and was more glad than I can say, at hearing that our darling girl Susan has got such a good place in London, and likes her new mistress so well.  My kind respects to your sister and her husband, and say I don’t grumble about the money that’s been spent in sending you with Susan to take care of her.  She was too young, poor child, to be trusted to make the journey alone; and, as I was obliged to stop at home and work to keep the other children, and pay back what we borrowed for the trip, of course you were the proper person, after me, to go with Susan—­whose welfare is a more precious possession to us than any money, I am sure.  Besides, when I married you, and took you away to Cornwall, I always promised you a trip to London to see your friends again; and now that promise is performed.  So, once again, don’t fret about the money that’s been spent:  I shall soon pay it back.

I’ve got some very strange news for you, Mary.  You know how bad work was getting at the mine, before you went away—­so bad, that I thought to myself after you had gone, “Hadn’t I better try what I can do in the fishing at Treen?” And I went there; and, thank God, have got on well by it.  I can turn my hand to most things; and the fishing has been very good this year.  So I have stuck to my work.  And now I come to my news.

The landlady at the inn here, is, as you know, a sort of relation of mine.  Well, the third afternoon after you had gone, I was stopping to say a word to her at her own door, on my way to the beach, when we saw a young gentleman, quite a stranger, coming up to us.  He looked very pale and wild-like, I thought, when he asked for a bed; and then got faint all of a sudden—­so faint and ill, that I was obliged to lend a hand in getting him upstairs.  The next morning I heard he was worse:  and it was just the same story the morning after.  He quite frightened the landlady, he was so restless, and talked to himself in such a strange way; specially at night.  He wouldn’t say what was the matter with him, or who he was:  we could only find out that he had been stopping among the fishing people further west:  and that they had not behaved very well to him at last—­more shame for them!  I’m sure they could take no hurt from the poor young fellow, let him be whom he may.  Well, the end of it was that I went and fetched the doctor for him myself, and when we got into his room, we found him all pale and trembling, and looking at us, poor soul, as if he thought we meant to murder him.  The doctor gave his complaint some hard names which I don’t know how to write down; but it seems there’s

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